tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 19, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
and this is hindsight right now because we will have a deal. there is going to be a deal, whether we like it or not. i'm going in sort of with that position. >> and we will leave this conversation for just a few moments for a brief pro forma session of the u.s. house before we returned to live coverage immediately afterwards. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. june 19, 2015. i hereby appoint the honorable macthornberry to act as speaker -- mac thornberry to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by the guest the chaplain: rain reverend dr. kirk gerhart, washington, d.c. the chaplain: o god who calls
all people to live together in love and seek reconciliation with each other in times of conflict, inspire in us the will to persevere in accomplishing your vision for the good of creation. comfort our fellow citizens who grieve, experience daily injustice and suffer in mind, body or spirit. during this session of the 114th congress in this, the people's house may the hearts of the duly elected representatives be blessed with the integrity of purpose and the steadfast commitment to seek and serve the people of the united states of america for the betterment of this country and the world. we ask this all in the name of the one god, the god of all nations, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approve. the chair will lead the house in the pledge of aplieges -- of
allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the house stands adjourned >> more live coverage of the house when the members return on tuesday. back now live now to the discussion on nuclear negotiations with iran. retired lieutenant general michael flynn: -- what are the implications of a nuclear -- of the region going nuclear? not nuclear weapons. we should be seeking nuclear energy development. call the bluff. call the bluff of iran. call the bluff of russia. call the bluff of china. china has been, you know, helping violate the sanctions in
iran. russia is right now -- russia is cutting deals with egypt jordan, and saudi arabia on nuclear energy development. so what are the implications of a nuclear middle east, and nuclear region? i think that will have to be the big question. and there are some of us that are trying to address that today, so i'm assuming there is going to be a deal. kathleen troia mcfarland: you already made the conclusion that deal or no deal, iran gets in. retired lieutenant general michael flynn: yeah, they get nukes down the road. all you have to do is go to 1994. and where north korea is at today. there are good examples out there. south africa is another place where we just -- from an intel perspective, we just kind of missed the boat. kathleen troia mcfarland: so what do you think happens then with a nuclear iran? what does iran do and what to other countries in the region do? retired lieutenant general michael flynn: if -- if -- if
they open themselves up to true inspections. they said what they are not going to do. they should not have a choice at this. again, we are dealing with a country that is a prior country and they are at the united states -- at the table with the united states of america. we should let them know what the expectations are that are international law internationally accepted norms and behaviors. and then say ok, if you are willing to accept that, then you can come in. we didn't do that. so, what i would say is that we need to, again, you sort of call the bluff by allowing others in the region because others in the region are going to do this. there has already been nuclear energy deals. these are deals that are signed. we have one going on with the russians right now with the
saudi's. so this is going to happen. we have to keep it at the level that is nuclear energy and not nuclear weapons. kathleen troia mcfarland: you have implied that the sanctions regime is already collapsing. in other words, other countries are basically saying we are getting tired of the sanctions. the administration has said that we can't keep the sanctions on much longer. so the pressure and the leverage we have had going to dissipate in any event. if there is not going to be any leverage left and if you do think there are going to be nuclear weapons in the region, is there a good -- is there any way to get out of this mess? what do you do next? kathleen troia mcfarland: -- retired lieutenant general michael flynn: i mean, so, two things. one negative is you have a rise of proxy wars, which we are seeing right now between the you know, shia-sunni communities. proxy wars indicate that others
are supporting them. others being iran, others being russia, potentially china, and other countries that are out there. venezuela is another country that has demonstrated pretty negative behaviors. the positive that we have to be thinking about that is of a long-term issue -- and it all does come around to energy here ok. why is the middle east important? because for 100 plus years, the world has relied on the oil coming out of the middle east. whether you like it or not. now, you know, have you ever seen a chinese aircraft carrier in the persian gulf? no. the chinese get about summer between 50% and 60% of their hydrocarbon, basically oil, out of the middle east. we had been guaranteeing that by putting one, sometimes two aircraft carriers inside the persian gulf for damn near 35 years.
so we are guaranteeing their energy in china. so the price of a barrel of oil means a lot. it is not going to go back up. new technologies are creating new opportunities. this country is capable of being energy independent and we are capable of making probably the contributing world independent -- or interdependent on the united states of america for energy. the economic system in the middle east has to change. it has to move away from oil. it has to. and there are some ideas about how to do that and they are in play right now and we are saying some of this actually occur in the middle east for those that are paying very close attention to certainly their media and some other media inside of our country where they are writing about this sort of new energy ecosystem that frankly, is built on nuclear energy. built on nuclear energy and it requires a lot of thought for people to get involved, but it is important because oil is not
the future any longer in the middle east. kathleen troia mcfarland: last week, he gave some pretty significant testimony before the house and senate. it got a lot of attention. in it, you are talking about where you see the region going. not only iran, nuclear weapons but the rise of isis and radicalism. you have made reference to looking at that whole region and saying that we may be looking at a generation of conflict. the question i would have is how do you keep it there? retired lieutenant general michael flynn: i mean, it will come here and it is here. again, just pay attention to what our fbi director says fairly routinely. so, that is really important. pay very close attention to that. the middle east, the way i describe it, is there is a new middle east struggling to being born. and we have to understand how it will grow, how it will take
shape. and we to do -- need to be part of this rebirth of the middle east. iraq syria kurdistan lebanon all the different pieces, yemen parts of east africa, certainly parts of north africa are all changing. these are borderless societies in many cases now. and this goes back over 100 years ago when we -- really the british sort of do some lines on a map. so all of this is going to change. it is changing as we speak here. it will not go back. it will not go back to the way it was. it will take shape. iraq itself could end up in four different things. so we have to decide how to contain it. one of the things i have been a very big proponent of is to create what i describe as an arab-nato like structure. other arab leaders have said we
essentially agreed. i will cc out of egypt, the king of jordan, others and the folks in saudi. but they are not going to be able to do it unless the united states gets involved. it doesn't mean we have to go on there, boots on the ground, and fight with them, but they cannot organize themselves the way we can help them organize. that is step one, to even recognize that we have to do that, do it, and then move in a further direction. they have the money to do it. they just have to be -- they have to know that the united states is there. we provide an enormous security and bella for the middle east to protect everybody for the last 35 years from iran. so, it is like we have given up that? i don't know. that is what this leaderless gcc summit -- that is what they
should have talked about. that is what they should have agreed to. kathleen troia mcfarland: ok. i think we just added scratching the surface, but at this point i would like to throw it out to the audience. we do have the guest out of here in 20 minutes, so would you call on people? retired lieutenant general michael flynn: i sure will. right in the plaid shirt. yep. kathleen troia mcfarland: oh, yeah. wait until a microphone gets to you. could you also say who you are? you know who he is. retired lieutenant general michael flynn: name, rank, and serial number. no. >> i am from puerto rico. over history -- throughout history, we have seen that israel when it sees a threat to its security, it tends to take matters into its own hands. we sought with the raid on the reactor in iraq in 1981, on the rate in syria in 2007. you know, at what point do we --
do you think that israel, you know will -- will feel that it has to take matters into its own hands with the nuclear development program in iran? and in the case that they do or if they do, what do you see as the outcome? retired lieutenant general michael flynn: good question. where are you from? >what do you do? >> i study international affairs here at george washington university. retired lieutenant general michael flynn: good for you. really important. i want to pick on you because you are young kid. israel -- israel loses the confidence that they always had in the united states -- you know -- to take care of the issue that you just described. that is when they might act in what some would take is in a rational way. i use that word earlier. because it could lead to second and third and fifth order
affects in the region. so, i would like to think that -- and i know that -- they are very thoughtful. the leadership of israel is very thoughtful, very methodical, very precise. so we have to constantly have a conversation with them at multiple levels. not just government to government, but across the human spectrum. i think that sort of the second part is, you know, it will only lead to escalation, but escalation is going to happen. we are going to see escalation in the conflict in the middle east anyway. this is not about to and anytime soon. we are not going to wake up in the summer of 2016 or after another election and go oh, we are back to normal. this is going to escalate. ok? so i am guessing you are a young 20-year-old kid. i mean, you know, this is partly your problem. we are going -- or going to be
your problem. i have been dealing with this pretty much my whole life. there has been periods where it has been relatively stable, and we have made the norm is strategic mistakes over the last couple of decades, certainly over the last decade and a half. and norm is. but we can use that to beat each other over the head with that stick. we have to look at your future. what do we do about it? and that is where -- and out recommend everybody, if you haven't read my testimony that a gave to the armed services committee, please read it. because i offer a whole range of solutions in there. it is not just about bad, bad, bad, but what do we do about it? yes, sir, over here. >> -- my question is, do you believe that iran would use a nuclear weapon? thank you. retired lieutenant general michael flynn: yeah, i -- actually, i do. i do.
