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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 6, 2015 12:00am-2:01am EDT

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it wouldn't be a big deal. vanity fair wouldn't have put me on the cover. because we live in this celebrity culture, which is vapid and probably harmful in lots of ways, that is what they do. and caitlin jenner is in the middle of that. is intentionally in the middle of that. and i think there are some real positives to that. you know, yeah, i don't know why all of america has to be dragged into every celebrity's everything. host: and the other point goes to your point, saying in stark contrast, all gussied up like some 1940's girl. it seems a mockery of her new womanhood as well as the human dignity. guest: well, i am not, as you can imagine, who they call for comments on fashion magazine culture. so i don't know that i want to
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comment on that, but what i will say is there are all different kinds of transgender people. there are some glamorous transgender people, and there are some people who can barely eat. we have a dramatically high poverty rate. we are four times more likely than the non-transpiration to live on less than $10,000 -- non-trans person to live on less than $10,000 a year. we are more likely to be homeless. a survey we did five years ago said that 19% of us have been homeless at some point. so caitlin jenner is not a typical transgender person. but we are just people like everybody else. and so some of us are celebrities. not me. host: mara keisling is with the national center for transgender equality. fred, you are up next.
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caller: yes, hi. i have a question. i have a son who is transgender. born female. well, we thought. made the conversion surgically and legally. and has turned out to be a very happy person and we support the heck out of him. love him and support him. but while i was thinking he was extremely happy and well-adjusted, when we had a conversation, he said, dad, it is not -- well, he said it is not perfect. and not just him, but other people. my question is -- i want to be sensitive and i want to learn. i am old and what things should
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i stay aware of to best support him? guest: fred, thank you so much. first, let me say i am from harrisburg, right across the river from you. i grew up there. and it is good to hear from somebody from back home. you know, there is a really great group in central pennsylvania. that i would suggest you get involved with. but actually, the most important thing you could possibly do is what you are doing. you are saying, this is my child. this is somebody who i am attached to for life. this is somebody i care about. this is somebody who i am going to support. is transitioning going to solve all of anybody's problems? no. it is still really hard to be anybody in this life right now. if you are transgender, it is hard to not transition, and it is hard if you do transition. but it makes a really big difference, as you are saying, in your son's life. i would just suggest, meet some good people locally. there is a great lgbt center in
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harrisburg. with support groups and i think meeting people and getting to know people can help put your situation and your family and better context for you. but the most important thing for everybody, whether they are transgender or not, is family acceptance and family support. host: this is al in las vegas. go ahead. caller: hello. i'm -- i read a book several years ago. but it goes into the life of a -- a young girl that is -- that she doesn't know, you know when she becomes an adolescent, she discovers that she doesn't feel like a girl.
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but she knows she is a girl, but the thing is that -- that she doesn't wake up one morning and say, hey, i think i will be a boy or the other way around. a young girl -- or a young boy could wake up -- i mean, he just doesn't like up someday and say, hey, i want to be a girl. a person -- and most people don't realize this -- but a person is born with this problem. it is not like -- it is not like they want to be different. but anyway, let me get back to the book. the title of the book is "middlesex." guest: absolute -- absolutely. caller: are you aware of that book? guest: yes, i sure am. host: i will let our guest respond. guest: i sure am. it is really a good book. there is artistic license that goes into anything like that
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and you are absolutely right. for most people, this isn't a suddenly i woke up when i was 32 years old, you know? using caitlin jenner as an example, she has done a really good job over the last month or so explaining how when she was a kid and this is how it manifested itself been. and as a teenager and then as a young adult. she started going out and meeting transgender people to try and understand it when she was in her 30's, but it wasn't until her 60's when she could execute a transition. it sounded very clinical, to execute a transition, but i have now met kids and doctors of kids who get at 18 months, 36 months five years old would just know.
