tv Book TV After Words CSPAN September 10, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EDT
elaborates on an article that she wrote in which he contends that women have sued contents surpassed on every aspect of society. another atlantic writer, robert kaplan, reports on the geography, history, and international relations in the revenge of geography, what the map tells us about conflicts in the battle against faith. in the price of politics, bob woodward recounts congress and the obama administration's attempts to restore the u.s. economy over the last 3.5 years. look for these titles in bookstores this coming week and watch for the authors in the near future on booktv and on booktv.org. ..
divisions within the international community, and i'm not just talking about the u.n. i'm talking about the impact on communities and groups in the middle east and beyond the, and the sense the world has been broken into groups, and some are being targeted or profiled, who felt very strongly about it, and this is about a war on which the international community was divided. -- it was not approved, and personally believed we should have given the weapons inspectors more time to do their work in iran and come back with a report to the security council, for the council that warned saddam, if you do not perform there will be serious consequences, to determine, firstly, whether he has performed cooperatively with inspectors or not and secondly,
determined what those consequences should be. obviously when it comes to use of force, any country, when attacked, has the right to defend itself. but when it comes to broader peace and security issues, one cannot do it without the unique legitimacy of the security council. >> host: why such a lasting legacy? now that american troops have pulled out of iraq, isn't that a war that is done and dusted, whereas of course the legacy of extreme lahmic terrorism we live with every day? >> guest: first of all, i won't say the war is dusted and done. the impact on iraq and the iraquis are rather traumatic. peopling being killed in iraq every day. i was in iraq in july, talking to the prime minister. we discussed syria, and he was very concerned about what could
happen, using his own experience, and tell me, the war in iraq energized the jihadists who rushed to iraq to fight. and i think we are likely to see the same in syria if we don't handle it properly. >> host: there's still a globe impact from iraq. >> guest: global impact. >> host: you start with a revealing story about colin powell, who came to you after the invasion, and it looked like americans might be about to find weapons of mass destruction, and mr. powell said to you, with a big smile on his face, you're right, they've made an honest man of me. what did he mean? >> guest: i cannot understand that. i think basically he made the case for weapons of mass destruction in iraq, and for a while we couldn't find anything. and so if they had found it, it was indication that finally, we found something, and it was a
more a relief thanking else. >> host: do you think he was moved to make a case he didn't believe in? >> guest: i'm not sure i can say that. but obviously he had the structure. the very high reputation, and extremely well-liked by the international community and the foreign ministers, who said some time ago he was a star of the foreign ministry, so he had incredible credibility. >> host: do you feel that his presentation to the united nations, which was so critical in making the bush administration's case, for invading iraq, was a presentation that was justified? >> guest: no. i think from what we have seen there were no weapons of mass destruction, and i'm not sure that with or without that presentation, the bush administration would not have gone to war anyway. i think they had decided to go.
>> host: you're it could pointed in your criticism of america when it comes to the war and iraq and write that the perception of much of the global community was that america wasn't raged and vengeful. >> guest: that's correct. in the sense that immediately after 9/11, you will recall, there was incredible outpouring of support for the u.s. we held candlelight rallies all around the world -- >> host: in the newspaper. >> guest: the all americans, and i recall not long after that, did a piece, why do they hate us? and i said to michael whittaker, the editor, i said, that's the wrong question. the right question would be, we have so many friend. how did we lose them? what happened? but there was a fear that angry superpower u.s. was lashing out
and anyone in its way, they get into trouble, and people were scared. scared of america. scared of just -- to speak up and to say what they believe in. and i could see this trouble around the world, talking to them, which was unfortunate because the u.s. had done so much to create the u.n. so much for human rights and democracy, and so suddenly find itself in that situation use when we write a book, we choose which anecdote to put in and it we choose which words to repeat. the fact you chose to point out that criticism, albeit from the global community, and use the words "enraged and vengeful" is that what you felt america was acting like? was that what you felt was driving america? >> guest: let me put it this way. they were so determined to take
action that i'm not sure they were ready to listen, and they were ready to listen to all the views, and views from friends, and when you're in that situation, you do make mistakes. you do also provoke. >> host: just in the last few days, archbishop desdesmond tutu cass hauled for george bush and tony blair to answer to the weapons of mass destruction. would you support the archbishop's call? >> guest: men in leadership make men decisions. they get some right. they get some wrong, and some decisions are monumental. and the war -- the decision to go to iraq was a huge error. hugely important, and the impact
is, therefore, all of us to see. they obviously have to live with the consequences of those decisions, and history will judge them. history will judge, and i think i would want to leave it at that. they're both men who have done some very positive things in other aspects, both bush and blair, but they got iraq wrong, in my judgment. i think we should leave hoyt to judgment. >> host: you don't make case for the international criminal court. >> guest: i'm not pushing for a case. in fact, i don't see a case, and i don't think the court itself would take any action. no. i wouldn't go that far, no. >> host: reading your chapter on iraq issue kept wondering about the roll of the secretary-general, and whether you saw your position as that of team doctor or referee in terms
