tv [untitled] June 29, 2012 2:00pm-2:30pm EDT
paid staffers, but anyway, on a much more serious note before i go any further, let me just say my thoughts and prayers are with with the two turkish pilots and their families. the pilots who remain missing after being shot down by syrian forces last week. all of us are praying for their rescue and safe return. this was an unnecessary and unacceptable act of aggression and as tensions between turkey and syria continue to rise, the turkish government and people must know that their american ally stands firmly with them. i untalk about my lifelong affinity for turkey and its central role in history. i remember studding the b byzantium, and i remember hearing stories of the brave soldiers of the turkish brigade
who served alongside american forces in the korean war. i remember learning how one of those turkish units fought until the last man to repel the chinese invasion and that man was ordered to surrender so he could tell his countrymen about the heroism of his comrades. i've traveled to turkey many times in istanbul, along with jerusalem remain my two favorite cities in the world. throughout my decades of involvement in u.s.-turkish relations, i cannot recall a more dynamic and exciting time for our alliance than right now. times have significantly changed within turkey and tectonic shifts in the geopolitics of the surrounding region, both of which are casting our alliance in a new light. over the past few years there's been a lot of debate in the united states about what these changes in turkey mean. we've heard it said that turkey is embracing islam at the expense of secularism and that
its turning its back on the western favor of the east and that u.s.-turkish cooperations are with more intense rivalry, some commentators have asked, quote, who lost turkey and much of the recent debate about turkey has missed the point. it tends to roamant size the past and misread the present. the fact is turkey is changing and the nature of our alliance is changing with it. nonetheless, there's every r reason to believe that these changes could be and should be for the better. indeed, we now have an opportunity to fundamentally transform our alliance to make a broader, deeper, more durable and more relevant, in short, to make it one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world for both our countries. no one should expect this to be easy. it won't be, nor does it mean that we will cease to have our
disagreements. these will persist, but if we remain guided by a few core principle, we can succeed in transforming our alliance. one of those principles is that the united states and turkey need to deal with each other realistically, talk with each other honestly and build greater trust. this should begin with us in the united states. we need to realize that the u.s.-turkey alliance does not consist with americans giving orders and turks getting in line and to the extent that we have acted this way in the past, it might explain why many turks still feel our country would distrust and even distaste. . we also need to realize that our alliance with turkey, like other relationships that we value most, should not be reduced to the one-dimensional perspectives of domestic special interests as worthy as they may be, but perhaps most importantly, we
americans need to realize that we're now dealing with a different turkey. over the past decade, turkish democracies become more inclusive and more representative of turkish society as a whole, including as many citizens who want greater freedom to express their identity as muslims. as a result, turkey is defining a new balance between its islamic and secular heritages and the elected civilian leaders and the military's historic role in political life. america should not view either of these developments as inherently bad. at the same time, the turkish economy has experienced a decade of strong growth which has fueled an emerging middle class catapulted turkey into the ranks of elite, global decisionmakers and inspired a more confident, turkish foreign policy. these positive trends sit side
by side with more troubling once. it's widely reported that there are more journalists in jail in turkey than in any other country and that intimidation of the media is a persistent problem. the ongoing detention and prosecution of military officers have raised suspicions that many of these actions are politically motivated, which has cast the liberal tendances of some turkish leaders in a more disturbing light. finally, the recent deterioration of turkey's relationship with israel cannot serve any responsible interests and it's especially painful for us as we count both israel and turkey as vital allies. i take no pleasure in raising issues such as these, and i do so not as an enemy of turkey, but one of its strongest and most enduring friends who believes that it is only through a candid exchange of views that