their behavior is so erratic and has been and they are demonstrated -- have demonstrated both verbal and actual behavior is so out of the norm -- and their beliefs system is something that very, very few people can truly understand. i have been studying it, dealing with it, i have sat down and talked with them. and this is both in the -- you know -- talking about the religious and cultural belief system. so actually, i do. i do. i can see that. and, you know, i mean, when a country is cornered sometimes they do -- they do erratic things. that is why we have to be very careful about, you know, kt mentioned regime change.
a couple of countries in the region right now have changed three times since 2011. so we have to be very -- we have to pay very close attention to some of the stuff. i know that we have to be very conscious about who it is we are dealing with and actions matter. you know? actions matter. do as i do kind of deal. yes, ma'am, right here. yes, ma'am. that beautiful flower shirt there. >> [indiscernible] -- last week and i want to thank you for it. you used the word clarity. and the thing i am asking -- you have been very clear, but i'm asking the panel. we all here in america are clear, we know the clarity in that there is a strategy in this administration. and that s -- strategy leads to tremendous destruction.
why isn't it that more people like you are dwelling -- our administration is not willing to call it islamic terrorism islamic terrorism. if we don't name it, why isn't that more people like you are talking out and saying exactly what the strategy is? it is clear. retired lieutenant general michael flynn: you know, i don't know. i would be guessing why. i just know what i have dealt with. and -- and i go back to what i started, you know, my story about my grandchildren. i mean, i believe that. i grew up in a family and i grew up in a country and i joined the army. and i did ok. i have spent my entire life doing this. so when i look forward and i -- and i see things, to me, we have to be really clear. and i don't think we had been to
the american public because i think some of it is just, don't worry about it, they will vote for you anyways. that is why voting matters. so i don't know. what i do know -- you said dorothy? what i do know is that a lot of -- there is a lot of people like me that don't say it, but they believe it. and, i don't know, i don't know why. for whatever reason, you know? i don't question their reasons. but i just know that there is a lot that you feel this way. so i do wish that more people would be -- because i am not like, one side or the other. honestly, i go for leadership. i want the best leaders leading this country period. i don't care about issues to a degree. >> [applause] retired lieutenant general michael flynn: ok. let me get this gentleman and
then outright to do really quick answers here. yeah. >> carl, a retired u.s. customs agent. ask a health secure trading with iran back in 1994. i was puzzled in 2010 that we have done $100 million of trade with iran. a couple of timeline points. 1953, the u.s. destabilized the democratically elected leadership of iran. was that a mistake? and under reagan, we traded missiles with iran. i am puzzled by that in retrospect. the issue of oil -- since we have ended our obligations under the agreement, we have kind of backed our dollar with opec oil. is the real issue that for iran to be selling oil for something other than u.s. dollars undermines the dollar? for example, iraq has begun
selling its oil before we invaded iraq. and wanted to sell his oil -- and oil isn't really inherently scarce. retired lieutenant general michael flynn: i am going to probably not answer all of that because of time. very thoughtful, each one. the very first thing he talked about was the incident where we the united states, basically staged a coup in support of overthrowing the iranian government in the early 1950's. the gentleman by the name of -- was the leader at that time and we basically put the other guy into power. a really great book, you ought to read it. they do still hold a grudge and they will always hold a grudge because of that. and for whatever reasons, that is what we were doing. but many people, they forget that bad at -- that at that
exact same time, we were involved in the korean war. a lot of things are going on. the price of a barrel of oil -- and what i will talk about is kind of taking it up a notch to the dollar. the u.s. dollar is still the currency of choice on the planet ok? the global -- for the historic timeline for currency to actually stay as the currency of choice is about roughly 25 to 30 years. prior to world war ii, the british sterling was sort of the currency of choice around the world. after world war ii, it was the u.s. dollar. it is strong, still strong. that is a good thing. the undercutting by using other currency, you know, i could go rhyme and verse today just to talk about the economic trends of buying and selling money at central banks around the world which happens all the time in what is called the gray and the black market. moving currency.
we do have to make sure that everybody needs to understand that we want the united states dollar to be the currency of choice forever. we want the english language to be the language of choice for ever. now, forever is a long time. those two things are challenged all the time. they are challenged all the time, particularly the dollar. let me stop there because i just want have time to get into some of the others. yes, ma'am? right here, please. >> high, penny -- hi, penny. what is the role of the u.s. military with what is happening in the middle east? you say we need to take part in it. and there seems to be very ambivalent feelings about the military of this administration, so what is the role of the military and the conflict in the middle east, if there is one? retired lieutenant general michael flynn: it is interesting. the military has probably become -- we are always sort of very well organized bureaucracy. we can organize ourselves, we
plan very well, we do different things. and i would just tell you that -- personally, the roles should be sort of a lowercase m. it is not decisive. it should not be a decisive element. we absolutely have to go and support, you know, our friends. and, i mean, there is a lot of killing and capturing that will happen, that still needs to happen, and i would just say that i think our military is doing what they are being asked to do. i know they are very much constrained. they are not capable, they are not allowed to use the tools that they have as effective as those tools were designed to be used for. if that makes sense. that is a fact. just a fact. so, i do think that we do have able. we are sort of late to the party because this has bring ongoing for many years now. -- this has been ongoing for
many years now. maybe something will change. maybe we will kill another member of an al qaeda leader or the head of isis and they will go away. they are not. god, i don't know how many liters of this radical islam is move is -- islamist movement we have killed or captured. it is crazy. there has to be a religious transformation, reformation, in the islamic world. there must be a religious reformation in the islamic world. kathleen troia mcfarland: i think we have time for one more question. retired lieutenant general michael flynn: let me go back to this young lady back here. i'm sorry. just because of time. >> hi, my name is erin. i'm a student of politics. he said that iran doesn't contribute to the good of humanity and does nothing to sit at the table. so what do you say to the fact
that a iran is openly siding isis and even though the iraqi government allowed the u.s. to allow iran to said, the anti-isis coalition discussions and ices is primarily in iraq and syria, what do you say to the fact that we refuse them to do so? retired lieutenant general michael flynn: ok, yesterday there were fbi agents up in long island. they went in to do a search of an individual household. the individual was there. after the fbi agents -- yesterday, in this country, just another incident -- after the guy tried to multiply staff the fbi agents, they found out that he and an associate in new york at plastic do some further damage in this country. -- had plans to do some further damage in this country. don't just think this is an iraq and syria problem. it is not. huh?
