tv Washington This Week CSPAN March 18, 2012 10:30am-2:00pm EDT
general-election voters are. how does the issue cell with the independencts? >> we have booked ken cuccinelli this week because of his involvement to the challenge to health care. would you tell us your understanding of virginia's -- if they lose this, if the health care law is upheld by the court? guest: he was more optimistic than some to form these exchanges. if it came to mit, he wanted virginia to run its own exchange and not let a federal person come in, which is not the case with a republican political leader. they would face scrambling. they're missing all kinds of
deadlines to get federal funding and they would have a very short window to meet this january 1 deadline. host: the virginia tech to go it alone case did not get standing by the attorney general. fisher reporting suggests that is a possibility of revisiting it? guest: i am not hearing that. the sense i have gotten from talking to people on multiple sites of the issue -- the whole spectrum is more that the court shows as many issues as it was ever going to address in a one shot -- they are holding five and a half hours of uranus. it is fairly unusual. they have included all kinds of issues, some of which are more of a long shot in the mandate questions. the implication being they will take one bite of the apple and they will not be coming back for more. that is the general opinion that
i hear. host: thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> i was the one that said that we should overcome is not the right way. >> economics professor walter williams on being a radical. >> i believe that a radical is any person who believes in personal liberty and individual freedom and limited government. that makes a radical. i have always been a person who believes that people should not interfere with me. i should be able to do my own thing without -- so long as i did not violate other people. >> more tonight at 8:00 p.m. on c-span's "q and a."
>> this week on "prime minister's questions" walz david cameron was in the u.s., snakelike to questions from members. topics for the economy, taxation, and the ongoing allegations of and rupert murdoch. tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern and first -- and pacific on c-span. >> on wednesday, george clooney testified to the senate foreign relations committee on this humanitarian crisis in southern sudan. he described bombing raids by the sudanese government in the knuble around since -- knuble mountains. the actor and his father were among those arrested was staging a protest in front of the embassy of sudan in washington. they were released later that day. this hearing is two hours and 15 minutes.
thank you. mr. ambassador, we are delighted to welcome you here today. one of the privileges and responsibilities of our committee is to shine attention on important issues when they are not part of the daily drumbeat of the news cycle. we all remember the famous when having achieved the objective of driving the soviets out of afghanistan, charlie wilson is stunned to see how quickly his colleagues have moved their attention elsewhere, despite, as wilson said, "the ball keeps on bouncing." we know what came next. tragically, too many policy makers only return their attention to afghanistan after 9/11.
i believe our committee would fail the test of history if we allowed attention today to drift from the critical situation in sudan and south sudan. i have the privilege of being in sudan a number of times over the course of the last few years, and particularly, for the referendum. i saw the expressions of hope for the future and watched the difficult birth of a new nation. i was privileged to be there with ambassador lyman, with george clooney, and john prendergast. we would do well to remember that you can have a vote to have a new beginning for a nation or for any number of things, but you can lose the future when the tough choices that follow are denied, when
they are deferred, or when collective attention is somehow diverted. that's why at a time when the world faces a lot of competing crises, we need to wrestle with and understand what steps the united states and our partners should take to help sudan and south sudan resolve the complex challenge before them. make no mistake. it is the leaders in khartoum and juba who must choose between a future of conflict and poverty, or a future of security and prosperity. we must not abdicate the important role the united states can take. there are some signs that are cautiously encouraging. on january 9, president bashir made the right choice in allowing the south's referendum. on july 9, he made the right
choice in recognizing its outcome, and even i am traveling there to welcome it. yesterday, he announced he would travel to juba for the first time since independence in order to meet the president. for every step forward, there has always been a step backwards with patterns of violence and repression of sudan's passed. in the last year, bashir has waged war on his own people. he has arrested student protesters. he has rejected viable solutions to outstanding issues in favor of aerial bombardment. the past has again become prologue. for its part, south sudan has established itself as a new nation. the president has named a diverse cabinet and leaders in juba put forward serious
proposals. the country has also experienced wrenching ethnic violence. there are allegations that it has supported proxy fighting in the north. in the act that may be justified, but may also be self-defeating, it has cut off the flow of oil. for all these struggles, we cannot devalue the progress that we have seen. peacefully creating a new state was an accomplishment of historic magnitude. in abyei, peacekeepers have helped to bring a critical measure of stability. it has to be said that a came after an enormous amount of the movement of people in the killing of people and really the cleaning out of the whole population in that area. "the new york times" recently titled an article, "hope for
darfur." i would ask you, when was last time you saw "hope" and "darfur" in the same sentence? the sudanese government and the liberation and justice movement signed a peace agreement last year. i look forward to hearing today whether these steps, if implemented and supported, could in fact become the foundation for a more lasting resolution in darfur. at a time when there are those who want to cut the international affairs budget, i want to point to sudan and south sudan as examples of the power of diplomatic engagement. the cpa was signed because of diplomatic engagement. the birth of a new nation took place because of careful, sustained diplomatic engagement. we can and must continue to put our shoulder to this wheel, even as we of knowledge the fate of these countries lies with their people and their leaders. sudan must escape its fatal
cycle of conflict, not as some next chapter in the arab awakening, but because it's the only way to forge a viable political and economic future for its people. the bombing and humanitarian blockade in blue nile has to stop. south sudan has the opportunity to avoid the corruption that has too often plague oil-rich countries. it has the opportunity to create an inclusive government that encourages ethnic diversity. last december, had the privilege of standing with president kiir here in washington. at that conference, he spoke eloquently about the long road to freedom. i know that journey came at a tremendous sacrifice and blood, sweat, and tears. a long road to freedom. it was never intended to be a track to perpetual conflict and
poverty and violence. it was always a journey to hope and prosperity. that journey continues. two fragile states emerged on july 9. we are all here today because it's in the vested interest of the international community that those two countries become partners in political and economic stability, not volatile adversaries in an already troubled region. we are also cognizant that this region extends south to the lord's resistance army, somalia, and many other dangerous players, all of which could create confirmation that could even eclipse the longest war which was the longest war in sudan. we're privileged to be joined by the president's special envoy to sudan, ambassador princeton lyman. we know you are just back from ethiopia, mr. ambassador.
believe me, for all the members of this committee and for all of us, we thank you for all your tireless service and your efforts. we also welcome nancy lindborg from usaid. i also want to welcome our first u.s. ambassador to south sudan, susan page, who is in the audience today, as well as the senior adviser for darfur, ambassador smith. on our second panel, george clooney and john prendergast will join us. i want to thank both of them. i was there with them last year. i saw the focus and attention that their efforts have brought to this issue. they represent the satellite
sentinel project, which has given us a window in to events in blue nile and elsewhere. they are just back today. i am pleased they were able to get here. i know they will be talking with secretary clinton and president obama and others. i think today we will have a good opportunity to really get some insights. we welcome it. on a note of sadness, as many of you know, congressman don payne passed away last week. he was a tireless advocate for the people of sudan and south
sudan. his funeral service is taking place today. this morning, our committee remember sam for his dedication to the cause of peace. senator lugar. >> thank you, mr. chairman. by join you in welcoming our distinguished witnesses. we look forward to their testimony. we appreciate their good counsel. i join you in a tribute to don payne, who has worked with us on this committee and in the house and has been such a champion in africa. the foreign relations committee has been very well informed about sudan and now south sudan. unfortunately, due to the amount of genocide and other crimes against humanity, that the tribal conflicts, and now border clashes. the extreme violence and
deprivation that characterized much of that conflict has recently been brought home to millions in this country through the viral youtube video that the picks of the cruelty inflicted by joseph kony and the lord's resistance army. the impact of the bloody fighting in sudan and south sudan has been brought, and another way. the comprehensive peace agreement, signed in 2005, finally achieve the separation of south sudan from the north last july. it was hoped that the petroleum wealth that they share would be deemed too precious for either side to forgo. instead, oil exports have stopped, putting upward pressures on oil prices globally, even though the united states no oil from sudan, oil is traded on the global market. any major loss of supply affects all prices and the crude america imports and they buy at
the pumps. that's why i've stressed the importance of improving transparency and governance in oil-rich countries. stability in oil-rich regions leads to stability in gas prices here. i have appreciated the leadership of senator cardin in that effort. events in faraway lands can affect to the u.s. security situation. besides influencing the cost of fuel that feeds our homes and cars are vehicles, there are conflicts in places like sudan, somalia, or the arabian gulf can place strains on our humanitarian resources and require us to maintain and
civilian capacity is to respond to crises. the administration should redouble its diplomatic efforts with the international community, including the african union and the arab league, to help bring about a stable and productive south sudan, and a more responsible republic of sudan. the most egregious violence and violation of international law, again, emanate from khartoum, as the al-bashir regime engages in crimes against humanity, including starvation as a method of war. i expect our witnesses today will describe the humanitarian and human rights atrocities that have occurred since the two countries separated in july. i am particularly interested in learning about the displacement of more than 120,000 people from the nuba mountains of southern kordofan and the blue nile state.
i am also concerned about the genocide of dozens of violent conflicts that have erupted in south sudan. this is a country where people fought for years to be free. we had hoped that independence would lead them to set aside differences. the united states has played an important but carefully defined role, which must continue. from senator danforth's efforts to secretary powell efforts to secretary clinton's recent engagement at the u.n. thanks primarily to the actions of the government in khartoum. the united states should work to galvanize an international response in conjunction with the arab league and the african union to preclude further
catastrophe. this means leveraging our diplomatic -- our diplomacy to press china, sudan's major oil customer, to live up to its responsibility as a world power. i look forward to the testimony. >> thank you very much, senator lugar. mr. ambassador, we will lead off with you. i do need to announce -- unfortunately, we just got word that there may be as many as three votes in the senate at about 11:30. we may have to have a small hiatus and then recess and then come back.
if that happens, happens. we will try to proceed. mr. ambassador. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for all your leadership. senator lugar, a great pleasure to see you. for all the members of the committee, thank you very much for the opportunity. i do ask that the full written testimony be made part of the record. >> without objection, it will be. >> i want to join you in recognizing the passing of don payne. we will miss him very much. i want to talk about several aspects of the situation in sudan and south sudan, which you and senator lugar have mentioned. the relations between the two are deteriorated. the continuing violence in
southern kordofan and blue nile is continuing. both countries are struggling with internal challenges, to which you referred, senator lugar. turning to the crisis in southern kordofan and blue nile, since last june, this conflict has taken place and it has created an enormous humanitarian emergency, as well as a serious political problem for sudan and for the relations between the two. you will hear more about the details of the humanitarian crisis from the second panel. mr. clooney and mr. prendergast
are just back from that area. let me talk about what we have been doing in the efforts to control this situation. from the beginning, we have said that there is no military solution to this problem. it has arisen from political issues that were not resolved in the final stages of a comprehensive peace agreement. it will not be settled militarily. the two sides must return to the negotiating table. our immediate concern is with the humanitarian crisis. nancy will talk to the details of how many people have been displaced and how serious the crisis is. since last october, we have
been saying to the government in khartoum that this crisis is coming, that you could see that by the nature of the war, the bombing of civilian areas, and all the things that have been taking place there that a major humanitarian crisis was going to occur in this area. we said that the government of sudan must allow international humanitarian access. and that the world cannot stand by and certainly the united states could not stand by and watch such a crisis unfold if the government did not take action. recently, and this refers to something that senator lugar mentioned, a proposal to the government from the united nations, the league of arab states, and the african union to carry out an international humanitarian program. members of the committee, i can say that since last october, we have contacted virtually every country in the world who would have any influence on khartoum to bring pressure to the
government of sudan to allow such a program. we were delighted when the league of arab states, along with the african union, and the u.n. joined in this. we had a unanimous resolution of the u.n. security council. china, russia, and all the rest calling for immediate humanitarian access. we have not received a reply yet from the government. we have some hopeful signs about their reaction to that proposal. we have not yet received approval. should they approved it, action must be taken very quickly. we have a very narrow window before the rains come and make all the roads in passable. if humanitarian assistance is going to come to those areas, it has to come soon. if a program is not carried out, we have ways for the u.s. to provide indirect support to the sudanese to reach the most vulnerable people, but it is not the most efficient way.
