Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 5, 2015 8:00pm-10:01pm EDT

8:00 pm
elevators, there will be three buses this evening. they each will carry about 50 of you. please don't wait until the last bus. they will be downstairs again. if you prefer to go elsewhere please make sure you can get back to the hotel so we can be ready to start in the morning. thank you for coming today and arranging or travel schedules to be here this afternoon to begin this celebration and we invite you to the reception next door. thank you. next, a discussion about how extremist groups are recruiting people to their cause and tom cotton talking about u.s. foreign-policy. after that, a form on how states can comply with new regulations by the environmental protection agency.
8:01 pm
next, discuss about recruiting by extremist groups and ways to contrast the radical mindset. from washington journal, this is just under one hour. >> joining us from toronto canada, the co-author of the book "undercover g hottie." -- " undercover jihadi." why did you write a? guest: hello. i really wanted to put the message out for really, other young muslims. to put take the book up and hopefully see themselves in it. for academics to make sense of this topic of radicalization, what happens to people how to group dynamics play a role. there were multiple reasons for doing it. host: you talk about your own adoption of radical ideas. tells about your story. how did you get to that point?
8:02 pm
guest: i went to public school during the daytime. it was a very mixed environment. very caring, nurturing environment. as opposed to in the evening, i would go to koran school. it was like the indian or pakistani system where boys and girls were separated. you sit in front of wooden benches, not understanding of word of what you are reading. if you made a mistake, you were slapped. you were put into stress positions. this severe contrast, i believe laid the foundation for an identity crisis that would manifest later on in life. when i got to high school, i wasn't picked on or bullied. i was one of the cool kids. we were part of the in crowd, so to speak. i had a house party, and my
8:03 pm
house party -- and my father was out of the country. he told his brother, my uncle, to check on the house while he was gone. of course, in the middle of the house party, my uncle walked in. i was 17 years old. a teenager, it was the end of the world for me. i was shamed into feeling so bad about what i had done, i convinced myself that the only way i could make amends with my family was to quote unquote get religious. to do that, i went to india and pakistan on a four-month religious trip. while i was in pakistan, i had a chance encounter with the taliban. that's where i was bit by the jihadi bug, as i call it, and became a supporter of both the taliban and al qaeda after that. host: if you want to talk to the guest about his experience and
8:04 pm
his thoughts on radicalization (202) 748-8001 for republicans. , (202) 748-8000 for democrats. independents, (202) 745-8002. for muslim americans who want to ask our guest questions, (202) 748-8003. take us back to pakistan, the experience with the taliban. what happened and what influence -- or why did it influence you so much? guest: this was summer 1995. i had gone to a place called -- at that time, it was a stronghold of the taliban. later on, it became the nerve center for the taliban, and the ruling council. when i showed up, i had no understanding of politics of the region. i did not know who the taliban were. i was not really paying attention to a lot of what was going on. i had heard stories of the region.
8:05 pm
there was a war from 1995. i was walking about the area and the group that i had gone with was an apolitical religious group. they encouraged other muslims to be more religious. the idea was that the more you fast, the more you pray, god will bring about change in the world. so, walking around the area, i could see bearded men with turbans, ropes, and i grew nearer to them, thinking they were religious people. and i realize, they were armed. they had a lot of weaponry on them. a guy like me at that moment coming from the background that i came from, seeking validation in the islamic context, seeking some sort of islamic persona that would resonate with me, i
8:06 pm
was young and infringers, and saw these guys, and that was it. -- adventurous, and i saw these guys and that was it. for a lot of people, even up to today, look upon these groups as heroes from the days of old. you read about the stories -- and now, here i am. i became completely enamored by them. they presented to me a category of hero that i could buy into, so to speak. host: you talked about this and wrote about in your book, that military sense was only taught as a necessary evil of life unlike how terrorist groups like isis now teach.
8:07 pm
tell us about what you learned about the topic of jihad, and how you think it is practiced today. the literal meaning means struggle. when it is applied in the context of combat, when you struggle in combat, or struggles regarding your family, you personally, that is what jihad means. when you are struggling in war or in a combat situation, this is the secondary meaning of jihad. for all intensive purposes, when you here jihad, it is referring to the combat form. in arabic, in the koran, another word means fighting. jihad doesn't mean fighting, a main struggle, but is used in the context of fighting. this is what i learned. the taliban told me, in 19 a five, when you want to bring
8:08 pm
about change, you have to use this. he held up his ak-47. as far as they were concerned, jihad -- whether you frame out of the doctors self-defense or offense of warfare, this is really the understanding of jihad. i just want to finish out the point by saying that jihad is a war tradition. it is a legitimate war tradition with rules of ethics and rules of engagement. what people do today in the name of jihad is not jihad, it is terrorism. host: mubin shaikh, he is the author of "undercover jihadi." our first call for you is john. john is in massachusetts on the democrats line. go ahead. caller: hi. yes. i don't know if you know this or not. i'm not that religious but you might be.
8:09 pm
there was an article, and actually a court case, about one of your people. a woman who worked for abercrombie & fitch. she sue them because of her religion. she was there for five years and they told her when things were unfair -- i noticed that you have a crucifix on your person. the next time you come back to work, i want you to hide your crucifix. and she said, i cannot do that. to make a long story short, she sue the company -- sued the company, it went to the supreme court, and she won. the only negative vote was clarence thomas. i don't know what your background is in religion, but if you worked for abercrombie & fitch, would you have sued the company?
8:10 pm
guest: if we are going to live in a society that extols the virtues of religious freedom and that religious freedom is taken away, and you are at a workplace, and lose your job because they are forcing you to choose between your faith and your job, they are going to be responsible for that. i would certainly take the opportunity to teach them a lesson. let's try maryland. independent line. nick, you're next. caller: good morning. i had a specific question about the tenets of islam and the muslim religion that led you first to justifying the jihadist theory, and what tenants of the religion led you to refute. where did the shift in perspective come in?
8:11 pm
guest: i would give the analogy that religion is like a hammer. you can either build a home with it or destroy a home with it. it really does come down to the perspective you have. the worldview that you hold. in the beginning, when i was young, angry, looking for an identity adventure for me, it , was the idea of being cool. i fell into it because i haven't really had any religious training, but yet, i came to believe what the taliban told me because they looked cool. they were obviously religious people. they had the arabs -- beards and turbans, so i thought, they are religious people, which is not the case, but that is how i thought. when i went to syria in 2002 after the 9/11 attacks, and studied the religion properly, you learn the rules of interpretation. you did not just pick up the book and start reading. i studied how to interpret the book. the historical context. the literal meaning of words.
8:12 pm
that contextual understanding of the religion is what got me out of it. i would say a more superficial emotional aspect is what got me into it. and i would say that is what gets a lot of people into it today. the more intellectual approach got me out of it. host: you were led in a moderate in helping you understand what the koran said. guest: yes. my oldest son was born in 1999. in the arab world, they call you abu, which is father, so father of your child's name. when i answered that i was father of my son, they asked are you a jihadi?
8:13 pm
and i said, yes i was. and this person started challenging me on my knowledge of the word. he said, let's follow up on this after the class. hated and he said we will study the verses of jihad. he knew i was from canada and i would go back to canada, so he wanted to educate me. i spent almost two years with this man. we studied every verse in the koran that uses that term or has the context of finding and contextualized it and that is what got me out of fighting. host: hussein from jamaica, new york. thank you for calling. caller: good morning, sir. brother, i have one question.
