tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg June 6, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
>> from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. charlie: we begin with david petreus. talking about the rise of isis in iraq and syria. the lessons he learned of their as commander in iraq and afghanistan. how bad is the situation on the ground in iraq and syria today? the impression is that isis is gaining ground and cities. david: it is worrisome. as we say, the enemy gets a vote. that's what's happened in
ramadi. this is both an operational and strategic setback. i think we will regain the initiative on the ground in iraq, but this is a moment where you sit back and say, what we need to do in the military arena. what, also, doing it to do in the political arena. you have to make the gains on the battlefield. isis is almost a conventional military force right now. but the center of gravity is in baghdad, and that's where we need to look in particular to make sure we have the right military structure to complement the embassy. who is there to work with the ambassador? do we have the right people there to enable those iraqi leaders who will bring about the political change?
this is about having a new awakening. that also has to take place. charlie: is it a threat to the united states? david: well, clearly, isis is a threat to the united states. it is also into north africa trying to recruit in afghanistan and pakistan. charlie: when you look at what is necessary to do, it you say we need a new strategy. does it mean more american participation at any level? david: i think it does. you need to look at what you have and figure out where you need to augment. do you need to bring the troops to brigade level or battalion level?
i think there should probably be . there is risk but there's also risk of not losing this fight. this is a very important fight against a very threatening organization, an extremist organization of considerable magnitude. this wants to control territory. that is what they are trying to do. charlie: can it happen if the iraqi troops neither have the will to fight, nor the ability? david: we know they have the will to fight, if and only if, there is good leadership they can count on and if they think someone has their back. the troops at ramadi fought for months. then came this moment where apparently their confidence was shaken and they retreated. they were not completely defeated. they retreated to fight another day. they will retake it. we have to look at this and ask
what could have been done better. how could we have helped our partners better? what else can we do to help with the reconstitution of the forces, the training, the equipment. getting antitank weapons into their hands. don't forget baghdad. the complementary piece to this, not just the military piece, the political military peace. where our military leadership and diplomatic leadership can help shore up the prime minister and help with the leaders who are going to be inclusive, who will get the sunni arabs back into the fold, instead of feeling alienated as they came to feel in the years after we left. charlie: if push comes to shove, should we let iraqi militia with connections to iran participate? david: i think that is something we don't want to do. charlie: but we might have to do. david: i think that would be a
very last resort. they are not going to get to the outskirts of baghdad. iraq has a lot of capability in its military. what we need to do is look at what the concepts are that we have, determine how we need to augment, refine, change them. in particular, focus not just on the military. you can't kill or capture your way out of an industrial-strength insurgency like this. you need to have the political component. without that, you are not going to succeed. charlie: political component is support in baghdad that will enlist the support of sunni arab tribes. propaganda war. isis is using social media like no one has ever seen before. they are getting recruits from around the world that are
replenishing their forces. what does the coalition have to do to bring to bear a combat in the world of ideas? david: a lot more. there is clearly a war of ideas that is being fought in social media and other places in cyberspace. we have to contest in that war of ideas. all of the coalition countries -- this is where those gulf cooperation countries come in so importantly. it is impressive that they are in this fight. they are all in it. charlie: should they put their own troops on the ground if necessary? david: no. unless it's a buffer zone in syria or something. certainly not in iraq. iraqis can handle it with the assistance we are providing. if we also add some of these other assets that i have discussed and also augment the training equipment --
charlie: has us combating them online been insufficient? david: yes. empirically, that war is not going well. charlie: are we winning or losing? david: it is arguable that we will win again in iraq. i think that iraq can be handled. i think it can be kept intact. we have to do a lot more in syria. we have to do more in some of the other areas. this is already a long war. it has become longer because of
the advent of the islamic state. charlie: what is the significance of aleppo falls? david: a major city, the biggest. let's remember in syria, there have already been 225,000 syrians killed. millions are displaced outside the country, millions more inside the country. the fall of aleppo would be an enormous victory for the islamic state. in this war of ideas, nothing succeeds like success. jihadi's want to go with the winner. over time, we have to show that isil is not a winner. charlie: all we can do is provide air support. americans on the ground hoping -- helping to direct and providing arms. david: in syria, we have to get that ground force going. this has been a long effort, something that really needs to be shot with steroids.
