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tv   C-SPAN Weekend  CSPAN  January 1, 2011 10:00am-2:00pm EST

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we are live on the air. we have an official conversation with vladimir putin. i would like to start by thanking people for calling in and putting their questions from the prime minister, who has received a great many of them. the prime minister wants to hear firsthand about what the government is doing. today's conversation will go back to 2010. each of us will also do the same. we will never be able to forget the wild fires that raged throughout central russia. others will remember this as the
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time when housing conditions improved. as this year becomes history, we remember the bitterness of defeat at the 2010 olympics at vancouver. and our joy over russia winning the bid to host the 2018 world cup. we have at it and it can people who worked to rebuild burned out villages and representatives of public organizations and many others. all of them have their own answers to the questions of what this year has been like. we will be joined by maria. mobile television stations will be broadcasting live linking us to various parts of the russian federation. we will have live forecasts.
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we will also be in touch with our crew is on location. we are now going live with prime minister vladimir putin. [applause] i will be here at the center throughout the entire program. you can continue to call in with your questions for the duration of the broadcast. here are the numbers. you can use your cellphone. you can text your questions. again, here are the numbers. also, you can send your questions via the internet at this address.
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by the way, you can type in the internet address. >> good afternoon, everybody. this is the third time, the third year in a row we have been forced to start the conversation with the word crisis. we are starting to see evidence of recovering from the crisis. our industry is beginning to breathe more freely. crude oil now costs more than $90 a barrel. the budget has a deficit. prices are going up. medicine and food are becoming more expensive. when will it happen that the ordinary people feel that the worst has passed? you suggest we some of the results of the outgoing year, correct? >> we certainly should do it as a tradition. i have the latest information.
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i talked to my colleagues yesterday. they indicate that this is the case and the ministers have confirmed it. it is difficult to talk about the results of the outgoing year. the gross domestic product in the case the size of our entire economy. the economy has grown by about
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4%. to be more precise, about 3.8%. not as much as china, but more than europe and the united states. it is qualitative. second, last year industrial production increased considerably by over 9%, by 9.8%. this year, it has gone up by over 8%. this does not make up for last year's decline. but it is moving in that direction. industrial growth is in the neighborhood of 8.5%. agriculture saw a minor increase last year of 1.4%. this year, as we are all aware, with the drought, we will witness a decline, a serious decline of 9.9%.
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there will be poor harvests. in the tip of a, we are bestead -- harvested -- in 2008, we harvested more than we harvested last year. estimates for negative last year, but this year they have been growing. what effect has this had on social indicators? wages fell by 3.5% last year. real incomes of households grew
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at a little, by slightly over 2%. where did that come from? it came from the decision we took from --we took when we increase the weight funds and raised pensions. real wages increased by just over 2%. this year, we also saw real wages grow. last year, they fell by 3.5%. this year, they grew by 4.2%. people's real incomes have grown accordingly. pensions were raised by 24% last year, which is solid growth. this year, they have gone up by 45%. pensions have grown by almost 45% from 5000 rubles a month.
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this may not be something to write home about, but we have fewer people living in poverty. the proportion of russians living below the poverty line has decreased from 13.1% last year to 12.5% this year. i would say that this is a qualitative trend. it is positive momentum. back in 2000, 29% of the population of russia lived below the poverty line. how does this compare to europe? it is more than in europe. of course, we have a different approach to statistics, a
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strange approach to statistics. i didn't have average data for europe. the data for the developed european economy differs from that in eastern european economies. the situation in russia is not all that different from romania or that yet. there were drastic consequences of the crisis. overall, we are finishing this year in a satisfactory manner. will we see a return to the pre- crisis quality of life? i think a positive trend is already under way. people should be able to feel better. last year, our unemployment was 6.2 million. this year, we have reduced unemployment numbers by 1.2 million by creating new jobs or restoring old jobs. this is a good indicator.
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it is a lot better than just satisfactory. i hope that people have started feeling that changes are underway for the country under whole -- country as a whole. gross domestic growth in the case the size of our economy. when the economy goes back to the levels before 2008, we will be able to say people are feeling the change as far as their salaries and the job market has come back. according to certain experts, we will regain our pre-crisis gdp in late 2012. some say late 2011. the truth always lies somewhere in between. somewhere by mid 2012, we will be back to pre-crisis levels. it would be premature to say we
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would be back in 2011. we are back at the turning point. gdp fell by 7.9%. this year, it has gone up by 3.4%. our task is to keep it up. >> this year was a trying period for the economy. because of the natural and man- made disasters. what would you categorize as the most difficult? >> of course, the wildfires. i felt so bad for the ordinary people. it was a major disaster for them. people in those small tourist villages where people live modestly and hundley lost what little they had -- modestly and lost what they had.
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on the whole, we have taken care of these problems. it goes without saying that the drought was a heavy blow to the economy. >> our call center is beginning to take the first live calls. we are also getting live text messages. those are being watched by murray, who has the floor. >> mr. putin, our country has been shaken by riots. thousands of people were writing and chanting national slogans next tuesday -- riot team -- rioting and chanting slogans next to the kremlin. it came from different ethnic backgrounds and demanded that it can be put to nationalist groups.
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this writer says people cannot leave their homes to go to work. people cannot do anything and are asking authority to intervene. the you think it was the people in the north caucuses who sparked these progressions? >> we must cut short extremist actions. we must not tar everyone from the north caucuses or any other national or ethnic backgrounds. we cannot see and you everybody in the same way and paint everybody black. we must be ruthless in cracking down on extremist actions. i think the general public must understand that we need law and order. it must be upheld and maintain. while the government's function is to guarantee the interest of the majority, we often
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justifiably criticized our law enforcement agency. we have scheduled a major reform plans in this area. but while i think--- but while fighting negative elements, we must not paint everyone black. we must understand that these agencies are entrusted with michael state functions and we must not treat them like dirt. -- by tell -- vital state functions and we must not treat them like dirt. this would be the worst case scenario. everybody has a role to play and a job to do. somebody has to be using a tv camera. somebody has to be holding a microphone. others have to be out in the
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street fighting extremist. the state can fulfil its function with compliance with the law. >> we have received another question by text. what about the russians living in the north caucuses? what is going to happen to us after the events in moscow? >> i think we should throw away our fears. paper -- people from all russian regions must be able to feel equally at home in their country no matter where they are, no matter where they live. regional authorities must play a pivotal role in this along with public organizations. the most important thing is that all russian citizens whatever their ethnic or religious background realize that
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children of the same country are one country and one nation. russians month -- russians must behave appropriately. they should feel safe living in the north caucuses. no matter what their age, everybody must have a shared awareness that they have just one home country, one homeland. one of our main objectives is to ensure that all people live in russia can live and feel safe anywhere in this country. i have said that on many occasions. russia has always been a multi- ethnic and multi-confessional country.
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some argue that it is closer to the religion of islam and the solipsism. -- islam than catholicism. it is certainly true that these basic religions have coexisted for many centuries. over these centuries, we have developed a communications culture, and interaction culture. >> you may have seen in our previous of today's program which it where you work visiting the site of the wildfires. you said they had been they would be safe by winter -- they
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would be saved by winter. we would like to ask those people how they are. our reporter is there with the villagers. >> good afternoon, vladimir putin. >> good afternoon. >> what is the area like now and who is with you on the streets now? good afternoon. we are here in the village where recently there are 68 comfortable houses. this is the new village that was constructed for residents who lost their homes in the wildfires. they have satellite tv,
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internet's. they are -- satellite tv and the internet. people are able to move -- people were able to move in before the snow hit the ground. they would like to tell you about the developments. who wants to go first? >> the afternoon. here is our question. it has been five months since the fire. will any amendments be made to the forest code? years ago, woodlands were leased out to businesses. foresters were laid off. will they be reinstated? the situation in the chorus and with the chorus is completely
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out of control -- situation in the forest and with the choristers -- and with the forresters is completely out of control. >> buyer services are poorly equipped. -- fire services are poorly equipped. the state is currently debating a bill on volunteer firefighting teams. they used to exist in the soviet era. we are now planning to reinstate
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them. as far as the fighter services, -- fire services, we plan to provide them with aircraft. we will be put to them with fire fighting equipment. -- we will yclept them -- we fire equip them iwtwith fighting equipment. this will hopefully enable us to deal more confidently and efficiently the challenges and the calamities of this scale.
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>> let's have another question. does anyone else have a question? >> i am a dr.'s insisted. i work with elderly women. assistant.dr.'s what changes in the great sport utilities are planned for next year? will the rates they the same or increase. >> i understand villages like this had a low capacity. now they are connected to the gas system. they have television access. it had up to 100 channels.
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every single house has broadband internet access. all of this cause additional money for the upkeep and maintenance of this -- costs additional money for the upkeep and maintenance. the homes were built using new technology. they are energy saving in people's sense of the word. one can keep the cost of -- they are energy-saving in the purest sense of the word. people are not satisfied with what is happening to their utility bills. i am sure we will revisit this in our discussion today. utilities went up by 20% despite
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an uptick in 2010. we succeeded in restraining be tied to 15% nationwide. succeeded in restraining the tide to 15% nationwide. but this is something that is going to cost. it is a completely different thing to use natural gas for heating. i am not convinced that that is always more expensive. that is cheaper than diesel fuel. people in areas where diesel fuel was used will see less expenditures on heating. >> we now have some reactions in the audience here.
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there are people here who were hit by last summer's speier fires -- last summer's wildfires. >> russia was hit by an act normal heat wave -- by an abnormal heat wave. people lost their homes in the fire. he went around and oversaw the construction. but what are we going to do to the dying villages that lacked adequate living conditions? at onboard question that is in everybody's mind. it is not -- actually, and awkward question that is in anybody postal mind. what can people do to get the government to pay attention to their problems?
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>> of course, we have a lot of problems. we have a lot of dilapidated housing. we have a lot of barracks where people still live up and they should be moved out. the have a lot to do in this respect. as for what we did to help people lost their homes in the fires, our actions were prompte and targeted in a manner to help people. these were highly targeted actions. the houses that were burned down, those houses are on private property. all over the world, matters of this kind are handled as follows. such property is ensured.
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people are given compensation of accidents after their homes burn down. due to relatively low income levels and underdeveloped insurance systems, this concept and practice is not widespread in russia. we could not abandon people in their time of need. we were simply unable to relocate them at federal expense even if we wanted to put them on private property. if we were to do that, we would have to stop all other projects including health care reform. we would have to cut defense spending by several times over. it is simply not feasible. what is feasible? we can continue to have programs
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for those groups of citizens to whom the federal government has specific obligations. like providing housing to military personnel. this is a great deal of work to be done by the construction sector. due to government contracts, we supported the housing sector in 2009. that was difficult and a problem-laden year. the housing commission declined slightly. last year, we commissioned about 35 million square feet of housing. this year, we have 43 million,. . these problems require systemic solutions. what are they.
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the incomes need to be raised. second, because of buying a house and needs to be brought down. the construction sector has to expand. financial-services such as reducing mortgage costs have to come down. financial-services need to be provided more readily. if we do this in a comprehensive way, we will succeed. the russian housing foundation will continue to help tenants from a capitated -- from dilapidated housing. >> what about the second part of the question? that the buildings can catch fire. >> there is reason to be worried
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about that. here is what i want to say. first, these are fairly substantial compensatory payments. here is what we have done. we have built houses for free. we have made available to hundred thousand rubles for personal property. we have helped people buy furniture at a discount of 30% to 50%. united russia has supplied household appliances to almost all of the houses of the families that lost their houses in the wildfires for free. all of this is a response to natural calamities. is that a silver lining? not a silver lining. it is a response to calamities. if there is a house fire not
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caused by wildfires, this is a human factor. one has to say someone is responsible for it. it is not the result of a national disaster and the consequences are different. the consequences are not as wide scale as the case of calamities. the compensation scale will be different. for instance, recently in the south, there was a situation where there was negligence happening. a dump site caught fire. it was not the result of a national disaster. if somebody does it on purpose, that is something one can theorize about. that is something like a crime. it is a felony. it is called garage. you can get between 6-10 years away.
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that is something that is fairly easy to establish. authorities established that it was arson. let's hope it will not happen. >> the people planning to do this have hurt you. >> we have a presumption of innocence. not a presumption of guilt. i do not know if there are any people who are planning on doing that. >> the issue of utilities has been raised. there are many questions regarding that. there is the question involving the management companies. the biggest concern is that the rates have been going up every year. the quality of the service remains soviet-era. don't we have intelligent bureaucrat in this country that can set the house in order when it comes to utilities? that is one question. another question is, my husband and i are disabled. why have they discontinue our
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discount for utilities? the rates are rising. the networks are worn out. what is to be done? >> this is the top of the town. we are talking about it all the time. it has to do with systematic, chronic underfunding of the housing and utility infrastructure. what has happened to quality? the local authorities are under funding these areas. it wants to be popular with their constituency. they want their local residents to like them, be it a bill which or a town. they fail to do it on time. village or a llqag town. the system is underfunded.
