Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 19, 2013 4:00am-6:01am EDT

4:00 am
4:01 am
4:02 am
4:03 am
4:04 am
4:05 am
4:06 am
4:07 am
4:08 am
4:09 am
4:10 am
4:11 am
4:12 am
4:13 am
4:14 am
4:15 am
4:16 am
4:17 am
4:18 am
4:19 am
4:20 am
4:21 am
4:22 am
4:23 am
4:24 am
4:25 am
4:26 am
4:27 am
4:28 am
4:29 am
4:30 am
4:31 am
4:32 am
4:33 am
4:34 am
4:35 am
4:36 am
4:37 am
4:38 am
4:39 am
4:40 am
4:41 am
4:42 am
4:43 am
4:44 am
4:45 am
4:46 am
4:47 am
4:48 am
4:49 am
4:50 am
4:51 am
4:52 am
4:53 am
4:54 am
4:55 am
4:56 am
4:57 am
4:58 am
4:59 am
5:00 am
and from that, by working long, hard hours, they gave their three children fine educations in outstanding, great american universities. the university of california at berkeley, the university of california at los angeles. the university of southern california and the university of wisconsin. they were our change agents and yes, those drag queens at the stonewall inn also are much age agents. just are my change agents. this nation has been defined by change agents. when this nation was founded, women had no rights, they could not vote, they could not own land, they could not even have rights over their own children.
5:01 am
because determined women and fair-minded man challenged and debated and marched for equal rights for women, today we have three women sitting on the supreme court of this country. we have had three women serve as u.s. secretaries of state. and we've had a woman astronaut lead a team of astronauts and go soaring out into space. they were all change agents. the first change agents were our founding fathers who articulated the shining ideals of this country. they were change agents but they also kept other human beings as slaves. because those slaves hungered for freedom and justice and they struggled for it, and because their children and their grandchildren and the generations that followed continued their struggle, through the jim crow years and the years of the civil rights movement, inspired by dr. king's
5:02 am
eloquence, today we have an african-american in that big white house on pennsylvania avenue. and they are all change agents. we are a nation of change agents. and that's why i am optimistic about our future. but, i still have a continuing ever present fear. i fear that big white building with the dome on it at the far end of pennsylvania avenue. we still have january 15 and february 7. be afraid, america. be afraid. thank you very much. [applause]
5:03 am
[applause] [applause] >> thank you. we have a lot of questions on a lot of topics. we will try to cover a little ground in a bunch of areas. this questionnaire asks -- you talked about the work yet to be done in terms of gay marriage being legal in all states. what do you see as the next civil rights fight on the horizon after gay marriage? >> we still have a long ways to go. as long as there are young people bullied and made to feel very inferior, as long as young people get kicked out of their homes when they come out as gay or lesbian, and as long as some young people feel that their
5:04 am
future is so hopeless and they kill themselves, we have a lot to do. we have to have, first of all, education and then some legislation to make sure that those horrible things don't happen to young people. >> this questionnaire says -- for first generations americans whose parents are not as progressive and liberal as many parents born in the u.s., what advice do you have are bringing up touchy subjects like being gay? >> that's very difficult. it depends on the culture from which that first generation parent comes from. i am most familiar with the asian culture and particularly the japanese culture. the japanese culture is not so
5:05 am
shaped and ruled by religion as it is here with the bible. it is primarily a boost nation. -- a buddhist nation. the culture is to work collectively and it's a very uh- they have a big middle-class and so there is a lot of utilitarian as him. -- a lot of e galley at terry and as him -- a lot of egalitarianism. they like to be like everybody else. it is not so much religious values as being a part of a comfortable society. for young people to come out in a society like that, there is not that fear of being struck down by the devil or anything like that.
