tv Charlie Rose PBS September 20, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with tom friedman, the "new york times" columnist in just back from china. >> can china have its own green? can there be a china dream that's different from the american dream? because if the china dream is the same as the american dream-- a big house in the suburbs and a big car-- they're going to burn up, choke up, heat up, and smoke up the planet far faster than al gore predicts. >> rose: we conclude with prince turki al-faisal, former head of saudi intelligence, ambassador to the united states and other countries >> and throughout these 80 some years that we have had our kingdom, everybody keeps talking about an uncertain future for the kingdom and because of the sagacity of the people of saudi arabia and the good will of the leadership and the government we have survived pretty well so far
we have many problems to face, including syria. many challenges internally among the young people and how the go about the courses of development not just economically but socially and politically and the role of women, etc. all of these are tremendous challenges that are being debated within the kingdom and not coming from the outside. >> rose: tom friedman and prince turki al-faisal when we continue.
>> rose: tom friedman is here, he is a pulitzer prize winning columnist in for the "new york times." for more than 30 years he's been writing ant foreign affairs, american politics and so much more. in addition to serving as bureau chief in beirut and jerusalem, he's also been chief white house correspondent for the "new york times". in a 2008 new yorker magazine profile ian parker wrote of friedman "you sometimes sense that friedman had set himself the task of being more than just an american. on the road and sometimes in print he is america itself or at least a wish for america, politically temper rat, unflagging, optimistic and rap sodally appreciative of golf. " freedman recently returned from china. i'm always glad to have him back at this table to update him on his world travels.
just back from china, you couldn't be in china at a more interesting time than now. >> you know, it's really interesting for two reasons, charlie. i've been going to china once a year since 1991 and i've heard two things this trip that really stood out to me. one was the number of people who expressed this kind of "i'm going to get mine and get out of dodge." middle-class people, you know? made your bundle legally or illegally and get out. get your money out, get your kids out. it really struck me. i've not heard that at the scope and scale i picked up on... >> rose: and why is that? >> not quite sure. a sense that maybe this juggernaut can't go on much longer. a concern about the leadership change. i think it's a lot of things. it was striking to me. the second thing struck me, i spoke at a university school of
design, opening day of school and these are sort of young architects, designers, very much into green space and in 2009 i had been to china, spoke at the foreign language institute in beijing and i had a conversation which i never forgot, a young girl stood up and we were talking about green and china and she said mr. friedman, you and america have to grow dirty for 100 years, now it's our turn. it's only fair. so i asked this class to be the 22-year-old future architects, i said is that how you feel? and it was so striking how different they felt now. so three, four years later... >> rose: mainly because of the impact of pollution and other things? >> exactly. that now it was well, you know, maybe that would be fair, we should get a chance to have our slice of the pie. but you know what? we can't afford it. we can't breathe, we can't drink we can't drive. we've got to grow in a different way. and so one of the conversations i had there, charlie, was really striking for me.
a friend of mine runs an n.g.o. called juice energy and works on these renewable energy problems and it's this question: can china have its own dream? can there be a china dream? as different from the american dream? because if the china dream is the same as the american dream-- a big house in the suburbs and a big car and a big mac-- they are going to burn up, choke up, heat up and smoke up the planet far faster than al gore predicts. so i think for the next chinese leadership coming in in the next month or two, x jinping is the next leader and xt... >> rose: not yet. >> well, he has to surface. but it's going to be whether he can car tick late a chinese dream that is more energy efficient, more environmentally sustainable than the american dream. >> rose: one of the things people are asking in china is how is he different than hu jintao who was an engineer, not a princeling, worked his way up. xi jinping is a princeling but