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there is more to it than that. the market has been monopolized. we have local utility companies who have developed cozy relationships with the municipalities, which are charging people for their services without improving the quality of services provided in any way. the second most important area is to day-monopolized the utilities market. the -- de-monopolize the utilities market. authorities should make sure that de-monopolizing regulations should be adopted. this is an important area of work. without it, we will not be able to change the situation.
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>> before people turn over to the home owners' associations, municipal and regional authorities must do everything to make sure that this housing is transferred at the proper level. you cannot just dump some dilapidated housing on them hoping they will spend their last sure to repair the house. it is not right. they are trying to do that in certain areas. despite the discount in rates -- who asked the question? >> i would like to tell our assistance who have the right to reduced rates that one must check what is going on in the city. these categories of individuals
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who have a right to discounted rates are entitled to a 50% discount in utility bills. the federal budget allocates serious money, 100 billion rubles, for this purpose and since the money to the regions so these regions will provide the discount. i know that in certain regions, what happens is that the benefits are being monetized. that increases the public expenditures of the country on the whole. when someone pasted to%, he uses fire -- when someone pays 50%, he used as firewood. when you calculate the average for the region, it is a lot more money. people should also receive more. where they are doing that, they have to pay and put the money
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into the individual account. then he or she must be able to pay for the utility. it is not the other way around. they make people pay and then they'd be fun. they do not refund 100% of those -- they make people pay and then they refund. we need to check who is managing the management company. >> we have questions in the call center. mariana -- maria? >> this is a central issue. people need heating. it is nothing supernatural. and asking why the law is not working. the superintendent companies are not supplying their organization. how cynical it would be to set up a management company
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fraudulently and rep of elderly people. there are many questions of this nature. the question is how long will this go on until the utility system changes? >> i do not know if i can add anything. the market must be de- monopolized. then it will be possible to get the issue building. a men sent a diagram when he was in the seven-year war. the diagram showed how his personal toilet or sewage was built. he was thinking about it.
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the regional legislatures must be thinking about it. we will continue to allocate the unnecessary --to allocate the necessary funds. >> once again, there are many people in the studio who care. let us let them ask questions. >> maria? >> we have a lot of people from the college. they are wearing uniforms. >> i am concerned that there is a major reform of the police come up the militia. huge amounts of money are being
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spent. is there a guarantee that what happened will not happen again? >> of course, it is not about calling militia police. it is about substantive change. we would like as a result of a public discussion and a result of the bill in the government, we would like changes in the structure of the interior authorities. it is too soon to tell whether or not such changes will take place. that is exactly the idea of the present. it is not about calling militia police or changing be signed. he said money has been spent. no money has been spent.
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money will be needed to improve the well-being of the staff of the interior authorities. as far as the horrendous situation in the town, it is not just about to be law- enforcement. it is different. the thing is that all authorities failed to rise to the task. it was not just the police there. what about the prosecutor's? where is the federal security service. where is the district attorney? where are the courts. i believe this is the failure of the entire law enforcement system. what were the regional authorities doing? they did not see anything?
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it is an important red flag that went up. another red flag for society to shake off the dust and the authority to shake off the dust at all levels and to closer attention to what is happening in the region. i came under a lot of criticism for changing the procedure under which governors are appointed and sworn in in regions of the federation. the reasons for changing the procedure for bringing governors to power was exactly to present -- to prevent criminal entities from capturing the states. unfortunately, in these conditions and the conditions where we do not have an effective civil society, the direct election situation behind
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every candidate was criminal entities. they sometimes succeeded in influencing the outcome of the election campaign and its results. now that the president is now making a candidate to the governor and the governor is voted for or against, it creates some kind of barrier for criminal entities to access the provisions of authority. in the municipalities, it is not the best. we still have direct elections there. the criminal element is still in question there. i am not saying the elections have to be abandoned. but things have to be changed at the municipal level. the law-enforcement system has to be strengthened.
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these processes have to be watched at the federal and regional level. when i was in the vladimir region, i had a busy by people who had sons who had been murdered. that is how the investigation of the unacceptable behavior began. it was my request that the prosecutor's office and law enforcement authorities started paying close attention to them. i am hoping they are brought to the court room and there will be convictions. >> it turns out that these people were lucky you were in the area and could give them
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support. what about the other places? who should we talk to? >> i have already said that. society in general. the regional and state authorities must be paying attention. when we go to catch our vote and when we vote for the local government, we must understand that those casting decisions should be based on personal and business attributes, not based on nt promises given by those or other candidates. people live in small towns know exactly who is behind those candidates. but they are afraid to talk about it. but when they all take for them, they have to keep that in mind. -- but when they all take for them -- vote for them, they have
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to keep that in mind. that does not mean the authorities are not responsible. >> we have questions here in the call center. here is maria. >> we have operators. every second, hundreds of calls are been taking --are being taken. at any point in time, 3700 individuals are trying to make phone calls to us. more calls are coming in from st. petersburg. before we went on the air, the colors had been from moscow.
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we sent cables to make sure the questions got through. we have been approached by a woman who reminded us that last year was the leader of the teacher. in the year of the teacher, there was the opportunity to destroy villages. children are crying for reform. a children saving on poorer students does not have a teacher. how long will teachers be paid such miserable wages? an average wage is 14,000 rubles. >> this is an acute problem. for a number of years, we have been paying closer attention to the issue of demographics and
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public health. it is public education. i have to agree that the teacher's income is too low. on average, i want to emphasize that it is lower than the average wages and salaries in the economy of 25% or 30%. that is bad. what is the way out? there are three ways of solving this problem. the first and simplest one is something that must be done. we have to increase the incomes of the teachers by increasing their salaries. that is not enough. we had constructed the network. enrollment has fallen. the network remains a large.
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i am fully aware of what i am say. i take full irresponsibility. we must give people opportunities to get retraining. there are many ways of dealing with this problem. no quick moves. nothing that would damage the teaching staff none of that is being planned. none of that will be done. the next direction is transitioning to new forms of labor remuneration. we have also talked about the
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fact that a certain amount of funds will be determined our schools. it is easy to calculate that based on previous years. these funds will be turned over directly to the educational services so that the institution itself, including the principal, can make decisions on how to optimize their expenses concerning heating and power consumption and new construction projects and maintenance and repair. the funds that are released can be used to increase the wages and salaries of the teaching staff. that does not mean there should be no maintenance or repairs or that auxiliary personnel should be fired or that there should be
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no heat. they should be done in a rational way. care should be taken to make sure no excess heating should be consumed. there are ways of saving money and remaining in a comfortable environment. it has to be done at the level where teachers of areas are not different from the average across the economy. in certain areas, it is higher. in 10 regions in the russian federation, there is such a practice. the level of teachers' salaries needs to be raised. clearly, this is delegated to the competence of regions. we at the federal level have been providing such support. we will continue to provide subsidies. >> are there any other
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questions? once again, the telephone number for calling in for questions. let us not try the patience of the person who has called us. >> the afternoon. i had a simple question. do you think it is fair that mchale has been in prison for -- that mihkail -- mikhail has been in prison for so many years? >> we are in debt to the older generation of russian citizen.
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we must be paying those debts. we have not done for them everything we should do. we are trying to do that. we have not done everything we should. as far as mikhail, i have spoken about this many times. if i must say something else about this, i will say something else. i believe that a thief the lungs in prison. in accordance with the court ruling -- a thief belongs in prison. he was convicted for embezzlement. he failed to pay taxes and committed fraud. and there was personal tax evasion. that is extremely important. however, the charges that have been brought against him now
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concerned hundreds of billions of rubles. also, we are talking about embezzlement. let us hope that --in the united states, mr. madoff had been convicted and sentenced to 150 years. we have to see from the fact that the crimes were proven in a court of law in the case of mikhail. the head of the security service is in prison for murder. they did not like the mayor of the city. there was a woman here in moscow who would not give them our
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premise is that they wanted to take, so they killed her. the killer that they hired, was also killed. the head of the security service did it at his own initiative? committed all those crimes at his own initiative? there is a court. our record is one of the most humane in the world. i proceed from things that have been proven in a court of law. as the program was being prepared, there were appeals for me to come and take care of all the problems. >> perhaps the writers were inspired by your road trip where you went to places in russia where no prime minister had ever
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tread. you met with local residents and discuss problems. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> we have our commentator. this afternoon. or rather, good evening based on what we are seeing. we welcome you here. the village happens to be located in siberia on the. the temperature has dropped to 48.
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>> it is also 7:00 p.m. here. the work day is over. our crew has been here since monday. the events of the last two years -- the event of the last few years was that the prime minister dropped by. after the prime minister came here, the program was launched to settle people who live in dilapidated houses. the problems of the village are many and huge. the problems are what the residents of the village wants to talk about. who wants to start. let's start with you. >> good morning. i am a principal at the school. following your arrival, we
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received some expensive equipment. we felt thanks to you. unfortunately, the equipment is in the school storage room. we are afraid that it will be stolen because we do not have any security. we do not have any protection. all but the last few years -- many years -- -- over the last few years, we have not had any equipment. when people called for an ambulance, they are told that if you fill us with gas, we will come over. we do not have a maternity ward. prospective mothers have to go to another city to complete delivery. that is a 400 kilometer drive. we do not have a section of the hospital for our children.
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we will have to take our children, who will be taken -- who will be taking their graduation exams, at 5:00 a.m.. imagine their condition.
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much more organized or civilized. but the first part was spontaneous. all the problems you mentioned were expressed then. so yes, indeed, i tried in my conversations with my colleagues here in moscow and with your governor to promptly respond to those problems and to try and help the regional authorities to take those
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problems off the ground and get going on them. that concerns services, that concerns the school, that concerns the future of your village. and that, i understand, is the single most important issue. and i will mention that, i will revisit that in concluding my answer. as far as medicine, yours is a municipal hospital. i've already said that we are prepared to provide assistance if new equipment has not come and nobody has done anything, i will revisit that matter. but if the equimt has been delivered just like the equipment for the school continues to gather dust in the storage room because you're afraid to put nit place then of course we won't get anything going. and i think that you must agree with me that it has to be organized using your local
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capabilities. and you have to engage the local authorities, the local law enforcement to make them pay attention. what you will just said is somewhat strange. you are not assembling this equipment because you are afraid it will be stolen. then you might as well say that nothing with be done, period. in the meantime, when i talk to teachers in the village, i remember how much pride you all had in your students and therefore you were proud of your teachers as well. you are telling me that your your students, both boys and girls, were successfully enrolling among others at the leading colleges and universities of this country which means that the quality of the teaching staff is quite high and it has that tradition. and i would like to make it a
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broader answer and to speak to the entire audience here and to the entire tv audience. i was greatly impressed that people who live in this small village are taking a tremendous amount of pride in the community and in the land they live on and they're talking about their community with great respect. and yes it seems that they are living very moderate life style but they are patriots of their community and land and undoubtedly it all deserves surp. let me repeat. if necessary, i will provide additional impetus and signals to the governor. your governor is an experienced individual. he is a can-do man. he has a lot of experience and he quite promptly and energy jetically responded to everything that was presented to him.
