tv Dateline London BBC News February 12, 2017 11:30am-12:01pm GMT
hello, this is bbc news with carole walker. the headlines at 11.303m: north korea fires a ballistic missile into the sea ofjapan — the first such test since donald trump became us president. mr trump has assured japan's prime minister shinzo abe that "america stands behind, its great ally, 100%". the commons speaker, john bercow, insists his impartiality hasn't been affected after revealing he voted remain in the eu referendum. his spokeswoman said the way he cast his ballot had no impact on his ability to deal fairly with all mp5. labour's deputy leader, tom watson, says the party's leadership is "settled for this parliament". he played down reports that mr corybn has been encouraged to improve his popularity ratings
and that the party is vetting potential leadership successors. now on bbc news it's time for dateline london, with gavin esler. hello and welcome to dateline london. president trump's travel ban ruled out by a court — mr trump responds with "see you in court." is he now the litigant in chief? and russian intervention in libya — another tactical victory for putin? my guests today are... abdel bari atwan, who is a writer and broadcaster on arab affairs, stephanie baker of bloomberg news, yasmin alibhai brown, the author and commentator, and vincent magombe, who is an african commentator.
president trump's own nominee to the us supreme court was said to have criticised the president over mr trump's attitude to judges — trump talked of "so—called judges." it follows the court's decision to rule out the president's travel ban on people from mostly muslim countries, and further bitterness between the president and some in congress. are these teething troubles — or a sign of how the next four years are likely to be in washington — with the president attacking the other pillars of the us constitution? where do you think we are now? well, i think, what happened this week is reflective of the fact that trump clearly has a hazy view of the constitution, and separation of powers, and the checks and balances that are the hallmark of the us critical system. the appeals courtjudges sent a strong message to him saying, you cannot invoke national security concerns. are these teething problems? to some extent, there is some of that going on. remember when he issued the executive order on immigration, he did not have key appointments
in place, and the fact that he has now said that he is considering rewriting the order and making it more narrow, that reflects the fact that would suggest to me that jeff sessions has told him, this is too risky, perhaps you need to dial it back, if you really want to make sure to not lose this. but i think that the hallmarks of the trump presidency seem pretty clear, people who think that he is going to pivot and become more presidential in his style and manner, they are going to be left disappointed. his style is to attack, personally, people on twitter, judges, corporate executives. there is a real risk to that, going forward. not only is he tying himself very personally to policy initiatives such as the immigration order, he cannot distance from that or blame other advisers for its failure. but with attacks on judges in his tweets, he seems to be
parking blame at their feet, for any possible future terrorist attack, which is very, very dangerous going forward. no one should be surprised that this is how he's carrying himself. this is how he ran his business for years. he was extremely combative, confrontational and litigious as well. i don't think this is going to change. the style will remain the same, he may dial back and adopt more moderate positions. we have seen him do so on certain foreign policy issues, supporting one china, israel and so forth. but i don't think you're going to see a different kind of trump emerge. what do you think? how has this gone down in many arab countries? the man is barely three weeks into power, and he is creating problems everywhere. firest, seven muslim
countries, it is pure racism. he picked the countries who never exported terrorism to that part of the world. honestly. it's amazing, only six terrorist attacks actually happened in the united states from those immigrants living in the united states. the second thing is, contradiction... first he wanted saudi arabia and the gulf states to pay for the protection, american protection. now he is phoning them and saying, come with me and fight iran. he wants to dismantle that nuclear deal. has that been going down quite well in saudi arabia? the saudis are focused on iran, that is their number one foreign policy. he knows these gulf state countries are very vulnerable. say are scared.
they were always protected by the united states, obama said, you have to change your strategy, you have to depend on yourself and talk to iran, solve your problems by talking. we cannot have easy rights. i believe, now with trump, he is working into the hands and the agendas of isis, al-qaeda and other... why do you say that? because all the muslims feel vulnerable, and they believe this man actually is coming to attack muslims and hate muslims. to create wars in that part the world. he is unifying the shia and the sunni against the united states. there was a division beforehand. for example, terrorism used to be a sunni trademark.
