tv U.S. Senate CSPAN June 23, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
level of cuts that governor brown has achieved in california or what the brits are doing in the u.k. we've got to wise up. we cannot continue on this path. let me make -- share a few other thoughts about debt. because debt is a dangerous thing. it hurts us right now. most of us, we have gotten into the habit of saying we're worried about our children and our grandchildren, and certainly we are about their future because of the debt burden that we are running up and placing on their shoulders, but the truth is the debt threatens us right now. it is a danger to the economy. in addition to being a danger,
it is a drag on the economy. so let me explain how debt destroys jobs and why this congress should pass a budget, this senate should pass a budget. the house of representatives has passed a budget. they made it public and they have defended it and explained it. let's see what the senate democratic majority here will do about a budget. higher debt leads to slower economic growth. i am pir -- empirical studies show that high levels of government debt inhibit economic growth by creating uncertainty, displacing needed private investment and placing upward pressure on interest rates and raising the burden on the government itself through debt interest payments. for example, the very well
respected and much commented upon study by reinhart and rogoff, harvard and university of maryland economists, found that in advanced economies with gross government debt above 90% of g.d.p., a total debt equal to 90% or above of the size of the american economy, median economic growth tends to be between 1% and 2% lower, depending on the time period analyzed, when compared to countries with lower debt-to-g.d.p. ratios. now, how much is -- what do we mean by 1% to 2% lower? the first quarter of this year, we're expecting almost 3% growth that came in shockingly lower. it's impacted adversely the
stock market. the second quarter may not be so good either. it come in at 1.8%. would we -- we are already above 90% of debt to g.d.p., so presumably if this study is accurate, then we would have been at 2.8% growth. so in a sense, it's not a 1% reduction. it's 30% reduction of the growth that we need to have. and another study has shown that 1% growth in the gross domestic product, 1% growth in our economy creates a million jobs. and when asked about this rogoff-reinhart study, secretary of treasury, president obama's secretary of treasury timothy geithner told the budget committee he considered it an excellent study. not only that, he told us in the
committee that he thought it underestimated the problem, because when you get debt the size of 90% to 100% of g.d.p. -- and we're projected to reach 100% of g.d.p. as our debt by the end of this year -- he said it creates a danger of an economic crisis. some sort of spasm like we had in -- when we had the financial crisis or something even like greece or something they could put us into -- something that could put us into another recession, which would be the worst thing that could happen to our economy. so this is why this is serious business. we're feeling the impact of this debt right now. it's pulling down economic growth, it's costing us jobs, it's creating uncertainty and fear in the marketplace.
we have got to get off of it. president obama appointed the fiscal commission cochaired by alan simpson, our former senator and erskine bowles, former chief of staff to president clinton, erskine bowles and senator simpson told us that the budget committee that we are facing the most predictable debt crisis in this nation's history. the most predictable economic crisis in our nation's history. in other words, they explain that the debt trajectory that we are on guarantees an economic crisis. the question is when? so that's why we have got to change. we don't want to have to cut any spending. the last thing politicians want to do is cut spending. the reason we're talking about this is because we have to, and i do believe president obama
deserves severe criticism for not being out leading on this, not telling the american people what his own experts are telling him. this was his expert, mr. bowles, his secretary of treasury mr. geithner, telling us we have got to change the debt path we are on. he needs to help explain to the american people why this is necessary, why it will be painful in the short run but can put us on the road to prosperity and not on the road to decline. other studies, including the 2010 study of 99 countries between 1980-2008, reached a similar conclusion about debt. the current gross debt to g.d.p. in the united states is about 95% above that number.
so successful debt reduction measures relying on spending cuts, not tax increases, have consistently resulted in stronger economic growth. research from harvard economist albert o alacina as well as a goldman sachs report found that fiscal consolidations, reductions in spending, fiscal consolidations had focused on cutting government spending, including on subsidies, transfer payments and government worker pensions were successful in cutting fiscal imbalances typically boosted economic growth and were followed by improved equity, that's the stock market and bond market performance. that's what their study found, an empirical study by goldman
sachs and a professor from harvard, economist alberto alacina. not jeff sessions. these are independent analyses. successful spending reductions include canada, who is doing so far above what we are doing. we are at 9.1% unemployment and our unemployment numbers still seem to be going up, whereas canada is about 7.1% and going down. and new zealand, they had a dramatic turnaround in new zealand in the early 1990's. they went from 22 consecutive years of deficit spending to now 16 years of surplus. it was a deliberate, systemic decision by the people of new zealand through their government to change what they were doing. they reduced spending. they created ways to make sure the government was productive
and save money. they privatized a lot of activities that the government had taken over that didn't need to be government functions, and the country has been continuously progressing solidly ever since. financial markets have issued dire warnings about the consequences of our inaction. against the backdrop of a spreading eurozone debt crisis, the international monetary fund fund -- they certainly are not a right-wing organization -- the international monetary fund recently urged the united states to act swiftly to address its soaring budget deficits, saying -- quote -- "you cannot afford to have a world economy where these important decisions are postponed." close quote. the credit rating agencies
moody's and s&p have warned that they may place the u.s. government's aaa debt rating, bond rating under review for a possible downgrade within months. bill gross, the head of pimco, the largest bond fund in the world with hundreds of billions of dollars invested, has ceased buying u.s. government treasuries. none of that is in his portfolio. he says recently what we are doing with our economy, with the fed, with its quantitative easing, the government with its worthless stimulus package that this congress passed that's done really nothing, he called it a sugar high. not real. a temporary surge that has not changed the circumstances we're in. he's a man who deals every day with investments, and he has
ceased to invest in the united states treasury. yet the nation has operated without a budget, without a budget now for 785 days. the democrat-led senate, even when they had a 60-vote majority last year, perhaps the biggest majority in maybe my lifetime. i can't remember a party having 60 votes in the senate, when that last occurred, but you can pass a budget with 50 votes. it's giving a priority. we know we need a budget. we set up a budget act that allows even a bare majority of senators to pass a budget, and it helps contain spending and sets a plan for our congress. so the senate has not even allowed the budget committee to meet this year to begin work on
a budget resolution. the budget act calls for the budget committee to meet by april 1. it calls for the congress to pass a budget by april 15. the house has passed their budget by april 15. we have not yet had a hearing, not even had a hearing to work on a budget resolution, and the leadership here in the senate has refused to pass a budget at all since april 29, 2009. 785 days. we wonder why this country is in a financial crisis. we won't even get together to pass a budget that every city, county and state has, to my knowledge. maybe there are some that don't. i don't know one that doesn't. over this time that we haven't passed the budget, the nation has spent $7.1 trillion and add
add -- added $3.2 trillion to the gross federal debt. the majority leader, my friend, harry reid, i know he has a tough job, but he made a big mistake. he recently said it would be foolish for the democrats to produce a budget. foolish to produce a budget? is this the kind of leadership the american people expect out of washington, that the number-one senator, the majority leader, the leader of the majority party, who has the power to control the flow of legislation in this body, says he's not about to produce a budget, indeed he says it's foolish to produce one, he has basically sent the word to the budget committee we're not to even have committee hearings. well, i think nothing could be more foolish than refusing to provide the nation's job creators, investors and
taxpayers with a solid blueprint for our fiscal future in which the american people can see that we have got it, we understand the debt course we are on is unsustainable and now we have got a plan to get us off that. why wouldn't the people who want to be in the majority, who have asked to lead, why won't they step forward and lead? why won't they lay forth a plan that can be analyzed and shown to the american people? why aren't they proud to present their vision of what america should be like and how we should handle their future? so i would just say in conclusion that -- the brown of the talks does not surprise me. the gang of six tried, and those talks seem to have fallen apart. then we went to the biden talks, and once again people said that we were about to reach an
agreement any minute that all the rest of us senators could just relax, and all we need to do is walk up and sign our name to what these wise few have decided our financial future should be like. but i think most of us feel like we were elected, we're united states senators. we're not rubber stamps for vice president biden and some of our fine colleagues. the presiding officer is an independent american citizen. he is going to make up his own mind, so do i. when you're talking about a budget, a financial plan, a program to raise the debt ceiling in this congress, we ought to read it, we ought to know what's in it. not only us. the american people should know what's in it. they need to have time to absorb what it means for them and their future, there be no gimmicks and tricks and honestly presented and that takes some time. so i'm worried and have been
worried that if they reach an agreement, even if it is a somewhat good agreement -- i don't expect it to be a great one, but a decent agreement is made, it's going to be brought forward and we've got pass it within days because of panic that we have an economic problem if we don't raise the debt limit and we can't spend so much money. i don't think we should head that way. so i don't know what's is going to happen now. it's late, i'll acknowledge, for us to go back to the regular order and have budget committee hearings and amendments in the budget committee, have people stand up before the world and explain their view and offer amendments. i don't think it's necessarily too late. so i don't know where it will go. but this has not been a shining hour for the united states senate. and after this last election in which senators and house members
took a shellacking by the american people, who are very unhappy with us, the house i think appears to have at least goaten the message -- gotten the message. they've put forth a budget that changes the debt trajectory. they put it forth and explained it and defended it. and what do we have in the senate? we have the majority leader saying it's foolish for us to produce a budget. we're not going to produce a budget. did he mean it's foolis fool isr mesh? no he went it's foolish for splil reasons. he meant it was foolish for us toss democrats to step forward and lay out an honest plan, because why? that plan may include tax increases t might include spending reductions and it may not reduce the deficit very much. and weed have to dwhrean $and we had real estate to defend that to the american people and we night not be able to defend it