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i did. i have thought about this every day of my life and i don't know why, i don't know what causes it, i just know every conscious day of my life since i was three years old i have known this to be absolutely true. and i have known that what society was telling me was my amazing, loving, well-meaning parents were telling me because we didn't know any better in the early 1960's. you know, we know better now. and it is really improving a lot of kids' lives. and books like that do a good job of -- of educating people about certain aspects. host: what happens when minors want to go through a transition? what laws govern that? guest: again, there are different kinds of transitions. so, i know lots of folks who you know, their children will say, i am a boy or i am a girl and they will let them live that way. you are not going to do a medical transition on a three or
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four-year-old. i am not an expert on the medical stuff, but that is true. when kids start getting towards puberty, that is when you have to start thinking about what that is. what should be done. but kids very young -- on the bruce jenner interview, they interviewed a friend of mine who is saying she has seen 18 months old just say no, not girl. boy. and we know. we know when we are kids. and it is interesting. society doesn't think to ask how kids are sure about their gender. most little boys and little girls are absolutely sure.
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and that they aren't different than what their parents said. we don't challenge that. we don't say, how does the four-year-old not trans kid know they are not trans? but, yeah, kids generally won't -- they will socially transition young, but they won't medically transition. host: from indiana hello. caller: hi. my aunt was born a boy and she had a surgery young. i totally support her. even though i don't talk to her that much, you know, unfortunately. but -- you know -- i see a lot of my own family and friends and stuff who -- who not just with the transgender, but with the lgbt community, just in secret or, you know, in this little family-friendly network, they
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see a lot of that stuff about those people who live that type of lifestyle. i mean, what does the guest think can be done about that not just from a public -- you know -- from a public thing, but what can be done for, you know -- host: we got your point, dave. guest: yes, dave, thank you. the most important thing that happens is what happened to you. you had one in your family. and it has made you more understanding of what transgender is. not that you experienced it yourself, but you know somebody. it is not some abstract thing that some athlete reality show star in hollywood is experiencing. it is something that your family is experiencing.
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right now, we saw a survey a month or two ago showing that about 20% of americans say that they know a transgender person. that means 80% of people don't either know somebody or they don't know that the know somebody, but what it means is that it is not a real thing for them. so people still have an understandable, and doubt that my experience is real, that somehow i am trying to make it up or pull some political agenda on somebody. when you are my family and you know that i have always been in good -- a good and reasonable person and now i am saying this, you can hear it better. and you can be willing to learn. when we heard from the father from pennsylvania, that is not something he was expecting. but now, i bet he doesn't go to work and make fun of transgender people because his son is one. that is the most important thing and the most important thing -- i think the policy work we do at our organization is very
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important. the most important work that is being done is people every day educating people at work educating their families and the people they go to a synagogue with and their classmates. so, i think that is how we do it and it is going to take some time. host: your organization is the national center for transgender equality. mara keisling is the executive director. thank you. guest: thank you so much. >> and detroit news washington bureau chief, david shepherdson has the latest on the hepatic airbag recall.
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and we will take your calls, and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. washington journal, live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> is there any difference in these medicines. they are both good. but they are different. he said that is made from the bark off of the tree, that we take from the top down. the medicine that we take from the bark. the only difference that i have found between the democratic leadership and the republican leadership was that one of them was dealing from the top up and the other from the bottom down. >> that clip was a perfect
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example of appealing to the masses with a good yarn. ultimately, like a lot of characters, he became a demagogue. he looked his own power. he was consumed by that. he gave just as much grief to his own party leadership as he dead -- as he did to the opposition. the senate has always needed some mavericks. they keep that institution bubbling. if they were all mavericks, nothing would get done. we have been fortunate to some degree that the huey long's have been in a distinct minority in that institution. >> don ritchie and ray smock on the history of the house and senate its leaders, characters and scandals sunday night at 8:00 a.m. eastern and pacific. next a look at how extremist groups are written -- a
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recruiting people to their cause. and then, tom cotton talking about u.s. foreign-policy. after that states efforts to comply with new regulations by the epa. next a discussion about recruiting by extremist groups and ways to counteract the radical mindset. this is just under one hour. joining us live from toronto canada is blue been shake. he is a co-author of a book, undercover jihadi. why did you write your book? >> i really wanted to put the mustache the muslim -- the message out for other muslims and for academics so that they could make sense of this radicalization.
