Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  April 7, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT

12:00 am
. >> rose: welcome to the program, we begin this evening with a look at the chinese american summit taking place in palm beach, florida. we talked with tom done illon, the former national security advisor for president obama. >> it's clearly the most important diplomatic meeting that president trump will have had so far in his presidency, by far. i think on the chinese side, i think that their approach would be to have a successful meeting. i think they put a high premium on having a successful meeting and indeed particularly successful moving forward between now and the end of this year, the fall of this year when the chinese leadership changes take place. >> rose: we continue with ian bremmer talking about china and the u.s. summit as well as syria and the chemical weapon attack. >> my view has been from day one that syria is more of a con
12:01 am
undrum, more of a quagmire than even iraq. but there are lots of ways to support the syrian people if you want to support the syrian people, right? you can actually bring over more as refugees. you can actually provide more humanitarian aid. you can establish a safe zone it is not at all clear to me that going after the a sad regime directly militarily is the way to go. >> rose: we conclude with bernard henri-levy, the french filmmaker and author whose most recent film is called "the battle of mosul." >> the famous question in 1943 in america, why do we come back, why do we fight. the kurds ask the same question and they say we fight for freedom. we fight for america. we fielt for france. we might gengs jihadism. and this is a great thing to see. most they are devouted muslim, pious mus lum, try muslim
12:02 am
fighting against radical islam 6789 this is a great experience and great proof that the battle is not between the west and the rest. >> rose: tom done illon, ian bremmer and bernard henri-levy when we continue. funding for charlie rose is provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin with the
12:03 am
chinese american summit in florida. chinese president xi jinping arrived there earlier today for a highly anticipated meeting with president trump. st the first by lateral meeting between the two leaders and it is seen as an important step in improving u.s.-china relations. trump is expected to press his chinese counterpart on tense issues such as trade deficits and north korea. meanwhile president xi is seeking assurances that washington will add mere-- adhere to the one china policy. joining me to talk about the summit is tom done illon, he served as national security advisor in the obama administration and has met the president of china a number of times. i approximate pleased to have him back on this program. welcome. >> thank you, charlie. good to be with you. >> rose: because as national security advisor you made china particularly area of interest for yourself, what do you think the chinese are coming here expecting? what do they hope to accomplish? >> well, you know, for both sides it's a very important meeting it is clearly the most
12:04 am
important diplomatic meeting that president trump will have had so far in his presidency, by far. i think on the chinese side, i think that their approach would be to have a successful meeting. i think they put a high premium on having a successful meeting, and indeed particularly successful moving forward between now and the end of this year, the fall of this year when the chinese leadership changes take place in october, november this year you will have changes in the policy standing committee and the leadership for the next five years. so charlie, to be direct i think will want to have a successful meeting. want to show himself being able to operate effectively on the international stage, and i think he'll try to get this on a path where he doesn't have any sort of conflict or crisis between now and the time that he has to engage in his own leadership selections at the end of the year. >> rose: so he's looking ahead to october and the very
12:05 am
important congress that takes place october, november. >> right, i think that's exactly right. or again he will pick the-- he will select the leadership for the next five years. and of course what does he want to avoid. he will certainly want to avoid any sort of sharp trade conflict between now and then, trying his keeping the chinese economy on track to meet its growth and other goals between now and then is very important. the one thing that could take china off track is the conflict with the united states. i think he will seek to try to put in place a process that will avoid any conflict in the short and medium term. >> what do you think the chinese think of president trump? >> well, i think that, one of the things that is going to happen in this summit is i think they're coming here to take a measure. as with president trump, president glirk the summit is taking place very early in the trump administration, number one. number two, it's taking place before the trump administration has really outlined in any
12:06 am
public or definitive way their policy towards asia and china. we haven't really seen that. it's one of the interesting things about the trump administration we can talk about. so there is not really a strat gea or policy perfect-- perspective laid out. number three i think it's pretty clear the trump administration is still developing those approaches particularly on trade and perhaps north korea. >> rose: number four, five, the trump administration has not yet filled out crucial positions at the state department and other places. >> exactly right. you really don't have in place except for a couple of people, people with any experience on the trump administration team right now. and you do have, you have really the administration which has been very slow in filling out its personnel, so given those circumstances you are coming in here without a real kind of precise set of goals. so what do you do in that setting. i think that they will look to establish a personal rapport
12:07 am