and people might be unhappy with us, like they were in the last election. and so let's just be clever. let's don't us produce a budget. let's let mr. ryan and the house people lead with their chin, let them come out and make a plan and we'll just attack t that's the democratic leadership we've seen in this senate. and it's not legitimate. iters a not justified leadership. it's irresponsible, and the president is not -- has not been engaged. he doesn't want to talk about it. he has not explained it in his state of the union address, he's not eelly talked to the american people consistently about why his own debt commission chairman, mr. erskine bowles, says we're facing the most predictable economic crisis in our history. no, he doesn't want to talk about that. why? because once you talk about it, it becomes obvious that spending needs to be cut. and it becomes obvious that you
can't fix your way out of this by raising taxes. and if you are a tax-and-spender, you don't want to deal with that reality. in my view. so i am worried about it. i don't know where we're heading today, mr. president. senator reid is a good man. senator mcconnell is a good leader on our side. i don't know what speaker boehner is going to do, what vicvice president biden will do. but the time, as old snuffy smith, the mountaineer used to say, time is wasting. the deadline is coming closer and closer. we're going to have to figure out something that helps solve the national interests of this country. and i hope we can do it sooner rather than later. i would thank the chair and would yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
call up amendments 502 and 503 and ask that they be reported by number. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from alabama, mr. sessions, for mr. paul, proposes amendments en bloc numbered 502 and 503. mr. sessions: mr. president, i thank the chair and would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that at 10:00 a.m. tuesday, june 29, 2011, the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nominations en bloc. calendars number 62, 110 and 145 with all the provisions of the previous unanimous consent agreement remaining in effect. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to s. res. 215. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 215, designating the month of june, 2011, as national cytomegalovirus awareness month. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there being no intervening action or debate and any statements relating to this matter be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i'm told there are two bills desk. i ask for their first readings en bloc. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 1276, a bill to
repeal the authority to provide certain loans to the international monetary fund, and so forth and for other purposes. h.r. 21 -- h.r. 2021, an act to amend the clean air act regarding air pollution from ownter continental shelf activities. mr. reid: i now ask for a second reading but object to my own request on both of these bills. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. the bills will be read for the second time in the next legislative day. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask that -- i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until tomorrow, monday, june 27, at 2:00 p.m. let's try that again. tomorrow is not monday. i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 2:00 p.m. on monday, june 27. following the prayer and pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, morning hour be deemed expired, and the time for the two leaders be reserved
for their use later in the day. that following any leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business until 6:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. further, that senator sanders be recognized in morning business at 4:00 p.m. for up to 90 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, as we have announced previously, there will be no roll call votes on monday. the first vote of the week will be on tuesday, june 28, at noon on confirmation of the cole nomination. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 2:00 p.m. on monday.
cupola. >> we are trying to reach people who aren't just in how the world works. that is everybody from a high school student who is curious about economics to a person who is just trying to make a living and get along and is worried about what is going on in washington are the country. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> the president obama visited new york today, home of the u.s. army's tenth mountain division. in his remarks, he spoke about the troop drawdown in afghanistan which he said will have been in a steady way to make sure the gains they helped bring about would be sustained. this is 20 minutes. >> add these everybody. let me begin by first of all
saying -- oh i have got a mic. >> it is a great privilege and welcome mr. president here today. is a great privilege for me to introduce these great soldiers. you know december 2009 he gave a speech in west point. within several weeks, the soldiers who represent about 4000 began deploying. we had an infantry battalion as part of the nature of -- nato training division and we sent our squadron to kandahar alongside a canadian afghan security partners. they brought improved governance and development and security to the district and the rest of us operated in northern afghanistan and the rest of the provinces in kunduz and bagram. it is a great privilege to share these great soldiers with you today. they represent about 4000. they were the first element of your presidential uploads to afghanistan. thank you very much, sir. ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states.
[applause] >> thank you everybody. thank you. i don't want to give a long speech because i want to spend most of my time shaking hands and thanking all of you. colonel wilson thank yous a much for your leadership, sergeant major defreeze and par him. to all of you. there's a reason i wanted to come here today. as the kernel just mentioned, in 2009, after having been in afghanistan for seven years, but having i think lost a sense of focus in terms of how we were going to accomplish our mission, i made the most difficult decision that i have made as president and that is to deploy an additional 30,000 troops into afghanistan so that we could turn back taliban momentum so that we could continue to go after al qaeda aggressively and so that we could make sure that
we were training an afghan security force that have the capacity to secure their own country. the only reason i was able to make that decision was because i knew that we had the finest fighting force in the world and that if i gave a command to our troops, they would be able to accomplish that mission. if we were focused and if we were clear in terms of what we were going to accomplish i knew that we could get it done. and the tenth mountain division, this storied -- this group that has been there for america day in, day out throughout our history was the first folks to go in after that order was given. ..
there right now under very tight circumstances it's your feature to send. last night i gave a speech in which i said that we have turned the corner where we can begin to bring back some of our troops. we are not doing it precipitously. we're going to do it in a steady way to make sure that games that i love you hope to bring about are going to be sustained. but because of your outstanding work, what we've been able to do is train an additional 100,000 afghan soldiers so that they can start carrying on the fight. because of what you've done, areas like kandahar are more secure than they have been in years. because of you, we're not taking the fight to the taliban and because the taliban has been the fight to us.
because if you come at various times for the taliban may be interested in figuring out a political settlement, which ultimately is going to be critical for consolidating the country. it's also because if you do we have the platform to be able to go after bin laden and al qaeda. we have decimated the ranks. al qaeda leadership, have been killed and most of them now on the run and they can operate as effectively as they should. and so, as i look around this room, i suspect that some of you joined the military after 9/11 because it seemed americans suffer at the hands of bin laden. when we got out, we got him, as we keep on driving to get the rest of them, it is because of the work and sacrifice the u.s. has made. now, the 10th mountain in the first brigade come you guys have sacrificed title.
i know that we've got 11 solid soldiers just added this group right here in a think about 270 all total since 9/11. we will never forget their sacrifice. the reason i know many of you continue to do dst menu work is not only the love of country, but also love for each other and your commitment to making sure your that the sacrifices were not in vain. so the main method i have for all of you here today is that the american people understand the sacrifices jeremy team. they understand the sacrifices their families are making. our job is not finished. if you looked at the schedule is set for, you know, when they bring out 10,000 by the end of this year. we're going to bring out all 33,000 that we searched by next
summer, but there is still some fighting to be done and we're still going to have 68,010th mountain division will still be represented there until we have fully transferred to the afghan military and security forces. but i hope that all of you can both take pride in what you done over the past years, but also understand that there's a future there that is brighter, not only for the afghan people, but most importantly for american security. and you guys are the tip of the spear. you guys are the ones that keep on each and every day. probably sacrifices you've made, i want to say thank you, i want to say thank you. i have no greater job. nothing gives me more honor than serving as your
commander-in-chief. and to all of you who are potentially going to be redeployed, just know that your commander-in-chief as your back. thank you pretty much come everybody. god bless you, god bless the united states of america. thank you. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> wind shaking hands, you guys don't have to be this quiet. so feel free to talk a little bit. it's going to take me a while to make my way around the room. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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half-hour. >> i speak today on a date ittwy appears to be positioned between two very consequential to decisions.own yesterday, the president afghan, announced his plan to reach u.se forces in afghanistan, pledging to collect 10,000 troops this year and the remaining 23,000 search forces by september 2012e tomorrow, the house ofimit the representatives will likely vote on a measure to limit the use or u.s. funding for u.s. military operations in libya to only non-kinetic activities, in other sords, noncombat dvds so thatmis no limited strike missions to suppress air defenses or creditor strikes against gadhafi's forces, which wereeryt doing very little about reading. the only military actions for which the commander-in-chief min commit our armed forces would be supporting missions from search
and rescue tutorial refueling tb intelligence. that is the permissions in what is very likely to be voted onouf and passed by the house of now, some may not see a connection between these decisions, that the connectionwg is profound. that we're having a profound debate e in this country right now but i suspect will continue for some time. critical questions are being asked in disgust.e in how should we in the united states define our national for interests? what is the proper role for america in the world? how do we balance ourglobal dans commitments abroad and global demands for u.s.ip leadership within american public public that is justifiably wary after a decade of conflict and reallypeg concerned with are unsustainable levels of government spendingbt. and national data. these are vital questions. our
they will determine the future of our nation and indeed the future of the world. reasonable americans can disagree over what the ratings are sadder. our disagreements may be heated and passionate, we shoulder alwl all patriotic and that we allon want to do what is best for the. nation we love. afghan the diisscussions are now havinf never libya afghanistan go right to the heart of this broader debate. and this is where we see the real practical impact of the in decisions all of us in public life must make them be for.etable we are all trying to define r america's interest and role in the world to separate that whict we can and must do from that which is beyond our capacity and our benefit to try to accomplish.ed approach while striving for a t balancedr approach at america's interesteo to brad and as for that reason