they say they are dramatically different. it may simply be a new generation or it may be more. or they came to power at a different time and therefore they're shaped by their own evolution? >> a lot of anticipation. you know, i think there's a feeling that hu jintao, when jaw bow administration really ran out of gas. but china's been led by a man for ten years now, i don't think he's ever given an interview. we know so little about this man. and to double down on the seriousness of that, we know so little about xi jinping, the man coming in. >> rose: (laughs) including where he's ban the last two weeks. >> i was there when he went missing. as i wrote at the time, i think he was hiding under his bed because it was so scary. >> rose: they're saying he was in a sporting accident, i've heard. >> i've heard everything, that he was attacked, that he had a heart attack, a back ache, a back strain. i've heard everything. >> rose: that he was trying to work some political maneuver
that somebody else was trying to make. >> think about it, charlie. let's take china out of the vocabulary. the man who is going to lead one-fifth of humanity went missing for two weeks and we have no idea why. >> rose: yeah. >> it's a little-- (laughs) where is xi jinping? >> rose: and they feel no responsibility-- >> to tell you anything. >> rose:-- to tell you. and i talked to everybody, what do you know about xi jinping? very confident, very smart. all the general adjectives. but is he more green; less green? more anti-american; less anti-american? no sense at all. >> rose: i talked to someone who said to me it doesn't matter, the system will make him different. will make him more-- the here is di man of running this place will be shaped by that. >> rose: i think what's really new and what will be historic
about his leadship of china is that he will be the first leader who will be in a two-way conversation with the chinese people. so whoever comes next is going to be a two-way conversation wean him and 400 million microbloggers. who at the same time sensor, listen to and fear at the same time and i think that's what will be-- it will be a two-way conversation. >> rose: is fear just about political instability? that therefore the communist party will no longer be in complete control? >> my rule on this is that dictators are the most rapid pollers in the world. they're always polling, they can never get enough polls. and the chinese leaders take polls incessantly because there is a degree of insecurity act the fact that they aren't there because of a consensual national ballot of any nature. i think there's this combination
of fear and leading at the same time. there's a yin and yang, to use the expression and i think the next china will be much more a product of that two-way conversation than any china up to now. >> rose: do you think the olympics, their olympics changed them? that they somehow developed an increased competence or has it not happened? >> i think that they're-- everything that's happened there has produced much greater self-confidence. to give you a bizarre segway, though, i've always had this theory that the chinese olympics was the real reason for the arab spring. i'm being facetious but you're an egyptian sitting in cairo. you know that in 1950 egypt was way ahead of china and you watch those olympics and there's only one thing you can say: we could don't that in another 50 years. we are 50 years away from being able to put on that kind of show i think it really... >> rose: and it's because they do not have the kind of economic engine or they cannot get that
kind of economic engine-- >> it's because they don't have it. they could get it and i hope they will give birth to it. >> rose: let's talk about what's going on over there. let's just talk about these explosions over-- you had a really interesting column this morning or yesterday which essentially said when you hear them talking about america you ask them have you looked at the media in your own country? >> well, i mean, this has been one of the problems here. i don't believe this whole blowup over this youtube video insulting the prophet mohammed has anything to do with this. okay? i think this is all autobiography. i think this is first after all a fight inside islam and inside these countries between the far-far right and the right, basically. the ultra, ultraconservative islamists who want to embarrass and steal a maerj on the mortar
conventional conservative islamists so that's a big part of what's going on, i believe. more broadly what is a product of-- it's a product of-- there's a word you hear when you speak to young arabs and muslims, it comes up within the first five minutes of every conversation and that is humiliation. that this is a civilization, young people know how far behind they are. and this produces a lot of lashing out. and this is another manifestation of that and this is why one has to hope that the arab spring, all of these projects, work. because i think the only way to overcome this is by them succeeding and building a different kind of society that allows their young people to realize their full fur potential and that's what's missing. we have so many cover stories-- after 9/11 everyone wrote, you and i had this conversation, how did they beat us?