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but he must take steps to ensure the security of new equipment at school. otherwise you can't do anything for medical or educational purposes. in addition to improving the situation, we can give assistance from the federal level. the company railways must make certain efforts to provide necessary medical services to your community and the russian railways does have that opportunity. they have medical train. i personally have seen it. it's a modern hospital on wheels. and i will make sure, i will tell the head of the trans tation company russian railways to try and use that hospital in such areas and to provide services to remote populated areas because the village was created for and exists for the development of the railway transport. and i'm hoping that you will
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see that train fairly shortly. as far as the future of the village i can say with full confidence that yes indeed the railway transportation system is being restructured and loads are being redistributed. but villages like yours are definitely in demand and they will have a future because we are witnessing an increase of shimts in the transit -- shipments in the transit company and that volume has already exceed it had soviet numbers and there isn't enough infrastructure in the short term who will work to build up the infrastructure and therefore build up populate towns and villages like yours. please, more questions of the vicinity of the railway line. unfortunately, the questions have been asked are far from exhaustive. problems of the village and other questions. >> hello. the railway to us means
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everything. both work and life. it is teaching us, it is feeding us, it is providing a connection to the outside world. until recently, we here at the station had all the passenger trains make stops, the moscow train service that is also known as russia, is our only opportunity to go on vacation or to see our families in a comfortable situation. the train used to stop for just one minute. it doesn't stop for even one minute, although at the next door station the train stops for almost half an hour. couldn't they allocate for just one minute to take a stop here? and a second question. it has to do with the fact that our children, those who have enrolled at colleges and universities in other cities, are very far away from their homes and they don't always
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succeed in coming home during their winter or spring breaks because it is just expensive. the fears are expensive. favors are expensive. maybe there is an opportunity to provide some kind of a subsidy or a discount for college students to go home during breaks and use discounted fares. as far as the stopping time for long distance services in smaller villages, that is a matter that needs to be looked into by the management of the railway company and of course has to do with economics of such services. i am positive that the leadership of the company russian realways will hear this discussion and will take it under conversation. this is the first. second, as far as i know, in
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order to bring people to the place of work after our meeting in your village, the company took a number of steps to improve the living conditions there, meaning maintain some of the sporting grounds and facilities, but also to improve the transportation services. a commuter train, which leaves in the morning and comes back in the evening for those who work in other neighboring towns, and as far as college students visiting with their families, those who live in other parts of the country, primarily in the european part of russia, apparently you will know that there are now discounted fares specifically for college students for young individuals, younger than 23, and for retirees older than 60
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and they can take advantage of that fair. and we are expanding geography of that discounted transportation services and we will see what else we can do in this area. >> thank you. i would like to add that there's a great deal of questions about commuter trains and the problem especially important in large cities where people from the suburbs, we're talking millions a day, have to take commuter trains every day. and sometimes we're told that the price of the monthly fare is equal to a monthly pension or a small salary. it won't take long for commuter trains to become completely unaffordable. here is what a former military retiree tells us. i live where i have to spend 3500 rubles a month to
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community between where i live and moscow. yes, the problem is there and becomes more acute. what does it have to do with? the fact that when the infrastructure for electric commuter trains was being built and there was the sofeyt era, nobody took in conversation. now when you have an electric commuter train, these trains can just have two or three cars. it has to be at least eight cars. and if you have eight individuals riding in these eight cars, then the comics of such train is terrible. it's nonexistent. it becomes a net expense as far as transport. the question is what is to be done. of course things cannot be left where they are. and necessary measures must be taken and necessary steps must be made. now, what kind of measures and
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what kind of steps. first, this is something that the regents are looking into. the plan is that every entity or every region will enter into a relevant agreement with the russian railways and pay the missing income of the russian railways or the -- in order to pay for the opportunity, the money that the company is losing by providing commuter train service. the federation is prepared from the federal budget to provide subsidies. of course it's not a strategic solution. the strategic solution is to invest in an infrastructure where commuter trains can be built of two or three cars or, if necessary, just one car, so
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as to carry the required number of passengers, not eight cars as per the old standards. and of course alternative transportation modes such as buses, where there is a demand for it and where it makes economic sense and where it is convenient. by the way, just like in the case which we just visitd, we built a highway there, let the local authorities think about how to carry passengers using that new highway and that is the direction we were going in, although the problems are acute and those rates have to be maintained, have to be hell back even though it's going to be difficult for the regions and for the federal budget, a small increase is planned for next year but it won't be as high as this year. you once said as tor everything to be fine in this country, everybody should be toiling his own plot, get up in the morning and toil. and we found somebody who did that just that quite literally. he single handedly maintained
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an entire airport and as a result he rescued eight individuals. he is here in this room, and i ask maria to come up to this individual. >> we have here head of the helicopter, ser gay from the town of comist for 12 years he maintain the air strip, the one that in september was used by the two 154 m aircraft landed and that was the service to moscow. that plane landed there after all on-board electronics failed. and remember the crew was given awards. however, he has not been awarded although he is now known as the popular hero by the internet community. and i know that you have a question. thank you very much for your kind words. i also would like to say that i
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was able to provide assistance to saving people's lives. i have a question. there used to be a lot of small aviation airports. i'm talking about local regional airports. and, two, flew virtually to every village and was affordable. and 24, 40 flew to large airports and provided transit service. now these local airports, some of them have been licked dated, some have been reduced, some have become helicopter pads as was the case of ours. is there any prospect of bringing back to life small-scale aviation in the north? can it be restored or can it not be revived? >> first of all, i would like to express my admiration. i would like to admire. i admire you for how you went
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about your duty. you knew that there were no plans to use that airport. why did you keep it going? i was hoping that the small scalization would be revived. hope dies last. so based on the premise, that the air strip cannot be allowed to disintegrate because you believed it would be in demand at some point. that was your motivation. correct? >> yes. >> i would like to tell you that you were right. that is exactly that will happen. obviously we have huge problems now with small aviation. it has to do with the aircraft park and with infrastructure primarily above all with the airport infrastructure. we have put together an entire program just now to boost small aviation and the key elements of the program are as follows. first, we have reduced
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virtually to zero import customs duties for such aviation equipment. not to the detriment of local manufacturers, because unfortunately our aircraft makers are not building aircraft for small aviation. these that you just referred to are now history and there are no new aircraft that could replace them. hopefully there will be some later. but to ensure the carriage we have reduced to very small amounts the customs imports duty for aircraft carrying up to 50 passengers. e we've also made a decision that we will oversee at the federal level and provide federal funding to smaller airports that will be used in different parts of the russian federation mostly in the north and in the far east with a view
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to boosting the local airlines. and the constituent entities of the russian federation will undertake providing subsidies to the local airlines. if need be, and clearly there will be such a need, we've also agreed that we will provide support to local budgets so that this program can be implemented. in early going we're talking about 50 air strips. 50 runways. let's go back to the call center, which is turning white with all the phone calls and texts. let's ask maria. >> yes, we've been working for an hour and we are now reaching some peak calls. the load is going up. we have been told by our specialist that our servers are not going to crash because they
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have a six-fold reserve. i'm not quite sure what that means but i understand now that we won't lose any questions, any texts. and those are coming from people of all kinds of backgrounds and age backgrounds. so thousands of texts are being sent every minute. now, leading among the centers are the various districts, southern and northwest districts tie for the third as far as the people sending e-mails and texts. now we have the territory on air. hello. >> hello. i would like to ask you a question about the former mining towns. known as the second chetchna because they look as though they have just been bombed, air bombed. there is no transport, no medical services, no
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employment. and probably being told that everything is being fine there but that is not the case. just look at those. this is part of russia. what territory are we talking about? >> that was a call from the perm territory. the situation in the area of coal production was very critical, say, eight years ago or so. the industry has been restructured since then and it is now one of the leaders of the russian economy. last year, which was the year of the crisis, of course the situation for the miners went
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down because the prices and demand for the product dropped. the economics of the companies deteriorated and wages and salaries dropped. this year, the coal industry is working to reach its pre-crisis levels. it has not yet. but it is coming close. and the trend is positive. over the previous few years, as i said, a great deal of work has been done to restructure the industry. at the same time based on what was said, i don't know your full name. as it turns out, it is turning out as i am hearing now, that many social challenges have not been tackled and it has to do with the mining villages which,
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as we see now, have not been within the perimeter of the measures taken, including measures to create employment. and what we hear and see against the background of what is relative, i'd like to be careful in choosing my words here -- relative. that of course is sad. it certainly points to the failure to do everything that needed to be done by those who were in charge. we had a program last year, it expired, for providing services for villages and towns like this and solving other social challenges that are involved in the restructuring of the industry, and i believe that we will carry on with this program. we'll revisit this program and in the very near future we will
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calculate what is affordable, what is available to us, and we will allocate additional resources from the federal budget to deal with this kind of problem. at the same time, the industry is making progress. certain mines are starting their lives, others are ending their lives. that's a natural process. we have to in advance think about what can be bone to ensure -- done to ensure that such events that are connected to villages that we were just told about do not occur. in certain villages, in this country just like abroad, the so-called liquidation funds have been established which are set up as the facilities are
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operating and resources are being accumulated and then those funds are used as restructuring or winding down and shutting down of certain facilities. i think that such liquidation funds must be set up asap including in the coal industry. as far as these two villages, we will pay attention to those. i'd like to go back to the audience in the studio. yes. >> we have a lot of people here from the oil research center, many of them had a meeting with you this past february when you visited with that center. please introduce yourself. >> good afternoon, my name is alexander. i am very pleased to see you again. my question is this. you didn't go to switzerland so as not to bring pressure on the
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committee and now we are going to host the soccer world championship. you were there and we did get to host 2014. are you that kind of fortunate guy? do you just bring luck? are you like a lucky charm? >> yes, i am a lucky charm. but on a more serious level, those are lucky who do their work. those are lucky who do something. one has to work including working with people, show them respect. show to them that yes we're capable, we can do that, and do it in a tactful manner, yet bring it home. and, as you can see, up until now we've been able to do it successfully. and i hope this will continue to be the case. as far as the soccer world
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championship, unlike where everything is in two locations in the valley on the coast and in the mountain cluster, which by the way is very important for them. you know, i have said that many times and i am getting more and more convinced. sochi is one of the very few places in the country where our people can take a vacation year round amidst what is a subtropical climate, yet the city was in inadmisably poor condition. they don't even have sewage. how can you have a town without sewage? every winter they have wire ruptturs in the mountain and there is no power in the city. what could we talk about in this situation? you know, but for this project,
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and i feel awkward saying that but i guess for the next hundred years russia -- maybe never, russia would not be doing what it's doing now. roads, gas pipelines, and new power plants, eight substations, a detour road, 84 tunnels are going into the mountain cluster. there is a highway to the mountains let alone naturally the suer systems, water treatment, water supply, construction of additional hotel capacity. but this is sochi. but when we talk about the soccer championship we're talking about 13 cities. of course there won't be an equally large scale infrastructure project there but nevertheless a lot of work must be done to build up the
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highway network, to build up the airplane facilities and railways. and if we're able to come wup a good program, and there are such proposals already, also to build up bullet speed railway service between all those cities, or at least between parts of those 13 cities. we're talking about a major boost to the infrastructure of the european part of this country. talking about the building up of the sports stadiums. all of this will be left behind to be enjoyed by ordinary people who will take advantage of them for decades and will be able to have a healthy lylestyle. it will also help young people to go into sports. and there will be locations and facilities to do it in a modern way, and there will be less crime and drug use. at the end of the day, this is
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going to be a comprehensive, extremely positive impact on the future of this country and i am confident that we will hold that soccer championship very well. >> before i pass it forward to our coanchors, here's a few questions that came by text. a question apparently not sent from moscow. why do you live well and are rich where the regions are poor? when will moscow become part of russia? >> well, it's a matter of debate. i would like to say that far from all moscow people, have it golden, people differ and vary in terms of income. and life here is more expensive than other parts of the federation. it's a very expensive city. that is why you captain just look at people's income. you have to look at people's
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expenses. yes, there is a small, a very narrow group of people, category of people who live far above average. but you can't really call them moscow vites. who knows where they live. but the ordinary moscow person does not live high. they live humbly. that does not mean that everything is great in this country. there are lots of problems that we must pay attention to developing smaller towns and cities and villages. this is something that the regional authorities need to be preoccupied with. but it doesn't end there. the main focus of the federal authorities is to ensure investments in the seat capitol in the regions of the russian
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federation. by the way, there are some positive trends here. last year there was a dramatic reduction in investments in the capital. this year there has actually been positive investments. last year there was a clear negative, i think 10% down, maybe even 16% down. this year it will be in the black. what's pleasant is that these are investments that are coming into smaller towns and cities. first, because things have become so expensive in moscow and there's just not enough room. and second, in the smaller cities the educational level and the professional training levels of the population and the expenses are much lower and the training and education levels are such that all of this working together actually can provide a very favorable economic outcome. and of course credit should be
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given to the governor who has been paying attention to bringing in investments. i am in touch with them all the time and they're happy. i repeat once again, the governor is paying attention to that. he has been. and he even gives his cell phone number to representatives of the leading companies who are inrested in investing. that does not mean that they call him every day but the mere fact that they can call the governor directly personally is makes a very positive impact on the entire team. this is one of the least bureaucratic regions in russia as far as bringing in domestic and foreign investments, and the impact is noticeable and positive. and if we go down this road, there will be a considerable shift. >> one more text with a personal question. what made you take the stage and sing? do you have any plans to sing and do it? do it with whom? >> there are no specific
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suggestions here. well, you know, recently, and you can see it, we have been paying a great deem of attention to the -- deal of attention to the public health and a lot of attention to issues of demographics and population, and starting next year we'll be deploying a very ambitious large program to mord modernize the entire public health system. this is what the government has been doing, is doing, must do, and will continue to do. but in addition to all of this, i think it's very important to call the attention of the public to matters of charity so that our entire society become more ben evlant, if you will, and more in tune with the idea of providing support to everybody who needs support. in pete ergsburg, there's a
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charity concert that had to do with supporting children who had run into certain problems, serious, serious health issues, and there was a very kind, warm atmosphere. there were many foreign stars who came to attend and i would like to thank them one more time because it was with a great warmth and enthusiasm that they were being part of it. so that atmosphere kind of pushed us to show everything that we can do, that we can do something, too. thank you. >> now, the audience. >> maria. >> i have here some people whom you've known for a long time. these are the night wolves, the bikers, and i would like to pass the microphone to their leader, you have taken a road trip with him. >> i'd like to ask you a question about ukraine. this year, we held our bike
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show, and were celebrating it. we dedicated toyota the 65 sh -- dedicated it to the 65th anniversary. if we went to other places we probably wouldn't have won that war. i had the hon tor share that with you. the bike show conservative estimates was visited by over 50,000 individuals. you once said, and i can't quote directly but something along the lines of this. that someone who doesn't want you crane and russia to be one does not have a heart but a person who wants that to happen does not have reason. my question is this. would you agree that sometimes the heart can substitute for
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reason, and reason can never substitute for heart? [applause] >> alexander, it's a really convoluted way of asking this question. i'm not even quite sure of what the question is. but first, i remember what i talked about. i was talking about the collapse. what i was saying is that, quote, he who does not feel sorry about the soviet union falling apart does not have a heart. and he who wants it to come together as it was does not have a brain. but let's leave it in the past. here's what i would like to say. i'm very thankful for the invitation to attend the event. what i didn't expect was to see the kind of tough guys who got together there and yet there was this full discipline, there
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was responsibility, these are actually serious individuals. and it came as a complete and total surprise for me. and i was impressed and surprised by one of the participants, i think he came from serbia, and he had lost a leg in military action and he only had one leg and yet he had ridden his bike from thousands of kilometers away to attend your event. of course it was also an entertainment function. naturally people came. but there was also a very clear, very distinct patriotic component to this event. so my hat off to you. i am very, very thankful to you for that. [applause] >> now, regarding our relationship with ukraine.