and very can turn about both the president's position on guinness and in the house is pending on a libya. i agree with the president butsc thanks especially to the sacrifice and courage of our and fighting men and women, we are this progress is real andur remarkable, but as our out, it commanders on the ground i'll point out, it is also fragile and reversible. our commandersls also say that what will be decisive is the fading season next year, the sum warmer spring and summer months when the insurgents see pics ofe its operations after resting ane regrouping a bit duringst the colder b months. opportuty this would be our opportunity to consolidate our gains in southern afghanistan and then afghan friends while increasing numbers of u.s. forces shiftan
neir main effort to eastern w afghanistan where the haqqani networks, al qaeda and other militant groups are still present in operating actively. t the commanders had to take the e sequential approach because they did not develop the reports they requested in 2009. 40,000 troops as opposed to then 33,000 the president gave them.s our commanders inafghan afghanin still need next year's fighting season to deal the same crushine blow to al qaeda and the talibai and east of our fonrces have dealt in the south.ls for however, under the president's plan to much cause for having all of our search unit out of afghanistan by september, those troops will begin flowing out of afghanistan right at the timend but that's how van, al qaeda anr allied begin stepping up in
observation, especially inf eastern kenya stand. this is the irony of it all. the president's decision in december 2 and 9 at the effect of making this work longer and d costlier by forcing commanders to tackle enemies in southern and easteron afghanistan sequentially over two years rather thansi simultaneously in one decisive action over oneur year.troops and now, just at the moment when our troops finish our main object event began sending our combat operations in a when ey responsible way, just when they are when you're away fromnemy turning over a battered and eas broken enemy in both southern afghan partners, the president has now decided to deny them the forces that our commanders believe they need to accomplish the object is. i hope i am wrong. i hope the president is right,in
that this decision will nott our endanger the games that our troops have made in the decisive progress they still need to make next year. i hope that proves correct, but i'm very concerned that then president's decision poses anar unnecessary risk to the progress we've made thus far to ourour ts nation into a men and women in uniform. ars w years we finally have a winning strategy thatst nitngurning this ndrkaround and anyone who saysga our troops are exhausted should go out and talk to them. they want to stay at this until the job is done. we've sacrificed to match.n america has a vital national sug interest in succeeding in afghanistan. after all we've given thishe mission, the money we haveed committed to it from that decade was devoted to it in thed precious lives we have lost we
throughout it. why would we do anything now that puts our mission at greater risk fai of failure? the i would offer the same council the tourublican friends in house with regards to admissionn in libya.ngress a i know that my colleagues inre congress are angry with thecy, h administration and libya policyo and they have every right to ben from the disrespect and disregard the administration has shown in congress to the bizarre assertion that we are not really engaged in hostilities in libyae to the lack of resolve for which they are prosecuted despite an t administration has done an unfortunate amount to earn the ire of congress. but we can't forget the main point. and the rest of geopolitical pel event in two decades at least, as peaceful protest for democracy sweeping the middleeao east, it are gadhafi's forces
ready to strike at the gates of th region benghazi and arabs in the senate libya and across the region pleading with united states military to step the bloodshed,a the united states and allies took action that prevented the o massacre that gadhafi had promised to commit in a city of0 700,000 people. by doing so, they began creatino conditions that are increasing the pressure on gadhafi to givet up power.n slower t yes, the prohagress towards thid goal has been slower than manyig achieve it and i and others lik, would like. but here are the facts. we are succeeding in libya. dh gadhafi is going to follow. it is just a matter of time.leas so i would ask my colleagues, io this the time for congress to turn against this policy? to
is this the time to ride to the rescue of anti-american tyranton when the writing is on the wall that he was collapsing? is this the time for congress to declare to the world, to gadhafi and his inner circle comes toor gadhafi's opponents who are fighting for the freedom and toe our nato allies who are carrying a far heavier burden in this conflict than we are? is this the time for america tot tell all of these people in our heart is not a mess and that we won't see this mission through, we will abandon her best friends and allies on a whim.is all americans to sign a national interest inin the gunman. arse we can all agree that none of ud are averse to doing what is necessary to defend america and our allies when we faced a clean threat in the t world. in that way, we are likely --
like any of their nation in thoo history. n what sets us apart from those ot the nation, what makes us of ama exceptional, what makes us the united states of america is than we defined our interests more broadly than that. encomss t our interests also encompass tht fact that we are the leader of the free world, the circle of nt nations that won us to play thas role is growing not diminishing in this position of leadership also confers responsibilities that are greater than her own immediate and material respoibit self-interest. it is the responsibility we have to the universal ideals off freedom and justice and human rights and which are nation is that greatest embodiment of the greatest champion in human can history.or that is not to say that we can or should be involvedr a everywhere. that is not to say we must actt.
wherever and whenever our ideals they threatened. t this is not to say that dietary action is always the r radiant d nor is this a recipe for endless conflict and commitment. but we america is powerful, but we are not omnipotent. cho we mustic make hard choices abot where to spend our blood and treasure. there will be more occasionsill than not when we will choose not intervene either because to i their interest is not warranted or because we don't have the it capacity to do so or because greater american involvement would not improve the situationt and when we choose not to intervene forcefully in places where the cost of justice is calling out to us, sudan or the stngo where syria or countlessgn other places where i and others have argued againsilt intervention, we will be assailed as hypocritical and inconsistent. that is unfair. but it's nothing new for
america. what we can never forget is that our nation's interest or wherever colored ir values, thas america has always believed that the success of freedom and democracy in other lands does not just make our world more mai just. it makes it a safer, more secure and better place for americans and our children.our we can never afford to define their interests so narrowly that we would have sat back as an o anti-american tyrant,reby slaughtered his own people, thereby destroying one of the most historic attempts by m millions of arabs and muslims t. buildth better and more stable governments. that would have served neither r our moral nor our strategic engd interests. similarly, once we are engaged in a fight as we are now inar libya and afghanistan and we still have a clear pat succeed as we do in both
countries, it is in both ourfinh moral and strategic interests to finish the job, even if it is difficult and costly and cost unpopular. the failure is the only cost that we truly cannot afford. america cannot make the world perfect, but we can make it jus, better, freer, more just, more w prosperous. an that is what has always made us an exceptional nation.eatest sre that is what has always been the greatest source of our nationale security. that is what has always made ush american and that's how we musts remain. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the following this articles, "the wall street journal" article this morning entitled libya and republicans,l the "washington post" editoriald this morning entitled end of thd surge and "the wall streeto journal" article also entitled
inserted in the record.ing offei >> without objection. >> and i know my friend from south carolina is here today. senator from south carolina, as many ofar us know is a reserve colonel from a terrible mistake by the russian boys, but he's a reserve colonel in the united states air force chad lawyer. me he has spent more time in afghanistan than any member of congress, recording with the t most members of congresshaof cos combined. he has observed closely in afghanistanbine the surge, succs impediments and i wonder if my friend -- we ask unanimous consent to engage in colloquy with the center to south in carolina.ith my >> without objection. >> i wonder if my friend who sat general keane, the architect of the surge in afghanistan -- in r
iraq and one of the networks this morning describing his views on the president's the our troops fromon c afghanistann >> i did. by your statement on the floor, and like to associate myself ver with a very well articulated statements about the times in which we livest in. a inbo afghanistan for about 18 aa months he had additionall military capacity that was never known to afghanistan. because of our present in abundance decision to send 33,000 troops that general petraeus his request, the request was for 40, but at the time they sent me to appreciate president obama giving the commander of the resources that, can do the job, but you have to do it differently. general keane is the architect of counterinsurgency. is a mentor of general petraeuse in hand general petraeus and others came up with a strategy that succeeded in iraq.re's
here's what happened to my point of view. article about every two months.. about two years ago i was very afraid we were going to lose. how could the taliban come back fth about 100,000 nato forces in and? the truth of the matter was that the was that the risk of engagement for nato. nato forces could not engage the enemy in an affect of way. rule. oking at this for me num as of the law enforcement activity in the number of american forces about 30,000.o that wasn't enough to help the afghan army, trained and equipped afghan army, control ge the population, provides safetye kids governments a chance to flourish to better security.and that is where we needed more troops. two other commanders before general petraeus, you aremany holding afghanistan together, in many ways duck tape. i believe iraq is a pivotal pivl moment in the war on terror, but
it's a fair observation to make the because of the war in iraq and the resources are taken away from afghanistan.way the truth of the matter, senatow mccain, even though we've been e there almosnt 10 years, we realy have only been there with the capacity to bring about change for the last 18 months. so what has happened in the last 18 months? the 30,000 surge forces wered sent to the southern part of wer afghanistan.e the this really is a patch to civil war.an it is a fight between theical taliban and, a radical elementsm the maturity andri other afghans kandahar is in the south. it's a spiritual home of mullaht omar. that is the place he lived and o an re is american operating base within a mile of this compound. you can get up on the roof ofyos the prisoner and you can see the mullah omar's compound. so the argument is if if we win
in this outcome that we can win anywhere. so we took 30,000 troops into io enemy's back. we have allowed the afghan armyd and security forces to develop. in september 2009, senator the mccain, there were 800 people2,0 must join in the afghan army.att 2000 m aonthly thing. t i'm not very good at math, but that's not a way to build up an army. 2 from december 9th until the president, we have been 6000 a month in the army, 3000 and police.d? what happened? win. better pay and a sense that wes, are going to win. 17 so in 17, we've built a day after dirty forces and 8005,000 passing. we'll have 305,000 by the end o. this year. what's the problem with the f drawdown of forces? do why can't you do at the numbers we have?nsurgenc ver counterinsurgency is a very labor-intensive operation.