the most efficient way is for the international access that has been proposed to the government. i would like to turn to some recent events, gentlemen, that have occurred since we submitted the written testimony. in the written testimony, i described the relationships that had been deteriorating between sudan and south sudan. the conflict in kordofan and blue nile was contributing to that. the shutdown of the oil that has been referred to, because the two sides could not agree on the financial of arrangements. the government of sudan in khartoum began diverting south sudan oil. yesterday, we received word that the two countries decided to step back from the brink. they looked at each other and said, "we are going in the wrong direction. the papers would put on the table will not help the
situation. we have to step back." we have to go back to the concept we all claimed we were committed to a two viable states taking care of our mutual security and economic needs. they have set a new path for that would include another summit meeting with president bashir coming to juba. it would set a new tone for the negotiations. it would set out a new timetable for dealing with the issues of oil, abyei, and the others. while we take a great deal of hope from this, a lot can depend on what happens in the next several weeks. i want to salute the african union, led by the presidents, who inspired the two to take a different approach. i want to congratulate the parties for stepping back from the brink of what was a
deteriorating and dangerous situation and began to look again at how each of them has been trying to destabilize the other and each of them are heard in the process. senator, i would also like to turn briefly to the situation in south sudan that has been raised here. time does not permit me to go into much detail. as you mentioned, there are a lot of challenges in south sudan. while they have made a lot of progress in setting up the government, it's an extraordinarily poor country with very poor infrastructure. there are deep fissures within the society, as was revealed in the crisis, which nancy will talk about further. and the loss of oil revenue only aggravate this problem by depriving the government of badly needed resources. we have to look very carefully and work very closely with south sudan and with sudan to
resolve the oil crisis and to help the government deal with those problems. in darfur, in sudan, as you mentioned, mr. chairman, there's a little bit of progress, but a long way to go. as long as there are 1.7 million people still in camps and another 280,000 in refugee camps across the border, we cannot say we come far from the situation of a few years ago. wholesale violence is down, but there is still a great deal of insecurity. the government signed a peace agreement with just one of the rebel movements. we recognize the limitations of that agreement. on the other hand, it contains a lot of the elements that led to the conflict in the first place. we will see if the government and its partner will actually implement some of these programs. we have talked to the movements that did not sign the agreement.
several of the armed movements have refused to do so. they did say that if any benefits come from these agreements for their people, they would be happy to see it. their focus is elsewhere right now. just another comment about the situation in sudan itself. in sudan, they are also facing an economic crisis. a loss of oil revenue has taken away 70% of their revenue. food prices are rising. foreign exchange is very short. they are fighting on three fronts. southern kordofan, blue nile, and still somewhat in darfur. as we have said previously on many occasions, the fundamental problem, the fundamental challenge in sudan is the fwove nance of the country. there is still a system where the center dominates the periphery, where there's a deprivation of human rights, where wars are fought with terrible violations of people's right's and protection.
and until that changes, until there is a new political situation in sudan that is inclusive, that is democratic, that brings all the people of that country together, they will not come out of the problems they have and they will not resolve their differences not only with the united states but with many other countries of the world. that is the message that -- that is the task that all the people in sudan have to turn to. and that's true of the people who are fighting, the sudan revolutionary front which has taken up arms against the government. they too have to project an image of what sudan would look like. what do they want? how do they see an inclusive sudan so that people can come together with a new political system. until that happens, sudan will be in difficulty and we urge them to rise to this challenge as well. mr. chairman, i'm happy to abc
questions on these and other -- answer questions on these and other matters. thank you. >> indeed it does. thank you very much. very helpful and we look forward to following up with questions. and just note that administrator shah of u.s. aide just launched the donald pane fellowship that will encourage members of minority groups to join usaid. so we are honored to help foster this legacy through this fellowship. as you noted, only eight months ago we celebrated the peaceful celebration of south sudan in a moment
i would be happy to answer any other questions fog. in the two areas heavy fighting between the two groups since last june has resulted in over 130,000 refugee that is have mude into south sudan and neighboring ethiopia. inside south cort san there are 300,000 displaced and severely affected and another 60,000 inside blue nile. we have seen heavy aerial bombardment, long sheling that has terrorized communities. it has cut off.
the last planting season was disrupted and the reports are indicating that the coping mechanisms for survival are being exhausted in certain parts of the region. international humanitarian access has been largely blocked since the beginning of this conflict and the government of sudan continues to prevent aid from reaching the many civilian sudanese who are desperately in need. us aid's humanitarian partners are continuing their efforts to provide assistance to those government of sudan controlled areas and reports are indicating some progress there. however, for those who are in the areas controlled by the splm north, the outlook is worsening. cunt predictions are that up to 250,000 people in those areas now face a serious emergency which is one step short of famine by the end of april if
the violence and the restrictions on humanitarian access continues. it is imperative to have immediate humanitarian access to all the communities affect bid the conflict in the area to stave off an emergency situation for a quarter of a million people in the coming months. similarly blue nile is facing equally devastating impacts and as with south cortisone access will be very limit in may once the rains begin. as the ambassador has said we are very hopeful the government of sudan will sign the agreement and allow negotiated access as proposed by the u.n. and its partners. if necessary we will examine ways to provide indirect support to sued niss humanitarian actors to ensure the most vulnerable receive assistance. we stand ready to immediately
deliver food and humanitarian assistance to those in need. let me briefly highlight the explosion of violence that occurred recently in south sudan along with other intercommunal violence that has plagued the south because these incidents really underscore the fra jilt and fledgeling nation of the new state and the need for deeper engagement and the need for us to mitigate the instability. we were able to respond with emergency assistance with water, sanitation, food and high jean and we are standing ready to provide assistance to those needs across the south. but resolving these issues and conflicts in the long term will require sustained engagement with the government of south sudan and from the government of south sudan. without their pledge to address security corruption and government issues, donor help
will not be sufficient to achieve stability. coming so soon after the celebration from south sudan, this confluence of crisis is very alarming to us and there has been progress. just to note that with u.s. assistance and the commitment of many of you on this committee we have been able to help traps form the government of south sudan from a concept to a government. and more than 1 million people now have access to clean water, children's enrollment in schools is up from 20% to 68%. these are accomplishments to celebrate. and the referendum on self-determination was in itself an extraordinary success. unfortunately we're seeing how long it takes to emerge from half a century of conflict and with even a sturdy peace agreement the perniciousness that that will continue as we look at what will be a long term effort. thank you for the focus of this
committee for your continued attention. it is needed. this will be a long journey. and we must stay engaged to enable success for these two new nations. thank you. >> thank you very much. let me begin by asking you, ambassador, first of all, do you have a date or do you know when this visit of bash irwill take place? >> we're hoping it will take place within two weeks. what, as the parties agreed is that they would go back. that jubea would issue an invitation to president bash yir. they do want to do a lot of presentations so it produces concrete results. so they will have to do a lot of work. they'll also do shuttle diplomacy during these two weeks. but we're hoping it will take place in about two weeks.
>> do you have at this point -- i know the news only came out yesterday. but do you know what the agenda will be, the specific topics and breadth of these discussions? >> the idea is to ratify two agreements that were signed. the one that was particularly happy to see signed and that's on the nationality question. that is, the protection of southerners living in the north and northerners living in the south, that they don't become stateless and procedures were set up and agreed to. then they signed an agreement on borders, how to deal with that problem. those will be ratified by the two presidents. but more important, they will give directions to their negotiators to tackle the oil and other questions in a different way, to recognize the needs of bodes sides and to reach an agreement in that context. how specific those instructions will be is exactly what has to be worked on but it will deal with oil but also how to deal with issues like borders and
others. >> given that it's really a north-south discussion, obviously resolving the oil thing would be a huge step forward. will the blue nile and access issue be on that table or will that be a separate tract? >> it will be on the table in two ways one because you can't get to atmosphere you're talking about if we don't make progress. it's simply poisoning the situation. in addition to the terrible thing in itself, it's poisoning the relationship. it's forcing them to clash on the borders because both have a security concern in those areas. so we have to make progress before the summit to create the atmosphere. but then the two have to say, look, we're both working to destabilize each other. how do we get out of that box? and they're part of it. if the government has opened up the area to international access what we're hoping is
that will lead not only to a quieting of the hostilities but hopefully the atmosphere the political talks can start. that will change the atmosphere. >> so what more could the international community conceiveably do to help convince the sudanese government that preventing a full blown catastrophe more than it already has been but moving to this next starvation nutrition crisis, that it's in their interests to do that? is there a strategy under way? do you have a thought about what more could be implemented? >> it's been a tremendous effort on everybody's part to do just that because the government was so angry and bitter over this with their own perception of how the war started and what it was about, it was very hard to get through on those matters. so we've urged the african union, the chairman of the
african union commission, china, arab countries, south africa, other countries, arab league, africa union, everybody we could talk to, to send that message to car toop. >> who do you think will have the greatest impact? >> i'm very delighted the league of arab states is joining in this effort. china has become more active. i was in beijing last august. we went and the vice president was here. our two governments agreed we would work more closely on sudan. their new envoy is now traling in car too many and we've arranged to talk right after his trip on how we can coordinate better our efforts. i think those countries are important because they're important to both side. but they have particular importance to soupen. but i think another factor, quite frankly, mr. chairman, is the realization, the growing realization i think in car too many that there isn't a
military solution to this problem. and that simply going on with the fighting and facing the probe rum of a humanitarian disaster is not in their interests. and i think all of these efforts have contributed to that and i'm hoping that we will get better news in the days ahead. >> one ore quick question. when we chatted a number of months ago and i subsequently chatted with president kir about the oil shutdown issue, one of the concerns which you raised and others did was this question of what the cost of restarting up would be and what the damage might be in the process. have we been able to assess that? can you share with us what our knowledge is about how difficult it might be to bring that oil production back on line? >> the feeling now is that if you started production tomorrow , by the time you got the pumps go to the time you send the oil
up through the pipelines, made the contracts, sent the oil, it would be four months before the first dollar would come in. and that is worrisome because both sides are facing deep economic problems. but that's the latest instance. >> colleagues may follow up with that. we'll see. >> ambassador, i just want to get some sense from you as an experienced diplomat. it's been apparent in car too many for a long time that they would face the rest of the world with regard to starvation and the priveation that's occurring in the south, even some of their own citizens. but with that really, what makes the difference, nrd, they have faced for a long time the statistics we have heard today of hundreds of thoups of people
dying in the process pand yet the pressures at least of that situation have not been adequate really to bring about much of a change although you give us hope today once again that some negotiation mace occur in part because they have the revenue of car toom itself as state quite apart from the south and this has been suggested at very large majority of funds for both governments really come from this oil which is now sometimied as you say it best for four months. when we're talking about international pressures, what are the pressures that make any difference here and how can we anticipate any difference in the future as opposed to hearings we may have next year at this time or the year thereafter and so forth and once again how many people have suffered and starved? guest: well, it's supposed to
be an immediate situation and a fundamental situation. the resistance that has come out is that they see the situation and the call for international assistance as a plot to get inside sudan and eventually take these areas south and they see a repeat of the cpa. that the international community will come in, then they'll set up camps, then operations and pretty soon the government will lose control of more of its territory. i've heard that many occasions. so there's a deep suspicion of the motives of the sbraggetal community and they see this as we're not going down that path again. we're going to keep that country together enif we have to militarily. so it's taken a lot of time to say you're looking at it in a wrong way and a way that's going to hurt your own interests very greatly. and to deal with this deep suspicion about motive to have
the organizations joining helps a great deal. so that's part of it. part of it is too is this question of how they're going to govern the country how do they treat areas around the periphery, different eetsdz nicks groups et cetera. and they haven't got there yet. they haven't determined how to do that in a democratic open way. so they see a challenge. they respond militarily. and we've had to work against that mineset for a long time and with a great deal of effort. >> our dilemma clearly, ambassador here, we are attempting to be of assistance in a lot of places. for example, in the big debate rages about hour policy toward egypt which after all has throver thrown a dictatorship, supposedly moved into a democracy and to pick up
limon's thoughts a great deal of rhetoric is that we are interfering with the evolution of egypt. so despite the billion, 500 million -- which is huge with regard to our situation -- we have this debate over our own humanitarian efforts now. the efforts of americans to be of assistance. which is awesome there, too, i raise this not because we can solve it here today but it's so fundamental to what we're talking about in sudan because americans do want to help. but again and again i fear we're being sometimied despite some cooperation from other countries which say the americans are ok. really, you ought to let them help you. there's a debate going on as to whether starvation simply should not only be allowed but also encouraged as another form of warfare.
and this is really a fundamental foreign policy program we're going to have to face. because despite our very best attempts we are now being rebuffed by some saying this is simply gross interference and we're not going to allow it. and if we're going to starve we're going to starve by itself or with each other. having made that pronouncement i pleeshsoach ambassador lion and ms. lundgerd your work on the ground. we admire what you're doing and your testimony. >> thank you, plup. i too join in thanking our two witnesses for everything your doing to make a different in the lives of people victized. i also want to thank those on the second panel for bringing a spot light on this issue that otherwise it's difficult. there's so many issues in the
world, you are really helping us focus on this humanitarian disaster. you set this up with the three fronts in sudan which adds to the complication. we're dealing not only with a few areas. we're dealing with the sudan and south sudan issues and we're dealing with darfr. as i listen to the testimony and what's happening in the two areas, it reminds me of testimony 8 years ago that was happening in darfur. and it happened under our watch which is a failure of the civilized world to take appropriate action the disaster the against people. are we going to two through the same thing in the two areas? basically talk about this for years and see thousands or hundreds of thousands of people's lives ruined forever?
