tv Secretary of State John Kerry Criticizes Use of Twitter in Politics CSPAN January 10, 2017 6:36pm-7:20pm EST
lot of that. [laughter] there are some people who have been in the building for a long period of time, but there hasn't been a high level of exchange at this time. i'm still expecting to meet with my successor. at some point, in the near-term, but. >> you haven't actually met? do you expect to. >> yes i do expect to. >> anything else you want to say
? when you came in, i realize it was a different situation when you were coming in from this administration. >> it's like night and day when you have the same administration continuing with a lot of people already in place. i think there is a focus on hearings and that's a pretty internal process so there is time for ample debriefing. i think we don't yet know who the players will be just by
definition. >> what are the one or two things you wish you would've known in the beginning and only learned later and may be painfully? >> i really haven't stopped yet, judy, to be able to make that -- there is no thing that leaps out at me that his boy, if i known this everything would be different. i don't think so. we are living -- what troubles me a little bit is people are not separating a remarkable transformation that is taking place globally naturally, from things that were we are really responsible for. let me give you an example. arab spring. we didn't start the arab spring. we couldn't have stopped the arab spring.
there was no way to put a lid on the arab spring. the arab spring began in tunisia when a fruit vendor lit himself on fire and boom, a 30 year dictator was gone and suddenly you had a bunch of people who have technology at their fingertips who are out there communicating to each other and wanting change, and that's how syria began. people forget that. as i listened to some of the commentary, some have said the obama administration didn't do this or didn't that or whatever. there is no way the obama administration could've changed what was happening in those countries. it happened, spontaneously because of where those countries find themselves relative to the global economies, to their own governance challenges, and to the centuries-old passions and definitions that have defined
those for a long time. syria is not one war. it's not one conflict. just follow every day what's happening and multiply that by saudi arabia and ran and kurds, curd aspirations, sunni versus shiite, people versus asad, israel, you have this six different wars that are taking place. some of them, quite real proxy wars. we are living in a different world. people need to wrap on to that.
the new administration needs to grab onto that. it is not a world like the world after world war ii where the united states was the only power left standing. the economies of the world had to be rebuilt and the united states stepped up and rebuilt them to it's great credit. one of the best investments we ever made was an investment that most americans were against called the marshall plan. nobody said wow, we ought to go help japan that just attacked us at pearl harbor and we spent four and half years fighting a war to win, we should rebuild them or do the same for germany, but we did, and look at the value of what came out of that. my point is simply, judy, that i think, personally the united states is more engaged and more places simultaneously dealing with more complex than at any time in american history and i believe with consequences and
greater outcomes changing the policy and helping columbia get to piece after war. help working with argentina to come in from the cold. dealing with north korea, china, working on the south china sea, asserting rights rights in the region and standing up simultaneously to bring them together to change the relationship. there are many things that are happening and have been happening that people don't take note of daily but they are defining american interest. >> if that's the case, how come there is still so much focus on what people interpret as a missed opportunity in syria. i wasn't necessarily going to bring it up, but let's talk about it. >> i'm happy to have you bring it up. >> when president obama made the decision not to act after his many expected he would come after the red line incident, the perception is that the rest of the world came away believing the u.s. could not be relied on,
was not a reliable leader in the world. that's a different picture than what you are painting. >> let me take a moment, i'm not saying there aren't people who have some questions and i'm not saying there are circumstances, particularly with respect to syria. syria is going to be debated. i know it's going to be debated because i've been part of those debates for the past four years and i've been on one side and other people have been on other side and it's all going to be debated and you will have a chance to make a judgment as to whether or not something different may have been done at one point or another. that's fair and it's going to happen. i think there are some things that might have been able to be done. that had nothing to do with the red line. let's make that absolutely clear. president obama never retreated from his redline. he never changed his mind to ban
ashad and make it clear that you don't use chemical weapons. never. there's a mythology that's grown up around us. he went to parliament on a thursday and lost his vote in a democracy, in our special relationship partner. i remember being on a phone call and they were saying you're going to come to us, aren't you, that's the constitution we need to weigh in on this. it wasn't unanimous that everybody said that, there were a lot of people saying that. what the president decided to do, judy, was go was go to congress to get their permission to do what britain had denied the prime minister the right to do. that's the best way if you're going to use force to use it, is to have the imprint of congress supporting you. but, we have a debate, the vast