between the two presidents. i think that the two presidents will be able to take the time over 24, 25 hours here to take the measure of each other and you lay out your agenda. it would be, i think, most useful but i don't know that we are ready to do this at this point, to lay out a general strategic approach to asia and china. i think it's more likely to see having a goal, a personal rapport, taking measure of each other and laying out an agenda and a process for how they will push through addressing the particular issues that each side brings up. >> rose: at the top is obviously trade. the president has been talking about that for a long time, secondly and getting more difficult every day is north korea. >> yeah. no doubt, charlie. with respect to trade, obviously coming out of the campaign, president trump will put a high priority on addressing trade issues. and you know it's interesting. coming into his administration he was very hard on a number of issues. he put into question the one china policy, second tillerson
12:08 am
made a number of statements about blow cading the south china sea islands. they threatened to name china a currency manipulator on day one of the administration, threatened 45% tariffs. it's been a much more accommodating stands at this point and backing off from some of those harsher positions that came out of the campaign. but trade is still front and center. and there are real issues on trade between the united states and china. there is a large trade deficit between china and the united states but the real focusing i think should be on access for investment and u.s. companies and the treatment of u.s. companies. but you make the poant on the security side, the most important security challenge in asia right now is north korea. and that has to be front, that has to be front and center for president xi and president trump. we need to have i think an intensified focus and approach. secretary tillerson in asia recently as you know, charlie, said that the approaches of the
12:09 am
last couple of administration have failed to achieve national goals. that's true. almost across every dimension the direction in terms of the north korean nuclear program are going in a negative direction. all the indicators at this point are negative with respect to the development of weapons, the development of the means to deliver them. that's got to be a high priority. i don't know that you will come out of this session with an agreement on how to approach it. we can talk about what the elements of that might be. but are you exactly right, this has to be front and center. this really is a national security crisis for the united states coming at us like a freight train. >> rose: in fact, it is said president obama told president-elect trump it is the most pressing and difficult issue challenge for him as he assumes the presidency. let me just start with china. why have they been in the past unwilling to take the kinds of moves that the united states and i assume other asian neighbors
12:10 am
wanted them to take. >> yeah, i think it's because for a number of things. number one, there is a historic relationship between china and north korea. now that relationship has been fraid of late. i think it's probably in the worst shape it has been in in many decades, probably. president xi has not received kim jungun the ruler in north korea. and there have been a lot of tensions that are developing between the two countries. so the relationship is not, is not in good shape, number one. number two, they have a history. number two is a deep chinese concern about stability on the korean peninsula. and not undertaking a set of steps which might result in some sort of precipitous collapse or a destabilizing of the situation. and third, they still to some extend regard north korea as a buffer, as an allied buffer. i think though that the
12:11 am
challenges coming into focus here swi that the united states is going to have to take a number of steps here to address the north korea nuclear challenge. and the challenge by the way is becoming more complex for this reason. if, in fact, there have been reports and evidenced by the number, they had five nuclear tests and they may be proceeding towards a sixth if press reports are correct, if you have a country that is moving towards having larger numbers, increasing numbers of nuclear weapons, it presents a much more complicated problem for a number of reasons. number one it is obviously a threat to the region and potentially the u.s. homeland. number two, it becomes a much more difficult set of targets more more weapons they have. but number three they also become a prolive raise threat. it is a matter of just analysis. if a country gets passed the number of weapons it needs to protect itself and engage if deterrent, it becomes a real threat in terms of prolive
12:12 am
raise. and they've shown the willingness to prolive rate in the past. >> rose: here is what i don't understand. and you shouldn't know the answer to this. do they understand the severity of the issue of north korea having nuclear weapons that they can deliver to south korea or to the united states, wherever they might want to do that. wherever they might want to target. do the chinese accept the severity of that and why it is so unacceptable to the united states. >> number one, they don't think they would be the target. number two, we have worked hard to, in dialogue with the chinese to come to assessment, kind ever a joint assessment as to what the threat is and what the north korean tensions might be. but this is the dialogue, right. this is the conversation between the united stays and china. i think some progress has been made on it but we're not there on it with respect to, i think, just how severe and what kind of time frame this is on. that has got to be the
12:13 am
conversation. it is an urgent problem and the chinese i think can't view it uni dimensionally it can't be viewed just as a stability problem any more for them in the region it has to be viewed multidimensionally which is that the united states cannot tolerate north korea moving towards a situation where it has multiple weapons that can be miniaturized and put on top of delivery systems that can reach the united states or other united states interests. and given that, that the united states is going to have to take a number of steps which are going to be strategically uncomfortable for china but don't have anything to do with china. this is where the test and relationship is going to be. >> rose: do you think the chinese take seriously the president's statement that if, in fact, the chinese do not help the united states may have to go alone? bns well, i think it's a statement of fact, right, that the president of the united states has an obligation first and fore most to protect the united states from threats.