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with all due respect, i will disagree with what you just said that had we been separated we would not have won. if we would have won, we would have won nonetheless because we are a nation of winners. and more than that, there is actually some reasonable ground. if we look at the world war ii statistics, it will turn out, it's all there, that the biggest losses in the great patriotic war, the biggest amount of casualties in the great patriotic war were sustained by the russian federation. over 70% of the human losses. that means that the war was won, and this is not to faund anybody. it was won -- offend anybody. it was won with the resources of the federation. it does not take away from the
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fact, from the significance that of the contribution that was made to the common victory by the former soviet union republics. but undoubtedly, when we were together we were a much more powerful force. and that is why the civil minded and patriotically minded statesmen of the nation have never even considereded, have never even entertained the thought of breaking down the country and taking apart such components of this country apart such as russia, the ue rain. in the soviet a ra we used to crit sides the so-called white guards. and one of them very strongly was opposed to even discussions
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of the breakup of what was then a single russian state with his then allies, the western countries. even in conditions when he direly needed their assistance and support in his military effort against the red army. he categorically rejected any and all proposals to even discuss the possibility of breaking down russia. and he emphasized that this had always been and would continue to be a domestic affair of the russian people, single russian people. the situation is now different. today, there is an independent ukraine, belarus, and other former republics of the soviet union and we have to proceed from what is a historical reality. but we have an opportunity and necessity in the interests of our people to go down the road
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of economic integration and that's exactly what we are doing. one must say that over the last 15 years these are the first real steps towards integration. the establishment of a customs union between the three nations, and the next step which we have come very close to, that is the creation of a single economic continueium space. i would like to emfa size that this is a high level of economic integration and this will help us tap into our competitive advantages. we'll have a market quite bigger than we have now. we have 150 million here, 150 there, and more in belarus. this is comparable to the european union. >> tomorrow on washington journal, christian science monitor correspondent examines
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president obama's relationship with the liberal and progressive wings of his party. and retired colonel randle larsen, c.e.o. for the study of weapons of mass destruction discusses the state of the u.s. homeland security and the global terror threat heading into 2012. live 59 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> the one thing we've absolutely learned over the last 30 years is that economists and other sages of the economy are not very good at predicting what actually happens. >> in his columns for newsweek and the "washington post," robert samuelson has written about the economy and social issues. he will join us sunday night on c-span's "q&a". >> congressional leaders gathered in june to mark the 60 ds anniversary of the start of the korean war. the leadership was joined by
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three u.s. representatives. new york's charles rangel, howard cobble, and john conyers who served in korea. this is about 50 minutes. please stand for the presentation of the colors.
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♪ oh say can you see by the dawn's early light ♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming ♪ whose braugged stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight ♪ over the ram part's we watched ♪ were so
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galantly streaming ♪ and the rockets' red glare ♪ the bombs bursting in air ♪ gave proof through the night ♪ that our flag was still there ♪ oh say does that star's spangled banner yet wave ♪ ore the land of the free ♪ and the home of the brave ♪ ♪
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>> please remain standing as dr. barry black gives the invocation. >> let us pray. eternal lord, god, who alone spreads out the heavens, we gather in prayer on this 60th anniversary of america's forgotten war. to seek your blessings. bless the families of the fallen as well as the shrinking corps of aging korean war
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veterans. remind them and their families that you have kept a record of their sacrifices. bless the korean people whose peninsula was cut in half along the 38th parallel. ease the current tensions. and bring reconciliation and coexistence. hasten the day when the barriers that divide north and south korea will be overwhelmed by the forces that unite. lord, you haven't given us a spirit of fear but of power, of love, and of perseverence.
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allow the light of your truth to shine and spread, to restore and heal, to illuminate and rebuild. we pray in your sovereign name. amen. >> please be seated. >> the honorable charles rangel. [applause] >> madam speaker, i cannot thank you enough for making
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certain that this great nation of ours has an opportunity to thank some of us for the contribution that we've made in korea. and we humbly acknowledge that it is not us that you honor, but our fallen comrades that did not come back with us. and through us we have the opportunity not only to talk about our veterans that were in korea and those that still remain there, but we can talk about america and what happens when that flag goes up and everything that we believe in is a part of that flag. those of us that went to korea, we didn't go there just as infantry men or marines or part of the navy. we went there as americans. the only color that we knew was the flag was red, it was white, it was blue.
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it represented everything that we were and everything that we ever hoped to be. and so for the families that really made the sacrifice as they lost their loved ones, as some came home not to be forgotten but sometimes not even to be remembered. we thank you for taking this time to pay tribute to all of the young men and women that went to a far distant place. i was 20 years old in the barracks of fort lewis washington on june 27, 1950 when someone burst through and says america is going to korea to stop a police action which meant the communist takeover of south korea. i had to idea where korea was, but i was just so anxious to
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get out of fort lewis and police action really sounded pretty attractive. but when we got there and we understood that here was a democracy that was being invaded by the communists, here was a place that communist china thought it was so important to them. it was only after we left and saw the land that had been flattened out with the hopes and aspirations of the korean people made a democracy that the whole world and indeed the region respected, and in terms of being america's friends, they haven't forgotten. i would ask my korean american friends from new york who never stop saying thank you, to please stand and thank you for coming down here not to celebrate but to remind us that your great nation is our greatest partner, is our trading partner, and we thank
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you for your friendship in whatever you do. and in conclusion, i would say that if you know anybody, because we reach that age that is not that many of us left, that you can just walk up to and say thank you, we understand it's not for our sacrifice, it's for our buddies and our friends that we left in south korea, many of whom were taken as prisoners, many whom died in that prison. and so it's an honor that i have to serve with howard cobal who does it every time he sees me, he reminds us of the pride that we had in serving, john conyers who was a young officer in korea, and of course sam johnson who just never stopped defending his country whether it was korea or vietnam. and of course senator specterer was prepared to go to korea on this day but our leadership in the house and the senate
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created this opportunity for us to thank our korean friends, a very special thank you to the korean angels who i do hope you will be able to see perform and provide the spirit that we can say god is good. thank you very much. >> ladies and gentlemen, united states representative from north carola, the honorable howard cobal. [applause] >> thank you. charlie, it's tough to follow you. i made no significant contribution to the war effort. i simply served during the period of the war. the good news is south korea continues to be a friend and ally. the bad news is north korea continues to be a threat upon
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which we must maintain a consistent sharp lookout. i appreciate the presence of the democratic and republican leadership. i appreciate as well the presence of all of you who took time to be here to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the korean war. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, united states representative from michigan, the honorable john conyers, junior. [applause] >> thank you. to my leaders in the congress, my colleagues, friends from literally all over the world, our armed service members, present and former, and all
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those that are gathered here for the 60th anniversary, this is an experience in everyone's life in the service that goes into an active area of military engagement that transforms their life, their philosophy, and their attitudes. i too was at fort lewis, washington and we would wake up in the morning and a battalion had been moved out and everything was gone where the barracks were they had been shipped out overseas to korea. and the thing that i will never forget is that some of my class
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mates at fort lewis, at the bell voiriege nearing school -- bell voir engineering school i never saw again after that graduation. many of them were shipped to korea never to return. i was among the lucky ones and so i've dedicated myself because of that military experience to the question of force and diplomacy in our foreign policy activity. it's my deepest belief, as martin luther king, junior, said, jobs, justice and peace, if you had to sum up the career
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and life and legacy of the one person that influenced me with all due respect to other influences more than any other one person i've ever met known and worked with. and the question is how do you get to peace? and it seems more clear to me that you cannot get to peace without a full employment plan, without justice which includes economic and political justice, and then you can inch toward peace. it's funny in these several thousand years we are still struggling toward that objective. and so it can be said that a
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military presence and force is sometimes still required. but now, as a legislature, privileged among the 535 men and women in a nation of 350 million people to be a part of making the laws and guiding the destiny of what i think is unquestionably the greatest government and nation in recorded history in terms of accomplishment and power. we are in a peculiar and challenging situation. how do we make sure that there
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not only no more koreas but no more vietnams? and no more of the other wars, many of whom are unknown, some of which are actually military actions within countries that make it even more difficult for us to determine what to do. and how do we make this grand idea of an organization that contains all of the 232 nations on the planet earth, 6.4 billion men and women of scores of nationalities and religions,
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and races and cedes, and to me -- credes. and to be able to celebrate with my colleagues here being honored is a reminder today that that should and could be the goal of all of us if we are to make sure that we understand the opportunities and the challenge that this moment and on this day. i'm so honored to be here with all of you. thank you very much. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, united states senator from pennsylvania, the honorable articlen spector. [applause] mentment
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on a way to korea. we were already in uniform. that was not to be. we were sent back to college because they wanted to win the war.
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i spent two years state side has a special agent with the office of special investigations. i have a deep reverence for veterans which arises for the first veteran i knew, my father, harry specter, a russian immigrant who served in world war oni. during the tough days of the depression, he was looking forward to the $500 bonus promise by the united states government to the veterans. in its not an unusual way, the government broke the promise, and there was a historic march on washington. i believe it is hard to figure out motivation as i became
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interested in coming to washington to get my father's bonus. as a figure of speech. as we focus upon the events of the day, what is happening in afghanistan, what is happening in iraq, i believe we ought to renew our efforts in a very intense way at negotiations with a little different tone as we approached our adversaries around the world. it has been acknowledged that you do not make peace with your friends. you make peace with your enemies. and i believe we ought to approach the north koreans among others with more dignity and more respect. i visited the north korean ambassador to the united nations in 2007. there was no ambassador -- there
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is no ambassador here. how could we have better relations? he said you could start by being a little more courteous and understand our position, but how do you expect us to respond when you have warships off the coast, when you call us a rogue nation, when you have overhead satellite watching our every move? all of those items are necessary, regrettably, but it does cause me that, among other things, to rethink how we conduct our foreign relations. and i believe negotiations are not a lost cause with anybody if you can bring the worst terrorist in the history of the world into the family of nations. we ought to keep trying with countries even like north korea. that would put us in a position,
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hopefully one day, not to have 27,500 of our troops in south korea, given the obligations and commitments that our nation has and the grave difficulties that we faced with a deficit. we have not been able to conference and appropriations bill. today is a good day for a little reflection, a good day to pay tribute to the men and women who served in the korean war and all of the wars which have provided the freedom for this great country. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, republican leader of the united states house of representatives, the hon. john boehner. [applause]
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>> madam speaker, my fellow leadership colleagues, my colleagues, honored guests, welcome to all of you. and i would like to thank the previous speakers for their service. it is always good to hear my good friend, charlie rangel, tell his stories about the korean war. i also want to thank my colleague tim johnson who is the real hero having flown some 62 missions above the skies of korea. 60 years ago today, 100,000 north korean soldiers crossed the 38th parallel and started a war that technically has not ended it. the ceasefire of july 1953 ended a bloody struggle that made a career of the main battlefield of freedom against communist tyranny.
