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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 17, 2014 8:00pm-10:01pm EST

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>> host: if you have heard the term or use the term net neutrality then you can praise or curse our guest this week on "the communicators" columbia university law school professor tim wu. when and how did you come up
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with that term? >> guest: you know huiwei back in 2001 i was sitting around playing with some ideas and broadband discrimination, net neutrality i put them onto paper and one of them just had to stick. larry was talking earlier about the neutrality network. net neutrality is a little catchier. i didn't think it would catch on but somehow it did did. >> host: well the president this week professor wu spoke about net neutrality. here is a little bit of what he had to say. >> i'm laying out a plan to keep the internet free and open and that's why merging the federal communications commission to do everything they can to protect net neutrality for everyone. they should make it clear that whether you'd use a computer, phone or tablet internet providers have a legal obligation not to block or limit your access to a web site. cable companies can't decide which on line stores you can
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shop at or which streaming services you can use and they can't lead to any company pay for priority over its competitors. to put these protections in place i'm asking the fcc to reclassify internet service under title ii of a law known as the telecommunications act. in plain english i'm asking them to recognize that for most americans the internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life. >> host: tim wu what is your reaction to what the president had to say? >> guest: very welcome. i thought that it was a terrific statement and speech. he went back to his campaign promise in 2007 at the candidate in my belief in net neutrality i could have been happier the president came through with his support. >> host: gautham nagesh with the "wall street journal" is also joining us today. >> guest: thanks for having me here. professor wu you have been following net neutrality proceedings as closely as anyone. how significant is that was it for the president to weigh in as
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he did on monday and discussed in such specific terms? >> guest: i think it kind of hitter reset button on everything that was going on. the president was one of the few people that hadn't really made it clear what he thought. i think you yourself reported things were in some ways moving towards a slightly different approach and i just think it was like turning a computer on and off its reset and everyone is scrambling to figure out what's going to happen. >> guest: exactly everyone is scrambling to figure out what happens. where do you think it goes from here? can chairman wheeler do anything besides what the president put out there? >> guest: it falls into one of these murky areas frankly administrative law. the chairman of the fcc unlike say the attorney general is not obliged to obey the president. he can't fire tom wheeler for not doing what he says, long-standing constitutional rule and so it is comfortable
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that tom wheeler can say that i am glad of your input mr. president that but i have a different view. on the other hand it's difficult for the president. he is the head of the party in the head of the country. on the other hand wheeler could have people from congress telling them not to do with the president says which is very different and of course industry is never like this so it is frankly even by net neutrality standards and new area of chaos. what i predict is there will probably be a lot of efforts but you have to think the most likely outcome is it will delay things a little bit and frankly not to get too much in the weeds may get tangled up in the question of whether the administration is going to allow comcast to take over time warner which is a slightly different issue but i believe they will be tangled up now. >> host: how so? why would that be effective? >> guest: well the main, it's
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really not well with legal and political. the main subject of the net neutrality rules of course the cable and phone companies offering broadband internet and so they proposed comcast takeover of time warner would have an enormous effect on first of all the danger posed by abuses of net neutrality and ignoring net neutrality principles and at the same time and opportunity in a merger to condition the merger to create net neutrality at lease for comcast. this and the comcast merger needs to be reviewed by january or february so the timing is all coming together in one area. i don't want to think there will be horsetrading but i do think the two issues have such a close relationship. when you get down to it that neutrality is trying to protect consumers and trying to protect internet companies against cable
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and so is merger law. it is supposed to protect consumers against cable and other innovators of ahab in some ways the same goal and they are going to get all mixed up. >> guest: yes you mention the timeframe. we reported last week gave the fcc will be delaying the net neutrality rules and they have confirmed that. when you think is a realistic timeframe for this to happen and how do you think litigation could affect the timeline in terms of the rules taking effect? >> guest: okay that's a complicated question. there are a lot of people who are going to push wheeler and the fcc to act. i frankly at this point don't know but i think the pressure will be on the wheeler and the president might make another statement if he doesn't do anything by at least next spri spring. and also wheeler himself has said multiple times you know i want to get this done and get on to other things. there's something funny about net neutrality.
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you know how presidents come to office and they don't want to do with the middle east and the next thing you know they are dealing with the middle east. net neutrality is in some ways the middle east of telecom politics and telecom policy so everyone ends up bucking at a little bit. i would imagine they will try to get this done in the spring. your second question is how does litigation effect this? there's nothing to litigate until the fcc actually does a rule and so i would say that will be asked to. we are still in act one or at 1.5. act i is litigation. >> host: tim wu would you explain how title ii what effect internet policy and how sectio section 706 would affected as well? >> guest: wow what a question. so title ii is the historic most powerful authority that the agency has. it was part of the 1934 telecommunications out and it gives agency new deal level of
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powers. incredible delegation of power to regulate all communication in the united states that go over the wire. you can imagine anything more than that. and the cable and phone companies have long wanted to put title ii authority 6 feet underground. they don't obviously like the mass of powers and back in the old days in the 30s and ultimately until the 80s and frankly now in some areas still, it would use regulation. it's classic utility common carrier regulation so there are a lot of free features they have never liked. the effect of passing net neutrality under 706 or title ii superficially it is not any different but in the long run, title ii just gives the agency
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much more power to do things that it later decides are more important. 706 as you talk about is a much narrower authority and in fact it might not even be able to support net neutrality rules. it's very weak. it's very confusing. i will give you a metaphor if you imagine the fcc is a battleship you can understand the title ii authority as like its main guns, the 17 or 18-inch guns that are meant to be used. the 706 authority is like a bunch of fire hoses that you could use to inconvenience people. it isn't the main power of the agency so really has a lot to do, less with this set of rules and more with the long picture of regulation over the long run. one of the things that i think carriers are concerned about and the reason they so resist title ii is that lurking phantom or that lurking possibility of rate regulation. a lot of people in this country
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feel that their phone bills particularly their cable bills are too high and you can imagine not now but in the distant future a president elizabeth warner or someone saying you know it's time to regulate these prices and if title ii is alive and well that would be an easy route. that's lurking in the background and investors would notice that as well. i'm not counting on the merits but giving you the consensus of privacy. >> guest: you mentioned rate regulations. the president specifically said he did not think he should be engaged in rate regulation. does that impact the likelihood that is happening in your view and secondly what about the adoption and deployment question? how would that be addressed under title ii or could it be addressed? >> guest: that's an interesting question. nobody is advocating rate regulation at this point even the net neutrality advocates and
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i don't think there are negative groups that nobody believes rate regulation is in the cards right now. what i discuss and what i pointed out is there is potential for it. in other words the power is there but it wouldn't be used. in terms of access i have long felt one of the things that is getting overlooked in this debate and not everyone is overlooking it, but generally in the big picture is the question of what about all the people who don't have broadband, how are they going to get it? i would say no one is addressing that right now. title to does give the agency more power to try to do things like mandate universal service like we did for the telecom service back in the 20th century. and it collects money which right now goes mostly to subsidize telephone service which could be repositioned to try to create rural broadband
