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tv   Third Rail  Al Jazeera  October 5, 2015 4:00pm-4:31pm EDT

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didn't have to die. >> is there still a blue wall of silence in american cities? >> did somebody get shot? fault lines baltimore rising only on al jazeera america another horrible school shooting. we might not be able to solve the whole debate but there is something we can do. i'm ali velshi. this is third rail. russian intervention in syria's civil war is providing a fresh life line for bashar al assad's brutal regime.
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>> we think it's an enormous mistake to refuse to cooperate with the syrian government and its armed forces fighting terrorism face-to-face. >> but to which terrorists is mr. putin referring? they've now killed many who are not terrorists. >> if it walks and looks like a terrorists, it's a terrorists. >> russia's interest in preserving assad's regime is putting pressure on the u.s. and regional allies who insist no matter what happens on the ground, assad must go. >> we must recognize that there can not be after so much blood shed and carnage a return to the prewar status quo. joining us from london is a former kremlin and government advisor under the yeltsin administration.
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he was also a political editor for the russian news agency and an investigative journalist. alexander, thank you for being with us. russia declares it's going to swoop in and save the day in syria and destroy isil but the first thing it does is strike rebel fighters fighting syrian president bashar al assad. you just heard the foreign minister say if it looks like a terrorist, walks like a terrorist, acts like a terrorist, it is a terrorist. is that the strategy, to bomb anything that looks like a terrorist? >> first of all, i think we must understand it's just the first stage of the operation. by some strange coincidence, we've had so much information coming out of everywhere about this particular operation that i sometimes wonder where people get this stuff from. especially i've heard today that
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some of the footage which was used by western media to show the results of the soviet -- russian air strikes was actually old footage used from the previous time. sew i think this is -- so i think, you know, this is a tense moment and i think all sides are nervous and i think there will be statements made. for example, the foreign minister's statement, it's a clever one but on the other hand, it's confusing because what he said we're going after everyone. i don't think he meant that actually. i think the main target is isis. the rest is inessential here. the problem here is that the bombing campaign by the u.s.-led coalition did not move anywhere. and there was a simple reason for that. if you're not in operation in close contact with the troops on the ground, and i mean syrian
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army here, then you cannot really achieve anything. that is why the russian operation will be completely different. because there will be a coordinated bombing attack where the russian aviation will be in coordination with syrian troops. so they strike the target, the syrian troops move in. now that is effective. that works. unlike what we've seen. >> and i won't take issue with you on the fact that we've clearly seen the u.s. strategy not working in the last few years. but you're active on social media and sent out a treat that says the russian air force will hit isis hard in syria and suddenly the whole situation on the ground changes. you asked this question, do you know that many americans believe that films were based on a true character? it worries me that the russians
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think that's what we're going to do? the russians seem to think that they're going to come in and what should have happened a long time ago is now going to happen. >> i don't think the russian military are saying things are quickly. i think we've heard some statements already from the kremlin and the military that this operation will take time and that they don't really know how long it will take. there were some confusing reports but i think it was confusion. first of all, you must understand one thing. this obviously is a risky operation and everybody understands that in moscow. but the problem was that the u.s.-led coalition spent, i don't know, thousands were conducted. and the situation on the ground was not improving. it was deteriorating.
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and isis units were getting stronger and controlling more territory. anybody understands that something is wrong with that strategy. i think russia had to intervene simply because the conflict was territories. >> interesting that you just said everybody in russia and moscow understands that this is a risky situation. i'm wondering about how the people of russia feel about this commitment. this wasn't probably the top 25 things if you asked an average russian what they're concerned with. mostly they're concerned with the economy because the russian economy has taken a very big hit as a result of what happened in ukraine last year. but how do they feel? with chechnya and afghanistan in memory, how do russians feel about getting involved in syria? >> first of all, you must understand
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the russian people have read and heard about threats by isis. these threats were made on several occasions. i have been to moscow just recently and spoken with people about that issue and i can tell you that they're worried by that because if isis starts to infiltrate into the northern caucuses and other parts of southern russia, that is going country. >> 95% of the 111,000 civilian deaths in syria since 2011 are attributed to the brutality of the bashar assad regime. not isil. isil are brutal but they've not been the mass killers in syria that the administration is. does russia have anything to say about the damage, devastation done to civilians by assad and
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about hitting civilians who are opposed to assad? >> absolutely. syria. of course russia cares. the point is different here. the position is different from the western position. the russian position. we don't want to another libya. nobody does. to take away a government, a regime that somehow still controls, for example, the armed forces and still resists attacks by isis would be absolutely disasterous. we've seen what happened in libya, we've seen what happened in iraq. it's the same situation. so what the russian officials are saying is this: assad has to stay for a while. nobody's saying he's going to stay forever. you know, there's talk about russia saving the regime of president assad. that's not the case. this is the first stage of a process.