of americans on the security council? >> guest: i think it was better vote and modern, because when the organization or the security council particular, get divided, the secretary-general's role becomes very tricky. the secretary-general has to keep working to bring the community together to get them to work together to find a solution. divisions are normal. it is normal in any human endeavor to have divisions. what is important is you find the leadership to pull people together, to identify the common interests, and move forward to work on them. so a secretary-general, even when you are against an action by a group of member states or member states, and you are criticizing, yes, you should speak out, but you should also know that you have to remain
viable to be able to replace the conciliatory role to play the role of bringing the two sides together after the fight is over. >> host: that's very tricky. as soon as you speak out, you are losing credit with the people you have criticized. >> guest: and the think it's against them and sometimes you have to explain to them, i mean that the war was going to lead to major disaster. it's easy to win the war, but winning the peace is even more challenging. i was also quite sure that we are going to be needed when it came to peace, when it came to building the peace, when it came to picking up the pieces after the war. and that's what happen. the organization felt they had an obligation to help the iraqi people regain their identity, redeem their sovereignty, and determine what their future
would be so when the council gave is a mandate to help, we all went in to try to see what we could do. obviously, we had some tragic consequences, losing some of our best men and women, but we had to do it. but the secretary-general in these situations is very, very tricky. but you have to navigate it. >> host: during those long weeks when you were pushing for a resolution, and so much attention was focused on you, and you realized america was really pushing for this war, what's going through your mind personally? how frustrating was that? >> guest: what was going through my mind was, is this war unavoidable? must we have this war? and i was also on the phone with lots of leaders around the world in latin america in africa, and
with president bush and blair, and i was really against the war, with every fiber of my being, and wondering, how do we stop this? but it became obvious it was unstoppable, but i was relieved that the council did not give approval for the war. it would have been a disaster. for the united nations. i know at the time americans were upset that the u.n. and the council had not supported the war, but i think today many americans understand why, and perhaps appreciate that the council the u.n. took the right decision. >> host: what was the tone of your conversations with president bush at the end there? >> guest: it was of the -- he was determined to act. he was determined to take action. he was determined to ensure that
saddam hussein does not give the u.n. and international community run-around anymore. so he was absolutely determined, and also convinced that he was taking the right decision. >> host: was it -- angry? >> guest: no, he was firm. a bit of impatience. but i wouldn't say he was angry in the conversations with me. >> host: let's talk about peacekeeping. it's something you spent a lot of the time in the book on as well and something you spend a lot of time on in your career before you were secretary-general, you were head of the unitees piecekeeping operations. a review of your book by the washington post, david ignatius called your study and failure of a noble idea? is that a fair characterization of the united nations'
peacekeeping prognoses. >> guest: some of the points he makes are valid. and perhaps i should ask the question, when we talk of united nations in this context, whom are we talking about? is it the member states who take the decisions, who give us a mandate, who give us the resources required to carry out the mandate, or sometimes not give us the resources to carry out the mandate, or are we talking of the sectat secretaryat or the secretary-general. the u.n., your government and mine, and it can be as powerful as these governments want it to be, and sometimes we talk about the n., as it, they, distancing ourselves. by doing that, we're giving the governments who are ultimately responsible, for action or
inaction in these situations, an alibi, an alibi and blaming the secretaryat and the secretary-general. one of my predecessors used to say we oftennen refer to the secretary-general as sg. and he said sg doesn't stand for secretary jan, it's scapegoat. there is a scapegoat function of the u.n., but member states and the media have to be very careful not to dump on us so much that we won't even be useful as an alibi because, really, when we talk of the failures of somalia, of rue are wanda, boss knea, and i try to explain in the book the difficulties we have, the unwillingness of governments -- we made mistakes in this
secretariat. we could have done things differently, but in the investigations i have done, and also the report on bosnia, and are a want day d.a. says the overwomenning reason for failure was the look of will to act, and i think when we look at these, since we have to consider context, i'm taking a bit of time answer you question because i think it's important. in somalia, where president bush's father sent in thousands of soldiers to feed hungry somalis, it was an incredible noble initiative. he did it at the time of the elections. he was leaving office but the took the decision, and these soldiers went in and did whatever they could, but of course the somalis were fighting and resisting and sometimes you
had food in warehouses, but you can't get it to the people. so they came in and broke up that log jam so we can feed the people. and then later on in the operation, the blackhawk was shot done, and u.s. withdrew its troops. but the troops which led somalia were not just the u.s. troops. almost every western government withdrew their troops. so the best trained and the best armed troops left somalia, and in the end, the oppression collapsed. we had to close it down. this was end of '93. and beginning of '94, spring '94, we had rwanda. when governments go through this experience, they become risk adverse. nobody was ready to send in additional troops into these situations. >> host: you write in the book that in rwanda they had been watching somalia.
