tv [untitled] June 27, 2012 7:30pm-8:00pm EDT
isn't it time to begin doing something on that. >> it's an important issue. but it's not about turkey. >> dodd-frank was intended to make sure no financial institution in america was ever too big to fail. no one believes that that's the case. we know that these institutions have grown much larger, rather than smaller. my friend, i count votes, there's not the votes there. too much influence by the financial institutions and the special interests. so we may be facing another bubble.
thank you for that question on turkey. i would be more than -- i know that ambassador tan here has also been one who supports the glass eagle restoration as well. thank you, ambassador, for your support. >> go back to turkey. >> could you introduce yourself? >> my name is javier -- i was born in iran. i live in florida. you mentioned the last statement was the partnership between america and turkey is going to help to movement of the north africa and middle east. but honestly, if we look at it, yesterday he mentioned that the commander of the u.s. military in africa, african commander, i believe, he said there's three major terrorist groups.
al qaeda, the nigerian group, and some group in mali. and somalia, they make an alliance. the question is this. if west or whoever shows interest create this -- they took away the gadhafi power. which nobody wants that guy. don't get me wrong. because of this, we have more problem in libya. more problem in western africa. whose benefit is this? is it the people of africa? what is going on here? the financing of the war. finance both of the war. you can use turkey. you can use iraq, syria, afghanistan. america has better position today as an influence in the
middle east with one million or half a million soldiers in middle east, compared to 20 years ago. which is more influence there? that's the question. >> that's a good the question. i'll try to make my answer short. but nearly two years ago there was a young man who was a college graduate who couldn't get a job, who was selling vegetables, who was mistreated badly in front of his family and friends by the police, and he burned himself to death. that lit a fire that will not go out. it will not be confined to the middle east. so the arab spring, in my view, is misnamed. because vladimir putin is more uneasy today than he was before. the chinese leadership is -- there's unease there. it's worldwide. and for us to have wanted to keep the status quo in the middle east of the world, it
would be a terrible mistake because change is taking place. so the job the united states of america should have, in my view, is to help channel this and assist these people who are seeking the things that we have always held as our responsibilities and our duty that all of us are endowed with certain rights. so when i travel, i will be traveling at taxpayers' expense this break. and i'll be, among other things, going to observe the elections on july 7th in libya. libya has a long way to go. but 80% of the people in libya have registered to vote. i will predict to you a massive voter turnout. contrast this with what commentators on far right and far left said. at the time we were assisting the libyan people's legitimate
rights in their struggle against moammar gadhafi. and that was oh, it's probably al qaeda. we don't know who they are. probably al qaeda. we don't know who they are. the united states shouldn't be involved. we should be involved. we should be involved. and yes there's going to be rocky times in these countries. the latest election in egypt brings great uncertainties as to our future. but they had a free and fair election. generally free and fair election. and they have elected a new president. and are on the path to democracy. this is what we want to happen in syria. tunisia has huge problems, but they have a freely elected government. all i'm saying is the united states should assist, help, but not dictate. when the united states starts dictating with people, that's when the resentment rises.
so i'm overall optimistic. but there will be ups and downs. i would like to remind you after the berlin wall fell and the collapse of the soviet union, many of these former iron curtain countries had their ups and downs. we look back now and it was a smooth path. it wasn't. someone elected a government and later elected the communists again. look, the world is changing. tech tonic changes. the world's economy, shifting the asia pacific, this arab spring. people are asserting they legitimate rights. and the united states of america in many cases is the example. you know who else is the example every place i go in the region? turkey. we want to be like turkey. that's what they say. they see this reconciliation between islam and democracy.
