tv Capital News Today CSPAN July 2, 2009 11:00pm-2:00am EDT
if you take with the commitment is in the bill and to take it to the 1990 level, it is only 4% target. the europeans would like to see a much more defined and robust target. this is where i think you have to -- europeans' acknowledge they have to give president obama's some domestic space to work this process out here.
in a way, all of this is leading to the climax of the climate conference in december. the european leaders cd g-8 summoned as a huge market. but they might be fearful they will run into december and will not see hard and fast targets. again, i think the message here, you are going to see the european leaders publicly praised the president for his leadership, and rightly so, but i think probably they will really drive to try to seize the moment, seize the momentum, and see the commitments. a climate change, we have different priorities. is the number-one priority for europe, and our agenda is very full. it is important, but for the europeans is critical. steven? >> you want to talk on the trade issue? >> remember, the discussions on
climate change will take place in the major economies format, which will be on the last day of this whole series of proceedings. that involves not just the g-8, it involves all the major economies, including india, china, everybody else. it is important when one brings about the u.s. position and all of this, one has to recognize that the european position, almost european countries is broadly consistent, is very different from where other countries are, and the u.s. plays a pivotal role in trying to bridge gaps and facilitate some kind of agreement, even if it is just principles short of a commitment. i am not sure based on the commentary that in past practice one would see a commitment, maybe one would or would not, but what is very
much on everybody's mind is this is one of the last major groupings of the world leaders before the copenhagen summit at the end of the year. it >> briefly on trade, i think it was a lot of trepidation at the start of the obama administration about what was going to go with trade. we have seen a lot of great talk about private trade. the question is going to be, is there really action? did they miss the window for trying to push climate trade legislation, health care, all the other items on the agenda? they have made recent statements about reviving doja, but the real risk is not just the g-20, the south korean president will be there. the real risk is the european union is getting close to signing be fta, and a real risk
is that the rest of the world moves forward. there are over 300 agreements out there that exclude the united states. will they view the trade leadership as gone? i think it is good intentions, the question is, what is the time frame and how do you prioritize? i think have a better sense that he is more open toward trade and in the campaign. it is hard to get a sense, and i think it would share this, about what the priority is in terms of his agenda. other questions? that is it. thank you all for coming. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
>> coming up next on c-span, president obama, adding -- commenting on the june unemployment figures. then a form looks at the obama administration and the discussion on u.s. foreign policy with abc news correspondent martha raddatz. >> tomorrow on "washington journal," the associated press white house correspondent jennifer loven talks about her interview with president obama. nico pitney discusses the unrest in iran following the election. jason motlagh talks about the
situation in afghanistan and also talk about the future of the republican party and conservative movement, plus other political news of the day. it "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> how is c-span funded? >> publicly funded? >> donations, maybe? i have no idea. >> government? >> c-span gets its funding through the taxes. >> federal funding? >> public funding? >> how is c-span funded? 30 years ago, america's cable companies created c-span as a public service, prohibitions -- private business initiative with no government mandates or money. the government reports that employers cut a larger than expected -- cut a larger than expected 467,000 jobs in june, the unemployment rate climbing to 9.65%. now president obama speaking
with reporters in the rose garden shortly after a meeting with chief executives from energy companies. this lasts about 10 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. i just held a meeting with the ceos of some of the most innovative energy companies in america to talk about growth, the progress of a sector that represents a big piece of america's economic future. as our economy adapts to the challenges of the new century, new ways of producing and saving and distributing energy offer a unique opportunity to create millions of jobs for the american people. obviously, this is a timely discussion, on a day of sobering news. the job figures released this morning show that we lost 467,000 jobs last month. while the average loss of about 4000 jobs per month this quarter is less devastating than
the 700,000 per month lost in the previous quarter, and while there are continuing signs the recession is slowing, obviously this is little comfort to all those americans who have lost their jobs. we have taken extraordinary measures to blunt the hard edges of the worst recession in our lifetime and to offer assistance to those who are bearing the brunt of this economic storm. but as i have said from the moment that i walked in the door, it took years for us to get into this mess and it will take more than a few months to turn it around. that is why the discussion that we had today is so important. it is men and women like these who will help lead us out of this recession and into a better future. my job and our job as a government is to do whatever we can to unleash the great generative powers of the american, and a -- the american
economy with their efforts, and i am sure that we can prove what this nation can achieve when challenged. i'm confident we will not only recover from this recession in the short term but we will prosper in the long term. to do that, we have to act now to build a new foundation for lasting growth. energy is one of the pillars of this new foundation, essential both to our recovery and our long-term prosperity. i am pleased to say we have achieved more in the past few months to create a new clean energy economy than we had achieved in many decades before. the recovery plan will double our country's supply of renewable energy, already creating new clean energy jobs. thanks to a remarkable partnership between automobile makers, although workers, an informal advocates and states, but we also set in motion a new national policy to increase gas mileage and decrease. carbon pollution from new cars and trucks sold in this country
-- and decrease carbon pollution from new cars and trucks sold in this country. last friday, the house of representatives passed an extraordinary piece of legislation to make renewable energy a profitable energy in america and will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce the worst consequences of climate change and hold the promise of millions of new jobs. jobs, by the way, that cannot be outsourced. the cdo's standing behind me know a lot about these kind of companies. these are people whose companies are helping to lead the transformation toward a clean energy future. even as we face tough economic times, even as we continue to lose jobs, the ceo's here told me they're looking to hire new people, in some cases double or triple in size over the next few years. they're making money and they're helping their customers save money on the energy front. these companies are vivid examples of the kind of future
we can create, but it is now up to the senate to continue the work that was begun in the house to forge this more prosperous future. we need to set aside the posturing and the politics and put aside the old ideological debates, and our choice is clear, a choice between a slow decline and renewed prosperity. it is a choice between the past and future. of the american people, i believe, want us to make the right choice, and i am confident the senate will perry at every juncture in our history, we have chosen this sees big opportunities rather than fear big challenges. we have chosen to take responsibility and honor the sacrifices of those who came before us and fulfill our obligations to generations to come. that is what we're going to do this time as well. thank you very much, everybody. >> mr. president, d you have a message for the small businesses
on health and the economy? -- do you have a message for the small businesses on health and the economy? >> the message for small businesses is, many of these businesses started as small businesses and they're getting to be big businesses because of the extraordinary opportunities that are out there. another message is they should probably contact some of these ceos, because it turns out that can save small businesses and large businesses alike up to 20% or 30% on energy usage. when you hear the innovation that is taking place, everything from led lighting that can save a huge amount on energy costs to new concrete materials that last longer and are waterproofed from the inside out and that can mean bridges and roads and buildings
last 20 or 30 years longer than using conventional concrete, when you look at what is being done with solar energy right now in places like houston and florida, and the fact that many of these companies are exporting their goods and services, but unfortunately, their biggest markets right now are europe and japan because we have not done enough to emphasize clean energy in our own country. that gets you excited about the future. and one of the things i have consistently talked about since i took office, and on a day where we see our economy is still having a tough time getting moving is we're going to have to shoot for the future and not look backwards. so much of the debate around
health care, so much of the debate around energy has been based on this idea that somehow if we stand still and we do not do any thing, we will be better off. and that is just not how this world works. that is certainly not how the modern economy works. we know we have to change how we use energy. we know we will have to change how we operate our health care systems. we know that we will have to change how we train young people to compete in this new global economy. and so to make the argument that somehow we should just locked in on the status quo or perpetuate the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place and that somehow will solve our problems just is not make any sense. and what these folks are all about is the future. and that is what america has always been about. we're not folks who are scared of the future or look backwards.
we always meet the challenges by moving forward. that is what i think will happen this time as well. thanks, guys. >> solar panels and wind turbines at the white house? >> i was just talking to secretary chu about how he will consult with these outstanding folks to figure out how we can improve energy efficiency here. i just told you, we're moving the process. >> this weekend, discussions with presidential advisers, from richard nixon to george w. bush, friday night at 8:00 eastern. saturday morning at 10:00, congressional and public support
for presidential agendas. then, lessons learned from serving the president sunday at 4:25 eastern, all on c-span. the first five months of the obama presidency was the subject of this panel discussion at the aspen ideas festival. charles ogle three joined journalist david brooks, margaret carlson and others. this last just over an hour. >> all right. good evening. and welcome to obama and the challenge of expectations, a look at the president's first six months. i am the political director for atlantic media, which is proud to be a co-sponsor of this event this week with the aspen institute's. and we have a great and multitudinous panel with us tonight. we ended up in the brady bunch
size range. at one point today it looks like we were heading more toward the neighborhood of john and kate, plus 8, but we stopped at a more manageable number. i want to introduce everybody real quick and give you a sense of what we're going to talk about, the order of battle, and plunge in. on my floor right, the longtime president of common cause. beside him, professor charles ogletree of harvard law school, whose students have included 1 barack obama whom we have heard of since. margaret carlson is the editor of bloomberg news. our senior national corresponded at npr and a longtime host of "all things considered." david brooks is a columnist for "the new york times," and those
of you know a battery of sons working on their curveballs. we will do tonight is try to work through with this panel some of the different aspects of the early stages of the obama presidency, what we have learned about him, what maybe are some of these excesses, what are some of the problems that may be looming out there. then we will turn to you for questions and then we will bring it back at the end and i will ask the panelists some lightning around questions where i will try very hard to hold you to one-word answers with final thoughts before we go out the door. let me start with a broad question. these have been very eventful first few months of the president, probably not since reagan's first few months, if not 1965 lyndon johnson or franklin roosevelt in 1933 have we seen so much activity on seven fronts domestic and foreign.
-- on a sum many fronts, both domestic and foreign. when you look across the board, but at this specific policy choices and broader choices regarding government's strategy or the way they are managing our relations with the world, out of all these decisions, which have been the most consequential? what has obama done so far that is most likely to shape the rest of his presidency and the way americans judge him in 2012? linda, which are with you. -- linda, we start with you. >> i think he is moving on some of different fronts is difficult to evaluate because nothing is done. however, if i were going to single out one thing he has done, which very much impressed me, it would be the cairo speech. i am way out of my turf on that because i spent a lot of time on
domestic politics and foreign policy is not my area, but listening to him talk about the cultural heritage of the moslem people, talking about the tremendous libraries, his constant references to the holy koran, i do not think i have ever heard another politician repeatedly called the holy book of a muslim faith the holy koran. he even talked about the first moslem member of congress being sworn in by placing his hand on the holy koran that was and thomas jefferson's personal collection. i think that' reaching out, combined with who he is, what he is, a black man with a heritage that touches on the muslim faith, that it seems to me was one of the most extraordinary moments of his head ministrations of far -- of his
administration so far. who knows if old wind up being significant, but i do not think anybody would be able to reach out like he was. >> professor? >> to me, beyond all the national security and terrorism responses, i think the most important thing that happened was the appointment of hillary clinton as secretary of state. it's a lot of courage and confidence in the team that would make a difference. it made it clear he is very serious about terrorism and global issues. i see that appointment as an extraordinary vote of confidence, that he and secretary of state clinton's ability to lead the issue, and also that she is in charge. i think that will be a decision that goes down as we look at the conversations about iran, north korea, and israel and palestinian issues, that her
appointment is quite significant. >> i think in terms of the big change that the president committed to, the single most important thing he has done in the first six months is go after everything at once early on. think that decision may well shape the extent to which she is able to bring about the kind of structural social changes that he really promised during his campaign and during his early days. the president is at his height of strength in his first year. it can continue, but it tends to dissipate. he is at the ultimate point of his power and his public support. he has an absolutely unique situation in congress. that 60 of the vote he got today is a magic vote.