>> guest: that's correct. in fact one of the -- in somalia and rwanda, told our peacekeeping information, we also watch the cnn, and there was something similar. they killed 10 belgian soldiers and the belgian battalion was withdrawn, and the she lankons gave instructions to their soldiers to only protect themselves so the commander was left with several hundred men to do his work, with the whole nation in a systemic genocide going on. but we couldn't get the troops. some governments claim they did not know it was happening. but then i ask them, what did they do when they found out it was happening? they september -- sent in planes, and in order to
continue, but in the end we blame the u.n., we all need to find a better way of tackling these, and of course somalia, rwanda, bosnia, are experiences i lived through and also marked me, and that was one of the ropes -- reasons i felt as an international community, we need to find way of tackling these crises better, and that led to the responsibility to protect the doctrine. >> host: talk a little bit more about the specific cases. you have an extraordinary account in the book? january of 1994, receiving a cable from an informant in rwanda, who basically told you exactly what was going to happen and it did happen. so, the idea that things take us by surprise, we don't know what is hang, you had the information and you yourself spent time calling heads of government to ask for more troops.
>> guest: yes. general delay, who was a force commander, met with an informant, who claimed at the time to have information that the -- there is a plan to kill -- there was plan -- massive amount of arms cache that he new had been collected and that he could take down there to the location. delay taught about it and thought maybe he should go and do it. we at headquarters advised him to be careful, that you don't have the mandate and you don't have the means. sometimes it's one of the most difficult decisions for a peacekeeper. you can make a stand now, but if you have limited resources, and the others call for
reinforcements, there's nothing you can do. and in that situation, given the somali example, if he had also taken on soldiers had been killed, the forces would have been withdrawn, and in fact he lost two-thirds of his force. so it wasn't because of callousness that one said he should be careful, he didn't have the map debt. -- mandate. it was the realistic assessment of the appetite of member states to take on these kinds of crisis, and honestly i don't think we would have had the resources we need to go in to help, and so we told them to be careful. >> host: in retrospect, when you look at rwanda -- and i'm sure you think about this a lot. this is clear that it marks you. 800,000 people mass sirred in three months. in retrospect is there something different you could have done? >> guest: i think one area that we discussed in -- at that time
u.n. was very shy of the media. we could have used the media as a tool. to put pressure on the government, to offer resources. not that we would necessarily have received it but we could have put -- used the media and shouted from the rooftops to tell what is happening. i don't think it would have had that much impact on the people in rwanda, but the people outside rwanda may have said, we cannot sit back. let's do something. what that something would have been, i do not know. >> host: when you spoke to the governments in your phone calls with heads of state, and rwanda was starting to unfold you knew the massacre was happening, what was it they said to you as their reason for not giving troops?