what you are talking about with iran, now, again, be very careful about -- about, you know, when you hear or see a headline in a major media outlet. go dig in and find out what they are doing. go find out if the -- if the iranian backed shia core led by a guy who is also an administer in the iraqi government, go see what their behavior is on the battlefield. go see if it is in internationally -- an internationally accepted norm. if it is in the rule of law or the rule of warfare. it is unbelievable, their actions. this is a tit-for-tat over there they are involved in. don't think because they are fighting isis -- i mean, what is happening is there is a civil war between shia and sunnis right now. and to a degree, we have to
decide how we are going to participate in this thing. i mean, i think over a year ago i said let's take a step back. let's take a step back and try to resolve this. why should we -- iran the involved in the iraq -- iranian backed government of iraq? why should i ran be so deeply involved in this -- iran be so deeply involved in this? if we want iraq to deal with it, let iraq deal with it. let -- get all the players to back out, including the united states. let them try to bring the fire out themselves. it will be really, really ugly. when you see truckloads of women and children being dumped into the euphrates river, both sides that will change her mind. that will tell you what we are dealing with. dead. so, i mean, and this is not like
2006. this is, like, the past couple of months. so this is -- this is what it is about. the war side of this is really, really ugly. i mean, it is not -- it is not a pretty thing, but it has to be dealt with. and you have to be really, really -- and you have to pay really close attention to the details in some of the stuff that is going on so you can make a good decision and a good judgment about what it is that we are facing. thanks very much to everybody, i really appreciate your time. >> [applause] kathleen troia mcfarland: general flynn, before we let you go, i want to ask you and bring it back to the topic. if the president or whoever turns to you and says, general flynn, are you in favor or are you in favor of not having the deal? is at this deal or no deal, how would you vote? retired lieutenant general michael flynn: yeah, i am not in
favor of it. i have given my two cents on it. i have offered solutions. i think that we are going to see the deal. i think we are going to have one. and so now, we have to really be thinking about the implications of it and what will he do with this deal in the future. -- what we will do with this deal in the future. there are solutions. they are not something that is going to be solved in this administration. they are going to be solved over probably a portion of some of the young people's generation and here. and we will be dealing with this situation for a generation more. but that is what the president has to say. the president has to get out there and say, here is the issue. in a very clear way, tell the american public. i mean, just tell us. look at this conversation. you are going to see this play out in the primaries.
they will talk about immigration, economic, education, but it will be this. and when you get into the national debate timely when the two parties choose, essentially you are going to have a lot more of this. will not go away because the republican primary says it. thank you. mcfarland: thank you very much. [applause] mcfarland: thank you very much general flynn. may you have no traffic on your way to baltimore. good luck. i will reintroduce michael rubin from the american enterprise institute. and iran expert, lived in iran and knows a lot about nuclear weapons. then we'll ask clear to give opening remarks, then we will interview both. then it is your turn. michael?
rubin: thank you very much. it is an honor to be here. i want to address some of the problems that are in the field as it draws to a conclusion. there has been no by hans from the islamic revolutionary guard corps. this is problematic because when it comes to issues from command control and custody of any military nuclear program it would be the islamic guard corps that would have that in custody. we are dealing with the foreign ministry. the foreign ministry has been unable in iran to show that they can bring the islamic revolutionary guard corps into compliance. number two, in the iranian system the president is about
style, the supreme leader is about substance. the supreme leader has not firmly committed to the nuclear program. when he has talked about heroic flexibility, that suggests a change in tact take, not a change in policy. -- in tactic, not a change in policy. he is happy to get $100 billion in sanctions relief and unfrozen assets. that doesn't mean when it comes to nuclear weaponry that he has come alongside. really look at heroic personnel it -- heroic flexibility, it does not recognize the religious connotations of this term. we are projecting our own good will on to the iranian side. when it comes to president rouhani he has been known in the iranian system as they are fix it -- as mr. fix-it.
he is a loyalist. his campaign commercials put forth his legitimacy that he was the first to bestow the honorific iman with a reference to the religious figure to him only. in the years before, we began negotiations with a joint plan of action. the iran economy has shrunk 5.4% . it is now in the black. arguably, the coal has been from iran to come to the table to engage in the process but not to come for the same motivation that we do. an analogy is like giving a toddler desert first and asking him, please eat your spinach. it doesn't work. what about the idea that rule
money we can moderate? history repeats. between 2000 and 2005 iran got a hard currency windfall as the price of oil increased and the european union embraced the philosophy that through trade we could moderate. according to estimates, 70% of the hard currency windfall went to the ballistic and nuclear missile program -- ballistic and covert nuclear program. this is during the time when iran was engaged in dialogue with civilization. some of the negotiators said this was the strategy. low women to complacency -- lull them into complacency. if the goal is to give iran $100 billion in sanctions relief and new investments, and to assume that that money will trickle drown, it misunderstands the
role of the islamic revolutionary guard corps in the iranian economy. it underestimates 40% of the iranian gdp. they would control import, export, and oil. we are pumping money into the wallet of the unit that most wants to kill us. when it comes to voluntary compliance, this is a phrase that president rouhani and others have put forward in regards to additional protocol. in 2005 when president was a nuclear negotiator he said we suspended enrichment voluntarily , and says to the hardliners, we did it so we could remove the suspension anytime we wanted, as long as we voluntarily do it.
that always raises red flax. in 2005, president rouhani was stepping down as the supreme national security council chief in iran. he gave a speech at a university to an assembled elite of iranian officials defending his negotiations. he outlined that this was a doctrine of surprise. he gave an overview of u.s.-iranian history since 1979, and said that it every critical point in time we have triumphed by lulling our adversaries into complacency and delivering a knockout blow. this is the same man 10 years later. has he changed, and what evidence do we have to support that? another nuclear negotiator has been praising the negotiations
and saying that it is a model to emulate rather than an example to condemn. that also raises red flags. a few final points before turning the floor back over to talk about the military dimensions and the character of the regime. we have gone through this before. i'm historian by training. i get paid to predict the past. i only get it right half the time but we have a situation where a country came in when he came to a military nuclear program. south africa in 1991. the certify it was cleaned the international atomic energy agency mandated, and south africa complied, that it had nothing to hide. they come clean on 20 years of previous nuclear work so that
everything could be accounted for. at present, we are letting iran off the hook on that same thing that the nuclear energy agency said, no go. the iranian embassy may place chess while americans play checkers. i never thought they would play three-dimensional chess while we play solitaire, but that is the comparison. would it ever use nuclear weapons? i do not believe that iran is suicidal. this is my concern. what if they are terminally ill? what if you have a situation like romania in 1989 or you have an uprising? in this case the security unit, instead of putting it down, some of them join in. when we talk about reformers in the iranian political context we don't have insight in the
national guard. what happens when some of the units join in when the regime is collapsing? under that stage what stops the most ideologically pure units from having custody over attentional bombs from using it? would anyone retaliate against a country that already had regime change? we know we got lucky. you cannot assume that will buy stability within ideological regime. last when it comes to the 1953 coup, there is conventional wisdom and reality. the shot was the head of iran. -- the shaw was the head of iran. he was democratic if you agreed with him. if you did not, you are likely
to get lynched. at the same time, who were the co-conspirators? we can litigate from other points in time, but if you look at the literature, our allies were the conservative energy to make up the leadership of the islamic republic. while americans like to sell flagellate, if you want to be accurate, we are apologizing to co-conspirators. we have done it again and again. regardless, when it comes to the iranian government and the united states, and i do not include the iranian people but the guys with the guns control things when it comes to that we had good relations after the coup until the revolution. 1953 is not the breaking point.