the forces there are insignificant. we have to figure out if there are some other allies and partners we can enable on the ground in syria. as we saw in kobani, our air power hammered the extremists. charlie: there are people in the political world who will say, if the u.s. had left troops in iraq, we would not be watching the rise of isis. david: i supported leaving troops. charlie: would they have led to the defeat of rising isis? david: it is arguable. i would like to have tested the proposition but it is by no means certain. there were other agreements made at the time that were not consummated and required no boots on the ground, no uniforms. they would have helped the
president enormously. even those were not allowed to be brought to bear. i was involved in that. there is no guarantee that having them on the ground would have changed anything. it would have given us a better situational awareness and infrastructure for what we are doing now. a lot of other positive features. no one can guarantee. ♪
charlie: valery was president of france from 1974-1981. he was one of the architects of the european union. although the constitution he proposed was rejected in 2005 he continues to actively lobby. i am pleased to have him back. welcome, sir. a pleasure to have you back. let me talk about europe first. you have the crisis in the eurozone of the greek debt. valery: it's an exaggeration. greece is not very important in the eurozone. they shouldn't have been a member. we have 28 countries.
europe is a fragmented continent. 18 have the euro and 10 don't, including britain. important countries like sweden or the czech republic. denmark. charlie: why don't you think the greek issue is significant? do you worry what will be the consequences if greece leave the eurozone? valery: there will be very little consequences. i support a solution which is not considered at this moment. to let greece have its own national currency.
greece needs to have a currency. that could be devalue weighted. -- todevaluated. the euro is strong. it went down a little in the past six months, but it is still a strong currency. it cannot be devaluated. they need one which can be devaluated which will help them become competitive. the solution would be to say
the bank of greece can issue a new currency. if everything goes well, they will come again. charlie: what about david cameron who was just elected? in a very strong way? valery: brilliant. not a surprise for me. charlie: you thought he would be doing that well? valery: two days before the election, i thought he would be reelected. charlie: he is having conversations with the european union because he wants to reform. valery: he's right. first, it is the mutual interests. it is good for great britain.
the british have demands. some of them are demands they always made. the system of the constitution. many of them could be satisfied. it supposes a serious negotiation which hasn't started yet but it will. france should support some of the british demands. angela merkel has said she understands some of the british demands. normally, there will be a change in the european union in the direction of the british. charlie: you recently met with putin.
the president of russia. engaged in one way or another, supporting some insurgents in eastern ukraine. tell me what you think he is doing. did he satisfactorily answer your questions? valery: yes. we had a long conversation. open. he told me something very important. he accepts the external border of ukraine. it is a problem by itself. it is a country that is very badly governed. it is split between groups, some of them russian and orthodox
some other are near poland. for the moment, they are fighting each other. the solution is not a military victory. charlie: what is an acceptable political solution to vladimir putin? valery: to have a large decentralization system. with the possibility of an autonomous region. you have catalonia in spain. scotland and great britain.
we cannot support the idea of violent fighting in ukraine. i think the united states should be prudent there. charlie: what does that mean? valery: not giving the indication that they will support military action by key people. charlie: military action isn't coming from those that russia supports in eastern ukraine. not only with arms but also there has been a captured russian soldier. valery: yes. you have a long border. if you figure it's an empty country. it is not of border with fences. you have the choice between two solutions. military victory, which is
impossible. the east cannot win. the east is not try to go to key iev. the west is doing some military action into the east. which creates conflict. we have now a truce. it must be respected. it is produced by the open structure. they are on the line. it must be reinforced. they must publish who is doing something, which side, because the last events came from the west.
then, finish the negotiation. lift the sanctions. charlie: do you approve of what the russians did in crimea? valery: yes. charlie: you approve of what they did? valery: please, listen to me. russia, at the end of the war, when stalin convened a conference to finish the war where did he convene it? in crimea. churchill and so on. crimea was controlled two centuries ago by russia. they took it not from ukraine.
