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tv   [untitled]    August 3, 2011 11:30am-12:00pm EDT

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headlines tune in to cause a report on our. welcome back you with us you live from moscow a summary of the headlines now egypt's deposed president hosni mubarak goes on trial in cairo on charges of corruption and killing protesters in february surprising meantime and there were a fatal clashes today outside the courthouse which we knew supporters and opponents
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. from italy begins crisis talks with the e.u. over its mounting debt problems sparking concern to could be on the path to a greece style bailout meanwhile spain's prime minister delays is a big nation to monitor the worsening fiscal crisis in his country. the u.n. security council is divided over syria western countries press for an outright condemnation of the syrian government for violence while russia says that could damage the road to peace and calls for more balance. i've got my colleague bill daughters here in half an hour's time but for now it's a cross-talk and people of el and his guests at this time all over the west's insistence on force feeding democracy to the arab world and stick. kick. the. low in welcome to crossfire gun peter lavelle
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is outside democracy promotion an oxymoron what is america's track record in the arab world and is invoking security interests of our democracy the greatest haven for tyrants. can. start. to discuss democracy promotion i'm joined by candy crowley in paris he is a writer and filmmaker and the rest with we go to jeff perdue he is a post-doctoral fellow at aberystwyth university and author of american foreign policy and postwar reconstruction comparing japan and iraq and in durham we cross to bruce generals and he is a professor of public policy and political science at duke university and another member of our cross talk team yelena hunger all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want to take i'd like to go to you first in paris over the last two weeks. were saying events that we've never seen before in the arab world i liken it to the end of the soviet union it is
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a world history or sturrock moment as we're doing this program events are books of folding extremely almost out of control in egypt so i ask you to take what is america's track record in promoting democracy and expression is hot area right now in north africa and i'd like to name a few places to nisha egypt levanon jordan where there is democracy but it's not recognize hamas hizbollah so it's a mixed game. democracy isn't a marsh it's not recognized at least by the united states and its allies and then the united states has been a huge impediment to democracy in the arab world since its inception since independence so what is its track record. its track record is very negative as many serious american historians admit themselves throughout the cold war period when the begin to me was communism the united states not just in the
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middle east but also in south america was prepared to tolerate tyrants took data as butchers of their people because it's there in cross with the end of the cold war. humanitarianism became one of the ideological pillars except in those countries where it wasn't convenient so we've seen in the middle east in particular. dictatorship in egypt which appears to be collapsing as we speak which has been there for the last twenty five to thirty years we have seen regimes over twenty years long in the matter of b.m. countries tunis and morocco. we've seen the toleration of a completely authoritarian brutal monarchy in saudi arabia jordan itself has been reduced to the status of women is really american protectorate and
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iraq has been occupied. and the occupation of iraq had very little to do with democracy before so it have a great deal to do with the establishment of us again lee now we have a waiver for of world sweeping the arab world you talk about it was reminiscent of the fall of the soviet union i'm not so sure because that the mass involvement in that by and large was limited it reminds me more of the wave of revolutions that took place in europe in one thousand nine hundred two year revolutions for democracy eight hundred forty eight porto revolutions against autocracy democratic revolutions trying to find a different way of governance and that that is what we are seeing very dramatically . very interesting they lasted too long i do and you know eighteen forty eight are interesting but it was a strong reaction eight hundred forty jeff if i can go to you a few days ago hillary clinton the u.s. secretary of state came out and said that a country like egypt
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a great country she said egypt needs more democratic reform isn't that a big rich after thirty years of paying off the egyptians some sixty billion dollars basically without any kind of accountability i mean again you know and if i can expand upon that watching c.n.n. and b.b.c. they're just cheering this on when those governments were all at the very the pillars of supporting this very horrible regime and people that knew anything about the regime just knew how terrible it was and now we're turning around saying we're so happy what's happening it's the hypocrisy is just outrageous. i wouldn't say so i think when you talk about democracy promotion you need to adopt the specter of i would say you need to look at it from a political perspective perspective the values let's say the ones carried by democracy and the perspective of. let's say. material interests or security interests or economic interests and what i'm trying to say here is that. during the
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cold war even after doubts there is still seem to be there seems to be a paradox in supporting or let's say be friendly to non-democratic regimes while at the same time promoting democracy in these the same very countries. through various programs of the recess instance usually implemented by american governments all the non-governmental organizations i think that if you look at this from and you take into consideration that you deal with two different time scales one is the economy and the security where you need to address very immediate concerns or issues if you want to go in the other one is more in the longer run where you tend to what you want to do is to try to see values and norms. values and norms in this case and you hope that these will be shared by the missile sites the adventure of the political society of this not democratic regime and little by little you know you could argue