it is not simply an abstract 50 votes break a filibuster. this is the first time in 30 years that either party has had 60 votes in the senate. the senate has been absolutely tied up in knots for years now. this is because of filibusters, the threat of filibusters, and the use of the threat of filibusters, to require 60 votes to pass the bills. it has been impossible to function there. the president now has an opportunity to enact his change. the 60 votes is the money needs to pass legislation. you will see the battles go on between the moderate democrats and the liberal democrats. senator mcconnell who is the master of stopping things has really lost his power.
when you combine that with a substantial majority in the house of representatives led by a speaker who i believe is the most effective, skilled, and top speaker i have seen in 40 years of working in washington and a very strong leadership and enough votes to carry legislation, you absolutely have a unique opportunity for big time change that i do not think we have seen in quite some time. i think it going for it now, that your decision, could be the biggest decision they make. >> some of the things i would have chosen are gone. that was hillary. i would put hillary clinton into a characteristic that i have seen no drama obama. it is an ability to change course, the change of mind, without a lot of drama to it. he does go on to another day without a lot of fuss.
for hillary clinton, it looked huge. then it just works and the criticism died down. he got off tom-so very quickly without seeming to be disloyal -- tom dachelle with testing to be disloyal. he changed on the torture photos. that pass by without a lot of fuss. he may drop the public auctioning -- option health care, which i think is a terrible idea. his personality, he does not about the character very much. he seems to be an integrated personality. he seems to be seamlessly in the same way without creating these
firestorms that bill clinton would have. in the clinton administration, you would see the number of people boxes for people who have the last war. obama is very curious. it does not go on forever. it is making them fast and furious. some of them might be wrong to ban on their point of view. there is an approach that he has that he showed during the campaign. he never got mad for instance. we all wanted him to get mad. many of us did. not davis. [laughter] that is a good segue. david, who is well sourced in the white house, he refers to
the president as a senior administration official. [laughter] >> i think it is self confidence. a world leader came three big country and all the journalists. they said what is obama like. they said they'd never seen a leader so self assured. i come to think that obama -- the word obama will denote self- confidence. someone has so many obama's, etc those have a good size and that said. they think -- good sides and bad sides. after you criticize them, they call you the next morning after the budget measures.
the obama people call and say we like you, we admire you. my job is if we are attacked by terrace during the harvard-yale game, we are screwed. it has created an atmosphere where they had this intellectual superpower, and the people who will rise in this administration are the people who will dominate a table with sheer brilliance, like larry summers, people -- peter ordaz ag. those people really dominate, the real sense of debate. the negative side of self- confidence is the decision to do everything at once, with eight people. they had to do it by handing off a lot of power to capitol hill, which i think led to a lot of
mediocre policies when it could have had a clear and may be more ambitious policies, and second and finally, it is just the money. the money is out of control. it happened under bush, i grant you that, but in 2019, the national debt will have doubled, the payment on interest will be $81 9 billion per year, which is conservative, and there is no way that is sustainable. the talks a deal about cost control. but a control 60 votes and to control the house, you are in st. if you try to cut people off and cut benefits, if you try to make touched -- you are insane if you try to cut people off and cut benefits and make tough choices. >> let me follow. we are seeing certain characteristic elements of his governing strategy, both at home and abroad. one of them is what david alluded to, which he has shown a
willingness on a variety across the board to let congress handle the details, giving a lot of leeway. we were talking about the climate change bill in washington. i asked, did the administration say to you i must have this, we must have that? he said, no, they let us find the water line, what would be a majority position in the house. obviously, they got there, barely. i asked harry reid earlier, he said barack obama has never said the words to him, "i must have" this that. is this shrewd or too passive? >> i think it is a necessity. that institution is an impossible place to navigate. the democrats' hate the republicans, that that -- the democrats had the republicans, the republicans hate the democrats, the house hates the
senate and vice versa. we learned a lesson from the clintons on how they handled health care. as a matter of reality, you have to let the people with expertise up their do their thing. it gets messy. you get the opportunity at the end of the process when you are in conference to go for the things that really matter. i think they have enormous expertise. they are doing that record of i agree with david on the financing. at some point, obama will have to strongly pipit and focus on the deficit question and on a spending question. he has to try to get the other stuff done first if he is going to get it done and did the does not deal, he is not one to end of successful the long term. >> what is the cause that you see?
>> i believe in a strong executive. people in the executive branch of any party to make coherent policies based on things, which i think is a coherent way to make policies. you need compromise. if the handover to quickly to congress, yet five and a defect people with their own interests and all they do -- you have 535 people with their own interests and all they do is just try to get across the passing line. you get things which can pass which were not coherent. if you are trying to create systems, it is a complicated issue. you need pieces that will actually fit together. and do not think it is the way to go. >> if you send the completed bill to congress, you are
looking at six weeks of headlines of obama loses a key portion -- it is chopped apart on the hill, anyway. the way the congress works lately is that the house and in the senate are totally at odds, democrats and republicans. when you get the document into congress -- that is what the president has it. it may not be the best way to do it. until we get many picture -- mini-of the thin air, it is not filled with people who have safe seats. there is no way that you can handle them.
that is one way. we watched bill clinton do it another way. he is channeling ronald reagan to me. ronald reagan calls everybody and says, let it that top down. let simplify. barack obama cause everybody in and says, we care about covering everybody. he has a few things he cares about. they know what they are. the congress knows. >> has he gone too far? >> he insists on getting said the in october on health care, he is likely to end up with half a load. if he had his way about it, he would have a single payer system. the. option plan was already -- the public option plan was there and
now he is talking about the co- op plan. interning so much over to congress -- in turning so much over to congress, i think he is going to end up with a lot of compromises and want to get something through and it will happen, because congress -- more than half of it was the insurance companies. this is the absolute worst you can have. >> we will come back to health care. you look at him and look at the way he is approaching this. is this characteristic of the way you see that he approaches the world? when harry reid says that he is never said i must have this, does that surprise you? >> not at all. when the ball being the first
african american presidents, that is an ambitious chalice. students do not think they are the stars of harvard, they think they are the smartest in the universe. his are the dealt with that to a different point of view. he is going to be very p ultimately not do what we saw with any administration. it is not be perfect. it cannot be universal. but it'll pass. he has accomplished a lot in his first year. he is not even been here six months. he has a vision of what it is going to look like. as you think about the
inauguration in 2013 -- we are watching north korea. he goes to venezuela. he went to cairo and he talked about supporting israel and the right for help in the state. that has not been done. he is both the benefits and burden of eight years of a bush. -- of a bush. people expect him to change the world over night. >> let me go back to something that people have touched on. one of the aspects of this strategy is a willingness to move away from positions that he
took in the campaign has not inconsiderable ones. he wants to reduce carbon emissions. he accepted a house approach that gives away 85%. he opposed an individual mandate, and is now accepting it as the cornerstone of a deal. he opposed the idea of eliminating the pollution that prevents the taxation of health and play -- employer provided health care. now he said he may do some of the. is this sensible flexibility or is he going to far and too casually renouncing conditions? >> welcome to american politics. this is not unusual. i think there is some danger in it.
he seems quite self assured in the notion that he can do this and then explain it to people. some of these things you have to do. it is just a reality. so far, the public is still very strongly with them. sooner or later, you start to really anger advocacy groups that are part of your constituency. it is a balancing act. he seems to be pretty skillful at balancing, but there is a risk involved here. >> the can we all get along the works better at the harvard law review than it does with congress. he gives up to much brown in the beginning by the ground in the
beginning by turning over how a bill will look and by signaling ahead of time there should be "i must have th's." he got zero votes. i would rather international be the moderator then our congress. >> we just become totally unused to the idea of compromise in congress. congress is that total war. the previous president's attitude were so on come from -- uncompromising that you cannot necessarily take that at the highest good. we had back in the republican
party, back when the great plains liberals with the boat with the republican sometimes into the democrats other times, those people a gun from congress. we are seeing something we have not seen in a long time. it is a look right. >> here is another aspect. democrats are euphoric. they have never had the power in a long time to change. the senators to know what to give it to the president. the house on what to give it to the president. they have been sitting around for a bought -- for a lot of the clinton administration not being able to pass a single piece of legislation. >> democrats are working better with obama than they did with clinton.
>> clinton was saying, i wanted this way. >> sometimes they get caught in the crossfire. you had members on the left voting against and members of the right of voting against. these are the kind of thing they might have lost under clinton. >> this was told to me by somebody now. he also worked in the clinton administration. he made 60 calls to chairman in an afternoon. his position on call 16 was 180 degrees from the others. he said bush never made the calls. they never had conversations. that is why they rolled him on the spending issues. obama does have good relationships with capitol hill. i would say it is because he
lets them do it. >> this may be characteristic -- you went into it earlier in a negative light, but there is been a lot of effort by the president at reaching out and trying to splinter the business community. i was at the rose garden a few weeks ago where he was surrounded by the presidents of 10 major auto companies, including eight that he does not own. they agreed to waive the economy standards. this is in a 20 year war in washington. there is enough support from the utility industry that the main trade association was neutral. there were several major utilities that supported it. on health care, the health insurance co. to this point have
been more supportive than not. the question is -- there are plenty of opponents. the ama is very skeptical of health care. they are peeling off a significant slice of the community. is this shrewd or is he giving away too much in substance to earn his political support? >> i think that on some bills, he is looking at a confluence of events which give him an opportunity. i think that it is not so much that he seeks to splinter as that he sees possibilities. he sees vulnerabilities and openings. he big businesses that are having a hard time supporting health care, it opens the possibility that they may not be totally opposed to health care a different way.
the extraordinary way the economy is sinking has meant that all kinds of -- the american people are not willing to pay the prices for energy they have been. i think just the economy has created a situation which has given him some opportunities, and it seems to me he is looking at them. >> one other prism icy -- i see, i was there when he was there and i covered its, and should kahlo politics -- chicago politics has the lakefront, sophisticated, liberal, intellectual, and obama is of that. >> not the white track. >> what you would say the wide track. then there is the blues track, which is a practical style of politics, very un-80 logical,
but the model of chicago is "where is mine." if you are a leader, where is mine? you helped everybody m helpedine. i think he -- you help everybody get mine. the question is, what do they need? that is the principal side of obama which was lost in the campaign. it is the key to why this administration is so efficient. >> it may be signaled by a b appointing a rahm emanuel of staff. you would not do that if you are not planning to govern in that way. several things that he is conceding too much. >> he is respecting and reaching out to businesses. unlike congress, business seems to think that he means business.
they want to compromise with him. that is good. they are only going to go so far, but you get what you have so far and you are headed the game. >> he will face a choice on something like the public funding. there are many degrees you can go and they are more supportive than not. on cap and trade, they had to make a lot of concessions to keep utility on board. some of the oil companies as well. do you think he can see -- can it conceded too much on these grounds? >> and some time, you have to have time pass on sending as important health care. somebody is going to suffer here. you have yours and you have yours. i'm going to have mine.
