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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  March 24, 2012 7:00pm-8:30pm EDT

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the first part, and you could do a documentary on this alone. >> we are going to bring nj rhodes. >> i want to talk about the part about the vet where we are talking about it. i think there is a lot of context on this. the first part was the tax information, the medical records and all that stuff. the second part is depicted in the movie where mark salter and i have a discussion operationally that the campaign is going to run and this is how your life is going to change. the third part of this that was the questionnaire which was really the business and a fourth part was the interview with john mccain himself. so what john mccain and sarah palin said to each other is unknown to me. it's known to them. the questionnaire that call the house did and the results of it, you know we didn't have the insight for lack of preparedness
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and obviously we will talk about that more. .. >> we have seen how the
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issue has once again come up on top of the agenda. that the risk of four was essentially eliminate -- eliminated. in some ways we're back where restarted we have an understanding why we have ended up here. based on key people, administration, house and senate also almost all international actors. iranians iranians, brazilians, turks, europeans, saudi arabia and, israel, those who have a stake in the issue. i will give a quote for mobile merisel.
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>> going forward based on mutual respect and interest. those who cling to power and the silencing of dissent common know that you are on the wrong side. we will extend hand if you're willing to unclench your fist. owns a 12 1/2 minutes into his presidency he reached out to iran and the muslim world offering french ship. bold move. not borne out of desire but necessity. as far as we know, having conversations with autocratic leaders, never a childhood dream but some believe bush was pursuing wars of choice of all my came to the conclusion that
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iran was the necessity. it essentially said diplomacy with america's enemies would be forbidden. something that only extends to those countries to deserve america's company. you run the risk but it is not something the bush and administration was interested but growth the track record is quite clear. during those eight years no functioning diplomacy between the nine states and iran which the bush should ministrations and thought it was punishing iran, the influence grew exponentially. have a situation in iraq afghanistan.
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suddenly now iran was the king maker. iran only had a couple of centrifuge had 8,000 by the end of 2008. by challenging the increasingly unpopular least they saw power was expanded. abominates something but made the promise of diplomacy a central part of the policy platform. the iranians were the poster child. normal circumstance could have been losing or suicidal now was a winning proposition because of the rejection of the bush foreign policy and the ideology was based on.
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time was short. the obama understood this. the nuclear program was progressive and iran had uranium that could be used for the production of nuclear bombs. pressure against diplomacy was intensifying from the moment obama cayman to power. the fear is a bomb would strike a deal to legitimize or except the growing influence to leave the two states abandoned to what they perceived as a threat. at one point there were worried about what it could lead to. would obama be cut out or so eager to strike a deal he would redefine the west red lion? and of course, hanging over obama's head was the
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potential is really preventive strike from iran pro-military inducement that continues to do so viewed as absolutely disastrous for the region as a whole and u.s. interest. all of america's key allies, many will show, well but many few wish him success. after 30 years, it is clear to obama something needed to happen. in iran it was part of the access of evo. that type of language was conducive for diplomacy. first the language needed to change. obama did remarkable shift.
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much of the bush vocabulary was eradicated with the first few weeks. of the boldest move was the unprecedented video message the president sent to the iranian people on the eve of the iranian new year. that message he addresses the people of the government references as the republic signaling the bombing administration was not intend on the regime change. and spoke of the many problems how they could not be resolved. of clear departure from foreign policy of the bush administration. within one day the supreme
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leader give a speech in his hometown after 40 minutes blasting the united states all of the faults and the crimes committed from their perspective, he left an opening. if united states changes changes, and that iran would change. a small but critical opening. the iranians view if there is any change to occur, and has to be strategic. not tactical or rhetorical fatone was not sufficient. up until that point* there was no clear evidence of substance change. only a welcome change in the tone.