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what happens to people, how do group dynamics play a role so there were multiple reasons. it came out at a good time. >> you talk about your own adoption of radical ideas. tell us about your story and how you came to that point. >> i went to public school during the daytime. it was a mixed environment of girls and boys that talked to each other it was a very caring and nurturing environment. as opposed to the evening when i went to the koran school. the school that i went to was like an indo pakistani system. boys and girls were separated. you sit in wooden benches rocking back-and-forth not understanding what you are reading. if you made a mistake, you are slapped. this severe contrast, i believe, later foundation for an identity
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crisis that would manis -- that would manifest later in my life. i wasn't bullied i was one of the cool kids. we were all part of the in crowd, so to speak. i did have a house party. my father was out of the country. he had told my uncle to check on the house while he was gone. in the middle of the house party, my uncle walked in. i was 17 years old. it was the end of the world. i was shamed into feeling so badly about what i had done, that i convinced myself that the only way i could make amends with my family was to get religious. to do that, i went to india and pakistan on a four month religious trip. while i was in pakistan, i would have the chance encounter with the taliban. that is where i was bitten by
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the jihadi bug. i became a supporter of taliban and al qaeda after that. if you have questions for our guest about his experience and 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 why did it influence you so much? guest: this was summer 1995. i had gone to a place called -- quetta. at that time, it was a stronghold of the taliban. later on, it became the nerve center for the taliban, and the
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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. there was a war from 1990-1995. 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, robes, and i grew nearer to them, thinking they were religious people. and i realize, they were armed. they had a lot of weaponry on
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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 was young, adventurous, and 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
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unlike how terrorist groups like isis now teach. tell us about what you learned about the topic of jihad, and how you think it is practiced today. guest: 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 intent and 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.
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the taliban told me, in 19 a -- in 1995, when you want to bring 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 doctrine of 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.
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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. there was an article, and actually a court case, about one of your people. a woman who worked for abercrombie & fitch. she sued 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.
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to make a long story short, she 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? 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
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theory, and what tenants of the religion led you to refute. where did the shift in perspective come in? 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 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
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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. 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.
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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? 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. 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 fighting and contextualized it and that is what got me out of fighting.
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host: hussein from jamaica, new york. thank you for calling. caller: good morning, sir. brother, i have one question. 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
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had remained more than 200 years. kindly tell me, what options do the palestinians have? they tried everything. what is the difference between systems? jefferson said, give me liberty or give me death. kindly help me. what of our grandchildren, 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.
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what options do muslims have? host: all right. we want to let our guest respond. 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 taking 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.
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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. 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 -- prophet 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 evicted from
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your 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 is coming and destroy your home and killing you because you believe, you are allowed to fight. 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.
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host: from john in illinois for our guest. john, thank you for holding on. go ahead. caller: hello. guest: hi, john. caller: hello. yes. 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.
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if you read the federalist papers, the american revolution was based on letters eight, 11 and 64. they say that the unity in 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
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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. 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
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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. i just said about my own history and the u.s. foreign policy -- that is what it has been. coup 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.
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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 empires before have done. that is what is taking them off. they see that the u.s. 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,
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to jews, to hindus, buddhists, you name it. i had a generalization. then, i met them and talked to them. i may not necessarily agree with all points of doctrine, but if 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 1990'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.
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what you are seeing is the idea that you don't even have to get out of your home to develop a social network. to develop an intimate relationship with people who can influence you in ways that 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 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: robert from chicago, illinois.