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reports of that invasion six years ago are still burned in the memories of many americans -- reports of that invasion 60 years ago are still burned in the memories of many americans. they responded quickly. they put in place the leaders, the troops, the ships, the fighters, bombers, the tanks, and everything needed to face the communists and say, "this far and no further." america is joined by 29 allies to preserve south korea as the frontline of democracy and freedom. in the end, 628,000 allied soldiers gave their lives in a
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struggle, including 36,000 americans. we remember them today. there is an image that captures exactly why the sacrifices made in the war were justified. if you go to the google earth, you can pull up a satellite image. the pictures of the korean peninsula are very striking. south korea is split up like the east coast of america. when you look north above the 38th parallel, it is pitch dark. there are no lights. because there is no freedom. communist dictators have ruled the north koreans with an iron fist, content to watch their people starved and with her. north koreans actions in recent months only underscore that the regime is unstable and remains a threat in the region.
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i think we must stay as vigilant with north korea as we have in the last 60 years. the war memorial opened on the mall here in 1995. on a plaque, these words are inscribed. our nation honors its sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and people they never met. today, we remember those events of 60 years ago. we recall the tenacity of the south korean people, and we honor those americans who have lost their lives defending their country. it made a sacrifice may be a never ending reminder that freedom is not free. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, majority leader of the house of representatives, the honorable stanley hoyer. [applause] >> madam speaker, my distinguished colleagues, leader reid, mitch mcconnell, john boehner, leaders who have served for all of us when i was a child, thank you for your service. charlie rangel is a hero of hours, but all of those who fought, who died, who were wounded, and who came back our heroes of hours. i want to particularly acknowledge those of you who wear the uniform to date. who are the successors to those we honor 60 years later. thank you for your service.
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i think all of the hundreds of thousands you represent in every one of the branches of the armed services. keep us free. keep us safe. keep us more secure. let them know that not only do we remember the korean conflict, but we remember them this day, at this hour as they serve at the point of the spear in harm's way. [applause] we have heard the korean war called the forgotten war. i would ask, forgotten by whom? not by the 5.7 million americans who struggled and starved and shivered through the the
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caribbean winter, not by the people who loved the 37,000 soldiers that did not come home, and not by history, which puts the korean war at the start of a half century struggle to spread -- to check the spread of communist tyranny. it is a war that sits uneasily in our memory because it was a war of shifting aims and uncertain end. in the words of an author, "it was a puzzling, gray, very distant conflict. a war that went on and on and on. that is all the more reason for us to remember today. the uncertainty cannot await the justice of the purpose or the heroism of those who fought it.
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we find reasons not to forget. whenever we look at satellite photo that john boehner so correctly pointed out, as those satellites cross over that korean peninsula, they see the darkness of dictatorship. and the holy light of freedom. dramatically displayed on that peninsula. it was american lives that kept those lights alive. we thank our south korean friends for remembering it this day and every day. whenever we look at the faces of our veterans and hear their stories, we cannot and must not forget. as long as those veterans live, the brothers, and the sisters, their memories will
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last forever. with that result, they will be remembered much longer than that. god bless our country that is blessed so well by those who have the courage to serve in danger's alley. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, republican leader of the united states senate, the hon. mitch mcconnell. [applause] >> i mentioned a couple of years ago to my friend, charlie rangel, a book, "of the coldest winter." charlie and of course can always be best for himself. "once was enough."
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and extraordinary, difficult conflict. today, we honor the men who fought that war in some of the mosworst terrain and challenging conditions american warriors have ever seen. we remember assaults and battles. we remember the men who fought, for their courage and the sacrifices. and defending freedom against its enemies. many of these men were already heroes who fought nazis, fascists, and the japanese just a few years earlier in world war twii. lt. cmdr was one of them. he was a football star at oklahoma high-school.
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he gave his life for his country on march 9, 1951. for his valor, he earned the navy cross for extraordinary heroism. three years ago, he earned a permanent place in the aviation hall of fame in lexington. sometimes, we fight wars where the outcome causes people to wonder whether it was worth it, yet nowhere is the contrast between freedom and oppression more apparent than on the korean peninsula today. the stakes of the korean war are on clear display 60 years after the men we honor today in toward their brutal fight. the people of north korea have entered a dismal life of fear and want for entirely too long. courageous american men and women are still fighting battles against fear and oppression in places like iraq and afghanistan.
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we also honor them. the struggle to defeat al-qaeda and the taliban is difficult. our nation has made great sacrifices. many of the lessons of the korean war remain relevant today. an historian said communists understood the united states had the will to react quickly. and that we disregarded it the communist threat only at extreme peril. the same could be said of al- qaeda today. this is why u.s. forces are hard at work in afghanistan, insuring they never find sanctuary there. whether it is the example of the soldiers who fight in korea or those who fight today, american
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soldiers, airmen, -- in a dangerous world, they give us hope and they deserve our profound thanks. [applause] >> liz and gentlemen, majority leader of the united states senate, the hon. harry reid. [applause] >> as has already been noted, americans deserve a much more prominent place in our consciousness. we have come together today to prove that cliches and conventional wisdom wrong, to prove that this war is not forgotten, to share the stories
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to keep his memory alive. the stories i know about korea are many but center around my friend, michael callahan. other than my wife, i have never had a closer friend than might. he was my high school teacher, my mentor. he taught me how to box in the ring. he helped me get to and through law school. we served our state together. mike is nevada's governor and me as nevada as a lieutenant governor. mike served this country as a marine, a member of the united states air force, and and member of the united states army so he could seek combat in korea. he came -- he became a platoon
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leader, a surgeon. like every hero of the war, is a cause was not fame. it was freedom. that bitter cold winter of 1952 , what has been called the world's coldest war, he ran headfirst into enemy fire to bring back his men from the trenches. more rounds and other bullets hit his group. his left leg was hit very badly. others in his squad were killed, including the squad leader. but mike kept going. he turned a telephone wire into a tourniquet. he refused to leave before the enemy left. he took home a couple of silver stars, along with a bronze star and purple heart.
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he left behind his left leg. that did not stop michael callahan. by the time the winter turned to summer, he was back home and getting an education so he could teach kids like me. mike is not here today. he died six years ago. but the courage of that six decades ago, mike and his fellow warriors, is very much present today. their heroism lives on in each of the honored guests with us today. it lives on in stories of service, stories of sacrifice, and will continue to live as long as we share them. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the hon. nancy pelosi. [applause] >> today, we marked a solemn
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anniversary for our nation, for the people of the republic of korea and for the world. we honor those who fought with bravery and valor in the korean war. in the words of a resolution passed by the house last week, we recognize the noble service and sacrifice of the united states armed forces and the armed forces of allied countries that served in korea. we are privileged to work alongside five korean war veterans who came home from the war and continue their public service in congress. we ever heard to date from john conyers, our patriots, chairman and the congressman, great american heroes. we are honored to be joined by
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former speaker of the house. he is chairman of the korean 16th anniversary memorial committee. dennis, thank you for being with us. [applause] by the chief of staff of the u.s. army, general george casey, while common think you for being with us in your service to our country. ambassador of the republic of korea, well, mr. ambassador and your distinguished delegation. the korean war has often been called the forgotten war, yet today and every day we must remember the heroes who returned safely home and those who gave their last full measure of devotion. all of our nation's veterans deserve our respect and admiration as we honor our korean veterans. the story of the korean war is a story of heroism and selfless
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act of patriotism. at the memorial day concert, this year, we heard about a moving story of a private first class who gave his life saving nine others. it is one fellow soldier later recounted their or not many men who made it off that hill. mary white, flight nurse. she volunteered for the air force and became a nurse, caring for the injured. her story is the story of many women who served admirably in the korean conflict. lieutenant murphy -- two years ago, he met a man born in a small town in south korea. he sank murphy, saving his life and success were only possible
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because of the american soldiers who fought in korea. that friendship continues. like so many others, this restores the commitment of men and women who served because that is what their country and ask them to do. talk aboutcolleagues that picture of the satellite, of the brilliance of south korea at night, and how dark and every-infrequent a light is in north korea, that picture is reflected on the ground in north korea as well. i had the occasion to visit some years ago on an intelligence visit. while i had seen the overhead picture, the contrast only grows greater overtime. what we saw on the ground there was the same thing in the faces
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of the people in seoul and in other places there, the vitality, the sparkle, the industry, the children -- it is just so alive. the capital of north korea, there was a poverty of spirit. there was a dullness, a propaganda machine at work. a part of it was that in our hotel room, what we saw there were films, we call them newsreel's when we were kids, of american soldiers in north korea. that is what they showed the north korean people over and over again, americans in north korea. that was their excuse for not having enough food for the people because the americans could be coming anytime, so we
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had to keep the food for the military, so the people were starving. people were starving. mitch mcconnell reference the difference between freedom and communism, and it is very clear there, as clear as that overhead picture. others have mentioned, our nation honors its sons and daughters who answer the call to defend a country they never knew and eight people they never met. this same spirit of duty and devotion to the cause of freedom lives in the service of veterans to this day. it is the greatest legacy of the people who stood a on the korean wars frontlines. our colleagues have the medals and the shrapnel to prove it.
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we pledge to never forget them and we remember all they did for the american people and all they achieved for peace and liberty around the world. every day, general casey, america is blessed by our men and women in uniform who keep us safe at home, the home of the brave and the land of the free. thank you. thank you all. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, rev. daniel coughlin will now deliver the benediction. >> shall we stand, please? lord god, we have not forgotten and we will not forget. bless all those we honor and remember today, especially
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those who have served in the korean war. bless personally and reward greatly charlie rangel, john conyers, howard coble, sam johnston, arlen specter. colleagues who week honor here today, they and their colleagues in this war have moments frozen in time and moments that melted body and soul together in sweat and blood. lord, we remember this living moment, the deeper hidden stores yet to be revealed as we recall with so manya's afraid relationships and open wounds left behind. made their memory be a blessing
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to us today in the world for the universal concern of all of those who are called prisoners of war even in our day. make the long standing stare and patient attentnion of military forces across the 38th parallel demilitarized zone of this very day be a blessing to us presently. invite us again, lord, to recognize all of the invisible lines that create parallel lives, separating families and a common culture in history. as we recognize and struggle with the differences of north and south in so many parts of the world. bring unto us healing of the
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past and hope for the future, so with one voice we may call you creator of all of us and as fried children of god usher in a new era of reconciliation and peace. amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us today. please remain in your seats for the departure of the official party. all guests are invited to continue this commemoration at the reception beginning now. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> c-span is an original documentary on the supreme court has been newly updated. sunday, you will see the grand public places and is only available to the justices and their staff.
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also, learn about some of the court's recent developments. home to america's highest court. fearing for the first time in high definition, sunday at 6:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. monday, americans for tax reform host a debate. live, monday from the national press club at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> congressional leaders on failed two plaques last june, honoring african-american slaves who helped to build the u.s. capitol. they work 12-hour days six days a week.
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from the rayburn room at the capitol, this is an hour and 35 minutes. [applause] >> good afternoon. happily, we are gathered here today to recognize the contributions enslaved african americans made to the construction of the united states capitol and to honor their work and their legacy. please stand for the invocation. our house chaplain will lead us in prayer. >> let us pray.
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beneath the whistling of saw and the melodic beat of hammer and chisel, human hearts were heard humming songs as they worked on this capital. the ancient 103rd psalm took on flesh and blood. to you, do i lift up my eyes. to you, who dwell in the heavens. so our eyes are on you, oh, lord our god until you show mercy. have mercy, oh, lord.
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we are filled with contempt. because of the scorn of the wealthy and the arrogant disdain of the proud hearted. oh, lord, the secret songs of the heart are revealed only when all celebrate justice together. amen. >> please be seated. [applause] >> thank you, madam speaker.
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first of all, of like to thank the house and senate leadership or their support of the slave labor task force. i would also like to take the opportunity to recognize other members of the task force who are here today. together, we introduced legislation, creating the slave labor task force in 2000. now, i would like to take a moment and ask the members of the task force to please stand. all the numbers that are here. -- members that are here.
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[applause] chairman, i like to thank each and every member for their hard work and dedication. you never gave up. you never gave in. we could not be where we are today without the leadership of my friend, my partner, and the vice chair of the task force, senator blanche lincoln. thank you. [applause] additionally, i must also acknowledge the work of the clerk of the house and the architect of the capital and both of their staffs for their dedication to make this day a reality. i must recognize a young man on my own staff, jesse newman. jesse, where are you?