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the obama administration new it is difficult before the election. already it took several months with the policy review then should the u.s. and gauge before the election or after? at the end the winning argument u.s. did not want to do anything to affect the elections especially seeing cannot win the election and why is verbal especially a the proximity in washington. but what is critical the obama administration said by
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june 13, there would be political clarity. some would have one and they could quickly get on with diplomatic initiatives. they did not expect the of their clarity. they had the election the people viewed as fraudulent, a human-rights abuses, those that the unprecedented level. iran had become paralyzed much critical time was about to be lost again. this was critical because not only the civil-rights abuses you could see on the
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tv screen but critical because it has a dilemma. how does it deal with it? it took a full 10 days before the administration condemned human rights abuses. those references were few and far in between. i had the opportunity to interview people from the inner circle. their pleas to see they did not take up position. not what they wanted. they felt obama was too quiet and a human-rights friends thinking obama is so keen on a new kid their deal
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he would be willing to sacrifice the rights and democratic aspirations of people in the process. because of the difficulties, there was an argument because of the weakness of the iranian government those opportunities could be greater. something happened a couple of days before the june election giving the administration who perhaps a deal could be struck. june 2nd, the iranians sent a letter to the head of the atomic energy agency that the iranians lingerie for the reactor.
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that currently produces four approximate 85,900,000 patients. the iranians are running out of fuel. there were several brainstorming sessions that the key proposal is how can the u.s. debt load and read -- enriched uranium out of iran you have to have enriched iranian -- iranian to do this. one of the issues, sorry, there was a
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sense of they could reduce the stockpile then the political space and time would increase. if the iranians have enough the confrontational measures would be significant. but if it could be taken out obama would gain time and perspective. the beauty of iranians themselves was half of the problem was solved. know they no longer need to convince them but give the proposal back to say instead of buying fuel, we take the lbo, it turned into fuel, you get that both sides win it gives political time and space for
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diplomacy, something positive to show diplomacy could work. by the iranians asking for it, it was delivered to the united states. asset of doing what he should have done, instead he only informed russians and the americans. immediately the proposal was in the making to tell the iranians we will take your leu and you will get back. by 17 signals% negotiations had to take place. october 1st, 2009, for the first time joining five permanent members of the security council to meet in geneva to discuss the adr. fortunately the iranians
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showed interest and agreed in principle on the fuel swap in degree to have a meeting in october. then that on the 20th on the technical level that negotiation to place. the a deal was russians take the premium turn into a 20% of french turned into fuel pads and nine to 12 months later the iranians get the fuel pad for the reactor in time before they run out of fuel. here is whether problems began. this on iraq because they up a strategic asset without giving up anything in return.
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the significant doubt and mistrust not just from the west became a difficult proposition. instead they have the idea instead of giving up all leu at once but into were three batches. and then they would provide the fuel back. on a technical level these fuel pads cannot be bought at k-mart. it takes time to work out. no existing stockpiles so it could not the instantaneous. the iranians have 1500 kilos of leu you need 1200 to build a bomb. they needed to make sure our
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ran was as far away to have 1200 as possible putting it into batches does not by the time needed. ben elbaradei realize sabre on the verge of failure. instead of saying they were on the edge of failure to say we will take a couple of more days and they would give an answer. immediately united states russia and france except the on deal. iranians never came back with the response. yes or no. but what made it difficult was not necessarily the lack of mistrust but the fact the
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political eat was still at war with each other and it is difficult for them to come to a consensus on how to handle this. nobody opposed ahmadinejad wanted to see him to score a political victory on a couple of months after the disputed election. said they made it impossible for the political elite to move forward. ended november, 2009 united states activates pressure track. diplomacy needs to fill year and was abandoned. then the effort to get a new resolution against iran.
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him in office essentially was abandoned. now to make sure i as quickly as possible essentially to bring them back to the table. more than the administration hoped for burger resistance from russia and china was extensive. initially a process taking two 1/2 months new sanctions could be adopted all of march, april, sometime in may was clear something else happened.
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but then it changes the picture -- pitcher. and the periphery decided to try diplomacy again. and then determined to convince the iranians to make sure diplomacy could succeed. july and by the turks with the foreign minister shuttled and trying to create something to make sure diplomacy is given another shot. after 18 hours of intense negotiations, the key american benchmarks from the proposal was match. leu sent out in one batch. not the instantaneous swap. the iranians have to wait 12
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months. the exchange takes place off of iranians toyo. and the leu is put in an escrow and turkey to resolve the trust deficit. if there was a violation the iranians could get leu back. and a rations with a ship is better with turkey and united states it was much more acceptable by the elite. they had succeeded and a few months that others had failed at. diplomacy succeeded but they did not know the day before china and russia agreed to new sanctions.