now he is actually now saying iran is a terrorist state. for the first time he managed to unify the muslim terrorists, the shia and the sunni terrorists, to mobilise against the united states. i won't tell you what i think of trump, i will tell you what africans think of trump. ugandans, for example. people have said to me he seems to have some african blood. i don't mean the cultures of africa, that club of dictators in africa. there has been recently, on facebook, a video that went viral. trump here, idi amin here. the way idi amin used to speak, egotistic, i am the greatest man on the earth.
this and that. i am very good. there was actually an american satirical programme, they did that comparison between trump and african dictators. amin and mugabe and everything. and when i saw the comparison, i thought this is a joke. but he is not a joke. you'd elected as president of the united states. no one has seriously challenged his legitimacy. he may have been elected by the american people, but what he is doing and how he's doing it, and i can tell you that personally i believe that all the things he has been saying, being an amin type of person, look at what is happening with the travel ban. i'm sure very soon he will discover that he cannot do it, and he will retract.
for example, following isis on social media. they are celebrating what trump is saying. this is the american... we told you they hate us as muslims, but you never believed us. this is the proof. you raise very important points, and i agree with you. it is notjust terrorists coming together, there was a time in the late 70s and early 80s when america was hated in so many parts of the world, when you were burning the flags. he is taking america back to that place, where americans will not be safe in the world. and because, notjust terrorism, all muslims, of whatever view, are feeling the hate. my goodness, we are the nextjews, if you like, of the century. you are so right.
they used to laugh about idi amin, like they laugh about trump, which was the biggest mistake. he got the judges first, he hanged judges, then intellectuals, he systematically... then the media, he systematically went for them. this is the modern equivalent. if you are right, and people will dispute it, there will be viewers who will dispute it, but if you are right, then creating that sense of division, it will work, because this is a president who, in my experience, he did not really do anything in terms of bringing the country together. in other words, what has worked very well for him is defining another, other people, the enemy abroad. that works for mr trump.
i thjink it works up to a certain extent, but i think he has still got major battles ahead. what we have seen this week is the constitution working, thejudicial system has hit back. reined him in. the checks and balances are indeed working. including from his own supreme court nominee. that was astonishing, wasn't it? somebody who is clearly a judge who believes in the courts being independent. yes, there are theories about that, that gorsuch knows that he needs to come out and distance himself from what trump has done, in order to win confirmation. but he has done what nominees have done before their confirmation hearings, make the rounds among senators, try to allay fears, try to reassure them. trump has denied that he has said this.
gorsuch apparently told several senators that he was disheartened and found trump's comments disheartening and demoralising. it is essential for him to distance himself in order to win approval in the senate. however, trump is constantly undermining that, and disagreeing with him. it is interesting and shocking that the senate in congress have been much less effective in opposing trump than have the people, the judiciary, activists. i am so shocked by paul ryan. he resisted his own nomination quite vocally. and now he is completely a supplicant of trump. the issue of checks and balances is very important for me because the african dictatorships i am talking about, in uganda, today the media is being hit, people have rigged elections and so on.
the judiciary cannot do it, the media cannot do it, but in america you are blessed with the infrastructure and democracy. i would like to talk about his mobilisation against iran. obama and the other five countries, they realised that the cost of war against iran will be huge, so he talked to the iranians, and used pressure to reach this nuclear deal. now he is actually trying to provoke iran, and you cannot see how the iranians are responding. they are a people of pride,
and the mullahs are mobilising. you are right. obama managed to neutralise the muslim world vis—a—vis america. america was not hated during obama's two terms. now trump is reviving this hatred among the iranians, among the muslims, the africans, latin americans. he has dialled back his rhetoric on iran. he vowed on the campaign trail to rip up the deal with iran, and that does not seem to be happening. he has dialled back a bit. he is imposing sanctions, economic sanctions against certain areas. but the shocking thing was, i was in america in october before the election, the number of muslims who were backing trump, shame on them.