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stand. you worked so hard. thank you. [applause] today, we shed light on a long and hidden truth. enslaved african americans were used as laborers in the construction of this capitol building. the mandate of the task force is to study and recognize the contribution of enslaved african americans in building the units to its capital. the architect of the capital in the construction of the united states capitol officially documents the work of slaves in the capital construction. these plaques and it an historic marker to be placed in the visitor center, we recognize the
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blood, sweat, and tears of the african americans who helped construct of our democracy. americans constructing this capitol building with their own two hands. in washington, oppressing summer heat and humidity. pulling massive stones out of a quarry. imagine having to fight through the bone-chilling winter in rags and sometimes without shoes. just imagine. the united states government, our government, not you , but
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your owner. $5 a month. for your labor. for your labor. this capital, the most recognizable symbol of our democracy, was not built overnight. it was not built by machines. it was built screw the back breaking work of laborers and slave laborers. this bill, in which we reject -- stand grounded on a foundation laid by slaves. slavery is a part of our nation's history. for which we are not proud. wheat wheat shall not run away or hide from it. the history of the capitol like the history of our nation should
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be complete. as thousands of visitors walk through our nation's capital, they leave without knowing the true history of its construction. today, that changes. today, we moved one step closer to realizing a dream of an old, inclusive and more perfect union. today, [unintelligible] today, we remind all visitors of the work of the enslaved african americans in building the temple of freedom. again, madam speaker, leaders of the congress, i would like to thank everyone here for their support for the slave labor task force. thank you very much.
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[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the united states senator from arkansas, the hon. blanche lincoln. [applause] >> thank you. i want to thank the speaker of the house and republican leader of the house, our majority leader in the senate as well as our democrat leader in joining us today for this opportunity to pay respect and to really elevate this monumental task that was a part of our great history in this country. i just want to say a very special thanks to my friend, congressman john lewis, for those remarks, for his passion,
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for his steadfast determination in his lifetime to do so many good things on behalf of so many people. most of all, his leadership here with the slave labor task force. i had the privilege of working with him, serving with congressman louis when i served in the house, but i have been so pleased and honored to work with him on this initiative. my former colleague who also worked hard on this. i do want to extend my sincere thanks to the family for joining us here today. i wanted to take a moment and just remember mr. curtis sykes. he was an original member of the slave labor task force and a native of little rock, ark., where he was an original member of the arkansas black history advisory committee. i am grateful to his
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contribution to this effort and his lifetime of contribution to our state of arkansas. i would also like to thank sarah davison who knew him. she has joined us as well today. i think her for her contribution to the task force. a very special welcome to our distinguished guests. we are taking time out of their busy schedule to join us here in washington for this momentous occasion. today, it is such a special day when after 10 years of hard work and dedication we celebrate the contribution made by enslaved african americans in the construction of the u.s. capitol. when the capital was first being built, incident african- americans worked in all facets of its construction. for nearly 200 years, 200 years, the stories of the slave
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laborers were mostly unknown to of the capitol. a thi in 1999, slaves were directly involved -- it was known that slaves were directly involved in the construction. a special task force was established to honor those who worked on the construction of the capital. in 2000, this task force presented leadership with our recommendation. today, the events of this unveiling of these plaques represent the fulfillment of one of our recommendations. as we gather here today, i am reminded of the story of the statue of freedom. as each one of us come to work, we look at this great building, a statue at the top of the building, a statue of freedom. it was cast in a five-piece
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molded in rome, italy. prior to the cast being shipped to the u.s., mr. crawford passed away. once it arrived in washington, d.c., problem soon arose. a workman who assembled it soon got into a dispute and when it came time to disassemble it and move it to a mill in maryland where it would be cast into bronze, he refused to reveal how to take it apart. work on the statute became stalled until a man by the name of philip reed solved the mystery. mr. reed was an enslaved african american who worked for the owner of the foundry and was selected to cast the bronze statue. he figured out how to dissemble the model.
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a hairline crack appeared. the crack indicated with the joint were located, and he then repeated the operation until the five different sections of that statute were discovered. we know about phillip garrido de because the son of the foundry owner shared this story back in 1869, and it describes as philip reed as an expert and an admirer of the workmen. we stand here today, not only because of philip reed, but for other enslaved african americans like him who worked tirelessly to sacrifice in the face of strife. these plaques in their own right will serve as a symbol of their sacrifice and will be seen by visitors who enter the building for evermore. in closing, i would like to personally thank the members of the task force, chairman
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schumer of the rules committee for their help as well, as well as senator chambliss and others who were original co-sponsors of the legislation to honor these laborers. this incredible sacrifice to the construction of this majestic building has gone unrecognized for far too long. i am so grateful for the opportunity, the opportunity to be a part of this initiative and to thank everyone who joined us today for this very meaningful and long overdue event. as i think back for what might of been on the minds of those enslaved african americans, i can only think just as the father mentioned in his prior and benediction, to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our god would certainly been on the minds of those enslaved african americans as they did their job as a skilled laborers, craftsman with
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a great sense of pride for what they produced for so many years to enjoy. thank you all for joining us. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, republican leader of the united states house of representatives, the hon. john boehner. [applause] >> madam speaker, my colleagues, honored guests, we welcome all of you to the capitol today. we take time from our busy schedule today to honor a group of people who were almost forgotten to history. i want to commend the work of the slave labor task force as others have done in the work of john lewis and blanche lincoln and jc watts. i thank you, to all of you who have served on this task force.
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the capitol building began its life in 1793. it is now the preeminent symbol of freedom and liberty throughout the world. the work of the task force is to remind every american of the contributions that african american slaves made to the construction of this sacred building prior to the end of slavery here in washington, d.c. in 1814 when the british came here to burn the capital, they did in fact burned it. both buildings were completely gutted. all that remained with the outer walls. the effort to rebuild was extensive. all of that work was performed by many enslaved african americans throughout the dc area. they transported it here to this capital. they cast the bricks, cleared the land. they rebuilt the two wings and
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eventually help construct what we know now as the greatest symbol of representative government in the world, and that is our capitol building. the plaques we are dedicating today simply say we will not forget. american slaves not only helped build the capital, they helped to build a nation. i think our nation owes them a debt of gratitude. thank you. [applause] >> slated to norman, republican leader of the united states senate, -- ladies and gentlemen, the republican leader of the united states senate, mitch mcconnell. [applause] >> distinguished guests and friends, as we all know, we have come here to tell the rest of the story. to acknowledge the profound in
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dignity of the slaves who helped clear this land and lay the stones' most of suffered in building this great monument of freedom. for nearly a century after the declaration of independence was signed, an entire race of people in our country or deny the god- given rights. finally, because in remembering .he slaves who labored here for all of these reasons, we are grateful for the work of the slave labor task force, chaired by our good friend john lewis and device chaired by blanche lincoln. without it, we would not have these plaques. we would not know some of the stories that have come down to us as part of the research. senator lincoln has already told you the story of philip reed.
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it is so interesting, it bears repeating. as you just learned, he played an unlikely role in finishing the construction of the capital as it appears today. originally from south carolina, he worked in a foundry and owned by thomas crawford, the man who designed the statue of interjection we are all familiar with in lafayette park. it was later -- he was later commissioned to cast the statue of freedom. as senator lincoln pointed out, the plaster model for the statue of freedom was supposed to be displayed in the old house chamber until the time came for it to be disassembled. cast into a statue, and put up over the dome. but there was a problem. a big problem.
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the italian sculptor, as blanche lincoln pointed out, ended up sacking the model in the house chamber was the only person around who knew how to take it apart. well, philip reed was apparently the sharpest guy in the capital at the time. because he was the only one, literally the only one, who could figure out how to take the thing apart without the sculptor's help. it was largely because of him that this great symbol of freedom sits atop the capitol dome. the only guy smart enough to take it apart. historians point out in their excellent report the story of philip reed, underscoring one of the great aspects of this
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building's construction. this was a terrible injustice. that is part of the story. we must continue to tell it, as congressman lewis said. the history of the capital, like the history of our nation, should be complete. so, we are grateful to the slave labor task force for their work, they're helping us remember and memorialize this is important part of our history, and they're hoping to make sure future generations continue to tell the whole story, the whole story, of this place and of our nation. thank you. [applause] >> liz and gentlemen, majority leader of the united states senate, the hon. harry reid. [applause]
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>> as we have heard, and as we have heard -- [laughter] the same year presently consigned the emancipation proclamation,-- here is the untold story. we already know his last name was reed. [laughter] [laughter continues] there are a lot of ways to spell "reed." >> [inaudible] >> the title of the feature belongs to its own history. each of us speaking today
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recognizes what a privilege is to call this place our workplace. but countless local slaves labored here long before we or any senators before us could enjoy that honor. their tasks were backbreaking, condemned to a sentence of disgraceful in justice. this somehow found the strength to finish the most graceful designs. it drew blistering summers and biting winters, in snake- infested kauris, they carved and shaped the stones. the their hands built a temple to liberty. so many of them would never know that blessing first hand. they toiled with nothing more than the hope or the faith with the promise that would be fulfilled, to be counted as equal citizens, to elect leaders who would represent them and
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serve as their representatives. in this place, there is so much american history, it is our duty to ensure that none of it no matter how file is erased from our national memory. that is what we are doing today. we are sharing their story and placing this plaque for those who will work and visit here for generations to come. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the hon. nancy pelosi. [applause] >> hello again. welcome to all of you to the capitol for this very special occasion.
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recognition of the contributions of the enslaved african americans for the construction of the united states capitol. because of john lewis and senator blanche lincoln, jc watts, and so many of you, you have given us this privilege to unveil these statues to correct this injustice. i am glad we are doing so in a very strong and a bipartisan way. thank you, mitch mcconnell. i want to acknowledge so many members of the congressional black caucus and the associated members of the caucus, congresswoman barbara lee here today. today, the challenge that this
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injustice has presented is at least partially corrected by giving the recognition that we do. it is been an honor to work along side you and the black caucus's. i also want to recognize two other leaders who have had leadership roles. elaine miller, the clerk of the house. [applause] and terry ralph. the ceo of the capital visitor center, which houses emancipation hall. thank you, terry. where is elaine? she is still working, making sure everything is going ok. . .
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etched into this structure and spoken from this marble chamber. today, it is abslinde in these plaques which state, this ornlle exterior wall was constructed between 17893 and 1800 of sandstone cold waried by enslaved african americans who were an important part of the labor force that built the
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united states capitol. fob at for all to treasure and value when they visit this capitol of the united states never again will their contribution go unrecognized. this plaque will join the busts of the truth and shirley chizzm in the cap toll where rosa parks lie in state is left out of america's story. of our country. our country's heritage and we will continue to honor the diversity of our nation in the months and years ahead. once again, i always love to tell the story that when lincoln made his second
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inaugural address which is sometimes called his greatest speech, with ma liss toward none, with charity toward all, that was the first time african americans as a class werer attended a presidential inauguration as free people. it was a very, very changed situation and say those beautiful words have people there freely attending. at that time not in that speech president lincoln said we cannot escape history. and with this plaque, we embrace it, we celebrate it. and now i would like my colleagues to join us in unveiling the plaque, come forward. after that, reverend black, who is the chaplain of the united states senate, will deliver the
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benediction. and after the invocation, i invite you all to participate in the celebration and brief re seppings following. thank you all for coming. i want to run up to each of you and ask you to sign my programs. you're all very, very special guests. we're honored by your presence. and now we will unveil the plaque. [applause] >> there are many honors that are afforded leaders in the
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congress. today is a very special day for all of us because to be a part of this ceremony, standing here with john lewis and blanche lincoln who made this possible, and with -- come up here. come on. [applause] are there other members of the task force?
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come on, barbara. i'm just seing that the secretary of labor, secretary hilda solis is with us here today. harry has to go vote. now we're going to do something i know you all love to do. pray. chaplain barry black.
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>> lord god almighty, creator and sustainer of the universe, accept our thanksgiving for the contributions of enslaved african americans to the construction of the united states capitol. may our gratitude for their sacrifices motivate us to strive to see more clearly your image in all humanity. lord, inspire us to pray that you will truly make us one nation undergirded by you, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. in the seasons to come, bless
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and keep us. make your face to shine upon us and be gracious unto us. lift the light of your countance upon us and give us your peace until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. we pray in your liberating name. amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, thank you for attending today's ceremony. and enjoy the rest of your day.