>> guest: well, first, spoke the ambassadors here, on top of it. i think the -- often the reason is that, first of all, we will think about it and come back. which invariably meant . no we don't have the resources. or we are overstretched and we don't have the men to go in. and you never really got the positive response you needed to be able to build a force, and in fact at that time, i heard a canadian military adviser in the department of peacekeeping, general maurice badding, and we lad come up with a system we called a standback forces arrangement, where we had approached each government to ask, in time of crisis, if we were to approach you, what would you do? what would you give?
some said we'll give a battalion, others said field hospital. others said we'll give you -- help you on patrol cars. so, i told badding. he came back to me and said, sir, we tested the system. it's very effective. it worked too well. and i said what are the results? he said we got a quick no. at least we no we're getting nothing. was his reaction. and of course, if they don't want to give them to you, there is nothing we can do, and also the u.n. -- the reinvestment rate discourages some government from doing it in the sense that when we borrowed the troops at that time -- and perhaps even today -- doesn't increase very much. we paid -- reimburse the government a thousand dollars per man or woman, for the period
they stayed there. some of these trips cost the government 45 times or eight times as much. >> host: we'll get on to bosnia in a second in a sense doesn't what you have described in somalia and rwanda get to the heart of what david ignatius writes about in the sense that there is no -- the times when u.n. peacekeepers are needed or called for are by their very nature the time when a superpower didn't feel it's in their key national security interests to intervene and therefore they're always going to be seen as slightly marginal cases in terms of national security interest. so can it ever work when you're asking these countries, it's not something they have to enter veep for? >> guest: you are right. before the collapse of the wall, and gorbachev, we had the
situation where most of peacekeepers came from countries outside of the permanent members of the security council there was seasons, if you brought them in, you may politicize the operation. after the -- after are '89, some of them participated in these peacekeeping operations, which was in some cases helpful because they have the best-trained, well-equipped men and woman that could do these jobs. the peacekeeper is usually a well-trained soldier. if not a soldier, a well trained soldier is the only one who can do it effectively. when these powerful countries have interest, they're able to put together a coalition of the willing. sometimes under the u.n. flag to go in and out. where they have no interest, the situation you described precisely what happened. in fact the people -- the u.n.
used to describe some crisis often in the sense that hey have no champion, an orphan. if a big country or powerful country is interested, they lead the fight for peacekeepers to go in. they lead the coalition of the willing to go in, and where there's no real national interest, you don't see them -- this is why what bush, sr. did was quite extraordinary, and clinton followed it in somalia because there was really no national interest but compassion and humanitarian grounds. that propelled them to go in. >> host: we will talk about bosnia and africa and more of the book in just a moment but we're going to take a quick break. >> thank you.
that rwanda did not have. there were divisions between member states but of a different kind. the europeans deployed troops through the u.p. peacekeeping and subsequently through nato. the leader of the serbian army was a cruel man and was keeping the peacekeepers hostage, and this led the government -- another aspect of peacekeeping. we do prepare the population for the possibility there could be risks, and we give the impression, this always risk-free. so when you get into these situations where either somebody killed or taken hostage, the population gets very upset, the politicians panic, and onsay,
bring the boys home. so there's that weakness in the peacekeeping operation. if it's a national effort, they won't do that. they'll take the casualties and in fact sometimes even reinforce the troops so they can get the work done, but the bosnia, what has happened was at one stage, when it came clear that firmer action needed to be taken against the bosnian serb army, the governments with troops on the ground, the europeans, did not want to use their power because they felt it could place their men and women deployed there at risk. the u.s., which had no troops on the ground, wanted to use their power, and this led to a long standoff until that was resolved. in fact i remember one of the u.n. commanders, in an interview, saying, we need
troops now. the u.s. is saying they will come when there is peace, and this is not very courageous, and this made me good friend, mad len albright absolutely furious, that was the sort of tension and feeling that existed at the time, but when the issue was resolved and the air power was brought to bear, it broke the back of the serbian army and eventually led to the peace talk with the secretary christopher and richard hole brooke who pushed for the settlement. >> host: we had in july of 1995 the forces of -- overran and united nations peacekeepers stood by and let it health happen. >> guest: i would not use the phrase united nation peacekeepers stood by and let it happen. we had a dutch company, a dutch
group, rather small group -- this is part of the problem. i was very much involved when they started talking of establishing safe areas. i had my commanders do a study, a study of what would be required to make that safe area truly safe. and there were two things suggested. one, why did nothing to get outside beyond the range of shelling so they cannot shell and attack the people. second, it will require 34,600 troops. the member states were having none of that. in fact, they changed the mandates and there was no way the protection or anything -- established a safe area. they wanted the weakest option,
the weakest option of 7,600 for the areas. and when you do that, you are not able -- and the diameter wasn't wide enough. didn't have the resources to do it properly. and the peacekeepers who were -- this was -- there were several areas agreed to, so the peacekeepers who were there, when they were overrun by the serbian army, really could not stand up, could not defend themselves, much less the local population. >> host: made a mockery of the idea -- >> guest: i wouldn't say -- argue with that. this is the other point i was going to make. if you say that youe bringing in people to protect you and
assure your safety and you have a safe haven, and the sense the people get is, finally, you're going to be safe. there's a safe haven. the u.n. troops are here and nothing would happen, and to have allowed that expectation to stand, rather than being realistic and lowering expectation and explaining to the people in the public what we can do and not do, is part of the problem with the u.p. peacekeeping, because i saw it in the middle east, in lebanon. when you put a u.n. patrol here, it becomes a village because people gather around it thinking it will give them some safety or they will be visible. >> host: in the case of receive neat a, you don't think the dutch peacekeepeds could have done anything more than they did?