mine is that cannot do this without the essence of this. the insurance companies are going to suffer. are they going to can see it? are they going to go down? are they going to cooperate? that is where you have to have a core principle and what you believe in. >> one theory that helps is the inverse of what you are describing. everybody is going to take a nick to get it done. nobody will have an artery/. >> except for future generations. >> maybe not. the big question that we will not of the answer is the one you raised. are they going to take on entitlements and medicare? if they do not, they are not going to be able to deal with the finances of the country. if they do, they have the capacity to do it. it is the thing that has the
representatives hating most. it they run every two years. i do not write off the possibility that he will take it on once they get there. finances are the allocated. >> they are talking about six and a billion dollars in medicare savings over the next decade. that is now not allocated toward reducing the deficit but reallocated to paying for a new entitlement under health care. it makes you wonder if medicare is the long term solution. an awful lot of this is going to be channeled to paying for something else. where you go to do with the deficit numbers that you read? >> i am such a single issue fanatic on this.
the things that they are talking about, you know more about health care than i did, they are talking out this med pack. that is an existing organization. it is an impressive organization. maybe they would grant them a fair bit of power to potentially dry line. it would not be the most democratic organization, but it might be effective. >> can make one point about bipartisanship? i work for a liberal republican in the 1960's. i spent my career working for non-partisan organizations on the organizing principle of putting together a bipartisan coalitions through legislative battles. i would say that the
bipartisanship, if you are talking about significant numbers of republicans, is a false title today. it is not possible. the republican party has over the years become increasingly conservative. there are no liberal republicans. there are a handful of moderate republicans left compared with 15 years ago. you cannot do this. what you can do and what has been done, they picked up three republican votes on the stimulus package and that won it for them. on the global warming battle, and they picked up eight republican votes and if they have lost eight of them or four of them, they would have lost it. >> i am the most liberal republican on earth. [laughter] i hate to the stimulus package. when you look at congress, you
have a gang of 14, of 10. it is possible if you pass a legislation in the right way. i agree with you in the house. there are like eight moderates. >> clearly, there have been few republicans crossing over on this vote. is that more a function and who is left? the members of both the house and senate are concentrated. is it a function of what obama is trying to do and the way he is doing it? >> i think that in 1974, when every democrat who could lose -- every republican who could lose lost, yet a very concentrated essence of republicans.
that was all you have. that is what you have now. it is not that small. it is from people who do not care or are bothered by opposition. and they are not bothered by constituents to be there. it is a structural question. i have no idea how you could go to the states and say, let's consider iowa, which does not draw a business based on how they vote, but simply on not dividing towns and how many are in each one. that is all they do. i asked one guy what do you do, demographic maps? he said, no. he uses grand mcnally. >> but meeting is out of domestic policy and talked
about national security. we have not been on senger initial comment. one -- since your initial comment. he has renounced the policy. he is a closer than people anticipated. when you look overall at the approach that he is taking, how do you -- what seems to be the unifying theme and where he is trying to take this? >> he is relentlessly optimistic in addressing the issue of terrorism. i like that. i take it is a bold statement about closing guantanamo was important. saying we would not torture is significant. the problem with guantanamo now exemplifies that we make a promise you cannot keep, you
need to rethink whether guantanamo needs to be closed. i say that because you cannot have this present of all people who is a libertarian -- he people detained without charging them. that cannot happen. that is wrong. i say that with great pain to think that we need to have to address that issue with this administration. at the same time, there is a plausible solution to guantanamo. one of the things that we are missing is to think about the fact that they send a group of federal judges, republicans and democrats, down to guantanamo and try them there. forget about moving the will to iowa or kansas. go to guantanamo. the judges are going to make sure the people who are guilty or convicted, for innocents are
released. all the politics are out of it. that is one of the untested ideas. that has been out to the box. i hope to see the attorney general and white house support this. we have to find a plan. what he has done -- now we are talking about a strategy without the details. that is very problematic. >> this is an area which has a fortune on the left and a certain amount of praise from conservatives. is he finding a middle ground on this? >> he said several times that when he looks of the idea foreign-policy he looks at george h. a w. bush. it is a foreign policy that a lot of democrats and republicans can now embrace. he is a big position with afghanistan. that was a called a divided
people with in the it ministration quite seriously. i happen to be over there. the thing that kept hearing from people on the ground, from the military, who a lot of which had surged in iraq, and their general view was we like the afghans better than the rockies and we are more hopeful about afghanistan. they said it will take a long time, but if we are here, we can really make this work. that was not an easy call to make. joe biden opposed it. he made that call. it was basically the situation of the bush strategy that was left on the table. it was the right call. i have lost track of who belongs to what, but that was an impressive decision. it goes along with the cairo speech. >> on not succumbing to
pressure, to do what anybody wanted to do -- thanks to the twister, we were all i iranians that we. -- thanks to the twitter, we were all iranians that week. when obama was a candid, he said that he was able to switch on and change. what he didn't do that with was guantanamo. you are so bright. somebody who has obama's inner lawyer and his philosophy cannot hold people indefinitely the matter how horrible they are. he is going to have to find his way out of that one. on iraq, he would truffe fewer troops or slowly.
now we will see how it works. -- he withdrew fewer troops more slowly. now we will see how it works. >> part of the difficulty for the president on iran seems to be that he was reluctant to do were say anything that would preempt or foreclose the possibility of going back later and having the engagement and negotiations and that he clearly has the cornerstone of this politics. some conservative critics were putting him in a no-win situation. if he did not speak out, he would be pushed into saying things that would make it unlikely that to go back and negotiate with them, which they opposed sending in the first place. place. having said that, when you look at the way the iranian government handled the situation, it will be possible
for him to seriously pursue the strategy of engagement and negotiation he is hoping to undertake, or will that be difficult now? >> it will be very difficult. it was going to be very difficult any way to have the conversation with ahmadinejad. i think this is going to be sort of a long ride. i think he is going to simply have to wait to see if ahmadinejad secures his power. at that point, then the only choice will be to try to talk to him. it does not seem to me that iraq is settled yet, it is still boiling. >> iran? >> i beg your pardon, iran. it is still boiling. i thanked he might as well wait. -- i think he might as well wait. about one of the good things is that the uprising would have
been at an american uprising that would have undercut it terribly. it would've been good in the short run, bad in the long run. >> it would of been panning targets on the backs. . been in a couple of riot situations. when you are on the ground, the u.s. is very far away and does not matter. the people focus very much on the near term matters. i do not know -- the one thing i would say, the obama would say, the obama administration is learning as many are learning, that we go into government, the one thing you learn is that the military people are much more impressive than you thought they were unintelligible know a lot less than you thought. -- and the intelligence people know a lot less than you thought. [laughter] >> the one thing i think we have
learned, we saw ahmadinejad with his black job a puppet out here. there is not much -- with his whack job puppet out here. there is not much different. >> i do not know how publicly it will be. i think we are going to have to make some decisions about iran in the long term. i think we will pursue it. we will figure out a way to do it that does not look bad and that is not publicly undermine. i do not know that we will go back and say we will never talk to them again. >> will this empower those were critical of that approach? would narrow the space on which obama can operate it? you can imagine the arguments of talking to to run -- pteron --
tehran. >> the illusion of power is power in washington. the illusion of non-power is non-power. while obama is widely respected and supported in the country, i think he is going to have a flexibility and leeway. i think when it starts to turn, then those kind of paths start to make you believe. >> does anyone actually think the talks will lead anywhere? >> israel is in the center of this. you have to try to negotiate with iran. it is of strategic importance with israel. there sears a worried about what iran will do, even the threat. -- they are seriously worried about what iran will do, even
just the threat. the same thing happened at tiananmen square. what we see on television is not a sign of real change. it is completely different in a week. no demonstrations, in illinois. if it done something else and had people murdered and tortured, imagine what that would have done. talking about foreign policy. the president with the most important decision with the powers of somalia. but today with the pirates of somalia. he asked what they should do. military leaders to take them out and return our captured americans. they did that. people applauded that, but rush limbaugh said that of barack obama killed these black men.
>> of the workforce. >> he never said a mission accomplished. the military takes credit. >> i would like to soon bring in the audience for questions. there is a great program -- they pulled 19,000 people and several dozen countries today. cumulatively 61% of those polled said they trusted obama to do the right thing and foreign affairs, these are in many countries. you were talking about friends and family. it raises the question if you have a president who right now has this kind of credibility and has exacted hope around the world, what does that tangibly
translate into, if anything, and turns of advancing america's placement in view world? >> first of all, and this trip to europe, it was important that he said that i'm not the world leader but a world partner. it is going to use the number, he has to say he is a partner. he is not one to tell the rest of the world what to do. you cannot use this as a championship thing. and bush, we said, well, we are behind you. his ratings were off the charts. that was until we saw how we implement the idea of protecting us in fighting terrorism. the poll was important, but i would not give much credence to a. there is the can do about it until the dollar is stronger, and the economy is better. this until we can keep career from nuclear bombs and iran from attacking israel. those are all the things the
need to happen that the foreign- policy has to be. he needs to have patience to make sure he does not move too quickly. >> any other thoughts to that before we go to the audience? >> it is a diverse assortment all across europe and middle east. >> sarah palin? [laughter] >> the country she could see from our house she did well with. [laughter] >> we have a microphone there. we have a question over here. . .