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you first need to deal with the enemy who is much more powerful and much more threatening than assad's regime. then once you have dealt with them, then the political and diplomatic efforts start. right now it's absolutely impossible to launch any diplomatic initiative. the u.n. recently announced an initiative and forgot about it at once because they realized nothing will work because there's no opportunity for discussion. so we are talking about the first stage. nobody in russia is saying that's it. this is the regime. it's forever >> all right. come back and we'll talk again in the second stage. thank you for joining us. the third rail panel is next. >> feminism is bs. >> i think there's a ton of hypocracy. where was now when michelle bachman was being skewered for
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her hair? >> she probably deserved that. >> the money fell victim to the politics. >> they're more focused on getting jobs than our education.
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let's broaden our discussion of syria with our panel.
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welcome to all of you. jack, let's start with you. vladimir putin is saying 60% of syria is under control of either isil or rebel groups that oppose the assad regime. america's official position is about regime change, getting rid of the assad regime. who is right? >> you know, i think putin is right in making a clear stance. he is saying i'm on assad's side and i'm going to take action to be with my guy. america, on the other hand, we keep saying and we've heard it now for over a year by the obama administration, we're going to shape and control and contain isil. it has not happened at all. the refugee crisis is just a huge by-product of eye huge human disaster. >> it's easy to say take a stand and get rid of assad. most would agree. but we never know what the next
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move is. >> we don't and in the middle east we get it wrong over over again. we're there in afghanistan and iraq. we have an american interest there. russia right now is looking at a president who basically let them crawl all over him in crimea. he said these are the red lines and if you cross it i'm going to bomb. nothing happened. they're seeing a lot of indecision. as a republican, barack obama is a pacifist. he's a peace loving guy. >> a pacifist who took out bin laden and has no problems with drones. he's done more than the previous administration about the problems in the middle east. on this issue i think he's wrong but fundamentally he's done for administration. >> he's a guy who will do anything he can to keep from war
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>> the facts don't bare that out. >> at the end of the day, i think that the united states needs to make their position clear wherever we are landing. >> but putin may be pushing the united states into that decision of making it clear. >> putin is a lot more soviet union than new russia. this president wants diplomatic solutions to a world that has rejected diplomatic solutions. >> here's the reality, no one really knows what's going on. if we're going to be honest. we don't know what's going on. we don't know what hornets nest is around the corner for us. if assad asks putin to come which he did, we should step
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back. right now we want to be there because russia is there or because we're going to benefit. >> you think that we should be careful about regime change. we don't get regime change right in most cases but the world sees bashar assad, that he gases his own people. >> absolutely. throughout history unless you're in the united states of america human rights really don't exist. we need to stop playing that game like as if they do. president obama the perception is that he's a peace lover, a diplomat. it may not be true by his actions but that's the perception. what has happened with putin is putin riding an rinoscerous down in the river has shown himself as a leader, someone who's going to take a position and act on it and that's what the world needs.
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>> but he can do that in a country with no blowback. there's no political if you oppose him politically you're dead. so you can be a leader -- >> the president often talks about the 60-country coalition that we have in syria. i don't know of that. and i sat on the defense committee. i saw the coalition that we had in iraq. it was real countries with real contributions. >> there were a lot of little countries with 14 soldiers there and three more join third degree week. >> that's right. >> our coalition. is. >> that's what i'm saying is a part of his leadership role doesn't necessarily have to be military. i criticize him for not having a good diplomatic leadership role. if he had 60 coalition countries really trying to tamp down on syria and stop isil, you'd have better result
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>> so damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. >> no. i'm saying there's no leadership. the guy can't lead from behind. this is part of putin's vision, influencing the middle east. libya. >> does he not have a right to have that position? i'm a proud american and i love this country but we act as if we're the only right people in the world. at the end of the day -- we don't have the authority to tell someone in a sovereign nation and regime change, imagine if somebody wanted to do that to bush when we went into iraq illegally. imagine if some nation said this is an illegal war. >> we have to have topic change. moving on to the presidential election. a prominent woman is -- >> a feminist is a woman who chooses her own life.