its p goal is to provide population security, focused on training by siding with the unie and said attorney them during the day and hoping they do wellt nd night have you literally gota out and live at the police and the army.or-inten it's a very labor-intensive activity, but it's the best way capacity. here's the problem, thes surgeb. forces on president about his withdrawal plan are now going to compromise next summer.0,000 don trying 10,000 on this year is out the fighting season we'ret engaged in now.here's gen but here's general alan salama. because we have 30, not 40, we codn't couldn't go to rce, with thefige haqqani network existent italic and in in the south at the samet time. so we tuck our full force of tht surge and put it against then, e taliban in the south.roke their we broke her back.aso we've been holding rc east in the game plan was to take the.
surge forces out of the south and go to rce the next summer and deliver a decisive blow to the haqqani network. i would be to forces undermining afghanistan would be put at bay. because of the president's decision rejecting a general petraeus advise come next next summer, the surge forces will bg all gone by september andand general alan is in a box. box. aiw does he hanhog onto securitg gains in rc south? the enemy's will has been broken.on the they then put on theirir needs,o not yet across the border to sue pakistan. the next summer, the surge forces they were going tabo have available for general alan are going to be gone and rce used cannot be engaged in the same fashion as rc south. matter? what does that all matter? that means one of the enemies oo the g afghan people are going to be getting a reprieve and thedee ability to develop security
forces over the country so when we be if they can can fight and win has been compromised.rinsure counterinsurgency required massf he did a certain amount of soldiers against the enemy. nigt i was asked last night. 50 al there was the al qaeda.s? why do you need so many troops? when navy seal could defeat 50st al qaeda. those who suggest that don't simplistic formula don't to understand what we're trying tob do. we're trying to take a country that's been beaten down, involved in civil war for 30 years and provide undergarments to better security. to repeat the taliban as you go ld take the non-with an overwhelming show of force.ur you inspired the local population to come your way tout tey don't want to tell a bid to win, but they are freed at the t end of the day were going to leave the taliban will take
over. because of the search, the people in the south john r. y. and this is what is so o heartbreaking. were one the verge of being able into summer is to delivermies of decisive poster to enemies of us in the afghan people. the radical elements of the taliban and the haqqani network in the east. because of this adjustment strategy, we now have lost i think capability and general a alan is going to have a much more difficult job thanks to a come as senator mccain? >> according to the "washington post" this morning editorial enh of the search, the mismatch between ethnobotanist strategy in its troop withdraw timetable mr. obama said straw decision ay had no clear basis and strategy increases the risk of failure. y i think the senator from southql carolina is very well qualified
to describeif it. i i hear over and over again, from especially from those who either involvement in the conflict quote, the troops are exhausted. the troops are exhausted and yet, general came this morning t on one of the news channel saide they're not exhausted.ause here exhilarated because they're winning. the net effect of eyes so many of their comrades, killed andome wounded. kille they're not exhausted, butd th, certainly, certainly don't want to come to defeat something that i thought a long time ago. >> is very good question. you know, who are these people and what makes them tick?ust,ou by notg bac reenlisting, why diy keep going back to iraq andtan? afghanistan? o the my view of our forces they see the face of the enemy cannothey believe they've got a strategy too that's working and they don't want their kids to go back.
so when you use the troops is a reason to shortcut this work, it don't think you're really listening to what they say and what they do.ere if they thought they wered a exhausted and hopeless, theynge would change careers. changes much as we have in the last year. achied the successes we have achieved will be compromise for no good reason. both of us believe you could atu the end of 2012 if you do this right, reno's forces.e'll have this season and the next in the best chance lies in our lifetime general petraeus has been trying to tell the country and thebilit president to give the ability tt
take the fight to the east ofoif the south and friends to troops point of view, the reason they t go to afghanistan and iraq over and over again and theyhe understand this enemy bettercap than uni. they see what the enemy is capable of doing. they started and bar, where people are workcell it in fronto of their parents by al qaeda. q. ppens when the hang talent and hanged 9-year-old boo because they believed he was providing information to thenk coalition forces. i think our troops understand the danger america faces to then point that they're willing to leave their families time and time again to protect all of usa back here at home. and if you don't believe afghanistan matters, then i rude think you're going to be in for a rude awakening.
if it goes bad in afghanistan, wa at the taliban can survive and y wait us out and they began to reemerge, a lot of people who help us, senator mccain, are going to get killed. when america goes out to some t seen oppressed, we're going to be seen as an unreliable ally inst. her enemies are going to be stronger. one final thought. this is a consequential week. the negotiations dealing with our b national debt to your towa myll colleagues in the house, wo i really risk that are about to vote to cut off funding, which will send the signal to moammar is oni that i think helping. at the end of the day, the to ocisions we make here in le nation long after me and youav leave this body. t
gadhafi is on hethe ropes. nato has limited capacity, butq' it's the american congress tells gadhafi were out of the fight, i'm afraid that that's going to give him a sense of hope he and what does it matter if he stays quiet and think logically you can expect if we have less e nato, the arab spring is over. , we can't go into serious, but he will take it out on his people.l i think it will affect the prico of oil. that will be the end of nato and losing is going to be veryig hard for that orchid nation to go off to another word be takeni seriously. so senator mccain, i hope we can survive this week when you can't a get it confirmed for ths job, please let us know if hard
you're having to make our decisions because the lack of lt resources, get the president that information, let congress know so we can adjust strategy,t up to president is right and that were both wrong. but general came in general petraeus have come up with up wi strategy which given time and tk patience over. straty a new strategy is something that is untested, that is unless you. the way to keep american safe, ron reagan said was that when le people who love freedom -- havey you prevent a war? he said with people who love whe freedom are strong, not weak, and that's the best way to prevent war. >> i want to thank the senator t from connecticut for hisly. forbearance. i agree with the senator from south carolina obviothusly.
i say to my friends on the othea side of the capital thaty although it may fall at this about the president's failure to recognize the work power act faf exists about the failure of theo brief members of congress on the situation insitu libya.onfl many of the aspects in the way this congress has been conducting, where america is quoting from behind. i want to repeat what the senator from s said. this could mean the end of nato. if nato can't feed a third-rateo military power company do is probably going to go out of business. if we don't succeed in libya and a gadhafi uses the president's policy, you will see center for ac terroristti activities. certaly you will see the return of al
qaeda to libya, certainlyand, dramatically increased influence. and frankly, it will send a message to the world that even though we say that a big theater and murder like gadhafi is our m policy that he be removed from power, we arer either unwillingo or unable to do so. i and i would caution again mye o, colleagues on the other side oft the aisle. i hope they would do any thing that enhance the ability of this dictator to remain in power can continue to perpetrate the murders and crimes that he is so well-known for mr. president, i yield the floor. >> the senate is not in session tomorrow, but the house plants to gavel in at 9:00 a.m. eastern. massachusetts congressman jim mcgovern, a democrat will be in the "washington journal" program to run talking about the war in afghanistan in troop withdraw.