we will build trust and make the most of this opportunity to transform our alliance. if we are not open and honest with one another especially where we differ, if leaders in both of our countries do not defend this alliance and explain its new importance to our publics even when it may be unpopular to do so, we will be consumed by fruitless introspection rather than directing our energies outward to advance our common interest in values. we must deal with each other realistically, but we must do more than that. we must also invest in each other's success. contrary to the dictates of politic. america must not fear the growth of turkish power nor do we seek to limit it. to the contrary, we have a major stake in turkey's success and we want to enhance it, politically,
economically and, yes, militarily. a more capable, more active and more influential turkey with which we share values is a net benefit to america's national interests and both of our countries need to invest more ambitiously in this relationship just as the united states and india have done with each other. one way to do that is by strengthening our common fight against terrorism especially the pkk. turk turkey's recent strikes against pkk fighters in iraq in which eight turkish soldiers tragically lost their lives last week are one indication of the persistent threat of this terrorist group. that is why senator joe lieberman and i have authored a resolution expressing solidarity in the fight against the pkk and urging greater cooperation against the international financing and propaganda efforts as well as u.s. intelligence and
military support for turkish actions to take senior pkk leaders off the battlefield. such steps could empower turkish leaders for the demands of turkish citizens. another way to invest in each other's success is through greater trade and here we need to be much more ambitious. the best way to do so would be to explore the possibility of negotiating a free trade agreement. more ambitious still would be to join with turkey in constructing a new architecture, similar to the transpacific partnership. i know this may complicate these goals, but this has not proved problematic between turker and states and it shouldn't hold us back, either. similarly, while our defense, trade and cooperation remains
strong, we now have a huge opportunity to expand it even further. turkey is one of the only nato member states that is actually increasing its defense spending. turkey is talking about acquiring a vast array of more advanced capabilities and growth fund, naval, air, intelligence and missile defense. the united states is a natural partner for turkey in its military modernization and we should use this as an opportunity to better align our military capabilities to become more interoperable and to devise a common, strategic framework to guide cooperation between our defense industries. more importantly than how we relate to each other and more important each than how we invest in the other's success is what we do together. how we we can align our gait power in pursuit of common goals and not just responding to the
events in the middle east, north africa and central asia and leading and shaping those events for the better in accordance with our shared interests and values and it is true that a more powerful turkey is more willing to go its own way with its national interest demand, but what is equally true and far more important is that the interests and values of a rising, democratic turkey are increasingly in alignment with ours, and this is evident through our cooperation with missile defense and one of the major contributions together in afghanistan and our closely coordinated efforts in response to the revolutionary changes sweeping the broader middle east. indeed, despite our occasional differences, our countries share the larger version of the future of this vital region. it is a vision of democracy, individual rights, opportunity and the rule of law.
a vision most importantly that we share with the vast majority of people in central africa to central asia, it is being tested and it's being tested across the region, but nowhere more than syria. it is now believed that now more than 12,000 lives have been lost and still asidy escalates the violence going from infantry and snipers to tanks and artillery to unleashing plain-clothes thugs to commit mass atrocities and now to helicopter gunships. syria's recent attack onna turkish fighter jet fits into the escalation and all the while assad's slaughter is being enabled by russia and iranian weapons and there are even reports of iranian operatives on the ground in syria. clearly, this is not a fair
fight. in april, thanks to the special efforts of the turkish government, senator joe lieberman and i visited a camp in southern syria whose population, by the way, has since doubled. i've seen my share of suffering and death, but the stories of those syrians told still haunt me. men who lost all of their children. women and girls who had been gang raped, children who had been tortured and none of this -- none of this was a random act of cruelty that sadly occurred war. syrian army defectors told us that killing and rape and torture is what they were instructed to do as a tool of terror and rape and torture and intimidation. so if i get a little emotional when i talk about syria, that's why.