>> guest: they did not have the resources. they could have fought but they didn't have the sort of weapons required. they were completely outgunned and outrun. >> host: when the dutch government had a investigation, the whole government resigned. the dutch cleaned house. they were ashamed of what happened. >> guest: it was also an impossible situation to put those troops there in. i used to talk quite a lot of the commanders, and i think i've made this point earlier, where they were saying, yes, we can stand and fight and take them on today. let's say you have a dutch soldier in the entry and they come with reinforcements of 10,000 tomorrow, and they have no means of getting reinforcements, and at that time the cover wasn't that effective, and so the commanders sometimes
make judgments that we on the out may not agree with, but they also know that the mandate -- what is important is when we're going to take on these operations, we should go in with the necessary force to be able to get the work done, but in peacekeeping we have a theory that you sometimes have to show force in order not to use force. i mean, for example, when the u.s. went to somalia they arrived massively, with all the resources there was no way the somali rebels were going to take them on. so, you show force in order not to use force, but the u.n. often doesn't have that force even to show yes. don't have force to get essential work done, and the story is i was going to tell was
in -- we got the minimum -- for the safe areas, we got the minimum resources required, and the mandate was defined to read, the peacekeepers should use their presence to dissuade attacks on the enclaves, and the members argued and we haven't asked you to protect them because we know you don't have the means. this is why we have chosen our words very carefully. use your presence to dissuade. our teams are so well-bee haved so gentlemanly, if they see a blue helmet, they won't shoot. >> host: you stand by the peacekeepers who were there, the dutch peacekeeping operation. you don't think they should have done more than they did? >> guest: i really do not see how much more they could --
after the fight, in hindsight, people come up with all sorts of, they should have done and they could have done. they could have fought and taken great risk for themselves and the others. and i'm sure they would have done it if they were assured of reinforcement, and a force that will come to their aid. >> host: a lot of the incidents we talked about earlier, incidents that happened in africa -- and you're not shy, being from ghana, talking about africa's problems. talk about the lack of institutions, the destructive impact of military regimes, and you wrote africans cannot -- my words have a lasting impact. do you think your words have a lasting impact? >> guest: ey. i can give you an example.
my first term, an organization of african students, was in hararri, but i decided one should talk very clearly and openly to the african leaders in africa, about the role of military in government, and suggested to them that we should not encourage coup d'etat and welcome those who take part by force, and they have to really respect the rule of law. two years later there became a newell the african union they will not accept people who come to power by force. that's how i recall one leader saying in every game you have rules inch soccer, if you misbehave, we show you a red card. we should show these guys red
cards and not welcome them here. and they immediately said we're going to hand over -- year going to have elections. we do not intend to stay, and they're prevent from joining the other heads of states. this is an african example that i have thought the u.n. would follow and make it universal. we never -- at least it has had an impact in africa. i also have made some statements on government, only on human rights, respect for rule of law, which in a way has empowered civil society. civil society wind go to jail if they made the statements directly by themselves, they get into trouble, and so i felt with the robust society in africa, why should i empower them and
encourage them to speak out, to put pressure on the government to do the right thing and insist on respectful rule of law and human rights, and we have seen lots of progress, and seep some very good ng os on the continent, and i think in that way, i couldn't be dismissed as an old colonialist trying to interfere. so i could speak frankly to them, and most of the time they listened. >> host: did you ever have frank conversations with secretary-generals since the sect-general was robert mew mugabi. i met him. talk about african politics, about health issues, the fight against hiv/aids. i remember trying to get him to encourage people to use condoms.
