When 60 Minutes asked whether Karzai had directly requested that President George W. Bush end the airstrikes he said "Absolutely. Oh, yes, in clear words." He implied that his appearance on 60 Minutes was part of an attempt to go public now that direct conversations have failed to get results: "I want to repeat that, alternatives to the use of air force. And I will speak for it again through your media."
"You're demanding that?" - Pelley (in reference to a rollback of airstrikes)
"Absolutely," - Karzai.
The rest of the piece is worth watching, if only because it is the first time a camera team was permitted into the Combined Air Operations Center, America's high-tech command post situated in an undisclosed Persian Gulf country (Qatar?) It is a scene that is both surreal and yet somehow mundane: walls lined with massive monitors, people seated at rows of desks with computers. It is here that decisions are made on each airstrike in Afghanistan and Iraq -- decisions that will mean life or death for people hundreds or thousands of miles away. MORE
The piece also features a conversation with Mark Garlasco, former chief of high value targeting at the Pentagon at the start of the Iraq war. He is now an analyst at Human Rights Watch.
"There's this macabre kind of calculus that the military goes through on every air strike, where they try to figure out how many dead civilians is dead bad guy worth...Our number was 30. So, for example, Saddam Hussein. If you're gonna kill up to 29 people in a strike against Saddam Hussein, that's not a problem...Bt once you hit that number 30, we actually had to go to either President Bush, or Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld."
Garlasco says, before the invasion of Iraq, he recommended 50 air strikes aimed at high-value targets -- Iraqi officials. But he says none of the targets on the list were actually killed. Instead, he says, "a couple of hundred civilians at least" were killed.