tv [untitled] June 10, 2011 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT
i was coeditor of counterpunch and contributing writer to the nation magazine alexander coburn and that's going to do it for now for more on the stories we covered with r.t. dot com slash usa check out our you tube page at youtube dot com slash r.t. america and christine for sound. culture is that so much of an oldish music is on the fence is it all about libya now with understanding the ongoing changes often violent in the arab middle east what makes yemen in syria different from what's going on it's. a charmer in here broadcasting live from washington d.c. coming up today on the big picture.
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live. kick. start. following a welcome to cross talk computer lavelle is it all about libya now when understanding the ongoing changes often violent in the arab middle east what makes yemen in syria different from what's going on in tripoli and is the arab spring with all its hope for a change only worthy for some in this volatile region. can. cross out protests in the arab world i'm joined by nineteen shaadi in london he's an associate fellow middle east and north africa program at chapman house also in london we go to in boston mohammed who baki he's an opposition activist and
a former advisor to yemeni prime ministers and in tel aviv we crossed the arc of law and he's a journalist for the jerusalem post all right gentlemen this is cross talk and that means you can jump in anytime you want to go to you first and go to the newest news here we still have members of nato really pushing very hard for some form of intervention that's left unsaid right now in syria here and i started out by the program and we all looking at these events now and like yemen and syria through the lens of libya is it a mistake to do that or is it correct to do that because we have to remember resolution one nine hundred seventy three was a no fly zone and look where we are now. yes i think i think the west is looking at syria through through two lenses libya and iraq and that's what's blurring blurring vision. what is needed is not a military intervention what is needed first is clarity in the
position sort of a clear statement. does bashar what the west thinks at the moment what he's getting is a very ambiguous uncertain. form of form of confused formulation of words that he interprets form of support so he thinks the west wanting to stay israel wants him to stay because israeli said to that well you know whatever. the west the israelis the arabs have not told him yet what the in a clear way that his time is up he thinks that he has a license or a car to belong to do whatever he wants or likes a kind of a license to kill. and do what it takes to remain in power because they want him to remain in power because of the beyond that's that's what's needed mr ambassador i go to you in london it's interesting when i'm sad is that we're is
a yemen between libya and iraq is that a good way of looking at it i think human is a special case to certain extent because in being on the very close it shares about three thousand kilometers of border with saudi arabia. the saudis in the g.c.c. have asked you know the west and our friends in the west. to be given a chance to sort of sort of the situation we saw shots are being called for you from saudi arabia and from the west itself unlike syria. the saudis are happy with what the west is doing there also if i can say we can stay with you mr ambassador i mean looking at an article from the new york times yesterday u.s. is intensifying a secret campaign in airstrikes how does that play into it all i mean is the u.s.
really pretty quick care who comes out on top in yemen as long as they can continue their air strikes against what they believe are terrorist are groups in operations in yemen where this yemen in the yemeni yemeni people fit into all of this well it's obvious that the u.s. are very much what did you know or what happened in that very important stretching area and for sure they would like to see somebody who's in charge there who could continue the operation which which. has given to the west and i think the opposition and in your region would give the. united states that. they will cooperate perhaps better than the last as regards fighting terrorism and with any other you know. towards the stability of the region you know if i go to you in tel aviv where do you stand in all of this here the devil that you know that's we've heard on this program here i mean what about what's going on in yemen and i'd like to spread it out with syria too i mean how does and i'm not asking you to speak for
the state of israel but i mean how do you think the israelis see what's going on here i mean the devil you know is better than when you don't know. well that's a reference of course to bashar us of the devil that we've known for quite a few years and his father provided stability in the golan but on the other hand he also tightened relations with iran and with iran's were presented in southern lebanon isabella so i think that from israel's point of view clearly israel is interested in stability and a peaceful northern border but beyond that israel wouldn't be instructing or advising anybody in syria about how they should run their own country israel's israel's main interest is ensuring a stable northern border but i think what we're on the topic of syria i think syria is very different from libya and it's very different because it's a country which really i think most resembles iraq you're looking at a group of. several types several groups that are there you have the minority