8:14 pm
about 1000 years ago, someone asked a question. he said, god has chosen you. go and liberate. [indiscernible] muslim and jews were murdered indiscriminately and this group had remained more than 200 years. kindly tell me, what options do the palestinians have? they tried everything.
8:15 pm
what is the difference between systems? jefferson said, give me liberty or give me death. kindly help me. what of our grandchildren come our children. do they have any option left? i am the last person -- i was eight years old and i saw hindi and muslim women brutalized in pakistan and india. kindly help me. what options do muslims have? what happened in the central african countries. what options do muslims have? host: all right. we want to let our guest respond.
8:16 pm
you are giving him a lot of questions. we will let him respond. guest: thank you. the point was about the crusades . when you have these grievances what do you do about it? the rule of law is very important for us to frame our responses within. even in the time of the crusades, when some of the abuses were taken place, solid and -- he did not return that kind of violence. for example, one of the things where the christian crusaders would throw dead, rotting corpses over the walls, in hopes of infecting people, biological warfare. muslims were always told that they did not respond with the same violence. this is based on a saying that says, do not allow your dislike for a nation to allow you to be unjust.
8:17 pm
even if they do those things to you, you are not allowed to reciprocate with the same kind of harm. this is also based on a profit that says, there is no harming or reciprocating of harm. our responses must be framed under the rule of law. on the other hand, even in the international system of the rule of law, there is the rule of self-defense. if you're being a victim from -- if it did from her homes persecuted because you believe , in one god, then you can fight. this is something that is in the koran. permission is given to you to fight. those who evicted from your home and persecute you because you say god is one. in the worldly context, it is called the law of self-defense. if a state or love or is coming and destroy your home and killing you because you believe you are allowed to fight.
8:18 pm
host: paul on our line for muslim americans. good morning. caller: i'm going to tell you something. i have read the koran 10,000, if not 20,000 times. i'm going to tell you this now. mohammed was a terrorist. he wanted to be a terrorist. read the koran. he said he is going to kill people. he said he is going to do whatever he has to do. you either become a muslim, or you die. guest: i read the koran in arabic and the prophet mohammed is not quoted in it even one time. meaning, he does not say "i" anything. you might need to read it 20,001 more times. host: from john in illinois for our guest. john, thank you for holding on. go ahead. caller: hello. guest: hi, john. caller: hello. yes.
8:19 pm
my comment is that humility and purity and chastity is love for god. the federalist papers mention article number eight, 11, and number 64, which pertains to america. i believe that this is completely contradictory to reality. if you read the federalist papers, the american revolution was based on letters eight, 11 and 64. they say that the unity in
8:20 pm
america is a mentality, and the revolution was based on this mentality. we lost this mentality, and we have to rollback to the mentality of the 1787 constitution. host: all right, thanks. off of twitter, interviewer -- a viewer asked, what is militant islam's beef with america specifically? or, what is their problem with america specifically? guest: right.
8:21 pm
you have to frame it in a historical context. i certainly don't put the blame on the u.s. alone. the sunni-shiite divide has been there for years. there was no america then, israel then. you can't really blame them for that. really, if you look in the recent history, you can go back -- let's say we go back to 195 -- 1915. when the region was divided up between the british, french, and russians and subsequently in the decades after that -- i understand, the u.s. approach. it is not really any different from the muslim approach. this is something for the muslims to pay attention to. we were also colonialist and imperialistic. it is funny for me to see muslims criticizing what the u.s. does. there is criticism for both of us.
8:22 pm
i just said about my own history and the u.s. foreign policy -- that is what it is being. who is in iran, setting a proxy groups -- it was always a fight between the russians and the west and in afghanistan, it was the british, russian, soviets. the problem is that they see what the u.s. is doing, propping up dictators, dictators have been suppressed, dumb the societies down, and then we point at the societies and say, they are not able to do anything, it must be because of their religion. that is a false conclusion. it is because of the society they have been subjected. i'm not saying it is only the fault of the u.s. saddam hussein came to power by a coup. gaddafi came to power because of a coup. it wasn't u.s.-engineered. the u.s. is politicking, it is doing geopolitics the others
8:23 pm
empires before have done. that is what is taking them off. they see the was is in muslim land with a lot of military deployments and they do not like it. host: hattiesburg, mississippi. curtis, you are next. caller: i want to ask a question. someone got on and try to explain the do's and don'ts of the religion. i think it is a misconception that everyone is wrong about these people. host: ok. guest: if i understood the point correctly -- look, we cannot make generalizations about any group. i used to do this. i used to do this to christians, to jews, to hindus, buddhists, you name it. i had a generalization. then, i met them and talk to them. i may not necessarily agree with all points of doctrine, but if
8:24 pm
i'm dealing with the person who has a good attitude and character, i don't care what you believe. i will judge you based on your character. host: you were recruited in one way. what do you say in the modern-day about recruitment? specifically, using social media to recruit followers. guest: i'm just about to be 40. i'm that old that i can say i was around in the early 90's when it was still yahoo! chat, aol chat, and that was the first exposure to social networking that i had. it is vastly different than then. what you are seeing is the idea that you don't even have to get out of your home to develop a social network. develop an intimate relationship two with people who can influence you in ways that
8:25 pm
really people only realize can do that. that is the main difference that i see from back then to today. the rate at which people can interact with the other -- with one another, i mean, you can talk to people from all corners of the globe. i really think that social media plays a very large role in not only creating new dynamics related to recruitment radicalization but a completely new experience of human interaction. host: robber from chicago, illinois. you are on with our guest. caller: i just have a, in regards to a lot of the problems are hostilities that americans have towards muslims.
8:26 pm
we see christians getting beheaded. soldiers getting dragged through the streets of the belt use. people formm an opinion based on what they see going on in the middle east. we go over and try to help these people, and still, these people want to kill one another, and have been for thousands of years. we get fed up with that whole deal. the muslims will cry racism being told ever coming fits the have to wear certain close, even though they sell closethes to young kids. we hear race baiting under obama and his whole geopolitics that you mentioned is totally correct. we over -- we are over there because of oil and contracts. that is my main comment. that is the problem that people have with muslims, in regards to them killing one another and
8:27 pm
killing christians in the middle east. we are try to help these people unite and go back to democracy. we are sitting back here in the united states -- as a veteran, i'm seeing this, and get frustrated. we are forced to adopt their religion and their way of life when they should be assimilating to our way of life. it is ridiculous. this is the united states, not the middle east. if we went there, trying to push religion, we would get killed. people have gotten killed. guest: that is a good comment. i really don't blame a lot of americans, given what they see being done in the name of islam. if i had not grown up in the islamic faith, or been exposed to what i was exposed to, i would think that islam is a barbaric religion.
8:28 pm
i would be very hard pressed to figure out how these people are worshiping god. i acknowledge that. this is largely because of what people do in the name of islam. that is number one. the perception that people have is based on extremism, a violent manifestation of the religion. for example, lucy is walking down the street, and she slipped on a banana peel and we say lucy is a klutz. no, lucy slipped as of the banana peel. this goes back to the argument that if you're going to empower dictators, don't blame the religion. it is the dictators that are dumbing the people down.
8:29 pm
where they cannot even come up with creative ways of doing with their society. if you look at islam in various times in history, the theologicians where the scientists. there is a vast contribution to science, philosophy, matt come a literature by the muslims. -- mac, literature by the muslims. it is false to say that the muslim world cannot do it, it is because of the religion. it has a situational attribution to it. the last point, you're right. if u.s. is going to go there to force religion, that is the same thing with democracy. you cannot force a society to come to a system of governance that does not resonate with them. that is the problem. we need to develop mechanisms that resonate with their sacred values. and not just ignore what their culture or traditions are and impose our own. it just does not work. host: do you still reach out to those with a radical mindset, so to speak? what is the reaction you get?