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said they agreed to give up the fed leu iran was celebrating the u.n. sanction agreement. american response was swift. after the deal was sealed secretary clinton was called to deliver the news to explain a half-inch. to her surprise she is not impressed and rejects the deal. one day later at hearing she says the united states has an agreement and a draft resolution that would be circulated that afternoon. it is the clearest response to the events winking to the turkish brazilian diplomacy.
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they were in shock. they thought they had a deal. what was not in the news immediately that they have not done something was of their own initiative. three weeks before in which obama tells the leaders of turkey and brazil and you can manage to get 1200 kilos of leu that is a confidence measure for the united states. and the deal they got follows the instruction of the letter word by word almost. it does not address the leu
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count had increased. by the times the brazilians got the deal it was reaching 2400. the argument was the expiration date was reached and no longer valid furthermore they had expanded and is doing enrichment at 20% these were not addressed in their negotiation. in the administration was correct but they're not in obama's letter but the problem was significant. between turkey and brazil. at the end of the day
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diplomacy had been abandoned it came six months into late for by that time according to one obama official had essentially run out. it was coming out like the steamroller there was a fear if they did not agree to reject the deal and the station's then congress would pass its own sanctions creating a significant conflict from the u.s. security council. keeping unity against iran was a central objective congress would destroy that unity and once again it
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could take advantage of those fissures. but put those floor diplomacy was limited could not go on its own. it never actively bled out to to create political space to make a comparison bush gave 16 major speeches to put for the strategic rationale while it must hit iraq and meeting with me the press and dick cheney compared to the number of times obama explained why it was critical like it was a
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national interest to pursue diplomacy. only one instance i could find with prime minister netanyahu. and at one point doing a press conference obama explains the rationale saying it is the only option we have left all others have failed. all of those were arguments he did as a candidate not president so there was not an effort to create political space there are moments in which leading senator said we are willing to give political cover and
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space with the argument is the policy people agree with that but the political folks felt any national conversation would damage the obama administration and the upcoming congressional election. as a result, he was shocked. the bottom line means there was no effort to create this policy. if you compare this diplomatic effort to others the united states is involved in it becomes a gamble on the single role of the dice. 80 their works right away are not all. they not have the space where the political will but all other negotiations have been successful.
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never has a policy had a single role of the device -- dice it to a 44 years 1990 through 1994 taking place over three presidents. negotiations with libya took a full seven years. northern ireland to get good friday's agreement morris and 700 days. a quote from senator mitchell said for 700 days it decided greece to anything of the other side but on 701 day they change their mind fortunately the united states did not give up. we're in a situation as long as the political landscape
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is such a political costs and a leader to send men and women off to war is less for the same leader to send off diplomats we continue to have far more clenched fist then extended hand. thank you so much. [applause] >> i no-no how much time for q&a? >> i will bring around the microphone. >>
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>> talk about the letter from obama to the turks, the fact the instructions were in chinese, nobody within a the machinery this was factored into the negotiation of the equation. was that a conspiracy? >> i don't think so. secretary clinton general jim jones had give the impression that their bosses and greater amount of uranium has ben brought up as a major problem. also engaged in 20 percent enrichment that here is the
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thing. different emphasis and the administration's as a result getting a letter signed by the president of the united states it is understandable this letter is a final position of the u.s. government. so their interpretation is clear. but they did bring up 20%. knowing they are open to ending that, they do and that in the negotiation but would use after words. this idea of the fuel swaps was the american idea.
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never supposed to be the end of negotiations but competence building. if one does not work you try another. in this instance it was confused with the final deal or a precondition for future deals. the brazilian initiative was clearly stated to infuse enough confidence to get diplomacy back on track to have a new round of talks with other issues to be addressed. never the ambition or statement of course, iranians could be with that way. the iranians made a mistake not excepting the 2009 deal.