alawite who have been in power for decades since the sixty's at least and you have the majority sunni as who deeply resent being ruled by a minority and therefore most analysts here believe that if the assad regime falls and that's looking to be the case more and more as time goes by it looks more like . that would likely be followed by a set tarion bloodbath in syria as all of these groups the kurds. who are in all of these groups in syria made me battle it out and look after their own interests and of course be quite a tragic outcome should that actually come to pass and then. to. yemen yesterday because i just wanted to touch my friend in tel aviv would would be happy to see a functioning democracy in in syria because that's what you have said you know when you referred to the devil don't you what is the law of all rules you know that
country you know where that could could be could be kept under control the way he likes but not the way the people of the country like saw would a functioning democracy be in or a happy alter. for the israelis if you want to reply that they are close to this is a great question plight for your call that. both replied i'd like you like you i would like you happy to report that there is nothing there's nothing that israel would like to see more than a fully democratic syria in syria that's ruled by the rule of the people and a peaceful syria a place where the syrian people can express their political views and have economic opportunities because the rule of thumb has been that peaceful democracy still see conflict with one another so yes absolutely. we would like to see a democratic fully really democratic syrian republic was no question about that the only question is will that happen once our so forth and that's not at all clear ok
go ahead in line and go ahead. you know i just like the way you. repeat the mantra that has become the sort of standard one in the in this revolution that syria is not libya is not. is not egypt and then you have. somebody saying jordan is not is not syria is not libya everybody is saying we're not we're not we're not but the question is the bottom line is that every single company is completely different and you cannot compare any of them but once the idea of these regimes continuing has all or once a line has been crossed in which there is no more returned from iraq then it's a matter of time and cost. statements even like the one yacov just said he he would like to see democracy but there's a but in there there's a hesitation so all these are your statements are only prolonging the
process and making it more costly because the because it was interpreted. before more support that we want to carry because we can. here mr ambassador i go to you in ok. i passed the ambassador because you know i think we all agree obviously these countries are all different but there are some similarities and some countries get more support from the west and the united states specifically bahrain for example what to do with yemen because of the presence of al qaida there i mean the there is one thing that key is a common denominator is how much the west wants to intervene and not intervene mr ambassador go ahead. yes that again is it is that similar square i mean and i'm just now you know you wish myself the question i have sort of put to you a call would with the saudis like to see a functioning democracy in yemen and. and that's the thing going on here and the
thing which is which is calling i think change across perhaps i mean i have read many many reports and so on and people say that what is stalling the whole change in yemen has taken a long long time and i've seen the this is an initiative which had in many many flaws and perhaps to a certain extent it cause there's cause this now sort of gears and very. grave area where we are now in yemen you know we don't know where we're going to stay where are we just taking towards and the west unfortunately our friends our friends in all the yemen has been a little bit different from the rest of the of the countries we have been mentioning that we have got a group named as the friends of yemen which was formed here in london on the initiative of gordon brown the previous prime say in u.k. and they're to group actually involve so our regional partners are world as well as international partners global partners and we have seen them. big extended
especially our western partners and friends they have been rather you know very slow in their action we have seen that they're pushed a lot of. pleasure i live rage on on syria and as well on libya but we have seen none of that being used on yemen at all. because when you go you go to the break i had to tell the godhead. i just want to say what i what i was saying is not what i want to mock or see but rather what i was saying is democracy would clearly be best for the region and for the syrian people first and foremost and then for israel but but the god that is a reference to will it actually happen and that's a legitimate question it's a legitimate question to ask whether once bashar assad falls whether a liberal liberal democracy somebody's going to come back to you after the break or teacher i'll come back to you after the break after
a short break we'll continue our discussion on the arab protests dave darkie. it was created to serve public interests to inform and to entertain. these days there's nothing easier than opening a new media outlets but there is nothing harder than revoking its license in case of corruption. the same ways in trouble. you can involve in a community where you have one large corporation controlling the daily newspapers radio stations television stations the cable outlet or you tell me that that sounds