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you are on with our guest. caller: i just have a comment in regards to a lot of the problems are hostilities that americans have towards muslims. we see christians getting beheaded. soldiers getting dragged through the streets of the middle east. people form 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,
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being told by abercombie and fitch that they have to wear certain clothing, even though they sell clothes 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 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.
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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. 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 because of the
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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. 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 were the scientists. there is a vast contribution to science, philosophy, 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
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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? 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. others say, i don't trust you, but you make sense. you are not a real muslim. some of them say -- i don't trust you but you kind of makes sense. i will have a raised eyebrow towards your opinion. the other category i get are those that do and up listening. i have been dealing with a lot of people who have been of the mindset, who i have helped to bring away her -- away from that mindset. i am brutally honest sometimes. i think that people like that. especially young people, young
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muslims to date alienated. they are marginalized. all around them, people hate them. the narrative is that there is a war on islam. -- there are costs -- cartoons. it is racism if you flip the script. you cannot say that there is freedom of speech and insult people's most sacred views and then when they insult something of years -- of yours, you cannot claim -- they are not able to make sense of it or they are struggling. host: when you mentioned cartoons of mohammed, and violence that comes from that, what goes through your mind? would you call it justified? guest: what goes through my mind is -- how does this help our cause? the paris attacks.
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it was a struggling organization. suddenly, their subscriptions jump a thousand percent. their pictures are being replicated and celebrated. i think -- i take that utilitarian approach. i detest those images. i don't insult other people's faith. i live by example. i know that god is in the koran. do not insult their gods. less they insult your god out of ignorance. this is the approach that they take, using violence is counterproductive. host: as you look at this book cover, you will hear from betty from north carolina, you are on with the guest go ahead. caller: i have a quick question about a passage in the koran. i apologize that i do not know it exactly so i am paraphrasing. it is where you pretend to
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befriend your enemy so that you can get in there, and i guess, do them harm or take advantage. would you please tell me how that is not relevant because sometimes i think -- are these people really your friends or are they going by this section of the cron --of the koran? guest: thank you betty. and i love the north carolina drawl. the concept that betty is referring to is where courtesy of the muslim heaters -- haters that want to depict muslims as out to get you. there is no chronic -- koranic
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passage that comes from that. this is something the prophet commented on and it refers to -- if you fear bodily harm or death, because you believe in god, then you are allowed to deny that you are god. this is what christians did. what jews did. what muslims did when people were persecuting each other. let's say the muslims were forcing the christians at one point, the christians denied their faith. when the romans were persecuting them, they deny their fate. or in the new testament when peter denied knowing jesus christ, that is the traditional classical understanding of that concept. denying your faith. in the operational context, it is what in the west, we call
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denial and deception. something a spy does. a spy does not tell someone who he is and what he is up to. there are varying levels of it. the idea that, operationally people who are up to no good are going to operationalize that concept. here, islam allows me to deny my faith, ignoring of course that it says, if you feel that your life is in danger. there is no license to go around and lie to people. and pretend you are one thing and you're not. people abuse that in this context. i would say, to close that point, was i doing that when i was telling lies that i was one of them that i wasn't, but i was trying to stop them? that is a level of denial and deception that i would think is acceptable. there is a whole spectrum. host: you brought up that topic of spying. a little bit about your history
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after your mindset changed. you returned to canada and worked with the government to look out for those that might be radicals. can you give our viewers a short history of how that worked out? guest: after i went and met the taliban i got radicalized, i kept that up until the 9/11 attacks. i will be honest. initially, i celebrated the 9/11 attacks. as the day went on, i thought to myself wait a minute, something is not right about this. i get combating -- attacking combatants, but how do you explain the deaths of innocent people. i went to syria and studied for two years. i got out of my mindset. i came back to canada in 2004. remember that koran school that i referred to earlier. a guy had been arrested in 2004. the first week that i had returned from syria, and he was
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the kid who sat next to me in that koran school. i approached the security intelligence service as a character reference for the family. by then, it was too late. the intelligence service was interested in speaking to me. we chatted for about two hours and they put to me the prospect of what i be willing to work with them as an undercover operative. they wanted me to tell them who i thought would be a threat. based on my knowledge of their religion and my ability to interact with the people. i accepted and i did that for a year and a half. i conducted several operations. i did some things online. most of the things i did on the ground. later on, in the year 2005, one of those cases became a public prosecution. i was basically given the option look, it are you walk away from this and let someone else deal with it or follow through with it and you will be in
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court, giving testimony, and your cover will be blown. i thought to myself that this is doing the right thing. let me follow through with that. my identity was exposed. i gave testimony in five legal hearings over four years. i faced a lot of backlash from the community and i was ostracized. this is a problem that you are dealing with in the united states. there is mistrust with federal agencies and law enforcement agencies. you can see from the boston case that happened just yesterday. there is no trust in the muslim community. a severe lack of breath -- a severe lack of trust. in that time, i also did a masters degree. i have come from that whole perspective of -- been there done that. i still consult with government, mainly western governments. i take a pro-islamic approach.