i've made them very clear. but when you see what people want, they understand that this reconciliation between fundamental islam and democracy has to be reconciled. that's what is happening in turkey with certainly some difficulties as well. and i stand here not as a critic that we are gridlocked not far from here and the american people are not very happy with our performance either. i hope that responds to your question. >> senator, this morning you've been somewhat restrained in talking about syria. i wonder if i contempt you to say more explicitly what you want turkey and the united states to do, what you want nato to do. >> one of the criticisms right
now, and there's legitimacy to it, is that the leadership of the syrian resistance has not coalesced. the best way to resolve that and to have that coalescing is to have a safe zone on the turkey-syrian border. where they can organize. where they can have the fundamentals of a shadow government. and of course, to train and equip and help those wounded. and that sanctuary would have to be protected. i'm not saying the united states should go alone. i'm saying the exact opposite. if the united states ever contemplated boots on the ground, it would be the worst mistake we could make. but working with our allies, we
could have a coalition of the willing, and i hate that phrase, by the way, that we could help arm, equip, train the syrian resistance. and i want to point out again when people say well we shouldn't help them. it's not a fair fight. russian arms are flowing into syria. the iranians are on the ground helping with the techniques of torture and intimidation. a civil war is when the two sides are rough ly equal. i would like to see those steps taken. i would like to see the united states lead. first and foremost, i would like to see the president of the united states stand up for the people of syria. say this massacre is terrible. it all of us should condemn it. the other day the president
spoke and didn't say a word. so the greatness -- one of the reasons why historians will judge ronald reagan as one of the greatest presidents in history, because even in the face of criticism, he stood up for the people behind the iron curtain. he gave them courage. he gave them the belief that we were with them. can't wen stand up and speak? can't the president of the united states stand up and speak for the people of syria? can't he say this massacre is unacceptable and must stop? so that's the first thing i would do is speak up for him. that really matters to people struggling. -- was mentioned by a speech by ronald reagan. said, oh, you schon have said anything. after he came out he said it was the greatest thing that ever
happened. so let's speak up for them. let's help them. let's get them and other nations already now are getting arms and equipment. but when the price of a bullet for a coalition of coffee is still $3 on the black market, they still need more help as far as that is concerned. i hope that explains that. #. >> just to extend my extension, two questions. you mentioned the inan plan. since saudi and iran have not been invited, which is interesting to participate in the geneva talks, i would like your views on that, if you could, senator, and whether iran needs to play some role given the influence in syria. also by extension on the other question. turkey's indication of article five nato attack against one as an attack on all. that would set an interesting precedent. how do you respond to that? >> first of all on iran, um, if
i thought there was the faintest possibility that iran would play a constructive role in syria, i would obviously welcome it. but we couldn't to have some hopes that iran will be cooperative, and clearly it is the opposite. and from the iranian viewpoint, maybe that's understandable. because the general matis, head of central command testified if syria falls it's the greatest blow to iran in 25 years. they lose their connection with hezbollah. lebanon has a chance to be free of their influence. their last state in the arab world then goes against them. i can certainly understand why the iranian view is they want to keep bashar in power.
there's been a real change over the years, and it's unfortunate. the secretary general of nato, mr. rasmussen seems to feel it's his duty to assure everybody that there's no possibility that nato will be involved. my friends, that's a far cry from the 1990s when we went to bosnia on behalf of muslims being ethically cleansed. it's a far cry from without security approval we went to help muslims being slaughtered. so all i can say is that mr. rasmussen in particular, but the nato allies have been a great disappointment to me. i'm sure they are absorbed with their economic crises that they
lurch from one day to the next. but i have very little optimism about nato. but all of these things could change to some degree if the united states would leave. it used to be the united states leads from behind. now the united states does not lead at all. >> michael from tennessee tech university, cookville, tennessee. >> i know the city. my in-laws live there. >> i know that. >> senator -- you mentioned -- >> my son's wife's parents. >> you mentioned briefly the kurdish situation in turkey, which has been going on in the current form for over 30 years.
could you go into detail about what you think turkey should do to further a solution to the kurdish problem? >> the first thing that's happened, and it's worthwhile mentioning. you will see a modern, thriving, dynamic economy. you will see shopping centers, multiplexes, it's incredible what has happened to the kurdish economy over the last 25 years since they were once living in the mountains. it's been incredible. and it's been the turkish influence economically that has been the driver. all of these places that i'm talking about are turkish investment and partnership with the kurds. so with that economic success, it has dramatically reduced the influence of the pkk in kurdistan. so they've been more and more
isolated. and that's why i think to some degree that the kurds have not objected when there have been air strikes within kurdistan against the pkk. i don't think there's my doubt that the pkk is a terrorist organization. i do believe there are legitimate glee advances that kurdish people have in turkey. but more and more, the pkk is being isolated at the turkish government reaches out more and more to them. and acts more and more vigorous militarily. which brings me to syria. in syria there's a very large kurdish population. and they have been pretty much on the sidelines in this conflict that's going on. but more and more, we are seeing a more tendency of the kurds to
side with the resistance. and the latest leader of the turkish -- excuse me, syrian national council is the ethnicity. it so will be interesting to see how the kurds behave in the weeks ahead in the whole civil conflict in syria. as joe lieberman and i in the resolution stated, it's clear this the pkk is a terrorist organization. and the united states of america should do what we can to assist in stopping the acts of terrorism that they commit. . thank you. >> senator, i have a question for you, please.
suppose that -- is broke by syria. you would think the american interest would be protected by muslim brotherhood or turkey? >> you know they have a very good relation with the turkish. or the saudi in syria. or american interests. thank you. >> if i understand the question correctly. i think it's -- the saudis are concerned about events in syria, obviously. as is cutter, as is uae, as libya is about events in the unfairness of the conflict. and the longer this drags out,
obviously, the more likely or possibility that it could become a proxy war. between iran and saudi arabia, and not to mention the longer it drags out, the more likely foreign fighters come in and there's a greater influence of al qaeda and other extremist organizations. all i can say is that the syrian resistance needs help. they need weapons. they need to be able to organize. they need to be able to -- effectively resist a russian-supplied, iranian-supported effort to clamp down and repress the people of syria. the longer it goes on, the worse it gets. and i believe that this
statement that bashar al-assad will inevitably go, which the administration has been saying now for mons and months, he may eventually go. but how long will it take? and as i ask our secretary of defense the other day, well, it'sinevitable, i asked him, how many more people have to die many at that time the estimate was about 9,000 people have been massacred. now it's up to 12,000 people. how many thousands have to die. i think that's a legitimate question before the united states america relies on the inevitability of bashar al assad leaving power. >> one more question ah, eni do apologize to the many hands that still want to ask a question. we'll ask two more. the lady in blue, and then i get the last one. >> all right.