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service. there's a possibility for title ii but a future president or fcc chairman moore specifically could say you know what we need a universal service program and people all over the country and a broadband so there's more power for that company. >> host: professor wu the group u.s. telecom broadband association put out a news release after the president's statement and in part here is what they wrote. it is baffling why the president would risk continued broadband investment, deployment economic growth and job creation by asking the fcc to reverse course on the very successful bipartisan policy that has now been in place for more than a decade. if something broke in here, do you agree? >> guest: the carriers have been threatening for basically all of their existence that if you do this thing that we don't like or you do that thing we
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don't like we are not going to invest anymore in our networks. i guess in some sense the president is calling their bluff. he is saying that public concern about the rise in power as we saw the cable companies and phone companies. in some ways we broke up at&t and 80s but a lot of the futures are coming back particularly on the cable side with prices so high that we need an agency with the power to do with this. so that is the presence calling up their bluff and he says you know what you guys and making so much money here we don't really believe you -- we don't believe your bluff. we have seen how much money you have made and frankly we are not rate regulating you. still regulation that we want regulation to survive in court. i mean the reason there is no status quo you can't refer to there being a status quo because those laws were struck down. frankly there's hypocrisy in the sense that for eyes and challenge the last set of rules gotham struck them and said they don't want to point fingers but
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i am. they are the ones that challenge the status quo by knocking down every regulation. why should we change it? do you knocked all the rules out and that's how you'd like things to be. the present is calling their bluff to make a long story short. >> guest: mr. wu you mention verizon and the rules. weather now whenever the fcc does will end up in court will be a key question here and of course you are an expert on this. a proposal that we reported they were close to a something they're requested impart an idea you suggested this idea of a hybrid reclassification. can you explain what you think the practical differences would be between that sort of solution and what the president calls for? >> guest: frankly my opinion, i didn't happen to think and there are those who disagree with me that the differences would be that great. it is probably true that the president's approach, it's true
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that the president's approach is a little more straightforward and slightly higher likelihood of surviving in court. i think those are the main advantages. it also creates a long-term possibility of a universal service for broadband. there are two approaches on the table. i personally thought they were both okay but the president had gone to the more straightforward old-school approach of what is called in jargon reclassification. >> guest: the president's approach i might be idea floated by yourself and others would require the fcc to establish there isn't really adequate competition in the broadband market. chairman tom wheeler has been making speeches to that effect this year. is there any possibility that reclassifying to title ii would decrease future competition in the broadband market? >> guest: is there a possibility title to? i think there are relatively independent factors. i mean right now there is not a lot of competition.
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most people have cable and some people have verizon vie off and some people have google so we are not looking whether there is competition out there. we are talking about an environment that already suffers from highly limited competition which is why i think the public has been clamoring for a lot more in this space. i just don't think they are really related. i don't see the logical idea. in some ways title ii actually could be used in very bold ways to try to increase competition should a future fcc want to. it creates the option if the future fcc wanted to have saying all right this is something the phone companies really hate. we are glad you got that out of nowhere going to let competitors all use the underlying infrastructure to try to sell services separately. it's using its but it's a way of
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introducing competition when there is something close to a natural monopoly. that might be something that prompts competition in the future. that's a long way off. i should say by the way i also support the president's plan. the other proposal we put out there was an alternative for people who found title ii too unpalatable for whatever reason. >> host: tim wu the status quo, have there have been problems currently that need to be addressed? >> guest: well there were no problems because there was the net neutrality rule of some kind by mike accounts and was basically 70. there has always been some sort of fcc rule that says the phone companies are the cable companies don't get to mess with the networks on top of them. they just have to carry them. that has been the rule and was part of the at&t breakup in the early dial-up networks part of dsl part of early cable. there was a net neutrality rule of some kind.
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what happened is that this year because of verizon challenges net neutrality rules were struck down in court and that is why we are in this vacuum. i think the status quo is great and that's why i think it has to raise all boats. that's why they need to restore the net neutrality rule struck down by the d.c. circuit. >> host: this week the mcveigh case we are talking the columbia law professor, tim wu who is the corner of the term net neutrality. he also runs the studies of the first amendment issue center at columbia university. his books include master switch that came out in 2010 and who controls the internet? our guest reporter is gautham nagesh of "the wall street journal" who was with us last week when we talked with christopher u of the university of pennsylvania who doesn't agree with professor wu. >> guest: professor wu as
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professor u said last week he made the argument that allowing exemptions to the net neutrality rule for things like zero rating or sponsor data programs could benefit consumers particularly low income consumers. since we don't seem to be close in this administration to something resembling a universal service program what are the trade-offs of those sorts of programs? >> guest: i think the programs, i think they are much better more efficient ways to try to serve the underserved communities than sacrificing the basic principles of the open internet. i want to go back to what was said earlier, if it ain't broke don't fi fix it. the internet has been an engine of economic growth for this country mainly for a lot of reasons but one of them is that since the 80s the row has been cable, phone companies you cannot mess with us. you can't try to block some stuff for extract as joe money
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but hands-off rules for cable and phone companies so you could say all right well we can relax that rule and maybe they can do some stuff for poor people. but if you want to do stuff for people maybe subsidize it directly instead of destroying the engine which has produced economic growth and stuff for consumers. i'm all about programs to subsidize broadband for poor people. i just don't think it's worth doing it by trying to give cable companies to weigh in. the other thing is the sort of public relations deal. we have a new program for poor people, great but also offering the possibility of other income streams which we will use to try to money out of the internet economy. it's one of the things we put up as an attractive poster child to justify a darker motive so i'm very suspicious of the plans. in developing countries might be a different story but in this country if you want cheaper plans while we should do for example in the cable companies
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merge say okay you want to merge? when you offer people below a certain income 10-dollar cable broadband access or free. we know it cost you less than $5 a month to provide a new and still make a profit but just have it so there are direct ways as opposed to trying to get net neutrality to achieve social goals. >> host: and how do you think -- the president called for the rules to extend wireless. the fcc has indicated they are going to pack wireless after exempting them from the 2010 rules. how will this play out on wireless in your view? >> guest: wireless was completely exempt in 2010 under the discrimination rules which were a little softer. i think people view the internet as the internet at this point. it's been a success story and a lot of innovation has been wireless and so the basic rules of the road that are the internet, other than making some adaptions for the fact that you need more bandwidth management on the wireless side, there's no