and that was a legitimate question to ask about 9/11 because we were so intimately involved in propping up the regimes that were really keeping their people down and we were doing it for oil. but you look at libya today, i mean, we were instrumental in getting rid of that regime. we were instrumental in getting rid of that regime in egypt. i think the much more important question is why do they hate each other so much? why do do so many people try to climb into power there against the other? that's really the question we have to ask them. what my column today was about was how much sort of just hate speech you have in their media directed against shiites, directed against arab christians forget the jews, against sufis. this is not just about us at all. where does that come from? >> rose: has the arab spring lost its momentum? and is in the danger of being hijacked? >> you know, my view was always always this is going to take a long time and we're in-- we're not even at the end of the
beginning. this is just going to-- this is a 50-year hole that's been dug in that part of the world. and... >> rose: modernity, women-- >> everything. and so it's quite and a half natural that the islamists were going to have the first crack at this because they were the most organized force. we saw in iraq-- which is interesting-- is the islamist parties there also won the first election. they failed and then people demanded more multisectarian, less religious parties. whether egypt will go through that transition i don't know charlie. here's the one thing we do know about egypt, though, which is very important. iran is the story of political islam in power to buy off all the contradiction. saudi arabia is a story of political islam phenomenon pow with oil to buy off all the contradiction. egypt will be the first grand experiment of political islam in power in the arab world without oil. and therefore you can see that tension right now. i mean, basically, you know, obama calls morsi and says "what's going on inside our
m.b.a. baahsy? we're trying to figure out whether to give you a billion dollars in debt relief and that's not going to happen if you guys burn dour our embassy." and he's torn. my constituents, my party wants me to be on the top of the embassy raising the islamic flag and meanwhile i beter get this billion dollars from the americans. so that tension will be there for a long time. what is the ideal conclusion? that the muslim brotherhood sees it as its role to lead a reformation. that it really is the bridge to modernity. that is the-- that would be, i think, the ideal outcome of this and that will take a long time. the sad outcome is that you get what you got in iran which is sort of a competition among these groups for who can be the most extreme, the most far right. and egypt has to sort of navigate modernity without oil and without i would argue progressive modernist agenda. >> rose: will saudi arabia remain untouched because they've
got so much money to both divide and buy? >> you know, they have used tens of billions of dollars to buy peace since the arab awakening. >> rose: a figure way up to 100-- >> i wouldn't be surprised. you know islam fayyad said to me-- all of the arab kings are buying off their people. he said it would be a lot cheaper to let them vote. >> rose: (laughs) >> so i don't know about saudi arabia. it's a very unique culture. but, you know, sooner or later it's going to catch up. >> rose: so turki al-faisal is coming up here right after you. what would you say to him? >> i think it's a question, really for him is what's your plan? what is your plan? clearly this arab awakening resonated throughout the region at three levels. young people want dignity, they want justice, they want to live in a just context and they want freedom. >> rose: and you may have written this, too.
but somebody said it's more about justice than freedom. >> well, i would say it's more about dignity than freedom. it's about dignity and justice first of all. that's what we saw in tahrir square. it was very much of "i am somebody." you know what i mean? i'm not some piece of cattle that has passed on by you to your son. like i'm-- like i'm part of some just herd here. >> rose: i want to create the destiny of my face and my family. >> and realize my full potential. that's what life is about for people. everyone wants to feel like i got this, i want the tools, the opportunity, the space to realize my full potential. and that's what people-- that's what these regimes were sething up. >> rose: do you believe that natural gas and fracking and all that has the possibility of doing what you have dreamed of seeing america do for energy independence? >> there's no question that it-- there's a potential there at two
levels. one is to simply shift us off coal on to a cleaner fuel, natural gas. it's about half the c.o.-2 of coal and ideally be a bridge to clean energy future as long as we don't get stuck on that bridge and not move to renewables. that's hugely important. the-- our ability to do that will depend as to whether we can reach an understanding in this country over how to exploit this natural gas bounty in a clean way that is safe for the environment there's a way to do that. it costs more. it's not that much money at all. i think kind of having a national regulatory regime that allows us to exploit this this to the full which you would like to see done but has to be done in an environmentally sound way. >> rose: i'll never forget the time you went to see king abdullah and he went to his desk and he knew it was there and i think he handed you what has been the arab initiative. does it have a chance?