an oklahoma public and canton cool on 2012% and, which the house is expected to continue working on tomorrow >> syrian president, bizarre or shod -- as bishara saad against protesters. this took place at damascus university and is courtesy of syrian satellite television. [cheers and applause] >> translator: ladies and gentlemen, citizens, please be upon you up on syria and all those protecting ministerial -- this dear land. upon the people, the army can
the security forces and all those working nonstop to, fermenting rebellion, cutting it off them. it is because where it every child who is fosterfather and every family who has lost a loved one, peace be upon the souls of our marches whose blood has sprouted almonds in the springs and other, while the seasons of blossoming of fruit have been replaced a seasons of conspiracy and killing. but even seasons of conspiracy in libya, they bloom pride and humility. today and through you, address every serious citizen that the land. i will speak to you directly in order to do international spontaneity that happened to characterize their relationship. i wish i had the opportunity to beat every seer and a person, but i know many of you on any occasion makes me feel i am
indicating with all of you. are you, i would like to send my greetings to every citizen, to every brother and sister, to every young man and woman, to every mother and father, expressing their commitment to their national unity and working hard in order to ensure the country's safety while giving everything in their power in order for it to remain strong. it took me some time to address you, despite the fact that some of those i met recently visually to speak sooner to the citizens. it has taken me this time because i didn't want to make my speech a platform for propaganda it did not want to speak about what we will achieve, but rather about what we have achieved or what is in the process of being achieved. i wanted the substance of my speech to be based on what i have heard too many meetings of syrian citizens in the last two weeks. credibility come which has been the foundation of a relationship between the people and i can which is the relationship of
time these rather than words and substance rather than form. this relationship is built on the basis of trust in the meetings i have recently felt. other meetings included small groups, when compared to the larger is the purity country in population, they established the greatest of our people who put patriotic awareness, business intelligence and pride. of course, delay may speech until today gave me rise to many rumors in the country. rimmer said we have they are not important, but most import this time. so every popular delegation that met with. as for the rumors, nellie delegation said, wanted to check
on me personally to verify the authenticity of the turner spirit i want to say that every rumor you heard about the president and his family and his work is absolutely without merit. all of them with a malicious or rather are irrelevant and untrue. [applause] >> translator: today we meet an important juncture in the history of a nation. this is a moment in which through our will and determination we strive to make a point of departure from a past burdened with pain and unrest, were innocent blood was shed, which has pained the heart of every syrian for the presence of hurrying tranquility will return based on strong foundations we
have been through difficult times. recent heavy price in terms of security and stability. what happened was an unsuspended ordeal that overshadowed our country and led to a situation of distress. the disappointment in terrorizing the population and sabotaging public private property, which accompanied the spike their demonstrations. a number of marchers at another's furniture. they are ordinary citizens have the security and armed forces who does a great loss to families ones come a great last of the homeland and for me, personally and extremely heavy last. i pray almighty god have mercy on the souls of all murders and i offer my deep and heartfelt condolences to families and relatives. inasmuch as we feel the loss and pain we are prompted to
contemplate this profound and important experience, both in its negative aspects and the implication of loss of life, property and income, both material and immoral scum in terms of its husband and for all of us. we discovered our national elements for the strengthened sturdiness did on the one hand and weakness on the other. this time cannot be transact, our only option is to look forward. we take this actually decide to shoot the future rather than standing by and letting the future shape us in the event around us. this means that we should build upon which experience and a deep analysis that extrapolates lessons that we can turn losses into wins.
thereby becomes sacrificial nourishment to strengthen the country. in all this, we keep looking forward well taken a long hard look at the past, with an arrow pointing to the present. it is only natural that the common question today is, what is happening to her country and why it? is it a conspiracy? and if so, who stands behind their client is that our fault? if so, there are questions during the circumstances. i don't think there's a stage in history where it was not the target or some sort of conspiracy, a before and after they took place for many reasons , some related directly to the geopolitical and others
linked to assist in its principles and interests. conspiracy like germs, multiplying every moment everywhere. they cannot be eliminated, we can strengthen the minty for about a surge protector so sick of them. based on what we have seen political politics and media come it doesn't much analysis to prove that there is indeed a conspiracy. we should not waste time discussing never been frightened by it. rather, we should be a will to identify the internal weaknesses through which this conspiracy can infiltrate the country. then, we should correct these weaknesses. that would not be as important as the conspiracy's plan for us at the country seated inside could be that the presence of the week has encouraged others to interfere because the solution in the end is to solve their problems and avoid ramifications that weaken our national immunity.
everywhere throughout the history of scientific development, thought that was to strengthen the immunity of our bodies. it is what we must think of because it is certainly more important in analyzing the conspiracy. i don't think they show all details anytime soon, probably the triple may emerge for years to come. somehow there is no conspiracy. this is also not the object is. not only for the crisis, but for the circumstances in syria. the political positions who are applying pressure and area, trying to interfere in the internal affairs of our country, that of concern, but rather the target the price we know in advance, pushing us to abandon our principles rights and interests. what do we say about these
positions in the media pressure? what we say about sophisticated system in syria and about the fraud we witnessed recently? we certainly cannot say this is an act of charity. it is simply conspiracy, but again we will not waste our time discussing it. i said this before misfeature for the people's assembly and the cabinet we must focus on domestic and today's feature will only address domestic situation without referring to external factors are neither publicly nor negatively. [applause] what happens on the streets has three components as built in answering that they want to me. has spoken about demand, one of the duties of the state street
citizens cow which should work tirelessly to meet those demands to meet those capacities. all of those should listen to them, talk to them and help them under the umbrella of public order. does not justify demands of the people. yet, the urgent need for some people does not justify the spreading of chaos, the breaking of laws and arming of public interest. and that a large number of those who belong and have me come i do not mean the demonstrators in specific and all those who have these come in many of those who have needs that do not demonstrate, so we need to do with them as well. ..
rather than be marginalized. they want justice. many issues were raised. for instance there were accumulated issues dating back three decades since the concentration with the muslim brotherhood. that was a dark phase and the new generations are still paying the price for that period like they refuse government employment for example or not being given security clearances. in other words, we held certain individuals responsible, which
was not right. we have started to solve this problem. i heard these things from other delegations, from many delegations that i mentioned from -- during our meeting. we will solve them completely. we cannot continue living in the shadow of the dark phase of our history that happened three decades ago. these issues relate to the injustice every citizen can associate with. although two years ago we instructed all ambassadors to start issuing passports even to those who are wanted, whether they fled the country or believe that they were wanted in syria. a large number of those were afraid they could not go to the embassies to receive their passports. even after the most recent amnesty was declared, they did not collect your passports. they instill a kind of fear which prevents people from making initiative towards state
institutions. this makes them feel injustice despite the fact that this injustice does not exist. talking about amnesty in my recent meetings i thought it did not satisfy many people. the fact is it is the most comprehensive amnesty and 23 years. i believe a similar one web was given in 1988. we do not usually address names. we put criteria like say we give amnesty to all except drugs, terrorism, weapons and issues of poor -- public morality ephedra. instead sight of this and they someone i heard from a number of people and information i receive from people i did not meet i will ask the justice to conduct the margins we can use in order to make this amnesty more comprehensive. even in the future decade, pardon me, decree which includes all the other without
undermining state security and interests. on the one hand on the rights of private individuals like those relatives whose relatives were killed. the second component consists of outlaws and those who are wanted for various criminal cases who found in the state institutions and our enemy and the target because it poses an obstacle to their legitimate interest in because they are sought by state institutions. for those opportunities should be grasped in order to maintain a remain free. this is only natural that we seek to enforce the law on all. it does not mean that we should not look for solutions with the social aspect. in order to steer those people from taking the wrong path and encouraging them to be good citizens to fully integrate into society. you may be asking how many outliers and individuals are
there? i myself was surprised at this number. the crisis was more than 64,000 people. imagine this number of wanted persons for criminal cases, the sentencing of which ranges between a few months and execution and they had escaped justice. of course a few days ago that number dropped slightly less than 63,000 because some of them turn themselves in to authorities. does the number 64,000 is approximate but which equals in military terms almost five military division, almost a whole army. with a few thousand of those wanted to carry weapons and engage in sabotage, you can imagine what damage they can cause to the states. the third and more dangerous component, despite the small
size, is consistent with those who have extremist ideologies. we have experienced this kind of ideology decades ago when it tried to infiltrate syria and eliminate wisdom and intelligence. that ideology today is different from what we saw decades ago. what has changed however is the methods and the person. this kind of ideology lurks in back corners in order to emerge when opportunity presents itself when it finds it a handy massa put on. it kills the name of religion, destroyers in the name of reform and spread chaos in the name of freedom. it is said to see groups that belong to bygone ages that belong to a period we do not live in and do not want to. in fact this is the biggest obstacle in the reform process because development starts with human beings. does not start with computers. it does not start with machines. does not start with legislation
or anything else. it starts with human beings. therefore we have to contain this ideology of the really want to develop. in any case i did not talk about the components of this crisis. i did not talk about the components that we all know. there are people who are well paid to film video and collaborate with the media. some are being paid to participate in demonstrations for a few minutes. >> these actions -- this is why i am recalling the events of chaos have always been the response to every reform announcer accomplish. where they lost all this vacation taking to arms was the only available choice remaining to them in order to execute their plan. in some cases peaceful demonstrations reused as a cover under which armed men took cover and in other cases they attack civilians, policemen and soldiers by attacking military sites and positions or assassinations. schools shops and highways were closed by the use of force and public property was destroyed,
ransacked and put to fire deliberately. all of this has posed a direct threat to the normal daily lives of citizens and undermine security, education and economic activity and communicating with their families. they distorted the country's image to the outside world and open the way and even called for foreign intervention. by doing so they try to tried to weaken the national political stance which adds years to the full return of national rights. they invoked set terry in discourse for which we are never endorsed to which we only see an expression of a hateful ideology which has never been part of our religion, his church addition and the sacrilege to our pan arab and moral identity. in all these issues and with the exception of the first component, i am talking about a small minority which constitutes only a small part of the people.