12:14 am
and if over the course of the next period of time we don't get the kind of cooperation and kind of the joint effort we need with china to address north korea program, i think any president would have to, would make a similar statement that in fact the united states will take whatever steps it has to take to protect itself. now the alternative to that, of course s that if china develops a an approach with the chinese there are a number of things we can do including dramically increasing the financial. >> we shd move on iran style set of sanctions on nor courtia which would be, as you know, the iranian sanctions effort i oversaw for a number of years for the united states. to move the sanctions to a level and a pressure that are regime threatening. and there are a number of steps i think that we can take. we have to continue i think to build out our defenses in the region which is giving china
12:15 am
obviously a lot of discomfort, particularly with respect to what we have to do in sot korea. and we should begin a dialogue or try to have a dialogue with china about what the future of the peninsula lacks lake. >> in a summit like this, will human rights be at all discussed? >> that's up to-- i done think the chinese will raise it. i think it's up to the president of the united states to raise it. >> that is my question. do you expect the president of united states will raise the issue of human rights or is st he so intent on finding some way out of north korea and trade and perhaps some other important issues that human rights doesn't get to the table? >> charlie, this has been an administration which has basically backed off raising human rights as best i can see in any context. and i think it's a mistake. and i don't, i can't think of a context here where the trump administration has put human rights in a, kind of in the mix in terms of strategic dialogue
12:16 am
and conversation we're having with nations around the world. so i don't have high hopes that the president should raise, is going to raise human rights issues here. and this is, you know, this is a vacuum, this is a leadership vacuum that is not one that we should be creating am but i fear we are. there are a couple of other things. our backing off on the ttp, the transpacific partnership which is the trade arrangements that the united states associated with 11 other countries in the region, on the first day of the trump administration, we backed out that was really a gift to the chinese because the chinese as you know are developing their own approaches to trade with regional partners in the region. our backing out of our strong support for the paris accords on climate leave another area for the chinese to step into. and exercise leadership and take themselves off the hack if you will for some of the obligation thation they've made. so we've made a number, we've taken a number of steps here.
12:17 am
i think human rights is a good example, trade agreements are a good example. i think climate is a good example where we opened up for others to step in. >> rose: do you know what the north koreans want. >> yeah, i think the north koreans want to get to the point where the world recognizes them as a nuclear weapon state and a nuclear power. nuclear weapons power. i think that is where the north korean, what the north korean goal is. >> rose: so therefore-- so therefore what would it take to have them give up that goal? what imins of things, one thing is they want bipartisan negotiations with the united statesment they want some kind of agreement that the united states will not attack them. they want i assume some kind of comeblg sport. but is that even remotably possible if their goal is to be a nuclear state? >> well, you have to-- i think that the first point is to put pressure on them now prior to getting to the goal of having, of getting to having the means
12:18 am
of delivering nuclear weapons via an interkonl missile to the united states that is why the engagement i think is important, the pressure campaign is important. if you get into a set of negotiations with the north koreans, i certainly don't think anybody in the united states would support the united states acknowledging them as a nuclear weapon state. but there is a whole range of things in a discussion, if we can get to the table, and a discussion about the various kind of arrangements on the peninsula, and the future of the peninsula, including taking too account north korea's supposed security needs. >> rose: can we trust them? or is this a trust but verify circumstances. >> no, you can't trust the north koreans. we actually entered into, this is an important point. we entered into an agreement-- agreed framework which did freeze the nuclear weapons production facilities in
12:19 am
north korea for a number of years. we discovered at the beginning of the bush administration that they were cheating on the deal. it was probably a better, it probably would have been a better approach then to keep in place the arrangements that we had, of freezing one part of the program and then addressing the areas where they were cheating as opposed to walking away from the entire deal which is what we did. and the result has been, and we also entered into early on in the obama administration a set of understandings with the north koreans which they welched on. so yes, you have to assume cheating, you have to assume they have to move towards their goal which means the pressure campaign working with the chineses and others has to be especially harsh. and at the end of the day i think we have to do a careful look at other options.