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there are compelling arguments why that would put iran at the disadvantaged. for peacemaking you have to take a risk. i know at large but more inclined to take risk reward and for peace. iran failed 2009. the obama administration failed 2010. >> for obama's to become president? one thing i want to mention at the same time he gives for the iranian people for
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the new year at the same time you slap the people to say how many years they are saying shin? turkey and 20% in richmond, and also of fate except they go for the sanctions in the united nations. in my opinion i don't see at
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this point* anti-war stations but the sanctions a to the people not the government. you have to realize that. it is to get the people of iran. >> day-care. a couple of points to raise raise, one quick correction iranians were enriching at 20% with a renegotiating. starting february 2010. they said they would rather buy the fuel and make it themselves.
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with the indication they have no intent to go up that 20%. i ain't one could make the argument the obama administration should have done something beyond changing the tone. that is a iranians were successful to change their town but it is back to the hostile discourse as it was before the expectation u.s. sore iran gives a significant concession is unrealistic mindful of the treacherous landscape bumble sides. it on not have been.
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if one was to be cynical somebody could say obama was not serious. there were discussions but it was a significant fear if they did give a concession and it failed it would cost them dearly politically at home. going forward neither should have those expectations. usually if there is a concession given it creates goodwill with higher likelihood of success but i am not realistic. and the others on the worst possible way, changing the language the argument and sentiment is nice but not
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enough. we don't trust you. they really do take a greater risk for peace? reit argument was we do that to avoid sanctions. that is true and then imposing sanctions by itself? precisely because of the tendency both sides paralyze himself when it comes to diplomacy. those hurt the people move in the government. and is not the case it is always easier for a
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government to shift the pain and it is a dangerous proposition because mr. to reach that that the intents of the sanctions increasing their red as the existential threat. with that situation cannot likely to give any concessions. they tend to increase the risk of four more so than irresolution. >> can you speak about the fact israel and the supporters have had on diplomacy?
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>> i want to specify the role of the more right-wing elements. from the very beginning it is clear the israelis aeronautics cited about obama lending. they did not know who he was in his background to be sympathetic to the palestinians and as a key element of the policy platform. and then to be on israeli radio a willingness to talk is seen as a sign of weakness. does that mean you oppose the, proposition to speak to iran? leaving no doubt, from the very beginning once the
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netanyahu government comes into office there is the effort to make the diplomacy failed. first the make the argument the only way for to be acceptable as it can only last 12 weeks results have to come within the first 12 weeks. what sanctions have failed to do diplomacy needed to fix in 12 short weeks. diplomacy was only acceptable of iranians giving it the health care card program the objective the obama administration had not endorsed. see reference to make that so high a guarantees failure. beyond that the israelis push for sanctions before
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erred diplomacy was taking place. to reduce the chances of success that the military option is on the table. incidentally an argument adopted that the iranians will only respond favorably if faced with the military threat. the problem is between the united states and iran would not be resolved to threats. they essentials and mining the chance of success. the saudis were problematic. the biggest blow to the political space did not come
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of from what the israelis were doing but from what happened in iran summer 2009, a human rights abuse, election dispute, fifth of the shown all over. everybody could be a journalist to take pictures and plodded on youtube. that was a bigger problem than the israelis. trannine. >> [inaudible] >> the organization this day organization on the terrorist 1/2 following was popular but since 1980 sided
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with saddam hussein of support with a population and since then it has become marginalized there on the terrorist list the only one that i know of that has that campaign on capitol hill with fund-raisers it is quite amazing. you have officials in spite of the group speak out for speaking fees of $80,000. our understanding of the gold decision said the terrorist status had been reviewed by the end of 2011
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the state department had to reissue keeping them on the list or taking them off. not sure of the legalities but everybody can have their case reviewed. but the impact has not been significant mermaid tractor. that could change. >> you always have to negotiate the question i have been smaller informational and opinion with your expertise, did
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ahmadinejad say he wanted to wipe israel off the map or was that made up? if it is true, then how would be that kind of a position when dealing with a hostile, nuclear weapons what is the truth? >> thank you. what he said at the conference in persian did not contain the word is real, map, did not contain the word wyckoff. however it is important to keep in mind. what he was trying to do was quote khomeini from a statement he had given from the early 1980's.