5:06 am
the concern is it will embarrass the family. once society is educated, it's not going to be an embarrassment. that's why i think it is so important for more -- silent gays and lesbians, particularly in the asian culture, to come out and be open and be as they are, insurance salesman, schoolteacher, policeman, whatever you are and it makes it more socially acceptable. there was a quote that i was going to suggest putting on the congress -- the walls of congress, because i use a lot of quotes on the memorial and what i think of is the quote from the great former congressman who said," these days it is more
5:07 am
socially acceptable to be gay than to be a congressman." [laughter] i think that should be carved into the walls there. [laughter] >> you talked about your enjoyment of running and carry the 1984 olympic torch. you called on the national olympic committee to move the 2014 winter games out of sochi because of the russian laws banning the promotion of gay relationships and the games are less than four months away. do you think the u.s. should bike -- boycott those games for that reason? >> no, i don't believe in a boycott. the athletes that participate in the olympics have been training for years now. they are reaching their peak and they should not be penalized. the homophobic laws in russia that was passed recently -- when they made the presentation to
5:08 am
international olympics committee. they pledged to honor the olympic code which says no discrimination. they breached that pledge. russia needs to be punished but it's too late to pull it out ofsochi now. we have sent messages and petitions to the international olympics committee to be responsible and call russia out on the breaching of their pledge. apparently, they had some conversations with politicians there and a couple of politicians have said -- the minister of interior who controls the police said laws of russia will be honored and anyone who cannot will be tried.
5:09 am
the olympics committee reported that there is nothing we can do about it so we are comfortable about the olympics being staged in sochi. the international olympic committee is spineless. they need to have some backbone. they are charged with upholding the olympic creed and something should be done with the membership of the ioc. [applause] >> this questionnaire says she did not learn about the internment of japanese americans until she was in high school watching [inaudible] her mother was also ignorant. how do you feel about this lack of information on this part of history? >> it is a regrettable part of american history. i think we learn more from those
5:10 am
chapters of our history where we faltered them from the many glorious chapters we have. it's important that we learn from our mistakes and if we don't know about it, we will keep repeating the same mistakes again. that is why we founded the japanese american national museum where an affiliate of the smithsonian -- we are an affiliate of the smithsonian and send it around the country. senator inouye was the chairman of our board of governors. he was a strong and active supporter of the museum. we work with the teachers association in arkansas, that's where we were first incarcerated, in southeastern arkansas. we have established teaching curricula on this subject of the internment of japanese americans.
5:11 am
it's being taught in the schools. it has sent out a ripple effect. there were two internment camps in arkansas, oath in the swamps of the southeastern sector. we were at it cap calledrohr and there was another called jerome and in the middle of those two internment camps there is a small town called mcgee and earlier this year, they converted their abandoned railway station and to the world war ii japanese american internment museum. it is a small museum but it is very comprehensive and beautifully done. if any of you should be driving around southeastern arkansas, you might visit that museum inmcgee, arkansas. >> what is the status of" allegiance?"
5:12 am
is it likely to come to broadway? and when is it likely to come to dc? >> "allegiance" began about three years ago. we developed this musical and we developed it because we can have books and lectures and talks about the internment which helps us understand intellectually but the most powerful way to understand a story is to feel that story. musical theater hits you hear, emotionally. it humanizes the story. we developed" allegiance" and we first opened at the old globe theater in san diego, distinguished regional theater. we were greeted with rave reviews and that was followed by sold-out houses and our run was
5:13 am
extended another week and when we finally closed, we had broken all box office attendance records at the 72nd year old old globe theater. then we won the best musical of 2012 from the san diego critics circle. that all bodes well for our transfer to broadway. however, something unusual is happening this year. usually, there are few new plays and musicals coming into broadway and there are theaters that are dark. this year, we have a plethora of trying tod dramas
5:14 am
find a home on broadway and we are particularly fussy. we want a certain size capacity theater. we are looking for a theater of about 1200-1400 seats. it's very difficult to come by. we are like vultures perched on time square buildings looking down and looking for the weak ones and waiting for them to die. [laughter] >> moving onto social media, you are known as the king of facebook. what have you learned from your popularity on social media? any surprises you have discovered there? >> let me give you a little background on why and how my social media activities started. it's related to "allegiance." we have invested a lot in this
5:15 am
musical with their energies and ideas and our resources. but it's about something that's little-known in america and it's a rather unhappy chapter of american history. and so, first of all, we had to raise the awareness because there is so many people still to this day, people that seem well informed, to tell me that i knew nothing about this internment story. we had to raise the awareness of americans about the internment of japanese americans. and then, once the awareness was raised, we wanted to let them know that there is a musical on it. and there are wonderful songs, moving songs, and great production numbers that are jazzy and resume says. razzmatazz jazzy and
5:16 am
. [laughter] broadway musical numbers and one on baseball that's a real terrific number. and it's relevant to the story because it was playing baseball that made us a community. it brought us all together. we developed this musical and we wanted to let people know that there is this musical. and then to whet their appetite and make them want to come and see it. the best way to do that v isia via socialt is media. i began on social media but my base is made up of sci-fi geeks and nerds. [laughter] you are there areas yes, i see you. [laughter] [applause] so we had to develop that and the best way to do that, i thought, was to say funny things about sci-fi or science itself and occasionally throw in some serious snippets in.