>> also, david, about a month ago where he laid out the president's legislative strategy which included setting the table and finally waiting until the night before legislation had to be passed, when the administrative and -- administration brought its power to bear. those two thoughts suggest to me that the president or the administration is perhaps more significantly involved and influencing legislation than the panel generally gave the impression. >> i would just say that when you are looking at the house of representatives and you are leaving the details to the house of representatives, you are leaving them ultimately to the speaker, who is if anything to the left of obama and who is going to be much more tough-
minded from a liberal standpoint on these policies, so i do not think in terms of the house you are -- on issues like health care or global warming, if you are really seeing a whole lot of territory. >> let me tell my rahm stories. he is a great man. he is central to everything. we knew him, us who covered him as a political animal, he has quite substantive moves. and the joke that obama tells about him is rahm lost his middle finger in a deli accident and obama jokes when rahm lost his middle finger, he was rendered mute. the other joke is that he cares a lot about american education and he is afraid american high school students are cursing at
a fourth grade level. [laughter] so he is central. and the final thing i say on the influence and the strategy of settling everything in conference is an intelligent strategy if they can pull it off. i would say how much influence they had, if you interview people on capitol hill and you ask how much -- first of all, the white house doesn't come up that much when they're describing how policies are evolving. if you ask them how much the white house has influenced them, they say not all that much. >> i would add one point. rahm has been quoted as saying, "the unnegotiable principal in all of these debates is success. that isn't a cynical argument. it's a larger view of how you governor. it reflects how you stay in power in the country is you say over crofere over the instruments of governance. you move as far as you can in the direction you want to go
while maintaining as broad a coalition as possible. if you govern in a way that creates a backlash and allows the other guys to come back in power in two or four years and undo what you have done, you haven't done very much. the bush national security policies would be a reflection of that. i think they are very conscious of what the market will bear in a broad sense. their fundamental gamble is the country will accept more government activism than in your clinton. they are trying to move forward on a lot of fronts. in a way that does appeal to the business community or some republican governors or a few in the house. obama had this very unusual moment at a press conference earlier this year where he gave a closing statement which i had never seen in a press conference. it was about the importance of persistence and i think that is very much their view of governance. the key so changing the country is maintaining country of the
rudder and everything is calibrated with that in mind. yes. >> i would like to pick up on a couple of the themes that the panel was discussing. one of them a little implicit and that is you began to discuss the congress is that you shifted sometimes in the dynamics of the congress to the dynamics of the business commute and implicitly the lobbies. in that there is the notion to which mr. obama addressed himself in the election that, in fact, our congress is a combination of the people who are elected by the people they select to elect them and influenced to an extraordinary and unfortunate degree by lobbying and the force of money and politics. and the second point was the analogy to ronald reagan who in my view struck me as just having turned the tables on liberalism by describing welfare and working people who,
teachers, as the enemies of the government. here obama came along in the election and really went after lobbyists and the force of pressure of money in congress. now we see him struggling with some of the policies. health care has been the primary subject other than foyer policy in your discussion in which the lobbies all over npr did a wonderful thing the other day and turned the camera around and instead of taking pictures of the members of the panel, took pictures of the audience and an association of which i'm associated has asked to identify all the lobbies and who hired them and paid how much to influence that debate. is the president as part of his get-a long, go along practical giving up on the opportunity to do what reagan did and turning the tables on and targeting the influencers in the congress and asking the american people what they really want, the insurance companies and the a.m.a. and
the -- >> i think i compared the congress unfavorably to hugo chavez earlier. i want to take that back. but linda was talking about the congress with nostalgia for the ronald reagan congress that you bring up. at least that house doesn't exist. it's gone. and so to that extent, that's why i seem much more of a hard-liner than i actually am because i just don't know how much you can work with these people given the way they are elected and how extreme they are and seven for a moderate, you can't find one. you can find shifting alliances in the senate. now you have 60 democrats, you don't necessarily have 60 votes. you got to reach over sometimes and find the three senators or the gang of 14 or whomever you can to put some things
together. in the how's it is hopeful. in the how's it is hopeful. >> >> as someone who gets a lot of news from the internet and cable television, my condolences -- it seems as though we are seeing a lot more what i would generically called hate speech, or at least a lack of civility and a lot of increasingly edgy kind of vocabulary and behavior. we see these food fights all the time on various cable networks. dering if, from your perspective as insiders that actually deal with the political process and the people behind it on a day-to-day basis, if this filters down to the places where decisions are actually being made on capitol hill and into the white house or is this predominantly a media phenomenon that is produced
because of the desire for circuses and a lot of action? >> good question. >> i would say it started -- i don't know if it's where it started, but it certainly is prevalent on capitol hill. i used to go to these things where a foundation used to take members of the house to the greenbrier hotel in west virginia. the idea was to get them together with their families. they can share four days together and actually get to know one another. it was like junior high, all the republicans were over here and all the democrats would sit over here. the highlight was my son sang at care okay night, with 149 members of congress seeing "new york, new york" drunk wearing fallic plan hats. that moment of the session is going down the hallway one afternoon, there was a woman weeping in the hallway. at one of the breakout sessions, she was so viciously
assaulted, she left in tears. that was called an civility summit. there is team spirit and harshness. the manners of the place. i'm sure we all find that when you go to lunch or interview him, you walk away thinking reasonable in private. >> throw out a couple thoughts. one as david was suggesting, the level of partyline voting, republicans voting with republicans, democrats voting with democrats against the other side is at the highest since the levels of the 20th century. we're the most partisan era measured that way since the 1890's and the 1900's. second, the phenomenon you're describing, i think the part of it is that is worry some in the political world is the idea of this information ghettos where more and more of the electorate certainly is hearing thing that reinforces their point of view. conservatives watching fox, liberals putting on msnbc or
whatever. they do worry about that. having said that, the white house view is that most of this cable food fight is just sheer circuses. it's about ratings. there is still a kind of a persuadeable middle in america that you can reach. the reality is that each part -- we have gone through in a book i call "the great sorting out," each party coalition is more ho emergency news. there are more that are liberals and moderates and called themselves republicans and few conservatives that call themselves democrats. each party is coherent. it's reflected on capitol hill. having said that, there is still a piece that is out there, and the white house believes you can reach that and that you largely reach it through the mass media or he wouldn't spent so much time having brian williams following him around or charles gibson having him answers questioning. karl rove said there was no
middle in american flicks and it was about activating your base. obama doesn't believe that. they believe that you have to do both things at once. enthousands your base but reach out to voters beyond that. one of the ways that you do that is through a broad mass media that goes beyond the food fight. >> thinking partisanship and getting along is that the civility seminar, they live in a civility seminar. obama instructs people never to insult anybody and never to slam the door and never to put the phone down. i don't know that rahm abides by that completely, but there is that effort. it comes through to reporters and everyone else. >> i just wonder about -- there is a few people under 50 that think they were in the good old days when all democrats and republicans got along and we had a great society. i don't think that happened. in fact, president johnson in the 1960's said when he passed all this civil rights
legislation, "we have lost the south." and the democrat party did lose the south in the 1960's and with a little bit from clinton here and there, little bit from carter, but they really didn't change it. i say that because i think there is another phenomenon going on here in terms of politics. i don't buy that the went party as a party is more conservative other than rhetoric. i think it's the same party. i think that the independents have moved away from the democratic party and the republican party and they are the party that decides who is going to become elected. and the war became the divisivive in 2006. obama had the benefit that the house changed. john says i'm going to call you a lot now, i had the power to convene a hearing. i didn't think about that. he never had the power for decades to convene a hearing. the republicans are right if they're republicans to resist everything obama does. why? they lost florida. they lost north carolina. they lost virginia. and the worry has to be if we
don't fight this guy every single step in 2012, we might lose louisiana, we might lose georgia or south carolina. the whole idea is that the red state-blue state issue is interesting, but i also think that even our country would not want a 70% party. i think you're going to see a turn in the 2010 elections. we'll lose illinois, you heard that first here, right? you'll see a turn because people like a balanced government and we can't tie too much to one party being too much to the left, one party too far to the right. i think the public is just independent and they're trying to figure out who can lead that. >> the dangerous thing is they never gave us an exit time here, so we have been pressing your indulgence and keeping you for quite a while. we'll take one more question from the audience right up here in the middle and then we'll do the lightning round with the panel and then i'll let you go on for the night.
>> are there prizes? >> only depending on how you do. >> i hate to switch it to economics, but let's talk about general motors. are the taxpayers ever going to get their money back? is obama ever going to let go? is the company going to succeed or fail? >> would you like that one. >> i wrote a column about it. >> i guess the people i interviewed who were there said the problem with general motors was the culture, the culture of general motors, which involves the executives, it involves the unions and everything else. and their fear was the administration changed one guy at the top, but essentially the culture is intact. and these are patterns, unconscious patterns of behavior that have been involved in that organization for a long, long time, and their fear was the government was sort of stuck in the middle paying for the future of general motors, but not really
either intervening or getting out. sort of just stuck in the middle, being halfway in but not all the way to change the culture or just not getting out and letting it go. so i think they were extremely mystic about general motors changing -- pessimistic about general motors changing. >> i'm going to answer a series of quick questions to get you out the door and i'll hold you to one-word answers. >> can i cheat. >> it's possible. i'll start with frarninge and david. >> my answer is 30%. >> question one -- will president obama sign legislation that moves the nation substantially in the direction of universal health care by 2010? >> yes. >> no. >> he'll find legislation, it might not necessarily move us there. >> thank you, charles. >> will he sign, by 2010, will he sign legislation that
imposes mandatory reductions in carbon emissions. >> no. >> i don't know. no. >> no. >> yes. >> maybe. [laughter] >> maybe is one word. will he follow through on his promise to close guantanamo by next january? >> by next january? >> by next january. that's what he said. >> no. >> no. >> no. >> no. >> no. >> wow, uniform. will democrats gain or lose seats in the house in the election of 2010? >> lose. >> gain. >> lose. >> gain. >> lose. [laughter] >> that was a clear message. >> will they gain or lose seats in the senate in the election of 2010? >> gain. >> lose. >> lose. >> gain. >> gain. >> gain. >> one year from today will barack obama's approval rating sill exceed 55%?
>> yes. >> i think so, yes. >> yes. but policies, no, way down. >> policies, no. >> yes, yes. >> yes. >> one year from now who will be considered the republican frontrunner for 2012 presidential election? >> mark sanford. [laughter] >> it could be mrs. sanford, actually. >> romney. >> romney. >> crist. >> well, they're dropping like flies. >> how about it will not be sarah palin. >> romney. >> romney. >> finally, what single issue will be the biggest hurdle or challenge to barack obama's re-election? >> money. >> deficits. >> he has that horrible reagan
choice. where he is going to get the money. spending. >> spending. >> money. >> the economy. >> all right. there we have it. we have you all on the record. maybe we can bring them all back next year. thank you all for sticking it out with us. [applause] >> coming up next, a discussion on u.s. foreign policy. then we will show you a preview of president obama strip next week that includes a summit in moscow. after that, today's white house briefing with press secretary robert gibbs.
>> tomorrow, jennifer loven talks about her 25-minute interview with president obama. the jason motlagh has the latest on the situation in afghanistan , and talk about the future of the republican party and the conservative movement, plus other political news of the day. "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> over the july 4 weekend, notable americans on c-span, stories from inside the white house, domestic policy advisers on their president, from richard nixon to george w. bush. honoring president ronald reagan, ken burns, on his career at an upcoming series on america's national parks, a tribute to the late writer john
updike, a two-time winner of the pulitzer prize, and a reunion of the apollo 8 astronauts. there are more books and authors this holiday weekend, starting friday morning on "book tv." by now what is on any time at c- span.org. >> now a discussion on u.s. foreign affairs with news correspondent martha raddatz. ve posted on your blog on "abc news" an update on colonel karcher. can you tell our viewers how he's doing? guest: he's expected to arrive back in the united states either tomorrow or saturday. his condition is stable but he was in very bad shape for a couple of days. they had a very difficult time stabilizing him. i learned after we filed that report that he could not be
airlifted away from the scene. they had to drive him to the combat support hospital because there was a terrible dust storm that day. and some very brave soldiers who drove him there and then when they were leaving they actually hit a roadside bomb, an e.f.p., those very, very powerful, powerful bombs that can penetrate metal. and there was a sergeant killed. so they delivered their commander to the combat support hospital and then when they were on their way back they were struck by a bomb as well. and it shows you this war as the commander told me, this war depuzz continue. host: well, on that note, in addition to the personal tragedy in these soldiers' lives, what should people understand about the violence that is taking place this week as american troops begin their pullback? guest: clearly there's been a big uptick in violence. there have been about 250 people, mostly iraqi civilians, killed this month.
but it does appear there are focusing on american soldiers again. now, one of the things i worry about a little bit as u.s. soldiers and marines full out of bases in the cities in iraq is that it is more difficult for them to get to their bases. they're further away. and those soldiers who remain, the trainers and advisors, have that force protection further away. but they have gotten out about 100 bases. they are pulling back. i think people misunderstand. they think somehow everything is closed there. the bases like camp victory, which is the major military base in baghdad, is still open. there's still a base in mosul open. er in scattered throughout the country. they have not reduced any troops in the last month or so. we're still about 130,000, a little more than 130,000. i think it will only go down to
about 12r5,000 by the end of the year. -- 125,000 by the end of the year. you have a huge american presence. they just won't patrol by themselves in the cities. but they are certainly out there, and they are certainly in the fight. i think i said on abc the other night that it will feel an awful lot like combat whether we have combat troops there or not. they're all combat trained, and if they get in a firefight it will feel an awful lot like combat. host: "the financial times" fee furred a common fare piece who is an assistant professor of history at stanford university. with the headline on it, "iraqis are too shrewd to fall for an invisible occupation." it is a follow on to what the plan is for the redeployment of american troops there.