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>> maturity in a time of pettyness, calm in a time of anger, and leadership in a time of uncertain if i, that is what the nation asks of the united states senate and that is what this office demands that each who serve here. >> search for fair well speeches and hear from retiring senators on the c-span video library with every c-span program since 1987. more than 160,000 hours, all on line. all free. it's washington your way. >> now a discussion on the
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major international issues facing the united states in 2011 from today's "washington journal," this is 45 minutes. >> "washington journal" continues. host: welcome to the program. >> thank you. host: what are the major challenges in your mind, and threats to the u.s. in the coming year. >> as far as the middle east region is concerned, there is obviously plenty to keep obama busy. there is the issue of iran, obviously, there is israel and palestine, there is iraq, relations with syria and yemen, and obviously the more pressing issue at the moment for the obama administration which is afghanistan and pakistan. host: so the same question to
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toby harnden, your thoughts on the major challenges and threats this year. guest: thank you, based out of london. i would agree with all of those. afghanistan and obama initially announced the 2011 drawdown date. i think a big political challenge domestically here at home and in the region, strong feelings that things are not working well with pakistan at all, and there are a number of fundamentally flawed aspects of policy, and i think 2012 -- 2011 will be the crunch time for afghanistan. i think what's happening internally and the pressure on mahmoud ahmadinejad. will iran attack? how would the region do with
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that? all sorts of challenges there as well. host: in the "new york times", "2011 may be make or break for the u.s.-ed mission." in that phrase "make or break" in your opinion, what is it that would make or break et u.s. efforts in afghanistan in 2011? >> i think almost the biggest problem the americans have and the british and the other allies is to have these deadlines put in for domestic and political certainty. i was there recently on a trip with secretary gates and there was a zrong sense, the military was saying, well, we will surge troops are in place. let's start the clock now. the clock here in washington has been going for apromping 10 years, and i think people want
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to see results. people need to believe that pakistan is doing something about safe havens. they need to believe the afghanistan surt forces are capable of taking over. if we don't start to see evidence about going into a campaign season here in the u.s., i think obama, who -- whose heart -- his head seems to be in it. he went for the surge policy, he went to petraeus, and to me his heart never seems to be completely in it. it could be obama himself will say, you know what, this isn't working, or it's not working quickly enough, and let's start pulling back. host: jumping off what toby harnden had to say, do you see the president's heart being in this? >> i don't see it make-or-break in 2011.
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obviously it was clear from the start president obama was aware what happened to the soviets in afghanistan. i think there is a determination that there is no way a similar thing will happen to the u.s. in afghanistan on his clock or on anybody -- any american's clock, for that matter. it is obviously very complicated. we often hear about the taliban, what the us -- u.s. is doing about the taliban. pakistan is an important piece of that puzzle. while the taliban is a huge problem for the pakistanis government, the taliban in afghanistan is obviously a much more complex picture for the pakistanis government because of tensions with india. it is strategic for pakistan to
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continue some sort of leverage in afghanistan. they can only see themselves having that leverage through some sort of deal eventually with the tal -- taliban. so 2011 will be important in the way 2010 was important, but i don't think it will be a make-or-break strategy. host: we're talking about strategies in 2011. if you want to get involved in the conversation, by all means, give us a call this morning. 202-737-002 for democrats, republicans 202-737-0001, and all others 202-628-0205. outside the u.s. 202-628-0004.
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we'll show you the numbers if you want to get in touch with us villa e-mail or twitter as well. another hot spot for the u.s. is in the far east. .
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strong feeling within the u.s. military here that with all the folks in afghanistan and iraq in recent years, that perhaps the pacific and the potential threat from china hasn't been addressed well enough, china flexing its muscles in the region. so incredibly complicated problems, and i think anything that's going to predict what g north carolina might do, it's going to turn to maybe should
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-- north korea should do. >> guest: that part of the world is making some nervous about the future and whether, what happens with asia is going to happen at the expense of the relationship with the europeans. i totally agree. the silver lining in terms of what happens between north korea and south korea over the last few weeks is that the relationship between the united states and china seems to have improved. certainly, the kind of china bashing that we heard in this country during the last election has certainly dissipated. but i think the feeling is that the chinese do wield influence with the north koreans and they have given indications that
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they have actually put that leverage to the test. they put it to practice with the north koreans and it could be argued that it has yielded some concrete results as you pointed out. host: you mentioned that there are some nervous in europe that the u.s. would focus on the situation in the korean peninsula as a distraction from u.s. involvement in what's going on in europe. tell me, in your opinion, who is most concerned about this? guest: obviously europe at the moment is going through the jitters of the financial crisis, the whole debate about the euro and the future of the euro. we heard the french president just recently, i think over the last couple of days, reiterate his position that there's no way that europe could reanything on the euro without actually ending the european union -- a slight overstatement, but people do
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get the point. so there is nervousness in europe that by focusing so much on asia the united states could in some way relegate its natural alliance, as seen by in europeans, with europe to secondary status, especially economic. the amount of trade that the united states is expected to be doing with that part of the world, including with china in the years ahead, is certainly collosal enough to give those europeans who are worried about the future of u.s.-european relations enough to think about. host: simon johnson, former chief economist for the international monetary fund, wrote in the "new york times" on december 30th
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what should be the u.s.'s concern in making sure that things stay on a relatively even plain in europe? guest: i think the link between sort of the political union and monetary union is key and been sort of an enduring u.s. policy, some on the right of the republican party, that the eu is fundamentally a good thing and the euro is fundamentally a good thing. so we've gone through greece, we're kind of going through, is it going through portugal, spain? what's going to happen next? and will europe turn in on itself politically as it grapples with all these
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problems? and looking out from that, if you're looking at nato and afghanistan and this perennial struggle that the u.s. is trying to get commitments abroad, troop commitments, meaningful coalition partners in terms of actually doing things, i think there's a lot of concern here in washington that it is going to be even more difficult. in the case of britain, it's austerity britain in 2011. huge defense cuts. britain's been the strongest ally. how is that going to affect commitments? host: international challenges facing the u.s. in 2011. our guests are toby harn don of the daily telegraph and abdurhinfa cara. cassandra on the line for drooks. caller: good morning.
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i just would like to say that our international relations need to be strengthened but we also need to strengthen them with those people that want our help. the people fight you and you're trying to help them, what are you doing? i mean, i don't understand that. we in this country love everyone. we're supposed to. and we go out to help people, and they shun the help. we need to leave them and help those who want your help. our country is in dire straits itself and we need help, and who is turning towards us? host: we'll leave it there. toby, who is the u.s. helping the most and who needs -- who is the u.s. looking to help them the most? guest: very interesting point.
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i think that sums up part of the mood that we've got here in the u.s. at the moment after the financial crisis, tightening their belts, all these commitments abroad. people are saying we seem to be doing everything for everybody else. particularly in afghanistan, that is the country that the united states is helping the most. they're trying to prop up arguably corrupt and dysfunctional governments, trying to prevent the taliban and the different elements that that comprizes taking over, and at ground lovely in towns and villages, there's no love of the taliban, at the same time, no love for the coalition troops. people just want to be left alone. arguably the nato level is trying to create that space so that afghans can deal with their own affairs. but when you look at some of the thing that is president karzi says, you look at some of the thing that is the
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pakistanis do while on the face of it being a big ally on the other hand giving sanctuary to elements of the taliban, condemning u.s. drone strikes while at the same time passing on the intelligence and inviting them to take place in certain areas with certain people, it's a very sort of complex picture, and looking at it from the outside as an ordinary american taxpayer and voter, i think it's not surprising that people are starting to put their finger on some of these contradictions in this type of economic climate particularly. host: our next call from florida on our line for independents. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i would like to draw the journalists' attention, just moments ago you made the comment that i would like to focus on where you indicated one of the concerns of course is the possibility that israel
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may attack iran, and then went on to say that, well, israel is saber rattling. well, remember that iran and mr. acdin jad attempted to -- actually did threaten the existence of a member state of the u.n. and israel in self-defense and by the by, if i may make another comment, the recent wikileaks that showed that most of the sunni nations surrounding the shiite nation of iran, are attempting to ask the united states to take out these nuclear facilities that the iranians have been building subrosa. i would also like to draw your attention to this double speak. this is possibly orwe willion. the ihh -- the turkish terrorist group during the gaza
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flotilla brew hah hah goes to israel, by boats peacefully brought. another boat with israeli commandos in illegal quarnt yin in gaza, remember the aid that the iranians attempted to bring in with all their bombs and rockets and whatever, and even the previous turkish government attempted to restrain the ihh, and the world goes into this incredible disapbation of israel. oh, my god, these nine terrorists are humanitarians. host: we're going to leave it there. you've given us a lot to work with. guest: the saber rattling wasn't meant to be perjorative.
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i just meant it there's been lots of threats and talk about taking military action against iran. it hasn't yet happened. it may well happen. i think certainly iran has got the capability and has expressed the intention of being a very grave and potential capiss tential threat to israel and i don't think anyone would argue it's wrong for israel to take that seriously and for the united states to take that seriously. host: your thoughts, sir. guest: well, the issue of israel and iran, i mean, nothing in the middle east is what it seems to be. there's obviously a lot of jockeying for the leadership of the middle east among three major powers there, the turks, the iranians, and the israelis. and i think much of the rhetoric that we hear, let's say between the iranians and
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the israelis, is certainly cause for concern. it's obviously cause for concern for the iranians themselves. it certainly is cause for the israelis and the americans. but i think if you look at the steps that the obama administration has taken over the last 12 months, about 12 months ago when the israeli prime minister was making a lot of noise about iran and that was interpreted as iran gearing up for military action against them. and then we've seen the steps of the u.n. that the obama administration has initiate and certainly successfully led by getting the chinese and the russians to agree to a certain extent to some form of economic sanctions against iran. now, the sanctions, the economic sanctions against iran i think it's obvious that they're beginning to bite.
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the measures taken by the iranian government in terms of internal consumption of goods, the rationing of pet roll inside iran, all those things are beginning to -- are indicators that the sanctions are beginning to bite and, therefore, it could be concluded that the obama administration has given the israelis something to mollify their concerns with in terms of convincing them not to think about military action, at least not at this particular point in time. host: our next call comes from randy in citrus heights, california, on our line for republicans. good morning. caller: good morning, gentlemen. thank you for taking my call. i'd like to go back to the euro. i was thinking there was more than meets the eye with that. and california's going to be ahead of them in line if they want any bailout money, that's for sure. but i heard something
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interesting. i was in germany 234 june, and gsh -- in june, and a friend of mine who works for a british firm was showing me on a euro bil the designator in front of the serial number which indicates which country the bill was printed in. and he said that each country in the euro zone prints their own euros and that some countries are hoarding, basically, the banks in some countries of the weaker economies are hoarding notes from the stronger economies like germany whose, you know, their notes start with an x. and i was wondering if you heard anything about that or is that some kind of conspiracy theory that my friend came up with on the internet or something. guest: i haven't heard that. it wouldn't seem to me to make
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much sense because the value of the euro wouldn't matter where it's printed. and i take the caller's friend that there's a code to where it's printed out. but it's worth the same. so i don't see how that would work practically. host: our next call comes from new haven, connecticut. bob on our line for -- i'm sorry. the next call from larry in maryland. larry. caller: i'm listening to you. the gentleman talks about 2 euro. -- the euro. what they're sbroing to intro deuce their -- and the [inaudible] it's going to be a global cat clizzm. we're aheading to world war three. so this and that and so forth, we're facing a nuclear terrorist. host: we'll leave it there.
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guest: any thoughts of the question of the up and down of the euro and the situation in the middle east? guest: i don't see any direct connection except that obviously the europeans have always wanted to play a much more vigorous role in the middle east compared with the role that the united states plays in that part of the region. and the europeans have, for example, in terms of israel, palestine, the europeans have always bankrolled, if you will, the peace process. now, the euro zone is obviously going through a lot of financial turbulence and that's cause of concern to the europeans about their ability, not in the immediate future but medium to long term, to actually impact events outside of europe. i want to go quickly to something that toby raised at the outset, which is that we
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often -- and i think larry also touched on it. we often forget that the euro is not just for the europeans. it's not just a means of economic prosperity. the euro is also a means of dealing with the past. europe has had two world wars that completely destroyed europe. and as the french president said, the one thing that has cemented hopes in europe, so not going back to that kind of past, is the euro, is the european union. they're tied together. and, therefore, the strength of the euro not only keeps europe together but it obviously helps it project its power outside of europe, which it is not amply being able to do at the moment. at least in the eyes of many europeans. host: but couldn't it also be said that the fortunes, or misfortunes, as you may or may not see it, in greece and ireland, will bring down the
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value of the europeo and in turn bring down the value of the economies of the other countries that are tied to the euro? guest: that's precisely the concern of the bigger countries. the germans are saying why should we pay for the greeks and the irish going stupid with their own economies? it's their fault if their economies faulter, it is their fault, why should we intervene and pay out of our own pocket to bail them out? host: our next call comes from houston, texas. joe on our line for republicans. caller: yes. good morning. i read recently that putin in november was in germany and got a very favorable response to his proposal that the european community, with the euro, expands all the way through russia and the satellites of russia.