>> it's really back in the drawer now because the arab strange has met all of these monarchs so much more jittery because populism is now rife and the idea of taking any initiative toward israel is more scary to them than when they had an iron grip on their side. that's one issue. that was back in 2001. i had written a column calling on saudi arabia and the arab league to offer full normalization for full withdrawal. >> rose: they would have done that, wouldn't they? >> he said i already had that speech ready and it was great and it became the arab peace initiative. >> rose: it's great-- at the end of the day-- >> we all know that's the deal but israel's a friend place. it's post the war with hezbollah and lebanon, post the war with
hasen in gaza. israeli society is much more wary. palestinians are split. so i find myself it's hard to write about that issue anymore. >> that issue because you think nobody knows. >> it's just that-- some problems get so broken, charlie, that leadership isn't enough from the stop. you need leadership the tom and the bottom. and the arab conflict and palestinian conflict has reached that point. without a mass movement israelis and palestinians that basically we want to finish this thing and it's okay for you to reach a compromise. i think leaders are so weak, so frail, so afraid that i just don't see why the breakthrough is going to come from. >> rose: so therefore? >> so therefore israel will be default end up becoming a binational state for some kind or another. it may not be binationalism. >> rose: so some people might not have the right to participate. as you know, prime minister
netanyahu always talks about his recognition of israel as a jewish state. >> right. hey, that's good work if you can get it. but at the end of the day how-- how israel forges a secure peace with palestinian is still hugely important for its identity and for the palestinians. and i don't see any will to do that right now. prime minister netanyahu says america needs to draw a red line on iran. i don't think we'll draw that but if we do i hope you draw a green line around the west bank because if israel were to attack iran today in the absence of any kind of peace process i think you would see a real fury in the arab world that would make last week look like a day at the beach. >> rose: the american presidential race could not be more disappointing when you look at it and see what's going on? >> just to shamelessly plug our book, what our book is about is
what the race should have been about which is our formula for success. how we meet our challenges. this is the first presidential election where both men are running against "i'm not mitt romney." the romney said i'm not that guy in massachusetts and obama is running as i'm not mitt romney. do you have any idea what president obama plans to do on day one? i know he's given speeches but you don't have a sense of why he wants-- what is he burning to do? and romney is so lost that-- and you can see it with all these things have happened. he's pretending to be someone he's not. charlie, you and i could have a conversation for two hours and have a conversation about this subject. relations between jews and arabs is a very sensitive subject. we could talk about this for two hours and i would never get in trouble. i would never cross the line because my feelings about that
is i don't know what i think and why i think it. romney, the reason he keeps falling out of the ring is that's what happens when you're pretending to be something you're not. there's nothing organic about any of this and you could see it at the republican convention. it was very obvious to me. he is renting this party to fulfill his dream to become president and they're renting him to get rid of barack obama. but there is no organic connection. how many republicans have you ever run into that just said "i'm a romney man"? i mean, what it means to be a romney man. somebody pointed out to me, do you notice how few bumper stickers there are? i've seen so few bumper stickers. "i'm a romney man." like-- what does that mean? i used to be for health care in massachusetts and now i'm not. >> rose: tom freedman, michael mandelbaum frequently quoted in the friedman columns has written called "that used to be us, how
america fell behind in the world it invented and importantly how we can come back." good to see you. back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: president face turki al-faisal served as the head of intelligence for saudi arabia, he is a former ambassador for the united states, united kingdom and ireland. fighting continues in syria and tensions escalate in iran's nuclear program. we also have watched violent attacks on u.s. embassies in arab countries. saudi arabia is the leading player in the region that is experiencing an uncertain future. i'm pleased to have for instance turki al-faisal back on this program. welcome. >> thank you, it's a pleasure to be here and a privilege. >> let me talk about syria. what worries you about syria? >> may i take this opportunity first to tell you, charlie, that the kingdom's 80th birthday would take place four days from
now? and according to the greg born calendar. according to the other calendar it will be 82 years old. and throughout these 80 some years that we have had our kingdom everybody keeps talking about anen certain future for the kingdom. and because of the sagacity of the people of saudi arabia and the good will of the leadership and the government we have survived pretty well so far. we have many problems to face, including syria. many challenges internally and how to go about the courses of development, not just economically but socially and politically and the role of women, etc. all of these are tremendous challenges. not coming from the outside. there is a bubbling atmosphere
of debate in the kingdom, in the press. in the universities. and all of the fields where people get together. and there is a very strong national dialogue that has been instituted by king abdullah and this is its tenth year now which also sets certain topics to be debated during one year from a certain date and it moves from village to village and from town to town where people get together to debate that topic and things that have been debated in the past ten years included the role of women and the role of extremism, etc. there is a lot of discussion in the kingdom about our future. >> rose: protests for syria. where is that and what do you worry about? >> the worry about syria, of course, is that there is so much
killing going on. and the bloodshed and the destruction is on a catastrophic scale. i have seen pictures and i'm sure you have of neighborhoods and towns and villages destroyed and bodies mutilated, etc. that reminds one of huge conflicts that took place in europe and the 20th century. the first world war and the second world war. and other conflicts that took place and in other places as well. and i think all saudis from the top down would like to see the killing end hopefully sooner rather than later. now how to go about it? >> rose: it's also syrians killing syrians. >> it's awful. >> rose: but other people are now coming in to see if they can stake out a place for whatever happens. those people assume president assad is going.