that is why it is not cause for concern that once again i say that they should be addressed. when they failed in the first component, those who have demands they move to armed confrontation acts of violence. in a field and that the move to a new kind of action. they started by committing atrocities and massacres whose images we saw in the media when they killed security men and destroyed the post office. the post office is public property used by the people of that city. there is a great deal of hatred. the important thing is that they possess sophisticated weapons which did not exist before. they have sophisticated communications system. they move to another kind of action. near the town of -- to try to attack strategic fuel and gas depots and they were able to take control of them which
forced the military to intervene and reclaim them. we were surprised that they had modern four will drive vehicles on which they installed sophisticated weapons capable of dealing with helicopters. they also had communication equipment. they tried to commit another massacre against the security checkpoint. some of the townspeople pay the price by being tortured in having their bones broken. i appreciate the work of all those who took this step and hope to meet them soon. of course there were many people who try to do similar things to present positions in different parts of serious. many of them succeeded in some of them have not succeeded so far had it not been for for the patriotic sentiment that many of them have. the situation here could have been much worse. the response came from the syrian people who have once again come up to express their
national and patriotic feelings in a matter manner which exceeded all expectations and an unprecedented hypothetical attack which may be difficult to distinguish reality from illusion and the children from the fake but the patriotic sentiment and intuition that a people possess and which are based on an accumulation of experiences across generations are more powerful. the importance of this experience them is that it shows the extent of national and patriotic awareness, which is the most important guarantee for the success of the development and modernization process for embarking upon and which is based on three pillars. awareness, morals, and institutions. the absence of any of those pillars will definitely lead to a -- of the process from its intended objective. and can consequently lead to
failure with all the dangers consequences in our society and our future. some people are doing today has nothing to do with development, modernization and reform. what is happening is a form of destruction and with every activist -- destruction we are driven away from our modernization and development. here i did not only me material destruction. i rather mean the psychological, moore couldn't land behavioral destruction which becomes difficult to correct as time goes by and we see the same people are trying to endorse such practices and are gradually developing disrespect for state institutions. and what they stand for national level. this will lead to atrophy of the patriotic and national sentiment, which are central for the establishment and protection of the homeland. this is exactly what our enemies want us to do and this is the direction they want us to take
today we have generation a generation of children who grew up with these events are learned this order. lack of respect for institutions, lack of respect for the law and hatred for the states. we will not feel the consequences a bit later on in the price will be high. and here i want to raise the question of whether this chaos has produced more job opportunities for job seekers are improved hoblick positions? has it improved the security for which we enjoy in pride ourselves on? there is no development of that stability and there can be no reforms through destruction, sabotage or chaos. laws and decisions must be sufficient to achieve any progress and isolation from the appropriate environment. this is why we should rebuild what has been destroyed and we need to correct the destructive elements or isolate them. only then can we proceed with development. all of the above is concerned with diagnosis. after practice however it should be based on reality and from a talk about reality we need to
talk about people. this is why i started a long series of meetings which have included all sectors of society from the syrian regions. in order to see this reality and understand it as it is or to have as close an idea as possible about reality from a different perspective of the syrian people and the manner in which helps us raise the priorities of state institutions in line with the priorities of our citizens. i wanted to understand the details directly for the citizens away from other channels which might do some filtering of information. they might pass information but without the emotions involved and the relationships of gene people are not only facts and information. they there are emotions too. [applause] i wanted to stay in the future
of these readings. actually, the substance of this speech and what i'm saying today is based on the dialogue i had with the citizens. as i said i met people from all sections, demonstrators and non-demonstrators. in fact, despite the difficult circumstances surrounding them, the most important thing i have done throughout my years in my official position, despite the pain and frustration in the general adversaries surrounding these meetings i can say that the value from them was astonishing. the love i felt from these people represents most of the syrian people and is something i've never felt than any stage stage of my life. i certainly reciprocate the love of these people. [applause] i certainly if she ate --
reciprocate the love of these people and the love of every syrian citizen who i did not know but hope to meet in similar meetings. but what i hope more than that is to turn this love to action. this of course can happen with your help. these meetings were very useful, frank, in-depth and comprehensive. they covered all the shoes without exception. some of these issues for local at the level of the city or the governor and. some were countrywide. my priority was to issue a clear bearing on the largest sectors of the syrian people. and presidents over local issues. important as they are. this has expressed anger mixed with love in a sense of blame mix with loyalty because they felt that their states had distance itself from them by adopting certain policies are getting involved in certain practices. i sense that they are suffering was multifaceted.
part of it was related to services in living standards and some related to undermining citizens dignity. ignoring their views or excluding them from participation in development processes to which they are subject to and substance. but i also felt the love of these people. they have always given me the sincere -- sincerity and steadfastness, steadfastness and the strength to proceed with our political -- and resistance in noncompliance. as for corruption, i felt that there's a strong desire to eradicate it as the major cause for the lack of justice and equal opportunities and for feelings of sincereness, and justice and oppression. in addition to this moral consequence on society, what is more dangerous still are the cases of unfair discrimination among citizens on a narrowminded
racist. this on its own is sufficient for our undermining the most powerful of nations. corruption is the result of -- the spread of patronage and nepotism and the absence of institutions which means the absence of protector and the guarantee your of national feelings which are replaced by narrow feelings of identity. that is why we need to start working immediately in order to strengthen institutions bypassing developed legislation and providing these institutions with officials capable of responsibilities instead of being borne by the positions they occupy. [applause] success only comes when we find appropriate challenges through which citizens can participate
in play a role in oversight and pointing to errors and failures. reduce corruption at the higher-level bar when he to find channels for addressing the problems at lower levels. this is a task of the anticorruption commission whose mechanisms have been studied by the committee just for that purpose. these are nice words and i'm not supplementing myself here. [applause] i am not complementing myself here, but the question presents itself as to how can they be achieved? it is easy to say what needs to be done, but putting these words into action is a decisive factor. as i said, i aims through these meetings to have a more in-depth knowledge of reality, but i found myself at the heart of genuine national dialogue. national dialogue is not
restricted to specific elite. it is is not a dialogue between the authorities and the opposition. neither is it is necessarily limited to political issues. it is a dialogue between the different sectors of society about all the issues facing that nation. if we as them that the government can be given a certain side and the opposition a certain side it is true of the countries in society the largest section of society is that which does not belong to either. we cannot talk about the national dialogue, but planning for the future and drying the future for decades and generations to come by neglecting the largest section of the people. hence the idea of national dialogue which started recently. there's no doubt that i was part of the national dialogue. nevertheless i cannot claim to have accomplished it because in the end i'm only an individual and those i met with were hundreds or thousands and the country includes tens of
millions. hence, the basic idea to launch a national dialogue and the widest social intellectual and political stakeholders take part in institutional form. for this purpose and national dialogue committee has been set up charged with identifying the principles and mechanisms for ensuring conference of dialogue on the different issues of concern to syria. and its citizens. the dialogue will allow was now on the one hand a discussion of the proposed draft laws at this stage and on the other, provide an opportunity to draw serious feature in a comprehensive sense for future decades and generations and help us all arrive at a immature vision for the future. it will push forward the political social and economic dynamics in our country and so political parties can play a wider role in public life after a new party law is passed.
a number of you have expressed a lot of possible formats of dialogue and one of the first tasks of the national dialogue committee is to consult with different stakeholders in order to arrive at the best format which enables us to accomplish of reform project with a specific timeframe. as i said in my meeting with the cabinet, everything should be tied to a timeframe and i believe that you are all calling for a timeframe for everything we talked about. we can say then that national dialogue is a title for the newest stage. pardon me for the present stage. when we started with this idea we thought the dialogue should be at the governing level. i've noticed to my meetings at the citizens from different governments that the issues themselves are not looked at from the same perspective. the reason being the large social diversity we have in syria. although there are points of
convergence, still there are differences to some extent. so in the beginning we saw -- thought it collective dialogue as the first phase in order to make it a central dialogue. the issues raised in the central dialogue will be determined according to agreements reached or the issues around which there was a consensus in in the dialogue. however, after setting up the dialogue commission and in order to reduce the time needed and the result of the condition serious going through, they thought of starting directly with central dialogue. there were questions raised, which have now become part of the mandate of the commission. he wants to start the dialogue, who wants to take part, what is the criteria, house to -- who takes part and other technical details. at this moment there is confusion although there is an
claims on television about the role of the commission. the commission does not conduct a dialogue. it rather supervises the dialogue. it lays the mechanisms and identifies the timeframe. after the end of the dialogue which is agreed upon is referred to the commission, passed by the president, by the president pardon me and there are other issues which meet certain measures, the state follows up on them. in any case the commission did not want to have monopoly over setting the criteria. decided to hold a consulted at council that meeting in the next few days to which it invites more than 100 personalities from different sections -- max sectors of the syrian society in order to consult with them about the criteria and the mechanisms. after that dialogue starts immediately and the commission identifies the timeframe, one month or two months, in accordance with the participants of the subsequent meetings to side. this dialogue is a very important process and should be given an opportunity.
