tv Breaking the Set RT July 19, 2013 10:29am-11:01am EDT
to anyone that later reproduces said product i mean would any sane person say that if you shoot a person with a cocked forty five pistol that is a crime but if you use a copycat call made in mexico to blow your neighbor's it off well that's ok because it's a generic copy no no sane person would allow drug producers to have no liability for their product but that's just my opinion. alan welcome to sophie and co i'm sophie shevardnadze and even today we can't get past snowden edward snowden has intentionally or unintentionally but the relationship between russia and the united states on ice the fact is that
whistleblower weighs on russian territory and is asking for an asylum while the united states is demanding immediate arrest and extradition in the current lot of uncertainty and children and between the two states what is really at risk. a legacy of slavery. u.s. ties are continuously tested never more so than now this squabble over snowden has fuels the crossfire well president seeks to preserve partnership and promote peace one of the sore points in the relationship to the post cold war giant's catch the same way. what does it state for russia and america and for the international community as a whole. so our guest is stephen cohen professor of russian studies and history at new york university and princeton university steven it's really great to have you with us today i'm happy to be with you so at this point who is snowden more of
a problem for the united states or russia. well in my perspective he's a problem for both if we put this in historical context since the end of the soviet union twenty two years ago we've lost several opportunities to create a meaningful cooperative relationship between washington and moscow it appeared a few weeks ago that we had another opportunity the opportunity began with the tragedy the bombings in boston when it was clear that we needed a lot of cooperation in counterterrorism between moscow and washington and then as the syrian civil war whatever it is spun out of control certainly the worst crisis in the middle east in many years it also appeared that washington and moscow were ready to try to do something about that and then came snowden not only snow but he clearly is a setback and i would say both for president putin and president obama but do you think that putin is handling the snowden situation wisely where what makes this
very interesting is that president putin is a man who likes to control the environment in which he makes international and i suppose domestic decisions he couldn't control this snowden came literally out of the blue and he had to decide what to do so he's caught and he was caught and he remains caught between two very strong countervailing factors on the one hand putin pursues in the world what i would call not an anti american foreign policy but and an american foreign policy that is say or a non american foreign policy that is a foreign policy rather different from the united states in many areas therefore he could not turn snowden a highly symbolic figure over to the united states on the other hand it's absolutely clear that putin wants some kind of cooperative relationship with the united states i think he's probably done as good as he can do as i understand it
the solution is to. allow snowden to remain in russia in some status of temporary asylum while he sorts out how he's going to go to a third country venezuela or someplace that's a legal issue that is to say he needs travel documents and probably he has to go to the embassy of that country in moscow but though it's legal it's profoundly political in a way the american russian relations at the moment hinge on that and as i said the other day to an american who asked me i think this test the leadership ability not only of putin but of obama to solve this problem and you brought up an interesting point saying that putting likes to control the situation do you think you would have acted differently if he wasn't confronted it would a sheer fact. of snowden being in rochelle russian soil well i mean all leaders real leaders state leaders try to control the environment in which they make decisions been very often they can wars come to acts of terrorism and calm
leaders change in other countries with whom they were doing business what we don't know about the snowden affair is whether or not the chinese when they allowed snowden to fly to moscow from phone call cleared it with the russian and whether the russians said ok sending the law if they if that happened and we don't know but i would guess it did because the chinese russian relationship is very important and very close at the moment i would assume that whoever in moscow made that decision in might not have been president putin he can't make every decision before it becomes crisis they may have assumed in moscow that in fact snowden was going to do as snowden thought he was going to do spend maybe ten hours in the transit section of show them out of the airport in moscow and then get on a plane to vanna and on at that time he thought to ecuador and then
a problem arose with ecuador and he's still in moscow so in that sense we don't know if putin said ok let him travel through moscow not knowing he was going to become a kind of resident in moscow given the things the way they are right now what does russia risk if it keeps node in an official refugee status well there is a very very as you know strong anti kremlin anti putin anti russian lobby in washington and it's it's citadel as the united states congress that's why we get posterous legislation like the magnitsky act congress is prepared to do anything to strike at russia yesterday for example one of the senators proposed that the united states boycott the a winner. lympics in russia in two thousand and fourteen that won't happen but the mere fact that a united states senator who's supposed to be a person of wisdom and dignity would propose such a preposterous thing shows you what kind of congress we're dealing with so i
predict and i think any idiot could predict i don't claim great credit for this that when and i assume it's when snowden is given temporary asylum in moscow that members of congress members of the various anti so anti russian lobbies like freedom house in the united states and many others will denounce the kremlin and demand that obama do something very bad to russia and then obama will be tested we will see if he can withstand that or not and that's where i say by the way that i think this is a kind of test not only of the wisdom and leadership of food but the wisdom and leadership of obama remind you obama didn't ask for this snowden crisis putin ask for it they just got it. and the other thing with this story is that media right now it's more focused on snowden's future on what he eats what he wears where he lives where his girlfriend is than his revelations into leaks can we expect the