it's very frustrating i know for all of us. but is there a lesson that we learn from darfur that we can use to prevent that from happening in the two years? what mistakes did we make in darfur that we don't want to repeat again? can you just help us on this? there's an urgency and i understand getting humanitarian aid in there and that's great. but we talk about it, people are dying, >> senator, you really put your finger on a very fundamental question of what do we learn from these situations and how do we prevent them from repeating itself. i think that the echos of darfur in the sourtsdz court of blue nile are extremely upsetting and worrisome. there is a pattern in the way the government of sudan fights its wars that produces that kind of human rights violations
and i have discussed that with them on many occasions. host: could you pull the mike a little closer. >> >> sorry. i don't drn i think that there is an opportunity to bring this war to a close. i think it's there. i think it's because in part they cannot win a military victory. they don't want and nobody wants huge camps of people moved from their homes but the government sees this as threatening their whole internal security and they, it's taken a long time to get them to see it differently. i can't promise you that we're going to get out of this war soon but i think what we did learn from darfur is that organizing and mobilizing the international community early on getting concerted and united
pressure. up until quite recently the united nations security council wasn't united on sudan. the statement that was made was a strong statement of all 15 members. it makes a difference. having the league of arab states weigh in makes a difference. so i think hope we have learned some lessons and are going to mange some progress on this. but i share your frustration. >> i would just point out that until we change the sudanese government conducts its security issues, there's little hope that we won't see a repeat of these disasters. the fageyur to bring the government to account for their violations of international law we're paying a heavy price for that. every time we take a pass on enforcing crimes against
humanity, it makes it more likely we'll see a repeat of this in the future. one last question. you mentioned the impact as it related to the sudan and south sudan. is the conflict also have an impact on what's happening in darfur? >> it does in this way. the fighting the government in sourtsdz cortisone and blue nile has teamed up with three of the darfur rebel groups to form this sudan revolutionly front. so that it is become a wider coalition of anti-government forces and they are cooperating moore. and what's happening with the groups in darfur are focusing more on national issues and from their point of issue regime change and than specifically on darfur. so it is having a check and
linking the two in the way i've described. >> i join with the chairman in thanking bote of you for your commitment. >> i will just like to say thank you and i appreciate as nancy does the personal thanks. i have to tell you that neither of us could do this job without the extraordinary focus on president obama and secretary clinton on sudan and south sudan. they follow it there are closely and are even hen gaged. >> there's been strong u.s. leadership in this region for a long time. but still the humanitarian disasters continue under our watch. >> senator corker. >> mr. president, i think the witnesses' testimony has been outstanding and i really think the first three senators have framed this very well and expressed exasspration and concern that all of us have. i don't have -- i have limited abilities but one of my
strengths is math and i can see that if we continue this our second panel who i understand have been through a pretty haring expense in getting here are going to have a very disruptive session when votes begin. so i'm going to pass on question soss that we can proceed and hopefully get the testimony of the second panel before this hearing is disrupted. and i tharbg for calling it. >> well thank you very much senator for that generous offer and we'll see where we wind up here. senator menendez. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'll try to be brief but i'm not going to pass because i always have the opportunity to have some of our experts here before the committee. i want to follow up where senator carden left off. we live through time and time again in which never again actually manifests tefts. and so i'm wondering what sit that we can do that we are not doing working with our allies
to create the pressure so that in fact some of the atrocities that are taking place can stop? you know, when sudan continues to turn to other countries, china, russia, quator for assistance when they look at their sudanese pound depreciating more than 50% since mid 2011 that's an economic duent in which we can use that necessity to try to change behavior and i just don't get the sense that we are doing that. so what is it that we could not do particularly with our allies to chake the course of events that senator carden talked about. >> i think the opportunity is coming up as a result of this agreement that was reached because what it focused on more specifically was the
recognition on the part of the negotiationors that they face a very economic problem. and the only way out of that is not just an oil agreement with the south because the south can only provide so much out of that. and therefore, what matters is the kind of assistance they will get from their friends in the arab world china et cetera. what now we can do and i think it's important is work with those countries on the kind of support they offer to car toom. that is, to encourage it exactly in the way you say that they have to deal with southern court run blue niles and you can't have a big investment and donor program in the middle of that. but also to give them encouragement and do make the right kind of agreements, that the sport would be there for them to deal with their major
economic problems. that's what i think we have to work on a great deal more. a colleague is going to be visiting the middle east later this month to taung about the guest: we can do more to bring that part of the international community together because sudan does face this very serious economic crisis and there's only one way out of it. >> do you believe that they have tint rests since they have been offering financial assistance to leverage the financial assistance to create the other result which is the crisis dispute? the resolution to the crisis dispute? >> they have some interest. some of the questions have stopped gitching sudan considerable assistance. so we have to gainl exactly how they perceive this situation and i think that's one of the tasks we have to engage in the next few weeks. >> finally ms. lin boge let me ask you, mr. clooney and pender
grast are going to speak about their project which uncovers threats to civilians using sthrilet imagery in order to generate a rapid response. does the state department view this as an opportunity as a model that can be used for monitoring conflicts in other parts of the world? >> thank you. there is a lot of focus in looking at how we can better predict and understand the possibility of coming atrocities and there's an initiative that president obama has put forth that has a focus on identifying a whole array of ways in which we can gather information that helps us prevent humanitarian crisis. so we're very interested in this as one of the models. >> thank you. >> well i'm not about to not
follow the leadership of bob corker. because i know the long line forming at 8:00 wasn't to see johnny ikes son it was to see george clooneafment but i would like to say this. bob corker and i traveled to darfur and sudan have been engaged but i also want to acknowledge special envoy williamsson their great work they did leading up to the peace agreement and i'll defer to mr. clooney. >> don't sell yourself short. i heard people out there saying have you seen johnny isaacson? >> senator you'dle. >> i think i'm going to follow the lead also of our republican cletion here and try to move as quickly as possible as we can. let me just thank the ambassador and ms. lindberg for your testimony and your leadership on this issue. and you have mentioned that president obama and secretary
clinton have been actively involved. we also appreciate their assistance there. with that i yield back. >> thank you senator. senator brasso. >> mr. president, we have bipartisan agreement it's time to move on. thank you for your service. >> wow. i think we need to try to schedule this thing around a really controversial vote here. >> i would say all of us just for the audience we have the ability to ask questions of these officials and get back. so i know we'll all take the opportunity to do that. and that's why moving on makes sense. >> before we excuse you i just wanted to ask is there anything administrator lindberg that you feel you wanted to say that you haven't had a chance to or ambassador limon? >> just to thank the committee very much. i don't think the crowds were out there to see us either. >> we're going to work with you as closely as we have, continue
to. we'll try to support you in every way we can to try to press this. i do think that saudi arabia, quator, china, could particularly play an increased role here and i hope over the next days we can talk about how that perhaps leverage that a little bit and see if we can't move on this. i know everybody wants to move, just one last quick question. do you believe that the signals you are getting and this movement of yesterday is there any indication in there of a greater willingness to try to provide access on the humanitarian assistance and actually get the political solution hont blue nile south coveren? >> actually nancy and i were on the phone this morning with the minister of social welfare asking that. she said they are moving tomorrow. i'm hoping we're going to get
an answer as soon as from on that front. once we open that door, once you have food going in, it's going to have to affect the fighting thoot going on. and you have to protected the hume taryn workers and that we hope is going to create an atmosphere where political talks start to happen we're hoping that. it hasn't been agreed yet but that's the direction we want it to go. >> and this is a tricky question but an important one. do you have evidence are there indicators of the south's direct support for a proxy efforts in that area? >> we have said to the government of south sudan that supporting that those fighting in there is very dangerous and we can see the results already, the retaliation, the bombing across the border. and we have had very candid talks with them about it. and part of the reason that they are going through this summit is to discuss that
frankly between the two governments. so i'm hoping that that will be on the agenda. >> well, thank you very much. we are as appreciative as everybody has said. you've come back to take this on and it's a tough task. and we're really happy to have your expertise and your skill and the commitment of both the departments to this. we thank the secretary and the president for their focus on it. thank you. let's try to move seamlessly if we can. i would ask george clooney and john prendgrast and john timnd if they would come up. so we don't interrupt here in the process.
>> folks, can we ask members of the press if they would give us room here to proceed. thank you very much. john is there an order that you guys have? george. go for it. thank you. again, we're really happy to have you here. i know you traveled overnight to get here and we look forward to both your testimony as well as i think you have a video with you that you want to show and we look forward to seeing that. >> thank you senators. i thank you for the opportunity
to appear before you. i understand how business yeah you are. i will try to be brief and to the pointed. the first thing i would like to do is set some boundaries and separate what is fact and what is fiction for us. we will show some of the facts. the government of sudan led by omor alba shir, acmed hah roon and defense minister, the same three men who orchestrate it had atrocities in darfur have turned their bombs on the people. now, these are not military targets. these are innocent men women and children. that is a fact. three days ago while we were in the mountains 15 bombs were dropped on a neighboring village. when we got there we found children filled with slap until including a nine-year-old boy who had both of his hands blown off. as we traveled further north, we were greeting fed by hundreds of villages carrying
signs saying stop them. and we were also met with three, 300 meter rockets fired overhead and witnessed hundreds of peoples to run into hills and hide in caves. these people are not the cave people of nuba. they actually live in farms and they have the oldest society in the world and yet now they are forced to hide in caves. it is a campaign of murder and fear and displacement and starvation. and that is also a fact. religion is not an issue. in the camps you will find christians and muslims hiding together. it is ethnic in nature. the indiscrimnat bombing of innocent civilians is defined as a war crime in the geneva convention. in january of last year i was in south sudan with senator kerry for the referendum which gave us the world's newest
nation. south sudan. we warned the world of the danger of leaving the four border regions out of the talks. darfur, south cortfan, the blue nile and of course ave yea. the government of car toom accused us of rhetoric designed to incite and anger the north or anger against the north. we visited in january of 2011 and at the time it was estimated to have 120,000 inhabit nts. today, there are none. they are either dead or they're refugees all because they had the bad luck of being born on a border, being born in oil-rich land, or being born black. that is a fact. these three men are all charged with war crimes for their actions in darfur and now they are proving themselves to be the greatest war criminals of this century by far. so the obvious question is why should we care.
what does this have to do with us? we have our own problems. we have jobs, we have housing, we have debt and now we see our gas prices going up as senator lugar said and as president obama said in a press conference last week. he talked about three reasons why we're paying more at the pumps. speculators, uncertainty in iran, and south sudan shutting off its oil. as you know the south has all the oil and the north has the pipelines and the refineries. and for years the north has been taking the oil, keeping most of the profits, flying bombs and rockets and using them on darfur and the mountains. so six weeks ago, the south shut down their oil production. they just stopped. and overnight china lost 6% of its over all oil imports which mean thelf to go elsewhere and that raises the price of oil. what happens in sudan matters very much to us now economically that is also a
fact. but what could we do? we're not going to use our military. we're not likely to see a nato no fly zone. that's probably not going to happen. so this is where we all come in. we need to do what we are best at. real diplomacy. starting with china. china has a $20 billion investment in the oil infrastructure in the sudan and right now they are getting nothing for it. we need to use this opportunity to work in tandem with the chinese to solve this cross border issues. not by using guilt, not by appealing to humanitarian reasons. let's send a high level envoy to china to work on this. let's use the teak neeks we've learned from chasing terrorists and find and freeze the offshore bank accounts. they're not buying these weapons with sudanese towns. let's work with the international community to toughen the sanctions. there's a lobbyist here in d.c.
who is allegedly paid $20,000 a month to lobby for car toom. let's make sure he is paid in sudanese pounds from here on in. there's a bill in the house the sudan peace security and accountability act of 2012 that addresses many of these subjecteds and we hope that the senate will introduce an equally robust bill. there is a long list of things we can do that won't cost lives or much money. there are no two sides to these core issues. we can't give the lives back. we can't replace that young boy's hands. but we can put an end to it if we work together as a nation and as an international community. and it can start here. i know this. if we work together all of us we can't fail. and that last part is just opinion. i thank you. and i forfeit the remainder of my time to senator kerry. >> there's a trend here.