but from the turks. the only point you can debate the way crimea was a next by russia. -- annexed by russia. the majority of them are in favor of being russian. it is distinct from the ukraine question. charlie: let me understand the rule of law. you are suggesting that if there is a country in which the people would like to vote to change their nature and their associations, that is ok as long as the people vote? valery: yes. charlie: but it's not ok if there is some element of force that is used?
valery: yes. it is done in a regular way. charlie: tell me about putin himself. what does he want? that is the question on the minds of most people in the west. valery: first, he is an intelligent man. he is not a madman. he has a strong will. he has been very shocked by the dislocation of the soviet union. it was the second world power with the u.s. now it went down. charlie: he said it was the worst thing that ever happened in his life to see that.
he will try to rebuild the russian influence. valery: why not? public opinion does not support him. they want to have a relationship with russia. russia is a european country. charlie: does he consider it a european country? does putin consider russia a european country? valery: absolutely. charlie: he talks about his relationship with asia. valery: he is speaking about developing a relationship with china because they have a long border. i told him it cannot be symmetrical. they have another culture. they have another economy. they will be competitive.
four russian industries and products. you can have good relations but it is not symmetrical to europe. europe is a natural partner for russia and china is not. he agreed. he considers himself under pressure from the united states. charlie: some believe that what he would like to do is develop a relationship with china in opposition to the united states in the same way that your friend henry kissinger developed a relationship with china in opposition to russia. valery: yes. i told him i do not think it is realistic. russia is more economically advanced than china.
technologically. charlie: but the chinese economy is growing much faster and is not energy dependent like the russian economy. valery: yes, but the competition by the chinese will be very hard for the russians. and hard for the europeans. they will not gain much. they will have to compete with china and not get support from china. in his mind, i am convinced, we see the future of russia as a partner of the european union. charlie: what has happened in the ukraine, the effort to have a dialogue with the european union.
valery: we already have some complications. we will not add to the complications. charlie: the dream of jonbenet. is it alive? in your judgment? valery: in public opinion, probably not. among some leaders, yes. it was vague. at this time, europe was split. there was western europe. so you understand that the eurozone is in the line of thinking in the same project. it will succeed. charlie: one last question. are the sanctions against russia having an impact, and do you favor them?
valery: they have an impact. i did not like their definition. the way they are against individuals. make a list of people. it hurts the russian economy but it hurts ours also. we are both losers. at this moment, it cannot be changed. i think that at the end of 2015, we should end them. charlie: let me turn to french politics.
what do you think of francois holland? valery: i never comment on my successors. i think it is unfair. charlie: there have been interim people since you were president, for goodness' sake. valery: i am in the line of degaulle. absurd that france is not in a good position. charlie: does the rise of lapen worry you? valery: not much. preoccupation, but it's not a very serious threat. all over europe you have
movement, movement of protests. some are on the right, some on the left. in greece it was the left. in spain it is the left. in france it is the right. in poland it is the right. so, about 15% of people disapprove of modern politics. usually they are people of simple life so they cannot be addressed too harshly. they are people who are frustrated. charlie: can france have a modern economy as long as it has the level of statism? valery: no. so, we need to have a window of freedom. we need it. if we do it, and i hope it will
be done, very quickly, things will burgeon again. because we have good people good engineers. of course, the constraint of the administration, the weight of the administration should be changed, must be changed. charlie: what is interesting is the french foreign policy. your foreign minister in the p5 plus one, and the iranian negotiations it appears is taking a tougher stand than secretary kerry. in other words, he has raised serious questions about the agreement. valery: there are complex problems. not a simple question that we could say yes or no.
charlie: there does seem to be a reasonably muscular french foreign policy at play. you saw what you did in libya. you saw what you did -- it has been continued by hollande. valery: no, i wouldn't say so. charlie: you would not say so? valery: no. in a more prudent way, in africa of the west, the sub-saharan region, but i think the french people are of a long and storied tradition. we put an end to our warrior culture, warrior. it is finished.