he writes, we are at the beginning of the end. on tuesday u.s. troops left iraq's cities and in two years they will leave the country. or so the official story goes. in reality, most of the troops are going to forward operating bases which they will be hunkering down. and expensive built to last facilities. later on he writes, iraqis are too shrewd to fall for invisible occupations as me did in the 1930's with the british. the piece closes this way. in 1932 as now rhetoric about withdrawal was aimed at global as much as iraqi opinion. instead of attending only to appearances, stroking the fears of the people familiar with nominal independence, the u.s. and iraqi governments should deliver the reality iraqis and americans want. yes for independence, the troops basically out. that's my addition on the end there. guest: well, i've been calling
it a bit of a stealth force now. but we do have a status forces agreement with the iraqis that calls for complete withdrawal at the end of 2011. now the iraqis can ask the american forces to stay. they can renegotiate that agreement with the americans. i think you'll probably see forces there longer than 2011. the iraqis right now don't really have much of an air force. i'm not sure i've ever seen an iraqi helicopter in the sky. they don't have air support really. they don't have a navy. they don't have the sophisticated intelligence equipment that the u.s. does. and they do not have the ability to evacuate their own forces in a medical emergency. so there is a lot that the iraqi forces depend on the u.s. for. so i think what you might see is a renegotiation at the end of 2011. do american forces want to occupy iraq indefinitely?
no, i don't think so. when you think of bosnia and how long u.s. forces was there and when they came in the combat was gone. there were no u.s. soldiers who were killed in that conflict. so it seems pretty improbable that u.s. forces will be completely out by 2011. but that is what that agreement says. right now that all forces are out by the end of 2011. and in fact by 2010, by the end of august, ray odierno, the general in iraq, says he'll have them down to about 50,000. i think you would have to have a terrible, terrible turn in iraq, and i mean the uptick in violence would be enormous for any of those numbers to change. you have a president who wants to get out of iraq. he made a campaign promise that he would get troops out of iraq. so i think that is the path they are on.
host: we are going to take some telephone calls and come back from a break of calls to talk about afghanistan because there's clearly a major troop action there and i'd like to learn more about you. let's hear from c-span viewers. first being from halifax, massachusetts. this is chris on the republican line. go ahead, chris. caller: hi. good morning. thank you for taking my call. i was just curious to hear sort of what mar that's view on this, the difference in coverage between sort of presurge, you know, when we were fighting in iraq and taking a lot of casualties and, you know, the media was very critical of the bush administration, critical of the war's efforts. you know, there were a lot of calls for withdrawal at that time. and now i see the coverage and it just sort of seems to be everything is rosey and fine and there's very little critical coverage, you know, of the war. and also the fact nat surge worked and -- that the surge
worked and bush's stay the course ended up working. i'll take the answer right there. host: thanks, chris. guest: i think it's more critical than that. i'm proud of the media because the bush administration at the time was saying things were going well. president bush in an interview with me before he left office, i asked him about the fact that he said we were winning before the surge. and he said he knew we were not but he kept saying that. so when i say i'm proud of the media coverage building up to the surge, i think that really helped the american people understand and the bush administration that they needed to change course. indeed they stayed the course. indeed they stayed in there and president bush was committed to turning this around. and that's why the surge happened. that's why they changed strategy because they realized things weren't working. so i think the critical coverage leading up tohat was
important. i think the coverage when the surge happened certainly gave the president credit in saying that the surge had turned it around and general david petraeus and all the soldiers and marines over there worked very hard to turn that situation around. i agree that there's not much coverage now, and i think that is in fact because the security situation changed so dramatically because of the surge. and you're not getting as much coverage. and you're also in many ways the same way the army has to get soldiers out of iraq to go into afghanistan i think you're seeing a lot of news organizations switching their focus from iraq to afghanistan. but i would hardly say it is a kumbayah coverage. if you saw my coverage of colonel karcher, it is still dangerous for u.s. troops. i want to show the sacrifice
they are making over there. host: martha raddatz is an author of a book called "a long way home" which made "the new york times" and "washington post" bestsellers trip. since the war began, how many trips have you made to iraq? guest: i've made 20. that's a lot of trips over there. it meant a lot to me to continue to go back. covering the last term of president bush i still wanted to go back to iraq because that was such an important story. and i could see from the ground changes that were made. i could see the difference between 2004 and 2006 when things were really, really terrible. and the difference since i was there a few months ago with lieutenant colonel karcher of the optimism that many of those soldiers had about the situation there. so to me it's always been important to go back. i tell you the book that i wrote about is the 2-5 and that
battalion and that's the battalion that lieutenant karcher took over. . seeing the same soldiers, the same marines over and over, year after year, and the changes they make, it is a very important story for me to cover, and now many of those soldiers and marines are in afghanistan. the next call is from massachusetts. caller: i heard recently on the website -- had an article about
the treaty on the eve of world war i. the british and the french carved up the middle east. the problems of today -- the british lead us in there. they lied about wmds and the threat of saddam hussein. i do not think people were really afraid of him, except for the british and the united states. we have followed the british line. we should not be screwing around with these countries, like we have been doing. guest: i can just say that it has been debated time and time again about saddam hussein.
there is an article in "the washington post." it is a story about what saddam hussein said in his last interview, saying before he was as a -- before he was executed, saying that he was only afraid of the iranians and that is why he kept saying that he had weapons of mass destruction. in fact, he wanted the iranians to believe that because he was fearful of the iranians. it has been debated again and again. they never found weapons of mass destruction. that was a principal reason the bush administration said they were going into iraq. host: let me read one paragraph from this. it was obtained under the freedom of information act from the national security archive. if you want to read more detail, you can find it there.
the director of the archives says that there is no reason to keep the conversations secret. he said that he felt so vulnerable to the perceived threat from tehran that he would have been prepared to seek a security agreement with the united states to protect iraq from threats from the region. this is on our independent line. go ahead, please. caller: thank you for c-span. you had an interview with vice president cheney. i thought he treated you terribly. was it not the time -- you ask him a very pointed question. his reply was, "so?" in hindsight, it is probably a
lot easier to understand what he meant now than he did then. guest: it was about a year ago. i was traveling with vice- president dick cheney. we had gone to iraq and then we had an interview set up. i asked him about a poll, saying that 2/3 of americans did not believe the iraq war was worth the sacrifice. and he looked at me and said, "so?" that interview got a lot of attention. i think, particularly coming at the end of the bush administration, having the vice president say that was quite stunning. host: let me move on to afghanistan. "the washington post" have a major story. thousands of fan out in afghanistan. the south in crucial test for revised u.s. strategy. this is an area of the helmand
region. there is a band of fertile land that produces some of the largest poppy crops in afghanistan. can you tell us more about the strategy? guest: we have four thousand marines going in there. this is a really big operation. the taliban has clearly taken over the opium trade. that finances a lot of the fighting. i think i heard an earlier caller talking about an interview they heard. it was probably with gretchen peters. she used to work for abc news. she has looked into the opium trade as financing these militant groups in the taliban in that region. that is what u.s. forces are going after. this is a huge area that a taliban controls. this is the first major offensive since the obama administration has come in. i think what you're seeing now, when you see this -- i was
struck when president obama talked about the new strategy in afghanistan. this is now his war. certainly, the iraq war is his as well, but the strategy -- there is a new strategy. it is his idea what failures or what successes happen are on his store -- are on his shoulders now. sending in marines in this area is a big step. i was also reading today and struck by this, the pakistani army is putting soldiers along its border with afghanistan. some of those taliban do not fully from the fighting there, which has been a huge problem in the past this is the first sign i have seen. the obama administration has said they want to look at these two countries together. you cannot solve one without the other. there is clearly some coordination here that is going on. they have launched this operation. the pakistanis are preparing to
keep those taliban militants there. it is good to hear that they are making the effort. host: this is a sidebar story with this headline, "no limit in place for pending request for troops in afghanistan." the nation's top military officer said yesterday that no limits have been placed on the number or types of troops the new u.s. commander in afghanistan can request as he seeks to carry out a counterinsurgency strategy there. let's go to another call. good morning, rick. caller: good morning. how are you? thank you for your fantastic reporting. guest: thank you for saying that. caller: you are fair and balanced. i'm just joking. the iraq war, like it or not -- thomas friedman wrote a couple
of weeks ago in a very important article. there is a globalization of this war, obviously this story was fantastic about the gentlemen you followed. i am getting ready to go to work here. you are just fantastic. both you and c-span are fantastic. the war is not perfect. there are curious things going on. all that yellowcake that was taken to canada. we have the right people in place. i voted for mr. obama. i did because i thought he had a
better look at the whole approach of it. democracy and peace is not perfect everywhere, not even in our country. look at lebanon recently. look at serious starting to open up look at iran. i told my girlfriend seven years ago that peace will come when the power of the feminine starts getting on the streets. was i right or wrong? that is the most powerful thing. was it in intervention? what do you think? was it in intervention, like an alcoholic? the power of women in that area of the world, giving them a voice is so important to me. guest: we did a piece of on that
recently on the power of women out protesting. i was in iran in september. it is remarkable to see, particularly these young woman commeen, so frustrated. you can see them on the streets, pushing them to the limits. to have a real powerful voice. i think that really has caught the world's attention. host: we want to play a piece of video for you. we're talking about all of these different countries in that region of the world. the chief of naval operations had what he described as an unusual event. they have a consultancy that is encouraging the navy to get out and tell its story margaret we covered the resulting speech. here are some of his comments
about how the military overall and the navy in particular restructuring itself to meet what they say are the threats of the future. >> the aircraft carrier abraham lincoln was quietly in port in hong kong. by saturday, she was providing 50,000 pounds of food and water a day to the tsunami-affected area in indonesia. that event also let us to adjust our strategy in a very significant way. as i said, we have been responding to disasters throughout our history. let's see what we can do proactively. we begin a series of humanitarian missions. they have touched four hundred thousand patients from our
ships. that is in south america, the pacific, and in africa. if you consider the four hundred 9000 patients, that is like going to the verizon center, packing the house, and then having doctors treat every single one of the people 20 times. that is not an insignificant contribution that our people are making. host: the admiral went on to explain that it is this approach that the military is moving more into humanitarian efforts to help prevent future conflicts. that is an example of it. would you comment on what you have learned about this approach? guest: they have seen this work, just exactly as he described in the tsunami and the earthquake in pakistan, when the people see
american soldiers or naval officers or airmen trying to help, that changes their attitude toward americans. you can go to some of these countries -- have been traveling to pakistan four years as well. for a long time, they blame americans for their problems, for the war in afghanistan, sending foreign fighters over the other side of the border. when they see americans trying to help in an earthquake, when they see them delivering humanitarian aid, it makes a real difference. it obviously will not go away overnight. they have drone a tax they do not like. -- attacks they do not like. it works strategically to reach out to those nations. host: americans get a good
value to applying the military in this fashion. guest: i have talked to some many sailors about the tsunami relief and the connection they made with people and the world seeing what americans did for those people in those countries in trying to help. you can just see -- if you are in those countries and you just see americans at war or you feel threatened -- threatened by americans or not help, it just makes a huge difference. host: good morning to you. caller: i just wanted to make a few comments about the reporter here who is talking. you make everything sound quite rosy to a certain extent. how about some real investigative journalism to find out about when we are going to get out, what we are going to do with the bases, why it cost
$800,000 to support one soldier over there, and what are 5000 people going to do in the embassies? guest: i would not say that i have painted a rosy picture over there. we have more than 130,000 troops over there. what are we going to do with the bases? i think some of those bases will remain. we have a status of forces agreement that says that we're out of there by the end of 2011. i think there will probably be some sort of residual force. that will be up to the iraqis. we're in an agreement with the iraqis. iraq is a sovereign nation. if they want us to stay longer, we will. the embassy is the end -- is enormous. it might be the biggest in the world. it is enormous. it is a compound. you also have camp victory, which is an enormous u.s. military base on the outskirts of baghdad.