exactly. john are you going to for better or worse i'm with him. >> i'm just here for the q and a. >> jonathan. >> chairman kerry, ranking member lugor, and members of the committee, it is an honor to appear before you today to present my views. let me also express my condolences to the family and colleagues of congressman donald pane who was a great champion for the people of sudan and south sudan. i direct the program at the u.s. institute of peace which has been working on the ground in sudan for 18 years. the views i express today are my own and not necessarily those of the u.s. institute of peace which does not take policy positions. mr. chairman, i intend to focus my remarks today on two broad issues that i believe are critical to the future of these two countries. governance and economic viability. let me emphasize that the issues already addressed especially immediate humanitarian access to the states are vitally important
and should be priorities for the international community. for decades sudan has legislature ched from one crisis to another. also for decades, sudan's leaders have employed a model of governance that is ultimately unsustainable. this is not a coincidence. rather this model is a central cause of sudan's continuous instability. it concentrates wealth power and resources tat center of the country to the detriment of pop list peripheral areas. it is exclusionry and riddled with corruption. under the current government, this model has been accompanied by an effort to impose an arab-islamic identity throughout sudan. the result has been a series of rebelions from peripheral areas seeking more equitable resources and the sharing of identity and religion. the government has responded with brutal and disproportionate force. the international community has spent decades working to end these conflicts on sudan's
periphery with soak sum sess but the community continues to chase these around while raring making efforts to help sudanese reform the flawed governance model at the center. it is time for that approach to change. it is time for a more comprehensive strategy for addressing the challenges rather than a piecemeal approach too often adopted. this will not be easy. the government of sudan has shown little appetite for little reflection or reform. but given the dire economic situations mounting internal resistance and climate of change throughout the arab world they may have little choice. one opportunity for reform lies in the process of developing a new constitution. that process is a natural venue for dialogue about the nature of the sudanese state and how it should be governed but the process must be inclusive, parts pratri, transparent and consense suss based. the international community should draw attention to the importance of that process and work to convince the wide array
of sudanese political entities of its value. usip has been working to help organizations promote a genuine constitutional development process. concerning south sudan, it should be noted that the south sudanese leadership did an impressive job navigating their country to independence. but since there has been growing concern about the government of south sudan's governance and their ability to stabilize the fledgeling nation. united states has an important role to play in helping to arrest and reverse these trends before they are fully ingrained. the united states has been a friend of south sudan for years and that should continue. but it is now time for south sudan to be held to the same basic standards of governance and transparency as any other independent nation. while recognizing the limited capacity of south sudan the united states should be clear in articulating these standards. and candid with south sudan when those standards are not met. turning to economic issues, as
the shutdown of sutesdz sudanese oil production continues the economies of both countries are under considerable strain. in sudan, a key question concerns whether sudan will receive economic assistance from friendly nations. this will be the sovereign decision of other countries but the united states should encourage that any assistance provided be closely linked to progress and key priorities. such as the type of fundamental governance reform described earlier and implementation of the do hah document for peace in darfur. in south sudan the decision to suspend oil production has been well received by the population so far but one wonders how it will be viewed in six months or a year if there are substantial budget cuts that reduce minimal delivery. talk of building a new pipeline is exceedingly optimistic. the government of south suned should be straightforward and candid with the population about the implications of a continued shutdown. the silver lining is that the
difficult economic circumstances in both countries create leverage for the sprags communities. both countries desperately need outside assistance. international coordination of any economic assistance will be crucial. so that it is clear for both countries that assistance provided is contingent on certain steps each government must take. i want to again express my appreciation for the opportunity to answer any questions. >> that's very important testimony particularly with regard to the quality of accountability and i think it's something we're going to have to think about. george if i could ask you, we talked earlier about your trip and what you observed. i know that you have brought a video i think from that. but could you describe and give us a sense of what you really saw on the ground and what you
see perhaps from that as the most critical immediate first step emergency that we need to take. >> well what we saw in general what we saw was people who were incredibly vulnerable. the issues that the ambassador was talking about are the biggest one which is there's a rainy season coming and a great many people who could starve to death. this has been done intentionally. these people usually are farming and have plant bid now. they're hiding in caves. what you see is the constant drip of fear. every single day those fly overhead these are not particularly accurate bombs. these are big planes with bombs and they open up the cargo door and they just throw them out. if they were aiming for you it would probably be the safest place you could be. but what it does is it creates this environment of fear. every time you hear that, the sound of those engines and it
takes about five minutes for them to get there and they circle. every time you hear the sound everyone runs to the hills. it creates fear to keep them from doing anything really, to -- their ability to do anything. and they are there without any protection. one of the roads we went up had recently was take bin the north and then the fought their way through it. there were a lot of dead bodies on the side of the road. we were in one village where we heard the missile attack they were standing there holding signs saying stop attacking us, stop. these people every single day of their lives have to deal with fear not just of the future in terms of starving to death but actually actively being killed. and that is, that was what the majority of what we are here to do, i'm here to talk about the dangers of these people
particularly and the specifics are that the exact same people who did this in darfur are the people that are doing this again. and the signs as the ambassador said are ominously similar to what happened in darfuffer and that the problem and that's what brings us cause -- pause. >> i gather you have a video. are you going to show that? [inaudible] i think it's important. i heard your description and i think it would be helpful to the committee to -- that's first-hand as it gets but it's your choice. how long is it? let's do that.
responsibility to protect human life. right here at ground zero for that responsibility. /♪ >> he says he wants muslims to have the freedom to go to the mosques he wants christians to have the freedom to go to the church. those who don't have religion, let them be free to do whatever they want to do. >> well, i'm glad we did show
that. i'm glad you brought that. i think it was an important part of the testimony so i appreciate very, very much your bringing that before the committee those images are obviously powerful and important. and i think it underscores what has been said here today. if i could just ask you and then we'll go around here. you listed a number of things that you thought were immediate steps. what, if any -- what do you think is the most compelling, important, immediate step the -- either the united states or together with the international community we could do that would have an impact? >> senator, there's a fairly popular feeling that this shutting off of oil by the south is danieling to both and there's very good arguments for that. you could argue that if it was the united states and we were at war with canada and sending them oil and they were buying bombs with it we would probably
stop. but the truth of the matter is we -- what we really need to do is we can take this moment and engage with china i think for the first time. i've gone to china and tried the version of hey you've got an olympics coming maybe it wouldn't look so good if you're supporting the attacks in darfur. that doesn't really work. guilting people often doesn't. thr economic reasons to do this for both of us and it seems to me that we could use this opportunity, this window of opportunity before it gets too late by sending a high level envoy. and i do believe we should absolutely focus on where their money is because they're spending a lot of it and they're hiding a lot of it. even if you can't freeze it the transparency itself we've seen how that works in other countries during this arab spring when you find out how much money they actually have taken from their own people and
hid in banks that tends to create insurgence inside. so i think those are the two major steps that could be done. that's our belief. there are many others. >> senator lugar. >> george, i noted down as you gave your first testimony the envoy to china. and the banking sanctions or however we disrupt at least what is their normal wealth. time to start that with iran and for good reason. we have experience with this with north korea. in those cases it was because of nuclear devices, they either had or they were developing. but one could argue this is equally serious for different reasons. and the diplomacy with china is as you suggested unfortunately not just humanitarian although that ought to be mentioned but with the chinese the oil is extremely important.
and they are prepared to fight for it eventually if they can get it. so we have somebody to talk to there and i want to endorse your idea and the hope that the administration might pick up on testimony and some of the things we have today. like wise, although it is as you say far fetched, to think of an alternative pipeline in a short period of time, perhaps it's not a pipe dream to think about it fundamentally with regard to south sudan. this could be repeated even if we move through one crisis and it seems to me that in terms of our humanitarian effort also might be concentrated on an investment effort to see really what investors are involved potentially in such an alternative. so i just wanted to pick up that suggestion as one that may be fundamental to the economics
ratchet down -- you talked about the accounts. we do that quite often. i am hoping the president could look at an executive order -- it may be possible under his abilities. we would have to look under the treasury department. but i hope that we will take some of the insight that you talked about, which is how do we create the leverage to change the on the ground reality. i think when the chinese have a multi-billion dollar investment that is not being productive, when you can create economic consequences that will move people to a different course of action after -- out of pure
necessity, when they did not do it for a higher calling, those of the ways we can change the realities on the ground. as someone who has been a bit -- big advocate for sanctions for certain purposes, i think they can work. but often the united states has to lead in order to get the rest of the world to follow. i appreciate those insights and i hope our friends in the state department are listening and that we can take it into action. i certainly will be looking forward to doing that as well. >> thank you very much. i note that ambassador lyman and the administrator still here and indeed listening and they also talk to and worked closely with john pendergast and george clooney. i am confident we will follow up
on this. >> i want to thank you again for the attention you bring to this issue and the reality we have seen through the production this morning. those of us who travel to countries like this just cannot bring the attention to what that people like you can, so i thank you for that. i thank you for the suggestions you may not only here but in the back room and hopefully we will follow up on those. but again, thank you very much. it has been very moving. and for mr. princeton lyman -- prendergast, what you are here, -- while you are here, since there has been a discussion about the satellite sentinel project, maybe you can explain to the rest of us and the others here exactly how it works and how it might be utilized in conflict areas like this? >> thank you, senator. it is a partnership between digital global, a satellite imagery company, harvard, and the enough project -- george's
idea, frankly, we wanted to try to drive attention to deterring the war crimes before they have been rather than bemoaning the fact that they do afterwards, and to create capacity -- and this is what happened over the last year. if you find, okay, you have soldiers in a particular area, you have air assets moved into position -- attack helicopters, atinovs and other things -- and we know where the areas are being targeted and we can raise the alarm bells that particular people are vulnerable and we need to have action. and if there is not action taken, then the attacks do happen, at least we have the visual evidence, at an empirical evidence, to present to the international criminal court and others for hopeful prosecution in the future. >> i know the first panel acknowledged this is a useful
tool. are there ongoing discussions between you and the state department and other agencies and our government to utilize this more fully? >> it is very important to say as a footnote to the testimony, the at the station's policy and strategy is the right one. we support very strongly ambassador lyman as a special envoy and think he is doing an extraordinary job. we are in touch of the time. and by the way, a very bipartisan strategy and it has been through the last three administrations on sudan. and of course, congressman payne was one of the incubators of this bipartisan effort, so we wanted to note him as well. but i think there are a few opportunities right now, to put a fine point on what this moment does present, with the cut off of the oil is president obama and president hu will meet soon. this is a chance to put the issue high on the radar screen
of the two leaders to talk about how specifically the united states and china can forge this kind of partnership we are talking about. ambassador lyman and others are already having conversations. i think having a high level, real strong endorsement of the need to deepen the partnership will be really helpful. and also -- and you are going very soon, senator kerry, to qatar to talk to the emir. a lot of these guys are billing these guys out. it is easy for them to be in transit if they are getting soft loans that they will never be paid back -- it is easy for them to be intransigent. for president obama to say this is not the right time, hold it, and use it for leverage for a comprehensive deal to address all of these problems. and finally to on the unilateral level the united
states has, we have plenty of sanctions. it as many know, we are not enforcing them. so getting the treasury department, the office of foreign asset control, the capacity to enforce, having a couple of people on the staff full time chasing the assets. as george said, even if we can freeze them work in another country to freeze them, by exposing them -- what was the root of the explosion of popular sentiment during the arab spring in the middle east and north africa? the popular resentment against corruption. all of these guys packing the oil well in private accounts, these international companies they are investing, let us find the money and exposing them. it would put them in deeper hot water. it is their own people who at the end of the day will solve the problem. >> mr. clooney, mr. prendergast, and mr. temin, thank you very much. >> thank you much. senator cardin, three votes
started. we have about 15 minutes. then i will limit myself to two and a half minutes -- >> i will limit myself to two and a half minutes. let me underscore the point on sanctions. they are important if they can be reinforced internationally. the united states has to show leaders sit -- leadership -- not only enforce the sanctions but use it as a high priority with their diplomacy. but you are right on the asset issue. the united states can have a major impact because these world leaders are hiding their money. and they come across u.s. banks. so, we can have an effective remedy here. some of us have joined together what is known as the -- bill, over human rights in russia. we think it would be a great way to bring them to justice. bashar was arrested as a war criminal.
he is a known abuser of human rights and has violated international standards. the defense minister, an arrest warrant was issued last month for his arrest. so, these are criminals. i think we are on very high authority to impose the type of financial sanctions which could have a major impact. the government should not be afforded the legitimacy of the international community when their leaders are scheduled to be at the hague to stand up for the crimes they have committed. so, i just really wanted to urge us to keep focused. we cannot allow under our watch another darfur humanitarian
crisis to emerge in the same region of the world. >> i don't want you to feel watch -- rushed. senator coons has gone, i will go and quickly vote and come back. take your full time. >> well then, would you like to respond to what i said? >> i think your message, mr. clooney, about the importance of international respect for sanctions and the nine banking, the individual is makes the decision. we can deny bashar the opportunity to hide his wealth. it would have a major impact. >> i think it would, senator. the secret to this is just tightening this noose around khartoum, around the people charged with war crimes. they should not be allowed to
have a ton of money stuffed in a malaysian bank, which is what is going on. we need to be able to track it down and find it. they are also using the money to buy weapons to hurt innocent people. it is a cowardly act, what we saw over there. these were not acts of war, they were war crimes, and they are funding it. and they are not funding it simply with sudanese pounds. so i think chasing the money is a very big issue, not just to stop the actual act themselves but to put pressure on them internally. omar al bashir in his home has five tanks surrounding him pointed out word. that is not a very secure leader, quite honestly. we feel as if the more you expose his corruption, more inclined to people in khartoum
would be to perhaps have someone else lead the country. pointednator lugar ♪ out, the transparency bill to require these companies to disclose their contract so we can try to track the money. we know the sudanese government has received a lot of income from oil wealth over the years, and we know a good part of that has been diverted, not going to the people. so, tracking that money, tracking that wealth, would have a major impact on the comfort of their leaders. and it is something the united states can do. it does not require a lot of countries to work with. we are a major banking center of the world. if we of london going along with us -- we can do a lot without worrying about china or wearing about russia. who at times and not always follow our lead on the human- rights front.