majority of the people, it may have been one or two felt that congress was immediately going to respond because it was so urgent, but it didn't. in the meantime, i was asked to question at a press conference in london, is there anyway that asad could be avoid being bombed, and i said yes, he could he could get all the chemical weapons out of the country. i get a call an hour and half later saying that's a great idea, we should be pursuing that, let's sit down as if we can get that done. within days, we got it done. we actually sat together, negotiated the methodology and i remember, we sat there and said who's going to affect it, who's going to do it? the logical person to do it is the op cw. we plugged them in and four months later, they won the nobel
peace prize for removing weapons from syria. would've that been better to bother them for a few days and not get all the weapons out and today those weapons would be in the hands of isil? or was a better to cut a deal and get the weapons out? if we hadn't made that deal we wouldn't of that. having said everything i just said i will readily acknowledge that this notion didn't follow through, took hold and it has cost us. i acknowledge, yes it became a perception that became a diplomatic reality and it said this notion that the administration wasn't there to
support its ally, but it's just not accurate. >> a lot of conversation here at one of the dinners that they sponsored last night around the rest of the world is continuing, is looking right now to the united states to lead in ways that it hasn't been. >> what does that mean. >> when you say to lead in ways that it hasn't been. >> looking for the u.s. to lead. >> we are coming out of this very divisive election. the united states looks absolutely split in half politically. how, coming out of this environment, what you say to the next administration you have the opportunity. >> we won't lead by walking away from the rand deal and china, russia, germany, that will not be leadership. we will not lead by turning our backs on the climate change agreement where the world is moving to try to deal with a
major problem and then you say how are you gonna lead? that's how you lead. we've been leading, those agreements came under our administration. the country was racing towards the possession of a nuclear weapon in a region where if they were getting it, every other country would've gotten it. with the world be better off with more nuclear weapons in the hands of weapons in that country or no? we lead that effort. the first trip i made outside of europe, second trip total i went to china. my staff that i was loony and this was an improbable mission. we would get them to sign onto a working group to deal with climate change but we did it with the goal of getting china in the u.s. to stand up together so that we could lead and we got
on what could not be done in copenhagen. we offered leadership on that. russia, i don't want to be pejorative, but i think russia went into georgia and nothing was done. no sanctions, nothing. it we galvanize them and put sanctions in place but they've taken a hefty bite out of russia and made it clear there's a price to pay for all of this. we continue to roll them over and keep them in place. let me go back to my point. a bowl of, there is a prediction that 1 million people would die by christmas of two years ago. president obama sent 3000 troops
into western africa. we build capacity, we worked with the french, we worked with the british who each took a country and did an amazing job and we worked with the global community. japan ended up with suits that protected people. we had extraordinary, china put people in. we had a global effort which we led and guess what, we ended the scourge and hundreds of thousands of lives were saved. we are on the cusp of the first generation of children of aids patients being born aids free. we doubled the effort begun in the bush administration. i can run around the world. south china sea, we've been asserting navigation rights and we been doing that to maintain clarity.
north korea, we lead the effort to get resolution to put pressure to change behavior. afghanistan, we had an imploded election. we could've had a complete implosion in afghanistan but we negotiated, we help put together a government of national unity which is still there today and they are holding together against the pressures of the taliban and we have gotten everybody to renew their pledges and continue the effort. whether it's power africa or young asian leaders or countless numbers of initiatives, we've taken it. we have plus stop and could quadrupled the budget. $3.4 billion $4 billion going to the frontline states to make it clear they will be strong enough together with nato to resist any kind of pressure.
you can look at yemen and syria and you can find fault with the problem that is still going on, and i'm frustrated by that, deeply frustrated by that. but, as madeleine albright once said and it has guided me and my tenure, i don't say this, and nor did she with any note of arrogance whatsoever, we are, i think, an indispensable nation, if not the indispensable nation. one of the things i've seen reinforce to me is if we are not helping to lead the effort, it often doesn't happen. on the serious support group, we initiated that. we got russia and iran at the table with saudi arabia and cutter and turkey. it was hard. we came up with a cease-fire idea.
unfortunately, that cease-fire required, not unfortunately, but it required a period of calm and five days into it we accidentally bombed 70 syrian troops and the russians believed we weren't serious because we were actually harboring and not willing to separate and then on the weekend, the humanitarian trucks got bombed and the thing fell apart. it's not because we weren't leading and trying to get to the watering hole, but as the old saying goes, you can can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. >> you've touched on just about every place i was going to ask you about. thank you. i do want to take questions -- >> while i have a lot more in reserve. >> before we do, what you absolutely confident most indoors that this administration has done globally on the world
stage, and what are you most worried about. >> i really believe common sense is going to win out. it doesn't make sense, lemmie give me give you an example. the rand nuclear example. there were 100,000 centrifuges and now there are 5000. there was a 12000 kilograms stockpile from which you could have made ten or 12 bombs if you enriched it. now there is a 300 kill kilogram stockpile and it's physically impossible to build a bomb with 300 kilograms of material. iran is limited to 3.6 7% enrichment.