the situation in syria cries out for u.s. leadership not just to save syrian lives, but to support our ally, turkey, when they need our support the most. the conflict in syria is becoming a strategic theft for turkey. it is welcoming them by the thousands. turkish pilots shot down over international water withes according to turkish leaders, and the longer this conflict grinds on, the worse it gets. the more sectarian divisions harden, the more al qaeda gains influence, the more the syrian state disintegrates and more turkey is faced with violent chaos on its border. the united states needs to devote a fuller measure of its power to help end the conflict in syria as soon as possible, not just because it's the right thing to do, and not just
because it would be a strategic defeat for iran, but because it can help to consolidate a new kind of relationship with turkey and it can show the turkish people and government that america is willing to take risks for the sake of their security and invest in their success. and that we are not an unreliable partner or declining power as some in turkey allege. we cannot afford to squander this opportunity. conflict in syria is but one part of a larger story that is now unfolding across north africa, the middle east and central asia. it is the story of struggle by people throughout this region to reconcile islam with democratic politics and the secular state. to support the power of armed groups and military forces to elected civilian authorities, to resolve ethnic and sectarian differences through politics and not violence, and the free markets and the popular demands
for equitable and economic development and to do all of this, in the struggle with the submersive and hedgemonotic am bigs of iran. turkey is now a central player in this epic story, and as i travel through the region again and again, it is clear how inspired people are by turkey's success and how much they wish to emulate it in their countries and modern turkey has never had greater influence to shape the development of its region and with that power comes an even greater responsibility, responsibility to lead by emp y example. more and more people in the central africa, middle east and africa are looking to turkey to guide their own struggles to justice. it is minority, religious liberty and tolerance, freedom for journalists and relations
with neighbors and the democratic institutions. in short, turkey's ability to set the high standards of democratic development has never been more critical. in all of these endeavors, turkey and the united states can accomplish far more together than apart. it's this simple, my friends. if the broader middle east comes to be defined more by peace than war, more by prosperity than misery and more by freedom than tyranny, i believe future historians will look back and point to the fact that two of the world's preemnant, democratic powers, turkey and the united states transform their longstanding alliance to withstand the realities of the 21st century. if we keep this vision of our relationship always up in our minds there is no dispute we cannot resolve and no investments we cannot make in each other's success and nothing we cannot accomplish together. thank you very much.
[ applause ] >> senator mccain, that was inspiring and i'm sure there will be a lot of questions. we have microphones that the interns will bring to you. the first hand i see right here. senator bill jones, executive intelligence review. the debacle with the goldman sachs showed that the measures of the frank-dodd bill will not be sufficient to stave off a new bubble. now is the time to, again, begin discussing the glass steagall re-installing glass steagall to prevent a hyperinflationary blowout. there were 70 sponsors to that in the house. there must also be motion in the senate. this week is very important, as you know.
there's pressure on germany to start to reinflate the european economy. geithner is also discussing according to reports and giving support to that which could lead to a hyperinflationary bubble, more funny money in the system and glass steagall could stop that if congress has the will and the courage to do that against the sabotage of the white house. i think their -- the view of the american public to the congress will increase rapidly as this thing moves forward. this is the time to begin doing something on that. >> it's an important issue, but it's not about turkey. >> let me just say very quickly, dodd frank is intended, with all due respect, that america was never too big to fail. no one believes that is the case. we know the institutions are much larger rather than smaller
and the senator and i will introduce legislation for restoration of glass steagall. my friend, i count votes. there aren't the votes there. too much influence by the financial institutions and the special interests and so we may have -- we may be facing another bubble. i don't know. clearly, we haven't changed the fundamental challenges that we -- that are still there with the passage of the, quote, dodd frank, bill, thank you for that question on turkey. i would be more than -- i know that ambassador tan here has been one that supports the glass stowingal restoration, as well. thank you, ambassador, for your suppo support. >> going back to turkey -- >> could you introduce yourself. >> yes -- i was born in iran. i live in florida, and i happen
to stop by and we mentioned the last statement, the partnership between america and turkey is going to help to the movement of the north africa and middle east, but honestly, if you look at it, i just heard john hamm yesterday, the commander of the u.s. military in africa, and the african command, i believe, he said there are three major terrorist groups, al qaeda, and the group called boca ratton and something like this, and some group in somalia will make an alliance. the question is this -- if west or who was behind will show interest create this -- that took a kay gadhafi out of the power which nobody wanted the stupid guy, don't get me wrong, but the mess is, because of that, because more problem in libya and more problem of
western africa, the question is who benefitses with this? is it the people of africa and the financing and the -- finance both of the world and of course, and turkey and you can use iran and iraq, syria, afghanistan, and we get more and the bottom line is america has a better position today as the influence in the middle east with the 1 million or half a million soldiers in north africa and the middle east compared to 20 years ago, which has more influence? >> that's a good question. i'm trying to make my answer short, but the fact is that nearly two years ago now there was a man in tunisia who was a college graduate and who was selling veng tanl vegetables and
he burned himself to death and that lit a fire that will not go out. it will not be confined to the middle east and so the arab spring in my view is misnamed because vladimir putin is a lot more uneasy today than he was before. the chinese leadership and there's unease there and it's worldwide and for us to have wanted to keep the status quo in the middle east or the world 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 inalienable rights. so when i travel -- i will be traveling at taxpayers' expense this break, and i'll be, among
other things, going to be on serve the elections on july 7th in libya. libya has a long way to go. but the fact is 80% of the people are registered to vote and i predict there will be a massive voter turnout. contrast this with what commentators on both 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, there's probably al qaeda and we don't know who they are. i hear this over and over and over again. they're 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 and they had a free and fair election.