12:20 am
>> rose: in meetings like this between the two most powerful people in the world, do they ever meet alone or is it always necessary to have advisors an note takers and other people there. >> yeah, unusual for, and lots of relationships around the world, that the president and the leader of the other country will meet one-on-one. or maybe with just one other aide or a translator. that is unusual in the u.s.-chinese context for lots of different reasons. including the system that the chain ease president represents. as you know, i negotiated the sunnyland summit in 2013 between president xi and president obama. and as part of that summit we did put in place a time for pure one-on-one conversation. and that did take place during the course it is an unusual thing to take place. it did take place in the sunnyland summit.
12:21 am
my understanding is that the trump administration is trying to have some one-on-one time. it is never truly one-on-one because there has to be translators but kind of the principals, and translators are trying to arrange that today in florida. and they are going to try to have an informal dinner tonight with the presidents and their spouses tonight over dinner. so yeah, i think that it's not typical in the chinese-u.s. setting but it has been, since sunnyland it has happened a couple times and i think it will happen today. >> rose: did you suggest the chinese were seeking this? >> i think the chinese had good reason to try and seek an early meeting with the united states here. with respect to the arrangements at least that i was involved in arranging, i think we were the party that sought to have a smaller meetings and indeed the one on one session between president obama and president xi at sunnylands and they did it several times after that as well as part of the arrangement
12:22 am
between the united states and china. >> rose: what do you think the likely outcome of this summit will be? >> i don't know. i'm not obviously advising president trump on this. the likely outcome will probably be they will issue a positive statement. they're not going to have a press conference as i understand it which i'm, you know, i don't know why they're not going to have a press conference. i don't think they're going to have a joint press conference but the likely outcome will be a positive statement about the initial encounter between the two presidents. and a list of the issues as that they discussed. and some sort of plan for how the united states and china are going to go about addressing these issues over a period of time with some deadlines. >> rose: tom, thank you for joining us. >> nice talking with you, thank you for having me. >> rose: tom donilon in washington, thank you for joining us. >> ian brem certificate here, is he as you know the president of the eurasia group. he recently traveled to the middle east.
12:23 am
he joins me now for a conversation about that region and other foreign policy developments of the day. i'm pleased to have him back at this table. welcome. >> charlie. >> rose: this particular day where the president reacting to syria, before he goes to palm beach to talk to the other most powerful person in the world. a big day for foreign policy. >> by far the most important day for global issues since trump's been elected president. >> rose: start with china briefly and then move to syria. you just got back from the middle east. >> well, china, what can you say. this is the single most important meeting that trump has had since he has been elected. the orientation that trump has had towards china both on the campaign and since he's been elected has been pretty strong and hawkish rhetoric. some of those things he has walked back, tie want he has walked back some what, though there is still a lot of talk
12:24 am
about selling a lot more arms to the tie want ease. currency, he's walked back am but other issues like north korea, south china sea and most importantly trade, he's not walked back one bit. and the people around him are not hawks or doves. they're either pretty hawkish or quite hawkish. so the notion that trump's going to have a good meeting with xi jinping, i think he wants it to be a respectful meeting. i think he doesn't want to have any gaffes. but clearly he wants to project a lot more strength in terms of the united states and feels like the obama administration has been a lot more weak. >> rose: he's got something he wants. he wants badly chinese cooperation on north korea. it is a pressing, mmediate problem. >> true. and he's also said that if he doesn't get it that the americans are prepared to go it alone. the question is, there's been cooperation between the united states and china. in fact, after the election, the chinese decided to support a
12:25 am
u.s.-led u.n. referendum to take away chinese purchasing of a great deal of north korean kohlhepp, it ended up being well over half a billion dollars a year. that was a message sent to the united states and sent to the incoming trump administration that look, we are prepared to play ball with you, but we have to do it multinaturally within a framework. as you know trump doesn't have a lot of interest in doing things with china multilaterally within the u.n. framework. he thinks china needs to cut these guys off. the idea that the chinese are going to do that themselves, they're going to say we're going to cut off the banks that are giving these guys money, cut off the companies that are keeping this economy afloat and the risk is going to be on us, not on the united states because the north cor quans are in our region, our backyard. i think it's very hard to come to agreement with xi jinping that we're going to move together on this. so it's more likely the americans will talk about sanctions against those chieny east companies-- chinese companies. >> rose: what is the time line you think on this, when will