8:30 pm
guest: i do it all the time. the reaction is within a spectrum. the reaction is that you are not a real muslim, you are a sellout. people like that. they feel alienated. they are marginalized. they see all around them that everyone hates islam. hates islam. when you see people making cartoons and mopping -- mocking
8:31 pm
our profits, and you flip the script and say does racism. you can't say there is freedom of siege and insult people's most sacred views, and then when it insult something of yours you say, it is not free speech in this case. these are things that young people are saying and try to make sense of. they are not able to make sense of it or they struggle. host: when you mentioned cartoons of mohammed. when you see violence that stems out from that, what initially goes through your mind? would you call it justified? guest: it is never justified. what goes through my mind is how does this help our cause? the paris attacks. what happened with that -- it was a struggling publication, they were making fun of everyone, and then these guys shot them out, and their subscriptions went up 500%. i take the utilitarian approach.
8:32 pm
i detach the images. it breaks my heart to see that. i don't insult people's fa iths. the koran says, do not insult their gods unless they insult to god out of ignorance. the approach they take with violence is counterproductive. host: "undercover jihadi" is the book by mubin shaikh. we would hear from betty. caller: good morning. i have a quick question about a passage in the koran. i'm paraphrasing. it is where you pretend to befriend your enemies so you can get in there and, i guess, do them harm or take advantage. would you please tell me how that is not relevant? sometimes i think, are these
8:33 pm
people really your friends? or, are they going by the section of the koran? guest: thank you betty. i like to hear your north carolina drawl. the concept that that he is referring to is -- which is courtesy of some of the muslim haters out there who want to dictate the muslims as always lying. and, if they are shaking your hand with one hand, they have a dagger in the other hand waiting to get you. there is no passage actually teaches this. this comes from the statements of the profitet, and refers to the
8:34 pm
classical oxidation that if you fear bodily harm or death because you believe in god then you are allowed to deny that you believe in god. this is what christians do, jews did, and muslims did when people were persecuting each other. when the romans were persecuting the christians they denied their faith. or, in the new testament, where peter denies knowing jesus christ. that is the traditional classical understanding of this. in the operational context, it is what in the west we called denial and deception. a spy does not tell people who he is. there are varying levels of it. the idea that operationally people up to no good are going
8:35 pm
to operationalize that concept and say here, i'm not allowed to deny my faith ignoring that my life is not in danger. there is no license to go round lying to people. people abuse that in this context. i would say, just a close that point, what was i doing when i was telling guys that i was one of them, but i wasn't? that is a level of denial and deception that i think would be acceptable. there is a whole spectrum. host: because you brought up the topic of spying, a little bit about your book. after your mindset change, you went to canada, and ended up working for the canadian government looking out for those who might be radicals. can you give us a short history? guest: after went to the tell bad -- taliban in 19i-5, i kept
8:36 pm
that up until the 9/11 attacks. i will be honest. i initially celebrated the 9/11 attacks. as the events went on, i thought to myself, something is not right about this. i get attacking combatants, but flying a plane into the building, innocent people, how do you claim that? i went to syria and study for two years, got out of my mindset, realize how bad it was over there, and came back to canada. you remember the koran school that referred to earlier. a guy had been arrested in 2004. he was the kid who sat next to me in the school. i approach the security intelligence services to give a character reference. by then, it was too late. the intelligence service was a interested in speaking to me. we chatted for about 1.5 hours
8:37 pm
or two hours, and they put to me the prospect of working for them to be undercover operative and tell them who i thought would be a threat. i accepted and i did that for 1.5 years. i conducted several infiltration operations. i did some things online. later on in 2005, 1 of those cases became a public prosecution. i was given the option, either you walk away from it, or you follow through, and you will be in court giving testament, your cover will be blown. i thought to myself, this is doing the right thing, let me follow through with that. my identity was exposed. i gave testimony in five legal hearings.
8:38 pm
i faced a lot of backlash, i was ostracized. this is a problem you deal with in the u.s.. there is a lot of mistrust. you can see from the boston case that just happened a couple of days ago, there is no trust. there is a severe lack of trust. i had to navigate through the states. in that time, i did a masters degree in the leasing -- policing. i went from the spectrum of been there, done that, to now, i still consult with government but i take a pro-islamic approach and a anti-terrorism approach. caller: good morning. a few points. never one, god bless the american constitution.
8:39 pm
i have been to turkey, lebanon egypt. there is no country like the united states. i am to the right of libertarian. next to my friend, i was born and raised syrian. he should do fine jihad. jihad is struggling to put bread on the table. number two. please give me time. the late bob novak and pat cannon -- that buchanan they said, now that the soviet union is gone, they look for a new enemy. they set up the muslim war. number three. i came from turkey to egypt. egypt is dirty, poor, and corrupt. you give egypt $100 billion and is gone in a second.
8:40 pm
number four. turkey is rising like germany. the west, especially france, they do not want democracy in the middle east. they are hypocrites. you know what, i was born muslim. i am agnostic. i love the jews. i could raise a nazi flag, but that is bad and folder. i am protected by freedom of expression. the united states is the best country in the world because of george washington. my profit george washington gives me rights. i'm neither anglo-saxon nor christian. host: we have to let your guests -- the guest respond.
8:41 pm
guest: it is a good sentiment that he expressed. the u.s. constitution is a great document. i would say that you are in competition with the canadian one. we will tolerate you for now. host: from virginia don. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to get the understanding that the koran says that the muslims should not fight against those who do not fight against you. you should not harm the elderly plants, or animals. i do not understand the justification that anyone can say they are a muslim or study the koran for a hot minute, and then, particularly in this country, -- those who follow
8:42 pm
mohammed, he did not do those things. i don't understand. killing another muslim, you go straight to hell. to me, the man is crazy. to celebrate 9/11 -- at one time i follow the religion. there are so many things that turned me off. 9/11 was one of the main ones. there are other things in the religion that i had a problem with. i respect islam, but there are a lot of ignorancts. we don't have a camel. we have cars. i wanted to know, what is your response to the ignorant followers of these radicals?
8:43 pm
guest: that is a good question. really, if it was based off the example of muslims, i wouldn't be a muslim myself. i am a muslim only because of the religion itself, and what i understand from the religion. it pains me to see what muslims do in the name of religion. complete ignorance. breaking the rules. we have to look at things in the context. 1400 years ago, the koran was speaking in its context. it would make no sense for god to mention internet 1400 years ago. they talked about slaves camels. that is the kind of life that they live. the mistakes that i think muslims make is thinking that we need to replicate society from the 700 and doesn't -- in desert arabia.
8:44 pm
i totally agree with you. i understand why people think the way they think. all i can say is it is important for them to understand real islam. host: the book says that you are married, you have children. how do you talk to them about your experiences and current issues and considering moderate muslims? guest: i'm very open with my children. i have had this conversation with them. my oldest is 15. my youngest will be seven. i have five children. i'm putting them through a form of social engineering. two of them are in the army cadets. i think you call them army explorers. i raising them with the values of duty. i give that a holistic understanding of religion. i told them that used to be a government agent. my job was to stop bad muscles
8:45 pm
from doing that things. the prophet said, support your brother when he is the oppressor and when he is the oppressed. the companion replied, we understand to support him when he is oppressed, but what you mean support him when he is the oppressor? it means, stop him when he here presents. i don't make any excuses. i don't apologize for what i did. extremism is against the religion, and is ruining the name of islam. i will not apologize fro for stopping people. host: from pennsylvania, ernst. good morning. caller: i am sitting here, i look at c-span all the time.