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host: from ohio, good morning. caller: number one, god bless the american constitution. i have been to turkey, lebanon. there is no country like the united states. i am to the right of libertarian. i was born and raised in syria. a greater jihad is a struggling to put bread on the table. lesser jihad is to fight for survival. number two after the fall of the soviet union, bob novak and pat buchanan said on crossfire, now the soviet union is gone. they are looking for a new enemy. they set up the muslim world.
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they need an enemy for the corporations. number three, i came from turkey back to egypt. egypt is dirty and poor and corrupt. you give asia a hundred billion dollars it is gone in a second. number four, germany -- turkey is rising like germany. everyone is antagonizing turkey. the phrase they call themselves -- i do not trust them. i was born muslim. i am agnostic. i love the jews. i will be protected by the freedom of expression. the united states is the best country in the world because of george washington and his companion. i believe in god. moses, jesus mohammed.
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my profit, george washington gives me rights. -- my prophet, george washington. guest: it is a good sentiment that he expressed. the u.s. constitution is a great document. i think you are in competition with the canadian one but we will tolerate you guys for now. [laughter] host: don from virginia, good morning. caller: the understanding that the carron says -- the koran says that you should not fight against those who fight against you. you should not harm the elderly, plants, or animals. i don't understand the
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justification how could they believe that unless someone misleads them. at one point [indiscernible] he never did those things. i don't understand, and killing another muslim. to me, the whole thing is crazy. to celebrate 9/11. i guess you could consider me an apostate. there are so many things that turned me off and 9/11 was one of the main was. i know a lot of people there and there are other things in the religion that i have a problem with. i respect islam as far as the knowledge that i got from it, but there is a lot of ignorance.
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there are some things -- mohammed used a camel and we don't have a camel in this country. what is your response to the ignorance of these radicals? guest: that is a good question. if it was based off of the example of muslims, i would not be a muslim myself. i am a muslim because of the religion itself, and what i understood from the religion and 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. the koran was speaking, god spoke to them in their context. it would make no sense for him to mention the internet for hundred years ago. he talked about slaves camels -- that was the kind of life that they lived.