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it was not the right to wean media factually the iranian translator's themselves to mr. trade -- mistranslated that 1986 even though misquoted the same translation was spread. of course, of persons that was presented as the slogan of ahmadinejad. even if that statement was mistranslated the iranians have said something of a similar nature for some time. khomeini and how many said it is it cancer and to save the patient you have to remove the tumor. there is extreme rhetoric however it is important is
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there a clear intent and is iran the existential threat to as a result? there you have a different interpretation. back in 1980 s when iranians made these statements with far greater frequency it would is is really bring bring -- lobbying in favor. tom in the reagan administration the united states needs to sell arms and should not take rhetoric seriously. this was done in because of geopolitical interest the israelis were one of the few states that could support
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against of some innovation. that it would change the map and more over the real change and the posture comes in the '90s with less to do with rhetoric but the changes that took place with the coalition and the collapse of the soviet union. both sides use rhetoric to get their own constituency on their side. it is dangerous they have no care whatsoever how the rhetoric is read on the other side.
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the iranians don't care about them in the west just like for instance when condoleeza race in 2006 said this is the new middle east how was that viewed by the middle eastern audience? negative we did not have them in mind but they did not care how it had strong emotional and make those so much more difficult. >> >> was not expecting new to talk about leu thank you for
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that wonderful narrative. something you mentioned i iranian who lives in the u.s., we have a different perspective how you help the u.s. government in the area complete the blindsided. address saying that people in 2009 i would still vote for obama of the still quoting poetry talking about how wonderful they are. then that afternoon a bearded maniac blew himself up. so telling persians that you
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have wonderful paul wits is bathetic it is the americans who know that we know that. [laughter] [applause] it is americans who do know that iran's contribution to the entire middle east culturally is equivalent italy's contribution to europe, gardens, a cuisine, architecture, the word paradise is a persian word iran has produced more paul wickes and the entire region combined. we need to compromise rather than have relations with a profound culture the road has known.
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i the comerica and foreign policy approach is condescending and ignorant. [applause] [laughter] >> let me put it this way. i take your point* it is important to keep in mind we cannot expect any government to to do diplomacy you as a person has done exactly what people should do. poetry classis classis, responsibility to make the contributions of what day spa on the iranian
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but the appointed correct the obama administration did not create space for their own policy. number did the iranians. look at the khomeini response, the message was to the point*. khamenei went on for one hour. it was only the last couple of sentences there is no effort on the iranian side. the iranians may not have the same problem to say it may have significant problems but they have a lot of admiration for bellevue's and culture with the people. that may not be necessary
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but after you have a 30 year-old entity, to many careers are made to perpetuate this entity. in order to change that you could have diplomacy on a single role of the dice. expend the political capital to make it happen. the iranians have not done their homework. expectation must so great. he was genuine in intent behalf to have the willpower and the strength to do so. the brazilians and the turks have more between 2009 and 2010 then the entire combined. in their domestic political
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audience, who was not a problem the turks had a couple of issues but they have a political climate at home to make this possible. any additional effort needs to start of home diplomacy past two overcome of fast hurdle. and in nine states failed at the first hurdle. it was abandoned. >> speaking of "a single roll of the dice" you have been under role. very articulate and passionate spokesperson. thank you for that.
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regarding the strategic south compensation dealing with the shifting landscape having over $700 billion this fiscal year to remove saddam hussein or iraq and the clear winner looks to be iraq and it is about drawing down forces and could do so by 2014. that will leave the and a huge power vacuum. . .
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i would find it extremely unlikely under the circumstances they were too managed to gain hegemony would last for longer than a week or so. they do not have the hard power noted they have the sole power. i think what the arab spring has done more than anything else, at least in the short-term, really undermines some of their sources of soft power and i would recommend that you read some of the writings on this issue because i think it has been cutting-edge. but in the long run, when you have these types of vacuums of power, in a region which it doesn't have an enormous
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framework on state infraction should be there's a far greater likelihood of conflict for these resolutions and i think precisely because of that we should take a second look at what turkey and other states can do in trying to get a more robust diplomacy happening. there may be some element in the region are certainly in iran that would welcome the american departure from the region but the vacuum that will be created afterwards is more likely going to be two states collapsing, both intra-and interstate war for rather than the state and stability for the region. there is a need for real robust diplomacy and there are very few that have the capability of pursuing that right now. turkey is one of them. they have been very effective so far. i think we should take note of that and we should try to utilize that as much as possible if our interest is to truly create that peaceful solution.
