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tv   [untitled]    September 16, 2011 3:30am-4:00am EDT

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it's all falls down here mostly this is all t. the un's both these in stalemate over tensions at kosovo and serbia as northern border crossings the breakaway regions ignoring claims the talks but seems set on seizing the checkpoints all and if necessary. as the british and french leaders held the democracy they brought to libya u.k. tanks the weapons in tejas strengthen all the arab hardline leaderships. the russian manned spacecraft touches down beneath trans national space station crew members. are one of the ten cents missions in its history. up next the danger of
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a dramatic escalation of the syrian conflict is on discussion impede lavelle's show what happens if russia quits his post and if people really want him to quit it's will these and many more questions coming up in crosstalk. wealthy british style. sometimes because. markets weiner scandal. find out what's really happening to the global economy in the car is a report on r.t. . can.
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follow and welcome to cross talk i'm peter lavelle series growing cycle of violence is this country the state of cause the civil war or about to start a civil war if this current regime falls from power what could replace it and how should the international community. keep. cross-talk syria's future i'm joined by mark levine in washington he's a senior fellow with the truman national security project and a talk radio host in cambridge we cross to george joffe and he's a research fellow at king's college london and in detroit we go to me he is a journalist and political analyst hard folks cross talk rules and i think that means that you can jump in anytime you want and i really encourage it but first let's see how the world has been reacting to events in syria. as protests in syria continue unabated up to three thousand people most of whom are civilians are already thought to have died in the government's crackdown despite the
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international community has in effect ignored the bloodshed opting instead for sanctions and rhetorical operations i think that increasingly are saying president assad. lose legitimacy in the eyes of his people and that's why we've been working and international rules make sure that. we keep the pressure up to see if we can bring some real change in syria well like made us aerial campaign in libya syrian protesters have been largely left to fend for themselves and that despite syrian protesters calls on the international community to interfere the syrian people cool on the united nations to adopt a resolution to set up a permanent observer mission in syria and yet there's been no u.n. resolution of the sorts experts say one of the reasons for that lack of action is president bashar assad's military arsenal which far outweighs that of low market duffy's some politicians such as france's foreign minister have also pointed the
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finger at russia which of course foreign intervention in libya and is likely to be a un resolution of condemnation against the syrian government. resolution security council condemning the use of violence against civilians and organizing a vision of sanctions it's a hard struggle but we do not give up but most importantly the syrian question seems to be about the clash of competing interests over syria is that person ethnic and religious makeup so far the struggle for reform in the embattled country has resemble the playing field for regional powers like saudi arabia turkey and iran with few in the west willing to provoke the latter. across our team. ok first i'd like to start with george and cambridge the mainstream media is looking at syria is just the slaughter of innocent civilians innocent protesters
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but a little bit deeper description would probably be this is an armed insurrection because we have members of the security forces and presumably the military that are taking casualties why is the you think it's being reported is simply is just. assad's government attacking protesters when they some of these protesters obviously appear to be armed. well i think the short answer is that at the moment the majority of people demonstrating are unarmed ok and so you can argue that it's a peaceful demonstration but the problem is that you're quite right. amongst the demonstrators in some parts of the country the demonstrations have really been on the massacres and security forces as well so the problem is whether or not the demonstrations overall do become the nominee insurrection and should that occur then i think the outcome in syria is going to be very bloody indeed ok mark if i can go to you if you would you call this a civil war that it's beginning it may be a civil war now and it's of war that could just continue to develop over time
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because it looks like you saw a government regime is not going to give up very easily it's shown that while it's true the government it represents a tiny minority alawite population in syria and that extent the majority sunni is one have a voice in their country it could become a civil war right now although it's a bunch of innocent pacifist people the vast majority of them have no arms who are trying to fight to have a voice and are left to do is look at today's washington post is a picture of our this is a pacifist this is a young man not twenty five years old these to hand roses to the soldiers who were more when down protesters trying to get them to stop here of course he was just murdered tortured brutalized along with three thousand six hundred innocent people in syria right now is just people fighting to have a voice in their country and being brutalized by their own government and you know i mean in detroit how would you describe the events playing out in detroit in syria right now would you call it a civil war an armed insurrection i think it is a good. i believe it is the beginning of