12:26 am
they have the capacity both in terms of deliver ability and size of the nuclear weapon. >> those are the two things, because you need miniaturization to put it on the icbm. well, look, they apparently have missiles that can strike hawaii and alaska now. and why we only care about the lower 48, not those two little states, i don't know. but apparently that's the line, sorry guise. but when it comes to, most people that are involved in this that i talked to, and this is not my area of specialization is that over the course of the trump administration if the nortreans continue at the present level of development, that they would be able to do that. so in other words this is something that barring impeachment which i don't think anyone expects, trump is going to have to deal with this issue, one way or the other, this is kind of his head red line. >> rose: does he have options. >> his options are on the stick side, number one, hit the chinese, make it much more uncomfortable for them not to go along and then get the chinese
12:27 am
to compel the chinese in some way or cajole and compel the chinese to take a harder line on the north korean economy. a second would be some form of military buildup with american naval forces that would actually sort of higher levels of inspections, boarding that kind of thing of north korean ships trying to export material and trade out of the peninsula. and then of course you would also have direct military options to actually damage, degrade even destroy north korean delivery and nuclear capabilities. now combined with that are carrots which there is no reason why trump can't also and shouldn't also say look, north korea, we are also prepared to sit down with you, even head of state to head of state, have that cheese bugger err. trump had said that when he was on his campaign. we give a cheeseburger, split a cheese bugger we are the guy. is he not willing to do that now but that was his position. there is no reason the americans
12:28 am
couldn't talk about providing significant economic support. >> rose: a martial plan kind of thing. >> i wouldn't go that far but certainly you can imagine an environment where if you had the kind of inspections that you presently have in iran that trump could say this was a great deal, right, the art of the north korea deal. there is no reason why we only have to be talking about sticks when we talk about-- . >> rose: why have we resisted bilateral negotiations. >> we've had bilateral negotiations. they just ultimately the north koreans didn't go forward with them, every time we told them we're only going to talk to you-- . >> rose: as part of. >> as part of a broader negotiation to try to move towards inspections, instead they continue to test nuclear weapons an continue to test ballistic missiles. >> one thing i want to say which is really not being reported in the media, is so far this year they've actually tested fewer weapons than they tested in the same time period last year. and yet everyone is making it
12:29 am
sound like the north koreans are on this es ka la tore binge right now, that has more to do with the way the media portrays trump and their belief that there is more likelihood that we could have confrontation because trump sun predictable than because the north koreans themselves are suddenly out of the box. >> rose: speaking of trump, after what happened with the gas, the chemical weapons used in syria. >> yeah. >> rose: trump clearly came out and said he changed his mind, and two, there are reports that he may be prepared to use a military strike. >> yeah. that's right. >> rose: what does that say? >> well, i feel pretty confident that nobody that voted for trump voted for him with the idea that they were voting for military strikes against syria. he was the one that was saying-- . >> rose: how much he opposed the iraq war. >> and of he supported it but specifically to obama when obama had already talked about the red line and many had already died from chemical strikes, he told
12:30 am
obama strongly in multiple tweets, do not attack syria. like this is not our fight. america first. like we want to cut back foreign aid under trump. we want to take fewer refugees under trump. and we're not going to talk about human rights in all these countries whether it's putin killing journalists or whether it's the chinese engaging in horrible practices internally or externally. no, so suddenly, suddenly he cares about the syrian kids because he saw that chemical weapons were being used yet again. i mean it's hard to believe that. but at the same time-- . >> rose: so why is he doing it. are you saying it is hard to believe that he simply saw these atrocious pictures of children dying or having died from chemical weapons. that that wouldn't change his mind. >> again, we have had those pictures before. so i mean it's not like these pictures-- . >> rose: we had those pictures while he was president. >> that's true.