with that, let me turn over to claire. [applause] mcfarland: clare lopez on the center for security policy. lopez: thank you very much. and thanks to the acu for sponsoring this event. the chance to talk about such an important topic. i want to talk about a couple of things. michael laid such a great foundation about what this regime is about. the nature of the regime is where i want to start. then, i will talk about the components of a nuclear program, specifically iran's nuclear program, and where we are with the negotiations. i would like to start with the iranian constitution.
this is one of the versions that is available online on amazon. this is an english-language version of the iranian constitution. it says that the iranian regime is a jihadist regime dedicated to revolution to spread sharia across the world, unified under islamic governance. that is their constitution. it also says the irgc, the islamic revolutionary guard corps that michael talk about that has control of the wmd programs, that is plural, as well as a great deal of the iranian economy there's constitution says that the irgc is an ideological army "whose job is to not only defend iran's
borders, but to fight jihad until they can install and instill terror into the hearts of the enemy." a quote from the koran in the constitution, that first is -- that verse is to gather your power to instill terror into the hearts of the enemy. that is in the iranian constitution. when we wonder about the intent of this regime, we have to look no further. let's look at some of their behavior. that is what it is based on. let's look at the behavior. so the place i would like to start is that in iran, like every other muslim country, is a member of the oic, organization
of islamic corporation. this is the largest international organization in the world after the united nations itself. the oic members in 1990 signed the cairo declaration. the cairo declaration was an abrogation, or withdrawal, from the united nations declaration on human rights. they withdrew. all the muslim countries withdrew from the universal declaration on human rights. instead, they said the only human rights that muslim countries would observe me be those granted under sharia. what does sharia called human rights? amputation beheading crucifixion, execution flogging, stoning to death --
those are all parts of islamic law. that is what countries have subscribed to. getting to that nature of the regime. what is the regime about ideologically? the first victims of the horrific ideology and legal system that is sharia, and imposed inside of iran i the iranian people for 36 years. for 36 years they have suffered under this regime and its strict application of islamic law. the execution level in iran is horrific. at this point in time at 2015 we have reported that they are executing another iranian every two hours. what iranian is executed inside
the country every two hours. they have executed over 500 people since january at the beginning of this year. women are second-class citizens. legally on equal to men. the morality police roam the streets looking for people who are not wearing the right apparel or clothing. that is inside the country. for 36 years the regime has been at war with the united states. 6 american presidents have not confronted iran. from jimmy carter to the current occupant. the death to america chant that they chat after every friday prayer is a staple of the regime. it is also death to israel, by
the way. the former president used to say that a world without america was not only desirable, and he held a conference on this, a world without america is not only desirable, but achievable. what does that mean in the context of a regime driving for a nuclear context? the iranians and their proxies have kidnapped, held hostage tortured americans. they are currently holding 4 american citizens hostage. i want to say their names. a pastor arrested in 2012 because he is christian. a former fbi agent taken in 2007. a former u.s. marine arrested in 2011.
jason, the white house tehron bureau chief arrested a year ago. another part of the ideology of the regime is jew hatred. it is throughout the koran in many verses. the genocidal threats of this regime against israel have been nonstop. there is no way that israel can look at this regime and listen to its daily threats of genocide. it's dehumanization of jewish people, calling them that thierry a cockroaches, and insects -- that is how they talk about them. the cartoons that appear on a daily basis in arabic newspapers -- jew hatred.
three months ago the commander of the besieged forces said, and this is while in negotiations are going on, the annihilation of israel is nonnegotiable. that is our number one ally and partner in the middle east standing between the barbarism of regimes like iran and the rest of western civilization. why are we talking to these people? state sponsorship of terror. since the beginning of the regime am heard michael talk about this, the regime in tehro n, and i want to make this this ancient between the people of iran and the regime, they have hosted terrorist organizations.
at latest count, well over 100 iraqi shiite terror malicious the one mentor our troops apart in 2000, they are now sort of our allies in iraq, sponsored by iran. the regime in tehran is running guns for the taliban. the rebels in yemen are also their allies. the a alliance between this regime and al qaeda has gone on since the beginning of the 1990's when they formed an alliance. the attacks have been a result -- the attacks against americans since that point in time have been unceasing.
beginning with the marine corps bombings in beirut. and also the u.s. embassy bombing of the same year. the kidnapping of our chief of station. in 1992, the israeli embassy wanting and buenos aires argentina. the bombing in 1994 he carried out by hezbollah ordered by the iranian regime, including some of the same figures currently holding senior regime administrative positions. 1994, the attack on the jewish cultural center in lena's aries. 1996 1998 the embassy bombings carried out by those trained by iran, by hezbollah. al qaeda learned how to do big building suicide truck bombings from hezbollah. the u.s. in 2000 and the 9/11
attacks. judge george daniels in 2011 ruled from the bench in new york that iran is co-responsible with legal a natural responsibility co-responsible with al qaeda and hezbollah for the attacks on 9/11. it did not get much publicity. let's talk about the nuclear weapons program. that was prelude as to what we are -- as to what we are dealing with. if it were sweden that was somehow breaking out of the nonproliferation treaty we would say, oh no, another failure of the npt, but it is sweden. i don't lose sleep because britain has nukes or france has nukes.
a regime like i just described if they have deliverable nuclear weapons, that is worrisome. what do you need to get a nuclear weapon? three components. enriched uranium. you need to know how to make a warhead at of the enriched uranium. you need a delivery system to send it to your target. as we know from reporting, the international science and, and i always get this wrong because unfortunately the acronym is isis, the international science -- they do fantastic reporting. as long ago as eight years iran had blueprints for a were head and is working on testing to set off an implosion sequence to detonate a bomb. missile delivery systems, you
heard general flinn mentioned the pentagon had estimated that the iranian's icbms could reach continental america this year. the missiles are not even on the table for discussion in the current negotiations. those are the things that you need to make a deliverable nuclear weapon capability. what are we doing? the p5 plus one, the five permanent members, britain, france, russia china us, and plus one, that is germany, these talks begin in secret in 2013. the israelis found out about them from the saudi's. the saudia let israel know that america was talking to iran
about their nuclear enrichment program. six resolutions have been passed demanding that iran hauled nuclear enrichment. it was a redline until the negotiations. they can keep enriching just not so much, at such a high percentage, or whatever. they can keep stockpiles of low enriched uranium. they used to have to give that up. now they don't have to. the low enriched uranium dilution process which was going to turn what they had in stockpiles piles into forms readily made in 20 nuclear bomb, that dilution process has been completely stalled, and no one says anything about it. it is still in the form that is more quickly turned into a bomb. the low enriched uranium stock piles that go up to 20%, 20% is
the cut off for when you talk about high enriched uranium they have 220 something kilos of near 20% in -- 20% enriched uranium that is not up or discussion. they get to keep the centrifuges. they are supposed to unplug some or put some into storage, but we are not sure about that. advanced centrifuge imd work. we can talk about what the outcome could be from the 1900 centrifuges, but that assumes you are talking about the first generation remedy centrifuges they developed. they have developed centrifuges up to the eighth generation and beyond the first generation that are very fast by comparison. 20 times as fast in your reaching -- in enriching uranium
. they can to keep doing that in those centrifuges. they're not going to be stopped from doing the r&d. the investigation of military facilities. the iranians say that is off the table. where would you hide your military nuclear program? where did the soviets hide theirs? who taught the iranians how to do wmd programs and hide them? even some of the facilities that we know about are off-limits. past bomb work, the possible military dimensions of the iranian's nuclear program, we thought that was also a redline that the iranians would have to come clean about their past work
, as michael said the south africans willingly did and were certified to have given up their program. secretary kerry says that we do not have to have them explain all of that because we have absolute knowledge of everything they ever did. absolute knowledge is his words his quote. we know that cents b nuclear program began in the mid to late 1980's there has been a clandestine program. there has not been a year since 1988 that the iranians did not have a clandestine nuclear program. the one they are negotiating that is the overt side of the program. the overt part. we don't know what we don't know about the covert part, but we're pretty confident there is one. i will wrap up quickly to get to questions. i don't want to take up the rest of the time.