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reason to tinker with what has been so successful i think and in fact under basic principles of net neutrality wireless sector has prospered as well. it's also worth pointing out that when we say wireless most of the wireless network is also wire. the internet is only the last couple hundred feet that are wireless so it can be exaggerated that difference. i think most consensus would move towards one rule for the internet makes the most sense. >> host: part of this discussion is included the term fast lane. what's your opinion on fast lane? >> guest: i think slow lanes and fast lanes tend to have a destructive effect on innovation in the sense that it goes back to the early days where let's just go back to the early 2000's. the fast lane idea or the slow lane idea is that carriers can say oh we can make yours go
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faster than anyone else's. the problem with what it is a tensor interfere with competition, survival of the fittest. imagine an early 2000's when yahoo! was the dominant search engine imagine yahoo! basic competition was basic competition was google is supposed to trying to make their engine better going out and signing a deal with all the isps to slow down google and speed themselves up. if that were the case google would have never gotten started and we would still have yahoo!. i can imagine doing the same thing to facebook. slow lanes and fast lanes are simply installation for incumbents, insulation for assisting companies to try to wreak havoc on their better sometimes rival. so i think we already have a problem with increasing power with the application companies, the heroes of western google and microsoft and so forth, pretty much facebook are getting more
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and more difficult to challenge and fast lane slow lane were played at that and i wouldn't say impossible to make it incredibly difficult for a challenger to take on one of those companies. >> guest: mr. wu when it came up with the word net neutrality and you are pondering these ideas and think it's fair to say all the examples were very conceptual. did you ever ever imagine a day where the present would be delivering a statement in such detail like he did on the subject and what do you think that is said about the conversation in the world of the internet in our society in general? >> guest: frankly i'm shocked. looking at the headlines i was like i never imagined this. when i gave the first talk on net neutrality and 2002, 12 years ago it was an academic paper. people are like what is he talking about? it was kind of a weird proposal. frankly at the time it went nowhere and i guess the fact
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that people have increasingly come to see the internet not as sort of an experimental toy or hobby that but kind of an essential utility frankly. i mean when you set up a new apartment or a new house or a new business you need water and electricity and internet. people want to be reliable and as cheap as possible and it has become an essential part of the economy. so they basically want to rule i think and the president reflects this. the 4 million, to reflect this. they want the internet to basically stay stay as a spin and not become more like cable television which people find very to satisfying. i do think it has come a long way. i am sort of shocked or surprised that you know the internet has surprised us many times. >> host: tim wu andy kessler had an op-ed in "the wall street journal" this week entitled the
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department of the internet. very quickly here is a little bit. the internet cannot function as a public utility. public utilities don't serve the public. they serve themselves usually by maneuvering through byzantine regulations that they helped craft. utilities are about tariffs, rate base price choke holds that kill real price discovery and almost guaranteed that misallocation of resources. >> guest: would you like me to react to that? i'm actually somewhat in sympathy with that view in the sense that i think you have to be very careful about it. some other rate regulatory schemes of history have not performed well and has tended to stagnate the industry. i'm concerned about being too heavy-handed with the regulation and it may sound in contradiction to what i said earlier that i'm an academic and i have studied the history and
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i'm aware that. however it's very important to note is that net neutrality is not about the whole internet. it's only about phone and cable companies delivering internet to your house or business. it doesn't affect the entrepreneur in the garage who is trying to think of a new program and launch it. it doesn't affect companies that are right now trying to prove themselves, video or instagram, whatever. i guess they have proven themselves but twitter, foursquare, tumblr. it doesn't affect these companies. it doesn't regulate the internet. it regulates the delivery of internet service and we have to be careful and remember that those are very different things and net neutrality frankly helps keep the internet dynamic by trying to prevent cable and phone companies from messing with the rest of the internet. which they have shown a historic tendency to do i will tell you, especially the phone company
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over its will more than 100 year history. >> host: the final question from gautham nagesh. >> guest: mr. wu seems to come down at the end of the day to chairman tom beetler the toughest job in town. does he have any wiggle room on this? what do you expect him to do and do you think there's any way he can get through this and satisfy the many constituencies that are staring him down protesting outside of his home and everything else? >> guest: there is no way he will satisfy all the constituencies. that is guaranteed. washington and this issue in particular a place where the metal, the place to get run over right now which is somewhat unfortunate. i think this issue needs to be as partisan as it is but has gotten that way. i would suspect, does he have any wiggle room? the only thing i would say is the wildcard of the mergers is in this game and no one really understands how that will play
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out but that is involved in all of this and it is possible. i think maybe probable that the fcc will turn its attention to the mergers for a while but net neutrality is somewhat on the back burner and perhaps the merger conditions are blocking the merger altogether is a chance to block comcast and they say listen the problem can be tackled from more than one direction and that might justify different net neutrality rules. that's the card he has to play that he hasn't played yet. >> host: tim wu columbia university and gautham nagesh "wall street journal," thank you gentlemen.
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next on c-span2, from toronto debate on president obama's foreign policy.
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tuesday the u.s. senate takes up the keystone pipeline built with the final passage of vote expected around 615 p.m. eastern. >> it will take six hours and 60 votes that the senate tuesday will vote on keystone xl pipeline legislation. covering the debate in the senate "cq roll call." what's behind the senate taking up the keystone major? >> guest: well, there is obviously political implications on the line. senator landrieu of louisiana is
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in a very heated runoff race with congressman bill cassidy a republican who is currently serving in the house and for senator landrieu this is really key to demonstrating that she can legislate and hold her own on the florida senate even when her leaders aren't necessarily behind her and she wants another legislative win to take back home to louisiana to show voters that she can get things done. >> host: what would the keystone building a? >> guest: the keystone bill would basically take the approval process away from the president given to congress and it would just be in the pipeline approved and consider the environmental impact statement that the state department issued as having fulfilled the requirement under an environmental policy law that has to be followed in order for a cross-border permit to be considered. >> host: let's look at the 60 votes needed in the senate to pass the measure.
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your article you "max senator mary landrieu saying i'm confident that we will have the 60 votes to pass it. where do things stand with the calling of the votes? >> guest: as of right now still appears that senator landrieu has 59 votes. last week senators carper and bennett both pledged their support for the bill and as of right now we haven't found that 60th vote yet but landrieu said she wouldn't have pushed as hard as she didn't hard as xi jinping shed 60 votes 60 votes so we will see going into tonight and tomorrow. >> host: seems like a fair amount of pressure out there. you re-tweeted a modified tweet from bill mckibben the environmental activist saying a warning shot fired your words democratic leadership bill mckibben saying senator if he votes for the keystone pipeline is never invited again. give us a snapshot of some of the other pressure senators are feeling. >> guest: democrats in particular feeling pressure from
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environmentalists who really want to tie keystone to climate change and make the argument that by allowing this type and to go forward it would exacerbate the gas emissions where art experiencing. democrats want to be taken seriously on climate change now and in the future. there's a lot of pressure there and senator schumer is voting no against the pipeline. >> host: bill cassidy got 31 votes did vote for his measure. what happens to congress and cassidy's keystone measure senators landrieu's passes? >> guest: the house bill by congressman cassidy will be considered path so that the bill that would be sent to the president's desk. it will have bill cassidy's name on it not landers but senator landrieu said it doesn't matter as long as the bill reaches the present status. >> host: the politics they mentioned how this is playing in louisiana he right in roll call and here's the headline.