zimbabwe was really hit by the epidemic. and he is quite religious, and to reassure him, i said i have raised this with the pope and i think you should think about it. he said, mr. secretary-general, when it comes to condoms, the pope and i are one. and wouldn't budge at the time. but zimbabwe is doing better now. and he wasn't the only one. there was another head of state whom i tried to encourage to speak out on hiv/aids because there was a conspiracy of silence on the issue, and yet it was a situation where silence meant death so we should speak out, we should educate and encourage to speak about contraception and increase the programs. he said, i'm the father of a
nation. i cannot go out and speak to my people about contraception. speak to them and encourage them to be promiscuous and he didn't budge. >> host: you didn't see it either as part of your role as united nations secretary-general, or more broadly as a global statesman, to turn to mogabi and say, it's time for you to leave office? your people are suffering under your rule? do you see yourself as having that kind of a role in the world? could you have that kind of a role? >> guest: no. i have spoken to mogabi and other leaders about the future. abouthe time to move on. but i don't -- i cannot ascribe to myself the authority or the power to say, you leave office, whether secretary-general or even today as a statesman. i can offer advice. i was in africa in may recently. i spoke to one leader who has
been around for a long time. i can talk in terms of, look around you, see what is happening in north africa and the middle east. there are strong transitional winds blowing. that cannot be resisted, and resisted for long, and you should plan ahead. you should think of the future. you should think of when you move on and what you're going to do next. i can discuss it with him in that context. but i cannot go and say, you must leave. you must resign. after all, i didn't -- have been -- they have overstayed and have made generosity of the leaders and the democratic rotation of leadership must work. so, in those kinds of discussions, i can -- i'm not going pound the table and demand
that okay quick. >> in talking of leader's who may have overstayed their welcome you took on the roll of u.n. envoy to syria. i'm tempted to say you must be a gluton for punishment for taking on this role. what did you hope you could achieve when you took on a role that many people thought was going to fail? >> guest: oh, i know that many people considered it a mission impossible, and that it was going to fail. >> host: your successor called it just that. >> guest: yes. but he, like me, couldn't say no. i couldn't have said, no, when he saw the killing, the misery. and the potential for a crisis in syria that was likely to spill over the borders of syria, and affect the whole region. syria is not libya. people tend to make simplistic comparisons.
syria, unlike libarch will not implode. syria could explode and explode beyond its borders and create problems for everybody, and i felt i had to try. i gave it a shot. i did my best. but of course in the end, i had to let go because the government in particular was intransgent. the opposition had also picked up arms, and there was increasing militarization of the conflict. the region was divided, and the security council that gave me the mandate were also divided, even though i tried very hard to bring them together. the last effort was a meeting in geneva on the 30th of june, where i brought together the foreign ministers, the permanent members of the security council, so they were all in general have no extra, with the foreign ministers of iraq, turkey,
kuwait, qatar, and the secretaries general of the league of rfc and the u.n., and we came to an agreement on political settlement that you need political transition, and went further, and even defined what political transition meant. it would mean an interim government with full executive powers. it will mean assurance that security forces have top notch leadership. will mean a continuity of service asks so you don't have chaotic collapse. but the moment you begin talking of interim government with executive powers, it meets -- it's on its way out. the difference, which is so -- is for some, he has to leave before the process, for others he leaves during the process. and i have thought that they would come to new york and then
sit in the security council. but instead, they got into another acrimonious discussion on the 19th of june, and the geneva agreement was not endorsed. >> host: do you worry that they annan peace plan gave assad a fig leaf, and was in the process of negotiations but actually just to carry on killing people? >> guest: that's what some people say. but i believe that the elements of the six-point plan will have to be implemented as we go sooner or later. it was designed to end the violence. to ensure that the thousands who are in prison, would be
released. free access to humanitarian help. and so forth and so on to create an environment that will lead us to the political discussion which will have to come, but when they say that it gave assad -- first of all, let me put it this way. i came in a year after the conflict started. and i'm sure they're going to say the same about braheimi. what is it that should have been done, could have been done, by the international community that the discussion and the mediation stopped us from doing. i also felt that if we had had a concerted and determined support, with pressure on the parties, we probably could have had a chance with the plan.