5:17 am
as the audience grew, i talked about lgbt equality and suddenly, the audience grew even more. there is a great overlap betweensci-fi geeks and nerds and the lgbt community. [laughter] then i started blogging about the internment of japanese americans and opened a few eyes. there was a lot of engagement there. it kept growing and growing. that's why we began the social media campaign. what i learned is that there are millions of people out there. [laughter] i had no idea it was going to grow so big. i am absolutely astounded.
5:18 am
it is like topsy from " uncle tom's cabin" i just growed. i learned that there are a lot of people out there that you can reach via social media and the best honey to catch those flies with his humor. something funny will always grab them. >> we got a couple of questions about "ohhhh myyy." tell us about the genesis of that. >> somehow, my oh my has become my signature. i have been using it all my life. it's a word that when you're surprised, you say "oh my" or when something wonderful happens. when you see a beautiful sunrise or a radiant sunrise, you say "oh my." or when we land a man on the
5:19 am
moon, you say "oh my." it's a very handy and all encompassing word. [laughter] i have been using it all the time. but, i had one experience that started it all off as my signature. i did the howard stern show. yes, there is a howard stern fan. howard stern says a lot about outrageous things. in response to something outrageous he said, i said "oh my." he had it on tape. that's all he needed. whether i am there or not, [laughter] when someone says something outrageous, he has a button and presses and my voice comes on "oh my." [laughter] [applause] >> we certainly cannot leave today without a " star trek"
5:20 am
question. how did your fellow starcher cast members embrace your coming out? >> uh - at the end of the week, we have what we call wrap parties, the beer is rolled out and the pizza is brought in. people bring their wives or girlfriends or the women bring their husbands or their boyfriends with them to join us for the end of the week wrap party. initially, i was bringing my friends who happens to be girls but later, i started bringing my buddies. one day, there would be ron and the next week there might be mel and then another week there might be a brad. they are sophisticated people. they said ,"oh, george, i get it."
5:21 am
[laughter] they understand that if they talked about it, it would be damaging to my career and they are cool people. they remained silent. but, occasionally, i get some clues from them. when we report to the studio in the morning, before we go to our dressing rooms, we go to make up and get into make up and then gather around the coffee urn and sip coffee. this particular morning, i was at the coffee urn with walter and we were chitchatting. all of a sudden, walter started going like this -- you know, urging me to turn around. i turned around to look and there was this dropdead you're
5:22 am
just extra. -- this dropdead gorgeous extra. [laughter] dressed in that tight starfleet uniform. [laughter] and my heart stopped. and then i turned around and looked at walter and walter was smiling and he went - [laughter] i knew he knew now. >> we are, unfortunately almost out of time but before i ask you the last question, a couple of housekeeping matters -- i would like to. remind you of our upcoming speakers on november 5, we have rolled it on -- we have goldie hawn and then walt bettinger from charles schwab. i would like to present our guest with the traditional national press club coffee mug. [applause] >> thank you. [applause]
5:23 am
>> and for the last question -- tell us, are there gay vulcans and if so, how do they socialize? [laughter] >> i can answer that. it's a changed world now. we have the new version of "star trek." the last two movies had younger actors playing our roles. the actor who plays spock, a vulcan, is played by zachary quinto who is gay. we have an out gay vulcan and he happens to be spock. [laughter] zachary is a real great guy and he's also a very serious actor. as you know, he was on "heroes,"
5:24 am
and i was mr. knocker mora -- nakamura, the father of hiro who has magical powers. zachary was the villain in that. he had evil powers. after the series was canceled, he went to new york, and he had been doing off-broadway plays. in a challenging role in a great american drama, "angels in america," playing the gay attorney. or, he was not an attorney yet, but a very important, dramatic, demanding role, and he got good reviews for that. he opened on broadway with a wonderful actress, cherry jones,
5:25 am
and won to tony awards in tennessee williams "the glass menagerie," and he got luminous reviews. the new york times said he was the best tom winfield that he had ever seen. zach is a wonderful actor. as a matter fact, we have tickets to see him tomorrow. we are headed to new york right after this event here. so, he is a gay vulcan. that is how they celebrate, they become serious actors. [applause] [laughter] >> thank you for coming today. also, i would like to say thank you to the national press club staff for organizing the event. you can find more information about the press club and a copy of today's program on our
5:26 am
website, thank you. we are adjourned. [applause] >> for guys like us who have been in the game a long time, we already know that there are land mines out there that you have to be careful the way you manage your way through these things, issues that deal with the abortion issue in the united states, a gun, race, arab- andeli relations, cartoonists in other countries have a redline that they have to be aware of. what a cartoonist can get away with in san francisco may be different from what they can get away with an obama during wife i guess there are -- get .way with in alabama durin >> i would think that people would be fairness of the people are more liberal.