33% of american muslims backed this man. it is a challenge, the other thing he presents is a challenge forjournalism. when you have got a president who basically says terrorist attacks are not being reported, and the facts are that every one of those attacks as far as we can see were reported and given a degree of interest by different media outlets, but they were reported. how do you handle someone who says things which are clearly not the case? there has been some talk about we should not be televising these press conferences from kellyanne conway and trump. we need to fact check them, and you cannot fact check them as they are happening live. it's an incredibly different and difficult position journalists are in. he has threatened them, there is a question mark over, whether there will be space for the press corps in the white house.
it is the constant stream of alternative facts, it is posing new challenges for all of us. and we must remember the powers behind trump, bannon, his vice president, some of the dark forces behind him are very well organised. those types of forces that supported him, very radical, people who are ready to damage. i would be more worried about them than trump himself. i think trump will be cut short. i don't think that he can really manage to intimidate totally the judiciary. even the media. i would be surprised if, in america especially, the media is culled. we shall see. following western intervention in libya — led by britain and france — the downfall of colonel gaddaffi has produced not one
but two libyan governments. now russia has chosen sides in the libyan conflict, and president trump, who found time this week to criticise the us department store chain nordstrom for dropping his daughter's clothing line, has not yet found time to criticise president putin. is this another potential victory for russia? maybe you could tell us what is actually going on in libya. six years ago, there was a state of euphoria in the west. we managed to achieve a huge success. we toppled a tyrant. we will make libya as a model of success in the middle east. six years, how has it been? nobody talks about the situation. the west created a libya. chaotic. it is chaotic. and very dangerous. you have three governments, two parliaments, three armies, tens of militias, no
security at all, everybody is fighting everybody, you have half of the libyan people emigrate either to tunisia or to egypt, about 3 million of them, to look for safety and a decent way of life. the situation, the west decided to support democracy, so—called democracy. the elected government never actually had the teeth or the clues to impose its force there. there is one general, and this man is the ex—colonel of libya, he used to work with gaddafi and was part of his counsel. he defected, went to the us, and he was actually trained and sent back to fight gaddafi topple gaddafi. and he tried to lunch a sort
of military campaign from chad. now what is happening, this general is backed by egypt, by the united arab emirates, and russia. why? he managed to secure the eastern part of libya, which is the wealthy part. where the oil is. yes. and he managed to root out isis from that eastern part, and he controls about 80%, or 75% of libyan oil export, it is coming from that part. now, the west actually could not do anything, they broke it in libya and they cannot fix it. stop. one thing. no, one thing. because you have given us the anti—western analysis. i think it is time to look at russia. it really is time to look at russia, what russia has done in syria
and is about to do in libya, you have to absolutely focus... wait till i mention russia. unbelievable. it is very interesting what russia is doing. ok, i'm explaining. the west went to russia, italy and britain. they say to russia, please save us. we have illegal immigration, there are 2000 kilometres of the seashore, libyan territories in the mediterranean, we cannot do anything, please help us. russia, moscow invited a man who was received by putin, sergey lavrov, the defence minister, and he had a very fruitful talk. then they reach an agreement. first to curb all the immigration from libya, and also to work under
the un backed government of the so—called national accord government, and to be the leader of the army. what does russia get? an american lease in libya. —— base. you just have to study this man, and some of us have been in russia i was there for ten years during communist times, we know who the kgb and putin are. this guy has succeeded in syria, making sure that the failure of the west is my gain. he's doing exactly the same template in libya. what he has done is identify this general khalifa, and what he is doing is look, this man has the military power, he is trying to promote him to become the real leader. the only problem is,
with russia, he does not care the type of commotion, the same template as syria, it does not matter whether the syrian president is a democrat or anything like that. if he is a stubborn man. if you look at it, if it is correct, he has cracked down on isis, he will stop or try to control migration. there are a lot of people in europe who will think that's great. no. the standards by which this man operates should really worry all of us. i totally agree, intervention in libya and what we did in iraq, but it is time now to focus on actually this really dangerous and quite evil presence in putin. and what he did in syria, what he has done to the people of syria, with assad, is absolutely,