against stewart. all right gentlemen i wanted to really still talk a little bit more about libya and the precedent that libya is set for the region but an email you started out of democracy but for the region which i think is just as interesting go right ahead you want to make a comment before the break no it's just. it reminded me of what i told my doctor and my wife that i'll stop smoking going to diet and exercise but you know as you know and. so i think this is clear. and it shows that the but is the key issue is means that this is the devil you know we've dealt with we've dealt with russia has given us the ability so ok if you kills a few people it's ok if he supports terrorism but he solves it later it's ok. but but you know that's i think is the key word in the long term interest of the west
of the arab world even know. that there should be democracy in the region but they don't know it and they prefer to go over they know ok if i don't feel good to you and you know bring up another country here but the rain here i mean again democracy and civil society and western values and all these wonderful things that we keep hearing the west saying but you know bahrain isn't going to get that because well there is american military interest there in iran is just across the sea so that will always be far more important than any values that anyone in power will ever say ok you want to play going to bug me out of my own problem go ahead i deal with them i'm going to i'll go ahead and i just. we're not talking about first of all you're here we're talking about universal but i don't think it's not something the west has invented or only or what i mean it doesn't exist everywhere and i can show you places ok ok if you want to go ahead and tell the ok yeah i guess again i feel that there's some sort of a gap in in what i'm saying and how it's being perceived i'm sitting here in the
middle east as an observer looking at what's going to happen and what the options are so when i say will a democracy replace the brutal bloodthirsty dictatorship of the. nobody i think in who has any awareness of the history of this region would immediately. say well of course the middle steps down it's obviously going to be replaced by a liberal democracy but bottom line is we don't know that's what we would like to happen but there's absolutely nothing wrong with from a strategic analytical point of view asking the questions who are the forces at play what is the structure of syrian society can can it survive a fall of this of this brutal dictatorship that's been in power for years without sectarian bloodbath i think anybody who does not ask these questions is unfortunately planting their head in the sand if these are questions that have to be asked by any responsible observer and i think that's a very important point to make ok mr ambassador i mean we hear there's
a i think that he brought up a very good point about democracy and we heard also the term liberal democracy mr bastow can we have arab democracy and islamic democracy why should it be liberal why can't it be the version that works for their societies. well people have actually experimented with different regions and values and so on and that's why i agree with the dean when he says you know these values of liberal. democrat is asian they're not related to the west only this is a humanity now sort of heritage and that's why we shouldn't level it by him being western you know at the end people have been watching across the world how the way forward for them to take share on and to actually take part in the in running their own daily affairs and we haven't nobody could invent something different although all the. experiment looks different from one country to another obviously and here
in london the westminster democracy is quite different from the democracy back here be at the capital but still at the end you know what when you mean by democratization i mean to give the people the ability the power and the chance to take share enco in running their own affairs and this is what people have been asking instead of having this is a question we are facing now actually in the in the arab world is we have never had a sort of parliamentary system most of the systems in the arab world or the political systems where a presidential system which which by looks like the this is the lock not unlike the us system it's the so-called make system like in france and then you end up with a president who like all rules like a thorough in on or the prince of the believers and he becomes a disport and a tyrant and he wouldn't know and he wouldn't allow anybody else in a to share in a collective sort of leadership and this is the question now because if one of the
people who had been for a long time trying to. put the question which should be asked in our new all democratization in the arab world is moving towards a parliamentary sort of democracies like in israel or in turkey and so on with the islamic culture we have. but if somebody reaches only himself which is at the top of the of the hat on then he would become a despotic by the way of the cult so it goes and this is the thing now we were expecting to happen in egypt and unfortunately such a system a parliamentary system is this is what the little monkeys in the arab world don't like ok. name it looks like you are very much disagreeing there go right ahead but you know i'm i'm agreeing i was just thinking that the best criticism and dictatorship are also part of world heritage and you have to make a choice which which which part of the heritage will suit you support it has nothing to do with being our of or muslim it can be i mean it exists in north korea
