tv Cross Talk RT April 11, 2018 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
volleyball they've been football champions and ice hockey champions banded champions and also water polo champions. on a pole never try that before i'm going to have a goal. now is hot and difficult got so much respect for these guys but also a concern for me the focal distance and it is something that i do for. the polls.
alleged chemical attack as usual no evidence is presented as usual conclusions are drawn before an independent investigation but this time there is a difference syria can defend itself and has powerful allies we live in very dangerous times. my stocking syria i'm joined by my guest joe lauria in washington he's the editor in chief of consortium news dot com and author of how i lost by hillary clinton with a forward by joining us own also in washington we have michael maloof he is a former senior security policy analyst in the office of secretary of defense and in new york we have richard murphy he was a former u.s. career embassador to syria and currently an adjunct scholar at the middle east institute or across the rules in effect that means he can jump in anytime you want my own. appreciate let me go to joe first in washington it seems to me that you
know we have we we have as president somebody very different than ran as president is little as a week ago donald trump made a very public announcement that we'd be withdrawing from syria fast forward up the last few days or so it looks like he's being forced to stay there even if he doesn't want to stay there we have an entire chorus of the media driving for war the deep state is on board of course john bolton is in place and i have to make one exception at least tucker carlson no brit fox at least decided to express his dissent here where are we joe joe where does it's all stand go ahead well the fact that he wanted to redress from syria makes it even less likely that the syrian government was behind this attack we are seeing what we've seen for a long long time a pattern of deception by u.s. government depending on who the enemy of the day is if you want to go to war against spain they blew up the main the north vietnamese attacked the ship in the
gulf of tonkin saddam had w m d russia invaded ukraine shot down a malaysian airline stolen election tried to kill former double agent in britain and now is somehow implicated in this chemical attack this is what governments do but there's a there are also two other parties beside government there's the press some people so governments lie all governments lie some worse than others but the press is job supposed to filter that and then the public against government lies that we see in our press that's completely obsessed with its own fame with its career ism with vicarious living through vicarious power of government and they are letting the public down so that these investigations these conclusions before investigations begin as you pointed out at the beginning are being are let it be let to stand and this is as you said also said very very dangerous right now richard a is is on the table now a full regime change by use of military force is you think that's in the cards right. go ahead richard in new york i see no evidence that the ministration has
gone back to a position that you could say it was really obama that it was time for assad to step aside i think it's reckoned this administration's record of itself that this president is likely to stay in for a while ok michael but that that doesn't really square with what we've heard over the last few days here we have you know nikki haley going off the rail i mean you know i thought samantha power was off that you know had wandered off the road reservation but you know nikki we hate haley takes the cake there and then we also image and i glad joe mentioned we really have the drums of war in the media it seems to me that they really want to box trump in even if he does nothing that he's bluster if he does something it's against international law and he may get in it may be the law of unintended consequences by getting involved in this war you never know because if you look over the last eighteen years you know if they these
military adventures never end the way they expect go ahead michael now i think you're you're right i think that even though president trump wanted to get out. i think that other people who are surrounding him are much more determined that that that he stay and actually. the fact that he that he's you that. john bolton is now the national security adviser who was the fellow who who really really wanted us to go into iraq on the premise that there was w m d i think that the administration is slowly turning toward regime change again i think that that's what they're they're going to go after and the whole idea i think as far as a strategic policy if there is one for the united states ultimately is to divide syria yeah well then that's been you know that's the if you can throw in the turkish angle which of course is a completely different program but you know it is. looks like is
a partition is really what they're going to settle on here you know joe the interesting thing is that you know i've never believed that anybody in the u.s. government or politicians think tankers and all of that they don't give a hoot about the syrian people they never have and what i see now is that this is a geo political gambit here we've noticed that russia is being held responsible for this alleged chemical attack which when there is no evidence of presented to the to the public which i guess the public is just getting used to it a evidence free foreign policy to go to war go ahead joe. you know i don't think they care very much about the american public either let alone the syrians mean this is another attempt to drag russia into this and russia we don't know if we have no idea why even if there was a chemical attack that hasn't even begun the investigation we hear nikki haley saying we need an investigation but on one side of her mouth and the other side of the mouth syria did it and russia was behind it this is really really not
a not a safe situation as you pointed out i do think that they noticed that russia russian backed syrian government was winning this war was practically over that the suburbs of damascus kuta had been a thought in the side of the syrian government since the very beginning of this conflict five years ago was really a last stronghold after aleppo and it led so i think that that is really zation in the capitals of riyadh and certainly in washington that this was the last and by the rebels themselves this was the last chance if they were going to try to reverse this tide so the rebels needed to bring the u.s. into it which is why it seems like they may very well have been behind and russia by the way behind this attack on russia warned by the way three weeks ago that this could very this could happen that there was a false flag chemical attack in the works i don't know if that's what happened but i certainly don't know that the syrian government did it but that doesn't seem to