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a civil war there are elements there that are on the syrian government has pointed out that the opposition certain elements within the opposition have been armed by outside forces particularly the united states as well as israel they claim that they have a confession from a former general from syria who defected and he's going to be featured on syrian television are very soon to talk about the involvement of the united states and israel and this overall unrest that's been taking place in syria now for the last several months we have to keep in mind that syria is one of the countries that has been targeted for several years now by the u.s. and by other western powers for regime change and the people who are calling for the imposition of the no fly zone and for international intervention happy keep in mind that this is not helped the situation at all in libya we just need to take libya as a playbook we have the bombing of libya now for over six months and the situation
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there the conditions are deplorable for the civilian population is divided the people of libya and we do not want to see the same situation develop in syria because it's going to be the united states and these western industrialized countries and the populations within these western industrialized countries that are going to be victimized by this war that they're planning to carry out against the syrian government came out and i usually say margaret she looks a little nice a mark in washington and he's delusional you disagrees very much mark all right ahead actually this program started. i hardly know where to begin with the syrian people would be lucky to join the libyan people and asian people in egypt and people in freedom they would be lucky to get rid of a dictator who's word has already murdered three thousand six hundred innocent civilians his father killed tens of thousands and if the syrian government is on the up and up and frankly i don't know anyone who believes it's here. in government
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now only the syrians largely the syrian government i don't know any nation in the world who takes over syria's word to syria the syrian government said if they are telling the truth then allow the media to syria allow the media into the squares a lot of myriad media to see the troops knowing down innocent people like pacifist people and our role is to soldiers if they don't allow the media in because they know they can massacre and torture and brutalize a lot more people if they don't allow the media in nobody believes the syrian government not even in fact the people the syrian government what do you think about that george i mean we heard earlier that the united states and other countries in israel was mentioned have an interest in seeing syria being disable is a bit unstable excuse me well i have to say i find confusion of truth and misunderstanding there quite extraordinary as far as i know it's certainly true that the united states has for many years now called for the syrian government to be overthrown or modified and it's also true that there has been some evidence that
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the american government has begun an officially to encourage armed insurrection inside syria but to suggest that israel would do so i do find strange not because i believe that israel's not capable of doing so but because actually it doesn't serve israel's interests to do so if indeed it gets rid of the syrian government he disturbs a stable situation inside the middle east which has been through its benefits for a very long time and is canoga aren t. that what will come instead would be more acceptable to almost certainly would be less so you only have to look at the situation that's developed in egypt that's developing in cotton and is what's occurred in turkey to see that so i really don't think you can lump together the israeli government with the united states in that respect and then beyond that to the idea of an external intervention of the kind that occurred in libya doesn't seem to me to be in the remotest sense possible likely or to being courage and to suggest that in fact the. eventually libya was to
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the disadvantage of the libyan people when the gadhafi regime was if possible more brutal and that president assad seems to me to be quite simply curtis what do you think it's go back to detroit what do you think about that i mean is it doesn't seem to be in everyone's interest to see your side of museum fall apart as a matter of fact there's a lot of other issues involved we have iran we have saudi arabia we have hezbollah it's extremely complicated i mean it's assad is the devil you know in the region in a lot of people are quite satisfied with that. well the fact of the matter is is that there is an alliance between the syrian government the government in iran hezbollah the resistance movement in lebanon as well as hamas in palestine and these are the sworn enemies of the united states as well as the western industrialized countries along with israel israel operates as the forward operating base of u.s. interests in the middle east you cannot will the developments in egypt and tunisia
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and look what has happened in libya and syria for the simple fact that the governments in egypt and tunisia have long had long been supported by the united states and to a certain degree are supported by them today as well we have the egyptian the special forces that operated with the n.c.c. in libya in order to out topple the gadhafi government in libya also we have the situation in tunisia where the armed forces there assisted the m.t.c. and nato forces and destabilizing libya and it does not serve the interests of the syrian people or any other people in the region to have a direct u.s. and western involvement in their countries the arab league has been attempting to mediate the situation inside of syria the secretary general of the arab league mr not bill l.r.b. i was in damascus about five days ago and this is what needs to be incurs and needs
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to be encouragement of balog where i talk to him and i may jump in right here really short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on syrian state turkey.