5:27 am
>> people say the bad news is good for cartoonists because he gives us a lot of fodder. rather work harder and have less bad news knowing that we are going in the right direction. we are not going in the right direction right now. so i feel very like it is a real to get myr me opinions out there. >> this weekend on c-span, it's not all fun and games for editorial cartoonists. here why saturday at 10 a.m. -- at 10:00on saturday a.m. saturday evening, at 7:45, four decades after watergate, they look at nixon saturday night massacre at 1 p.m. a 200-year-old clock stops
5:28 am
ticking. time stands still. an easy for for for the government shutdown. >> we are stepping away from the entrance to the united states senate chamber in the north extension of the capital. they clock behind us is the oldest club in the united states capital -- the oldest clock in the united states capital and it was commissioned for the united states senate. reasonsone of the many why these c-span video archives are so amazing. >> the video library is amazing. you can view and share c-span programming any time. it's easy. here is how can you to c- and go to the video library to watch the newest video. click on what you want to watch and press play. you can also search the video library for a specific topic or keyword where you can find a person -- or keyword. or you can find a specific person.
5:29 am
scroll down and find their appearances. you can also share what you are watching and make a click. at a title and description and press share to send it to facebook, twitter, or google plus. free divided by your cable companies and >> next, a look at the current state of the syrian civil war. at the johns hopkins school of advanced international studies in washington dc. this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> good morning.
5:30 am
let me ask everyone to take seats. maybe close the doors in the back. welcome to johns hopkins. my name is daniel seward, the professor of conflict management the middle on stern that the middle eastern scholars decisively a it is pleasure to welcome our guest. he comes with an impeccable support for the a pedigreen syria, that includes the imprisonment of friends, emigration to the
5:31 am
united states to avoid his own imprisonment and getting his theers in phd -- and phd at city university of new york. becoming a is a professor and associate at besser at the university of arkansas teaching middle east politics. with manyngagement syrian efforts to transition the auntry from what has been brutal and long-lasting dictatorship to something more seriousn citizen. citizen. syrian we will speak for about 15 minutes and then we will go to q&a her. >> thank you for the opportunity think one you about i
5:32 am
of the most important political issues of our time and that is syria. about i will try to take 15 minutes just to present some points and then use these points for an opportunity to hear from you and engage in a discussion. let me start by introducing the syrian coalition. thea thesyrian coalition -- syrian coalition was developed was maybe the second wave of organization by the serious that spidey syrian
5:33 am
opposition to -- by the syrian opposition to speak for the syrians who want change in syria. is made upon itself of several groups. some of them are political groups with for a long history like the muslim brotherhood, others like the damascus declaration movement, and another is a homegrown movement in 2005 and 2008 and most of those individuals were arrested, spent years in prison and many had to leave the country after the revolution. and there were individual activists like myself. i think we decided to have a better connection with the inside as the situation was developing in syria. so we included groups like the createduncil that was
5:34 am
shortly before they were trying to provide services and governance to those liberated areas. the coalition went through now the second and third phase. , ahad the first president very charismatic figure who served these first-term. the second president was elected last summer. and we went to an expansion of the coalition. the idea of the coalition was supposed to be a kind of legislative body that could create an executive branch which would handle the challenges of the revolution. provide a fact governing party -- a governing body for the liberated areas. creating a new body known as the
5:35 am
mc, the supreme military council, headed general adris who would become the head of the moderate forces in the syrian army. -- thee syrian army frisian army. again, this is a brief history of the coalition in terms of its structure and vision. vision is similar to those previous creations, n nationalyria council, which is to move syria from a multiparty system into a state ruled by law and into an inclusive free and democratic syria. that, think it is a good idea to talk about some work that we have been doing in