attention turning back to actually n.s.a. in prison or is it they should now bury it under a snowden narrative. well you raised what for me is the fundamental question what we that is we americans should be doing now ever since snowden made these revelations is having a big open public debate about whether or not we approve of these massive intrusive surveillance programs by american televisions agencies and of course europe and russia and other countries who have been surveyed old have to make that decision to put first and foremost this is a question for americans is it compatible with our concept of democracy of civil liberties of privacy or on the other hand do we need the. these kind of abuses of civil liberties to protect ourselves against terrorism there are two sides to this issue it's a complicated issue and snowden wanted to trigger
a debate and he's failed because as you say the drama of the personal saga of edward snowden what's going to happen to him where is he going to go where is his girlfriend he looks so young all these personal dramas and i would guess that snowden who seems to be a very serious and purposeful man is themselves disappointed because his purpose he says and i believe him in making these revelations was to initiate a conversation in the united states about these practices the surveillance practices which because of his own drama hasn't happened yet and it may never happen and sophie let me add a matter that is absolutely never discussed in the united states but it's profound obama says the united states government says the senators say the media say snowden should come home and stand trial well in some ways if he could get a fair trial if he could be out on bail the way say daniel ellsberg was thirty
years ago when he took the pentagon papers if he could be out on bail snowden while he's preparing his trial and he could tell a story and he could build a legal team and he could have an open court case with all the rights the defendants have that means that he could subpoena all sorts of officials of the united states government involved with this surveillance right up to the vice president in the present the united states i cannot imagine that the obama administration or any u.s. administration would permit that therefore i doubt very seriously that obama is sincere when he says obama snowden should come home and stand trial but i would guess that of snowden were given those guarantees of being out of prison on bail and free to have an open trial he might come home but he's not. to get those guarantees i would guess because we live in a different era here in america to you know i want to talk a little bit more about how that has changed the whole n.s.a. leaks have changed american society because if you talk about me and people around
me who you know who have like a post soviet hang or a soviet childhood i mean these revelations weren't life changing for us because respect surveillance in some for or another like many our t.v. viewers are strongly against any form of surveillance our audience but still i know a lot of americans that are around them they're saying hey on this point we're done with the government for example larry king told me same thing that he's actually siding with the government on surveillance what do you see around you are the people still shocked or already digesting and accepting it's in the name of the war on terror. well i think it depends on i mean i understand what you're saying about your russian colleagues. though surveillance is a problem in russia too and has been for decades and there's a debate in the russian media about whether the fed is bad the russian intelligence agency is doing too much or too little and rootless prefer people who in russia and in the united states are afraid of terrorism if you ask me what i have while the
united states government to listen to my phone calls and read my e-mail if they're going to prevent my children from being killed in a terrorist explosion the new york city where i will undoubtedly i would say yes i just be a little more careful what i said on the phone and what i wrote on an e-mail but this is a this is a major question in times of change and i'm old enough to remember leo's book case when he took the pentagon papers which documented all the pentagon in the white house lying about the war in vietnam and then the new york times published it and then they were published very quickly as a book and ellsberg was on the radio in the television as it existed then and he was out on bail and famous lawyers came to defending and in the in the was he was. exonerated in a way he won in the courts that america doesn't exist anymore partly because of what happened in nine eleven but because partly because we fought so many wars many americans are afraid and we've become more accustomed decade by decade to this kind
of surveillance so the question that snowden raises is should we have become accustomed to it is this really a trade off between our fears and our privacy that we want to make but i agree with you the polls have shown that i don't remember the last number that the polls revealed but about half of americans maybe more were ok with what the government was doing but sophie you know as well as i do that when you take a public opinion poll you can get the answer you want by the way you ask the question you say in general to americans are you prepared to give up all the freedoms that americans have fought for for two hundred years. and allow the government to do this kind of possibly illegal surveillance a majority would say no but if you ask people are you allowed are you prepared to permit this surveillance so that you and your children are safe the majority is
going to say yes it's just in how you ask the question and you can't ask the question until you've had the national discussion which we haven't had which the government doesn't want but what snowden wanted but again which until snowden. personal drama is it's our least calms down it's off the front page we're not going to have a discussion in this country and even then we might not have it because the government doesn't want that trade of i'm afraid it's a question that's going to be an ass right for a while it's time for a short break coming up next does us treat russia as equal and the cold war aftershocks are they still here stay with us.