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keystone dominates the senate runoff but does louisiana care? what is the story behind that? >> guest: there has been a lot made about this keystone vote and for candidates they want to be able to aecom some kind of victory however they are going to get it to the voters. the question is to louisiana voters actually think this is a wedge issue? for senator landrieu a lot of her legislative victories that she touted on the campaign trail has had direct impacts on louisiana citizens. for example earlier this year when she successfully negotiated a delay to flood insurance premium increases for example. >> host: it's a big issue to president obama. has the white house said were -- whether president obama will sign or veto the bill? >> guest: they don't want to say directly one way or the other by president obama has repeatedly said while he is on foreign travel that he wants the state department to process and the supreme court process in nebraska to play out soviet as
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druthers he would have a bill on his desk but they have not said one way or the other on this definitive veto threat. >> host: viewers can read on roll and follow twitter at gartner underscore al m. thank you for that preview. >> guest: thanks for having me. >> here are a few comments we received about "washington journal." >> "washington journal," the first thing in the morning, absolutely wonderful. very informative and i really appreciate you guys letting people such as myself actually call-in and sometimes even talk to people who are running our country and the whole world. i would like to make a suggestion that instead of dividing the country between democrats, republicans and
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independents c-span should ask the question and have callers either call and agreed or disagreed. this would save a lot of partisanship and letting the ideas get out there, not the political divisions. >> thank you, thank you, thank you. this morning, today was the best show i've seen. that is what we need. please have more shows like the one today. i may -- having a democrat and republican on there so people can ask them questions about what they are going to do. it was a great show. we need to have them explain what the policies are and how they differ. they give their reasons and their reasons are just like mine. we need to know how to think, how they vote and how we should vote. have one every day with their ideas come in their policies
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they plan to do for the people. have us call in and question them. thank you so much. >> continue to let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. call us at (202)626-3400. e-mail us at comments at for send us a tweet at at c-span hashtag comments. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> the munk debates is a debate and toronto bringing together news leaders to debate issues. a nice issue is u.s. foreign policy and president obama's leadership in the world. panelists include "wall street journal" columnist bret stephens and brookings institution robert kagan joined by new america president anne-maria slaughter and "cnn" host fareed zakaria. this is 90 minutes.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> i can't believe i'm about to say this but dr. kissinger you have six minutes. ♪
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>> that's the hypocritical argument. >> you are obviously trying to get appointed even though you are not chinese. >> women are affected by it -- only once a month and then have raging hormones every day. as i noticed when dick cheney rampaged around the globe like godzilla. the question is no i won't let you leave. [applause] >> are we really prepared to say if you are successful enough we should rip you off. how dare you be so successful. >> why do you want to punish the rich?
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nobody on my side ever said that is what should happen. ♪ >> imagine a world without religious faith. no worship no prayer nose group sure and no man or woman who because of their faith dedicating their lives to others. >> want to have a plan -- and a cruel experiment to supervise this is to install the celestial dictation in a time of divine north korea. ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen welcome. [applause]
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welcome to the munk debates on barack obama's foreign policy. my name is rudyard griffiths and it's my privilege to be the organizer of this debate series until once again serve as your moderator. i want to start tonight by welcoming the north american wide radio and television audience tuning in to this debate everywhere from the kenyan broadcasting corporation to cpac canada's public affairs channel to c-span across the continental united states. a warm hello also to the on line audience watching this debate right now on munk it's terrific to have you as virtual participants in tonight's proceedings and hello to you the over 3000 people who filled roy thompson hall to capacity for yet another munk debate. this evening we engaged with the geopolitical debates of the moment. has the administration of barack
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obama through inaction and incompetence as its critics will claim spanned flames of global conflict and encourage the very forces that want to roll back individual rights, the rule of law, economic globalization, or and it's a big order, has this president wisely, courageously disavowed the role of global policeman for the united states, a role embraced by his predecessor in favor of alliance building and the limited targeted use of military power? these ladies and gentlemen are the battle lines of tonight's contest and a presence on the stage in for outstanding presenters would not be possible without the public spiritedness of our host this evening. please join me in a warm appreciation for the whole
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founders of the aria -- and thank you for another great debate. [applause] the moment we have been waiting for. let's get our debaters out here on center stage and their debate underway. speaking first for the motion president obama has emboldened our enemies and made the world a more dangerous place, one of america's most prominent writers, thinkers on all things foreign policy. he's a brookings institution senior scholar, robert kagan. robert, let's get you out here. [applause] joining bob kagan on the
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pro-side of the debate is pulitzer prize-winning writer international affairs columnist for "the wall street journal" and a former editor-in-chief of "the jerusalem post," bret stephens come on the stage. [applause] now one great team of debaters deserves another and i would like you all to join me in welcoming a woman of singular accomplishment to the munk debates a renowned scholar of international affairs, former senior official in the u.s. state department and is currently the ceo of the prestigious new america foundation. ladies and gentlemen anne-maria slaughter. [applause] ms. slaughter's debating partner tonight is no stranger to the series. brain cell for brain so he is
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one of the most formidable debaters to appear on the stage. ladies and gentlemen please welcome best-selling author and a host of cnn's flagship global affairs program, fareed zakaria. [applause] now before we call on our debaters for their opening remarks i need your help all of you in this hall with three simple tasks. first, power up your smartphones. we have a wire line through the building. he can engage on the hashtag twitterer hashtag munk debates and second this includes people watching on line right now. we have a url, www.munk you can interact with a series of questions about tonight's proceedings. vote often. americans did it last night was some consequence and we would do
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it again tonight. third our countdown clock, my favorite part of the evening. this clock will appear on the screen at various times of tonight's debate for opening and closing statements in time for rebuttals. when you see it's counting down to zero please join me and a round of applause. this would keep our speakers on their toes and our debate on schedule. now finally let's find out how this audience voted on tonight's resolution. president obama has emboldened our enemies and made the world a more dangerous place. but let's have the results of that first audience vote. interesting, 43% agree, 57% disagree. i'll post a tie vote. our second question, depending on what you hear during the debate are you open to changing your mind? let's see how much of this room is in play. wow, 93%. this is a crowd of debaters that
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can be wooed. you clearly have your work cut out for you. it's time now for our six minute opening statement. as per convention the pro-side will speak first. bret stephens it was agreed that the floor would be yours first. your six minutes begins now. >> ladies and gentlemen, do you remember, do you remember the first time? no i don't mean that first time. i mean the first time he heard barack obama, the first time you were spellbound by his promises. we were going to defeat al qaeda. we were going to win the war that must be won in afghanistan while getting out of iraq. it would reset relations with russia. we would have a new beginning with the muslim world and break