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>> women won't vote for someone who supports policies women. >> when women call my candidacy offensive, that's about idealology. it's about the fact that they don't agree with me. >> can a strong woman on the liberal side of the spectrum support a conservative woman for president? why not? if the up. >> but in this case they necessarily don't. >> but here's the thing. what i believe is a strong woman may be different than what woman. >> that's a good point. carlie fiorina is for pro life, against the equal pay act, against the minimum wage hike which would affect
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55% of women. those are not values in sync with feminism. >> in my opinion, feminism is bs. i'm being told i'm still not equal after 50 years, so it's a failure in my opinion. let's move on. here's the thing, i want to vote for whomever is the most qualified for the job. in this case, this may happen to be fiorina. am i always going to be in line with her? not necessarily. but she's strong and women who have those same beliefs and believe that she will be a good president should follow her. women who do not should not. period. end of story. we're 51% of the population. what i have a problem with, with feminists is that they want us women to be treated differently than men. we want to be paid to be mothers. we want our company to hold our job. we want somebody to tell me how much i should be earning.
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>> economically as you and i discussed before economically much of the rest of the world beneficial. >> everything can be skewed. after 50 years if my daughter doesn't know how to ask for a raise and for what she's worth me. >> this very question is sexist. you're not asking this of anyone else. we all vote based on our values. not whether she's a woman or not. >> let me say this: as a politician you're always asked what are you going to do for the women or for african americans or for hispanics. unfortunately, it's part of the media trend today, part of the dialogue. people want to say i want to throw motivation behind your vote and you're women and that's why you vote.
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>> that's insulting as you saying i would only vote for barack obama if he's black. >> that's what we do as journalists. we have to ask the questions. >> sure. >> i've seen people like diane black or the governor of oklahoma that i've served with in washington and they're leaders, period. and, yet, the feminists won't cut them a break. michelle bachman. >> who are they? >> i would say now. where was now when michelle bachman was being skewered for her hair. that. >> only a woman can get away with that. >> car lee p fiorina is getting attention because she makes no apologies.
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she's shown that she can handle big corporations -- >> i want to say this. i would say this: i don't think it's the same question as if is america ready for a black or female president. what we're saying is are feminists who generally hold views that are pro-choice and probably on the liberal side of the spectrum, can they get behind a woman whose values don't align. that was the first thing you said. that's why i'm saying i don't know that it's a sexist question. >> right. for me, i don't know what feminism is. you know, like, there's this amorphous -- you know, what's a feminist? am i one? >> i guess so. >> i don't necessarily identify with that. >> maybe. >> all of these labels we want to place on people don't necessarily fit the average american. we need to stop.
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>> i am a strong woman who knows what her value is and knows how to ask for what i need to get done and i would like the same from a man who wants to run for president. i don't care who you are >> what i think we're seeing though is interest is group politics -- they're ganging up on me. i'm the only man. i know what's happening here. but you know when a group pluck now would have some sort of obligation to say we don't agree with her but don't you dare criticize her hair. >> i agree. there's a lot of hypocracy going on in m. >> is that the same as what's going on with hillary clinton? >> absolutely not. one difference is that hillary clinton is clearly a politician and she acts like a politician and spins like
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one. fiorina is speaking the language of americans. they're tired of the political talk. that's why trump, carson, fiorina are up in the polls. they're reacting to individuals not just woman or man. >> what a great conversation. thanks to all of you. coming up, another horrible school shooting. one solution both sides should get behind next. my final thought.
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before we go, i want to share this final thought. the man responsible for the oregon community college massacre this week was described as anxious, shy, and withdrawn. one neighbor said his mother claimed her son was suffering from mental issues. much the same could be said for the charleston church shooter, the shooters who gunned down
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innocents in virginia tech, tucson, arizona, arora, colorado and many other places. president obama railed against groups that opposed gun regulations. both sides stayed in their corner meanwhile nothing gets done to end gun violence and a plurality of americans don't want gun control laws. but what if we moved away from the same things and worked to make changes many americans could back. here's one, establish a national
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registry of people with mental illness and they may not buy guns. a registry will have an impact and keep guns out of the hands of some people who might kill innocent people with them and it will help our national morale. america is the can-do nation that can't when it comes to ending gun violence. while many supporters oppose any new regulation, the u.s. regulates a lot of things successful including food, drug and car safety, all laws that have saved a lot of lives. doing something everyone can agree on that can slow gun violence down in america, that's really third rail. good night. >> the cops is a legalized gang... it makes me scared for everybody >> fear and distrust in baltimore... >> they've just been pepper spraying people at very close range... >> years of tension between the community and police erupt... >> she was on her way home to her kid, and she never made it... >> a former cop speaks out... >> if you had taken steps when a man was assaulted, maybe freddie gray
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didn't have to die. >> is there still a blue wall of silence in american cities? >> did somebody get shot? fault lines baltimore rising only on al jazeera america >> as the world's most elderly nation - japan is dancing with a demographic disaster. people are living longer and birthrates are falling fast. no other country has a greater percentage of old people. the government has responded by raising taxes and the retirement age, it's even pushing for a

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