>> senator issakson? >> when i went to darfur -- there was a gender-based violence against women, rape. is that going on as well? >> it was a very big issue, still. in the same patterns we sell in darfur. we saw it last year. we saw it used an employed again here in the nuba mountains in south kordofan. you may have more? >> only to say it is still happening in darfur. there are still mass atrocities being committed against civilian populations. when we talk about a holistic
solution in the sudan, we need to talk about dealing with all of these problems comprehensively that we have been coming back to this committee over and over again to talk about, rather than stove's piping them individually and playing into the hands of khartoum, which wants to buy the -- divide the international community. >> on that point, there was mention the possibility of a tripartite agreement, the u.n., eric league, an african union -- the arab league and african union. is there a possibility he would do the same thing in south kordofan darfur, kicking out the ngo's indiscriminately? >> i think the government of sudan learned its own lesson in darfur, allowing international aid to come in early in the crisis and then become the fact of businesses. and become -- come in early in
the crisis and become witnesses. saying at the outset -- out said the military preparations, they were not allow witnesses. there are no aid groups operating now, so it is an access crisis for all of the people as the clock ticks inexorably toward the rainy season. in the first instance -- and ambassador lyman and usaid of work hard to get an access agreement, so working behind the african union and the arab league and with and a proposal, so that is where the attention needs to be on and it is to stop the use of starvation as a weapon of war. it must be ended. >> thanks to all of you for your advocacy. i will turn it over to senator udall. thank you very much. thank you, senator isakson. i can't tell you how important it is, george, for you and john, to have gone over there and brought these images back. i think chairman kerry was
right to say i think we should play them and have them up on the screen, because i think as painful as the rtc, and the thing that this does -- as painful as they aren't to see jake as painful as they are to see them, the thing it does is give the american people and people around the world to engage, saying we did not want this to happen again. one of the things that you have mentioned -- and that is what i wanted to question a little bit on -- and i think john mention this, but i am willing to hear from both of you -- the idea that satellite -- satellite sentinel could be used by prosecutors -- i was a former prosecutor so i relish the idea of having bad guys that know something is going to be done to them -- something at the hague. have you visit with prosecutors at the hague, are interested in
your technology, have you talked about the kinds of things that maybe can be utilized to strengthen cases and those kinds of things? because if there is anything out there that is going to prevent this from happening again in other places of the world is that people know we have an international justice system that is going to work and eventually bring people like you described, george, just terribly murderous individuals, bring them to justice. >> i will let you talk about the hague for a second. i do want to say one thing. there is an interesting thing that happens when you get involved in these. you think that the minute people know, then it will stop. your assumption is that everyone just does not know. and the truth is, even when you know, it does not stop. it requires a constant drip of
information. it requires you to keep compiling it on. at the very least it can be used later as evidence in a trial. we are trying to continually -- we would like to use this information at the security council, because a lot of the times what happens at the security council is someone -- we know the players -- will veto any raising of the mandate of protection because they will say, well, this is just rebel in fighting. well, we have imagery that shows -- we have imagery yesterday that shows an atinov flying over plumes of smoke where it bombed village and villagers. that is not rebel infighting. our hope is not just to use it at the hague but our hope is to use it as something to pry the security council toward raising the mandate, trying to move
along. and john can speak about talking with the hague. >> the current international criminal court mandate only involves darfur -- crimes committed in. so basically, as the arrest warrants have been issued for three of the key regime leaders, they are greeted internationally with lots of skepticism. there are still in number of government to believe a lot of the evidence is manufactured and there are still a lot of divisions internationally about whether the crimes are is terrible as they are alleged to have been. so, part of the purpose of having the satellite sentinel project is to create their tight -- airtight evidence for
future arrest warrants and prosecutions based on the crimes being committed now, which are the same kinds of crimes by the same people orchestrating them as was the case in darfur, so it is creating the evidentiary base for future prosecutions and we hope that at least the three that have already had been indicted will actually come to justice one day. >> i know that there are others who are involved with you who are your partners and you may want to mention them in terms of who has worked with you -- >> on the satellite sentinel? the biggest if we got was the satellites themselves -- digital globe, for no other reason than the goodness of the heart, donated millions of dollars worth of imagery. it is hard to explain how important it is because there is only really one satellite company that is in that area that can do this for us. they have been an incredible partner to us and continue to be.
we have gotten shots of mass graves, we have gotten shots of tank movement and truth movement and all of these things. remembering and understanding for the reason this can work is because of the typography. this would not have been that if -- as effective in the condo because it is harder to see from the sky with all of the trees. harvard? >> and once he gets the imagery, you have to have an analysis of it. there is a team at the harvard humanitarian initiative dedicated in real time to analyzing the imagery, producing independent nonpartisan reports about what they are seeing and what they are assessing these images to mean in those reports get put out and we try to generate the attention of around them in order for them to act as a deterrent. >> and they stay up all night working did they are young people and they are doing it -- all heart, those good kids.
>> thank you. it has been very, very helpful. >> thank you, senator udall. i think you have time to go over there. senator coon? >> thank you, senator kerry, and for your discipline than engage the leadership on sudan and what do all you have done around a challenging issue. i would like to thank ambassador lyman and administrator, and for george, john, and to john, thank you for what you have done to give some of focused, engaging, and effective attention on the challenging issues of darfur, the nuba mountains, and the ongoing and strategic challenges we face an engaging people in paying attention to the real challenges in bringing peace and development to south sudan and the whole region. later today, senator isakson and i on the africa
subcommittee will be joined by senators to introduce a regulations -- induce a resolution that specifically supports the efforts all of you have talked about today and it calls for the government of sudan to allow immediate and unrestricted access to south kordofan and other areas and calls on sudan and -- in the north to enter mutual agreement to end their conflict. it is just one thing we should be doing to continue what long has been a bipartisan tradition of engagement leadership on these issues. george, be closed by referencing the folks who stay up all night, the energetic young people who process the images from the satellite project. just in the past few weeks, we have seen a flood of interest in the kony 2012 campaign, and be enough project has been working with invisible children on that. you have both been very effective in getting americans
and folks around the world to pay attention to this great team monetary crisis and is fairly into a grave -- to pay attention to a grave humanitarian crisis in a fairly remote corner of the world. what advice do you have for all of us who want to sustain engagement of americans and folks more broadly in actually continually to be concerned about a humanitarian crisis such as exist in darfur, such we see emerging in the nuba now, the jungles of the drc and central african republic with joseph kony. how do we get people of all ages excited and engaged? we rarely hear millions calling for more engagement in africa. what should we do about it? >> john will have some ideas. he has been doing it a lot longer than i have. i would say -- we are going to fail a lot. we will fail in our attempt to help people in these very difficult regions and we will fail a lot in trying to keep attention in a certain area because of other news stories are going to bump us off --
there is going to be an arab spring and we will not be paying attention to what happens. and a lot of people use that as a moment to do some pretty terrible things. the trick is going to be coming in sustaining it, is to be able to find moments that you can point to and say, this is a turning point, good or bad, and let us and amplify it. and finding several of those a year, to be able to keep it up -- you cannot have a constant drip every day on television because no one would care, quite honestly. there is not just donor fatigue, but there is misery fatigue, and people get tired of it at some point. our job is to find those moments -- 100 days before these people vote for their referendum for their own states -- so, let us focus on that. there is an election. let's focus on that. there is a brand new state.
there is a good possibility of people starving to death in the next couple of months. let's focus on it. part of our job is to try to pick through all of the news cycles, find areas where we can keep it up. but young people and church groups have been the real -- they have been doing all the hard work for us. they have been carrying this thing for years. they were -- they have been keeping the message out, fundraising, keeping the pressure on, quite honestly, all of us in this room. so, i would not worry too much about the sustainability inside the hearts of all of these young people and all of these church groups because that just continues. it is just more about finding moments we can draw attention to move the pin forward a little bit. i find that to be the issue. >> the only footnote i would add is the good news is this is such a bipartisan event -- venture so we do not have real
opponents, except indifference or ignorance -- we just don't know. what i find exciting about the first 10 years of the 21st century of activism is the chance through social media, and other forums, to create real partnership between all of these wonderful non- governmental organizations who are working so diligently on these issues. they partner with groups in africa -- because remember, it is on the front lines in place of light sudan and combo and northern uganda, have been doing most of the work to resolve the problems and we can only just come in the margins to try to help them. the partnerships created with
organizations come in gaea's, senators -- organizations, ngo's, senators, it helps. president obama, the way he advanced the referendum in 2010. every person we talked to said that was perhaps the most important aspect of getting a free and fair referendum in 2011. it is the team that starts on the ground with african human- rights groups and others struggling to get the word out. partnering with you then give support to the administration to engage positively.
when i started in the 1980's, that kind of stuff did not happen. it is a very exciting moment. having george involved, the visit -- the invisible children video, it makes this kind of partnership more real and possible. >> i am grateful for your sustained engagement. there are lots of groups of all backgrounds, non-governmental organizations to keep doing the hard work on the ground, bringing intermission to the light, helping to make the world aware of the crises. this has been a bipartisan effort across the bush and a bomb administrations with folks on both sides of the aisle. one challenge is sustaining support for america's use of diplomatic resources around the world. the united states has a lot of power. sustaining the investment that makes possible what they're
doing, making sure they have the resources for us to be engaged delivering this sustaining investment in providing the framework for peace and progress, that is something highly contested in congress in the last year. i urge folks who may be paying attention to these issues, i want them to realize that is something where there are sharp disagreements. i think we should continue to invest in making sure we have the resources to be an effective voice in these parts of the world. >> i want to thank you for your tremendous commitment. and your diligence as chair on african affairs.
terrific. senator? >> thank you. thank you all very much for being here. i want to follow up on his questions about how to sustain interest and get action that will help bring that international pressure to make a difference in south sudan. whether you are contemplating, or anyone you know of is contemplating a "stop kony"- like video, or whether there are other ways, that kind of energy really makes a difference. and for any of the three of you. >> we landed yesterday. we were gone for eight days. in that time, the kony video hit. by the time we landed, everyone was asking about it. i did not know what happened. it is an incredibly effective tool. social media can be a big deal now.
youtube, twitter, all of those elements are a way to keep young people involved. we're going to put the videos and the things that we put together, we will make that available to people. the sudan, in general, has an infrastructure that is better for most charitable organizations. there are some groups that have been working there a long time in this area. we will continue to do that. it does not go away. our job is to amplify it. we will continue to do that. understanding that in an election year, political will is the most important thing you can get. what i think is so terrific about being here today is this is truly one subject matter that both sides agree on, but have actively worked hard on.
they have had successes and failures. they understand one another. this takes a little less political will. this is one where you do not come off on the wrong side doing the right thing. we feel heartened by the idea. we felt heartened that this is something that is not a polarizing. yes, you need political will. we will continue to push as much as you can to get as many people as you want involved. the louder it is, the harder it is for these people to commit atrocities. we also thank you, here, for your sustained involvement. and know that not only do we appreciate it, we are well
aware you will continue. >> i think, including the first panel, you have made the fact that this is a bipartisan effort and it needs to be. that has been very important. i do think that as the senator has pointed out, public support for international assistance and our foreign aid budget, which is important to address and what happens on the ground in sudan, is not always that bipartisan and not always as robust. i guess i would urge, as you are thinking about social media and getting people to act, thinking of out how to address that foreign aid piece as part of that action. that will be critical as we sustain the efforts we make on the ground.