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ties with our partners in europe and the americas. we would reassure allies in asia say the climate stop iran from getting the bomb and prevent atrocities like chemical weapons being used against defenseless civilians in acts of genocide. that seems like a very long time ago. does it not? six years on there is one thing that we can say for sure. not one, not one of those goals has been achieved. the number of jihadists according to a rand corporation study more than doubled between 2010 and 2013 and that doesn't include the rise of vices. we are not out of iraq. we are back in iraq. relations with russia have been reset to about 1956. the syrian dictator continues to gas his people with impunity. the only difference being that he switched from stare into
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chlorine. the rand is far closer to a bomb today than it was when obama took office. america is now more heated and distressed as a country by pakistan and egypt than it was even when george w. bush was president. the war in afghanistan for which so many young americans and young canadians gave their lives is not to say the least been warranted. to hear you say, it eased and even all a promise ball. he has been dealt a tough hand. the world is a complicated place. ladies and gentlemen, presidents are often dealt a tough hand. roosevelt got a band -- backhand from hoover. reagan got a bad hand from carter. what makes a good present is the ability to meet the goals he sets, to find offense more than
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he is defined by events and leave the united states stronger and better respected in the world. this is not to say the least the mark of obama's tenure. you need such a gap between expectations and delivery that one might say to paraphrase a famous line that never in the field of political self-promotion have so many been promised so much by someone who delivered so little. now why is this? i think there is a confidence problem. remember, this is the president who was calling isis the j.d. team right up until i assisted in mosul. this was the president who didn't bother finding out just to the national security agency was wiretapping among our allies. but the larger problem is this is a president who thinks speeches are a substitute for action. a president who has compiled a
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record of being harsh with his allies in the world while going out of his way to accommodate america's adversaries. this is the president who talks about the importance of rules on and failed to enforce those rules. quote when dictators commit atrocities they depend on the world to look the other way. if we fail to act the assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. other tyrants will have no reason to think twice. that was barack obama explaining why the world had to punish syria for its chemical weapons before he explained why he wasn't going to punish syria. as a result ladies and gentlemen under obama america is no longer feared by its enemies and we are no longer trusted by its friends. now why is this uniquely dangerous? first, because perceptions shape actions. our enemies take the message that they can do whatever they want as long as they have the capability and the will to do
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so. quote if the u.s. meets bullets with words tyrants will draw their own conclusions. that is not dick cheney talking. that is my colleague, anne-maria slaughter and an op-ed earlier this year. a second reason is rogue regimes have incentive to act sooner rather than later because they know obama still has two years in office and they may suspect that the next president will have more spine. the third reason is that of america's allies can't trust it they will go their own way. we will live in a world not only of dangerous rogues and equally dangerous -- [inaudible] this is a world of unprecedented or nearly unprecedented unpredictability at least in our lifetimes. when your enemies are tempted to strike and your allies are tempted to preempt and all the while as the global superpower you were still on the hook even while you are losing control. let me close by reminding you
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that barack obama won a nobel peace prize in 2009 in the expectation of making the world a safer better more peaceful place. as you follow our debate ask yourself this question with the benefit of hindsight. would you still give him that promise? thank you very much. [applause] >> three seconds to spare bret. anne-maria slaughter you are up next. >> thank you. so blaming barack obama for the state of the world is in right now is like blaming a caribbean island for a hurricane. think very carefully about what our opponents have to prove. not only do they have to prove that the world would be less dangerous if barack obama were not president that they have to
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prove that the world is as dangerous as it is because he has emboldened our enemy so it's a two-step thing they have to prove, not just that it's more dangerous than if someone else for president but to call to account that he has emboldened our enemies. that means they have to prove that putin would not have annexed crimea or invaded ukraine but for obama's actions. in fact, putin hardens when yanukovich the ukrainian president, fled. at that moment prudence advisers who had been telling him the united states seeks only to overturn regimes, at that moment putin decided it was time to get serious that there was no way of dealing with the united states. so it's actually when he thought we were more hard line that he flipped or take isil. isil is not responding to barack
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obama's lack of action. issa was responding to the fact that barack obama refuses to pay ransom and his bombing their troops. that is the moment at which they are more likely to take action against us. so it is not that he has emboldened our enemies. so you have already heard. i am known for some criticisms about our president. i have disagreed with him strongly and strenuously on syria but my criticisms have not been that he emboldened assad to take the actions assad was taking. it was that once assad decided for his own good reasons to obliterate the opposition obama could be doing more to try to bring the party to -- and that's like saying to go back to my crib in island analogy if a hurricane is coming you can certainly criticize the leaders of the country for not doing
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things to mitigate the damage are making it easier to rebuild but you cannot blame them for the fact that the hurricane came in the first place. again, obama i think could do different things in response but i don't think there's anything obama could have done that would have stopped aside from doing what he did and assad wanted the syrian conflict to be between his government and terrorists and that is exactly in fact what he has done. now let's look at how obama has actually worked to make the world a safer place. the single greatest threat we face, that we faced under george w. bush and we still face under obama, the single greatest threat is the danger of a terrorist group with a nuclear weapon. so stopping nuclear proliferation is absolutely essential as people such as henry kissinger whom you have heard from on the stage, george
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shultz, sam nun bill. all agree white in left that stopping nuclear proliferation is the single biggest thing we have to do otherwise we risk facing the world with some 10, 20, 30 nuclear nations. barack obama has worked doggedly for a deal with iran. he has been extremely tough when he has had to be tough. he has imposed sanctions. he has made clear that he would take no measures off the table and he is closer now than anyone has been in 20 years to that deal. we don't know that he will get there but even i think for all my criticisms of obama on syria he has been focused on doing something that if he gets it that could reshape the entire region. he has decimated al qaeda. he take out osama bin laden and he is working very hard and successfully to contain isil, not to eradicate it.
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that's extremely difficult to do, but to contain it so that it cannot spread beyond the middle east. he has also strengthened regional and international organizations, contrary to what it looked like when he came into office. nobody now ask without the united nations. he has reestablished the rules of multilateralism at a time when it's very important to restrain china and russia. and those are just the states problems. what about the deeper problems? if you're reading the headlines about why the world is such a dangerous place you are not just reading about russia or isil. you are reading about ebola recently. you are reading about ungoverned spaces all over the world that give rise two diseases, to violence, two wars that spill over borders that ultimately banned fuel extremism of all kinds. so answers to those problems are
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slow and complicated. they can't be plotted out on a chessboard but they focus on things like development, poverty eradication, rebuilding governance, working on the longer-term problems that ultimately we have to address like climate change. the thing that is causing those hurricanes i'm talking about but those caribbean islands. he has triumphed and done more than any president in the past certainly decades to work on those longer-term problems. [applause] thank you. ..
