Scott Horton Interviews Martin Smith

Scott Horton, October 22, 2009

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Martin Smith, producer of the PBS Frontline documentary Obama’s War, discusses the incredible scope of a full-blown global counterinsurgency, new COIN strategies that supposedly reduce the troop levels needed to pacify Afghanistan, the missed window of opportunity for successful nation-building and the difficulty of persuading Afghan civilians to entrust their safety to foreign troops rather than the Taliban.

MP3 here. (29:47)

In his 25 years producing for FRONTLINE, Martin Smith has covered the world: from revolution in Central America and the fall of communism in Russia, to the rise of Al Qaeda and the war in Iraq. Smith was among the first journalists to investigate Col. Oliver North’s clandestine network and one of the first western reporters to investigate the emergence of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network.

Since 1998 Smith has been with RAINmedia, an independent production company which has produced over 20 hours of programming for FRONTLINE including: Hunting bin Laden (1999); the four-hour series Drug Wars (2000); and three documentaries looking at the roots of 9/11 — Looking for Answers (2001), Saudi Time Bomb? (2001) and In Search of Al Qaeda (2002).

Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Smith has produced four films on Iraq for FRONTLINE: Gangs of Iraq (2007), Private Warriors (2005), Beyond Baghdad (2004) and Truth, War and Consequences (2003). In 2006, Smith produced The Storm, an Emmy Award-winning look at Hurricane Katrina and the state of America’s emergency response system and Return of the Taliban, in which he reported from the forbidden tribal areas of western Pakistan.

He recently completed two films for FRONTLINE which aired in the fall of 2008 — “Heat” about business and climate change and “The War Briefing” about the real policy options the next president will face. Smith’s work for FRONTLINE has taken him to Afghanistan, China, Comoros, Colombia, Germany, India, Iraq, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Yemen.

Smith has won every major award in television including two duPont Columbia Gold Batons and four Emmys. He’s also been a three-time recipient of the George Polk Award for Investigative Journalism and a four-time winner of the Writer’s Guild Award. Smith is a member of the Overseas Press Club and the Council on Foreign Relations.

7 Responses to “Martin Smith”

  1. Scott's STILL caught up in this "get rid of bin Laden to end the excuse for war" idea. The warmakers do not want to end the excuse for war. In fact, bin Laden is most likely dead already, but he is kept alive in the virtual world, like Goldstein in Orwell's 1984.

  2. No, I was simply getting him to explain that those mountains can't be invaded so it's not an excuse at all. Same as always.

  3. Two words for Afghanistan- get out.

  4. Please give us information on antiwar concerning the Advanced Second Strike Capability which Obama will deploy at sea (and in the Balkans?).

  5. Davidspero puts his finger on the nub. The Afghanistan discussion is still being guided by Scott as though the evidence garnered over the past eight years simpply doesn't exist. For goodness sake, do some reading. The decision to attack Afghanistan was made BEFORE 9/11. There is no hard evidence that bin Laden was involved: just ask the FBI, they don't think so. Bin Laden in all overwhelming probability died in December 2001. Look at where all the American bases are being built: right along the pipeline's intended route. This occupation has always been about three things: (1) "containing" (i.e. ultimately attacking, China; (2) control of the pipeline routes from the "stans" to the north without having to go through Iran; and (3) control of the heroin which finances CIA black ops and helps keep US banks afloat as the billions are laundered via the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
    Repeating ad nauseum the hoary myth that "al quaeda" attacked the US on 9/11 simply obscures the real truth which is obvious to those who bother to look and use their brains to anayse what they then see.

  6. James oniel shoul get his own blog, the only problem is no one would visit it because he is a retarded asshole cook. why dont you just kill yourself or get a fucking life gezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  7. i think that these areas controlled by muslim groups are not backing down because they understand that the conquest of the americas by europe was against virtually defenseless and scattered and disunited primitive tribes, albeit with no shortage of clever indigenous people. this is not true of the muslim regions. they are organized much better and have had serious weapons for a long time. that is, they are no pushover. and this is not going to be a picnic, this coercion of resources for an expansive and expensive empire or this genocide for control of a patch of the planet.
    what i am saying is bin laden does not think of bankrupting us – only forcing us to rethink committing genocide with the whole world watching thanks to the modern media. the muslims themselves only want israel to fade into obscurity in the politics of the asian arena. that would in fact happen if israel was swamped by muslim votes. instead the muslim card in asian affairs would be important.

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