5:36 am
the meantime since the revolution began in march 2011. thought very hard about issues of transition, how to deal with the questions of maintaining law and order in the -assadside era -- post asid era. it provided details, vision in all of those areas. and all of those programs have been in fact endorsed, embraced by the coalition. just to mention a few challenges facing the coalition and have the coalition envisioned an end to the conflict. one of the first challenges facing the coalition is the area.tarian this is something we were faced with in the syrian national
5:37 am
council. many of us are human rights we find ourselves always spending a lot of time and energy dealing with the humanitarian situation. if you haven't followed the latest figures on that, we have more than 2.5 million refugees since the beginning of this conflict. at the most serious figure is the internally displaced syrian s. this has passed the 5 million mark. as you can imagine, with all the assistance we are getting from the international community, from neighboring countries, syrian communities everywhere, those efforts have not in fact been able to match the need of those refugees. i heard a figure from osha saying that only 7% have been addressed. this continues to be a serious challenge facing us.
5:38 am
i know, for instance, the first ,oney received in the coalition 93% of that figure went for humanitarian assistance. always been a very urgent matter that we have to face. i could just do the latest problem we have in the humanitarian area. the area that the regime used the chemical weapons against, we have about 1.8 million syrians trapped and don't have access to food. they don't have access to medicine. and they have been appealing to us, to the international community, to do something. there have been reports about eating leaves. i saw somewhere that there was a fatwa,us kind of ruling, that people could eat dogs and cats. it is a very terrible situation. one of the things that has been compacting the international
5:39 am
situation, the ui and come friends, everybody, is to allow immediate access to those areas. this is something that has been going on for the last two or three weeks. that is challenge number one. john's number two is the challenge of radicalization -- challenge number two is the challenge of radicalization in syria. this aspect has received much more attention in the media. it is a serious concern to us. and it is a serious challenge. complex issue,he we need to remind everyone that this revolution began peaceful, so -- similar to egypt and tunisia. but what really led to the militarization of the revolution was the fact that the regime never for a day stopped killing of these peaceful protesters. .irst, they were using snipers there were assassinations. and the regime tried to keep the
5:40 am
tabs below 20. on friday, the numbers would go up. it was the defection of officers and soldiers from the army, young people had had enough and they decided to carry weapons in self-defense and that led to the militarization of this revolution. it is mostly the byproduct of the syrian army, the syrian state. they were supporting the idea of a democratic and inclusive syria . i think there were several missed opportunities to the international community, especially the friends did not step up their support of that. that created a vacuum in which we started to see the inflow of extremists came they came from neighboring countries. they came from everywhere. if you remember, again, last were a year ago, there
5:41 am
few of those extremists. but now they are growing in numbers. the reason for that has to do with the perception among many syrians that the international community has not been supportive. the continued brutality of syria ns, which is unbelievable. the regime has gone from guns to scud missiles and bombs from civilian ii to bomb areas, that is an environment that creates that kind of extreme -- a letter people turn to it and turned to extremists. that led to the further radicalization. some of those groups came and were well organized, well armed, effective and they attractive syrians. of course not, we now have the isre extremist group called is
5:42 am
which is from the extremist group from iraq. the good thing that is happening is that local communities are turning against these extremist groups is pursuing they are trained to impose their vision on communities. but the threat is very serious and we take it, again, very seriously. that is why i believe two things can in fact stop this trend. number one is to find a quick political solution that would end the killing. number two is to move on to the creation and strengthening of the moderate forces within the frisian army. another has to do with providing governance for the liberated areas. a large areas outside of the control of the syrian regime.