to quote a couple of people, the former director of the cia michael hayden, said that perfect knowledge about the past program does not exist. director general yuki amano says we don't know what they did in the past. the only reason we know anything about iran plus nuclear program and i will conclude here, is because the national council resistance of iran intelligence work founded out. they never volunteered. we didn't know they had a program until 2002 when press conferences blew the lid off of it and showed satellite imagery of places that we know about. the iranians have never volunteered anything. the only reason we know about the program is from sources that are not iranian. all right finally, and i will
conclude with this, the longtime joint venture agreement with north korea wrong tactically the beginning of their program with nuclear specifications, ballistic assistance. north korean scientists are in iran all the time. they are attending their launchpad with the north koreans are 10 other nuclear weapons and missiles. that is what i call a joint venture. but that is not up for discussion. the north koreans -- the commander of norad said the north koreans have the
ability to miniaturize or heads and give them onto the nose cones of missiles. the north koreans can do this and the iranians can't? not even up for discussion. emp capability, maybe we can get into that in the q&a electromagnetic pulse weapons capability, north korea has it. let me stop there and welcome your questions. thank you [applause] . [applause] >> why don't we just throw this open to questions from the audience? the gentleman here? wait for the like. tell us who you are. >> independent consultant. i want an area cannot discuss yet and asked to two specific
questions. assuming that they do not make a deal with iran what role should congress play? clare lopez: congress has the responsibility and it took upon itself the responsibility when it passed the pardon bill to take a vote on any ultimate agreement between us and the iranians. i am not 100% confident we will get to that point. i do think there are tremendous benefits to the regime to spreading things up. they get the sanctions relief they get all the desert of fronts and they do not have to eat the spinach, as michael said. but congress has taken a responsibility to vote. but unfortunately the way the past the law is that the bill
goes before the president, and if the congress turns down the agreement and the president vetoes it, the congress will then have to lester a supermajority two thirds vote to overturn the veto. it is a very high hurdle they have set for themselves. they have the rest of civility. that responsibility. this is a bad deal, no matter how you look at it. a bad deal is much worse than no deal. we need to let our congressional representatives know to vote down the steel. [applause] kathleen mcfarland: right over here? >> i'm from the institute of world politics. i was wondering how these sort of concessions will affect saudi arabia's potential acquisition of nuclear weapons. >> basically we have a bad habit of being my outbreak and
assuming it is a just us or a specific adversary at any particular time in the sandbox. the second order of effects on this is incredible. it is not the issue of concessions on clear negotiation, this is an incredibly bad deal in we would listen to our allies in the region israel or any of the arab countries for whom this has brought up a great deal of unanimity, when i go to the united arab emirates, kuwait, or the united version, they say we do not oppose the idea of diplomacy, but share with us the draft. we did point out loopholes. they do not need to cheat because they can drive a tank through these loopholes. in 1990 four, as the agreed framework negotiations were concluding, the south korean president at that time gave it
in your view to the new york times -- gave an interview to the new york times when he said this is an incredibly bad deal we have plenty of decades of experience with the north koreans. he got the benjamin netanyahu treatment before benjamin netanyahu got the benjamin netanyahu treatment. it only convinces everyone in the region that we need -- that they need to go with alone. i am not one to defend saudi arabia. not at all. but when we have given them the 3:00 a.m. phone call, they have answered the call. i would expect to be in put on permanent call waiting from here on in.
it is automatically restored to the oval office every four or eight years when a new president comes in. but on the world date there is no magic one to restore the credibility of the united states. that is infecting saudi arabia, iran, north korea, we are hemorrhaging our credibility and that is only going to the two bloodshed. kathleen mcfarland: right over here. serve? -- sir? >> i am a member of the acu board and a former member of congress. we have an hearing for forever that iran is three months, a year away from having a nuclear weapon. please have fiddled around, whether we get a deal, or don't get a deal, i'm wondering if it matters. if we find out enron does have a
nuclear weapon. when we did to that morning went and ran has nuclear weapons it feels like the obama administration, has some time left, is made the decision that we will deal with it after they have one. what do we do then? what does the balance of power look like not only in the middle east but in the world? what are america's options to defend our allies and our shores? >>michael rubin: thank you for the question. if i could rephrase a bit. too often we focus on what would we do when they get a nuclear weapon. we have to wake up to the reality that five years after the good nuclear weapons, what are we going to do when they have 100 of them. that is ultimately the problem. we treat containment and deterrence as rhetorical strategies rather than military
strategies. loosely defined, containment is the ability of all the students in the region to wage war independently until the calvary can come in. it is a multibillion-dollar strategy and we are trying to do it on the cheap. deterrence, loosely put, is the willingness to kill millions of people, and that is not a road i want to go down if there are policies which we can apply now to never have to get to that point. clare lopez: agreed. i would just add that the intelligence community does not have a great record on predict the or knowing ahead of time when a country is going nuclear. i can mention the soviet union and its time china pakistan, etc.. given all of the input that iran has had, the regime has had had from all of these years from these areas in the technical
assistance, in all kinds of expert systems and so forth, it is in t-mobile to me that they do not already have warheads rate i will go back to the joint venture with north korea. the exchange in the presence of their officials, and each other's countries and test sites and so forth. north korea has far advanced as we do know that it is, another failure of deterrence or containment of any kind. iran does not at least half, or perhaps is using north korea to test nuclear components or warheads for it. when you ran finally decides to demonstrate its nuclear weapons capability weathered is out in the desert like the pakistanis and the indians did underground
, just a demonstration of we have this, or a mushroom cloud over tel aviv or an emp over kansas, it is a game changer. it is too late by that point. we have to be ready now, right now, to take steps that ensure that this regime in iran never has the most dangerous weapons. the only way to do that is to change the regime. currently we do not at the national security leadership. kathleen mcfarland: if you come to the conclusion that we are where we are, you're not going to stop this deal, and you have to start thinking about it in a very different way. reagan defeated the soviet union without firing a shot, that was economic warfare. we are not doing it, but we of the ability to do economic warfare with energy
independence. throughout the middle east, all of those countries have populations, under the age of 30 and they do not have jobs. that is a revolution 33. get those countries to the point where their economies are so stretched that they have to worry more about their own people, keeping their own necks i think they are less worried about their nukes. if we look at adversaries in the region, if it is going to get sentimental -- intercontinental ballistic missiles, we need to have an adequate and robust defense system. if this is a world where there are going to be nuclear weapons in the middle east we need to have a robust intelligent system. we need to know who is doing what, and who is coming here. we have been so hamstrung by a political correct this, -- correctness we have been unable
to do that. regime change, not knletik e the obama administration says war, but when you maneuver people enough around that they take it out and change the regime. there are options we have, but we would have to summon the national leadership to do it. hopefully it happens before they said something off. >> just to play things in a broader historical context, the joint chiefs of staff recommended preemptive nuclear attack the soviet union and john kennedy walked out of the room. is this not a teachable moment where we can work toward mutual global nuclear disarmament of everybody.