8:46 pm
thank you, pedro, for being a host. i really enjoyed your comets is morning regarding islam. i'm 60 years old. i became a muslim when i was 40. the thing to everything you have said today has done the muslims in this country a great service. may allah guide you. thank you so much. guest: thank you very much. host: from new york, here is anthony. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. i'm really enjoying your guest this morning. my question to you is how do your parents feel about your endeavors today? and the opposite -- authorship of your book? thank you. guest: amassed -- ai laugh
8:47 pm
because my 10 euros he says to me -- 10-year-old, he said to me, you lost your virginity in the army cadets. it was the most awkward moment for me. he read the book, and even my parents read the book. that was the point. i wanted to lay everything out there. once upon a time, my parents wanted me to her then i got to religious, and they did not like that. now, they are extremely happy and very proud of me that i have come full circle, or even doubt as i say. i'm happy about that. honor thy mother and a father. it is good. host: because of the mines that you hold and the past expenses with the government, has your life been threatened? do you feel that you or your family are stucco guest: -- you
8:48 pm
or your family are? guest: i get threats from time to time. i don't completely dismiss and deny it. i know people are watching me and seeing what i'm up to, online anyway. it is possible that some of could make a move at some point. i think i that nothing is happened so far. i hope it will continue that way. i think about it. i understand that this is a risky area that i'm involved in. i have faith in god. i take precautions as much as possible, as much as lawful in canada. host: dallas, texas. bob. good morning. caller: good morning. i have a question on mohammed, when he was standing in the desert.
8:49 pm
and the spirit, more or less comes to him. he says his people were starving , and he said, pick up the sword. he attacked the jews at the time for food. what is the difference between him and someone going down the street and saying, i want that tv, so i will just take it. in other words, a thug. guest: i don't recognize that account. i don't know where that came from. the islamic story is that the prophet was meditating in a cave. the angel gabriel came to him and said, read. he said, i can't read. there was no instruction to pick up a sword. host: athens, ohio. you are on with our guest. caller: i would like to give a
8:50 pm
comment. i'm 86 years old, world war ii window. -- widow. we have religions, lots of them here in the united states. we have methodist, at the scope alien -- episcopali. an another thing, we are living in a communist state right now. we have a republican party who wants to rule the united states and eventually ruled the world. they are on the russian side. the koch brothers give money to buy a president. we were half an inch from having a dictator, george w. bush. we realized that everything was going wrong way.
8:51 pm
now, they have suppressed are voting. the democrats are on the low side. it is all about money and oil. there is a fight going on here right now in our country. host: this is earl from maryland. go ahead. caller: good morning. i preface this by saying -- i have not read your book, but how do you deal with the hypocrisy about the right to freedom of speech to draw cartoons of the prophet mohammed, but if you as a community do cartoons about jews killing jesus -- you know which was a historical fact, would that be considered free speech or would it be considered anti-semitic? guest: this is the thing, you have to identify as hypocritical.
8:52 pm
you can't encourage people to internalize these values of freedom of speech, and then not apply them equally across the board. the problem is that people will see through that right away. your question was how do i deal with that. i recognize that humans -- we are humans. we will make mistakes. we always try to realize the ideals, but often we fall short. i recognize the human connection -- human condition. where i can speak out about it i do that. host: here is the last call. jonah from -- joanna from maryland. caller: after 9/11 -- i'm a loser and -- lutheran. after 9/11, i realized i knew nothing about islam.
8:53 pm
about four years ago, there was a big billboard outside the mosque that said islam 101. a couple of us from our church to the class. i learned so much. it is spelled a lot of myths -- dispelled a lot of myths. i made a lot of friends.
8:54 pm
8:55 pm
there is no other group that was disparaged. they were rebels who would declare other muslims as non-muslims. thereby justifying violence upon them killing him, rubbing them raping them. this is what -- killing them, robbing them, raping them. this kind of approach, making war. this is what isis is. they are the dogs of hell, they are the worst creatures under -- on earth. these kind of groups, the pr ophet has castigated them in the worst manner and this is important for people to look
8:56 pm
into. when people say isis is quoting the koran isis buys,guys pray. they will pray but falsify the meaning of the koran and deceive the people. mubin shaikh discussing the employment -- unemployment figures and with a mean. and about the report of the failure of tsa screeners in detecting explosives and weapons. david shepardson has the latest on the takata air bag call --
8:57 pm
recall. 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. there are some of our featured programs this weekend on the c-span networks. on c-span2 "book t"v" is at the printers row lit fest. and margaret lazarus day nonetheless days of american spaceflight. our festival coverage is covered -- followed by a tour of the "new york times." and a three-hour in-depth program live from the lit fest s tage, taking your questions from the audience. and kevin schultz and alice
8:58 pm
goffman on the war on drugs and disadvantaged neighborhoods. join us for several featured programs and sunday beginning at 4 p.m. eastern on railamerica. the nasa film, the four days of gemini iv. manned spaceflight and the first american to walk in space. and on the were experience and the stories behind some of those images. at 6 p.m., we visit with senator amar alexander as he shares stories behind political mementos in his senate office. at 6:30 p.m., bob schieffer peter arnett and david him discuss their vietnam war experiences at the opening of the museum's reporting vietnam exhibit. get the schedule at c-span.org.
8:59 pm
this sunday night at 8 p.m. eastern. we will look into the personal lives of two first ladies from the 1880's. she does not attend franklin pierce's inauguration and spends much of her time in the white house writing heartbreaking notes to her son. harriet lane lived with james cannon and becomes hostess to the white house. when he becomes president. and the first to be called the first lady in print. jane pierce and harriet lane. the sunday night at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span's original series, "first ladies." from arthur washington to michelle obama sundays at 8 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. and c-span's new book my first
9:00 pm
ladies, on the lives of iconic american women. >> next, tom cotton talking about u.s. foreign-policy. after that state's efforts to comply with regulations by the epa. then a look at policies and laws to protect the rights of transgender people. next, republican senator tom cotton about foreign-policy challenges facing the u.s.. he criticized president obama's policy on iran's nuclear ambitions. this is about an hour and 10 minutes.