i think eventually, they would like to turn that back to the iraqis. for now, they are still working out of there. this war is not over. you are correct. it is not over. it is still a long way to go. there could be some big fights ahead of us. we just do not know. host: this morning, "the new york times" has a report on the shifting american footprint in iraq. 59 battalions. september, 2007, the height of the surge moved up to 75 battalions. october, 2008, back to 55 battalions. in june, 2009, with growing and changing roles down to 45 battalions. they moved to bases on the outskirts of neighborhoods in
baghdad and other cities. american troops are moving to an advisory role. we're talking about american involvement in this region of the world. our next call is from irvine, ky. caller: i have to organize -- helped to organize the first gulf war. i think people realize now that was planned extremely well, extremely effective it did not cost of -- cost us hundreds of billions of dollars or leave the country into a major economic downturn. that being said, hindsight is 20/20. let's look at what went wrong superfast. at that time, i had great
intelligence contacts that provided information and that went on for several years where i could quickly contact the cia and the state department and directly, the white house, quickly. i think that was instrumental in keeping the clinton administration out of the middle east when they were ramping up wanting to go i saw saddam hussein has basically no more than the mayor of baghdad. i believe the weapons inspectors [unintelligible] however, i was an outsider during the bush and administration. they and their agenda to be a little bit tougher i think i got intelligence to condoleezza
rice prior to her taking the position. however, i still had difficulty getting information. i have extensive research on it. i no longer had my contacts at the cia. i did not have a working member of the white house. my senators gave me some really nice form letters, but they toed the line with the administration. host: may i interrupt you? what is your bottom line here? caller: the bottom line is, i would like to be a peacemaker between those who thought it was a good idea who went to war and those who did not. there were some intelligence
flaws in how to get that information. everybody was moving quickly. host: we have a lot of callers waiting. anything for that caller? guest: all i will say on the difference between the first and second wars is that -- it has been well documented and acknowledged that there were not enough troops to keep the peace after the initial invasion. host: there is another aspect to iraq that is happening now. that is the oilfields. bp-led group to be a test case. the real work for its british giant is just beginning. the project will be a test case for how western oil companies will be received in iraq. we have a viewer by twitter who is very suspicious of all of this.
coincidence? u.s. withdrawal from cities, first auction of oil, oil companies demand 10 more -- 10 times more than our record priest to. guest: i think this is a test case. case. i do not want . case. security will be part of that test data and how they get on with the iraqis because the oil is certainly something they have been looking at for years and years. host: when is your next reporting trip to the region? guest: i duties at the last minute or was something is happening. i imagine sometime in the fall. host: we have eight minutes left in our conversation -- in our conversation with martha raddatz. caller: thank you for c-span.
i have a few comments to make. actually, our precipitous withdrawal from somalia actually started this chain of events that led up to 9/11. they perceive us as weak. also, our casualties in the iraqi war actually amounted to about two days at omaha beach. one final point is, in afghanistan, why don't we just cut the mountain passes between afghanistan and pakistan, thereby getting rid of the taliban's ability to
operate on that alliance? guest: it would be very difficult to cut those passes. i cannot tell you how remote and hard to get to it is and how many ways out of their. if you try to do that, it is like sealing the border when everybody says we conceal the border. it is awfully hard to do. we certainly could not do it here, i do not think. in afghanistan and pakistan, it is tremendously difficult. is tremendously difficult. not do it in iraq in the early days of the war. they said they thought they had the border sealed with syria. that did not happen. there are just too many ways across those borders. it is a very difficult tiger -- a very difficult problem. there is debate about pulling out of somalia so quickly at looking weak. i think that has been well debated as well.
that came after the horrible engagement there were many soldiers were killed. we were not prepared for that fight and we lost many soldiers that day. host: martha raddatz comes from a journalism family. we have about five minutes left with her. go ahead, please. caller: good morning. thank you for your objectivity and your voice. sometime ago, bob woodward was able to get a hold of information through the freedom of information act that showed the highest level of american intelligence met with high levels of iraq intelligence in jordan and came away feeling convinced that there were no
weapons of mass destruction in iraq. they reported this to the president. the president responded -- used the f-word. that was in december, 2002. between december, 2002, and march, 2003 when we went in, he yet condoleezza rice and dick cheney talked about the weapons of mass destruction. they sold that idea in spite of what they knew, to the congress and the american people. don't you think that that information suggest knowledge? guest: i think probably what the bush administration would tell you was that there was other intelligence and that is what they tried to present to the
american people. i stood at side the united nations the day: powell -- that colin powerll presented his case for weapons of mass destruction. the germans and french were skeptical of us going into iraq. it seemed like a lot of circumstantial evidence. even to me that day, it did not seem like particularly hard evidence. a lot of it was not new. there were questions asked about a lot of that evidence. you are exactly right. they talked about mushroom clouds. they talk about nuclear programs. i think that intelligence has been gone over again and again. i know that mr. woodward did a lot of reporting of that as well. guest: does abc have anyone on the ground with the marines in afghanistan? host: yes. i think you know today, a
soldier has gone missing from paktika province. the u.s. military says that the taliban is holding him. it is very unusual that a soldier would ever be by himself in an area like that. i think there are a lot of questions about this. the u.s. military has confirmed they are holding a soldier. that has nothing to do with the offensive with the marines in helman province. host: bid morning, dan and on our line for independents. caller: i have one question how many mercenaries are going to stay in iraq and afghanistan after the pullout? guest: by that, i suppose you mean independent contractors. that is a really good question. i will tell you honestly, i do not know the answer to that
question. i do not know the number of contractors. i do not know how they can do security without some of those contractors, particularly for embassy personnel, the ambassador -- that is usually contracted out. others are contracted out in terms of that. i think that is a really good question. i cannot have an answer for you. tomorrow, we will have a discussion about the unrest in iran following the election. we also have the latest on the issue of afghanistan.
jonah goldberg talks about the future of the republican party and the conservative movement. "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> up next, a preview of president obama's trip next week. after that, the white house press briefing with secretary gibbs. this weekend, discussions with presidential advisers from richard nixon to george w. bush. relations with the chief executive. getting congressional and public support for presidential agenda saturday at 10:00. then it lessons learned from
serving the president. >> these places remind me of modern cathedrals donors would build wings on hoping they would go to heaven. >> walter kirn would like to make changes to the way people are educated in colleges. >> i think that the lectures should be on the web. these concentration of information should not be cultish lee kept separate which they still are. >> sunday night at 8:00 on c- span, "q & a." >> a discussion on the upcoming
trip to russia, the g8 summit and donna. nuclear disarmament will be the main talks with the russian president. it will also discuss the situation in iran. he is expected to praise ghana's election. >> i have with me our senior russian scholars. they are the best in the business. with that, i will let it go to sarah and randy.
>> good morning. well, i think as long as we keep our expectations low about this meeting, we are less likely to be disappointed while i have been a very enthusiastic advocate of the so-called reset button in improving the u.s.- russia relationship, there is a flaw in our logic. we have a new leader who is ready to adjust some policies from the previous administration. in moscow, we don't have a new leader. we essentially have the same leadership that we had before. there is a dubious distinction on the russianrussian side. we should not have any illusions
about where the leadership is. mr. obama has to operate on the assumption that on any issue of importance to him from nuclear reductions to iran to afghanistan, the ultimate arbiter is vladimir putin that does not mean that president medvedev is a waste of time. he should assume that there'sbetweethere is no space n vladimir putin and present medvedev. president obama should harbor no illusions that they can take measures in moscow to empower president medvedev or any liberal officials in the government.
it creates several problems. the first challenges are presented by the unconstitutional decisionmaking arrangement which has to do with the optics of the meeting. hopefully there will be an agreement on the replacement treaty, deeper cooperation in afghanistan, the resumption of closer military ties. the most important part about his trip to moscow will be his discussions with vladimir putin fourth this of all reason that vladimir putin is the most -- for the simple reason that vladimir putin is the most influential individual in the russian government. more time with mr. putin. i know that doesn't really look good in some ways and it's not so diplomatic but we have to
face reality i think as to what the reality is in moscow and how to deal with it. now the core problem mr. obama's going to have in dealing with mr. putin is i think that he has developed a sense that he will do virtually whatever he wants to do with nearly absolute impunity. there's a long list of events that have bolstered this sense over the years. i think it's also clear that mr. putin has a chip on his shoulder about the size of the rocket jibralter about the humiliations that russia has been intellectual flibblingted upon it by the west and finally mr. putin believes that for now russia has the upperhand vis-a-vis the united states and washington needs to make all the fundamental concessions or in other words do all of the resetting. i think this combination of feeling all powerful, aggrieved and overconfident is not going to make for a very easy interlocutor in mogs cao. there are three things i would start with in what mr. obama needs to convey to mr. putin in very clear terms. i'd start with georgia. once again we hear rumors of the possibility of russian
preparations for war, to finish the unfinished business. the unfinished business. this absolutely cannot happened. last year's war was a blow to the credibility of the nine states. they need to ensure that there is no justification for responding to any russian provocations. also to be clear what are the consequences if russia is to invade georgia. iran, mr. obama needs to be very clear in briefing vladimir putin on the plan to engage iran in the the likelihood that iran remains inintransigent. decision point where moscow
would have to play both sided against the middle and decide whether they are in fact with us or against us. finally, afghanistan. obviously a very, very high priority for the obama administration. while the russians ve been cooperative in opening the quarter where the northern distribution network as the military refers to it, there's likely to be an agreement announced in moscow on the transfer of lethal material through russian territory. the russian position on our use of the military base in kyrgyzstan raises serious questions about how moscow sees its interests. officially the kremlin approved last week of the access but their behavior going back to the beginning of the year suggests that really they don't want to see us there. and i think that moscow may very well prefer to maintain their hedge mondayic position in central asia rather than see our success in afghanistan. afghanistan is a vital national
security interest where lives of u.s. soldiers are at stake and obama's got to make it clear that any ambiguity about moscow's support on this is not going to be taken likely -- lightly. finally there are a lot of questions about moscow's reliability as a partner. i was in st. petersburg for the economic forum and two days later putin's decision to blow off russia's negotiations for a session at the w.t.o. i think raises these questions in very high relief for all parties, including his own government, which in my view was caught completely offguard by this decision to enter into customs union arrangement with kazakhstan and pursue the w.t.o. that way. all right. thanks very much. >> thank you. well, in the fine tradition of a think tank, i may indeed disagree with my colleague a little bit. i want to focus my comments on the second day. maybe after the hour that president obama meets with
prime minister putin. i've been for the last several weeks involved in organizing what is a parallel civil society summit that's going to happen on the second day. it will begin on the first day but we're hoping that we get senior representatives of both governments coming to us on the second day. this is a different kind of meetingings, we have about 75 american and russian experts coming together. these are americans primarily who have worked on the u.s., coming together with russians who've worked on russia. so we have cheegs from the affordable housing field, from the human rights field, who have worked with me on helping or trying to close guantanamo and torture and indefinite detention in this country. we have noninfectious disease specialists. we have working journalists coming together with russian working journalists to talk about new media. and it's a different model because typically over the last
20 years the united states civil society was supported from the u.s. government has really approached russia as almost a problem to be fixed. so you've had -- we started with humanitarian assistance and then we went to economic assistance and we've had democracy assistance and over time this assistance has been increasingly infective, unwelcome and frankly it hasn't created the kind of space that we hope our colleagues would enjoy and it hasn't increased their capacity, whether that's working journalists or in the human rights field or in environmental fields. so this is a different kind of model. now why are we doing this? we're doing it in part because we didn't want to see this summit in fact be only about arms control this relationship is more than just arms control. and i think that in some of the statements that you've seen coming from the obama administration before they travel that they are very aware of this and that that is their hope as well.