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>> >> but the general approval rating is significantly higher than the policy approval rating. that is between 40 and 45% but historical policy is between 30 and 30 -- 35% lid
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you canadians may not trust that but. [laughter] then maybe what they did with george w. but that is another possibility. the other thing is that the month -- the american public after the last two years but 65 percent said yes. that you can either trust their judgment or not. are they wrong? there are two points to this. i think the world clearly is more dangerous. a few minutes ago writing an article that is better than
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had been for years and he talked about the statistics to know that violence had declined. and then it begins in 1945. and then spinning over the decades. why is that? what happened to 1945? [laughter] with the greatest world catastrophe. and that democratic nations they got together to build a world order that has strengthened over the decades.
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that the enormous increase of prosperity like we have never seen before and finally to integrate the conflict from the first part of the 20th century. if the world is more dangerous than what is a risk to day. the ic areas as reason for concern that this world order is at risk. to see the number of democracies around the world to see what is happening to the global economy on balance and now for the first time in europe since 1945 we see cross border aggression by one nation for the purpose to change borders. something we thought we had eradicated in europe. is all of this barack obama assault? of course, not.
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has his policies made the situation in worse? of course, they have. of course, they have.
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>> is below is rendering his brother bob mccann the trusted. after he said he would use force did echo around the world among the allies is. [applause] more to come.
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>> will then. the floor is yours. >> ladies and gentlemen, i there immense hope you will be persuaded by bob because he is so persuaded by my colleague anne marie. [laughter] then i see it he will vote the way she is with this resolution clearly she has wisdom and good judgment. [laughter] so the question is what has happened to the united states and the may? and number-one al qaeda ed that marked the 9/11 attack with principal object is decimated it has been unable to use or even pretend to launch a major terrorist
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operation now releases video cassettes that is what the osama bin lot in successor has done the last five years. it explains the problem that al qaeda is facing. we have good data on this. we'll have very good data on this. and in 2006 saudi arabia and egypt and jordan was on the favorability rating 75% because iran was seen as standing up to the united states. 2012 the number was 35% the favorability rating has now dropped in half with the coalition to put in place sanctions to gather the
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arabs together now you have the unprecedented situation where they are an alliance with israel against iran. and it was in a controlled experiment russia invaded another country during the bush administration the consequence was zero. it did absolutely nothing. george bush spent some time and nothing happened. this time around russia does something similar obama assembles a coalition of western nations nato, the european union getting tough for the first time putting in real sanctions and united states did even tougher sanctions the stock market has collapsed and russia had to jack up the interest
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rates. if you want to park your cash to get 9.5 in russia. [laughter] that i don't thank you will do it. but that is what brought the bombing has been able to do. with those pre-emptive moves is the recognition with the to defer century and in the years three of the four largest countries are economies in the world will be a nation. with then has to be a power and has been able to reopen the basis it and loved
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philippines and to in australia making clear the disputed islands and with trading an opportunity that president bush could not do all these together has created a reality that united states is now able to stabilize more than before. put that basic strategy is correct with the por implementation has been done. a final point i want to make about the world being so unstable that the middle east is deeply unstable the
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rest is in pretty good shape the american intervention in syria as the 14th american military intervention since 1982. how did that work out to stabilize the situation? not so well. but we are in a terrible situation it is a much more dangerous place the only word that describes that administration i'm sorry that was 1999. my mistake for there i am so sorry. [laughter] the future of american foreign policy is from appeasement and the isolationist and this was
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the bush administration of foreign and 11 and the retrenchment again before 9/11, the feel we're in the 1930's but we are therefore robert k. again. [applause] >> terrific opening statements we have the debates i never hands now will do a quick round of rebuttal and robert kagan you are up. [laughter] >> okay. and a whole is worth about collapsing and i was worried in 1999 when iraq was up to head what might have been and terrorism.
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all the things did happen i have been critical of both administrations republican and democrat. honestly i will fess up to be worried if we are not careful through lack of action or misunderstanding or foolishness to lose control and even as united states declines the liberal world order will continued you know, why? because china will step up. and the rise even after it
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has lost the power they thinks it is losing bet i do worry about it i don't want to ring the incredibly alarm bells but the task that i have read today is to ask the question whether barack obama's policies have taken and a dangerous world to make them better or worse. so listen to our colleagues your barack obama has accomplished their calls i cannot believe a he has accomplished in fairness what he will accomplish. if you listen to anne marie carefully, he is going to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. but right now it is a question with the incredible agreement with altogether the united states and china and europe that is finally
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solving or dressing the issue of climate change. maybe he could do that the last two years he could not do in the previous six. to get the record of what has actually occurred and pledges which -- which we did not face individual terrorist and operated failed states but a terrorist organization which plants and achieves the ability to create its own state. that is what isis is trying to achieve. [applause] >> now your rebuttal. >> listing to anne marie i was reminded of the life of
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brian listening to you today at and the people's trust and she just told us that al qaeda is decimated by yet we have space that in the arabian peninsula, and nearly takeover with french intervention in the obama administration initially opposed you're right it is not al qaeda it is more extreme than that. nobody doubts the great tactical victory to kill osama bin lot and i don't think any intelligent person hill - - year loveseat he hottest groups that threaten around the world are more powerful today than they use to be another movie i am
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fond of its "austin powers". you heard him talk about the sanctions that have decimated the russian economy in fact, it has been decimated by the fall of oil prices a remarkable contraction thanks largely to the great energy revolution taking place here in canada as well as the united states. and then that it has been $21 million. remember when dr. evil says $1 million? it is pocket change and this is trumpeted as a greater cheever. and then to talk about nuclear proliferation.
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what are you talking about? and the saudi arabia and succumbed to the office regularly that they will develop the not purchase nuclear weapons and respect to what we hear about iran in 2008 it had 3900 centrifuges and today they have 19,000. we will see how long that will last the will be hard to trumpet that achievement but that it did to asia a story in reuters noted three years after the bid was announced there were zero troops in australia. said dpp is dead. [applause] i wonder if it was real.
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>> el lined in that debate you are up next for the rebuttal. >> to definitively establish one thing without any question barack obama has emboldened the republican party. [laughter] so i just want to ask you again to remember what they have to prove because they will'' me against me. but they have to prove the world is more dangerous now than it would be if barack obama were not president. it would be counterfactual. more dangerous now and one of the major reasons we got
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there is that he emboldened our enemies. instead we heard he has not achieved all the goals he laid out in 2009. that is not unique to barack obama. he did not achieve them. he is not rated or roosevelt. i will accept that. we have heard he is not confident, he is vindictive. we have not heard how any of that emboldened our enemies and led to the world to be more dangerous than if he was not president. like him or not if he gives more speeches and does not take action but you have to show it is his lack of action or action makes the world more dangerous place. what we have heard is an
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attack that we can debate what he has done. and he may not and we are closer than we have never been because if iran gets a nuclear weapon and so will saudi arabia and then turkey and egypt will want one. that is what is at stake that is what he plays for. he may have made the japanese government nervous. k.. as far as i know let's see what happens with the republican congress if it is not dead and if he does make the government of japan nervous by not following through it is because he
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recent chemical weapons in syria that now we know isis would have been a worse threat. [applause] >> we will give you the final rebuttal. >> the central premise are we in good shape and taken correctly i think the world is in pretty good shape. if you look around the world with the execution of the middle east to see latin america 30 years ago was dictators fifth read it in a quasi socialist fashion but today latin america is a transform continent with
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cuba or venezuela for the free-market orientation to a large extent is the degree of anti-americanism has waned. and the historic party and not transformed into a party vacancy things happening across the continent so think of the issue of the 1970's with india with the pro-soviet stance all of that has been transformed to day elected the new pro growth minister in india and indonesia has a similar experience and japan and all these places used extraordinary opportunities.