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and i think that what we've witnessed his little by little gets democracy assistance program starts with fruits and whatever was we did we see that he did all that we see that at all in tunisia i mean i kind of feel radical level i can listen to what you're talking about but my goodness i mean you know it was not too long ago that ben ali was you know he was a guest in the white house and he's called a great friend of the united states ok i mean really i mean it's still a bit rich if i can use that term again right here bruce if i can go to you i mean all of america's friends i mean these are can i just say something all right go ahead to television if i was going to something very quickly go ahead if when ali you've been ali was still such a big friend of the united states or from western world generally speaking you probably if it was all about supporting authoritarian regimes in the name of security interests or economic interests then the now you wouldn't be in the white would be in washington and on the parties ok well that well that seems to be the
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ultimate safe haven for it will. so you probably other dictators going there as well bruce if i can go to you i mean you can you have a dual policy like that i think in theory it sounds very nice but if you look at weeki leaks and you look at these their sources of information i mean the united states was going to be just stay with the people you know you to stay with the devil you know work a and that's exactly what they did with tunisia and then they turn around and their entire democracy project blows up on them in lebanon though it's again against the will of the people there clearly i don't care what people think about hezbollah it is a popular. political party in the country it's up for the people to decide and not again it will reclaim ten dictating what kind of democracy should people should have because everything the united states has done in that region the last forty years is just create extremism. yeah you look i think you're again if i had some good points i'm not sure if i agree with the way that you're portraying i mean there's no question you know that the united states hasn't lived up to this great espousal have always been for democracy you know the reality for any country
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whether it's today or historically you know has had a balance off the principles you stand for the security interests that you have in the life you know and what we've been seeing i think is as as as your previous guest was saying was part of what's happening in egypt and to sort of support it was happening in tunisia was in fact fed you know by this development of civil society by n.g.o.s not just america in many indigenous many european as well that helped to develop the networks you know at the same time you're right that the united states was sort of still keeping our support with as it was often said you know they may be an s.o.b. but there are a soviet and the problem is there's this old expression you know those who make reform and possible make revolution inevitable you know and a certain extent you see that playing out. this wasn't predicted by experts everybody knew egypt was unstable but there's not an expert out there a journalist academic intelligence person whatever who said that things were going
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to really blow up into an egypt and in egypt now and i think that we really have to see where they go people are demanding i think three things they're demanding greater freedom both for their individual lives and for ability to affect their government their protest against massive corruption the mubarak regime the vet ali regime and they want to canonic opportunity this is mostly you know young males out there who want to offer toonies in their lives the reality is that you know you mentioned hizbullah as well has a lot of popular support in certain segments of of lebanon there's no question about it but you know the notion that somehow they're going to represent all the people they're not going to impose themselves and i'm not quite confident about that either in the same is true and of hamas which originally won its election. basis speaking to the corruption of the palestinian authority you know the injustices the economic problems that were there but then when they began to rule
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they ruled with an iron fist of their own were oppressive their own people said well we criticize what the united states is doing we shouldn't sort of make out is some you know glorifying force a lot of these other groups have got their flaws as well ok take if i go to you i mean still at the same time i mean what is the reputation of the united states as we go through this a drug raid transition here i mean do the people in the region look to be americans is being done thomas jefferson you know i mean great supporters of of democracy out there supporting their dictators for so many decades. well not in the arab oil and certainly not in south america where you have also had a wave of democracy over the last ten to fifteen years which has brought new governments and new social movements and to cali changing the relationship of forces by quite decisively if i can just sort of come back to one point it's not a question of whether we like has a polo whether we like or agree with every dalton carmyle from us or idealism
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that's not the point the point is permitting the people in that region to decide what's happened when hamas won the elections in palestine sanctions were imposed on it it's money was stopped and the west refused to recognize a democratic election because they were hoping to push the p.l.o. through and we now know why with the publication of the palestinian papers that the p.l.o. leadership it was in the pocket of the united states and now we know also please release to such a disgusting extent that it's horrified people in the arab world and so they actively promote it and tried to defend the corrupt palestinian leadership against hamas even though hamas had one ben they tried to destroy hamas as they did his will love buying cars are you going to be sitting around a really handsome guy was your day going to go to a short break after a short break we'll continue our discussion on exporting democracy stay with the.