5:43 am
but the national council could not provide serious services for those areas. filled by the free syrian army and some provided by peaceful activists and they created local councils. local councils vary in terms of safeco station -- terms of sophistication. they are trying to fill that vacuum. in the coalition, we thought that the creation of an insurance of -- of an interim government is necessary. we went through first nominating a person for the job. that didn't really work through. but lately, again, another person was nominated, an activist from the list of -- from the inside to form the
5:44 am
interim government that would then create service-oriented small executive bodies -- i don't want to say the word in order to- maybe do that. in the next meeting of the coalition, that will be presented and we wish these individuals would move into the abraded areas, technocrats that can provide services. the last point and i will end here, how do we envision an end to this conflict. we supported every political introduced.hat was specifically, the arab league initiatives early on that called for a kind of yemeni like it would lead to the creation of a transitional into aent and then democratic system. endorsed those ideas at one
5:45 am
point when the arab league sent observers. we supported that when the u.n. sent observers. the arab league solution was presented to the u.n. and was vetoed by russia, unfortunately . but i think political solution is try to present some kind of transition. that is where the geneva communiqué of 2012 comes in. at the time, the geneva to indicate had some positives. when they met last may and decided to hold a geneva to conference, we thought that this could in fact present an opportunity to end this conflict . inber one, there should be fact a clarity about the expected outcome of this process and for us is the transition to
5:46 am
democracy. we won't talk about power- sharing. we are not point to talk about rehabilitating the assad regime. that is the essence of the communiqué of geneva. we talked about the creation of a transitional government with full executive authority including military security, all of those hours that existed in the presidency currently and transitionalinto a bbd and then to an election. view, wepoint of believe that we need the support of key countries in the region. and we want their endorsement. that is why, during the meetings, the leadership had in with different members of the international community, including our friends, we insisted that countries like turkey, saudi arabia, qatar, all of those countries would support our going to geneva. -- we wanted the
5:47 am
u.n. eventually to provide some aarantee that there would be limitation of any arrangements, including maybe the need for some peacekeeping forces. wem all points of view and go through this with an understanding of not a precondition. when we say that aside should not be part of the process, that should nothat assad be part of the process, that is not a precondition. any political solution must assa with as out -- with d stepping down. this is how the conflict can end and end soon. that would open the door for transitional justice and for syria moving into a democracy. take anye glad to questions. >> thank you very much. you have answered so many of my questions. i'm and did not to even ask first, but i will anyway. the question on conflict
5:48 am
management, if you want to geneva, if you even got what you are asking for out of geneva, which is a democratic transition, would you be able to on what you need to deliver on, which is to name the layers. do you havers could control of the situation that would enable you to be with the regime would certainly be looking for, which is an ?nterlocutor >> this is a difficult task ahead of us, knowing the structure of the free syrian army. but we need to consolidate the free syrian army in a way that
5:49 am
would strengthening the smc and create more of a professional that is in predicting the entry rather than being loyal to one entity. tohink the challenge is control of the extremist groups t. we don't recognize them. we don't work at them. but all efforts should be between now and then to weaken and isolate these groups. that is what we have been doing in coordination with the smc. the difficulty with the isis, because those guys have been engaged in a war against the free syrian army. they have been taking over areas. anyway, we believe, i mean, we don't believe that this is isolated from the regime game and many of those individuals were trained by the syrian
5:50 am
regime to kill americans in iraq. this is the genesis of isis. even some factions of the free benefit fromould the support of the neighboring countries. it can happen. but it will not be 100% for control. if we are able to control most, then you're able to deliver at least your site in then the rest can be out there. >> question. please stand up. i see a microphone. >> that's ok. i might. >> the problem is for the recording. if you could go to the microphone, thanks. i should have noted that before and few people can go to the microphone who want to ask questions. please do introduce yourself first. >> my name is [indiscernible]
5:51 am
vision ofhe detailed how to turn the current state to a state of law, what is that vision? thank you. >> it is in these and that's an easy one. it is a project online. you can find the whole document. it, it is words about a project that lasted about eight to nine months with the participation of about 50 to 60 syrian activists who were divided into working groups addressing areas like lawns order, security reform, constitutional design, electoral reform and social -- and socioeconomic policies. forrovides accommodation now during the transition and after the transition. and we created an ngo out of that project which is try to implement some of those accommodations.