12:31 am
he told obama one thing, he clearly has shown he has the ability to change his mind and flip on a dime on a bunch of things. i do think given the statements he has made in the last 24 hours the likelihood of some form of at least limited military strike against syria is quite high. and-- . >> rose: for example strike where the chemical weapons are located, but is there danger that show they do that, they will look. >> there's always danger of all sorts of civilian casualties when you are talking about these sorts of strikes. and there is also daryngs unless are you just using drones that americans are going to die in the fight as well. though i think the biggest danger is the russian reaction. because of course when obama was considering these strikes when he was going to congress, the russians were not militarily engaged in syria. that is not the case today. >> rose: here's my question. why should we care. >> about? >> rose: the russians? >> well-- . >> rose: what are they going to do? >> maybe thr's going to back
12:32 am
down. and maybe they're not. >> rose: so if they don't back down, what is it they're going to do is my question. are they going to do any more than what they did when they came into syria? >> the fact is that the israelis have engaged in surgical strikes against syria and the russians didn't respond against them. >> rose: my point. >> i think it's a fair point. but i also know that trump coming into office, one of the key things he wanted to accomplish was some form of rapprochement with a russia that had a really bad relationship with the united states under obama. and clearly that's gotten vastly harder given all of the smoke around some of trump's team and their relations with the russians. >> rose: charges of collusion. >> but this will be the end, let's put it this way. if trump is concerned, let's not talk about american national interest. let's talk about trump because we have intn seeing what he has been doing. if trump believes that the russians actually have real intel out there either on him or on any members of his team that matter, and he decides that he's
12:33 am
going to engage in strikes against syria after russians have explicitly said that the syrians, the syrian government was not using chemical weapons, i would think that trump would have some vulnerability there. >> rose: okay. the big if is do they have that kind of. >> and i have no idea. >> rose: information, so called dossier information. >> but so far you have to think that it's been strange that you know sort of despite the fact that you have people like ambassador haley that are taking on putin and the creme lynn every bit as har be in her words as we saw from samantha power when she was ambassador. >> rose: and she says that she has, you know, a. >> she is doing her job, i believe that is probably the case. the fact is trump himself has made absolutely none of those statements. has taken every opportunity to say no, no, no. >> rose: haley points out that other people in the administration, not just her v been tougher on the administration, or than verbally
12:34 am
steve bannon or than others. there is clearly an enormous split within the trump administration be how to handle russia. >> rose: mattis has been tougher. >> absolutely, and tillerson less so. clearly the u.s.-russia relationship in the last 24 hours has deteriorated more quickly, i would argue, than at any point under the o obama administration. absolutely. when you have-- . >> rose: the last 24 hours. >> sure, purely on the basis of the syria issue. >> rose: was that anything that russia has done. >> no. >> rose: or the united states has done. >> no. >> rose: just what the president has said he might do. and what he, the way he has approached the syria issue which is virtually a 180 degree shift. two days ago, you had the trump administration saying look, assad, there is no way to get rid of assad right now. so it's not a priority issue. >> rose: you have people clapping, giving him a huge amount of applause because of this. >> john mccain. >> rose: and. >> lindsey graham, these are not fans of trump, right. and john mccain said i don't
12:35 am
care what the russians do in reaction. look, i mean my view has been from day one that syria is more of a con undrum, more of a quagmire than even iraq. but there are lots of ways to support the syrian people if you want to support the syrian people, right. i mean there is, you can actually bring over more as refugees. you can actually provide more humanitarian aid. you can establish a safe zone it is not at all clear to me that going after the a sad regime-- assad regime directly militarily is the way to go i think something tiller said-- tillerson said today is worth considering, that we are already taking steps to move towards a transition. >> rose: already taking steps to move towards a transition government in syria which see as sad exit out. >> right. and i think that there was a ckremlynn spokesman who made a comment. >> i think a lower level spokesman t is always hard to leave, just a few hours ago
12:36 am
saying russia's support for assad was not unconditional. which i thought was interesting. and that to me-- . >> rose: but have i heard that before from russia. >> i know, exactly. assad, at the end of the day russia is not the only player, even perhaps the most important player in terms of assad militarily, the iranians are doing much more on the ground than the russians are. so first of all, putin doesn't call all the shots. >> rose: that's because of hezbollah, is that what you are talking about. >> and also because of iranian hire military sport and vigz, some of those people have been killed in action, as you know. so the question is first of all to what extent putin is also think being using this as leverage against assad but is there an opening for tillerson and for trump it to say, you know, what, this isn't about military strikes against assad. this guy is beyond the pale. we now need a transition that doesn't have assad as part of the future of syrian governance but actually has something else and is there a way to work with
12:37 am
the russians on that. especially if you are trying to be coordinate with the russians on anti-ter mism. it's going to be very difficult to get that done. but i would say you at least have a glimmer of light from the kremlin statement until today. >> rose: so this question, why did the assad government do this? >> i will give you a question in return. how confident are we that the syrian president is the one that actually orders all strikes from his air force. do we really think he has that level of control today given the deterioration of governance in the country? i don't. >> this was a rogue jeb or something. >> i don't know. i have a fair amount of confidence given what the pentagon has said that chemical weapons were actually used by the reg eem against the people. that it was not at the russians claim that they hit a local depot and then it blew up, right. but i don't have, thus far i have no reason to believe
12:38 am
anything about who actually ordered it. i just don't. and you know, that raises the question of what kind of governance is there, we're in our 7th year of war. you got a guy that has-- . >> rose: just ended the six years. >> yeah, and you know you've had millions of refugees and over 500,000 dead. and the idea that assad has you know sort of complete strong putin-like top down control over his military forces given all of that and given the clear lack of moral there, strikes me as an open question. i mean you could argue that the fact that trump said this isn't a priority, assad can stay emboldened him and say now we can use our toughest weapon toses just destroy the morale of these people on the ground. but could you also just as easily argue that this was someone within the syrian air force, that decided to take this step. and that assad was you know, had nothing to do with it.