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>> the u.s. foreign policy seems to sort of stay pretty much the same throughout, what do you have a democrat or a republican in the office and i know we talk a little bit about rhetoric and the rhetoric cools down but it's mostly for local consumption a lot of that rhetoric and really doesn't impact or seemingly does not impact u.s. foreign-policy. do you feel that u.s. foreign-policy is sort of the same whether you have a republican or democrat in the white house? do you see any change happening let's save a mitt romney becomes the next president of the united states and how we deal with iran? >> change for the worse is much more probable than likely then change for the better. but i would agree with you that obviously there is bureaucratic inertia and there is institutions that are going to take a tremendous amount of willpower to be able to change.
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i think perhaps one of the mistakes, shortcomings, of this massive movement behind obama that by now probably is quite disappointing and they were hoping for other things, is that a lot of organizations, a lot of the grassroots kind of took a vacation once obama was in office. there was a belief perhaps that you know, he is there and he is going to take care of it and they won't have access as the opponents of obama sought, as the bureaucrats who prefer the status quo and obama fails to reactivate the draft. without that you're not going to see any change. i don't believe it's impossible and on the contrary it is quite possible. we have seen very interesting shifts in u.s. policy in the past, but they usually have taken place during a time in which circumstances were different and the executive branch perhaps was a little bit
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stronger or because there was this real mass organization that was sustainable and didn't go back home. this is not a criticism against any particular group. i think we have to, those who really want to see a significant change also have to acknowledge that just electing a president in and of itself is not going to be sufficient. [inaudible] >> and he said we could have an opportunity to give you a place to go to show your support for diplomacy, not war and that is the upcoming conference that the lobby group a-pac is having the first week of march. a-pac is one of the factors that put pressure on the u.s.
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government not to move towards diplomacy and we are in the spirit of the occupy movement and citizens around this country stepping up to the plate and calling for what they feel is right in this country and we are asking you to our join us in occupied a-pac. [applause] that will be a saturday, all day conference, to learn about the issues and then start the protest on sunday, monday and tuesday while a-pac will be having their policy conference and then we will be lobbying congress. we want to be there with our message of diplomacy, not war. so please go to the web site which is occupied a-pac.org. join up with us and we would like to also sign you up on our sheet here. we are involved with groups that are starting to mobilize very slowly, to organize protests around the growing democrats
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action towards iran. there is something called -- and we would love to be in touch with all of you but please sign up that occupy a-pac.org and please sign up on the sheet. thank you. [applause] >> in the context of the presidential election and perhaps you have implied -- [inaudible] >> please go to the microphone. >> in the current presidential election of this year, can you perceive the obama administration trying to initiate some new effort with iran to in effect improve its foreign-policy credentials for the election, but more
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importantly perhaps could you see iran trying some initiative that would seem reasonable but perhaps would put the obama administration in a particularly tight situation as far as the election is concerned? >> thank you. the political space in an election year has always been at a minimum. there are elections in the united states and a couple of months and you also have elementary elections in march of this year in iran. so it actually doesn't look to me necessarily the best circumstances but there is also an initiative right now that potentially will be approved in turkey by the end of this month in which potentially a new round of diplomacy will take place. i would be somewhat cautious when it comes to this. not have to high expectations of what we can achieve precisely because of the lack of flexibility on both sides.