generally free and fair election and they have elected a new president and they're on the path to democracy. this is what we want to happen in syria. tunisia has had huge economic problems and they have a freely elected functioning government. so all i'm saying is that the united states should assist, help, but not dictate. when the united states starts dictating to people that's when it rises. so i am overall, i am optimistic, but there will be ups and downs. i would like to remind you again that after the berlin wall fell and the collapse of the soviet union, many of these former iron curtain countries had their ups and downs. i'm sure -- we look back now and it wasn't and some of them were elected to communists again. so -- look, the world is changing, the tectonic changes
and it's shifting the arab pacific and the arab spring where people are asserting their 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 this region? turkey. we want to be like turkey. that's what they say. a lot of them, i wish more of them would say we'd like to be more like america, but they see this reconciliation between islam and democracy and i've made my criticism and i've made them very clear, but when you see the -- what people want, they understand that this reconciliation between fundamental islam and democracy has to be reconciled and that is what is happening in turkey with certainly some difficulties, as well. and i stand here not as a critic giving with full and certain knowledge that we are totally gridlocked here, not too far from here and the american people are not very happy with
that performance, either. so i hope that responds to your question. >> i'm the professor at johns hopkins and the scholar at the middle east institute. senator, this morning you've been somewhat restrained in talking about syria, and i wonder if i can tempt 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 leadership and 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 turkish-syrian border where they can organize, where they can
train and equip and help those that are wounded and that sanctuary would have to be protected, obviously. i'm not saying that the united states should go it alone. in fact, i'm saying the opposite. if the united states ever contemplated boots on the ground it would be the greatest mistake we could ever make, but working with our allies and our friends in the region, 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. when people say we shouldn't help them. it's not a fair fight. russian arms are flowing into syria. the iranians are on the ground helping them with the techniques of torture and intimidation. it's not as if that one side -- when they say it's a civil war. civil war is when the two sides
are roughly equal. so i would like to see those steps taken. i would like to see the united states lead. first of all, 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's abominable. all of us should condemn it. the other day the president of the united states spoke and he didn't say a word. he said talk about the annan plan, my god, the annan plan? so one of the reasons why historians will judge ronald reagan, one of the greatest presidents in history is because even in the face of criticism he stood up for the people who are behind the iron curtain. he gave them courage. he gave them the belief that we were with them. can't the president of the
united states stand up and speak for the people of syria? can't he say the massacre is unacceptable and must stop? so that's the first thing i would do is speak up for them. speak up for them, and you know how much that matters to people that are struggling? it really matters. nathan was mentioned in a speech by ronald reagan back during the cold war and the left said, you shouldn't have said anything, it would make life so much tougher, and after he came out he said it was the greatest thing that ever happened in gulag. let's help them and let's get them and other nations already now are getting arms and equipment. when the price of a bullet for kalashnikov is still $3 on the black market. they still need a lot more help as far as that's concerned. i hope that explains that. just to extend my extension on the quen,