9:01 pm
>> everyone take their seats and we will get started. i think the microphones are mainly 4 -- i hope you can project. this is the fourth in our series this week for the issues foreign -- forum. we have gone from center bernie sanders, we had speak on wednesday. they can -- lincoln chafee announced. i do not think our speaker will be announcing for president. may in four years will have him back when he decides to
9:02 pm
announce. along with the financial times in the fall we will be putting -- hosting most of the presidential candidates and we have the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, bob corker, coming in in the fall. let me have your cards whatever, i will put you on the list. today we are honored to have the senator, the youngest senator in the senate. tom cotton from arkansas. he is a harvard graduate, a harvard law graduate. he is on the banking committee, the intelligence committee, the armed services committee. he served in iraq and afghanistan. he is -- served at the old guard at the arlington cemetery and has been awarded several awards, the bronze star medal. he served in the house of representatives. he is the youngest u.s. senator. he is a new father. senator cowan: five and half
9:03 pm
weeks. >> i give you senator tom cotton. [applause] senator cotton: thank you for inviting me. it is not her to come speak at the invitation of george mason and johns hopkins and "the financial times." not because all our laudatory institutions. george mason school of poverty -- policy it teaches in the tradition. he did much to plan our unions roots firmly. and the jump -- johns hopkins center should take pride in their benefactor. johns hopkins devoted --
9:04 pm
supported the [inaudible] it is important to recognize these do not run out of the water's edge. america may vindicate these rights that they belong to every man and a woman. and our closest interest allies abroad, the want to fight with us in the trenches and stand with us in the common defense are those that share and will fight and die for the self-evident truth. the regimes and -- in beijing and to run in moscow adopt strategies to delay and his credit worldwide progress for a constitutional government, the rule of law, freedom fries and free trade and civil and political rights in their own nations and the nations they see as their spheres of influence. they protect and encourage
9:05 pm
autocratic, authoritarian systems that prize one-party rule, nationalized industry and mercantile trade policy in the subjugating of religion and ideology. they sometimes gussy up their strategy on the principle. non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations but they interfere with the affairs of other nations when it serves their interests and expands their influences. sometimes the interferences swift, dramatic, and brazen as when russia invaded georgia in 2008 in ukraine last year. sometimes the tactics are more akin to the slow militancy of a cancer. when these regimes refer to the principle of non-interference what they are saying is they want to rape every economic and security or were they can. at the same time, they want to
9:06 pm
dots the responsibilities inherent in a system which calls for peaceful cooperation and respect for civil and political rights. it is worth taking stock -- under current commander-in-chief and compare it to the position of these revelations. amidst the global,, it is not an encouraging picture. in no region of the globe is the u.s. influence greater today than it was six years ago. in fact in many regions it has greatly diminished. one of the challenges of our time, we're hard-pressed to identify any major achievements not eclipsed by failures. these are the fruits of a policy based on strategic retreat. the president has stated powers despite the consequences and our friends and allies. the motivation was in part practical. driven by a believe that america
9:07 pm
cannot as a structural or historic manner maintain its lone superpower status and must accommodate the rise of the rest. the motivation is also ideological. our president exhibits a certain humility when it comes to america's more thought -- moral authority, implying that american exceptionalism is not all that exceptional. at the same time, he seems preoccupied with america's perceived historic failings, invoking sins from america's past [indiscernible] two tyrants in the present. the lack of confidence potentially in our economic power and diffidence about our foundational values inform foreign-policy. the symptoms metaphase -- manifest themselves in ways large and small that at all times detrimental. the president has been made much of his so-called pivots with that part of the world. our new military and diplomatic commitments to the region have
9:08 pm
been lackluster. we do have new agreements to operate additional military resources out of singapore, south korea, and australia. these moves are largely symbolic amid the overall reduction of our military forces. they pale in comparison to the massive ramp up in military spending we have seen in china. in fact, china has established the material capability to deny our military access to and freedom of movement in the western pacific. the u.s. has failed to prove test -- press our advantage with china had a moral level. hillary clinton declared that beijing's records on human rights would not be able to interfere with our relationship. that was a mistake. backing away from our founding principles on foreign soil telegraphs weakness and surrenders the pro-,
9:09 pm
particularly with the chinese government sensitive to international underscore and. instead we should point out beijing's uses and encourage reform. standing with our national -- natural allies, it is a powerful diplomatic lever. we have also seen numerous instances of retreat in the presidents middle east policy. the media has obsessed lately on whether knowing what we knew then, knowing what we know now about saddam hussein's program. whether we should have entered the correct war in 2003. this question obscures that by -- by 2011 the war was essentially one in iraq. iraq was a sovereign and stable. the better question is whether president obama knowing what he knew then in 2011 should have pulled all of our troops without
9:10 pm
iraq without leaving a small residual force to solidify her gains. the military commanders warned against the dissent in sectarianism and outside -- outsized iranian influence. they rendered iraq vulnerable to the rise of those -- islamic state. the president's policy of retreat also mirrors his negotiating strategy with iran over its nuclear weapons program. at the outset of the p5 s-1 talks, the american position demanded that iran halt all enrichment develop its facilities and explain the military dimensions of its program and never obtain nuclear weapons capability. on each and every one of these demands, the obama administration has retreated. if their current proposal holds iran will be allowed to continue research continue limited enrichment, keep its fortified
9:11 pm
compound, and after 10 years of collecting billions of dollars worth of sanctions relief, it will be in a position to go for full nuclear breakdown and that is assuming iran does not cheat. the presidents [indiscernible] the only defeat of the regime wo uld have vindicated strategic interests in principles. president obama has given tokens or to the opposition. no doubt he had many decisive reasons for his indecision. your around among them as he conceived -- concedes the survival is in the interest of iran.
9:12 pm
the results have been catastrophic. over 220,000 killed. over 7 million displaced. syrian christians and other religious and ethnic minorities endangered. as we have watched syria become a failed state, the islamic state chief among them are alive -- allowed to integrate and written interests in the region and our safety at home. the reset with pressure is the third example of the presidents exercise in retreat. they pulled back from policies that offended but couldn't. the administration overlooked the invasion of georgia. and even lobbied congress to scuttle human lights -- rights legislation aimed at thugs in the kremlin. all that was done with hopes of reaping cooperation. the opposite proved true. as vladimir putin sees
9:13 pm
conciliation is weakness. the reset along with the syrian red line retreat only invited his adventurism and progression. these are the most notable of the president obama promised to reorient u.s. foreign-policy away from what he deemed the tired path but now, as we survey the world, these policies have wrought, america seems only to be losing its way. the urgent question is, how do we reverse this turned toward chaos and disorder? we have lost much ground in our options in the near term -- and our options in the near term have narrowed. the foster an environment where the u.s. can shape challenges rather than be forced to react to them. first, we must start by reinvigorating -- reinvigorating
9:14 pm
our military. diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments. it is inert, and honorable, and ineffective. if we want our diplomacy to be effect of again, we must rebuild the military that has faced devastating budget cuts and 15 years before. this will require dramatically higher levels of defense spending in congress and our president has managed to agree upon. make no mistake. our current defense budget was a mere political compromise. it is not linked to any strategy that confronts the threats we face today. with -- or the threats we will encounter tomorrow. our navy is with 260 ships. the air force with little more than 5000 aircraft, the smallest and oldest air force in our history. the army and learning core on track to drop below 450,0010.