. or less so the same. and people have said over the years that you can't have democracy in front of central europe or eastern europe because of the slavs or the greek orthodox no car can do it and the catholics are let in america can't do it and the spaniards can't do it you know it's always a good excuse. to choose the other model which is equally part of world heritage you know and you have to make a choice not to change gears here you have to find go to you there's loggerheads now in the united nations security council on how to move forward in dealing with yemen in and syria do you think that is a direct result of the botched job in libya in a really should the international community be so involved because when it got really involved in libya it turned into a quagmire. right it turned into a quagmire because no clear set of objectives were defined at the outset of the mission libya's is a dictatorship that hinges almost exclusively. fee and the minute that you leave
the head of the monster so to speak in place then you haven't solved the situation so i think you know in retrospect they should have either not got involved at all or or step in mission of getting rid of gadhafi but the sort of half past ten to intervene is just said it's setting up a permanent status quo as freezing the situation of a libya split into two one controlled by the rebels and one controlled by the regime i find the relative silence of the west on what's happening in syria according to recent reports over one thousand three hundred unarmed civilians murdered by security forces of. a million of these forces run by his younger brother mark who's in charge of the fourth division and the republican guard whose main task is really to oppress the population i find the relative silence on that quite shocking really into sterling i would he has affected by this levy would not
let me just a rhythm nation maybe just a reverse because dictators in the region now see a look the west botched it in libya they might think twice about doing it again expression since countries like russia and china are saying no you we gave the united nations security council mandate and they abused it badly so a lot of dictators must be pretty pleased right now that maybe they're not going to be a victim of an invasion by going ask that of you know dean what do you think i'm being pretty good at but i think you go ahead where it's too much of a luxury what what what your goal risk is ideal for for policymakers if you're not sure just keep away but the west has no choice but to get involved because you've got a policy of noninvolvement is in itself a very significant policy if you're clearly if you're if you're turning if you're turning away and you're telling someone this is not our business you're. you can do what you like it is a policy for there's no such thing as a luxury of having no policy or people keeping or there's no neutrality in the west
towards what's happening there should not be in your view it's not yes we can if you if you have to mr ambassador yes we have to go what does that mean what we have to do be more specific go ahead unfortunately for the western or as regards him and we have been. experimenting with democratization for the past twenty years and they have known for the past ten years that they have been troubled there and they have been trying to help in or trying to encourage a part more participation a sort of a dialogue and reversal dialogue where they've been speaking that for the past you know three four years now when we did you see initiative we see that they're going to allow this thing go forward without the needed gallow because in yemen we have got big issues like the southern issue or and like the truth is and many many other sectors of the opposition have been kept outside of having a say in the future for of formulation of the new regime so again there we find
that in spite of there are those a community given by them on the sidelines of the meetings in september. with the meetings of the general assembly of the recognitions the three countries yemen and you care and saudi arabia committed themselves to words and national universal dialogue in yemen but in spite of that nobody is thinking about it now you know because i don't know these values are at the end will be used only if it helps their own interests if it's against their interest then they find themselves in a dilemma ok you have under your last word in this program do you think that israel and the united states and its western well i just got too used to having a very pliant arab world and they're just they're just caught flat footed in how to deal with all these strangers and we all agreed all these countries are different. well i think again israel has certain never chose its environments never decided that yes we'd like to be surrounded by police states and dictatorships because
first of all these these regimes their interest is in perpetuating conflict because it's a great way for them to take world attention in the attention of their own civilians away from the real problems of the region so again there's nothing that the most israelis would want more than to be surrounded by fellow democracies real democracies and have free trade and peaceful relations this is a a vision that's shared by everybody here so how to against it we have to make a separation between what we'd like and what may happen if we could push a button and that would happen they'll be great but the region is so complicated and those societies are so divided amongst all so i'm not complicated no generally no money complicated you know they've run out of time many thanks to my guest today in london and in tel aviv and thanks to our viewers for watching us here r.t. see you next time and remember cost top of. the i.