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story. if you can. still listen to him was in the cool down reach of the folks from all over the world if you said this to their so-called. peace time or to go to the on the region. or the quds force. still gets people like to play her an ancient tribe likes to save its culture. where claims are protected in the first ten dollars on official nature reserve. russia close up on the party. it used to be an ideal place for a holiday and could change in
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a moment. the winds of war are still visible. the republic is not only relieved but also shaping the future. in. the. welcome back across the capital to remind you we're talking about the so-called democracy can be a string. but first let's see what democracy means to russians democracy for all democratic values are spreading all over the world some countries adopt them voluntarily and
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others are simply imposed by the outside forces the public opinion agency led by the senate i asked russians what democracy means to them so tonight percent as a canonic prosperity thirty percent as freedom of speech order and stability garnered thirty seven percent and many regard democracy as a lawful honest and direct elections so the latest events in tunisia make us wonder if west's so-called democracy industry doesn't really promote or its own interests back to pete. i jeff and i to go to you one of the things that happened when one of the reasons why ben ali was such a big friend of the american from the west in general and any and we can look at what's going on in egypt and other countries in the region is because they're. on the war against terror ok and that's always tough. of mind here and in the the nonsense that spewed out about here is terror and that's terror and you know just terrifying publics and western media and it does it all of the time and there these
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people are you know they may not be you know thomas jeffersons but you know they they're still going to be on our side isn't this really being shown is a complete exaggeration now because these tyrants created. a fundamentalist group of people that may be inclined to terrorism and things like that i mean the lack of supporting our own ideals and values have actually created these so-called threats against us. and i think we're talking about two different historical structures as well the immediacy of the cold war or let's say. what the united states needed to do during the cold war was to contain the west in the u.s.s.r. in the region and hands you know starting to kind of less than friendly regime or well thought another concentrations in the case of. what's going on in egypt like nothing that we should look at this from more than perspective if you
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keep talking about the parts of the whole body was and so i mean we never we don't know i'm talking about today i'm going about george bush's war on terror and it seems like obama is the accepted it is well no i'm talking about what's going on today not a cold war. ok so well in this case i would say that there is a clear progression in the obama administration about democracy promotion and the discourse is not linked anymore to the war on terror of course you still have references to what is called a democracy these theory and the fact that democracies don't go to war with each other. no would it mean that these emerging democracies in the middle east would be friendly to the united states nothing like in this case history might not be in favor of the united states and what we might see is diligence of of some different models of democracy which will not be the liberal democratic model which we know in the west with an emphasis of on elections and sensually and creating
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a procedures and structures favoring elections between competing elites favoring individual freedoms we're going to be trying to say here is that democracies very contested as a concept there is more than one type of democracy and that's in order to sort of guess the outcome of democracy it is essential to look at the realities affecting the temperature and it could democrats in nations where democracy is taking roots and look at you know the realities there and how democracy can adapt if you want to and we have competing models we talk a lot about islamic law islam democracy. and so would that mean that we live in well i mean or i mean jeff i mean you're right i mean this again it's very academic but i mean under eight years of bush and then in under two years of obama we still see american understanding of democracy in a way to go to bruce here on this one can protect american national interests ok it's a cover it's a cover for sure it's a cover to protect american interests that's why you know religion it's growing
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that hillary clinton will come out and say we need more democracy in egypt why couldn't she say that when she became secretary of state why couldn't a secretary of state said that twenty five or thirty years ago. if you can see the difference between obama and bush you know they're not really looking close i'm not . here to reassure you that they're not in the washington now washington to the region ok i think they raised more or less the same whether or not one hundred eighty degrees but but but there are significant differences but i come back to a point that sorry to leave because it's an important point you know during the cold war one of the huge mistakes that the united states made as we did is we kind of worked with or against this so the so-called third world was we lumped everything together as communism in marx and it was marxism and we didn't see the way that nationalism and local factors and culture and all those things entered and so in brazil i've been back and forth quite a few times i mean for you know for the president of brazil who came into office feared as