you can't build a bomb with that. with the 130 additional inspectors 30 additional inspectors in iran, watching what's happening, i'm absolutely confident about the route to a weapon being blocked. now, if that were just arbitrarily undone, we are going back to a place of conflict almost immediately. we will reduce our credibility in the world because i suspect the russians and the chinese the french and germans in the british will just continue the deal and will be sitting outside with our credibility grossly damaged and with the rand saying we live by the agreement that now the united states isn't willing too so we are going to do what we are permitted to do. then you are right back where you were, where we have pressures on us to build bomb and there was pressure on us. it doesn't make sense and i'll believe this will win out. same thing on the paris agreement, on climate change.
look. i've been following the climate issue since 1980 whatever. i've been to most of the parties do not understand the science very well. scientist no human beings are causing problems with the climate. look at the storms on the west coast today. last year we had $27 billion spent on storms. it's a huge increase in the past we spend billions of dollars to cope with acute asthma which comes from air-quality from fossil fueled planes. from a health point of view, from a national security point of view, from an environmental point of view, from every bit of science that's coming at us, we need to deal with climate change again, i don't think that in the
end people are going to move away from that because it's real and the rest of the world is moving towards it. the bottom line is there are millions of jobs to be created and if we don't pursue it, i guarantee you china, india and other countries are going to pursue it, and they will pursue it to our detriment and loss economically and otherwise. :
or climate change or health issues or other issues the i ran nuclear agreement. by the way china is extremely helpful in the i ran nuclear agreement helping to decide new plutonium reactors so i cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium and they have assumed leadership role on that. this has been a new kind of partnership and russia likewise. even as we see this tension with russia and obviously this around this invasion of our democratic process we were able to cooperate with russia in getting chemical weapons out of syria, in getting the iran nuclear
agreement done, on creating the marine, the largest marine protected area in the world and an art tick, on dealing with the airlines emissions reductions agreement, and dealing with the paris agreement, in dealing with the kaj ali agreement on refrigerants that we have actually found a way with russia in the midst of this conflict, to make progress and that's an important message. >> clearly a moment of great tension right now with russia. i would love to take questions from the audience. we will bring a microphone quickly. give your name. >> gave a great response to the u.s. leadership but the fact that question was asked in the last few months, the question is
should more have been done to get the message across to the people here and internationally what you just said. >> i think we probably should have spent more time messaging on it to a degree although i'm not sure with the current framework of communications, but that would have made that much difference. one of the greatest challenges we all face right now not just america but every country in the world is we are living in a fact less political environment. and every country in the world that espouses starts worrying about the authoritarian populism and the absence of substance in
our dialogue, if we could call it that. there is a long, well defined history of what happens when you have economic fear and pressure in the level of exploitation of those fears coupled with sectarian or ethnic exploitation and a kind of simplistic sloganeering politics. what will we have to do about that? >> we will have to fight for it. a lot of people are struggling. if policies are going to meet -- be made in 140 characters on twitter and every reasonable measurement of accountability is
being bypassed and people don't care about it, we have a problem and it's not just our problem here in the united states. all over the world. i mean do you realize an entire presidential campaign here in the united states of america there wasn't one question asked about climate change in three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate, not one question. stunning. what are you going to do about climate change? not once. so this is a huge problem folks and we are all going to have to figure out how we are going to restore a measure of accountability to our system. i might add in this whole issue
of the norms of how we go through a nominating process. we have a whole bunch of hearings that are taking place without, and i'm stepping you on my daily wic but it's quite amazing to me when i think the hoops i had to jump through with respect papers submitted and documentation and tax returns and a whole bunch of things. suddenly that his god who and it's not as important. i think we have a lot of reckoning to do in our country in the next days and months and i can sure i can assure you when i'm out of this office i'm going to spend time along with a lot of others to try to focus on it. >> i think a lot of people are getting a free pass in the incoming administration. , yes or no? >> i thought i got by that one. [laughter] >> i can bail you out.
i'm a high school teacher from north carolina and you just talked about how when we use a medium like twitter we strip important issues of complexity so i've a question question that comes directly from my students. one, they want to know what's in important international issue that you would like for them to study and too they want to know after they study it will use skype with them? [laughter] >> i would like them to study the eu europe right now and i would like them to study brexit and how they think it works. and then i would be delighted as i will no longer be secretary when i skype with them. >> so you will skype them no tweeting, is that right? >> i think there are some big questions on the table so you know china, russia spheres of
influence is a big question. global governance, failed states, increasing numbers of failing states and corruption a huge issue and where is the accountability going to come from that creates better governance, greater stability, more response to citizens in various places. those are worth studying, all of those things. new platforms of communication. how is democracy going to move faster and more efficiently given the increasingly hard task of building consensus without the consumption of. i can run through a list like this. these are all things that leap out at vsi come out of this job.