clare lopez: i thought that around goes first. -- vote that iran goes first. kathleen mcfarland: we are going to completely the opposite direction. since the kennedy administration, that is over. sir, in the back? >> i would like to strongly commend them for a good description of what this world is facing, and how little the american public understands the nature of the threat. the islamic ideology that is motivating what iran is doing. not only the history of iran as a persian nation and some
concepts that reestablishes it. the battle with isis. to expand this ideology, as the general said regarding a return of the 12 inbounds. we make a huge mistake if we thingsnk once they get one they will not use it. they have said, and i think they sent a number of years ago, but they have said that they would welcome death and destruction, and yet we do not pay enough attention. the motivating hierarchal factor of islamic ideology, about all of this, we are a tremendous danger because of this. would you like to comment on that? [applause] clare lopez: we all agree.
kathleen mcfarland: you said it best. sir, in the back? >> retired air force. why do we keep hiding behind the nuclear delivery system as being one of the components of our ability to protect ourselves right now given the fact that if you have tons of illegal drugs coming across the border every day, and i can drive them all the way to des moines no trouble or inspection, why would i put it in a container. tom clancy did it. gis were driving around west germany when they missile called davy crockett and they treated it like a hand grenade. michael rubin: asked and
answered. i agree with you. one of the problems we have encountered is that we are always trying to defend against the last attack, rather than recognizing that new attacks come in new ways that explain move vulnerabilities. -- exploit new vulnerabilities. >> i wanted to ask you about cyber warfare. i think that is a primary element of the future. both defensively and offensive laid. but it seems disparately distributed throughout our national defense establishment at this point in time. there are pieces all over. what strategies would you recommend with regard to outlining and organizing ourselves more effectively in that regard? clare lopez: you are absolutely right that the cyber threats and cyber warfare is one of the most
serious threats facing this country. as you may know, just last year, in november of 2014 an american company published a report that was called operation cleaver. they had been investigating the rating capability through cyber warfare to access and to manipulate and to attack critical infrastructure in 16 countries including our own canada, australia, western european countries, israel etc.. there prematurely published the report in november because they were so alarmed by what they found that they thought they cannot rescind on the results any longer. they went out -- most of the report is donated to -- devoted to the code to show people so
that they can take defensive measures. but the iranians already have the ability to be inside our infrastructure and to regulate and attack that i talked about the emp threat wellbore that could take down our electric grid. but lack of cyber security is another big part of that. that could also take down our electric grid and send us back overnight too little house on a prayer days minus the farm, cal chickens or any idea what to do with it. kathleen mcfarland: men think of cyber anything but the arabians are there. michael rubin: with regard to what the iranians are planning, with how they are exercising capability, the unit of the guard corps which is in charge of this capability is called the passive defense organization.
if you google cyber wherefore unit committee you will not get it. the important thing is, to note the obvious. there is already a unit with this in the revolutionary guard corps which is dedicated to this. kathleen mcfarland: the gentleman's hand is up? >> when i came back to you said something i think was -- i agree with most everything said here. we need to get our relationship with israel back but are think -- or i think our country is in for a fall. clare lopez: did everybody here is e-mail address?
clare lopez: the question was about israel. are we abandoning israel, and what should we do? michael rubin: i agree with you. when we go back to the korean war one of the reasons why north korea decided and believed they could get away with invading south korea is within the truman administration there was an outline of what our defense perimeter would be. we excluded south korea from that is that only emboldened to aggression. i worry about israel, but i also worry around the globe with regard to this. one of the other issues i'm going to throw out very briefly because i have the floor, when it comes to this no deal versus bad deal that comity -- that comity that we hear the news, it seems increasingly that the obama administration is really
playing russian roulette with congress. dr. acceptance, or it is going to be worse in. the key is leverage. hillary clinton, said we did -- if you do not talk to your enemies, then who are you going to talk to? ronald reagan sat down with mikael gorbachev and that came after five years of building up tremendous leverage seem could get a victory at the diplomatic table. we have taken our eyes off the prize with regard to that. we have taken our eyes off the price with moral clarity. kathleen mcfarland: i think we have two more questions after that, and i would like to sum up. >> and internet theaters foundation.
-- an intern at the heritage foundation. what new threats are we looking at, should these nuclear capabilities belong to these types of organizations, and how is the u.s. foreign-policy going to have to adapt to those challenges? clare lopez: what aroundiran pass along if it got these nuclear organizations from terrorist organizations? as the law has an extensive network of operational cells all over the americas, north, central, and south. in terms of a nuclear capability, i do not think that the iranians with passed that capability to has a law. they passed a lot of everything
else other chemical, biological capabilities, but i think that this is a nationstate capability and that rather iran would use it, if they did not launch upon acquisition essentially. if they did not do that, they would use their nuclear capability blackmail and insurance purposes. in order words, to blackmail the raging around the two kowtowing to their agenda and insurance in that they could more aggressively deploy their proxies or their partners like al qaeda into activities around the world with the umbrella of insurance policy of nuclear capability. i see that they would be more
aggressive feeling free to deploy and send out their terror proxies as they would feel protected by this nuclear umbrella. kathleen mcfarland: we have time for two more questions. the gentleman in the blue shirt? >> robert whelen. is there anything congress can do to either stay or contain the lifting of sanctions? michael rubin: congress ultimately, if they are willing to put their neck out on the line control the purse springs and give them a great deal of leverage. when it comes to the existing sanctions there are two problems. i am saying this as an analyst not as an advocate. number one, some of the most frightening sanctions -- fighting, unilateral sanctions going back to the clinton administration in 1995 and 1996 were executive orders.
executive orders can be waived. it has been traditional in congress to provide waivers to the white house. so that the president would be able to waive certain elements of sanctions. i'm not sure that they would ever expect a commander-in-chief who would become so disassociated from the national security protection of the united states that he would waive those willy-nilly. but ultimately, that is what we are seeing. the question is, what lessons learned will congress have so that when new sanctions are put in place, that such waivers are not there. the last point i would make would be the irony that the sanctions with president obama and the state department they now praise and want to take
credit for. kathleen mcfarland: time for one more question. the gentleman in the back? >> i go to denison university. one of the key questions, one of the things i'm interested in is the question of what is the iranian state right now? i thought they were in a crossroad of a hard-line islamic theocracy. are they trying to get on the world stage? connecting to that, you both said you were open to diplomacy with a wrong in this deal. but i'm wondering what specific criteria would have to be a deal for to be a good deal. >>michael rubin: this picks up on what they said. ultimately, there is a naïve a leaf -- belief in muddling through reform of the system.