no one seems to suggest they think he can hold out. >> the longer the struggle goes on the more the impact of extremists will be felt. and that's why it's a great pity that the world community did not come in from the very beginning and do something about a-- that would have curtailed bloodshed first. >> rose: what would you have done? what would your government have done? >> my government was calling from the very first for supplying the opposition with the necessary defensive means to meet lethal armaments that the government was using against them. >> you ditched some of that, though. >> i'm not privy to that but i read the papers as you do and there may be but it needs more than just saudi arabia.
i think the whole world community should have put their hands together and provided the means to balance the equation-- as i said, to the government versus the very meager and likely lightly armed civilian population that is opposing them. >> rose: is it ever possible to have some kind of negotiated agreement if, in fact, the russians were participating and some others were part of the-- >> all those permutations were tried during the last year and a half. >> rose: with kofi annan? >> right, now with ibrahimmy, and we all wish him luck. but it doesn't look like there's any quotation for negotiation now. both sides have pretty much been entrenched of refusing to concede with the other. and as you know the arab league
when it started, when the issue started the arab league was pretty much in league to find a negotiated settlement that were present in some of the areas there. they didn't last very long because of the different issues involved, including the government reluctance ato allow them free movement and so on. then the arab league implemented a plan where the president would leave and accepted success, a place for an interim period during which piece would reign and the development of other institutional structures, etc., take place. >> rose: when the arab spring
came to tunisia i'm sure people in libya didn't think it could come here and then it did. clear people didn't think egypt could come there and have the consequences could happen there. why should saudi arabia be immune to this snz >> i think saudi arabia over the past eight years had been going through an arab spring when you look at the kingdom when i was born in it, for example, 1945 there were no schools in saudi arabia. there were no roads. disease and poverty were the rule rather than the exception and this incident, the government and the people hand in hand developed a very viable and very dynamic population and country that is aspiring
hopefully to better things in the future. and when you go to the kingdom today you'll see very strong economic and social composition to be t development of the kingdom. so that's the spring saudi arabia is going through. >> rose: tom friedman was just here, he's a friend of yours. >> i know. >> and he said that whole revolution, the rebellion, has been about justice and dignity justice and dignity. dignity has no gender eid i identification. why has it taken so long to win system? to achieve the kind of place that they should have in a society in your country? >> i would dare say, charlie, that it took them a shorter time to do that in the kingdom than
in your country. >> rose: (laughs) yes. >> and so these are the two elements of that mr. friedman talked about, dignity and justice that most saudi cities-- citizens feel that they have-- no ones homes are ransacked in the kingdom, for whatever reason. no one's families are taken to task because one of them turns out to be a bad apple as has happened in other countries. the opportunity to acquire material and social prestige is available to all citizens. we don't live in a paradise but i think if you look at the majority of people in the kingdom you will find you will find that they have a sense of dignity. >> but it's a very rich country has a significant amount of poverty.
too. >> again, that's not unique to the kingdom. the poverty, of course, is unacceptable and the kingdom is working to alleviate that poverty. there are social programs that have been implemented over the past 20 years or so to meet that challenge that we have education for example, has exploded in the kingdom for both men and women. job opportunities are there. you know, in the kingdom has more than eight million foreign workers. now, for the life of me i can't understand how we can have unemployed saudis. because the schools, although for a period of time they were not producing the skilled and well qualified people to take on
jobs, now they are. we have more than 150,000 saudis studying abroad, acquiring all the skills that are available, whether in the united states, in japan, in china, australia in europe, et cetera. in america alone we have more than 70,000 students both male and female and they're acquiring skills to go back to edge ploy them. >> rose: when you look at demographics of your country more than 60% of the population is under 20. >> 25, about that. >> rose: extraordinary number of young people. and we also know that part of what's happening on the streets is a cry it out dignity, for some control over their lives. isn't that a powder keg? >> well, you can describe it as a powder keg. i would describe it as a
challenge. as a challenge that needs more work, definitely, not just on the part of government but even on the part of these young people themselves. and the social structure that provides the jobs to these eight million foreign workers and yet does not have the ability to absorb the few hundred thousand saudis who are now out of work. this is a squaring of the circle that needs to be done and as i said, if government has ints instituted programs i just saw a statement by our minister of labor saying that over the past year alone 27230,000 new job ably cants have been hired throughout the economy in saudi arabia.