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compared to 30 years ago and ask yourself what do people think of the american president? they ask this question a lot in the world. so this was the approval rating of the president not the united states. how much confidence do you have? the german said 14 percent today is 71. france or turkey 83% under obama. indonesia is 23% it is 60% under obama. is real? -- israel? seventy-one% under obama. china 30% under bush 51 percent under obama. i can go on all night.
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canada is 28% in 2007 and 81% 2013. [applause] >> said table has been set by opening statements and rebuttals now is the opportunity to get these to engaging with each other directly. every yet been interesting statistic that the marines went into lebanon. why do you think more intervention if they had that course of action makes a safer place? if it was atrocious? >> he obviously thinks it is the right thing to do and rethinks it is the right thing to do. the problem is in this case
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he has ignored the advice of his own hand-picked chairman of joint chiefs, generals chiefs, generals, how to go about carrying all this activity. i hope it does succeed. you can make up a list of all things that have gone wrong it is a longer than he likes to read. but with foreign policy produced the better world? i doubt that anyone appear on this stage would disagree what has been accomplished since 1945 is extraordinary despite all the mistakes. i like the way henry wants to frame the question that barack obama would have done worse than some other president and then to say he
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did worse than george bush. but that is not the question we are asked. if you want me to say all the things that george bush did wrong i would agree. but in a conflict of this debate has brought abominate things better or worse? i have not heard a single saying how he could make things better experiment on something that he has done up to this point on his presidency. >> to strengthen the alliance is with all of asia and southeast asia and they said the biggest problem is united states we're there and working on a trade agreement and we're present
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and east asian and a way that george bush was not. but specifically usage you are worried of the world order of united states and canada? george w. bush did more with his invasion of sirach them pretty much anyone else but barack about men has rebuilt the trust of the world from the security council. >> i do think everyone on the stage supported a a rapport. but to systematically rebuilding if he talked to japanese officials say are
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worried about the extent of america's commitment to talk to israel they are worried. the polish foreign minister they don't say it publicly but amazingly enough that the american in guaranteed is worth less. he said it is bullshit. [laughter] satellite use that language and a friend of the debate simic but cheney said the united states cannot be trusted. and with the u.s. security is terrified when gas them to protect themselves so
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tugging at the coattails were the most part with those senior officials and have the cozy relationship look at japan if i mason's year brought it up. so you can pull the arguments at your hat that the world has lost faith but the real question what would you like to see instead? but one was the bush administration spinning he loved this aggressiveness that is that going to work?
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he hints that it is not vigorous enough but he needs to do a wholeheartedly and that works out so well. i originally thought of getting rid of saddam hussein was a good idea but 175,000 troops in iraqis dead and wounded later i learned something i don't want to replicate that. [applause] you applauded because it is fun in easy to switch the with like nothing more than to make this a referendum on the bush administration.
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but who are we comparing? with 43 predecessors to barack obama surely it from ronald reagan but when it comes to military intervention to'' the piece from anne marie. [laughter] this is just the irony because she was typecast but she has that split personality here. [laughter] and she talks about being forced to eliminate the thick string -- fixed-wing aircraft. and then to announce
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immediately the game has changed in should ask the security council's approval of the legitimization of the military strike i could not agree with you more anne marie. you have heard this before everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not to their own facts. but to make the case that this administration has pushed democratic allies in congress to bring about the free trade agreement is simply not true. and by her own admission earlier maybe not republicans maybe something will be done the suggestions
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allies in japan and south korea again is false interesting the japanese newspaper because of military jets we will have a four month stretch with no u.s. aircraft carrier in the western pacific. why is japan building a nuclear plutonium facility for $21 million if they are not having serious doubts about the reliability of barack obama security guarantees? >> and i will be completely frank with was originally asked to be on the panel i did wonder and to be very,
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very vocal on what i think you'll bombing administration should have done. i don't think they responded correctly. but when i really thought about it i thought there is a number of issues doing it seemed he has made the role the more dangerous place? no. and talk about china rising is completely independent but the question is what do we do in response? this survey more than any other. he pushes it he was waiting to do it from the beginning spin again some major foreign policy address just like bill clinton did we
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will promote free trade because it is good for the continent and for the country. he capitulated to congress. just as he stood up like clinton and he said tim to debate ross perot he is not. we have this fantasy you all have a fit to see about barack obama. he was a savior. but it did not work out. [laughter] [applause] spec now he sounds like the college republicans and at the cocktail party. [laughter] [applause] by the way i have a
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suggestion for you a new book is called american is retreat it is wonderfully written all the things you look for in a good work of fiction. [laughter] i suggest to the get the next long beach vacation but foreign policy surely is about rebuilding america and strings. the only way the united states can play the role we wanted to play is to be fundamentally strong but the three large industrial blocks and coordination with the federal reserve with the
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fiscal response that the banks were given a stress test. it is the strongest economy ask any economist in the world with the performance of those three and it is clear because of public policy it comes out of the global financial crisis where the obama administration does deserve some credit with jet europe that is dysfunctional know going into a recession.
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because it doesn't have the guts to do with the united states that is demographically and economically and energy vibrant. at the end of the day but will rouse the united states? >> but the question we have to ask ourselves a real strengthened by more interventions? and it is somewhat restrained and then it takes it from dwight eisenhower. and was asked by the french
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to intervene he refused. he was asked by a the taiwanese to intervene and he said no. but the reality was it is an exercise in restrained. and then draw the allies from your historical knowledge. and i keep quoting anne marie. [laughter] this is all been unfair basically we're asking and
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to hold up this argument. and to think that she should have been on our side. for the solution to the crisis in the ukraine lies in part in syria it is time for the u.s. president obama to demonstrate he can order the offensive use with another intervention. the results will change the strategic oculus battling in damascus but moscow not to mention beijing and tokyo. >> let's talk about that.
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anne marie is right that putin went into crimea because of what happened in the ukraine. but what about since them the peace was hilo du deterred of that incredibly suffering? but every day putin puts with pins into the ukraine plans the troops into the ukraine in violation of his own agreement in the west only response is possibly more sanctions and a few weeks. we could not be bothered to provide some capacity to protect themselves weapon leap -- weaponry your training? that is the least we could do.