now i think that question should be addressed in a simple and responsible way. and avoid excessive postures on one side or the other. we have a terrible problem. charlie: the thread of terrorism? valery: well yes, of course. if we take the number of victims on the period, this number is rather limited. we should not have this hysterical mood about terrorism. even the legal points of freedom of expression, of private lives, that must be taken into consideration. charlie: there were not that many deaths at charlie hebdo but it deeply shocked france. valery: first because we are an emotional country.
as you know. [laughter] there were two elements. one was the freedom of speech, and the other one was to kill journalists, because to come with war guns and shoot them shocked deeply the french people. for a while there was a burst of indignation which was expressed, but now it's in the past. charlie: do you worry about china and its ambitions? valery: no. no i am very much interested in china. i go there usually once or twice a year. i have studied the language, the culture. i know many people there. i understand the historical trend, the behavior of the west
and china in the 19th century is a scandal. a real scandal. because it was made in a very harsh way for cynical reasons. for instance, the opium war. two by opium, it it was unbelievable. -- to buy opium. it was unbelievable. they had their pasts, very difficult. they went through a change of regime. they had the communist party they had a civil war, japanese occupation. now they are on a new track. charlie: and now they have a young, vigorous leader, xi jinping. valery: no one knows how to
govern 1 billion,500 million people. election cannot be the solution. you can't have a campaign for one billion. charlie: one thing is clear, they have committed to the party. valery: yes, for the moment. it has some advantage because it is a sort of bi-political system. you have the governance, you have the body. it gives a broader base. the party has no legitimacy. the fight against corruption is made by the party. the inquiries of the party, the arrests made by the party --
[indiscernible] justice is behind. criminals, judges, they have moved. so they need to have a future organization in whose legal part -- charlie: a rule of law. finally this, you have spent many years on this earth. you have been president of your country. at one time you were president i think of the academy francais, a remarkable group of artists which just announced a new member from haiti. what worries you the most? what do you see happening? you know your friend henry , kissinger talks about world order and disorder. and you think what is most troubling today? valery: for france or the world? charlie: the world. valery: it is a new sort of violence which is not war.
it doesn't exist in other parts. i hope they will be understanding of what the world really wants. the muslim world. we see the extremists. the natixis. -- banana kick's -- fanatics. there cannot be a solution for the whole world. so how to have a stable relationship with the muslims as we had in the past, with persia and turkey. in the western world there is no serious danger. in the center of the world
they are short of eruption. in american researcher, an institution published years ago, that in 15 years of time the number of muslims in the world will be over the number of christians. which means the change of balance in the world very important. so we must think of that and try to adjust to it. charlie: what is also relevant i think is that it is the rise , of nonstate actors. valery: yes, it's true. it is due partly to two causes. one, globalization as it has been made by the u.s. went too fast. it should have been a slow
process. not this chopped down process. the crisis of globalization started with the american bank and spread. if we are more organized, it is more easily settled. the second element is the social network, communication. it changes the postures of people. they think they can have a say on everything. charlie: thank you for coming. it's a pleasure to see you. back in a moment. stay with us.