9:15 pm
but as the economy -- the force of arms is also unfocused. without a coherent foreign policy and clear sense of our objectives. if we want to retain her position in asia and foster the region's peaceful movement toward greater liberty and freer trade we must make clear to china that any attempt to exclude the u.s. from asia in any way will be futile. the obama administration has recently taken some promising steps on this front. i applauded efforts to challenge china's maritime claims in the south china sea and it supposedly her defense zone in the east china sea. these modest moves will not suffice over the long term. we will need to expand our military presence throughout asia, particularly the reach of our navy. we should establish mechanisms
9:16 pm
to resolve disputes peacefully, free from chinese coercion and that president should reach a deal that truly expands free trade on terms that will allow u.s. businesses to fairly compete and win. on iran, the president is keeping ayatollahs one year -- is impractical. it is doing nothing to stop iran's regional aggression. it encourages iran. they soon get over $100 billion in sanctions relief. it provides little comfort that we can prevent a regionwide nuclear arms race among iran's adversaries. and offers no answer once the agreement expires after 10 years. the clear goal would be to dismantle the nuclear weapons program which, after all, was president obama's stated
9:17 pm
objective. if current negotiations cannot accomplish that goal, sanctions should be strengthened and the threat of force restored. in other words, president obama should really be held to what his long stated policy was. with regard to ukraine, we must have -- take the steps to deter further aggression and deny the kremlin and victory to undermine the government in key of. must raise the costs of military action and it requires the u.s. to lead a robust and coordinated efforts with our allies to build the capacity of the ukrainian government. ukraine is prosperous, free, and stable. it will stand as a rebuke to moscow. and frustrate vladimir putin's attempts to revive the post-cold war consensus of a europe, whole and free. the challenges we face abroad are deeply complicated and
9:18 pm
contingent on political economic, and cultural factors. determining how we respond will require wisdom. as we continue these debates, i would encourage us to keep in mind the clear lesson of the past six years. retreat only invites for -- aggression ks command disorder. the policies should exhibit confidence in american power and america's mission. thank you all very much. [applause] mexican open it up to questions. -- >> i can open it up to
9:19 pm
questions. seems like we are going into the final inning. what is going to happen if it actually goes through, how bad do you think this will be for the world? senator cotton: fo almost two years, the president has hadr a habit of kicking the can down the road and increasingly, reports from our allies whether they are a five plus one or israel or saudi america suggest we will not have an agreement by june 30 because the leadership of iran recognizes that he has leverage against the president. the president seemed hell-bent to get a deal on any terms, on any grounds. that is why his deputy national security adviser [indiscernible] they mean it his is legacy
9:20 pm
making achievement. that is why he lifted sanctions even when he had iran on the mat 13 area while the extended test the first and second deadline, i expect they will go past the new deadline. if that is the case i would cancel my remarks, trying to rebuild the sanctions coalition that is undermined by his decision to go down this path. >> what is your role when it comes to you, what can congress do? senator cotton: congress does not have the power to approve the deal. congress has the power to review the deal. there will be a 30 day period where sanctions cannot be lifted. congress will have the ability to pass a resolution of approval or disapproval and send it to the president. no doubt he will veto that. if he has reached a deal with iran which means 34 senators
9:21 pm
would be able to prevent us from overwriting the veto and allowing his nuclear deal to go forward. that is one reason i opposed the legislation. it turns the constitution on its head. nuclear arms control agreement with the world's worst monster of state terrorism, any agreement should be subject to the treaty clause and required two thirds of agreement in the senate. our founding others but that provision in the constitution because anything is far-reaching and long-lasting, they wanted widespread agreement across regions and demographics and viewpoints. not 34 senators not allowing a president to a bed -- upend years of policy. >> in 2012, when there was a big standoff between the philippines and the chinese military, the
9:22 pm
philippines wanted to see american ships on the horizon. they did not show up. a lot of people said that gave the green light to china to do a lot of what has -- it has been doing. what steps would you take beyond what the obama administration is doing to stop china doing some of the rebuilding it is doing in the south china sea? senator cotton: that kind of a or weakness always emboldens adversaries and authoritarian governments. it is not just that decision. i heard from leaders in east asia who site the syrian red line as a critical moment in east asian geopolitics because it undermines the u.s. credibility which undermines the president's credibility. the credible right of use of force or other tools of coercion
9:23 pm
is one of the strongest tools that the u.s. has in the national security toolbox. to the extent the u.s. ever breaks promise for is not steadfast in defense of an ally, it only helps emboldened countries like china. what could we do now? i do applaud the administration's stated efforts to continue to fly aircraft as we all saw on cnn over the reclaimed islands in the south china sea. we can be more assertive in sending our naval vessels to the south china sea to include within the 12 miles on around this reclaimed land. we should end -- encourage them to resolve the claims -- to try to resolve the claims on neutral and fair grounds. the last thing we want is military confrontation, but we cannot allow china to current --
9:24 pm
confront our allies with their military might in the region and not expect dire consequences down the road. >> opening it up to questions from the audience. >> senator cotton, [inaudible] has spoken in terms of four factions hamiltonian's, jeffersonians, jacksonians, and will sony and -- wilsonians. obama seems to be a practicing jeffersonian. what kind of foreign-policy philosophy do you think we will need to move forward in the next 10 years to restore the world we lost? senator cotton: in identifying the four schools of the american
9:25 pm
tradition is not that only one school is right or anyone school has adopted it that these are four schools of thought they reflect our foreign-policy going back to the 18th century. it always has and it always will. no single statesman, not even the namesake founders of those schools, no single statesman is solely planted in one single camp, but they all risk -- reflect strains that are important and will remain very important. we are talking about the hamiltonian strain. one of the fastest ways to get into a war is to enter year with travel in the seas or skies as chinese suggesting or they suggest with their defense identification zone. the wilsonian strain, we are always going to have a greater moral element to our foreign call -- policy than most
9:26 pm
countries will. it can be promoted in institutions. the imf should be shipped by american influence. the jacksonians strain said no one should ever question our military might and we have to have the strongest military assad and we have -- military possible. the jeffersonian recognizes the challenges the world's superpower poses. all of these schools are thought -- of thought are part of the american foreign-policy tradition. no statesman of far-reaching a call when reflects -- accomplishment reflects a single one. >> you mentioned moral foreign-policy.
9:27 pm
how does the moral high ground advance by supporting saudi arabia? senator cotton: there is no doubt that saudi arabia has many problems internally and they have engaged in many repressive practices and for decades, the u.s. has tried to influence saudi arabia to be more open and transparent and respect rights of their citizens. saudi arabia has been a key ally in the gulf, especially in our showdown against a nuclear iran. mn is an example of iran's regional aggression. they have supported the rebels that have toppled the government and leading to a civil war. an example of how iran, emboldened by the nuclear negotiations, is trying to advance their position in the region and undermine the allies position.
9:28 pm
as always been hard to govern place because of its geographical position and its terrain. it is the latest example of that just like syria is an example of that like with hezbollah and the lavon -- levant. we made 2 -- they need to improve their treatment of citizens and they need to open up their marketplaces. in most cases, and america is more effective in doing that by working with the government in power to try to advance human rights, to try to advance the human -- rule of law and free market economics. in my opinion, though. >> how does it make it ok to ignore human rights in cases or give less seven emphasis in saudi arabia but stand by it in places like china which are seen differently? senator cotton: we should insist
9:29 pm
that china continue to improve. to quit oppressing people's like the tibetans and so forth. we have many adversaries that are even worse. it -- look at what is happening in iran. the records are as bad or worse than countries like china or saudi arabia. could i ask a question of my own? could i ask you about your four lapel pins? >> i am a gold star dad, i have three kids serving. i would consider you the biggest hawk in washington. maybe lindsey graham. you would admit that come a right? senator cotton: i believe in strength and confidence. >> i have one question to ask area can you tell me how [inaudible]
9:30 pm
that is what it is all about. can you tell me how long it has been? senator cotton: we senator cotton: ic annot tell you the exact timeframe. >> another man who calls :00 -- who called himself a hawk. when do i get my kids home safe again? can you please answer that? senator cotton: there is no answer, because our enemies get a vote in the process. i am greatly sorry for your loss. but in the end the best way to honor our veterans-- >> to get them killed?