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>> i am not doing any work tonight i love that. and then he says you know, nothing of my work. [laughter] >> the answer for this group. is the response to his aggression sufficient? >> yes. [laughter] but if you believe then well
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expressed opinions based on that it can change your mind. and i did believe that when i rode it. absolutely right that it was critical in terms to send a message to putin. i spent half the summer is speaking to russian experts and i absolutely think at this point had we done what i was suggesting it would change the. >> but equally important it may well have torpedoed. i fully understand barack obama's calculus that says in the region will not do anything that will strain
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the iranian hardliner to jeopardize that. but i respect as a foreign policy calculation and then focus on extremely dangerous threat. and then there will be looking at the biggest success of all. >> and then the clarification for the record. i definitely voted for clinton. [laughter] he is the college republican [laughter]
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>> what we are talking about with syria and iraq but is intervention. though we have to be pragmatic and every president should do that. let's talk about syria with the first six months of the uprising, we fail to lift a finger even calling for the aside removal almost entirely peaceful uprising of citizens saying enough.
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only then massive brutality by assad regime and he refused. so things became more. and 100,000 they're human beings but nothing happens. to say that is the red pine but guess what? and also the ngo that is
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responsible but in the meantime with those refused -- refugees in jordan. but the division between those and al qaeda. so it is very easy and there are consequences event it is a brutal favor but a duet those from the assad regime while we would talk about the difficulties of any type of intervention. it has gone from a crisis to
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an international catastrophe [applause] >> you can have the last word on this section and remove to a closing statements. >> withstood the dictatorial regime
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it has now turned into a ferocious sectarian conflict but at its heart is always was. assad was in a way to a brutally suppressed the sunnis. that opposition movement has become violent and highly religious from the 1980s. remember the hamas massacre which took place 25 years ago. that process bubbled up again and what we are now witnessing is the result of that. it is a 20 cornered civil war and we in america are sure that a there are good guys somewhere b we know where they are c that we can find them and support them and they will set up us and a jeffersonian democracy at the
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end of this whole process. the chances of that happening in our ability to buy remote control make this happen are limited. i met with the head of the political wing of the free syrian army two years ago in istanbul. he was a lovely manic talk about an open perlo sticks. which everyone would participate. it was heartening to hear him and then i asked him when will you -- and he said not for a while. i said one it? 31 years ago. i said where do you live now? he said stockholm. what do you do? i teach philosophy at the university. that's the problem with the moderate syrians. it's not that they are not moderate. they are not syrian. the current head of the syrian opposition has not been in serious for 24 years. my point is. >> the point that you are making for read the point has been made several times. assyrians the syrians are
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getting killed and it's their own fault. and the son of our business. >> no bob. i will give you wonderful example of how we can help. we had a lot of groups there we could establish order and try to help support a government and moderate government the good guys. we did that in iraq. we had 175,000 troops. we supported the government there. we thought we had power-sharing deals and here's what happened in iraq and these are the pictures you should take a look at. 2.5 million people fled iraq never to return. two or 300,000 people for sure died, civilians. christian life in iraq which has been in existence since the bible has essentially been extinguished something like 500,000 christians have fled iraq. that all happened while we were there occupying the country. so now we are sure that the solution to serious that we do another one of those because that's going to make it work. i will ask you, don't we ever learn something from those
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pictures of the iraqis who have been killed, maimed, wounded, dispossessed in large part because of the misadventures of american intervention. [applause] >> we now will go to closing statements, six minutes apiece. anne marie you will go first with their closing statements. we will give you three minutes on the clock starting now. >> so debates are funny and witty and we have heard lots of rep are today and lots of laughs but there are actually some very serious issues at stake here. i agree more with brad on syria than i do with fareed but for read and i have debated this issue repeatedly. there is no certainty.
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as for reid says if we intervened we might well end up with on iraq. if we intervened we might well end up at war directly with iran. there are arguments on both sides. which way you come out could be a prudent decision that you don't want to take that risk or a more risk accepted position that you are going to try because you believe in the end it may, it may make a positive difference for the syrian people. our opponents have been great view of history that says once bismarck was dead than world war i broke out because kaiser wilhelm was instrumental in bringing it about or neville chamberlain could have stopped hitler had there not been appeasement or ronald reagan brought about the end of the cold war by defeating gorbachev. i'm not sure that was ever an
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honest account of history but i am very sure it does not apply today. we are no longer in a world where you can plot out moves statesmen to statesmen like a chessboard. we are an extraordinarily complex world, world in which we have governance, individuals, networks, corporations all jumbled together in ways that we can almost be impossible to predict what's going to happen if you take a certain move. in that world, barack obama is playing a prudent hand. he knows maybe he could deter putin and maybe he could put the world on the brink of nuclear war. i did not think you can blame him for making the world more dangerous because he decides not to risk nuclear war or to risk war with iran and the middle east. you can say he may not have made the world a safer place or as
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safe a place as he would like but i put to you, you cannot charge him with having brought about the dangers that we find ourselves in because he has embolden our enemy. thank you. [applause] >> concise and powerpro closing statement. bob kagan you are up next. >> okay look i'm not going to quote anne marie. that's my first contribution to this debate but i am going to quote some other people. and i'm going to play little game for you. when a prisoner of united states draws a red line the credibility of this country is dependent on him backing up his word. who said that? >> ronald reagan before he pulled the marine. >> leon panetta. secretary of defense of
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president obama. here is another quote. i think when we stepped out of iraq, in many ways we created this vacuum in which not a lot of attention was paid to what was happening in iraq or what was happening in syria with the extremists who were developing a base of operations there and that combination i think is what produced the eyes ice is that we are confronting today. leon panetta. great nations need organizing principles and don't do stupid stuff which is also fareed's approach to the world is not an organizing principle. this is like wait, wait, don't tell me. abc neshell? hillary clinton. as fareed says i could go on and on but there's an extraordinary thing that happened over the course of this obama administration. senior officials, cabinet officials bob gates effectively
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a nonpartisan government servant who served presidents i believe going back to nixon and was named barack obama secretary of defense. leon panetta at democrats and democrat, a longtime democrat in the house named secretary of defense. hillary clinton, not anyone's idea of a colleague republican. secretary of state. civil servant foreign service officers as anne marie knows well like robert ford and frederick hoff who were the syria experts for the obama administration. when they left this administration they all did something extraordinary. they really laid out some very serious critiques of how this administration, how president obama handle foreign policy. very strong critiques and you know they were accused of disloyalty. i don't know how you can accuse
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leon panetta of disloyalty. hillary clinton was as loyal as one could be given this team of rivals it was created. they all effectively criticized the very strong terms president obama's leadership. what explains that? what explains it is their interest in the united states playing it better and more effective role in the world. [applause] they were willing to come out and put aside their own precedence in order to make that point. listen to them more than you listen to us. >> fareed your closing statement please. three minutes is up on the clock. >> i wanted to reiterate something that anne marie said. this is important. we have all had a lot of fun and it's been a great pleasure and i've been outed as a colleague republican. i wasn't actually a republican because i wasn't a citizen of


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