thank you all very much. >> thank you, senator. a couple quick questions and i think we will close out. jonathan, you have talked about political reforms in the north. just the very quickly, if you can, how you see that? i mean, these guys are not exactly as reformers, number one. a are not exactly listening to anybody. how you envision that? >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is an uphill battle. i do not want to be a pollyanna about this. it is also an unprecedented time in their history. 1/3 of their country just voted unanimously to leave. they are under unprecedented economic stress right now. there are signs of internal dissent within the leadership that we have not seen much in
the past. those are things that could add up to some sort of change. as i said, there's not a lot of evidence of it so far. i also think that the alternatives are ugly. particularly, some of the talk about regime change through violence would be quite violent. >> i agree with you. certainly, the conversations i have had with members of the government, we have tried to make the point that this really is a major opportunity for them to move in a different direction. i worry that the three some that has been well-named tier, linked to darfur, seems to be moving in a totally different direction. that makes all this much more compelling.
we really need to refocus in a lot of ways. if i could ask both john and george, quickly, the southern part of it. you have made it very eloquently clear here and compelling about the need to deal with the -- to avoid a disaster. the long run here is the need for a political solution. what do people share with you or express to you about that political solution through those two areas? >> well, i think the difference is that people learned from darfur that if they allowed their region to be isolated for a bilateral deal between the government sudan and them, in the long run that is unsustainable.
there needs to be a deal that addresses the big root cause of the problem in the sudan, which is the problem john was talking about. a problem of governance in the center. so, for the first time, we have really seen in the north, in sudan a broader effort, armed and unarmed. it has sort of formed an association of a number of these unarmed groups. by the way, the darfur actors who were so divided are now under the same umbrella and working together. and then there are on armed groups that have their own objective. the bottom line, people want to see a democratic transformation. i think that is one of the things for the united states can be helpful in providing support to some of the unarmed groups are struggling every day to try to figure out a way.
civil society groups, women's organizations, struggling to find a way to build for the democratic transformation. i know the discussion is internal in the administration. how can we be helpful here? i think there are a lot of things we could do to help facilitate power. to a certain their democratic did to assert -- to assert more definitively their democratic rights in the future. >> well, we are now starting on a second vote. this is on a 10 minute vote. we're going to try to wrap up. let me say to you endorsed how much we appreciate what you
have done here. this is a tremendous example of a citizen activism. obviously, george you have lent your celebrity star to this initiative, which has its risks. but it also is critical for the ability to get people to focus. we thank you for being prepared, nevertheless, to just engaged. take eight days, go over there, and not without its risks, i might add. i was an activist before i came here to be a senator. i vowed i would stay an activist senator. i am proud to have people on this committee who feel the same way.
so, i can tell you that we are going to absolutely stay focused on this. continue to work with you. do everything we can to try to leverage the outcome we would all like to see. i am an optimist, but i have learned around here not to be naive about it. but i still do believe, i think the ambassador believes this to, there is an avenue. but we do need to increase the leverage. we do need to reach out to china, saudi arabia, others, and get them to share some of this sense of urgency. and frankly, humanitarianism is not always a compelling rationale around the world. i think we have a great affect around here.
your sense of timing about where those moments are that you need to kind of pushed is important and well taken. i express the gratitude of a lot of people. we have a lot of work to do. there is a long way to go. but this has been helpful. i just would say to you and others who follow this who are interested in it, and i hope the sudan embassy -- in to ensure they are following it, i hope they realize that there is no easy out. there is no way here that we are not going to continue to stay engaged. we had a road map. we thought we could have moved on some components. it has made it impossible to do
that. is is really his choice -- their choice. they will decide, to some measure, where we are going to go. we are prepared to offer open opportunities to go on a different direction. i know that president obama and the folks -- his security advisers and secretary clinton are greatly focused on this. you have an opportunity to meet and talk with them the next day. all of us need to work, as we have, in a very cooperative -- across party lines, across branches of government lines, in a constructive way to try to get the job done. thank you of helping us today to do our job better. if i could ask everybody here to just let them come back. ambassador, and administer, but we thank you all for coming. we keep the record open until one week close of business on
challenging the affordable health care act. >> some people look at justice roberts joining the majority the week before the federal government filed a motion to dismiss as a harbinger of doom. our side. i do not see it that way. despite the broad language in the comstock case, the last paragraph of the majority opinion brings the language down for a very thin final -- funnel they cannot get the bill through that funnel. there has not been enough time for us to assess how he is going to vote. >> you can see the entire interview with the virginia attorney general on "newsmakers" today at 6:00 p.m. on c-span.
it is also available online. >> i was quite erratic when i was a young person. i was one who thought singing "we shall overcome" was not an effective way of gaining civil rights. i thought more confrontation was needed. >> the economics professor on being a radical. >> i believe a radical is anyone who believes in personal liberty and individual freedom and limited government. that makes you a radical. i have always been a person who believed people should not interfere with me. i should be able to do my own thing so long as i do not violate the rights of other people. >> war with walter williams tonight -- more with walter williams tonight.
>> next, what the world might look like if the u.s. reduced its global role to focus on domestic problems and whether america is -- he joined with others to discuss the afghanistan war and whether united states could reduce should get involved militarily. this is about 90 minutes. >> please take your seats. we will get started. welcome. i am tom donnelly, i am a resident fellow and director of the center for defense studies. i am here to welcome everybody on behalf of aei and for my --
>> my partners in crime at the new american foundation, and did center for a new american security. this is a joint projects, and it adds geometrical levels of complexities. but we have been working at 3 for a while. we are pleased to kick off a series of events examining the core issues of foreign and security policy in this presidential year. the three of us are institutions with different policy perspectives. what has brought us together is a shared belief that this will be a extremely consequential election. voters might make choices based on domestic concerns, but the outcome will effect the world, and the world will be watching. we believe the four statistics concerns are the future of the middle east, the effect of china's geopolitical rise, whether the american military can sustain global leadership, and above all, today's topic --
what role do we see for ourselves in the years ahead? we are lucky to have robert kagan from the brookings institution to lead this conversation. nobody has thought more deeply about the role of american power than bob hess. -- bob has in recent years. let me turn to our moderator, and pierre's tom gjelten, -- and pr's --npr's tom gjelten. is an experienced reporter in international affairs. he has the gravitas to herd this roundup into the future. >> thank you. maybe i need to push the button. good morning to the rest of you, too. as is the custom at these events, we have to remind you to do silence your cell phone. it is a pleasure for me to be here.
i am impressed by how many of you have shown up on this spectacular spring afternoon. this should not be a surprise because you have a chance to listen to the thoughts of a writer who has given president obama his main foreign policy talking point for the state of the union. i am not at all surprised if you are anxious to hear him elaborate on a provocative thesis that the idea that america's declining is actually a myth. a very impressive "new republic" article, and an even more impressive small book in which he spells that out. without further ado, i think you all know robert kagan from his writings, and one of the things most impressive about your record is you are not only a pundit, but you helped to advise administration's and played an important role with
the past administration in iraq policy. i hope we can get into that a bit as well. without any further comment, take it away, and tell us the message you really wanted to put out with this book. >> thank you, and thank you for crediting me with so much influence, especially since i was living in brussels at the time. i consider that to be extraordinary influence i would like to say a few words. we have a terrific panel. i believe this is a consequential election on an issue that is not being talked about very much, which is foreign policy. it is important and timely there you have pulled this together. it is true that thanks to a certain high-ranking administration official the
aspect that as gotten the most attention in my book is the argument against american decline, but the major thrust of the book is about other things, and mostly it is about the special world order that we live in today, and that has existed since the end of the second world war -- how fragile it is, and how, in my view, dependent it is, ultimately, on american power. let me describe this world order. with all of the difficulties in the world today, it is easy to lose sight how from any historical perspective we continue to live in what can only be described as a golden age of for humanity, and i would say that looking at three fundamental qualities that we have been enjoying for the better part of the last seven decades. the first is one of the more obvious, the enormous spread of democracy. on the eve of world war two,
there were roughly 10 democracies. in 1900, there were roughly five. definitions are complicated, but today, there are over 100. if you think in terms of human history, that is unprecedented and unique. the second thing is the global prosperity we have enjoyed. it is hard to measure passed in gdp growth for the world, but some economists have tried and the estimates are that between the year zero and 1500 global gdp grew an average of 0.1%. from 1500 to 1950, it might of been 1%, but since 1950, it is -- has grown on average about 4% a year. that is a huge, seismic difference. one of the remarkable qualities of that growth is that it has not just been in the trans-
atlantic community, but the highest growth rates have happened outside, and we see the growth of china, india, brazil, and other rising economies. this is a unique situation, and in the course of this time 4 billion people have moved out of poverty into some area of the middle class. that, itself, is truly extraordinary in human history. most of human history has been a story of poverty, tyranny, and also were. -- war. while there has been no shortage of wars in this time, we have been scared massive, great- power war, which was a feature of the immediate 50 years prior to the onset of this world order with two world wars in the 20th-century, but prior to that as well, the world knew almost constant great power conflict in the 16th, 17th, 18th, and
19th centuries. these are the kind that killed tens of millions of people, destroyed an international system, and we have been scared of that. -- we have been spared that. if you take those three things together, you realize what an utterly unique. this has been. -- utterly unique time this has been. the difficulties we have had in this time, nevertheless we have been scared the war, the party, -- spared war, poverty, and the dictatorship to a remarkable extent. the second point is this world order was created substantially by american power and it rests on the continued exercise of american power in all its dimensions, economic, political, and will not survive the decline of that power.
the order reflects american proclivities. it is not foreordained. it is not the product of natural human evolution. we have seen democracy fail. we have seen economic orders collapse in the past. we've seen, obviously, wars between great powers break out. nothing about our current era is permanent. it relies on the power that created it to sustain it, and the most important power in that regard has been the united states. the final question, which is the subject that has gotten more attention, is are we not, in fact, in decline, and incapable of sustaining this, even if it is the right thing to do? my argument is that most of the discussion about american decline is based on a myth, and the number one myth that it is based on is that you often hear it said "the united states can no longer do whatever it wants
to do, can no longer get nations to do what it wants to do, can no longer have its way in the world." the myth is that there are worse such a time. -- the myth is that there ever was such a time. if you go back to any decade of the cold war, beginning with the first, for whatever successes the united states achieved, they were at least equal, and in some cases, greater failures. i could move on to the i could move on to the caribbean war, the vietnam war, the oil crisis of the 1970's, the rise of the iranian revolution. i could go on and do go on in this wednesday as a. -- essay. if you want the details, you can find it there. most of the notion is based on a myth of the past. to the the basic measures of power -- if you look at the
basic measures of power, i would say the united states is roughly where it has been in past decades, not able to do everything it wants, not able to solve the middle east peace crisis, as it has not for the last 40 years, but nonetheless capable of doing quite a bit more than people think. let me leave it there. >> thank you, bob. >> i will ask bob a question or two, then i will ask our panelists to ask a question, then we will get a discussion going among us up here. i want to point out in echoing what tom gjelten said, it is impressive that we have three different think tanks with 3 marginally different views of the world, but i do not want to bend to far over in the direction of harmony. i hope we can have a discussion
because there are serious issues that can be debated, and this sets up my first question for you, bob. in emphasizing that the position of the united states and the power of the united states has been remarkably consistent through economic crisis, political crisis, three different administrations, yet on the other hand you say that this is not sorting. this could change. -- foreordained. this could change. what is it that explains the permanence of this position, and conversely, what matters? this foreign-policy matter? the presidential leadership matter? what could change this if we have maintain this position throughout the administrations, throughout different ideological perspectives? >> that is an excellent question, and what could change
it is a growing consensus either that we simply cannot sustain this role anymore, or that we should not sustain this role anymore. there are certainly spokesman for all of those out there. even the president, who made this rainy reputation of the climate in his state of the union address, sometimes encourages the notion that we should beat "nation-building at home, not engaging in foreign activity" which i think he is the notion that it is time for a time-out. since we are moving toward the possibility of sequestration, cuts this administration believes would be catastrophic. that is a word they actually used -- catastrophic to american capabilities overseas. if you make that decision and you stick with it a long enough, people do not like to
think about the role of american heart power in the world because they think about wars that have not been successful, but they underestimate how important that hard power he is in maintaining this. i am relatively optimistic that that is not where the american people are going to go. i do not think ron paul will get the republican nomination, much less the presidency. i think there is a strong consensus in the country that although we might be having difficulties, the united states should continue to play this role, and i think you will get it regardless of who is elected. >> does that all it -- also explain why there has been continuity despite republicans and democrats in the white house -- would you say, historically, the consensus has largely been maintained? >> since world war two.
there was more fluctuation, obviously, in the past, because americans made a decision after world war one to of dissent themselves from the international scene is as best they could. the major continuities are one, the belief in the special nature of the united states, which goes back to the funding, and has driven american foreign policy consistently, regardless of who was president. the notion that the united states is the keeper of a fundamental truth, about which there are no other truths, and the united states has the special role in the world. the other element has been power. the more power the united states has had, the more it has taken on these responsibilities despite the complexities of what it means. the lesson of both world wars that americans in a way in justed and became part of their psyche, was the world does not work well without us.