9:31 pm
senator cotton: to honor the wars in which they fought. we are -- we have been in >> iraq for 20 years. >> it was intended 5000 civilians killed. we had 36 the barone killed that your. -- 36 of our own killed that year. if that is what you consider winning, ask the people in iraq. senator cotton: in 2007, iraq with peaceful. now we are at risk because we have squandered the gains they have died for in iraq with the risk of ices or -- risk of isis or iran getting nuclear weapons. are military men face threats on the world and also face an attack here in the united states. that is what they are fighting to stop. the best way to honor their service is not to remember them,
9:32 pm
but to make sure we don't have that attack again. >> 7000 miles away in pickup trucks, without an air force or a ship to even get there. in these countries have 90 going per 100. we can't win in insurgency. someone comes to take over a country where we have 90 guns per 100 people. the day that you signed that letter you spoke at a contractors meeting -- it is very clear what your views are. my view is to keep doctors safe. you have a child, you understand this as well. the difference between going yourself and sending her child is a much greater thing. let us make it with let us make it worth it. not for halliburton or somebody
9:33 pm
else to make money. people running around in white pickup trucks are coming here -- or not coming here to cut out heads off. senator cotton: the only people who less want to see war for the veterans are the fathers and mothers who fight in it. at the same time, i wish we could say that the group that was seven filed miles away with no air force or navy does not pose a threat, but the environment we face here at home in the west is more grave today than any time in any of our lifetimes. that is not my assessment. that is not the assessment of hawks like lindsey graham. is the assessment of president obama's only security officials. i hope that is not the case and when they we will not have that be the case. but now, it is and we needed to take the fight to their terrain. >> thank you for your service and for being honest. senator cotton: thank you for
9:34 pm
your family and the sacrifices they made, which very few people can understand. >> my question is about turkey. last week, one of the most credited newspapers in turkey published media of trucks full of weapons at the syria border. they are claiming that those weapons were sent to ices and al qaeda. -- isis and al aqaeda. the government denies that.
9:35 pm
the united states has said nothing about it. if it is not true, how would the united states react to that and how would it affect relations between the u.s. and turkey? senator cotton: i can speak about the specific report, because i have not seen it. i will say over the last 3-4 months, it is clear that numerous opposition groups in syria have been getting additional financing and weaponry from a host of countries throughout the region. that is because these countries view it as the only way to stand up to i run's -- irna'an's drive for regional hegemony. this is why it was dangerous to remove assad from power with all of these extremist groups still in existence. for regional hegemony, they are
9:36 pm
currently funding extremist groups many of which we would rather not support. but that is what happens when america retreats from region, when we don't play the role of imposing a balance of power that had existed for many of years. when we left the countries fight it out between themselves, it creates a real risk for the u.s. as well, not only our allies in jordan and israel, but for the u.s. right here at home. islamic state has a safe haven in turkey. they are trying to recruit westerners including u.s. citizens at this very moment to conduct attacks here. >> it is believed that the weapons sent by the turkish government-- senator cotton: i haven't seen the report, so i can't comment on it. >> [indiscernible] she asked if it was a mistake
9:37 pm
that they did not have a residual force agreement. she blamed maliki for that. why couldn't we have forced an agreement or something so that that opportunity wasn't completely squandered -- what could we have done it differently in 2011 and how do you feel as if someone who has served in iraq, what is the morale given the squandered victory that we had? senator cotton: i put responsibly chiefly with barack obama and hillary clinton. the dispute over the task forces agreement with largely about community of our strengths serving in iraq. -- of our troops serving in iraq. every time maliki and iraqi officials said they wouldn't give anything, it is a sensitive topic for any host country, but we have status forces agreement in any country where we have troops around the world. the bush administration had successfully negotiated multiple
9:38 pm
status force agreements that overcame that controversy. they did so because bush was committed to winning in iraq. he made plenty of missteps, plenty in the early days, but in the end he was committed to iraq. barack obama, however, retreated and withdrew from iraq. the same objection was raised in the same way, barack obama and hillary clinton packed up the banks and said they couldn't do anything about it. this is not to absolving maliki, who was a challenging leader. but secretary of state, one of your primary resource of elite is -- one of your primary responsibilities is developing good relationships with other leaders. and analyst said al qaeda and iraq about the group we fought in the middle part of the last decade were defeated in 2008 during the search and largely
9:39 pm
eliminated doing 2011. without that kind of residual force continuing to provide stability and training to iraqi forces, to serve as a tripwire against iranian influence they would be able to grow into advantage of the civil war in syria. they returned, not as a terrorist group, but as a terrorist army. we are seeing the records at what does of that kind of retreat. -- we are seeing because of his of that kind of treat. this was not only applicable, but predicted. -- not only predictable, but predicted by many government officials. >> i was intrigued that you mentioned ukraine. in your opening remarks, he made mention of which i deterrence
9:40 pm
model to increase the cross promotion with their incursion. some politicians within ukrainian parliament has adjusted this would be helpful if they were adopted into nato fully and sit of being a nato never. would you be for something like that? it would have to be approved by nato itself. just because it would increase the cost for russia. senator cotton: i'm certainly open to nato membership for both ukraine and georgia. anymore immediate term though. -- in the more immediate term, though they are still occupying eastern part of ukraine. we should focus on providing ukrainian army with weapons to defend against russian armor and artillery. providing them better intelligence support, providing better logistics support and support. second working with the img and
9:41 pm
other -- the imf and other international institutions. it has its own problems, but a group of leaders committed to turning towards the west and against the oligarchy model of the former soviet union. we need to put pressure on ukraine and russia, are major european partners say they would extend the sanctions against vladimir putin and his cronies in the kremlin. we would spend $400 million to upgrade strikers in determining to send a signal to vladimir putin that we will not stand for this kind of oppression. we need to expand military exercises in estonia and latvia. in the long-term nato number ship and even eu membership is something that we should
9:42 pm
consider. any short-term, we needed to focus on stopping putin. >> the mainstream american lobby, organizations like aipac would like to maintain the standard that support for israel is a bipartisan measure. but with recent changes in policy from the obama administration, as well as moves taken by speaker boehner to invite president netanyahu to speak, members of congress boycotting that past event, many believe that the nature of american support for israel is changing to more of a partisan issue with republicans and democrats. would you speak to that? and if you do believe the nature of support for israel is changing, do you believe it will affect the vote of the american jewish community, which largely votes for democratic candidates
9:43 pm
upwards of 80%? senator cotton: we would like to see widespread support of israel continued from both parties. a good example would be legislation in the house, about two years ago that would impose new sanctions on iran, which i helped draft the foreign affairs committee. it got 400 votes. many people often say that congress [indiscernible] over time, it changes because various administrations have tried to put distance in our relationship with israel. congress has always remained steadfast. that is simply because the american people are supported of the u.s.-israel alliance. they are supportive of israel, not just for jewish americans but because it is the home of the people, but most americans who just want to stand up for the only constitutional
9:44 pm
democracy in the region against the rights of all its citizens to include israeli arab citizens. it has a free market economy and our closest security partner in the region. unfortunately, if you look at public opinion polls over the last 25 years the olso accords you will see that support israel has largely remained the same, but has declined somewhat among democrats. to the event, you have some democrats blocking mr. netanyahu's with the president trying to put daylight, as he claims is a reflective of the democratic base. i do not think that is a healthy thing. i think both israel and the u.s. prosperous when we are working most closely together. one reason for that is israel's geopolitical position. it is a small country, and its adversaries are right next to it. we are different, our adversaries are far away.
9:45 pm
to the extent anybody in the region doesn't think that israel can count on the u.s.'s support means that israel has to be more aggressive on its own terms. that is not good for the region, or our interests either. we don't want our allies like israel to have to freelanced anyway. we want them to work closely with us, as they did over the past several decades. it is important we do as best we can to maintain a strong bipartisan support for the u.s.-israel alliance. even as we have seen some of that support erode, not just among self identified democrats. >> what do you think obama's main reason for trying to have this friction between israelis and americans? senator cotton: i think part of it is no part personal.
9:46 pm
he probably has a bad relationship by all accounts with president netanyahu. part of it is related to his iran policy. the answer to most questions in the middle east under president obama's iran. he knows that israel is the country most by nuclear iran, not just because of iran itself, but because of the nuclear arms race it would create. he also knows that prime minister netanyahu is the most forceful critic of the proposed deal with iran. it is remarkable when the president came into office with a grand strategy to remake our alliance structure in the middle east, and he appears to have been successful, more so than the other president has brought iran and saudi arabia together again.