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well when one deals with war for us to realize that this tremendous amounts of damage that are done not just human damage but damage the physical environment in which the battlefield takes place tremendous amounts of damage done by aerial bombs by napalm for a chemical city who knows whether it's hard sonic boom sick factory marine mammals or it's the burning oil fields here in the rock or a good story corps reefs in the pacific for a landing purposes the list just goes on and on the geneva convention says clinton forty nine states that terri shall be saved and in war to protect involved against widespread long term and severe damage the united states
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although it is accepted almost all of the provisions protocol one has taken exception to that. the cake. walk. welcome back to cross talk i'm peter lavelle remind you we're talking about the future of syria. can start. ok mark i want to go back to you in washington so give me your opinion should there be an intervention an armed intervention to overthrow this regime in damascus and if we should do that should if we should it is a coffee out then should we do with bahrain as well go ahead. first of all i think
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that's a last resort i don't think we have tried all of the sanctions in fact i think contrary to what i do yeah me with same united states and i'm very slow to say anything about syria the europeans have said something far before president obama finally said that president assad has to go frankly we were slow in libya as well the english and the french we took the way it was until he promised to find everyone in their closets and murder and massacre them that the united states finally came in to help there i think in terms of an armed intervention that for the syrian people to decide this is their revolution again in today's washington post and they talk about the murder of this pacifist he ultimately are the person used to hand roses to the soldiers and hand them water and the people who firmly believe in nonviolence and i keep the chant peaceful peaceful as the soldiers were killing the civilians it's up to them to decide whether armed intervention is the right way to go unfortunately the more pacifists are murdered the more the syrian regime will be likely to face armed intervention if the people of syria do take up arms intervention against the government then i think the west has to seriously
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consider whether you have a no fly zone much as they did in libya but we haven't reached that step first i want to see harsher sanctions i want to see harsher sanctions from the europeans they have gas deals with syria they don't expire until november but expire the nels put a lot of pressure on this regime to start mass creates on people george if i can go to you it seems like a pattern is starting now and if we look at libya as that pattern you start with a no fly zone then you have you know the resolution one nine hundred seventy three and then there was a by any definition by any standard that resolution was very much abused and i don't care about the outcome it's just going to look at a resolution in international institutions and international law do you perceive that the same thing could happen with syria. well first of all i agree with you the resolution hundred seventy three was being abused and nato in fact acted really is the vehicle by which western powers were able to demonstrate their distaste for they could actually reach him and remove it but there is
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a pattern but the. that's quite an interesting one and then you just that first of all that i think it's most unlikely that any intervention in syria because the syrian case is completely different and the ramifications of an intervention will be far more serious but the pattern that seems to be interesting is that we're doing intervention now one removed we're not a sheen gaging on the ground what we're doing instead is using indirect mechanisms to achieve the ns that we want and indeed inside the arab world the arab press has noted this and there's been a lot of criticism of what occurred in libya and there be a lot more should be applied to syria to have a much arab regimes and arab newspapers may dislike the assad regime if indeed we with repeat that process they regard this as the potential for the beginning of a new round of nato imperialism inside the region and to that extent therefore the point you make is quite valid if i go back to detroit is this a pattern that we see that the we see with the arab spring we see all dictators
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being thrown out of all or supported by the united states and now it is just another western wave of neo colonialism just to put in people that ok the old ones are out there not popular find new ones to put in and use this this liberal interventionists playbook to get what they want. i think the u.s. as well as the nato countries are very concerned about the uprisings that started in december and to nisha and spread to egypt and other countries in january and february there and eventually in libya was an attempt to stave off further revolutionary movements that may take on the anti-imperialist and i advise zionists character and that is why they are now in libya trying to control the political direction of the country there that's why mr psycho see and mr cameron it was announced today that they were in tripoli and this is indicative of the fact that this so-called revolution in libya was nothing but an effort of regime change
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that was hatched in washington london and london and paris and they want to do the same process carry out the same process in syria as well as iran and why have they not intervened in bahrain and in yemen where we've also had. these big committed by the regimes there because those regimes do the bidding of the united states they do the bidding of the british and the french and of course we have to keep all these factors in consideration when we try to analyze what is going on in the region we cannot say that what happened in egypt and to be sure earlier in the year is the same type of process that developed in libya and what is going on now in syria because those regimes have been targeted for decades for destabilization are by the united states and by other western industrialized countries so we have to keep all of these variables in mind in libya they engaged in over twenty thousand sorties there was over seventy five hundred airstrikes against that country of six million