because the whole future of syria if you wanted to succeed should be based on this dialogue in which all parts of the syrian spectrum take part. we cannot expect a vision from the state or from the government. a few scores of people cannot plan for millions of people. this is the importance of dialogue. as to the urgent needs and demands of the people, they have put -- been put into implementation before the beginning of the dialogue. we have it listed the emergency law and the state security courts, steps will ensure the organization of the work of relevant agencies in a manner which enhances and protects people's dignity without undermining the country security. we also passed a law regulating the right to peaceful demonstrations which strengthens the possibility of expecting views and positions and a free, peaceful and organized manner as
a healthy condition which helps the state rectify failures and correct trends. questions have been raised about the issue of arrest and detention. for some people, detention continues after listing the state of emergency. i believe that most of the people whether in the states, inside and outside the competent authorities, did not understand the meaning of the state of emergency nor the meaning of listing the state of emergency. however we stress the importance of this issue. what is important is that any case of arrest takes place after a permit is obtained from the attorney general. there's a specific period allowed for investigations. if they want to extend this. fact they should obtain a permit through the attorney general or the judicial system. but there's a specific time limit. when somebody is caught red-handed there is no need for a permit but the same procedures are followed with the permit of the attorney general however listing the state of -- does not
mean violating the law. listing the state of emergency has nothing to do with legal punishment or the nature of these punishments. based on our convictions, the citizen should be better represented and elected institutions particularly in the people's assembly and local administrations council. a committee was set up to draft a new elections law. this will transcend the role of these institutions the public that enable them to be very effective in ensure wider participation. discipline as the principles of justice, equality integrity and transparency. these principles will be the hallmark of the future which we seek for our country. this issue is now subject to public discussion. the committee has finished a draft law to believe it is going to be in tort law because most of the citizens i heard from the citizens revolves around these representatives in the different councils. this law will give opportunity
to citizens to elect people who will represent them and represent their interests. another committee was set up to draft legislation and designed the necessary mechanism for fighting corruption. i believe that it has concluded its work yesterday proposed a draft law which is now subject to public discussion. the anticorruption commission has lifted up in order to reduce it and turn it into a non-wanted exception rather than a widespread phenomenon or a reality. the citizens will play a wide role in oversight efforts through this process. no success can be achieved in eradicating this epidemic without the full participation of all citizens. the media plays a central role in this regard so they should be the eyes and the voices of the citizens and we have started a large workshop in order to modernize the media, expand the scope of freedom and strengthen its responsibility so they
become a transparent medium of communications between citizens and the state. this law will be subject to public discussion in order to receive and incorporate feedback. i believe the committee has until july 24 to complete this work. after the local administration laws have been put into draft and have been discussed i believe it is one of the most important steps sold be taken in the term of its impact on development or in terms of participation in local administrations. it will contribute to addressing a number of problems which cannot be solved under the present central of administration. it will regulate the authorities and relationships between the different levels of old administration and will have a positive impact on the general performance and consequently on the citizens. also syrian nationality has been given to citizens, registered previously as foreigners. this one hands national unity and contribute to more stability in the long-term.
there have been over 36,000 applications so far and the number of identity cards given so far is over 6700. setting up a committee to set a new party law was a mate or step for political development in widening the scope of democratic life. a new party law will enrich party diversity and allow for more participation or -- this political tactic which i have mentioned will create a new fiscal reality and syria through broadening popular precipitation in the affairs of the state and make citizens responsible for their own contributions to decision-making, oversight and accountability. they will lead to deep transformation set the level of lyrical dynamism and activity.
this will also lead to -- the principles of clinical activity in the country and consequently make it necessary to revise the constitution in order to either amend it, some of it -- make its articles or make a new constitution to make legal and social changes in syria. during the past four decades since it was passed. this package will be presented for a national dialogue. there are a number of pointed me to be mentioned regarding this package. [applause] some people believe that there is a certain degree of repressive nation on the part of the state for reform. in other words, they imply that
the state is not serious about this reform. i want to stress that the reform process for us as a matter of complete and absolute conviction because it represents the interest of the country and because it expresses the desire of the people. no reasonable person can oppose the people or the interest of the country. what is more important is that there is no opposition to reform. there is a question which has been put to me. i personally have not met any individual in the state who opposes reform. everybody is enthusiastic for reform. the problem however is what reform do we want? what are the details? the package of laws which i have mentioned consists of laws in the general sense but what are the details which we want in which we believe are useful? some people expect that the laws passed in the president signs it so it is easy. can this happen? of course.
does this lead to positive report -- results? may be. when i say maybe i mean that all possibilities are there. we cannot do something crucial and carry out a full reform process after 50 years of a certain political structure and move forward right leaping into the unknown. we need to know where we are going and what to expect. what are we doing now? pardon me, what we are doing now is making our future and making the future is a source of history. the history or the future which we are making, will affect future generations for decades to come. even if we make amendments in line with the circumstances for the future, still what we do now is something of crucial importance which will affect syria's future. that is why we need to have the
right as possible participation and hence the importance of national dialogue. we need the broadest possible participation in order to have a wider take on things and to have a far-reaching impact into the future. when some people say the president should lead the reform process this does not mean the president can stand and replace the people and carry out the reform process on his own. leadership does not mean one individual standalone but rather that he should be in front of the people proceed with him. leadership of -- is a process of direction and here i reiterate the importance of national dialogue. what are the things that dialogue should focus on? what are we talking about? what election law is in the best interest of syria? do we want small constituencies, and medium-size constituencies or large-size constituencies?
every option has got its qualitative and negative aspect. which election law achieves bollinger gration does not lead to fragmentation? which election lives better suited to the new party law which we want? what is the party law which leads to full integration of syrian society and preserve serious unity and at the same time prevent syria from turning into a ball rather than a player as it used to be decades ago? there are so many questions which need to be raised. as to the election law, do we want to elect an individual or a program? there are questions and so far we do not have answers. even if we have an answer, we should not say that this is the right answer and proceed carrying out the negative aspects to the future generations. we should take responsibility
together. we have people with a great degree of awareness and the question is that of discussion. so we need to answer these questions and these are only samples of a large friday of questions. there are others. duly passed a party law and election law before the elections for the people's assembly? the majority says yes. some people want us to separate the elections law from the party law and want the new assembly to pass the party love. do we want to postpone the people's assembly for three months as some people have proposed, or do we have them on time? as far as we are concerned we do not want to adopt a certain answer to these questions. we want to be impartial as a state. what is important is public consensus. there is no consensus on these and other issues, we will have a big problem in syria. as to the constitution, this is a slightly separate question.
do we replace a few articles of the constitution including article viii or do we change the whole constitution since it was written about 40 years ago? it might be better to come benge mack change a completely. some people suggest we had to take certain steps now and amend some articles and later on make revision of the whole constitution. and some articles need to be amended, then they should be amended by the people's assembly. if what is needed is changing the whole constitution, this beats a public referendum. there are numerous questions about the main question -- pardon me but the main question is within this framework. i can raise them without giving a timeframe but if we give a timeframe, even in the light of all these questions. is committees have completed their work with the exception of the media committee which will complete its work in july, the party law committee will finish in the next few days. fully complete the party and election law the most important
political reform and we can then start the national dialogue directly and discuss all these laws and the laws which will be passed later. concerning national dialogue, i did not want to set a timeframe on their behalf but some of those involved suggests a month and other suggested two months. in any case if the people's assembly elections are not postponed they will be held in august and we will have in the people's assembly in august. we can say that we can complete this package by the end of august, by the beginning of september all this package will be completed. the constitution is a -- is different because it needs the people's assembly. with if the new people's assembly is elected in august they can directly start studying the constitutional amendments. if they are postponed as a result of the decision taken a process of national dialogue for a few months the package will be completed before the end of the year. meaning in five months.
however, if we want to have a full revision of the constitution had to have a new one, the process is completely different. then we should have a constitutional assembly which proposes the constitution for the public referendum, but what we would do immediately is to set up a committee to study the issue of the constitution in order to save time. the committee will start its work in the next few days and we will give it a month, which i think is sufficient. it will prefer it studies to a national dialogue and then we'll have a clear timeframe. let's say three months until the beginning of september or five months until the end of the year. but we are moving ahead with all the flaws and studying the constitution which will be the last days. a lot has been said about the delays in reform. i talked about this in front of
the people's assembly and said that we are a bit late. some people started to ask why they were laid. there is no -- i said that we were late but i did not say we had stopped. in other words, the laws are listing the state of emergency was ready about 18 months ago and the draft party law was also ready about a year ago. we started preparing the local of administration love less than a year ago. the reason why we have not passed the first and second laws is that we believe that the local administration law which is the most important in the reform process, has two aspects to it, elections and participation. getting to the local administration law in any case requires amending the election law, so as a matter of priorities we did not neglect the other laws. we looked at priorities than in a different way from what we look at them right now. amidst this huge workshop of
reform, laws and dialogue we have not forgotten the day-to-day living problems of the syrian citizens which remained more urgent. the government pass a number decisions with the objective of proving -- improving people's living standards. one of the most important decisions was to reduce diesel prices from one of the most frequent demands made by all the delegations which i met with without exception. i hope that its impact on the living standards will be felt in the near future particularly among the poorer sections of the syrian society. we also worked on reducing construction costs through reconsidering with engineer society the related fees in order to ease the financial burden on citizens to the extent available and resources allow. we hope the general reduction of costs will push the economy
forward, increase job opportunities and compensate the large losses suffered by the syrian economy during the current events. they would increase the suffering of the citizens if we did not face them with the rapid procedures that mitigate the pressure at at the president reversed obstruction later on. this is a group of measures aimed at alleviating the crisis and reducing burdens on syrian citizens. there are other measures taken by the government but what is important now is for all of us to work in order to restore confidence in the syrian economy. the most dangerous thing we will face is the weakness or the collapse of the syrian economy. a large part of the problem is psychological and we should not allow for fear or frustration to defeat us. we should defeat the problem by returning to a normal life, returning to normalcy has a moral impact of the economy is affected by these psychological
conditions of the population. we should go back to normal life as far -- as fast as possible. the crisis might give us a bloody nose, might give us pain, might sheikh us, might throw us on the ground but we should not -- but we should rise again stronger and more tenacious in order to carry on our lives normally. [applause] here i want to express my thanks and appreciation for all the citizens who have taken part in the campaign to support the syrian people. there are people who have less than a thousand yet they contributed. [applause] some have thousands and they did the same thing. one day after we overcome the crisis we should ask all of those who have money about the role they play, how they
contributed to this campaign. this is a national duty. [applause] administrated development remains the biggest challenge in the work of our institutions and we will proceed in our plan by regulating authorities and controlling practices in order to prevent overlapping in the work of different solutions are in or in the work of individuals to outside the states. we should also adopt sound criteria for choosing personnel and accepting performance. in other words we should prevent nepotism. measures have been taken and so far about 120 missions clearances which have been part of the your credit procedures have been abolished. at the same time, the work of the security system has been recently separated from the work of civil institutions. we need to rely more on inspection, fiduciary financial control and the anticorruption commission and its new format.