you're not going to have a regime change led by the iranian people until the islamic revolutionary guard corps fractures. one of our biggest intelligence holes is that we do not have good insight into the factual nation within the revolutionary guard corps. hopefully that becomes the key subject. 75% of iranians may not care for the concept of clerical role that was i should -- ushered in by allah took\\\ the ayatollah. any regime change is not going to be regime led. instead of spending $20 billion trying to your out ahead of time with a chinese guy was in tiananmen square standing in front of the line of things, what is much more important is to enable people to stand up and stand in front of a line of tanks.
we do teach military strategy, and this is the way it is taught in the u.s. military academies they talk about a dime. paradigm. the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. we have started sequencing our strategies, and where we tried diplomacy first, if that is not work, economic sanctions then we hear about the military strategies, which by the way, do not even\ simply mean bombing as a last resort. it is important to see what worked with regards to leverage. we can either look at 2003 with gaddafi coming from the cold or we can look back at the ronald reagan era. this is the whole history seminars he wanted to have it. it is a cheap advertisement, we talk about it in this history of
american diplomacy. clare lopez: i would like to recommend a series of nine points driving up -- drawn up by my colleague, who drafted a set of nine points that should be our redline, absolutely must he included for any deal to be considered a good deal. no enrichment. all sites open to inspection. i'm not going to remember them all, but let's see how many i can remember. the enrichment must bec halted completely. the stockpiles must we destroyed or taken out of the country. missiles have to be on the table.
american hostages have to be released. iran must give up and verify against the support of terrorism. the center for security policy nine points. kathleen mcfarland: with that, i would like to take the option to include my remarks. when these negotiations started here and a half ago, they sounded really good. as the president said, they as a result of that, iran rolling back its nuclear program, the nuclear arms race in the middle east would be averted. this deal does not do that. we have now gotten to the point where the president is saying one year ago, no deal is better than a bad deal, and he is now
to the point where any deal would be fine. this is a strong man argument. there is this deal, as bad as it may be, or war. who wants more? then, everyone is forced into the position of saying ok. what everyone seems to be saying, if i can summarize, is that there is another option. it is not this deal or war, there is a third option. all the other things that we have used previously, including in the reagan administration. another point is that what this is being perceived as is that the united states is choosing sides. thereas the general said, it will be very bloody and between.
the united states is playing sides, and the side of the are choosing is iran. iran is not asking to stop support for terrorism. it is being rewarded. the iran economy will boom. it will be like the california gold rush. we realize that iran will probably have an economic boom in the region, and as claire has pointed out, other countries arent buying this. it will be a region where money is no object. when that starts happening which we feel will be in the next several years, you will see
nuclear weapons introduced to the most dangerous and unstable part of the world, a part of the world where people should not play with matches. it will now have nuclear weapons. as we have also seen in the last 18 months, autocratic governments can seemingly fall overnight. it takes the place is jihadi chaos. we could potentially be looking at the nightmare scenario that people like me, who have studied nuclear weapons my whole career, is the nuclear weapons in the hands of crazy people who want to use them. throughout the cold war, deterrence worked. we're now up against an adversary that claire pointed out is happy and year to destroy themselves, as long as they can take others with him.
our conclusion in all of this, and i think i can speak for everyone, we find this agreement to be unverifiable, unenforceable, and probably unconstitutional. the argument that no deal is better than a bad deal -- we have now got to a point where this is a very bad deal. we would all encourage members of congress, members of the international community, and members of the united states intelligentsia to stand up and stop this. this is not just a deal where iran read gets nuclear weapons other countries in the region get nuclear weapons. once that starts happening, it is a matter of nuclear weapons falling in the hands of the people who overthrow their governments. in conclusion, i want to say that i have been impressed of the quality of this audience. we have all listen to a lot of congressional hearings.
the questions that you have asked are really profound. you have gone to all aspects of this issue. i think they speak to the great comments as an intelligence of the american people, or at least the people who come to the american conservative union conference. thank you so much for joining us. [applause]
>> if you missed any of this discussion, it is available on the c-span video library. as this comes to a close "politic closeo -- "politico" reports that iran is trying to grow its influence as far as away as latin america. the report says that the number of terrorist attacks jumps, and fatalities also increased. iran is a special concert in washington because the u.s. is engaged in talks aimed at stopping the country's
nuclear program. in other news, "national journal" says that repealing the affordable care act would raise the federal deficit and leave 19 million people uninsured according to the congressional budget office. those projections are the first official score of obamacare repeal. the supreme court continues to hear the king versus bra case. a decision to repeal the law would invalidate subsidies for 6 million people, putting their health insurance at risk. coming up later today, president obama will address the u.s. conference of mayors meeting hosted by san francisco mayor alee.
presidential candidate, says that the confederate flag is part of the heritage of his state of south carolina, rebutting a calling for it to be taking down. he said, this is part of who we are, when he was asked if that flag should stop flying. james clyburn tweeted out saying, removing the confederate flag from the dome of the state house, and placing it in front gave it the appearance of sovereignty. joining us this morning on "washington journal" was "chicago tribune" columnist, clarence page. host: clarence page "chicago times." guest: tribune. host: i have taught that. let's try again.
"chicago tribune," clarence page, your take on what happened in south carolina. guest: certainly tragic. i think president obama expressed the sense of deja vu all over again, to use yogi berra line. we have gone through this so may times and we get very wary about it. president obama was struck by a because he and his wife knew the pastor of the church. they have been there. that church is a go to place for politicians coming to town or anyone who wants to connect with the black community. there is a frustration on the part of folks in washington who want common sense gun control laws that nothing is going to happen, even after sandy hook and having 20 children and half a dozen adults killed by some loony kid with a gun.
if that did not move legislation, what will? there is a sense of gloom and despair. i look at obama and wonder what happened to hope and change eight years ago. it was excitement about the possibility of progressive change and it seems that hope has evaporated. guest:host: in his speech he seems to give ground on gun control. there was no call for voters to mobilize and express their outrage at the ballot box as obama urged two years ago. no policy recommendation was unveiled. vice president biden had already overseen 23 executive actions aimed at curtailing the proliferation of weapons in the united states. there were no tools left at his disposal. with 18 months remaining in office, obama is still hoping to
make progress on a number of a agenda items, but is it able to pass gun-control legislation a test of america's , ability to take care of its children may rank as his most personal defeat. guest: that is strong language and true. i was struck how obama almost shrugged saying, maybe someday. he was essentially saying not in this administration. that is too bad. the only way you get things moving, especially on something as big and complex as gun safety is a cultural change. how do you have a change in the culture without people talking about it, without debating? when you have a situation where a majority of americans say they support a universal background check, this includes a lot of
gun owners, who wants guns in the hands of the wrong people? that is a fundamental. when you cannot moveegislation around that, there'methg wrg -- when you cannot move legislation around that, there is something wrong with the system. i am not going to call the public stupid. we're just not talking about these things in the right way. we do not have enough leadership. things are being steered by lobbyists and other forces, not what we like to think of as real democracy. host: in your view is this a gun , issue, mental health issue racism issue? guest: it is everything. people look for magic bullets pardon the pun, but it is true. they look for some magic bullet. one single thing that will solve this complex problem. it is a variety of things. you look at canada, which has high gun ownership.