it should be the focus of good people. we are talking about libya, not syria. let me talk. the west went to putin, he did not go to the west. they say to him, come and save us in libya, we made a mistake in libya, please save us. president obama said, the gravest mistake which i regret in my two terms — intervention in libya. they admit that they made mistakes. it was the british and french, who were very proud of it at the time. where does this leave us? the argument has been, eight years of obama, he was terrible. america withdrew from the world stage, left this vacuum, putin said thank you very much, i can solve several problems, brutally, but i can do it. putin wants to re—establish russia's dominance, political and military
positioning in the region. russia lost billions of dollars in arms and oil contracts in libya after gaddafi was ousted and killed. this is part of putin's effort to re—establish his geopolitical power in the region. whether or not putin backing the general is going to stem the flow of refugees, isn't it going to undermine the stability of the country, the un peace process, and leave europe out in the cold, because putin does not care about the flow of refugees into europe, and neither does trump. and neither does the general. he has been against european and un attempt to have that migration and position. but this is also where there is a connection between trump and putin. they both seem to admire
so—called strongmen leaders, authoritarian people who they view as being able to re—establish order in where they see as chaotic regions. however, trump has not criticised russia for this. he may not have to. he may not even have to endorse what is happening, he could just turn a blind eye and allow it to happen. general haifa himself talked about trump, and he said that, look, because of the war we are carrying out against terrorism in this region, i think trump will appreciate that we can work with him. the centre of power is like that. you have a government in tripoli, backed by the muslim brotherhood, and supported by qatar and turkey. and you have a government which has no power on the ground at all. the muslim brotherhood supported government
and is about to set up a new army, and in order to consolidate its power in the west. the problem is, which we are facing, haifa is a very clever man, i hate him personally because of the langley things, but anyway, what he is doing, he used the immigration card to put pressure on the west, on britain, italy, france and the united states, saying look, you ignore me, you don't recognise my services, my power, i will use this immigration card against you. and he used it very well. after six years, they are throwing in the towel, please come and help us. we have to leave it there. that's it for dateline london for this week. you can comment on the programme on twitter @gavinesler. we're back next week at the same time. make a date with dateline london. goodbye.
north—west scotland seeing the best of the sunshine today, just as they did yesterday. elsewhere, plenty of cloud, some patchy rain, sleet and snow. the biggest area of wet weather pushing into north england. quite a lot of snow in the highest parts of the peak district and pennines. drifting in the strong wind as well. this is the picture at 3pm. temperatures a degree or so higher compared with yesterday, but the wind is stronger, so feeling every bit as god. a fair amount of dry weather around the just that patchy rain, sleet and snow. ——
feeling every bit as cold. mostly rain or sleet at lower levels but that's no in the higher parts of the peak district and pennines. northern ireland and scotland, seeing some sunshine. the lowest temperatures here overnight, down to —5 or so. this evening and the first part of the night sees further patchy rain, sleet and snow but later confined to north—east scotland and north east england. away from that frost, temperatures drop away. i see in a few spots as we start monday morning. on monday, a sunnier picture the southern and western areas. keep a lot of cloud from lincolnshire and the midlands and in eastern scotland patchy rain, sleet and hill snow. a windy day for all but gales in parts of the west, tickly western areas of wales, where we could see gusts of 60—70 miles an
hourup we could see gusts of 60—70 miles an hour up towards anglesey. double figures in south—west england. elsewhere it will feel cold in that strong to gale force wind. on tuesday a weather system approaching the south—west. western areas crowding up i may see some patchy rain or showers. sunnier skies in the north and east and then switching things around later in the week from a continental feel to a warmer atlantic one. most of seeing temperatures go into double figures but a few showers around. donald trump condemns the firing of a ballistic missile by north korea into the sea of japan. commons speaker, john bercow, insists he's impartial, after a video emerges of him talking about his vote in the eu referendum. labour's deputy leader, tom watson, says the party's leadership
is "settled for this parliament". a group of retired bishops accuse church of england leaders of suppressing the views of gay christians. also in the next hour — pilot whales in new zealand make their way back on course. more 200 — stranded on a beach — are re—floated and returned to sea. and in half an hour, here on bbc news — click visits 500 years of robots at the science museum in london.