now, that's the first step it needs to be expanded because in ten years that figure would have to be perhaps multiplied by ten in order to meet the growing number of young people coming on the work force. but it is things like that that the government is aware of working with international organizations like the united nations. we hired a visors from the i.m.f. and world bank to look at things like and this that and from governments as well, the u.s. government helps saudi arabia. >> it is said that your government was very upset over the way that president mubarak came to an end and you were unhappy with the united states because you thought because of the relationships that existed
between mubarak and the united states you should have done this differently. is that a fair staplt? >> i think probably fair. a fair statement. >> and did you then change your attitude about the united states? did you look at the united states differently after that? >> the united states and saudi arabia have had a strategic relationship since it was established between the late president roosevelt and the late king abdullah in 1945. and we've had our ups and downs over that period. since 1945 we've agreed on many things but chosen to disagree on other things. but we've always come back together on the issue of president mubarak, what is happening in libya, tunisia or egypt i think we have to look to the future on how things were dealt with when these events took place.
and the united states has made declarations and has offered advice and the availability of expertise, all these countries to take advantage of and the kingdom has offered these countries, those that are needy like egypt and it is for example yemen, of course, economic aid and the billions of dollars so we thinking of the future. >> rose: speaking of syria. suppose the president of syria said, look, i'm-- i understand, i see and some terrible things have happened and i'm-- i want to get out. i realize my days are numbered and i want to go to saudi arabia to live out the remaining years of my life. what would your government say if it met meant the killing
stopped. >> i can't speak for my government. >> rose: but you know your government. >> but let me give you a historic background on this. because of the presidents of the-- presence of the two holy mosques in saudi arabia, the air rainian peninsula historically and since saudi arabia was established where the two cities exist has been a sanctuary. >> rose: and africa included. >> not just africa. africa, asia, europe, whatever you want. and past history shows that these sanctuary seeking people have come and been accepted in the kingdom. if now i said particularly will be accepted or not i can't say. >> rose: it seems like you're not closing the door. >> well, i don't think i can nor do i think that any leadership of saudi arabia can simply say
that mecca and medina are closed to whoever wants to come there it's against all accepted norms and practices. >> rose: because of that, tell me what's going on inside islam today. sunni, shi'a. >> a lot. a lot is going on and king abdullah called for an islamic summit conference last ramadan and all of the islamic leaders practically came, including the leaders of iran and egypt and so on. and his main proposal at that conference was that we as muslim have to get over this issue of sunni versus shi'a.
it is taking too much cost on us. and therefore we must come together. and the conferees agreed with him so the resolution that came out of that conference was for the establishment of a center for intersectarian dialogue in riyadh which will bring together the various sects of islam under one roof and hopefully emphasize what we have in common and as much as possible eliminate whatever differences we have. that's what's happening on the official government level and leadership level. now in syria, iraq, bahrain, other places in the muslim world these sectarian differences unfortunately cost lives.
there are sunni mosques that are attacked by shi'a and shi'a mosques that are attacked by sunni and how you get over that is through efforts as was proposed by king abdullah. the leadership has to show where it stands on these things and if there are within societies bigots and zealots who would refer to do otherwise than they would be taken to task in the courts. >> rose: you now see people in the streets of a number of arab countries. as i mentioned the introduction against the united states because of somebody that obviously the united states condemned what he did but has a great principle of freedom of expression and you would think that the leadership within the muslim world would say no, this is not an act of a government.
this is an act of an individual. >> i can't speak for other government bus my government has said that. my government has come out with a strong statement after the cabinet meeting last monday in which it condemned the movie that came out. >> rose: sure. >> but it also condemned the violence. >> rose: and the death of an american ambassador and three others. >> of course, and said that this was totally unacceptable. the mufti of saudi arabia came out with an equal statement about the issue and if you look at the saudi press you will find the whole ticles about the inviolability of diplomatic life and representation throughout. but the problem here is that either a double standard or a
misrepresentation that what happened in libya, for example against the american ambassador which was a track i can loss is representative of the muslim world most libyans has i read in american newspapers have condemned. and leaderships in count rise like saudi arabia and other places have also condemned the violence that was used. and as i said in the press in the arab world and particularly in saudi arabia many, many expressions of opposition to that kind of... >> rose: so what do we need to do? >> i think we need people like you and others who have this kind of forum to engage more not with officials but with people
who want to hold official positions. i think universities have a grat deal to do in the curriculum and in the teaching of tolerance. i i said, king abdullah now is establishing for and intermuslim dialogue center in riyadh two years ago. he established another interfaith dialogue center in vienna with the support of european countries and the vatican played an important role in supporting that establishment of the center in vienna. more such centers are needed and more such engagement between the average person rather than the official is needed. >> rose: how about in the mosque? >> absolutely.