on the second day we're expecting president obama is going meet with a series of different parts of civil society. we hope that that includes our civil society summit. but it's also in response to some small incremental changes that we've seen in russia over the last several weeks. what are these? the president did his first interview with a newspaper where four of their journalists have been killed over the last couple of years, including anna. the interview itself is not remarkable but the fact of the interview was. the president reconstituted his presidential council on human rights which is populated by genuine human rights activists and they've met and convened a couple of times. this is extremely welcome from the human rights community. and engaging colleagues in
moscow and in the region, people who experience tremendous amount of pressure from the authorities over the last couple of yeeks of the -- years. their view is to act as if there is in fact some change, that if there isn't change we're going to find out soon enough and so they're extremely glad to have american colleagues coming to meet with them in the civil society summit. i think everybody really hopes that president obama and the russian president show up. and the idea is to move essentially from assistance to a more pure-to-pure kind of engagement and we're going to see if that's possible. rhetoric in russia matters in the sense that if you think back 10 years ago in fact, 10 years ago this month, prime minister putin was then the head of the f.s.b. he gave an interview to a newspaper in which he talked about the problem with foreign assistance is not going to
environmental movement n.g.o.'s, it's that it means if they're in the employ of foreign intelligence. and after that statement, a whole series of environmental organizations were investigated. and senior kremlin officials have made similar statements over the years that have resulted in lights going on all over russia and investigations occurring. so a change in rhetoric matters in the russian context. it's not everything. but we will be looking to see if there's action that follows. and, you know, we'll see what this big experiment brings. so i think with that i'm -- i'll open it up. >> we're going to take questions on the moscow summit now. we're going to bring in our other colleagues to talk about the g-8 and africa. i also want to mention there's some materials that have been passed out to you including a book about what's going to happen with policy following the bush years in africa.
if you're in front of a microphone and you could identify yourself for the question, it would be helpful. >> hi, francine kiefer from the christian signs monitor. so, obama's going to be giving a speech at this economics university. and i wanted to ask you what you thought -- how that would be -- how much of it would be allowed to be broadcast? i don't have a sense of what's going to reach russians. and what you think it can do in terms of changing russian public opinion which is pretty negative itself about the united states right now? >> they've asked that it be televised. i haven't heard whether or not that request has been -- is it? >> well, from what i heard is that it's going to be televised on -- it's going to be televised on rtv-1. it's not going to be televised on the major national russian tv networks.
so very modest concession and sort of reminiscent, i think, of the way the chinese are treating speeches by bill clinton. >> i think, you know, this is a very important speech and he's got to do a lot of different things at the same time. you're right. the opinion of the u.s. is quite negative but i'll tell you that in surveys that we've done there has been a difference between how people view americans and how they view bush administration policies. and i think the kind of message that president obama delivered to the united states as well as to international audiences, where, you know, it's not only been a reset with russia, but he's been in the business of repairing the damage that's been done over the last eight years on how people view the united states. yo know, that this is a government and administration
that's going to be much more interested in engaging, in talking to critics as well as friends and allies. and that they're working specifically on a series of changing policies that the bush administration adopted. but the trick is that, you know, the kind of message that is very appealing in europe, i just don't know how it's going play in russia. when you are admitting, if the president does this, and i don't know whether or not, i mean, my sense is the speech is being written now, it's not finished, if you're speaking about who we are in our journey, you know, we're not perfect. and the last couple of years haven't been very good. and generally the tendency for russians is not to admit any kind of weakness. so i don't know whether or not that's going to be seen as welcome or not. i think he's got to do it and he'll be able to deliver that message. i don't think there's some
disagreement among colleagues but i don't think russians know very much about him to be honest and i think even just talking about his personal journey is going to be important because it challenges a lot of the stereotypes that russians have about who we are and our history. >> add a couple of words. first, i think it's great that he's givesing the speech, particularly at the new economic school. personally, given the grants to working with the mcarthur foundation and we're working very closely in the next phase of the russia balance sheet here. but, you know, you guys have seen the polling numbers out of the university of maryland study recently and unfortunately it appears that according to these numbers, that the russians are amongst the least receptive and most skeptical about positive change coming out of the obama administration. so i think he's going to be facing a pretty difficult challenge and considerably more
difficult than what he faced in cairo. >> hi, i'm john thanwiseman from the "wall street journal." i just want to ask about the issue of missile defense installations in eastern europe and nato enlargement. i was somewhat surprised by the tone that michael mcfall took yesterday on thinks conference call on which he said, you know, we're not going to be offering any kind of reassurance, we're not going to be use the word reassurance, we're not in the business of negotiating away anything and we have been hearing that the obama administration might be willing to offer some kind of backroom reashirnses on both issues. so i was curious what you thought of the tone that he took and what the russians might be expecting on those two issues. >> let me take a crack at that
one first. the russians are plenty aware that the obama administration is less enthusiastic about missile defense in general, democratic administrations are less enthusiastic about missile defense in general going back 25, 30 years to the reagan administration. and they've clearly understood the tone that was on the campaign trail subsequently. so they are bargaining hard and it's still not -- it's still a possibility that the agreement to agree on the start one framework agreement could be torpedoed by a failure of us to do absolutery assurances that we've changed our policy on the east central european deployments. i think where the problem is going come is down the road in december when there needs to be a signing of an agreement. there's not going to be any signed agreement about the
treaty next week in moscow. and if the russians, i think, don't see, they will hold out signing that agreement later on in the year if they don't see some satisfaction on the missile defense issue. i think the administration finds self kind of painted a little bit into a corner on missile defense as it's simply not very poll teak right now to be viewed as making any concessions to the russians who don't seem to be particularly interested in making concessions themselves. concessions themselves. >> i solve those comments differently. many people thought that did the summit was going to focus on arms control. that means that it is a reset but it is back to the days when we talk about on controlled.
the idea that civil society and human-rights not on the agenda is crazy. the point is that the obama administration is trying to set a policy that can walk and talk at the same time. it will not be done in a kind of trade-off. this is not about needing. that was the point he is trying to make. >> any other questions on russia? for we will pool in our other scholars. thank you both. if you have questions on russia coming up, please contact me and we will put you in touch with these two.
business here at csis and we're joined by a very esteemed panel here to discuss the g-8 and the trip to africa by president obama. on my left i have heather connolly who is our new director of csis' europe program. on my right, jennifer cook, and on the far right, rubin jeffrey who is our new senior advisor and covers a range of different issues. we're also hopefully going to be joined shortly by steve morrison who is our senior vice president. there's steve right there. so, welcome, steve. and i want to turn quickly to the panel. i just want to raise three quick broad points before doing so. and first, to many of the press here and the public, this really probably seems like deja vu. just a couple of weeks ago in april we were talking about president obama going to a major summit in europe to discuss the global economy at the g-20. and i think this shows the challenges to the g-8 in general and the great flux of the world system when there's
not even agreement that there will be a g-20 summit in 2010. so the appropriate title for next week might be the better along the line, g-? it might rapidly accelerate into a contrashen dough of different nations, going up to 39 nations that will span much of the globe. this has raised questions about whether the g-8 is suffering from an identity crisis. as today we look at the world, we may need institutions that have pull the approximately personality disorder in the fact that the world is not only multipolar but multiteared and multidimensional with different groups, different indispensable nations like russia and china. the europeans refer to this as variable geometry. and i think the italians deserve credit for tackling this head on though i know back when those were a priority, it can be essential to add other nations but it makes it more difficult to get concrete action which kind of raises the
second point which is, whether it's a g-2, g-8, g-20, g-39, is it going to result in real concrete action? and i think even the most generous commentaters on the g-8 have often noted there's not much follow-up in areas like development or aid, you know, many of the agenda items are targeting the far distant future for action, long after the current leaders will be long in retirement. this raises questions on current issues like the financial crisis, whether it will move beyond broad statements toward a consensus on things like stimulus trade. statements like no new protectionism, constantly saying we need to revive the doha round but we saw 17 of the 20 enact new protectionist measures before the london meeting. we've seen by chinese actions and these efforts to shake and pump new life into the doha round haven't produced vital signs of life. obama's statements may provide more hope on that. in afghanistan we have a new strategy but will there be fundsing to match the billions
in opium revenue and new troops going forward? but before we get too pessimistic, a lot of times these summits are very useful, particularly in addressing emerging issues. the example on this summit is probably iran where you look at weeks ago they were talking about it being an invited guest and starting a new dialogue and now that invitation has been rescinded in somewhat of a 180 and now sanctions are on the table. it helps coordinate in a rapidly changing world. and then finally i think this turmoil in the g-8, g-20 is indicative of a larger systemic issue as we look at president obama and others looking to -- looking to hold 20th century institutions to address 21st century problems. and while people thought the financial crisis may kind of reboot some of these institutions, we're seeing attentions turned more inward. a recent u.s. poll had the top priority of americans, foreign
policy, defense, terrorism were all 1%. iraq was 2%. environmental was less than 1%. the economy was 38%. when you add jobs, it's up to 57%. so i think it raises the question of whether these broad statements on these actions by leaders are going to be backed by real concrete efforts, once cuts into the economy are called for sacrifices. so with that i'd like to turn to heather and our other colleagues for their specific comments. >> thank you, steve. i guess i'm going provide the color commentary of the panel. and as i looked at the next week's g-8 summit, i always, my frame of reference is i go back to the to last years 'family photo to see who's standing and who's still there and who's in potential trouble. and i think looking at our european leaders, we have a real interesting sort of set of agendas and priorities and under certain elements of
political durs. i think beginning with prime minister gordon brown. he has had a couple of very difficult weeks which were obviously brought on by the scandal of the misuse of government funds and were really solidified after the european parliament elections where he really took a drumming. his popularity right now stands at 25% and that's certainly the lowest of the european leaders who will converge to the g-8 summit. the question now is sort of, when will he depart from the scene, how will it happen and the timing of that? so i think certainly prime minister brown comes to this in a much weakened state. french president sarkozy also has had a two-year midcourse correction. he's reshuffled his cabinet. i think, again, you're seeing european leaders are making political and domestic adjustments to the global economic crisis.