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people which have no air defense there was never any substantial evidence that massacres had occurred inside of libya if they had been the evidence would have been shown to us over the various cable and satellite television stations are a lot the worry if you get around here i did hear them if i could jump in here mark again i see you can. go ahead i do i think of a young lady is no credit to the people of the region it's as if they're pawns in some imperialist game the people of libya like the people of syria like the people of iran like the people of tunisia like the people of egypt like the people of yemen in bahrain all of them want freedom all of them one a voice all the of tired of corrupt dictatorships who massacred their own people in the case of gadhafi i b m he says there's no evidence he massacred his own people listen to the words of gadhafi himself when he said we will find you in your closets we will show no mercy this is a man who was threatening to massacre virtually everyone in benghazi and beyond he says it's all about a new imperialist design look whatever games the western powers or russia are playing we i'm happy to discuss with you but no one should doubt this is an
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indigenous movement of people who are seeking their own freedom this pilot makes a very different from the war in iraq which i was very much opposed to the united states imposed its will on the ground these are people who are asking for their own freedoms and the west has been very late to support their cause i'm glad we are in georgia if i can ask you i mean there is an element of hypocrisy here we've already heard it i mean why not yemen why not bahrain because these are just western allies are or or very friendly to western powers but syria isn't and i'd like to point out immediately i'm sure europe has more trade connections with syria but were united states talks about sanctions that ended any kind of trade relationship years ago so i mean what kind of leverage is there but george at the start to stay with a double standard in the region is that patton double standard isn't it. well you know i'm afraid international relations is characterized by hypocrisy anyway states do what they can no war they might like to do or what they may claim they would
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like to do so norms don't really apply practicalities do and in this case it was easy to intervene in libya it was easy because diplomatically nobody would reject and it was easy too because it didn't have any direct ramifications on other countries that's simply not true in the case of syria and therefore it was late in the day that we began here condemnations of the assad regime and despite the huff and puff from washington we haven't yet heard anything to suggest there's going to be military intervention no european state has suggested that either nor will they they can simply fold it will become engaged and it's and the result is that the only mechanisms available are sanctions against the regime which is quite frankly massacring its own people let me just add in libya the regime simply did massacres and population and there is evidence of it and it is known a series of mass graves have been uncovered particularly in carefully the demonstrate that quite clearly so to that extent i think we need to be very careful
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of the way in which we evaluate the interactions in the reactions of states in the developed world to these two different crises and then make another point to actually nobody really wants to go into iraq exactly we will go exactly i think it's a very interesting point if i could ask mark here i don't think we have to be careful what we wish for because what is going what could replace assad ok are we going to have ethnic strife we're going to have religious strife i mean it's it's it's you can never it's easy to start these things but it's very very rarely do you get the outcome that you hoped for i think we've seen that over the last decade. well i agree with you peter anytime a dictatorship goes it's unclear what's going to happen next i think tunisia is likely to be the most successful egypt is already showing signs of even in libya they're showing signs of some secular islamised battles back and forth i think that any time you have a dictatorship you're always going to have three parties you're going to have
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a dictator in place you're going to have the people who promote religious intolerance or ethnic hatred and you're going to have the liberal democrats and of course i'm on the side the liberal democrats i want to see them succeed you're absolutely right there's no guarantee of success but it's far as i'm concerned assad may be the devil you know but he is a devil and he's an awful devil and i think that we're better off without him come what may although i must admit i don't know what will come i just know that assad is a terrible horrible leader of syria and you know me if i go back to you in detroit what do you think who could come after this regime if it falls so i think these are so many different opinions out there it could probably stand for a very long time. well we don't know what would come after but we do know in regards to diplomatic opposition to the u.s. and nato bombing of libya the african union our fifty three to fifty four member that organization opposed the intervention in libya from march the tenth when they issued the initial communique but of peace and security council this was totally disregarded by the united states and by the nato countries as well as the m.t.c.
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which is supported by the united states and the nato countries so to say that there was no diplomatic opposition to the war against libya is just purely false and it's very well euro centric heinous approach and in regard to the attacks on civilians in libya nobody is talking about the attacks against black libyans against africans from other parts of the continent who have been rounded up who have been in prison who have been beaten and tortured who have been lynched by these into the sea rebels who are backed up by the united states and nato where is the outrage by the cable and satellite television networks in the so-called international humanitarian organizations in regard to the treatment are out i'm libyan ok and i can jacqueline to jump in here and give them since i didn't live here and i've been i think in georgia last what do you think the regional ok i deal with this this problem in syria itself without having to have to have western powers and intervene. western
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cars are not going to intervene it's as simple as that and at the moment the outside regime will prevail whether we like it or not simply because the majority populations in damascus and aleppo still support it because of their own economic interests and because of that fears of instability if they don't so until that changes there's going to be no change in syria not in the short term in the longer term that's another matter so we really conduct forward to any question of intervention and i'm not certain we can look forward to regime change either all right general see how the story unfolds many thanks to my guest today in washington cambridge and in detroit and thanks for viewers for watching us here on he she makes time and remember cross talk rules.
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