>> rose: or in the church. >> i think schools are equally important. >> rose: and the synagogues. >> and the sikh temples and hindu temples and so on. we need to have people who can stand up and say no, this is unacceptable. unfortunately i think more and more people are saying that. >> rose: you know in the history of saudi arabia that there have been serious accusations that what was taught in wahabi schools that led to people who were susceptible to being influence to go on terrorist attacks and they would try to go back to where all that came from and it came from... >> rose: these accusations were laid out against the kingdom and the kingdom, particularly after september 11 and the kingdom through its ministry of education and ministry of higher
education looked into this issue. when i was ambassador in washington, for example there's a saudi school in virginia that was teaching saudi curriculum and such accusations were made the curriculum there and i brought in all the books that were naught that school to the embassy and had a committee go through all of the text there and and we found alarming examples of bigoted text and others and we took them out. completely. having done that, we then relayed that issue to the proper authorities in the kingdom and they went through the same process and took out these texts frrb saudi curriculum. but that is not enough, in my
view. it is not so much the text-- although it has an influence, but who teaches the text as well if you have a bad teacher who comes to teach six, seven, eight nine-year-olds at that stage bigot tri and hatred then you have to change the teacher as well and not only the words that are written in the books. so all of our teaching staff and all of our mosque preachers have gone through very extensive evaluations by committees of the government to make sure that they don't participate in such advocacy of bigotry or hatred. >> rose: iran and-- gaining a nuclear capacity suppose they
did. what would your government do? >> let me go a step beyond that that question and say that in october or november this year there's going to be a conference in helsinki coming out of the view conference on the non-proliferation treaty that took place in 2010 that will look into the establishments of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the middle east. now, all the members of the m.p.t. are-- agree to this conference. israel is not a member. nor has it publicly said whether it will or will not agree to any decisions of this conference but i think it behooves the five permanent members of the security council to come to us in the middle east and say we as the five permanent members of the security council and to
recognize nuclear powers as well we want to establish a zone zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the middle east. and here's what we want to do as well. we want to guarantee that the countries that join this zone will have a nuclear security umbrella so that nobody can threaten them. >> rose: coming from-- >> coming from anywhere. >> rose: who will provide that? >> the five permanent members of the security council. >> rose: russia, china-- >> all of them. >> rose: united states, france, whoever else might come. >> whoever else wants to. and the other guarantee they have to offer is as five permanent members of the security council that they will take whatever measures including military measures against anybody within this zone who aims to initiate or establish or
invent or develop a weapons of mass destruction. >> rose: i hear you out on that. tell me what you think would happen if, in fact, israel believing that a zone had been crossed and that the capability and capacity was at hand if they had enough enriched uranium and were closed to having delivery capabilities had to act. what would happen in the region? >> rose: this is without the zone? >> now? >> rose: yes. >> i think it would be catastrophic for everybody, including israel, including the united states. inevitably the united states will be drawn in as israel's protector and ally and partner and whatever you want to call it. the retaliation from iran will be massive.
it will not stick to israeli targets. nobody in iran will believe that israel did this without a green light from the united states. whatever protests mr. ... >> rose: you believe that? that israel would not do it without a green light from the united states? >> i believe mr. netanyahu will do anything to further his aims. whether america agrees or doesn't agree you know, i remember the days, charlie, when the united states was the one that would say, for example, to us in the middle east yes or no on issues. in 1973 if you recall with me when mr. kissinger was having talks on disengagement with golda meir and she wass on innocent. she wouldn't agree to withdraw a few kilometers on the suez canal or from the golan heights. what happened?
and the very bright young air force officer who was then military attache in washington itzhak rabin quickly and precipitously moved from washington to tel aviv and became prime minister and signed the agreement with the united states for the disengagement >> and was out of government and came back and was assassinated by-- so mr. kissinger was the one who went over that change in israel have the way i see it now it's mr. netanyahu that's maneuvering to change government in the united states. >> rose: you think so? >> i don't know! >> rose: it's good to have you here. you'll be in georgetown teaching. in the fall. >> yes, sir. >> rose: what will you speech in >> about saudi arabia basically and they ask me-- the professors