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and a stronger europeo would -- euro with the entire european community would of course degrade the u.s. dollar even further than it has been. i'd like to get your opinion on that. and the second thing i'd like to say is that the comments we heard before about israel, iran hasn't attacked anybody dem 1250 years. the people of the middle east countries have all said that their biggest enemy is number one israel, number two u.s. so because the dictator says the opposite, he accepts the answer. thank you. host: we'll leaf it there. -- leave it there. why don't you address the first half. guest: very interesting. i haven't heard that. not too many people wanting to join the euro. people wondering if they should still be in it. we've seen russia being very
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wary of their former satellite states in the soviet era joining the european union and indeed joining nato as well. so it would be an about face if russia wanted to get involved. i think we're going to see a period of european union sort of turning in on itself and trying to sort out its own problems, and i think major sort of global realignments like russia getting involved. host: would you address the second half of that gentleman's statement? guest: the issue of iran -- look, the 2003 invasion of iraq has done one big favor for iran. and it has given them wider regional leverage by getting rid of saddam hussein who was the arch foe of the iranians. he had gone to war against them. so there's no doubt that the iranians wield wider influence in the middle east at the
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present time. now, wikileaks have come out and said that many sunni leaders, the king of saudi arabia, for example, calling the united states to take military action to cut off the snake's head as he called it. but it's interesting to point out that there's a big divide in the middle east between what government, what sunni governments want and what their populations want. while the sunni governments may be rattled by iranian influence, especially when it comes to the issue of the nuclear -- iran's nuclear program, the people, at least the majority of the people in these sunni countries actually do not object to inche -- iran acquiring military nuclear capability. they say if the israelis have it, why can't the iranians have it? so in a way that's what one of the interesting things about wickie leaks is that it has focused attention on iranian
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influence and iranian meddling in many middle-eastern countries, particularly iraq, but it has also drawn attention to that gulf between what sunni governments in the region want and what the population -- their populations want in terms of iran's nuclear capability. host: it's also drawn attention to what was said behind closed doors and away from the diplomats that you're dealing with. how is that going to affect the way the u.s. does business diplomatically in 2011? guest: in some ways it will because the wicke leaks have published names of people that have -- of contacts that the u.s. have throughout the world and therefore it has exposed those people. so as far as building contacts, the u.s. is obviously glowing to have to probably go back to the drawing board. but in terms of what diplomats
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say publicly and what they say secretly, i think that's probably been much of of a problem for governments in the middle east telling their people one thing and telling the americans another thing. a lot of people would tell you that american statements as disconcerting as they may be to a lot of people around the world have been consistent with themselves. this is what they plan to do. they say it publicly. this is what they plan to do. they say it secretly. and certainly there's much more consist s what the americans say in public versus in secret even if what they say in public and secret does not please a lot of people around the world. guest: i think u.s. diplomatic cables may become a lot more boring and a lot of business will be done by phone. the big problem is who is going to have lunch with an american diplomat in do har or dubai these days?
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you know, you'll have to be pretty careful. we've already seen a german government official has to resign because he was a source for the u.s. embassy during the election there. host: we're talking about international challenges facing the u.s. in 2011. our next call comes from charleston, south carolina. don on our line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning and happy new year to esh. -- everybody. i think it's an interesting conversation and appreciate c-span. a quick comment about the gentleman from boca that was talking about the terrorists aid ships. only a zionist could say that someone carrying aid to a group in the gaza that are being starved to death by the israelis is a terrorist activity. but that said, i'm also interested in the demonization
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of iran in the press. we lived through the bush administration where iraq had weapons of mass destruction and we were going to see the mushroom cloud, et cetera. we've been through that. and here we are again with the same old, same old. iran is a threat to us. i don't see any evidence, where iran is making a nuclear bomb, that they are doing this for nuclear power. so that being said, also i ask, why are we in afghanistan? why is the u.s.? i'd like to know your opinion. why are we in afghanistan. you ask a politician and they say we're there to send a message or we're there to send a signal. the taliban has done nothing to us. al qaeda is not there. could it be that we're just waiting our troops in place until the attack on iran does
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take place and then our troops are staged on their bord tore go in? host: we'll leave it there. guest: the issue of afghanistan, i find it interesting that when president obama was running his campaign to become president, he obviously made the determination that the war in iraq was a war of choice, the war in afghanistan was the war of necessity. so after many years of the u.s. focusing on iraq he suddenly wanted to go back to afghanistan. it is understood that it's a war that he inherited from the bush administration and the bush administration would argue that they invaded afghanistan in response to what happened on 9/11. and then the people who carried out 9/11 would argue that they
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did it because of u.s. policy in the middle east. so it's a never-ending chain of going back to why we are in afghanistan. the situation is that the united states is in afghanistan today. it has commited thousands, more than 100,000 troops, and there's no way that the obama administration or any future president, knowing how u.s. public opinion is constructed around the issue of afghanistan and 9/11, there's no way that president obama or any future president would just cut loose and leave afghanistan whether the united states was originally -- went originally into afghanistan for the right reasons or the wrong reasons. the situation is it is now in afghanistan and the prestige and the power of the united states globally rides on what happens on the outcome of u.s.
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involvement in that part of the world. host: the caller also mentioned what he called the demonization in the media of countries like iran. and on the front cover of the christian science monitor's edition of december 13, they've got the headline, the challenge of rogue nations. how the world can respond to iran, north korea and other rising threats. in your mind, is this headline a demonization or how do you see headlines like this? and how does it make -- how does it f it affect diplomatic relations between the united states and countries like iran and north korea? guest: rogue states it seems like kind of old speak. it's the kind of stuff you used to hear a lot pre-2003, i guess, from the clinton administration as well. and then axis of evil. and the obama administration
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certainly has cooled things down a lot. i'm not sure it makes that much difference what you call it, whether you call it the global war on terror or whatever this long sort of certain owe cushions the obama administration use's. i think in terms of iran, you only has to listen to what their president says to believe that certainly an intention there no do serious damage to israel which would cause -- could cause a regional conflag ration and destabilize the middle east and therefore the world. iran is not going to be attacking the u.s. mainland but certainly iran has been helping people fighting against u.s. troops in iraq and then afghanistan as well. and certainly i think that there's a general consensus that whether, if you -- certainly people would say in
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the middle east israel, as was cited public opinion in the middle east saying israelis have nuclear weapons, why shouldn't the iranians. but i think there are relatively few people that would say it's all for peaceful purposes. iran has no intention of getting the bomb. host: toby harnden is editor of the daily london. and blogs. go to their website and you can find his address. guest: google me. host: and you were born and raised in morocco and arrived in the united states in 1999 after living in the u.k. back to the phones.
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ashburn, virginia on our line for republicans. caller: good morning. i just want to wish you all a happy new year. i have got two points and one question. concerning iran being a rogue nation or a rogue by definition being an old term at this point. iran by definition is a rogue nation. i mean, i don't even believe the government currently that exists in iran is legitimate. secondly, there is no question, i don't know if the gentleman from the south carola has been around for the past four or five years but the iranian president has been questioning the existence of member state. so i don't know if we here in the united states would accept our legitimatesy being questioned. and we would fight vigorously to defend ourselves. so that's what the israelis are
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doing. the second point i wanted to share is that the wickie leaks, a lot of people are saying that it was a major fallout. but i don't see anything new that has come out. i mean, if you have been around and if you have been watching the news, they haven't shared anything new or major information. everybody knew that the afghani government is corrupt. everybody knew that the arab governments are creamly concerned about the iranian -- extremely concerned about the iranian nuclear power. so i don't know if there was any kind of new information that really questioned the secrecy or the system that we have in the state department. host: thanks for your call. talk to us about the caller's concerns regarding iran. guest: well, the issue he
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raised about the president, president ack din jad, and as toby pointed out earlier, he has made no secret of his opposition to israeli policy in the middle east. he's denied the holocaust. and that has actually given the critics of not just iran but the critics of the muslim world as a whole in the west ammunition to say the muslims deny the holocaust when in fact it's only the iranian president. and a few other circles like that who are so focused on this area, the issue of denying the holocaust is not a major debate in the muslim world birks the way. but it's interesting what he says about the i will legitimatesy of the iranian -- ill legitimatesy of the iranian government and i think that is
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seen by western. it certainly is a legitimate government which is securing its lifeline, if you will, by violence. but if you compare it with other governments in the region, these sunni governments that we were talking about, these sunni governments are certainly not more legitimate than the government of iran. in fact, it could even be argued and we hear this a lot in the middle east, we hear that even as an undemocratic government -- i'm talking about iran, they say it is still much more democratic than the governments in yemen or saudi arabia or egypt or incidently talking of the challenges that the obama administration could face, the issue of secession in many of these crucial middle-eastern countries like saudi arabia, egypt, they have very old leaders, what happens
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after they go is a big headache -- could be a big headache for the united states. but the issue of wikileaks. wikileaks i agree did not bring anything new. if anything, and this is a point of contention at least in the arab world, many people in that part of the world are saying it didn't tell us anything new about what our governments are saying or not saying. but wikileaks has not told us anything about the israelis. that's interesting. host: our last call from berkeley, california. go ahead. caller: host: well, we lost our last caller. toby, the fact that for the most part there was nothing new in the wicki leaks, does that take the shine off of what julian is trying to do or is
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there still something to be feared from what he -- what other information he is threatening to release? guest: well, i think the figure that's always close, 250,000 state department cables, i think we had a few of them, 5,000 released so far. i agree that, one, two, three, wikileaks is discussing with minusha and the conclusion we reach is, well werks knew that. but it's interesting that it should be said from the mouths of people who don't normally say those sort of things. i think this way that it is dealt with by the u.s. and the particular case of julian is going to be interesting because the real view of the dichotomy, across the aisle of both sides of the capitol he is viewed and thought of as a terrorist and as a man of sort of unremitting evil. in europe that's not the view at all.
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he's viewed as somebody who is being pursued, there's lots of questions about this swedish rape case. it seems that the obama administration is trying to prepare some kind of charges, espionage charges against him and there's going to be an attempt to bring him back to the u.s. while, at the same time, i think there is a widespread feeling abroad that while the war lords from iraq and afghanistan may have been very damaging, that they revealed the names, although robert gates said nobody has been killed as a result of them. it wuled seem on the face much more damaging what we've seen from the cables so far. so i think this is going to be a bit of a litmus test to how obama is going to be viewed. and if he is pursued through the curts and extradicted and put on trial and the soldier alleged to have leaked the
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lleaks is going to have a huge >> the one thing we absolutely learned over the last 30 years is that economists and other sages of the economy are not very good at predicting what actually happens. >> in his columns for newsweek and the "washington post,,"
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robert samuelson has written for over three decades. he will join us sunday night on c-span's "q&a." >> now, courtesy of ctv, canadian television, an interview with canadian prime minister steven harper. topics include the economy, u.s.-canada relation, and afghanistan. this is about 45 minutes. >> the following is a ctv news special presentation. conversation with the prime minister. >> canada is emernling from this recession in a strong position. canadians solutions are leading the way globally.
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it's not enough for nations to make promises. we must get results. >> we are looking at a noncombat mission that will occur. >> we're not going to win or lose an election in the north. >> has offered her resignation and i accepted it. >> i've seen flooding, never seen flooding like this. >> we don't intend to leave until the job is done. >> conversations with the prime minister. >> welcome. during the next 60 minutes my colleague and i will be chatting with the right honorable steven harper about the kind of year we've had in 2010 and what we might look forward to in 2011. and you might notice we're in slightly more casual mode this year because we've moved north of ottawa to harrington lake,
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the country retreat. it's a beautiful place all times of the year, but especially here at christmas with the candles in the windowst, the fire places glowing inside, decorations all around. and this is a special occasion for us because later in the broadcast we will be joined by mrs. harper, the wife of the prime minister, and this is her first time, her first conversation ever on television. so prime minister, thank you for joining us. >> thanks for having me again. >> now, jobs and the economy top of the agenda as always. we seem to be coming out of the recovery. is there a danger of a double dip. where are we? >> we've tried to be very straight with the canadian people throughout all of this. there is a global recovery. that remains extremely fragile. as you know, we chaired the g-20 summit earlier this year, everybody decided we needed to do was in some cases deliver,
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keep delivering some stimulus, start to wind that up, start to have mid-term plans for countries to reduce their deficits and debts. our anticipation is at this point, we remain optimistic that there will be a slow gradual recovery. but obviously we have to remain extremely ready with options where consulting with canadians right now on basically in a pre-budget mode to see what they think we should do next. we've had, as you know, some major stimulus programs the last couple of years. those are winding down and now we're looking at the next steps so we can keep pushing the recovery forward at the same time make sure the deficit doesn't continue. >> the banks are saying we can't do much about that. we lend the money. it's up to the government to make some changes on mortgages. >> the indebtedness levels do


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