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it is a mistake that muslims make in general thinking that we have to replicate society from the 700s in desert arabia. as if to say god had frozen divine wisdom in that time. . i totally agree with you. i understand why people think the way they think. all that i can say is that it is important for people to understand and experience a real muslim. host: how do you talk your children about your experiences and your issues concerning moderate muslims and people who might try to influence them? host:guest: i am very open with my children. i have five children. i am putting them through a form of social engineering. two of them are in the army kid. army explorers. i am raising them with the
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values of beauty and a religious understanding. i give them a holistic understanding. i told them that i used to be a government agent and my job was to stop that muslims from doing bad things. support your brother when he is the oppressor and when he is the oppressed. the companions replied -- we understand to support him when he is the oppressed, but what does it mean to support him when he is the oppressor. it says -- stop him from his oppression. i don't make any excuses. i don't need to. i don't apologize for what i did. extremism, terrorism, is completely against the religion and ruining the name of islam. i want apologize for stopping people from doing that. my children understand that and respect that. i'd like to think they appreciate that. host: do the older ones attend
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the same school like you did? guest: no, i am that for them. caller: good morning. listening to everything you have said today has done muslims in this country a great service. thank you so much. guest: thank you very much. host: from new york, this is anthony. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you to c-span. i'm really enjoying your guest this morning. my question -- how do your
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parents feel about your endeavors and the authorship of your book? thank you. guest: i laugh because my 13 -year-old says to me so, you lost your virginity in the army? is that so? it was most awkward moment for me. even my parents read the book. i was brutally honest in the book. that is the point. i laid everything out there. i didn't hide anything. once upon a time, my peers wanted me to be religious. and then i got too religious. they didn't like that. now there happy. i have evened out. i'm happy that they're happy with me. honor thy mother and thy father.
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it is good. host: because of the mindset you hold -- do you feel your life has been threatened or your family? guest: maybe teenagers living in their mama's basement or whatever the caricature is spewed i really do not dismiss or deny it. i know that there are people who are watching and seeing what i'm up to. it's very possible that someone could try to make a move at some point. i think god nothing has happened so far. i hope it will continue that way. i think about it. i understand this is a risky area i'm involved in. -- i thank god nothing has happened so far. i hope it will continue that way.
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host: good morning. caller: i've got a question on mohammed when he was standing in the desert and this spirit comes to him. he said his people were starving. he said, pick up the sword. so he attacked the jews at the time for the food unit what is the difference between him and someone going down the street and saying, hey, i want that tv so i will take it? in other words, a thug. guest: i don't recognize that account. i don't know where that came from. the store is that the profit was meditating -- of the story is that the prophet was meditating and the angel gabriel told him to read. i cannot read.
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there was no instruction to pick up the car on and attack the -- the qaran and attack the jews. caller: we have lots of religions in the united states. christians, jewish methodist. they are not taking up guns and pointing it at each other. we are living in a communist state right now. we have the republican party here who wants to rule the united states and basically rule the world. they are on the russian's side.
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the koch brothers finances them. we are close to having a dictat or in our government. we realize everything was going the wrong way. now they have suppressed our 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: and earl from maryland. caller: good morning. my question is -- how do you deal with the hypocrisy about the right of freedom of speech but if you as a community doodle cartoons about jews killing
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jesus, which was a historical fact, would that be free speech or anti-somatic? guest: this is the thing. you have to identify what is hypocritical. you cannot encourage people to internalize its values of freedom of speech of the not apply them equally across the board. the problem with that is people will see through that right away. how do i deal with that? i recognize humans were human. we will make mistakes. often we realized -- i recognize the human condition and where i could speak out against it and identify it. that is how i respond to it. host: last call. joanna. caller: i have a quick comment
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/question. after 9/11, i realized i knew nothing about islam. about four years ago, i passed my local mosque out here. there was a big billboard outside the said islam -- a couple of friends and i went and took a class. i learned so much. i made a lot of friends. we had speakers of the islamic center come out and speak at our church so we were engaged in interfaith activities. we need a lot more interfaith activities going on so people can learn to meet one another and understand one another. can you explain -- i cannot pronounce it -- the term of --
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it needs outlaw in islam. they talked about isis. they are not truly muslim. they are these outlaws. can you explain that? guest: fantastic. this is the best last question. interfaith activities in 16 report and. -- is extremely important. i think it should be a pillar policies in the west to balance extremism. when we learn about each other's views, it is important for us to do that, especially with christianity and christians. muslims also believe in the second coming of jesus christ. they have to strengthen and double down. inc. you for that comment. -- thank you for that comment.