12:39 am
i don't have a basis to make that decision. >> you in the middle east, where did you go. >> in the emirates, abu disabbee and dubai. >> rose: how do they feel trump. >> they cautiously like trump. all these countries first of all, they love the fact that trump is seen to be a much more stal warden me of iran, sceptical of the iran deal. secondly to the extent that trump is willing to go hard against terrorism, and even against radical islamic terror, if you are one of the gulf monday arcs, you don't have that much of a problem with that. you also think that the lack of focus on human rights i mean obama talked a great game, didn't do very much in the region but he did, for example, limit some of the weapon sales to bahrain towards the ends. the trump administration is saying no, no, let's go back and give you whatever you need. those things make them comfortable. but clearly they are also unsettled by how much they don't
12:40 am
know, and in the emirates they were very concerned about the sudden laptop ban which they thought was more about helping american air carriers that are getting crushed by people like sort of emirates airlines and-- then they thought it was really about security. so i do think they're concerned about what happens if their kids go into american universities suddenly get extreme vetting when they come into the country. there are things that unsettle them longer temple. i will tell you, as of this week, you know, generally speaking in the middle east they are, the gulf states are more, and i'm talking saudis too, i am a talking qatar too, they feel more comfortable about trump than they did about obama. >> rose: because they believe he's more anti-iran and because they believe that he is more likely to come to their defense if necessary. >> they think he's more focused on the traditional american allies in the region. they saw the way that obama
12:41 am
through threw mu barack under the bus in egypt the way that-- the way that obama said he was going to work with morrisi. they hated that. they think that trump is easier. >> rose: and what happened to sisi when he came to the white housed. >> was treated incredibly well. that was a much better greeting than you saw from chancellor merkel, you know. >> rose: it's good to you have here, thank you. >> always good to see you. >> rose: ian bremmer, back in a moment, stay with us. >> bernard henri-levy is here, a philosopher and author, if i will maker and a friend. his nument document is called the battle of mosul it takes viewers on the front lines of the fight to recapture the ice rahki city from isis. here is a look at the trailer. >> .
12:42 am
12:43 am
>> the earlier film pesh peshmea was ectd cld are not 2016 cannes film festival to kusdz on the currish militia fight against isis in syria. i'm please todz have bernard henri-leveille back at this table. welcome. >> thank you, charlie. >> what is it about between you and. >> it is a, story, that they are so brave, they are so liberal.
12:44 am
they are such an exception in this area. they are prowest. they practice equally between women and men, you have women fighting in the same battle as the men. they are tolerant. this christian church has been vandalized by isis, it is muslim kurds who out approximate the krs back and they are very valiant. i had the chance and the honor to eggs court them, to go with them on the weren't line i could be a testimony for their bravery. for the atrocities of the war and for the bravery with which they con found this war. >> so they are fighting at the same time as iraqis are fighting, other iraqis from the
12:45 am
iraqi army. how do they they get along together? >> there is a coalition with also western forces. >> with air support, ground support, i met some american officers. american special forces they are in the movie, on the ground. if is a coalition of man and women of good will, against bar barrity it is a coalition. there is a share of tasks. the kurds have part of the job, they open the gates. with older villages around and the iraqi army is dealing with the battle inside mosul. i followed both of them, i was embedded or i signed up in a way with my camera, with both the kurds and the golden division of the iraqi army. >> do you now care more about making filmsk deumary films than
12:46 am
writing books about those experiences like this? >> it dependses. this war i wanted to have the chance to be first hands witness. i had the chance to be taken really with my team on the front line. i felt the duty to see what i saw, to show what i saw. to show what i saw and it could not be shown in a better way than with a documentary, you have to see these, you have to see this population of mosul surging from its ruins with hunger, you have to see these women sniped when they get the little food, the snipers dash from the roof who snipe them. you have to see this ruined city, the quurds and iraqis
12:47 am
fight and liberate a ruined city. this is so heartbreaking. it is the same in ber limb n1944, 1945. it repeats today. >> why do they fight? >> they fight for us. they fight for themselves, for their families for their country but also for us. theys are kurds and the iraqi army. they are our boots on the ground. and they have really-- all the kurds with whom i spent night and day told me we fight and live in it, we fight for civilization. we fight for values of freedom. -- request do we come back, request do we fight and the you are cans asking the same question, they say we fight for freedom, we fight for america, we fight for france, we fight against jihadiism, and this is a great thing to see, muslim because they are doe devoted
12:48 am
muslim. they are pious muslim, they are true muslim, fighting against radical islam this is a great experience and st a great proof that the battle is not between the west and the rest. within islam between two from islam i am proud it have escorted, to have filmed, to have shared some experience with these liberal and democratic muslim. >> how have the kirkeds in iraq differ, how do they differ from the kurds in syria? >> in a way they're the same they are brothers at the heart of every iraqi kurd beats at the same pace, at the heart of the syrian kurd. but of course as in all great peoples there is some political dirchtions in iraq, the
12:49 am
peshmerga whom are the one that i followed are probably more prowest, they are probably in syria there is some remnants of leninism, of before, so there are some political differences. but they are kurds. and they share these great patriotic hope of a nation for the kurds. >> rose: how does the united states handle the issue that he with sport some of the kurds which drives the president, former prime minister of turkey crazy? >> america is right to support the kurds. we are-- you americans and we flench, we are supporting our brothers in arms. and our brothers in spirit. >> he sees them as terrorist in some cases terrorists who want to take part of his country back, part of turkey back.