the media contributes to oversight by providing transparency to government work and to constitute a channel of communication between state institutions and the citizens are going addition to other channels between state officials and citizens. either directly or through the organizations and trade unions which represent their interest. we should also examine economic issues and we need to look for a new economic model. in the past there were two models, the socialist model in the s. model. many people believe that these models have fallen. now, we do not have ready made experiences to take and implement. way to look for a model with syria. the measures we have taken now have to do with dealing with the media and dealing with suffering. in other words they deal with temporary problems that do not solve the problem in the long run. if we do not know the model for syria which achieve social that
would be between the rich and the poor, the country and the city, we will have a problem. ecosphere is already a big problem in the disparity between the country in and the city, despite the balanced economic policy which syria has followed in terms of providing equal opportunities and economic independence and relying on the local resources are going to believe that this issue needs national dialogue on the economy, something will do later in order to move ahead in this field. these are some basic titles for the next phase. these titles are the axis around which, with any other. there is no doubt that one single speech would not address all the issues. therefore the national dialogue will be the method through which any issue that enriches what i've talked about in my speech or more than that can be raised. the next phase is a stage of turning syria into construction
sites to compensate for time and damages and to rectify risks and heal wounds. when the blood of any syrian citizen whoever he is and whatever circumstances it is felt this means the entire nation is bleeding. a national responsibility every citizen should be involved in. sitting on the fence however is deepening the ones. we are all responsible for protecting the stability and security of the nation regardless of our positions and views. we will prosecute and hold responsible anyone who -- or starts to do so. the delay procedures for bureaucratic reasons is not being progressive nation and is not mean the damage that happens impacted everyone. and bring all those responsible to account is the right of the state as much as it is a right of individuals. the judicial investigation committee is proceeding with his work without any intervention. is full immunity in
independents. i follow up their work from time to time. does not work according to political criteria. it works in accordance with legal criteria, which means that they constantly go look for evidence in order to invite any individual. some people believe that the commission has not done anything at. this is not true. it has arrested a number of individuals involved in the crisis and they are completing their investigation in order to bring them to justice. and we will continue to move in this direction. we enforce the law this is not mean revenge in any way against people who have violated the law without killing or destruction. the state is like a mother or father who embraces everyone and accommodates all her children. the state's relationship with him is based on tolerance and love, not on hatred and revenge. and when the state forgives those who make mistakes, get aims at enshrining this on relationship between the state and the citizens. but this does not mean that --
when it comes to harming the public interest. there are those who say that some demonstrators continued to demonstrate because they demonstrated in the past and believe that they will be prosecuted by the state. we announce amnesty to all those who turned themselves enduring the month of april and may. they were pardoned immediately. and as i say to all those people, try to contact the state and you will find a positive response and tolerance on the part of the state's institutions even those who have carried weapons and it not to use them anyone. however, as for terrorizing citizens and committing acts of killing and terrorism, this is another issue and they stayed does not enforce the full extent of the law. at the same time, i called on all those who have left the city or village is to return.
the return of the displaced is a very important issue because the city dies without its people. we cannot talk about normal life and economic life while there are people who have left their towns and villages and have gone to other areas. i call on every individual and every family who left the city or village to return as soon as possible and i stress that the syrian government calls on all of those who left the villages surrounding turkey to return immediately, return to their villages immediately. there are those who tell them or suggest to them that the states are implying the states will take revenge against them. i assure them that this is not true. the armies there for their security and the security of their children. [applause] so we hope to see them soon.
[inaudible conversations] >> translator: every individual might ask how can i contribute? i want to do something. how can i contribute to solving this problem? of course we don't have the solutions that we can contribute now. i say that there is a role that the people can play and the the role that the guess they can play. the state plays its role through the reforms i talked about, political reform, economic reform and reform in other areas. the states have a role to play in providing services. it must provide services. there are measures which have harmed the citizens. the state should rectify these deficiencies. those who have been involved in acts of killing tara station and station and destruction will be brought to justice and prosecuted. it is a duty of the states to prosecute them.
in this regard some people debate whether the this solution should be political or security-based. they say that the security-based solution has failed and consul rally the state should proceed in the direction of the political solution. in fact, we in the state think this solution should be political. the problem consists of political, economic and social demands but what identifies the method of solving the problem is not the states you but then a trip the problem itself. it is not the state which wants a desire to force those involved in acts of destruction. this is not reasonable. there is no political solution for those who carry weapons and kill. we want a political solution and we want the army to go back as soon as possible. we want security personnel to go back to their offices, and position.
the normal thing is for citizens to deal with the police and the judiciary. citizens have nothing to do with army or the security personnel. the problem is that the police forces in syria are strong and the police have not and trained for such cases. we started recruitment but the capacity is limited. at the same time, training takes a long time. in any case and regardless of the crisis, we want to regulate the relationship between the citizen of the the end the state and the direction. this takes some time. the first thing i want to say is that we want to support reform. pardon me, we want them to support reform and this is self-evident because the people are demanding reform. it is only natural for them to support reform is supporting reform takes place five distinguish them between real reformists and those involved in destruction and sabotage. and also isolating those who
want to write the way of reform in order to make personal gain. we want them to prevent chaos. as i said though there are those who -- parents with children, bob brothers and a process of awareness raising. we want the demonstration to be turned into written opinions, to ideas, to dialogue, to ask on the ground. now i'm not talking about something theoretical. i'm talking about -- i'm rather talking about something practical. in some places as security forces were withdrawn and the people of the region started to work with the states on the development process. in citing corruption or to preserve the security of the villages and the cities in which they lived. this of course requires the existence of channels between these people in the state. when we created these channels they turned some demonstrators into individuals who wanted to build a country. a demonstration is an expression of pain, of suffering that the state has not responded to.
when the states respond to the situation became completely different. we can increase the number of those channels in order to turn every individual into a productive citizen. this is of course a temporary phase and some political parties started to play the role in the future. so parties are a natural party for transforming into action on the ground and contributing to the return of normal life. this is the most important thing. even if the crisis goes on for months or years we should accommodate and acclimate ourselves to it. we should cornered and make it limited to those who are concerned with the crisis. now we have an army there and until the army returned to their barracks we have to support this army and ask for his support everywhere. the army consists of the brothers of every syrian citizen
and the army always stand for honor and dignity. [applause] young people have an important role to play in this stage. because they have proven themselves to be an active power. [applause] there is an electronic which has been a real army and virtual-reality. there are those who -- and other nations. i met a number of youth delegations from different societies. youth i mean young men and women also. and i have met many youth delegations from such there's tours of society and found them
to have a high sense of patriotism and this is self-evident because they belong to this country. this generation has to prepare itself for the next political face it we can become the model of the whole region and it said that taking lessons from others we should teach them. [applause] in the speech i touch on a number of important points. and met a large number of delegations and i the list of issues which number over 1000 big and small issues. and every one of those i am met with where should i raise the issue they have touched on? for everyone believes that this issue is an important one. i mentioned these issues not because they income puts all her problems, but because they are the most important and most comprehensive. as for the other issues, we are
in -- addressing them continuously. the meetings with public delegations have allowed me to expand the direct challenge which exist between me and the citizens. these channels have a rich source of information and what is any official meets. in the next beta will continue holding such meetings which in addition to providing confidence which our internal policies will be built. the same goes for foreign policy which i saw sought to base on the pulse of the street and reflect and every situation we face. this popular -- which is does not accept anything short of syria as an independent state both on its land and its decisions. this popular polls which refuses to let the homeland be a player on its own court.
this refuses to allow his role to be measured according to its geographical size rather than its historical importance. otherwise serio will be -- with its own borders rather than reaching out to vital regional dimensions and thus turn into a state of buyable tribes from outside the borders. through all of that we must realize that achieving reform and development does not only represent internal needs but it is necessary and vital to confront those plans and therefore we have no option but to succeed in the domestic project in order to succeed in our external project. or pressures are directed against serious role in resisting the themes of sectarian division and the region which will mean that there is neither resistance nor rights but collapse and surrender. accompishing security as their starting point and the people are the most capable to e