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khawarij. they were rebels. the profit referred to them -- prophet referred to them in the most disparaging manner. they were rebels who would declare other muslims non-muslim , thereby justifying violence upon them and raping them. this is what isis does. they would declare them as infidels. making war on anyone for any reason, for small reasons. this is what we see isis doing. the prophet refers to them as the dogs of hell. the worst creatures on heaven
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and earth. wherever you see them, kill them. these kinds of groups the prop het has castigated them in the worst point possible. when people say, isis is -- they pray. yes, the prophet said they will come in the garb of islam. they will falsify the meanings. host: the co-author of undercover jihadi. thanks for your time today. guest: thanks very much. god bless. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> a report on the failure of tsa screeners.
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and the richer person with the latest on the taka -- david shepardson on the latest takata air bag recall. "washington journal" live at 7 a.m. on c-span. >> here are some future programs this weekend on the c-span network. on c-span 2, printers row lit fest. saturday speakers include david axelrod. the vessel coverage is covered by a tour. sunday, we continue coverage of
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the book restful with our three day our -- the our in-depth program. they will be taking phone calls and questions from the audience. and kevin schultz. and the results of the war on drugs in this event and should knew minutes. on american history tv on c-span 3, join us for several featured programs beginning of 4 p.m. eastern on "reel america: the four days of gemini 4." and rolled rolled to photographer -- in world war ii photographer and the stories behind those images. we visit with senator alexander as he shares stories.
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veteran journalists discuss their vietnam war experiences at the opening of the newseum's reporting vietnam exhibit. get the full schedule on c-span.org. >> next, republican senator tom cotton about foreign-policy. then a look at policies and laws to protect the rights of transgendered people. >> next, republican senator tom cotton about foreign-policy challenges facing the u.s. he criticized president obama's policy on iran's nuclear negotiations combating ices, and the ukraine-russia conflict. this is about an hour and 10 minutes.
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>> ready to go? >> everyone take their seats and we will get started. i think the microphones are mainly for -- i hope you can project. this is the fourth in our series this week for the issues forum. we have gone from senator bernie sanders, we had speak on wednesday. lincoln chafee announced for president. i do not think our speaker will be announcing for president.
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may in four years will have him back when he decides to 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. 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
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weeks. [applause] >> i give you senator tom cotton. [applause] senator cotton: thank you for inviting me. it is an honor to come speak at the invitation of george mason and johns hopkins and "the financial times." not because all our laudatory institutions. althought that is true. george mason school of policy, it teaches in the tradition. he did much to plant our union's roots firmly. and the johns hopkins center should take pride in their benefactor.
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he supported the noble fight to extend protections of natural rights to all americans of all races. it is important to recognize these do not run out of the water's edge. america may vindicate these rights but 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. powers and competition with us make a difference. the regimes in beijing and elsewhere adopt strategies to delay and discredit worldwide progress for constitutional government, the rule of law freedom fries and free trade and -- free trade and civil and
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political rights in their own nations and the nations they see as their spheres of influence. they protect and encourage 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. -- malignancy of a caner. -- cancer. when these regimes refer to the
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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 dodge the responsibilities inherent in a system which calls for peaceful cooperation and respect for civil and political rights. it is worth taking's dock of -- stock of america's position 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
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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.
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the symptoms 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 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-, particularly with the chinese
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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. -- the iraq war in 2003. this question obscures that. by 2011 the war was essentially one in iraq. iraq was a sovereign and stable.
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the better question is whether president obama knowing what he knew then in 2011 should have pulled all of our troops without 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 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
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demands, the obama administration has retreated. if their current proposal holds iran will be allowed to continue research, continue limited enrichment, keep its fortified 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 only defeat of the regime would have vindicated strategic interests in principles. president obama has given tokens of support 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.