5:52 am
>> please. >> can you hear me? >> yes, i can. please introduce yourself and any institution you might be affiliated with. >> i am susan cornwell and i work for reuters news agency. conference, i think it was yesterday or the day before the syrian deputy prime minister said it was his understanding that the next peace conference would be the geneva conference would be on november 23 and 24th. i just wondered if you had been informed that that would be the day. and a couple of questions about that -- i think it was george ciber from the syrian national council recently said that the council will not be going. i wonder if you think people from the coalition will attend this conference.
5:53 am
and are the americans are showing you to go? thank you. >> the first part of the question, 24th, 25th? i think i saw something like this. no come i don't think that has been agreed upon. received the invitation from mr. brahimi and his team yet. and i think that should be the first step. week there hasr been -- ring the enga week, there was talk about a certain date that would be too soon. question, part of the we are a coalition. you are right, one important coalition of the component --
5:54 am
onent of thet comp coalition is they feel that there really isn't enough support coming from our friends and support from allies. you have to understand and respect -- i mean, after an opportunity to bring the question of the chemical weapons assad used chemical weapons that killed more than 1400 people in concluding with an 400 children, that was an opportunity for the into daschle committee to present a credible and swift response to that act . we know how the obama administration reacted. it made it clear case that assad used it and the human commission did provide some support to that extent. credibledent put the
5:55 am
use of force on table. it to congress, it was obviously not going to pass. russiae deal came from to dismantle assad of chemical weapons. there was disappointment. number one, they felt there was no cap ability for the use of that chemical weapon. called by the u.n. war crimes or crimes against humanity. of brigades ofup the army saying that we don't deny the coalition anymore. that is how bad the situation was. the second element was we felt -- the question of
5:56 am
using the assad from air force on the liberated areas, and let's not forget that wereajority of syrians killed by conventional weapons. we did not solve the bigger issue of the conflict. i think that is where the sense of frustration comes down to. go back to your question, we have not made a decision in the coalition about whether or to go or not. but we agreed on a certain determinant of what is acceptable for us to go to geneva, including our understanding that assad is not part of the process. again, that is in the language of geneva. we will be discussing this.
5:57 am
there will be a lot of persuading within the coalition itself to be able to get a position. in general, many of us believe that this could be, again, an thertunity, especially if conditions that make it successful are there. we should go and we will go. we want to end the killing and move to a transition. that is in our best interest. >> [indiscernible] >> not pressuring in the sense that they want this opportunity and we believe the same way. we have a lot of discussions with them. but i wouldn't call it pressure. not yet. say a word. may judging from long experience in the american diplomatic corps, the notion that this is a two- day event surprises me. and the notion that a longer
5:58 am
than two-day event would be convened just before thanksgiving is even more surprising. some of you will remember that ended whene talks they did because of thanksgiving. to theuld like to return two challenges you mentioned, the radicalization and governance which are related. local administrative councils are not able to provide services, in particular rule of law, and then the extremists move in. , it hasrch at least been floated around to provide training to local moderate send administrative councils but no response. at least not as far as i know. setting, ient understand the administration is not interested in undertaking a new training and equipping programs because of the fear of
5:59 am
offending assad. i would like to know what you would like to see happen in terms of capacity building now for the local administrator councils. you mentioned mediating that are assisting it to the body that you are trying to do. is there any aspect that it will be acted upon before there is a peace agreement? in other words, we will leave the vacuum open until there's finally some agreement with assad, which is not a very good way forward. >> i agree. the thrust of your question with the difficulties again of providing training and providing , again, governance for those areas. i mentioned that. i do understand it. be i believe there must pressure. my point about putting pressure
6:00 am
on the regime to stop using heavy weapons against liberated areas come in order to do anything, this has been one of the main problems. i would mention, about 10 days ago, the regime used the air force everywhere. they are still doing that. unless countries, including the u.s. and even russia now, apply the kind of pressure, it will be difficult. but i think it will be an area the u.s. can take seriously to provide mass training. so far there is limited training in jordan. small numbers. this is kind of a secret operation. it should be made open and should be in fact given to the pentagon and i thing this is needed not only for the transitional period but for post assad. and i think this is one of the


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on