matter to people at nikki haley's syria did it and now we're going to see an attempt maybe by the united states to get deeply involved in this to reverse the tide and this is the last chance before the syrian government wins this war which they are on the verge of doing richard you know what national interest does syria hold because i mean you know when trump came in almost exactly a year ago there was an alleged chemical incident and then he ordered a ton tomahawk strike against syria no evidence we know now secretary maddest. came out and said well we don't have any evidence that ever was a chemical attack perpetrated by the syrian government i mean what is wrong with these people i mean year ago we and the attack was made illegally against the country softened to here and now and this is like running this bad film i mean why syria has never attacked the united states it is not a threat to american national interest and now we're on the verge of going to war
congress doesn't even get involved it abrogates its responsibility to war making i mean what why is syria so important for the united states to get involved militarily please richard in new york and start with your graphic position it is in a key area and the policies it has followed. over the last few years of opening the doors to. increasing militia let's return isn't that doesn't isn't that the sovereign to write it or isn't that the sovereign right of a state if it can syria have friends there of its own choosing why does the united states the term and what countries can have friends with whom why. go ahead richard well come on it's not just a matter of smiling at each other and having friends. the government of iran in creating a corridor across iraq syria to hizbollah there in lebanon with the aim of moaning
pressure on the israelis. in the tent ok i that's really interesting let me go to michael here because. well you know some some sovereignty is more important than others ok i mean syria should have the legal sovereign right to make whatever friends it wants ok the united states does that all the time ok and nobody says anything about it and let me go to michael you know you know israel is right on the border there one of the largest military said in the world most powerful it is never lifted one finger to fight terrorism in syria actually just the opposite it's aided and abetted groups ok so i mean worried about israel's concerns israel's part of the problem here and i think in saudi arabia is part of the problem here two key allies of the united states go ahead michael. you hit up you hit right on at the end there this this is as a result flowing out of a deal that between the saudis and the israelis and again the saudis actually are
pouring millions of dollars into the sunni controlled areas as well as into lebanon because they see it but they see a potential for. iran absolutely capturing them as it is as far as their influence is concerned and the saudis are absolutely against that and you have the israelis who are trying to help that and they see the they see the forward movement of the iranians and as a direct threat to them and and as a consequence i wouldn't doubt that the israelis could and this shape an attack on lebanon almost any time share and i know people in lebanon that i talked to are very concerned about that. joe weigh in on that there because it is you know is this policy being driven by tell of even riyadh. well certainly riyadh and other gulf states from the very beginning and turkey wanted the overthrow of saud and that brings me to the point that whether you agree or like the assad government or not it's
a fact that they were been on the defensive this is an uprising this was an attempt to overthrow a government so you're on the defensive so to invite iran n. and russia to help them defend themselves is a natural act of a government trying to survive this was not iran or russia invading syria the iranians would not come in if there were no attempt to overthrow the government so they they have every right as you pointed out to invite whoever they are any friends they had to help them survive this is natural and any government would do that now the israelis i mean hezbollah by the way i think is defending lebanon even lebanese christians and they don't know who would agree with much as they hate they may hate that well they may not like them but they realize that the lebanese army isn't worth germy so let me jump in here just let me jump in here we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on syria staying with the.
world will come twenty eight team coverage we've signed one of the greatest goalkeepers available to you but there was one more question and by the way i was going to be your coach. guys i know you are nervous he's a huge star among us and the huge amount of pressure cameramen you have to go to the center of the beach with all we with you and do so little the great the great good you are the rock at the back nobody gets past you we need you to get down the best go. alone and doesn't worry you and i'm really happy to see. and there are other two thousand and three in the world cup in russia. the special one was ok she needs to just say to redo the aussie team's latest edition to make up a bigger and better jersey but. welcome
back to crossfire where all things considered i'm peter lavelle we're discussing the situation in syria. ok let me go back to richard in new york richard i know you're a career diplomat and diplomacy is sorely lacking these days around the world but richard many what a military strike against the regime. the assad government to mask what is that's what kind of. what outcome would washington be looking for in striking syria you've said that they've backed away from regime change i think the that doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense i think they would want to go all the way i mean what kind of behavior is that you go trying to enact here i mean this is the problem with military policy because it doesn't really have to work with political outcomes it
has certain goals of destruction and threatening and doesn't really talk about the political part of it go ahead richard in new york well we certainly do need a clearer overall policy towards syria the strategy has been wanting to put it mildly now the question though what are we trying to accomplish by staying in and why we're two thousand yeah very small number there in northeastern syria. we don't think first of all we don't think that the isis. effort is totally ended. we also know there are other groups ready to come in in its way if given the least opportunity so what's needed is a strategy which develops the country as a whole as quickly as possible involves the people with their own government as