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i am quite concerned about what can happen this year because as we have seen, the war rhetoric is back in gear and tensions are higher than ever before. you have a lack of communication which means that an accident in the persian gulf in particular can spark a larger conflict. i think also there is another component here. since the abandonment of diplomacy, an assumption that seems to have died in the obama administration's policy is the belief that the only time iran really backtracked was in 2003 and that was because there was an incredible military threat hanging over its head with the invasion of iraq. and of course the invasion of afghanistan. the belief has been that one has to re-create that perception of threat in order to get the iranians to come to the table to really deal seriously are perhaps one could put it as --
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but this is not with the intent of actually starting a war. i do not believe that the obama administration really would like to go to war or have the intent for it but in order to create the image that it is ready for it, to maximize concessions out of the iranians and force them to the table as a talking point. this is a tremendous and dangerous approach in my opinion. partly because a, the premise of it is quite questionable to begin with but even if you were to accept the premise, we have to remind ourselves that the united states is only in control of its own actions. it is not controlling how the iranians would reach -- how they could misread these actions, how they could miscalculate with the u.s. is doing and actually as a result make an action that could spark a war that the u.s. may not be intending to have in the u.s. military does not seem to desire. furthermore they cannot control
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or have a sufficient -- sufficient political will to try to control the actions of the israelis. we have seen that when the level of tension is rising up to this high-level the only need a small spark, perhaps in a station -- and assassination in the streets of tehran in order to be able to get the entire thing to explode. so it's a very risky proposition to try to create this image and hope that it would lead to a negotiating benefit where in reality it can lead to complete disaster. i would say that, i would read what secretary clinton said immediately after the assassination of the iranian scientist to be an indication that the u.s. really is not intending for war and is very concerned that some of its allies may be trying to create a situation in which war would be essentially inevitable because she came out very quickly. not only did she condemn it but categorically denied that the
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u.s. had absolutely anything to do with this assassination. never before have we seen the u.s. secretary of state come out and in person do this. we have seen the obama administration condemn some of these terrorist attacks that have taken place in iran but never before come out that swiftly. i think it likely was an effort to cool things down. i think the obama administration is looking to see how we can to escalate the situation after engaging for six or seven months is something that really cannot be described as anything else but the maximize escalation for additional factions and all the things in order to create the perception of an imminent military threat against iran. [inaudible] >> aren't we being a little
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naïve and my question to you is referring to -- are we being naïve when we referred to the denial by this administration as having anything to do with the assassination tracks are we being totally naïve that we are basically it is true technically that we permitted israel to do the targeted assassination? the world and i ran in the middle east sees that anything that israel does is next tension of our approval. i want your thoughts on that and are we -- you just indicated to me that we are not playing a cat and mouse game with iran such that we would create an incident that would allow ward number two and number three, what would war with iran look like realistically? countries that have no power that go when and conquer it in three or four days, what is the
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military strength of iran and is it realistic for us to put troops on the ground or with a war in iran, drawn strikes in targeted assassinations, will they say we are currently at war with iran and i would just like your thoughts on that. thank you. >> thank you so much. i personally don't believe that the united states had any involvement, direct involvement, in any of these assassinations and i say that based on conversations with people in the u.s. government and trying to see exactly what they are trying to achieve. i don't see these actions being particularly help pull and what they are trying to achieve. keep in mind with particularly this assassination did not seem to target anyone that is of any particular value to the nuclear program. program. this is not a critical person. more than anything else it seems to be a provocation, something to undermine either a diplomatic track or spark a large complex and i don't think that is the intent of the administration.
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one has to be careful and one has to be equally careful not to become over cynical because then we start doing exactly what the iranian u.s. government have been doing to each other which is to constantly lead the worst intention onto the other side and when we do that we may conflict inevitable because we can never see anything else but negative things coming from the other side. as to the issue of war, what war would look like, i have not come across a single analyst that would describe for as anything short of at a minimum, something that we simply cannot predict or control. i recently spoke to a russian diplomat and their view was that if there would be a war, the theater of war would go from the eastern mediterranean all the way into pakistan essentially all the way into your. the iranian strategy has been quite clear. they're not going to fight
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another war on their territory so in order to avoid that their option is to get the united states or whoever is attacking them throughout the region instead. i don't think the people in the military who don't understand this. on the contrary, if we listen to the people in the u.s. military are saying going from bob gates himself he said right before he left office that anyone who would propose a -- should have their heads examined, to some of the recent statements by the chairman of the chief joints of staff or the previous chairman mike mullen who made very clear that the absence of diplomacy in the united states is unacceptably worrisome situation in the persian gulf, because we are misreading each other and when you misread the other side you tend to miscalculate. when you miscalculate you tend to escalate and before we know what we have a conflict. in my assessment you are not
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seeing as strongly as i am this type of escalation in the u.s. military and as to your point about convincing congress, we don't need to do anything to convince congress to declare that unfortunately. i don't think that is where the problem is. that some sort of pretext would be needed. with his current political climate i can definitely see is some element of the political landscape outside of the demonstration actually would be quite favorable towards military action. >> this is pretty straightforward. as a law student i kind of looked at this issue and in the last -- and i look at it from a different perspective.