well no told you my language as well but i will only react to situations i have read the reports i'm likely to put in the know i will leave them to the state department to comment on your letter play safe. to carry out a call is all you're talking no gonna. take you no more weasel words. when you made a direct question be prepared for a change when you'll. be ready for a. freedom of speech means little down the street into chaos. right. and i think you're. going to.
back stephen so in your latest opinion editorials you keep saying that russia and the united states are at a fateful crossroads is this snowden case icing on a cake could things get really bad after this i have a historical perspective let me state it again twenty two years after the end of the soviet we do not have a good relationship with russia. nobody asked walking or rather in the united states when people ask why they say it's the fault of russia now they say it's the fault of too but this is no are a correct or certainly a complete answer we had several opportunities to establish a part. a ship with russia in international affairs the first came in the one nine hundred ninety s. after the in the soviet union and clinton in yeltsin lost that opportunity the second opportunity came after nine eleven when putin called president george bush and said we're with you what can we do to help the united states which is of the
attack by terrorism were part of that opportunity. then came just a few years ago obama's so-called reset with then president medvedev if and that opportunity was lost now the tragic bombings in boston and the tragic civil war in syria has impasse and have impressed both washington and moscow that we need a cooperative relationship that is they created yet another opportunity it's not clear we would be able to seize that opportunity but snowden and not only snowden the magnitsky act or another of those but these recent events most recently snowden now become obstacles on both sides to seizing this opportunity the larger reason in my opinion but it's a minority opinion in america is that what we knew my generation knew as the cold war between the soviet union in the united states either didn't actually in with the soviet union or it's come alive again because everything we see in american
russian relations since the end of the soviet union looks smells behaves like a cold war relationship it's just in the united states our leaders don't want to admit this failure that they lost the opportunity of the post cold war russia to create a new relationship a partnership with russia and that's where we are today so it's a long winded answer but i think historians will tell you in the future and as a historian today i will tell you that we can't understand snowden we can't understand magnitsky we can't understand these recent conflicts without putting. i'm in the historical context of the relationship between america and post soviet russia during the last twenty two years this is a narrative that hasn't stopped on saying is that you've just demonstrated that obstacles and opportunities to get two countries closer or get them more apart
arise all the time and this talks of the cold war have been around forever for the past fifteen years you seem to be pointing out that you know we are now at a fateful crossroads i mean how much worse are things now then during the bush era because it seemed like really they were at the lowest then well the low point. of the relationship since the end of the soviet union was of course the war in georgia in two thousand and eight and the reason that that was a low point is that the united states and russia came close to hard war not just cold war russia georgia began with no doubt about that russia reacted by moving in the south has said it began the fight with the georgian army that was in effect an american proxy army we created that on the we armed it we trained it we were american the minders the military advisors somewhere in georgia maybe traveling with the georgian troops there was
a discussion in the white house led by dick cheney that the united states should bomb the russian army in the south or study. really hold our georgian army there on the ground because no one really wants to wage a war with russia that's another example that's another example that is however that russia would never really i mean you would need ever. well i don't know about that so far i mean where is that written that we would never go to war we became we were extremely close in the cuban missile crisis we were extremely close in berlin on a number of occasions there are probably occasions we haven't been told about and in my judgment we were close in georgia in two thousand and eight no fault of russia but how many times can we avoid. these are the least dangerous possibilities so my point is it's the duty of leadership american leadership and russian rebel