there are some fascinating and challenging issues out there and the more input we can get from young people, the better it will be. >> we have a question right here. >> i'm a former refugee and a u.s. citizen so i want to ask a question about the refugees from world war ii and conflicts around the world. what is the perspective for refugees and what should this country be doing and the second mr. secretary what worries you the most and leaving the office? what are you going to lose sleep , not because of the semesters and that's where the world is today? >> what worries me the most is i won't be there. [laughter] >> because nobody else can do the job? >> i'm just joking, honestly.
that's the other thing you learn in life and in this business. there are always other people who can do every job and it's a good thing to learn. i believe the answer to your question is partly found in what i decided way back, about a year and a half or two years ago. we have just written our whatever number of checks to cover the cost of refugees in syria and we are the largest donor. the united states of america's probably the largest donor in the world to the global challenge of refugees and i say global because turkey puts many millions of dollars into taking care of the refugees that are in turkey but we can should be it and other countries take care of them everywhere.
i just say to myself this is crazy. we keep writing checks and we can keep more refugees pouring into europe and europe is going to see its politics vastly altered by this and so writing checks is not a solution. that is when i decided to try to put together the international syria support group and bring people to the table and say we have got to end the war in syria and the solution to the problem of all these refugees in my judgment is a macropolicy that we need to embrace, all of us in the developed world in the developing world. now, i'm going to step way out here. i believe we need urgently a new marshall plan which is focused on the most critical states in the world in certain locations particularly the middle east
north africa and south central asia where we have got to push back against the huge youth -- they're about 1.5 billion children in the world under the age of 15, some are opera to 400 million of them will not go to school. and that is a problem for all of us. i remember talking to one of my fellow foreign ministers in northern africa and i won't say which country and i asked him you have a pretty large population here. are you concerned about it and he said to me we are scared stiff about it we are worried about it. i said why? he said while the extremists pay money to grab these young kids, 13, 14, 15 and they separate from them -- from their families and indoctrinate them in once they are fully indoctrinated they don't pay them any more. they send them out to be the next recruiting waves. he said they have a 35 year plan
then he said we don't even have a five-year plan. that is the problem, folks. that if we have a whole bunch of countries in which a bunch of people are simply going to be left to the devices of people who have a very different mission from the rest of us, we are going to inherit that because of our role in leadership because there are no borders, because we see already what happens with the internet and how you've been proselytized and mobilized and inspired. so we have to counter it. that's one of the things we have quietly done in this administration. we now have lowered to a trickle the number of people being recruited by da'ish, isil and we have done that by opening different places that are communicating in the indigenous language with indigenous populations reaching out, but by
putting new images up, by countering the narrative and it's a very proactive majoring gateway but still if you don't get those kids in school, if you don't provide economic opportunities their lives to improve. no world in which almost every human being has access to the little red paint dealer instrument we all carry around they all can see what everybody else in the world has which also means they know what they don't have. so that is a massive tool of change which we saw in the course of the arab spring. i think we have just seen the first wave of this. if we continue to have dictators , change constitutions and try to stay in office, if we continue to see him moving away from the fundamental order and structure that the world worked so hard to create ever since world war ii and which we have
organized ourselves around, we have to care about those things and so when you asked me one of the things i worry about i worry that this mix of frustration when you talk about america first, yeah we all understand what that means and it means turning away from these other things we have a problem. i think and let me give an example. the state department has the 51 billion-dollar budget. 22 billion of that goes to usaid everything we do in foreign policy in the united states of america is about 1 penny on the dollar of what we spend and i think that's insanity in the world that we live in today. so we have got two plus it up. people say how can we afford it? we have a deficit of hip this and that. we are taking care of things here at home when you take care
of these other issues because we spend a couple trillion dollars in iraq and afghanistan because of things that came from somewhere else to affect us here. if we don't decide that there is no longer an over there and over here, there is just an everywhere and we are all connected we are in trouble. and so i am for investing because in the long run that investment pays off 100 million different ways and it saves us money and it saves us the treasure of sending our young people to some other country where we have to fight because we didn't do what we could have done early on in preventing it. i think this is a big challenge for all of us. we need to do more and we need to get other countries. by the way china has agreed to cooperate with us on codevelopment in the world. this is another defining thing that has come out of this management of our relationship.
we could actually develop in certain places and leverage other countries to come to the table and be involved but no one is immune to this. we need to work together to come up with ways to get more teachers and more health structure in place in countries because that will stability and i think that's the way we will make the greatest difference to our security in the long run. >> mr. secretary, thank you. i'm told that we are out of time. sounds like you are saying there are so many issues want to work on after you leave office. c yale and i haven't found the best way of doing that is but yes. c are you going to start your own order to station? >> no, no going to start my own thing. i want to find the right thing to do within the context of -- i