this notion is constantly challenged and question, but that remains the fundamental premise of american thinking. >> it seems like you are arguing against the zero-some analysis of the world. you do talk quite extensively about the rise of the rest, and you say there rest can rise without u.s. position declining. >> the rise of the rest needs to be analyzed more specifically. it depends on who is rising. i do not consider the rise of brazil to cut against american power, and i did not mean that in the sense that brazil is not significant enough, but it is part of the world order. the most dramatic rise was the rise of japan and germany during world war.
american share of gdp was 52%. by 1969, it was 29%. catastrophic, right? the only nation that is rising today that raises the real challenge to the united states is the rise of china. in that regard, i welcome the rise of india, because it is a natural check on china. i welcome the rise of turkey, because i think turkey remains interested in furthering the goals of this world order. in my view, most of the rise of the rest is additive to the american position. >> of course germany and japan were more deference to american leadership. >> by a much more willing to put up with independent nations pursuing their own policies because i think they are
contending to the over world -- overall world order, from which the united states benefits. there are many that did not follow the script, and the french would be the first to remind us of that. >> i have an idea that what you say about china is the most provocative point of your argument, and i want to bring in richard on that point. you pay attention a lot to china, and the focus on asia from this administration. what are your thoughts about what we have just been saying with respect specifically to china? >> i agree that china poses the most profound challenge that we will face in the rising of these new powers, and i also agree that the rise of countries like india is good for the
united states, even if they're not tightly-aligned with the united states because they provide a balance to the rise of china, and the question we will face as a country is how do we deal with these rising powers like turkey, brazil, indonesia, india, in order to have a balance of power that frames that the environment in which china continues to rise. in terms of the ticket, plenty have -- pivot, and many quibble with the term. the united states has never left asia. i would point out that it is a goal, rather than something that can be handed down by fiat. a perfect example is yesterday, when president obama and prime minister kamen word in the rose
garden to in their joint press conference, there were four questions the press asked, and these are two key allies that have global ambitions. not a single point was an east asia. it was on syria, iran, afghanistan, and the global economy, so the united states is going to have to pivot to asia, but it can not come entirely at the expense of what will happen in the middle east and south asia as well. no matter how much we want to focus on asia and deal exclusively with china, these are the things will be in the forefront of our minds. >> how about, robert, if i finish with this, and you can think about things you want to say, thomas donnelly, robert makes this eloquent point about
the importance of consensus and continuity in looking at american policy over the last 60 years, and the fact that throw all the financial and political turbulence we have had -- changes of administration -- the american position has been consistent. is that is the case, what does that say about presidential leadership? what does that say about the conduct of foreign policy? does it suggest that the choices we have made far less consequential, perhaps, than they seemed at the time, and the choices that we yet to have to make, are they less consequential than they appear right now? >> i would agree that there are traditions, and legacies, if you will, that transcend any president, any administration. it is really hard to change a foreign policy tradition when
the tradition is a strong and successful as ours has been. there is something to what you say. it has accommodated all kinds of personnel and obviously parties with different agendas. i would be interested to hear whether there are underlying structures that are changing perceptions that is affecting -- that is changing the ability to play the role that we constantly play. whether we can become a social democracy that is spending 20% to 20% of gdp on what we call entitlement programs or mandatory spending, and debt service -- whether that has any
effect on defense budgets, and whether that has any shifting of governmental priorities. once the impulse reasserts itself, will it mean that the means to return to a more traditional leading-from-the- front-kind of american leadership will be just very difficult? we do not see a democratic party debate because they have an incumbent president. in talking to the politicians
that have been left it in the 2010 elections, there was a foreign policy debate that turned into a budget debate. a budget-cutting debate. so, i wonder whether those kinds of concerns are really going to constrain a future president who might decide to assert a more traditional form of american leadership. >> it seems to me with that at least a couple of moments in the last 60 years were there were quite abrupt changes in the national -- international situation. one was the aftermath of the vietnam war. the other was the fall of the berlin wall and this end of the cold war, and the rapid decline in defense spending that happened in the aftermath after that. bob makes a good point that through both of those watershed
moments, there was actually a surprising amount of consistency. we are now facing a situation where we have u.s. forces -- u.s. forces in combat in two ground wars for more than 10 years 10th there was an interesting thought dead in "the washington post" yesterday talking about combat stress in world war run -- world war i, writing that their reservoir of courage begins to empty where the fear of the unknown starts a process of moral entropy -- atrophy that cannot be reversed. i think we have to look to these issues now in the context of having fought 10 really difficult years in iran and -- iraq and afghanistan, and i wonder what you think the implications of the last 10 years of combat mean for this
debate, peter? >> i have to be will points, and first of all, thank you for arranging this -- two points, and first of all, thank you for arranging this. we are broadcasting this terror i just wanted to mention that in 19 -- this. i just wanted to mention that. we are only spending 1% of gdp in afghanistan. so, as a historical matter, we are not spending very much money on these wars. agree with both bob and yourself, you have undercut in touch with the point of this exercise because you have pointed out that it does not make a difference who is the next president, because
essentially policies will continue president obama came in on an anti-war ticket, but we were involved in six conflicts essentially including yemen, a war that was winding down in iraq, tripling the troops in afghanistan, saying they will stay there for five years. so, not only was there continuity with george bush, but it was actually amplification. when we pulled troops out of the afghanistan, in 2014 we will have the same troops in afghanistan that we had at the end of george bush's term. >> the question is looking ahead, we're now looking at getting out of afghanistan as quickly as we can. >> i am extraordinarily
skeptical of that. an agreement will lead 25,000 americans there in some shape or form. they will not be combat troops, and it does not matter who was in office. we have already abandoned afghanistan twice. no american president is going to do that again. >> i have been failing in my effort. [laughter] >> i am happy to throw a quick hand grenade. part of the point of the article is that because the professional force is so struck -- small, a small percentage of us have done the actual fighting. it is true that there has been an ending of political enthusiasm for these wars but
the question is, to go to this, sort of, means-resources, which are changing without actual decisions being made, whether absent some hard choices made to rebuild the means of power, and particularly hard military power, whether this world order that bob describes will run itself, or what it would like to share the load, so to speak, in a way that fundamentally changes the world? >> i think that is the point. has there been any time in the last 60 years where we have had such a debate over the fiscal constraints this government faces as we have right now?
you make the point that defense spending should not necessarily be the focus of that debate, but nevertheless it has introduced a new element, has it not? >> in the interest of not emphasizing continuity, as i recall, the debate over the defense budget during the reagan years was greater than it has been up until about one year ago. i actually used to make the point that i was somewhat astonished how little the u.s. defense budget, which was creeping up toward $700 billion a year was the subject of political debate in the united states when reagan point of defense budgets were a major democratic party platform. now things are more like where you are saying because of the fiscal crisis. we are capable as a nation, because we have done it in the past, of over-cutting our defense capabilities, and getting to the point where we have weakened our ability to shape the international system,
and brought ourselves to a potentially perilous point in the conflicts that we might get ourselves into, because we have a way of getting ourselves into conflict even when we do not think we are going to do that again. if history is a guide, and that is always a good question, is history a good guide? if history is a guide, something will happen that will lead us to another direction. the trend in the 1990's was declining defense budgets. it was not dramatic. we were only spending $400 billion a year, or whatever the number was at the time. then something happened in 2001 that led to this explosion. that is not the first time that has happened. there is a cyclical quality to this.
it is an interesting question about having been in war for so long. my son, who is 13 years old said to me not long ago has there ever been a time when america was not at war? when i grew up, we were mostly not at war scared for much of my life we were not at war. that is an extraordinary thing. i do not know where that leads. there is a whole generation of young people for home september 11 was a defining moment. many have gone into the military. they go into international relations fields. so, has this conceptual. that we have been in created -- conflicting time for brought in a one ness, or brought to us to the time where we have to do something? where barack obama has been as president is really the most compelling point. if ever there was a time when
the world thought america was gone with intervention, they thought it was the election of barack obama, and i get to tell this joke. people told me if i voted for john mccain we would attack another arab country and vote for another -- and overthrows another leader, and they were right, and i voted for john mccain. that is what happened. [laughter] i think we will go any dangerous direction. >> i also have a feeling that you and richard were on the same page, and richard, i took your comments to mean that the move toward asia -- asia might not be reality, because he's got a lot to deal with in the middle east. >> i would also pick a fight with the pivot.
i do not want to get in the way if you want to ask richard the question first. ok. your point is we never really left. the point that is made today in europe and the middle east, to some extent, is if you are pivoting for something, that means you must be going away from something else, and there are conference organizers in europe having a field day with what it means for europe. that is the subject of every conference in europe. i think it is a mistake for a nation of america's global responsibility talk about picking anywhere. we cannot. our interests remain very much in europe. our interests -- we are not leaving the middle east, as you rightly pointed out. we need to increase our attention to asia, certainly in
terms of our capability, but there is a misunderstanding of our role in the world to even talk about to 15 in one direction or another. -- pivoting in one direction or another. >> you convinced -- confessed to voting for john mccain, so defend his position. he had leon panetta talking about syria, and he said before we put people in harm's way we have to make sure what the mission is, whether we can achieve the mission, and whether or not it will make matters better or worse, and senator john mccain said you do not mention america's leadership. america should lead in this, standing up, building
coalitions, and we are not leading, mr. secretary. syria is a case in point where we can play out what does the idea of american leadership mean in the context of a difficult policy conundrum like syria presents right now? >> i am going to hear what you say first. [laughter] >> to push a point that bob made, and going back to my original obsession with domestic politics, he did not hear politicians talking about how do you international system fits together. -- you do not hear about how the international system fits together. even libya and the dialogue around syria is so much about the humanitarian aspect, which is compelling and real, but if you target of a great strategic
opportunity, you know, if you are worried about the largest problem in the middle east, iran and iran with a nuclear weapon, this is a tailor-made issue to use as a prism for a larger understanding of america's role in the world, and again, it seems to me, there is no conversation on the political spectrum about this. look, everybody in the region certainly grasps -- grasps that. it is one of these moments where we might be defining for ourselves in defining american leadership downwards, to channel charles murray in this regard, so there are issues of syria in an of itself, but it is not a dispositive. it is -- i worry that it would
be a leading-edge indicator of an america that is in this contraction mode, particularly in the middle east. >> what would be? if the u.s. were to what? >> there is a series of events. there is the withdrawal from iraq. as you suggested earlier, who knows where the afghanistan drawdown will end and what the pace will be. the message has been, even since the announcement of the obama surge, that time is limited, and we will not commit as much. our role in the arabs bring, and the egyptian revolution, you can then get that in a multiplicity of ways. our ability to decisively constrained iranian nuclear programs -- we can go on and on. it is a region that has a
certain amount of the flexion in its own politics, and americans have been working for this moment when a whole generation of autocrats are losing their grip on their own people. this should be an opportunity for us to seize. again, the overarching message, at least sometimes, appears to be we want to back off and do this from a distance without getting involved in these messy situations. >> do you agree that is the over-arching message, peter? >> this is just a comment. it took two years for president clinton to intervene in bosnia. it took nine days for president obama to intervene in libya. why did he intervene?
they actually did something, giving the intellectual framework to allow the u.n. resolution, to allow nato to do something. what is different in syria? it is a u.n. problem. that is something the obama administration has been trying to deal with, but you have two countries that a veto any kind of operation in syria. i think that will change. i think it is possible china's resolution is reworded. if people are working to make this happen. syrian an expert on the military, but i think it is more formidable than the libyan auxiliary's from other african countries. it is easy to say that we should do something, but what is it that we should be doing? are we talking about a naval
blockade? are we talking about a no-fly zone? the devils are in the details. >> so, what does american leadership mean with respect to what to do in syria? >> in a way, if we were not in this phase of the election season, if we were in the first year of, let's say, obama's second term, where we were two years ago and we have not done libya, i think we would be moving quickly toward military action in syria. circumstances are everything. i think the president does not think the american people want another military intervention now, and he will not do it before the election, and he may not do it after because he has a ran on his mind. i do not rule out the possibility that he might use force against iran. that is part of the calculation as well. i do not think we would have
these conversations about our inability to do anything in syria. what i find amusing is that people like senator corker said this is not obviously easy like libya. are remember some hall during the bid up to libya, that it was impossible, what could be do militarily? of course the syrian military is stronger, but i would guess our capacity to create a safe zone if we wanted to and carpet out in syria using air power is something -- carved it out in syria using air power is something we can do. i think we should not over state -- as unhappy as i am, i suffered miserably to the clinton years when they would not do certain things, and ultimately two years later than necessary, they did it. my favorite moment from the
clinton administration is when asked why they did not do anything about rwanda, they said they were too busy with bosnia, and the question was busy doing what? [laughter] this is not the first administration to have the feeling that they're not eager to get into this. i think the trajectory they are on is that they're ultimately going to intervene. if the president does not want to intervene, he really should not say president assad must go. that rhetoric ultimately leads to action. because of the timing, we might not get action when we want it. >> if it gets more difficult to longer you wait, too. >> because lives have been lost in the interim. >> i am a little more skeptical, maybe, then you two, about the idea that we will intervene in syria. i think the circumstances in libya, my reading of that was the europeans were so far out
in front, the british and the french want to do something, a no-fly zone, and the president said everyone is telling me that it will not matter much, and if we do this, we have to do this the right way, so the stars are aligned in the backdrop of all of this. you had the sense that if khadafy was able to start this -- stopped -- gaddafi would be able to stop this in its tracks. i do not doubt the you have a tragedy in syria, but in terms of diplomacy with europeans, it certainly will not authorize force the we did in libya. the administration would then be in a situation to do what it is doing now, or some kind of military intervention without u.n. security council resolution, without arab league
endorsement, and i am skeptical that they will. >> the military aspect of this smells to me a little bit more like an excuse than a >> -- explanation. the syrians have not shot down an israeli airplane in years, if ever. how the conflict would end, and where it would lead are really great questions, but, you know, the conventional syrian military is just the kind of target that our high-tech forces are certainly completely capable of reading devastation upon. >> al qaeda is part of the
opposition in a way that we need to be careful appeared >> and they had a whole recruiting infrastructure in syria. >> that was with the suicide bombers in syria. >> this is been an interesting discussion. i want to raise one other issue before i turn it to you folks. do you talk hear much about education? >> you did not miss anything. >> i did not think so. [laughter] >> you do not have to read the rest of it. [laughter] >> there is plenty more in there, i in this point to ask if that is not a weak point in your analysis. america's education decline is pretty clear relative today educational attainment in other countries. is that not a very important part of america's strength, and if it is declining relative to some of the other advanced countries, is that not a worrisome development?