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on february 12, 1998 the u.s. -- for a committee on international relations. this is an excerpt. their region is left with abundant oil and gas that can enhance the lives of the region and provide growth him both europe and asia. of these resources are a commercial interest in u.s. foreign policy and are also significant. now the basin area is the former central asia soviet union country. now the discovery of the natural gas and oil resources about 5% estimates of the world supply. now, china has now overgrown and
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it's the big elephant in the room and everyone hears that oil prices around the world are going to skyrocket. how do you supply a country that has grown at 5% gdp every year? afghanistan or iran to supply eight years appeared possibilities so is the issue really about nuclear weapons or is the issue really about building the pipeline through iran and will negotiations impact? >> thank you. i wouldn't do these things as being mutually scrupulous. certainly oil interests are figuring in any type of larger policy that the united states would pursue and you cannot ignore that and to belittle the idea that a nuclear weapon in iran would not have an impact on
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how statecraft is being conducted in the region or have the interest of other nations in the region would be affected is also i think somewhat problematic. i think part of the issue though is, and they think you are in a way alluding to it, doesn't seem like we have a comprehensive policy in which we take a look at all of these different issues in a more holistic way and address these issues through a larger grand strategy in the region. i think the obama administration has the vision to do so and i think it was very interesting to see how they were creating a certain type of linkage between the israeli-palestinian issue and the iranian issue in a manner that -- the netanyahu government but again in order to be able to succeed with these things there needs to be a level of stamina and persistence and perseverance that simply wasn't there. now does that mean that all hope is lost? i don't think so. i think there can still be additional opportunities but
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seeing that there is an awareness on both sides, that we are actually really close to the edge of war may actually bring about the renewed interest and willingness to take the risk but i would caution against the audience to expect the administration to do so without the active support for the active pressure by ordinary citizens which i think would be erroneous. it won't happen when the ordinary people are demanding and pushing for it. thank you so much. [applause]
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>> 16. i am sweeping the youth of america. is it just to sign or is it to anyone here? how are you young lady? hello. so nice to meet you. >> when can we do that? beat you bdu have our e-mail on this? do you mean in person? >> that would be great. >> europe and france are -- >> we are going to try to do an
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interview with her today. >> kenya, a? i am just getting off tv at one time go 30. thank you. >> i'm from a danish newspaper. >> oh bless you. [inaudible] >> what happened to that cartoonist collects. >> it was pretty bad. thank you very much. >> thank you. hello. >> nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you. are you in college? >> the university of michigan.
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>> that is where went to law school. it's beautiful up there. >> it is for my mom. >> we are going to take pictures quickly again. ian, i know, i know. do you know what? i'm going to walk through that line. that's the only way to do that. is that okay? asked me to hold the book up. do you know what? okay. i am going to walk through the line, hold the book open to the page. take my picture but no posing.
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>> it's upside down, sorry. >> thank you. >> you are going to have to explain everyone why my handwriting is so messy. where are you at school? the north carolina. [inaudible conversations] >> thank you so much. >> thank you. where you from? >> i am from mexico. >> nice to meet you. >> thank you so much. >> i will try to come back later
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today. >> thank you. >> good work. you are a great american. thank you. >> how's it going? >> fine, thanks. how are you? [laughter] >> no, going teed tv. that is why we have to leave. that is a great picture. do you want this to anyone? >> thank you so much. >> thank you so much.
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>> thank you. >> thank you. oh good. nice to meet you. hello. >> i'm so glad to get to meet you. >> what are you doing now? >> i am in florida. >> that's great. good for you. thank you. >> you are the reason i got involved in politics. >> thank you. >> i already got it signed but i just want to picture real quick. thank you so much. >> do we have time for a picture? we have literally two minutes. i don't know how you want to do this.
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get your cameras ready. are you ready? [inaudible conversations] >> we can do it together. >> have to look inside the lens, honey. >> thank you. >> one, two, three. >> thank

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