they do not have many people committing mass murders. they do not have as many insane people committing mass murders -- once or twice, but we do lead the world in that regard, if you call that leading. it calls for an open discussion. new york has got a much stronger gun safety law, universal background check, surrounded by states with similarly strong laws. you cannot buy a gun in chicago, but you can go to another nearby state and get it. that is why you have a difference in the amount of
crimes committed with a gun. this is something that requires open discussion and concern. if we say nothing can be done, nothing will be done. host: we will put the numbers up on the screen as we consider -- as we continue our conversation with clarence page. his most recent book is called "cultural worriers." the first call up comes from ronald, lafayette, louisiana democrat. caller: i have written quite a few books over the years. i believe, make it smaller. you make smaller government, you have less organizations to make sure people that have mental health problems do not get guns. if you have a home, why should you not, if you are mentally stable, have a gun to protect your family.
if you want to go hunt, you should be able to do that. they need to inspect who they are giving guns too. i am for gun ownership. people that are mentally stable should have guns. if they are not, we need government that is there. not like rand paul, seeming to to say it is a good thing. it is not. if you take away government, they cannot do background checks. if you do not have people investigating people on the internet, threatening to do this or that, and they get a gun or they threaten to do something at a school or these republicans want to send the jobs overseas. they think it is great. you put more stress on the people here and if you look at the newspapers crime has went
up. violence has went up because people -- host: ronald, we got the point. any response? guest: he packed a lot in there but he makes a good point about the need for government to be able to screen people who want to own a gun. i'm not in favor of taking everybody's guns away. that's not going to happen. i am not in favor of the idea of us not having any gun ownership at all. despite what the n.r.a. says that progressives are tout to take everybody -- out to take everybody's guns away. but i think we need universal background checks that was even advocatined since the with no
1990's exception. they have so much of the edge now, they being the gun industry, they fund the n.r.a. much more than its members do and for very good reason because they have been able to virtually shut down debate over this issue. host: rand paul spoke yesterday. [video clip] rand paul: you have to have people in government, people who are religious and there's not nearly enough. we had the shooting this morning in south carolina. what kind of person goes in a church and shoots nine people? there is a sickness in our country. there's something terribly wrong but it won't be fixed by your government. it is people straying away and not understanding where salvation comes from. and i think that if we understand that we will understand and have better expectations of what we get from our government.
host: clarence page, a sickness in america that won't be solved by our government. guest: well, there is a sickness but, he loses me when he says it can't be solved by government . what about those who can't afford psychiatric care but need it, who will provide that? that is a thing we have a collective responsibility if we can't say on one hand we don't need gun safety, we need more mental health but don't fund it. it is mostly state level and county level issue we are talking about here. i don't know of anybody who has adequate funding that doesn't have a waiting list for people who need care. i think we need to talk about public-private partnerships around issues like this. it is too complex for a single one magic button solution. host: we have a trweet.
why is daily gang violent especially in your city given a pass by the mainstream media and hrorpb lone wolf shootings bring outrage. guest: that is the kind of thing i have heard from the right that is glib and untrue. as i said earlier there is another complex issue but there are reasons we have had a surge of violence the last few years , part of it is the unintended demolition of high-rise public housing that needed to be demolished but they misjudged where people were going once that was accomplished. then, we wound up with chaos on the street level between rival gangs. i know the right likes to sound persecuted. so does the left. victimization is a very popular thing. everybody wants to claim it. i see no reason why people should feel like the mainstream
media such as it is, is clamping down discussion and debate on this issue. it is not. host: orlando, des moines, iowa, independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call and clarence page it is not -- nice seeing you on here. usually i see you on the mcclarin group. guest: the mclaughlin group. caller: yes. i have a quarrel that i have seen online. i have seen organizations who hate and want to kill all americans but why should they try to kill us if we are hating and hurting each other because of race, religion or sexual orientation. instead of fighting the enemy we turn our guns on each other. it is really sad. i just had to say that. thank you for taking my call and nice seeing you, clarence.
guest: well, i must add to that -- i don't have much to add to that. it is sad. one of my initial reactions to this horrible tragedy in charleston was we don't need a young white fella to come in to our churches and kill innocent people. we have enough black folks doing this and it is a fact. this has been a real problem in the black community for a number of years partly a result of the economic and social displacement we have had since the 1950's. back to this trade issue that has occupied a lot of time on c-span and elsewhere in recent days. that is a factor that has led to the deindustrialization of parts of chicago baltimore, and other cities. it comes back to the problems on the streets. one thing we're importing is
guns and drugs and that can't go on. host: part of our discussion you were listening on the radio on the way in. guest: i always listen to c-span. gets my heart pumping. host: part of the discussion was about whether this was an act of terrorism. whether this was a hate crime. whether this was just a lone wolf criminal. what is your view? guest: i like the word terrorism better than hate crime. every crime is a hate crime. it is a serious issue but we don't really have the language that applies the way it should. it certainly is a terrorist move . this young fella apparently, the suspect apparently identified with white supremistacist groups and im not going to say neo-nazi but, he wore the flag of apartheid south africa and road
rhodesia. the ku klux klan is what we call a terrorist organization, no doubt about it. this is true today. why is this young fella, who lived 116 miles from charleston. why did he come down here to this particular church? i think it is quite obvious this was about a terror attack and essentially like a suicide bomber. he was not going to get away with it. now his young life is thoroughly ruined. why did he do that? some kind of fanaticism that guides the terror of isis and al qaeda. host: this is a call from cells very, -- salisbury, north
carolina, democrat. caller: ever since this president was elected he's been disrespected, a lot by blacks. you don't call him president. you call him obama. you add cornell west and tavis smiley and black ministers criticizing him. those black ministers called him the antichrist. i'm 70 and we were poor as dirt but i had a background good enough to get me a weapon and im going to carry it. and you can call it whatever you want. it is nothing but terrorism. when a white man does something it is oh, he's deranged, he's mentally ill. they got mentally ill people in other countries and they are not out killing each other. you can sit there with them
glasses looking like a rat looking through eyes or a frog looking through ice but you have disrespected this man. instead of giving him help so that he could get legislation passed. guest: is there more? host: your turn. guest: he touched on several things. i will just let it roll. host: what about the issue -- we often hear from callers saying this president is the most disrespected president in history. guest: i have often thought about that. i covered bill clinton and hillary, and you have to go something to beat them. they were accused of murder, drug smuggling and all kinds of things that came up during those years. i think it is a coarsening of our politics now and no matter who is sitting in that spot.
but i was surprised by just how vehement the backlash was against barack obama and whether it was because of his race but i was shocked by the backlash against hillary clinton after bill said vote for me and get one free in 1992, a fair lin -- fairly innocuous statement. some with fuming over the notion of the first lady having something to say to the president while he was in office. so, emotions are part of politics and we just have to deal with that. i think that i was with president obama on the night of the gridiron dinner and i think he has been able to deal with the positives and negatives of the presidency with remarkable grace and he should be proud of that.
host: this tweet if south carolina is sorry the only way to prove it to me is take down the flag and treat all people equal. this article from the post and courier this morning -- despite mourning the state house confederate battle flag is at full staff. guest: there were some compromises made in recent years but nevertheless i think the flag should be treated as an historical relic not like it represents something going on today. i had an elderly virginia gentleman once told me the war between the states didn't under -- end in 1865. that was just intermission and i have found many people that is reality. but the fact is i wrote an essay once for "the news hour" when it came up during john mccain's campaign how much white southern
heritage folks and how much black southern folks or african-americans in general have in common. we both live in the past it a large degree and have long memories. i said african-american alzheimer's we forget everything but the grudges. we remember way back it slavery as if it was last week. and so do a lot of southern heritage folks and apparently the suspect roof was a southern heritage fanatic of the worst kind and i don't think we automatically think that confederate flag means the person who owns it is a ku klux clansman. what other war do we