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a great left for this to have emerged with eighty percent popularity in his own country when he leaves office you know most leaders around the world would die for that sort of popularity and he demonstrated demonstrated. that he was progress sealion interests and he was prepared to work for them and not always agree with the united states and elsewhere and the challenge we face i think in the arab and islamic world is very similar ok there are elements in my view you know. jihadist extremist groups that frankly don't have the interests of the people you know the best measure people are all on their minds but with a nice nice to do do is to figure out how to have relations with different forms of political islam i think in both tunisia and egypt ultimately you know whether some muslim brotherhood in egypt or some of the political islam parties that have been trying to stamp out by the dictator tunisia they're going to emerge as part of the mix and we really need to figure out ways you know to work with them because neither tunisia or egypt are these uprisings and this point at least anti-american
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this is not iran one nine hundred seventy eight seventy nine it may well go in that direction if the u.s. does some of the things you're saying that that it's doing the right now i think the obama administration you know is trying it's a very tricky balance and you can find you know contradict. and it's fine but they're trying you know as they have since the president came into office when he went to cairo and he gave a speech there an awful lot of stuff going on there that doesn't make the headlines but has been working with civil society groups and other groups in egypt and elsewhere to try to develop you know their ability to to be part of the political process and that's a way to get the balance right but to say that it's all just about you know standing with older carriers i think right now this is ministration is try to change it and change it in a way that leads to things that are really in the interest of the people because the united states can't control everything that happens in these countries in one direction or any other than any way out of where these where they can influence because of their power and leaders tell you i thought you had your hand you had
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your head around i was wondering if you if you were bored by a conversation or you were exasperated no no i'm not you know where those where are those see differences where others see differences i basically see essential continue to be between the bush and obama administrations both domestically and in terms of foreign policy i don't think all that much has changed except for the modes of music and the record in terms of what is concretely being done in different parts of the world in afghanistan which we have mentioned obama is actually escalated the war there have been more drone attacks on pakistan during the obama years then in the entire eight years of the previous administration so wants to preserve a balance and not to be taken in. by the rhetoric which is being thrown around i think essential in what is going on in the middle east today in sixteen lean porton
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if more bought a false it will be a heavy blow for the united states regardless of who takes over because egypt is absolutely central to u.s. policy in the. region in order to keep the israelis happy we have discussed this stage for some reason is important the united states it backs it through thick and thin and often american interests get tangled with what is seen as israeli security increase in the region and that is one reason why that region in many many of its intellectuals and civil society groups have been extremely unhappy that palestine is the one colonial issue from the last century that remains resolved and now in terms of political islam there is flarm has all of the colors of the rainbow you can find every current within the islamic world the united states is perfectly happy working with these families in turkey who are staunch supporters of nato and
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have been assumed from pillar of nato i don't think the muslim brotherhood in either region apart from this will be all that different but what will be different if the demonstrators succeed in toppling mubarak is that egypt will for the first time in years be able egyptians will be able to decide on who they want to elect and that in sixteen lee important and the choice there is much much more different than the choice you have in europe center left center right democrats republicans in the u.s. very little divides them in egypt the gulf between the dictatorship and the people challenging it is huge so it's a very exciting prospect and of course it might well affect u.s. relations with egypt if for instance just on one issue there decide to open the border with gaza and not going to allow because i probably trampled exact you know
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jeff i mean i i didn't want to go deeper on israel because well first of all your program on it does this week already but i mean again i mean in the course of two weeks we have this these events playing out in egypt we. events with lebanon i mean the entire security arrangement did not it states pursued over the last four decades and the greater middle east is in shambles now if in fact is that it was that really at the center of american foreign policy interests in the region israel's security it may now be the least secure it's been in a very long time and it's because democracy is the idea and and people took it upon themselves i agree with what we heard earlier it's not anti-american yet we'll see where it goes but when we do hear what the people have to say we could have a very very volatile and we always say volatile of the greater middle east if these changes are actually come to fruition true or something that we would call democracy you know the question is that it's not necessarily the case that the united states and i say should not be putting all our eggs in the mubarak basket
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there's no question about that and it's not necessarily the case that a new regime would be anti-american ok it really depends how this plays out what the forces are there work and the like but i think that this notion that there is just cause and it is kind of if people that i say sometimes are only reading the right hand pages of a book and a lot of what i'm hearing is just reading the left hand pages ok well you know the reality is that the reality is that you know this administration the bush administration basically gave the israelis a lot of blank checks ok great recession has had some problems is ok. but it's really ok we have to stop on this point gentlemen ok many thanks to my guest today in paris and in wales and in durham and thanks to our viewers for watching us here r.t. see you next time in remember crosstalk. from
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