>> you worked with my father-in-law, quinton when things were friendly, right? >> yes, indeed, a great man. >> a mad asked a question, which was similar to what i was interested in or wanted to ask. how can the -- you want us to help syria. we're in afghanistan and iraq, how can we be assured that we're not going to send troops eventually, this kens me. and secondly, is diplomatic, anything diplomatic out of the question with these countries? with syria? is that completely out of the question? and then i have another. you mentioned that obama didn't say anything. he did back -- getting rid of mubarak, and he's being
criticized for that too. so i don't know -- >> first of all, as far as mubarak is concerned, if you talk to our egyptian friends, they will tell you he was very late in supporting the ouster of mubarak. i appreciate mubarak, i appreciate the long relationship we had with egypt, the camp david peace accords which were vital, all those things were important. mubarak was going to go, my friends. he was going to go because the egyptian people no longer would tolerate that government. and we should have recognized that early on. as far as the difference is concerned, i understand that americans are war weary. i understand that there's a raising isolationism in this country. in fact, the house of representatives, dominated by republicans, passed a resolution
before we got engaged in libya, that we shouldn't have anything to do with libya, the united states should say stay completely out,p to the ever lasting shame and my view of the republican party. i understand american war weariness, i also understand the historic role that we play in the world, and that is that we help people who need our help. and that does not mean american boots on the ground everywhere, it doesn't mean we engage in every fight. but it does mean that we provide moral -- and where we can, physical assistance to those people who are struggling for freedom. i do not envision any scenario where the american people would support a military american boots on the ground in syria. but i do envision a situation where we could provide, along with our allies air support for the preservation of a safe zone
where the syrians could organize, could have lines of communication, command and control, and all the things that are necessary to acheesh a military victory on the ground. >> one last question. and if you apologize to those in the audience, i'm going to ask it. i want to dig a little bit deeper into your very good answers about what we should do in syria to the day after. the day after military intervention, albeit not just united states, but coalition. assad has left -- you may face a syria where our word revenge is stronger than the r word reconciliation. and many people don't believe that the united states has a
very good record on the day after. how do you see that scenario playing out? >> i think it's going to be very dicey, i think it's going to be difficult. i think the longer this conflict goes on, the longer the rec ing sill yags process will take place. in a way i look to libya. libya, we still have these various militia's running around, we have the misrata brigades, the benghazi brigades. there are checkpoints as you drive through tripoli, and there's a long, long way to go in the process of reconciliation. at the same time, as i mentioned earlier on, july 7th, they will have a free and fair election. i will be there with our outstanding ambassador chris stevens, and so -- and then i'm sure you're going to read reports of them -- the militia
taking over the airport for 24 hours. the problem of the arms flows that were in gadhafi's inventories flowing the throughout africa is a big problem too. and there will be enormous problems. one of the things we should demand of this syrian resistance group, we talked to them heavily about it, is that part of their platform, part of their commitment to the people of syria is reconciliation. reconciliation. that doesn't mean there aren't going to be scores settled, and they will have their ups and downs, and two steps forward, and one step back. but the status quo is not acceptable. the status quo of bashar al assad continuing to massacre his citizens. they're not going to give up, they're not going to stop, is an
unacceptable situation. so as we look at all of the problems and difficulties and challenges, you have to always come back full circle to the point that the present situation is not acceptable. and that's the worst of all scenarios. i worry about radical islamic fundamentalism, and i think all of us do. that's another reason why i place such great faith in our turkish friends who have shown you can achieve that balance to a significant degree. but i also believe that our are fundamental beliefs and our fundamental role in the world is to help people who are seeking what we hold most dear. and we have made mistakes, and sometimes we've gotten into things we shouldn't have. i can give you a long lecture some day about the mistakes we made in iraq, and why we neglected afghanistan for so long and got diverted to iraq, and all that.
but the cause was just. it was the way it was carried out that was -- serious mistakes were made. i hope we have learned those lessons. no one that i know that's rational believes that american boots should be on the ground. but what we do believe in is a coalition of countries that will help achieve an end result to this terrible situation that's going on in syria today. and i want to finally end up by saying, as i began, we are in a period of enormous change in the world. no country in the world is immune from this incredible -- it's not a disease, it's a movement that knows no boundaries that is triggered by devices such as this. i remember being with a group of young people in tunisia, a young
woman said, senator mccain, it's not the first election we worry about, it's the second one. that's right, i was in egypt, one of the young men said, i can get 300,000 people in the square in three hours. the world has changed. and this has facilitated that change. no longer can you impose total censorship, no matter how hard you try. it seems to me, the united states of america should play and can play a role, not by intervening militarily, but by inspiring these people. the way our beloved ronald reagan did during the cold war. the way harry truman stood up when the american people were war weary. that's the heritage and greatness of america that i think calls for american exceptionalism. everybody has called the 20th century the american century. i believe it's still possible for the 21st century to b