>> host: support and pressure from where. >> guest: from the united international community. >> host: given that the international community was never united, and russia was not going to win and put pressure on assad, your mission in a sense was set up to fail. >> guest: well -- >> host: and that just gave assad an excuse, a time, bought him time in which he could carry on killing his citizens. >> guest: i'm not sure you're entirely right. i know the argument. people say that, you have many people, even today, who are not interested in any negotiations, any diplomatic effort. they see the only solution as a military one. they are waiting for intervention or waiting for more arms to be able to get rid of
assad. it's one option. but we need to be careful not to think that the whole problem is one individual, assad. even if assad were to leave today, we have lots of problems to deal with in syria. my approach, which i also believe -- when they talk of the annan plan, it is a security council plan. the security council endorsed it through a resolution, which all five permanent members signed on to, and they should have gone in to put pressure on the parties. for example, on the 12th of april, when the cease fire went into force, that morning, the whole country was quiet. both sides stopped fighting. and for a while, violence went down 80%, and then escalated again. what did the countries do to try and help consolidate the cease
fire to put pressure on their friends in the region, on the groups they're supporting, to go along with a cease fire? because if you do not have a serious political transition plan, getting assad -- getting rid of assad will not be enough. actually, i shouldn't be saying so much about syria when i have somebody else doing the jobship. not complicate his life. now it's his work and he is a brilliant mediator, very wise man, and i think if he gets the support, the united support from the security council, he may make a difference. >> host: that's a very big if. you say in the book, talking about the arab spring, that you remain optimistic about the changed that are taking place in
the middle east. there are plenty of examples where we meant to what the changes are going to be. bahrain, uncertain any egypt. what makes you optimistic? >> guest: i think the optimism comes from the fact, for the first time in decades, the people in these countries are standing up to discuss how they are governed and by whom, and to demand a say in their own destinies. i firmly believe that healthy balanced societies are built on three pillars. stability, if you wish peace and stability. the second one is development and growth. and the third, which i consider the most important, is respect for rule of law, and human rights. because honestly, you cannot have long-term development without stability and you cannot
have long-term stability without development. but both have to be rooted in the rule of law, and respect for human rights. if we have tended in the past as a community, including the u.s., when we are dealing with these nations, to focus on the first pillar, stability, and then we'll move on to the second pillar. the economic growth. but we forget the third pillar, which is often knost important, and this is what the people are demanding, and in the end, if they persist and work with each other and their leaders, they should be able to build a healthy society based on the three pillars that i'm referring to. >> host: do you think it's a lack of adherence by the international community in the
pillars. one pillar, peace in the middle east, something that was a huge part of your time as secretary-general so difficult to achieve. >> guest: i think that is a part of it in the sense that they didn't want to take on france. allies, and they didn't want to criticize them. and so everyone went -- approached the problem very softly. if they raised it at all, there is would a tendency to really focus on security, arms exchange, economic exchanges and stability, and very rarely talking about rule of law and human rights. they did it in other parted of -- parts of the world but not so much in that region because of sensitivity, and i think the people have brought back change. the arab spring has opened the
door, and now government are speaking much more broadly about human rights and rule of law. >> host: when it comes to the mid-east peace, you spoke about they and you criticize third united states in the area for having what you call a reflexive reaction against any palestinian use of the unite it nations. >> guest: on the -- >> utilization of the united nations do you think the united states is standing in at the way of 0 broader peace evident in the middle east. >> guest: i don't say america is standing in the way. what i can say is that it will require a sustained and determined effort by the u.s., working with some of the countries in the region, and partners in europe, to bring about peace in the region. it has not been sustained. in fact i'm not sure i can say there is a peace process today,
and i think the u.s. has such a pivotal role to play, and both parties look to the u.s. leadership. there were times when they looked to see if one had gotten very close. i was in sheikh when president clinton was trying to get a solution, working during night, and at that point it seemed very close -- this was 2000, around there. since then we haven't been that close and there hasn't been a real effort to get the parties together, and there are people who are now beginning to wonder, if the two point solution -- the two-state solution is not evaporating; that there may be questionable basis for the two-state institution. >> host: you talk about life in
war and peace, and ask you, looking back at your long career in global affairs, has there been more war or more peace? >> guest: i think it is -- in terms of wars, there are fewer civil wars today than we had in the past. and there are also fewer interstate wars, but we have other problems. we are dealing with a world that has so many problems. not just civil wars. we have internationally organized crime. we have concerns over weapons of mass destruction. we have concerns for the environment and the pattern in our lives. we have health issues. whether it's avian flu or things that can fly around the world very quickly. so in terms of wars, there are fewer