he remains popular, 43%, but he has suffered obviously some setbacks on his agenda. the conversation after president obama's visit there in june was that the president didn't spend sufficient quality time with president sarkozy. i think you're also hearing that refrain a little bit after president obama's visit to dresden that again you're starting to see a lot of conversation about the personal dynamics between president obama and some of these select european leaders. and that's starting to dominate the conversation over the substance. chancellor merkel was just here on friday, had a very long and substantive meeting with president obama. she's facing national elections on september 27, but yet remains very popular, 60%. in fact, she's the second most popular global figure after president obama. so she actually comes into this interestingly three months away
from elections, but she remains very popular in germany. sher visit here in washington, i think you'll hear a lot of the similar refrains around the table at the g-8. it is climate change all day all the time and she's wanting to push as vigorously as possible for some very strong public commitments by president obama and i'll touch on that in just a moment. in that family photo from japan last year you had the european commission president about a rosa. he's still looking to do his job interview. he's not sure when he's going to do it and with whom and this is again in part due to the uncertainties over the evolving european institutional structures prelisbon and then he will be there in the margins and finally i saved the best for last. prime minister berlusconi. it just makes you smile of the
you don't have to say anything else. he has been in the news at of late. i found it very interesting that the italian president recently called for a truce amongst italian press because they want the summit to go smoothly and they don't want the word call girls flittering into the headlines. i think the prime minister would welcome a slow news cycle coming out of the g-8. again, they're trying to put to rest, if you'll recall in 2001 when they last hosted the g-8 summit, there were violent otests, a protester was shot and killed. there were a lot of internal dynamics following that, following that death. and i think they want to see, obviously, a very smooth performance here. and again looking to popularity, prime minister berlusconi has fallen. he's now at 49%. i think italian politics and domestic, they have an
absorbtive capacity for scandal to perhaps other countries don't. but now i think you're starting to see where it's affecting his popularity and his maneuverability. finally on italy, again, just picking up on a comment that steven said, you know, the italians as hosts have to be mindful that they are sort of a poster child, if will you, for unfulfilled g-8 commitments and that's particularly true on development aid. will you see some public tritkism kill drble criticism, particularly from the humanitarian assistance community. they just have not, you know, talk is pretty cheap and they haven't fulfilled their commitments. again, very brief with both things that i would look for, what europe leaders are going to be looking for, climate change and the big comment now is whether president obama will make a public commitment to the so-called two-degree goal and that is ensuring that we will limit the rise of global temperatures by two degrees
celsius. again i think european leaders and this is reflective of the merkel visit on friday, i think you'll see they'll publicly praise the obama administration for great leadership and obviously a very robust approach after eight years of inaction on climate change. and they want to seize this moment and i think they want to ensure that president obama makes some really firm commitments, but they're also aware of the legislative and domestic agenda we have here and merkel's visit coincided with the passing of the waxman-marky bill. they know this is dell and -- delicate and i don't think they'll push too much on the public side but i think they will privately push president obama to make really strong commitments and finally look to the g-8 statement on iran. you're starting to see some real shaking die namics on europe on how to address iran. you have the british being forward leaning, shaken when nine of their embassy staff in
tehran were taken, eight have been returned, one's still in question, one is still held and you start hearing sanctions, you start hearing where, you know, a temporary recall of e.u. ambassadors. but then on the other hand, you're hearing german and italians issuing caution and so we're wanting to see if there will be a strong unified position coming out of the g-8 from the europeans on how to proceed vis-a-vis iran. so with that i will hands it over, ist going to rubin? >> in so far as the g-8 meetings are concerned, there will obviously be a lot of discussion about the global financial crisis. and international world economic conditions. there's going to be major discussions on food, security, the environment, etc. the elephant in the room remains very much the state of
the world economy. think of this g-8 meeting and the participants, the participants, the g 5 and the other countries, international organizations, who are going to be part of the series of meetings that will take place at the end of next week. think of it as a bridge when it comes to the global financial crisis between london's g-20 meeting and the up coming pittsburgh g-20 meeting. accordingly, the challenge for prime minister bell sconey is host and -- berlusconi is host and to make that bridge meaningful, to endorse the work meaningful, to endorse the work that's been done to date, to give it new momentum and where corporate, focus on ongoing work streams. in particular, one should watch for the following four things --
what the leaders say about to the current state of the world's financial markets and the global economy. one can expect some guarded assurances as to the current state of affairs. stability returning to the financial markets. there is data that suggest that the economic crisis at least in the developed world has bottomed out and there might be some signs of restored albeit modest economic growth. there will be no victory laps. one can expect renewed and redoubled commitment to take the measures necessary to assure that the world economy picks stays on a path of positive growth. the worst in the global economy and also to continue to work at the ongoing problem of stabilizing the banking system and addressing the challenges of legacy assets and some of
the major banking institutions around the world. parallel to that series of discussions, we'll also be some reference to, there certainly was in the communique, that the finance ministers issued two weeks ago, about the need for some forward-looking thinking on exit strategies from some of the many extraordinary measures that have been taken, which all of you are familiar with. third, there will be strong endorsement one would hope and expect of the ongoing work commissioned by the g-20 but undertaken by various bodies including the oecd, the i.m.f., the financial stability board, in the areas of financial market architecture, regulatory reform, the treatment of tax havens, efforts by thought of other bodies to address the challenges of money laundering and terrorist finance.
fourth and probably the signature piece at least in this area of financial market development and economic growth will be publication of the so-called leche framework agreement. it's a document that was mooted at the finance minister's meeting and it see essentially is a document rumored to be some 60 pages but it provided an intellectual and philosophical and conceptual chateaux to a lot of the work that's being taken in more specific microareas of financial sector reform, corporate governance, transparency of national accounts, tax havens, etc. the theory here of the case is to step back and establish some common principles of behavior related to proprietary, priority, integrity and
transparency in business and commercial and government al conduct with a view that assuming people adhere to such standards and such principles, it will be a lot less difficult to regulate and guide financial market participant behavior going forward in ways that precludes or prevents a return to the kind of excesses that we've all seen and experienced and are living through over the past several years. currently. but the idea that conceptual document is to provide guidance, specific guidance, for the various work streams in, you know, corporate governance, market integrity, financial regulation, tax compliance and data provision by various national governments, again, to facilitate greater fluidity, greater transparency and overarching theme, to rebuild
confidence of all of you and us and other market participants in the financial markets, in their integrity, structure and method of operation. this framework then would go to the work of the g-20 to help guide the ongoing work of the various sub sidary bodies of the g-20 and set the stage for an even higher level of discussion on principles but also specific implementation issues in pittsburgh come september. >> i'm going to talk a little bit about the president's trip to ghana which will be his first to africa as president. immediately following the g-8. this trip, i think, is an opportunity for the president to lay out the broad parameter of his africa policy which to date he has not yet done. i think aside from the
immediate crises in sudan, zimbabwe, somalia and so forth on which he has spoken. the central emphasis of this trip is going to be on governance, democracies, the need for strong, capable, accountable institutions and i think very importantly civic responsibility, civic engagement by civil society, youth engagement and so forth and he will likely speak to his own campaign and history in community organizing and so forth. there's a strong concern by this administration that the rollback in democracy that we've seen over the last decade, countries that we thought were on a fairly good democratic trajectory, kenya, madagascar, mauritania and others, have seen serious setbacks in the last couple of years. around that's very concerning. and then obviously the cases of continued egregious governance, zimbabwe, nigeria, sudan and
somalia. but i think there may be a focus in this administration on those countries that are making progress but like kenya, like madagascar, even like ghana, are still fragile and need attention and support. parred the voice -- pardon the voice. at the g-8, all these founding countries, new economic partnerships for african development, will be present as well as the leadership of the african union. this new economic partnership founded in the 2000's, the early 2000's, was moved by african leaders to take responsibility for governance, peer review and so forth and i think he'll use that opportunity to try to reinvigorate african leadership on the questions of governance which have been neglected over the last eight years or so. he'll have a strong emphasis on food security, i think steve morrison is going to talk about that. a major initiative that will probably be a large focus
within the g-8 and a refocus on agriculture. despite the expansion of u.s. engagement in africa over the last eight years, agriculture and sustainable food security has been missing from u.s. policy, really since the late 1970's when we did do much more on that front. the food crisis last year woke a lot of people up to this issue. i think we're going to see a shift in food security and -- from kind of emergency measures to hopefully longer term, sustained engagement in building african capacities in agricultural growth. surely there will be a strong emphasis on health, education and social services generally. building on the strong focus on h.i.v. within the bush administration, this administration has agreed to $63 million now, more than a
doubling of the commitments under the bush administration, to health and broadening the scope in that to malaria, t.b., and importantly, maternal child health and family planning services. again, areas which in the expansion under the bush years got kind of pushed aside and shunted aside. so i think a broader conceptualization of health issues and challenges and how do you build health capacity overall to lift all votes and not simply the h.i.v. aspect. finally i think a strong emphasis on partnership with african countries and strong stable, capable african countries on the security, on the security challenges, whether the many conflicts in after carks the counterterrorism issues in the horn. and kind of the looming and the new emerging challenges, west africa's become a major focus on the narcotics transfer route
and that's front and center in assistant secretary johnny carson's mind. climate change, obviously, africa's one of the smallest contributors to global warming, but will be among the most vulnerable there. why ghana on this trip? i think this is an opportunity to highlight a country that has made significant and fairly steady progress along the democratic track. it's a country that in the 1980's and 1990's and 1970's suffered a whole slough of coops and instability and just kind of your typical west african state, but has kind of really pulled out of that and had now five successful elections that have been deemed free and fair. the most recent one was very closely contested, very tens in instances, came to a runoff between both lead contenders
and the opposition party eventually won which was a major turning point, i think. came in at the same time as obama did to office and so it's a chance again to kind of highlight a success rather than the perpetual, understandable, but unfortunately focus -- unfortunate focus on crises. i think the president, too, will highlight, you know, america's long standing history with ghana. ghana, obviously, was a key hub in the slave trade. he'll make a visit to the coast castle which i think will be, you know, very moving experience. cape coast castle was a key hub in the british slave trade. ghana was the first country to declare its independence from the colonial powers and the president drew a lot of his inspiration from african-american civil rights activists, particularly marcus garvey.
on the governance issue again and health issues, ghana has demonstrated that it's investing in its people. it's one of the few countryings in africa which has met the pledge which all african countries made to invest 15% of its budget, of its g.d.p., into health. and it is doing so. although there are still major challenges, particularly in maternal child health and rural health access. ghana is also a millennium challenge corporation compact country. it's received $547 million compact over a five-year period and it's chosen to use that money and craft its capacity -- compact, focused on agriculture, rural development, infrastructure and training, all of which fit with the food security theme. it has discovered oil and it is likely to produce -- begin producing oil, not on the scale of nigeria or angola, but significant for ghana.
in 2012. that's going to be a major challenge to its institutions and its mechanisms and oversight consultations with communities and so forth so that will be something to highlight. finally, ghana's been an important partner on the security front. in a regular contributor to peace keeping operations in africa, under the previous president, led a number of regional mediation efforts. he flew to ghana, to kenya, during the crisis there. and in those kind of large continental issues, ghana has definitely punched above its weight. the questions of sudan and somalia will surely come up. i think sudan, there's some confusion, i think there are conflicting messages coming out of the administration on what the president -- what the administration's sudan policy will be. i think there's still a debate going on within the administration on how best to
move forward. does cartoon bust respond to pressures and stix or do we try to craft a policy of engagement and incentives and so forth? i don't think that debate is resolved and you've heard different elements of the administration kind of emphasizing different aspects there. and then somalia likely which is looking extremely bleak. the u.s. has just committed, not significant, but committed to helping arm the transitional, very weak transitional, federal government there. to what end it's not entirely certain that government is hanging by a thread right now. and i think it's going to be a major and pending challenge for the administration. i'll stop there and answer any questions. >> return to steve morrison before we open up for questions. >> thank you and good morning.
i'm just going offer some comments on the food security dimension of what's going to happen at the g-8 summit. this will be a very prominent piece of what the obama administration will be pushing on the depofmente side of the equation. there will be a considerable amount of discussion around the global health initiative but the food security peace has been -- piece has been pushed quite hard within the g-8 and the pressuretory steps leading up to the summit. i'll say more of what that means and why this has surfaced as such an important issue. i see you have the reauto view that jennifer and i completed with an aide of a number -- with the aid of a number of other authors. you might like in there because in the course of that year-long effort of reviewing what had happened in the bush years and what was likely to happen looking forward in the obama administration, we flagged that the time the notion that there s