12:50 am
>> the kurds i accompanied in the war, i can tell you, are not terrorists. they are again-- . >> rose: you many terrorists with respect to, a different definition than isis, for example. >> certainly. but it is for the moment there are those who fight isis. they are those who fight for our values. for example, i give you one example which for me is a little test. the relationship with the jews in the muslim world, this is a real test. the relationship with the jews. in kurdistan it is only place in this part of the muslim world where relationship with the jews and with israeli is a pride, not a shame. i remember one day i was taken by my little escort to a village. i did not understand why it was far from the front line. they knew that i was interested in the front line, that i was there for film the front line.
12:51 am
they brought me to a village. when i arrived in this village, i understood. they wanted to show me a place of great pride for them, not sacred but very honorable, which was the house where was born a former defense minister of israel. so you have the muslim country where the birth place of a former minister of israel is not something which they have to hide. >> rose: do you remember which defense minister it was. >> yes,ities ak mordehi. so i know allots of muslim countries where this sort of place would be hidden as a sort of shame which has to be forgotten. there it is something which has to be praised and shown to visiter. it makes a big difference. maybe for an american citizen, for a french citizen, it makes a
12:52 am
very big difference. >> rose: so you have the kurds and you have the iraqi army and you have the american army all fighting. how long will it take them to completely retake mosul? >> i cannot say that. i really made my point of honor in this film to show what i saw, as i saw it and when i saw it. so what is happening now, have i no special incite am my feeling is that it will take some more timement because isis are fighting in a desperate a. >> a cow ardly but. >> yes, they are cow ards, of course. they use the weapon of cow ards which is suicide, which is human shields, hostages. they use children which they put on the front line. disarm the children which is a shame but they are the back
12:53 am
against the wall and they will fight till the end. the battle which began now is in very tiny and narrow streets where the humvees in which you just saw my team in the trailer, cannot enter, no humvees, no tanks, no armoured weapons. it has to be taken house by house so it will take some time am but they will be defeated. and it will be very important because mosul is important for two reasons. first off it is a dib i will kal city. it is a dib i will kal home of evil from 3,000 years ago till now. and number two. >> a dib i will kal home of. >> of evil. and number two, it is the capitol of isis, all the terrorist attacks which did haight us in the last month or years, have their brain in syria
12:54 am
or mosul. so this battle is absolutely crucial for america. >> rose: the next target after that is raqqa. >> the next target would be califar which is a city in iraq where there is a lot of, a big part of the leadership of ice is and after that raqqa, yes. we are going to enter. >> yeah, yeah. >>
12:55 am
>> rose: my great friend, it's great to have you here on the program. >> thank you, charlie, thank you. >> thank you for join us. see you next time. >> for more about this program and earlier episodes visit us online at and charlie captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
12:56 am
>> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. >> you're watching pbs.
12:57 am
12:58 am
12:59 am
1:00 am
boom! hello, i'm julia child. welcome to my house. what fun we're going to have baking all kinds of incredible cakes, pies and breads right here in my own kitchen. this festive array includes amaretti, pizzelle and biscotti. they're fun to make with the guidance of master teacher and author nick malgieri of peter kump's new york cooking school.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on