>> it is worrisome, and i am not an expert on education, so that is why it is not in the book. i only pretend to be an expert about some things. my sense about the american education system is that it is a mixed picture. on the one hand, we have the best universities in the world that everyone is trying to get into. so, at the level of higher education, i think the united states is way ahead of the rest of the world. european higher education is in crisis now. i am not sure the people are dying to get into chinese universities. >> they are coming to our universities, and they're going
back home. >> that is the way life is. there are also many come in and stay in. this is anecdotal, but some parts of the american secondary system in high school are very high, precisely because immigration is so great. where my kids go to school as a stream of asian immigrants coming in driving up standards like crazy and making it hard for us to compete. in any case, the overall level is extremely high. there are big gaps, obviously, in the american education system, and in some places they are doing as well as anyone in the world, but many others are not. i do not want to update your question. of course we want to -- you gave your question. of course we need to upgrade our system. as it happens, i think the united states it is still at the forefront of that kind of economy, but you can lose your place. >> we have focused primarily on wars and foreign engagements so far, but you make very clear when you talk about our you're talking about comprehensive national power.
any other thoughts before we -- >> just to keep this comprehensive national power thing, it makes perfect sense, but some of these things are better tools for some than others. the soft power, sticky power -- is all important, but you cannot order american culture around the way you can order a american military around. you can order the american economy around, but that has more downside consequences than upside consequences. our whole conversation about our has become -- about power has become, sort of, debased, in some sense. what i like about bob's book, it is when he talks about the international order what is underlying it is security architecture, and you would not
discount the value of american political beliefs, or culture, or anything, but making the world safer and -- read music is not an important issue. >> there is no easy illustration of that. over the past two years, at a time when the american economy has been in terrible shape and the chinese economy has been successful and soaring, and all these elements we are worried about have existed, but if you ask anyone looking at the diplomatic and geostrategic score sheet who has done worse over the last two years, it is actually china. by overplaying their hand in the south china she, -- south china sea, you have south asians
coming to the united states. china is a net loser so far. look at what is going on in the international system in terms of syria, libya, and iran. china has been forced again and again into positions they would not otherwise take. ofy're not in the business helping democracies overthrow other autocracies, but they have been forced into this position. for all law weakness in gdp and education and other things, but the level of grand politics, it is still the case we will to enforce. >> you could say china has been a net loser, but you could say europe has not done well either. >> i did not write a book about how europe is in decline. [laughter] >> you did say that it came at the decline -- at the expense of european power.
>> right. but i decided i was optimistic. >> let's open it up to the audience. please follow the ai3 rules, which for the microsoft -- microphone, then make your statement in the form of a question. >> deere in mitchell. i write the called the mitchell report." -- i write the "michel report." i want robert kagan to respond to the continuity of foreign policy argument. the point of view is that post- world war two, to the present day, for much of that time the differences on american foreign policy were, sort of, easily described as hawks and doves, or terms of that sort.
that tended to be more a reflection of party affiliation. that, at some point, and i am not sure where, nor whether this thesis is right, but at some point that has shifted, and we are not so much in hawks against dogs anymore, but perspectives -- dove's anymore, but perspectives about kinetic positions taken by this government have more to do with the ins and outs. >> are you asking bob if he
agrees with that? >> i am asking if that is an accurate perspective. in kosovo, clinton wanted to do it, and the republicans were against it. some of the same situation pertained in libya. my first question is is that remotely accurate, and if it is, what has made that transition, and how does that augur for the likelihood of continuity moving forward? >> well, i think that it generally has been true throughout american history that the ins were activists and the outs or anti-activists. the president wielded enormous power and influence in foreign policy, and congress is about stopping it. even in the cold war when the democrats were in power, the
republicans were fundamentally isolationists, and the democrats for the hawks. that basically persisted until the democratic cracked up in the the vietnam war. been opposed to war came after nixon was elected. there is a certain continuity there, which i think is still true. there is general continuity throughout the history of foreign policy and this is not always true, but it has been true, the more progressive of the two parties domestically has also tended to be more progressive in their global approach. at the end of the 1890's, the conservative party were the democrats because they were the party of the south to some extent and they were the more isolationists. you could see that flipping woodrow wilson becomes a progressive, and republicans go
back to be -- to being conservatives. [inaudible] >> my name is trevor. thank you for your talk. i wanted to ask the panel what they viewed the role of the international committee, current american partners and the united nations is moving forward in afghanistan, post- 2014. >> nato has made it clear they would be in afghanistan after 2014, and in may there will be a meeting in chicago, and i think the hope was there would be an announcement of a strategic forces agreement with afghanistan and the united states. one of the big impediments' has gone away, which is the question of will the afghan government be able to get
detainees in their prison system, and the answer to that is basically yes. the international community has a good reason to be involved in afghanistan going for. we're still in okinawa six decades after world war two. i do not think we will leave the place we were attacked from when decade ago. we sent a lot of mixed messages about when we are leaving. every time it looks queer heading for the exits, it causes caused -- it looks like we are headed for the exits, it causes consternation. a partnership is a desirable thing because it will effect hedging strategies of the country's surviving afghanistan, making it clear that we will be there. >> a slight wild card is we may have a new french office taking office, not squabble last policy. i've been warned about that.
-- who might not swallow the last policy. i have been warned about that. >> my name is hugh. before the editorial i was thinking we had the a number -- vietnam-ization, because the local population is not keen to their being there. when people make money by opening their mouths, -- is a psychological effect that is tremendous, and none of us in this room except for the guys
that served in iraq and afghanistan can attest to it. how will we deal with this troop fatigue? >> i think it is worth thinking very hard about this and not leaping to conclusions from and adults. although it is is true that the stress and suicide statistics and things like that -- it is is very worrisome. for us military geeks, if you step back from the headlines of the day, it is remarkable how well the force has sustained us. we should never take this for granted, but if you said to me or a lot of the students of
military affairs, and here is what is going to come in the next 10 years -- oh, the force will break. the performance of this force has been above and beyond, and that includes the reserve components, who played a huge role in this guest: t s -- it is something that is worth watching and being sensitive to, and would be nice if politicians were not just thankful for the sacrifices, but encouraged folks to share burdens as well. it is one thing to serve castro, it is another to invite them to sign up -- serve casserole, it is and other to invite them to sign up. given what they have gone through, the discipline has been astounding by any measurement we have.
>> thank you. a good friend of mine, kind of the andy marshall of nato, talks about the need for a gentle giant, and that we are in there is no one else and probably never will be. i remember jim morehouse, the commercial attache in paris 20s ago, would tell me that the commerce department wore black shoe -- wore brown shoes and state department wore black shoes. it is not just commerce that determines our foreign policy. with that in mind, after 9/11,
all the focus naturally moved to the middle east. nothing was said today at all about central and south america, and yet it is our next door neighbor. we went to europe to help them time and time again when they get in trouble, but are we really watching? i guess the bigger question is can we afford to be that gentle giant and have some sort of balance, and i'm talking both under the previous administration and this administration, where there was one of friendly meeting with the president of mexico with bush 43, and then 9/11 happen and that was it. are we able to keep looking at that balance in looking at all areas of the world? >> latin america -- >> no -- [laughter] >> it is 130-plus pages the line over a very long time is
that the united states will do everything about latin america except think about it. it is a recurring theme. you could have gotten up any time the last 100 years and say we could pay more attention to latin america. we will invade it more easily than pay attention to it. the answer to your question is yes, we ought to pay more attention. we ought to be able to walk and chew gum and pay attention to latin america at the same time. it is not that demanding. things in latin america and not that bad. there are positive developments about latin america today, including the relative success of democracies. you have the rise of a global power in latin america. that has not been true for a while.
there are a lot of things moving in a helpful direction. columbia is in a hopeful direction. the american approach in two administration to chavez, basically to ignore him, as been successful. i was happy to see the obama administration get those trade agreements through. they were symbolic commitments to the region. degreenderestimate the to which latin america benefits to some degree from a certain amount of american neglect, because when we get heavily involved we tended to be bigfoot, right? i agree with you that things are not so bad as they could be in the region. >> right here.
>> thank you. i am an independent tv program producer. i think about the nationals a dirty and democracy, education -- the national security, and democracy, education. in a propaganda that sense, america is not doing right. i wonder if you could address that more. eisenhower -- industrial complex of defense is bad for our nation, but we ignore this. you know that obama at the beginning wanted to end the war but continues to fight and continues to detain prisoners without judge. and education -- ph.d. should be in higher positions, but many -- [unintelligible]
i wonder if you could address all these inconsistencies so we could move forward. there should be war against injustice here domestically rather than overseas. >> well, i am not sure this is much inconsistency as you are suggesting, but first of all, i thought, among the many things i did not like about eisenhower, that speech is one of them. i don't know what he was talking about. i don't think our country is controlled by the military- industrial complex, by any stretch of imagination. i think that the united states is constantly forced to measure itself as it passes judgment on the rest of the world. there was a time when the united states was, you know, expressing its moral disapproval of other nations. certain minorities in this
country had no rights. one of the products of the cold war was greater pressure on the united states domestically to live up to some of its pronouncements and globally. there are few countries in the world that work harder to try to perfect their imperfections and then the united states. very few nations are more self critical that americans are and work harder to try to address inequities in the system. by the way, they frequently fail. hypocrisy is a human attribute, an inescapable human attribute. my view of the united states is that we need to compare americans to humans, not to angels, and to compare humans, americans do pretty well. >> tom? >> apropos of the military industrial complex and civil liberties, i cannot explain it constantly, but there is a coalition through the cold war
between american power -- coalition through the cold war between american power and expansion of domestic the bodies -- domestic liberties. beginning with brown v. board of education through women's rights, gay rights, rights and rights and rights. historically, an internationally, too, there is a correlation between american power and human liberty. to say that it is causal requires elaboration, but compared to other world powers of ages past, going back to bob's our original plan, this is not only remarkably peaceful and prosperous era, but are remarkably free era, especially for americans.
i become worried that if we are shrinking and in decline, whether we will be so expensive -- expansive granting rights encouraging civil liberties here at home. it is a question that never gets asked. >> just a quick point. because the united states as a human rights agenda, it will always be accused of inconsistency, and consistency with our values apply it, and inconsistency without -- with how it is applied abroad. if we can do something right with the human rights agenda even if we cannot do it in other places, i would rather be accused of inconsistency rather than be accused of doing nothing. >> this is intended to set up a presidential election. this might be a good point to bring up a minor issue that has arisen in this campaign, and that is president obama's apology to afghanistan for the
burning of the korans. that was immediately criticized by several of the republican candidates. youwondering what any of think american leadership, american exceptionalism, an america's claimed to stand for human rights and liberty -- what does that imply? what does that imply about the united states when you have a situation like this when u.s. troops do something that is so offensive to people you are trying to serve? was that the apology appropriate or not in this context? >> i think it was very pragmatic. at the end of the day, the commander in chief has a responsibility to his soldiers in afghanistan. that was a way to reduce the tension. that was his primary intent not all the other observation is that as the world's only that as the world's only superpower, we can apologize