leadership to create a relationship where these dangers don't appear and we haven't done that yet and i will say as american patriot the primary fault not the entire fault but the primary faults is in washington until american policy toward russia changes things will not get better they will not an american policy toward russia has not changed on one fundamental issue washington believes in what it calls selective cooperation and that means russia should make concessions and that washington does not have to make concessions in return into that policy changes nothing else will change about that i am absolutely sure but does it mean that they don't want better relationship with russia they don't simply care and enough to a million rate their relationship with russia things are good as they are we i don't mean way because it's not me but the american political policy media
establishment. wants a good relationship with russia of course but it once that on america's own terms and it's very clear what that means because it's meant the same thing since the end of the soviet union russia should be a junior and subservient partner to american interests what ever is in american interest russia should help promote it so if america decides to expand nato to russia's borders russia should accept that as a very good idea for its own security if russia decides to build missile defense installations in europe or on ships that threaten russia's nuclear security russia should understand that that's really against north korea and iran and it doesn't affect russia if. the united states believes that overthrowing assad in syria will bring peace to the middle east russia should agree the problem is russia doesn't
agree russia is a different civilization the bad precedent was set i don't like to criticize your leaders because they're your problems by yeltsin who agreed almost everything and so washington got in the habit of getting what it wanted but even in boston or mcfaul has said on several several occasions during the reset which he claims to invented we are going to go she ate with moscow and see what they can do to promote our national interest fine but that's one hand clapping a real negotiation real diplomacy is not bad it is that we go to moscow and say here are our interests will you help us and then moscow says we might hear our interest will you help us and then they do something for each other washington doesn't do anything i would defy anybody who thinks i'm being unpatriotic to tell me one major concession. that moscow has received for more from washington since
the end of the soviet union just one and when i asked this question at all gust meeting places of the american establishment i get one answer where we gave them financial loans in the one nine hundred ninety s. yeah they were onerous loans which only putin because of high oil prices could finally pay back unlike with poland where washington for gave its communist era debt washington never forgave any of moscow's debt we have never given russia anything and by the way putin says that over and over and over again and washington says why is he so any american he's not any american he's just making a simple point that any major leader would make that a relationship is a two way relationship we give something to you you give something to us and we go forward and solve problems we don't have that relationship and we haven't had it since the soviet union ended by the way oddly we had it with the soviet union but
that's another story really quickly because we're running out of time so the reset idea is it all forgotten and dad now. well in america it's a pejorative as something that obama's enemies use to show how on why's he is and say it failed the reality is obama got what he wanted from the reset he got a russian help in supplying nato forces in afghanistan and he got tougher sanctions against iran and he got moscow's cancellation of that s. three hundred defense system i think the problem is once again so you tell me if you can think of it what did moscow get in return nothing they wanted to compromise on missile defense they wanted an end to nato expansion they wanted an end to american democracy promotion in russia and washington refused so the reset failed but washington got what it wanted now we're starting all over again are we thought we were before snowden with a new we used to call
a detente during the old cold war with a new detente but it's going to fail unless american policy changes it's a sad story but it's a true story that was steven calling professor of russian studies and history thanks for a great chat i'm syfy sharing now that i will see you in our next edition of said think. oh. music is our job the army our destiny these soldiers don't know what real arms look like but it didn't take them a single shot to conquer the world.
china and korea try to imitate them america and europe cry bravo absolutely amazing amazing. meanwhile back in russia military artists are losing their grip on the audience it's tough to hit the other young people especially soldiers they seem to me to differently from. the russian musical army has been fighting for eighty five years national public stained teen with the times and widow with a younger audience is up to date or has the time come to give up the fight and defeat. find out on r.t. . we speak your language doesn't imply they will not advance. news programs and documentaries and spanish what matters to you
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