9:47 pm
>> why has the united states not addressed deliveries for nuclear power as opposed to just nuclear power in and of itself? senator cotton: that policy decisions by the president. -- bad policy decisions by the president. it was excluded from negotiations from the very beginning, because the president is so determined to get a deal of any kind with iran. we largely excluded any negotiations about their ballistic missiles. they have missiles that can hit everyone of their adversaries in the region. the only region they need a intercontinental domestic mitchell -- domestic missile is to reach the u.s. or at least threaten them and try to deter us from protecting our interests and defending our allies in the region.
9:48 pm
it should have been a prerequisite for the negotiations. >> a follow-up question -- is there any reason that the senate is not addressing this themselves? doesn't this look like we have our tell between our legs -=- our tail between our legs, trying to walk lightly around the iranians? it looks like we have the lower hand. senator cotton: i believe the senate should be insisting that we put a plastic -- a ballistic missile program on the table. these are policy decisions that are largely in the president's hands. there will be a time for a debate if and when there is a final agreement reached.
9:49 pm
these kinds of questions will play directly to the heart of that debate. one reason why americans object to ayatollahs having nuclear weapons the ability is because they are not a normal country. normal countries don't take off that is on pretext. back don't take -- don't take hostages under pretext. they do not try to undermine every adversary the having the region. normal countries don't sponsor terrorism. japan and germany are nuclear threshold states. not many people loose sleep back them. they are normal, peaceful, constitutional democracies. if and when there is a final nuclear agreement the nature of the iranian regime and other questions like there ballistic missile systems, i strongly success -- i strongly suspect it will not be along with u.s. interests.
9:50 pm
>> [indiscernible] senator cotton: i oppose the so-called freedom act that passed. i do think that it will undermine our intelligence abilities and possibly re-create a gap that existed before the 9/11 attacks. moreover, it was a solution in search of a problem. there is not a single incident of intentional abuse that of in firefight under the nsa's -- that has been verified under the nsa's data collection program. i haven't visited with the men and women who run the program. there is not a single instance of abuse under that program. many of you have value cards from a local grocery store or pharmacy. your privacy is much more at risk because of that card because of anything the nsa collects. your privacy is much more at risk because of banking financial data that the government protects.
9:51 pm
it was however a critical tool in our counterterrorist toolbox. we have deprived our intelligence agencies of it for no good reason, other than mr. presentation. furthermore -- other than misrepresentation. i am not confident that the nsa can create that equivalent in the next six months. i am hopeful that they can. but when you are dealing with a counter terrorist to stop an attack on the u.s., we should cannot go on hopeful hypothetical. we should wait until there is a string -- until there is a demonstrated capability before replace the telephone program. they are expiring anyway. he prolonged to debate. now they have been revived. whether the freedom act had been
9:52 pm
passed on june 2 for may 22, i would have posted. -- i would have opposed it. it has eliminated counterterrorism capability that posed no threat to privacy. to the extent that americans leave that it did was because of misrepresentation. many of them believes a. recent poll shows that 60% of americans wanted it real verizon. -- wanted it we authorized. -- reauthorized. there is no personally identifiable information. they merely assembled the dots without connecting them. >> can you speak to the application of an iran deal on the world oil market? with their be a new flood of oil into the world market, and under ideal market conditions, would lower the price of oil? without be an american interest?
9:53 pm
-- would that be an american interest? senator cotton: we want to reduce -- it will lead to more oil exports from iran, which would lead to lower oil prices. prices are better for the american consumer, but not at the risk of giving iran hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue. i strongly disagree with what the secretary of treasury said a couple weeks ago is that iran will use that money to buy hospitals or schools were roads. they have been able to do that for the past decades. they will count -- they will fund covert arisen -- they will fund terrorism groups like hezbollah. they will resupply the huthis. they will try to kill americans or jews around the world as they have been trying to do for 35 years. >> you had mentioned estonia and
9:54 pm
latvia and the possibility of a hybrid war there. under the current administration, do you think that would happen under nato agreements, for would be administration back from that? -- administration pull back from that? senator cotton: in estonia and latvia, it would not look like what we war gamed. it would not be 100 tanks rolling across the plains. it would be a combination of cyber warfare and a special forces not wearing russian uniforms, working with russian language allies in estonia and latvia who view it in their economic or personal interests to create the same kind of ongoing conflict in those areas. that is a new challenge that the u.s. and nato faces. we need to stop it from
9:55 pm
happening in the first vice. you conduct -- happening in the first place. you conduct naval activities in the baltic sea and the north sea and make it clear to vladimir putin that we will not accept the presence of little green men in a nato ally. >> it is perfectly clear that we don't have a strategy in syria. with that in mind, as a policy maker, have you heard anyone in government seem to have a copy has a strategy? -- have a comprehensive strategy? any thoughts on what we should do? senator cotton: the best thing would be a time machine and go back to 2011 encounter assad's regime. it is a critical source of iranian power in the world. there were not a large number of jihadist groups operating in 2011. it was a genuine uprising of the syrian people who had been
9:56 pm
oppressed for decades against an oppressive regime. today, the situation is much worse because of the islamic state in charge of syria as well as al qaeda linked groups. there are still plenty of local syrian who are not extremist who do not to see one of tyrannical regime replaced with a second one. but they are oftentimes under resourced and have taken great casualties. at a minimum, we should be taking the fight to basis -- to isis in iraq and syria. at a minimum, we shouldn't be letting the islamic state control large swaths of syrian territory, because that base of operations prevents us from
9:57 pm
effectively prosecuting them in iraq. >> would you support having some kind of safe zone, say on the turkish border? senator cotton: i have supported a no-fly zone in syria. that does not mean necessarily american aircraft in the skies as it did throughout the 1990's with the iraqi no-fly zone. but it does mean stabilizing syrian airfields and destroying their helicopters. that is the one key advantage that the syrian regime still has over its own population. i do think we have to establish some kind of air control in the country, that again, we should have done a long time ago. and i as many others have called for a long time ago. >> a coming and compelling -- a compelling narrative with that, china outmaneuvered of the
9:58 pm
nations in order to join this bank. president obama says foreign policy is more nuanced than this. what is your opinion on the aaib in general? senator cotton: china wanted to create a infrastructure bank -- if china wanted to create an interceptor bank in terms of -- infrastructure bank in order to develop asian countries-- many of them are our allies and big trade partners. it would have been america's long-term interest to work with china to shape the rules of that institution, as we have shaped the roles of so many international institutions. are european allies are beginning to do so. i think there is still an opportunity to do so. >> i have a question about the chinese hacking. north korea hacked a movie studio,--
9:59 pm
would you advocate sentence against chinese hacking? it seems to be a repeating action but no punitive action seems to be taken. senator cotton: first we need to be getting all the facts. sometimes cyberattacks are masked and difficult. we have time to assist. we need a mindset shift about cyberattacks that i think we have not yet fully. we have to recognize them as real attacks on the u.s. and our interest. not just when i have into a federal agency, but when they happen to federal citizens -- regular citizens or a company like sony. whether they are attacking a
10:00 pm
federal agency or a private institution, it is our job to protect them. just like we don't expect thanks to find -- we don't expect banks to find the criminals that w. these attacks will not be tolerated. >> in iraq, specifically [indiscernible] senator cotton: we shouldn't be collaborating with iranian backed shiite militias.

14 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on