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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
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the kremlin. all that was done with hopes of reaping cooperation. the opposite proved true. as vladimir putin sees 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 our military.
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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.
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farm in the marine corps are on -- the army and the marine corps are on track to drop below 450,000. without military might the force , of arms is also unfocused. without a coherent foreign policy and clear sense of our objectives. if we want to maintain our 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
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our navy. we should establish mechanisms 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 -- away rump breakout is impractical and dangerous. it is doing nothing to stop iran's regional aggression. -- away from its nuclear breakout is impractical and dangerous. 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
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program which, after all, was president obama's stated 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 kiev. raise the cost of military action in russia 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.
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the challenges we face abroad are deeply complicated and 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. richard only invites chaos and disorder around the world -- r etreat only by its chaos and disorder around the world. the policies should exhibit confidence in american power and america's mission. thank you all very much. [applause]
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>> i can open it up to 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: for almost two years, the president has had 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
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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 would be able to prevent us from
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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 philippines wanted to see
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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 indecision 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.
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credibility which undermines the president's credibility. the credible right of use of force or other tools of coercion 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.
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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 -- 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 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 tradition is not that only one
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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
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policy than most countries will. it can be promoted in institutions. the jacksonians strain said no one should ever question our military might and we have to have the strongest 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 -- accomplishment reflects a single one.
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>> you mentioned moral foreign-policy. 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. it is an example of iran's
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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. 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. they need to improve their treatment of citizens and they need to open up their marketplaces. in most cases, 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 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?
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senator cotton: we should insist 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, right? [laughter] senator cotton: i believe in strength and confidence. >> i have one question to ask --
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can you tell me how long it has been since [inaudible] can you tell me how long it has been? senator cotton: we have had americans die in afghanistan this year. i cannot tell you the exact timeframe. >> another man 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. i on of the service all of your
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children and all of our veterans do. but in the end, the best way to honor our veterans -- >> to get them killed? senator cotton: to honor the wars in which they fought. >> we have been in iraq for many years did >> it was 5000 civilians killed. we had 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 isis or iran getting nuclear weapons. are military men face threats on the world and also face an attack here in the united states.
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that is what they are fighting to stop. the best way to honor their service is not to remember them 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 -- guns 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. -- keeping kids safe. you have a child, you understand this as well. the difference between going yourself, and sending her child -- your child is a much greater thing. let us make it with
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-- worth it. 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. it's 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
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take the fight to their terrain. >> thank you for your service and for being honest. senator cotton: thank you for 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.
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-- isis and al qaeda. the government denies that. 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
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view it as the only way to stand up to iran'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 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.
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>> [indiscernible] she asked if it was a mistake 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.
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the bush administration had successfully negotiated multiple 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,
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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 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. -- retreat. this was not only applicable but predicted. >> i was intrigued that you mentioned ukraine. in your opening remarks, he made mention of which i deterrence
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model to increase the cross -- costs of -- some politicians within ukrainian parliament has said 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. 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
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support. second, working with 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 -- our 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 consider.
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-- consider carefully. 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
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jewish community, which largely votes for democratic candidates 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 is the bedrock of our relationship with israel. 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.
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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 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. you have some democrats blocking mr. netanyahu's speech 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
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it. we are different, our adversaries are far away. 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.
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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, -- most threatened by iran it self but because of the nuclear arms race it would create. he also knows that prime minister netanyahu is the most forceful and eloquent 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. >> back there.
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>> thank you. the nuclear deal with iran has focused on iran harnessing nuclear power. it has been treated as a issue exclusive from the missile capability, which is essentially a witness test for nuclear ambition. why has the u.s. not addressed deliver your's -- delivery systems for nuclear power? senator cotton: bad policy decisions by the president to rip this is something excluded, partially because he is so determined to get a deal of any kind with iran. we largely excluded any negotiations about listing missiles. they have missiles that can hit any adversary. the only reason they need a ballistic missile with

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