story about japanese-in turn meant -- japanese-american internment. i'm pleased to have him back at the table. welcome back. let's talk about the book and a little bit about politics 2015. i'm always interested in what brings a good writer with a broad experience to a particular story. to read a book about it, not a magazine article. richard: i have always been fascinated by the story. i lived part of the time in california. if you are going skiing in mammoth and those areas, you just will go by the gatehouse. people in the backseat would say, isn't that where they kept the japanese? it was. but the other part of it was all the laws that made this possible are still on the books. we could round up the muslims, the border crossers, whoever tomorrow, with the same laws and probably with the same
negative results. charlie: negative results means what? richard: i go back to the fact of what happened -- the camps were like iraq. it was easy to get in, hard to get out. in hawaii, we did not incarcerate the population. we did in the mainland united states. when the time came we realized we had made a mistake. in 1943, only 1200 kids, young men from the camps, enlisted. 20,000 in hawaii surrounded the recruiting office -- charlie: because they had not been interned. the japanese-americans were totally patriotic --
i mean, they allow themselves to put what amounted to concentration camps because that was their debt to the country. after three or four years of living in the wilderness in terrible places, yes, some of them had turned against the united states. charlie: you say it is the best and worst of america. why is it the best of america? richard: it is the best of america because -- what is america about at its best, it is redemption. one result of what earl warren one of the great villains of this book -- the attorney general of california -- he was arguing the reason there was no japanese sabotage was because they were waiting for a big one and the instructions from tokyo. 15 years later, you read his
-- this guilty lutheran, if you read his works, organizes legal segregation in america. it is because of this, i'm sure. the thing that makes me sure about it was california does these extensive oral histories of their governors. warren's was six days. on the sixth day, the interviewer said no, mr. chief justice, i would like to talk to you about the events of 1942. warren broke into tears and walked out of the room and never came back. he knew. charlie: you have said here that what has pushed america forward is not the values of the forefathers, what has pushed america forward from generation to generation is the blind faith of each new wave of immigrants.
richard: that is what i absolutely believe. even leaving aside slavery and the indians -- we've brought the chinese into building railroads, northern europeans in to farm in the north, midwest, jews, irish need not apply. in each case we treated these people as if they weren't us until they were us, and they are us now. the people in this book, the people who came aboard in ellis island, every place else, that is us. that is our greatest strength. charlie: they get enough here in and they have a political impact, that is what happens. richard: right. that is our great strength. if you look at europe today
the problems they are having with that, we dealt with those problems. all the people in a book like this who are at rifle point, rounded up, now are some of the most important people in the country. charlie: like? richard: harvey atano, daniel innowei. charlie: who later received the medal of honor, didn't he? richard: he lost an arm and received a medal of honor in italy. the hawaiian japanese-americans were quite different than the others. there is one other thing. these places were in the middle of nowhere. temperatures ranged from 120 in the summer to -30 in the winter. in hart mountain, wyoming, a
local scoutmaster -- there were scout troops. these were little america's. these camps. the japanese-americans turned them into little america with boy scout troops and baseball leagues. the scoutmaster decides to bring his troops for what the scouts call a "camporee" at one of the internment camps. there's going to be an american and japanese american in each pup tent. the american was alan simpson. the japanese american was norm minetta. both later politicians. and friends for life. that friends for life is what made america work. charlie: sharing a pup tent will do that for you, won't it? there is also heroes and villains. cordell hall was a villain. richard: right.
charlie: simpson was a villain. richard: right. charlie: what was fdr? richard: a villain in this case, a great man, one of the greatest of men. he had real flaws in impatience and stupidity, and he he believed if you look at white house archives now in the internal debate that the japanese were aggressive because their skulls were shaped differently than
who has been there. charlie: who are the heroes? richard: the heroes are the ones who quit. including the latin americans, the peruvians, the ones we had put in camps. when the war was over, we tried to deport them as illegal aliens. they never had papers and they were brought handcuffed to america. and then people stole their land as they stole the land and money of the japanese-americans here. charlie: these are some of the books you have written. president reagan. resident nixon.
running in place, how bill clinton disappointed america. the reagan detour. and others. there is a real interest here in presidential power. richard: i think i think i've run out of presidents. charlie: not yet. what do you think about obama? richard: i think obama is a terrific man. my daughter is a special assistant to the president. charlie: do you think he is a great president? richard: she does. his personnel decisions are. charlie: he knows a bright woman when he sees one. [laughter] richard: he is on the right track. he is not meant to be
president. he is too thoughtful to be president. presidents who survive historically are like harry truman, who operate from the gut. obviously, obama operates from a very well-honed mind. charlie: where did franklin roosevelt operate from? richard: gut. charlie: abraham lincoln? richard: gut. although both churchill and lincoln obviously were high iq guys. but that is not the major qualification for president. charlie: good to have you. richard: good to be here. charlie: richard reeves is one of my favorite journalists, the book is called "the shocking story of the japanese-american internment in world war ii p or co. -- in world war ii."