quickly as possible after these years of warfare massive killings and dislocations it's not going to come easily it's not going to come well but one thing we can contribute up the moment is the continued small military presence in the country with isis very much at the top of our concerns well richard it just the opposite is probably the truth i mean the u.s. maintaining its forces in syria probably gives isis a reason to exist to fight a foreign occupier number two richard the u.s. government has already warned it will sanction third parties and countries that help syria with its reconstruction so getting all the people together and helping developing the country that's already off the table you'll be sanctioned ok michael i can see you wanted to jump in there go ahead. yeah i guess once again gets back to the whole point as as to why u.s. forces are remaining in the sunni controlled area of eastern eastern syria looking
for bases actually that the turks have complained about in the kurdish controlled area the whole idea is i think by the united states if it's trying to resurrect this policy of any kind is that unite the sunni's and of east syria with west western iraq and to maintain that presence there and control that area and basically partition syria ultimately even though you have a little pocket of of isis but but the united states is supporting entities and groups militant groups though such as josh al islam which was in east ghouta and and has the capability by the way of launching chlorine gas and other and other weapons of mass destruction they have actually admitted that in the past up in aleppo earlier this year so the data space is going to continue to support these sunni control groups and i think ultimately it is to divide syria and with the help
of the saudis the saudis are paying for this or they've they've offered money and and i think taken that may be the only reason why he has decided not to pull out because well i got a good you know you know michael it has been it has really paid for isn't it really wonderful that the u.s. government pimps out the american military for a foreign power what it does scrapes wouldn't real discrete you know where we're coming in over the main women there we're going to go to anything there is for the people that work in the military to be pimped out by their own president to have you know a somewhat hobby crazy regime in saudi arabia pay you you know you wrap your head around that ok that's pretty that's amazing ok let me go to joe here i think happening it's happening let me go to joe you know what's what is happening. to me is that there is such a poor in the united states because of russia russia russia and this disease is transported south across the atlantic and to britain right now over another
chemical weapons incident which we see no evidence whatsoever disposed to believe it but joe that they want to give russia a bloody nose they want to give russia a bloody nose in syria the russians have already made it very clear that they will not take those threats lightly ok that's why i'm very very concerned go ahead joe. yes i totally agree with you know we have to understand it's a fiction that the united states was fighting isis in syria i believe they were fighting them in iraq i think there were two separate wars we know from this intel defense intelligence agency document from twenty twelve that the u.s. and its partners in the region and europe wanted to establish yourself as principality which later became isis it was warned about that then we know from a john kerry leaked audio that he was watching he says he was we were watching isis advance on damascus to try to get assad to leave exactly what that document said that the put pressure on us so there was no there is no effort to defeat ice russia
has to feed it with syria and iran and other militants and shia militias have defeated isis in syria they're not there for that reason and we have to remember also at from the campaign of donald trump he wanted to cooperate with russia in syria and syllis worry about the former government later on whether assad stays or not the real problem was isis so i think he had i don't know who told him that weather was bannon or whatever or he just got a brilliant idea one morning but that was the right policy that even obama tried to implement if you recall he had kerry try to work out a cooperation with ash russia that putin has for you know naturally destroy you know it's you know spoiled the priority you know that the right i gave you know the other night you know be evil when there is a illegitimate to require as the legitimate diplomatic attempt it is it's destroyed by these hawks in the military. and now peter yeah and now peter you want to do a drawer to troops if you read a piece in the new yorker by robin wright the generals who are the ones who are supposed to be running the show not the president the we have
a civilian form of government here not the generals so again trumps instincts are to say the right thing but he's pulled back by those behind them and this attack coming very for two to slee would it was about to withdraw the troops looks like the ops it's going to happen you know richard why why does the why is the united states threatening the demand. because government when damascus has been doing the heavy lifting to fight isis and what the united states that is every times it goes in there militarily has its forces on the ground it just dull ones that attempt to fight terrorism if you know the u.s. policy is an impediment to fighting isis i don't understand the logic here go ahead richard in new york but i have flatly disagree with the resumption of at least the consistency of syrian policy to fight night shifts what is it is what is the u.s. done in syria for what is what is what name one thing the united states has done
right when it comes to syria one thing. well we tried for many many years to get syria interested in opening up talks with the israelis they were very very reluctant to come anywhere near that weiner cut off as a last resort in his last years ok i don't care if you have no idea what you actually mean does not there is seven years of civil war a proxy international war it's because assad didn't want to talk to the israelis really. no no don't don't misinterpret i'm just saying that. we have tried to do something positive in syria we did work on it to extensively year after year you didn't get anywhere ok so that's passed but it didn't leave a very good impression of syria in washington i can tell you. well i think this is a thank you to know the syrian ambassador you all love the u.n. after the billions of dollars the training the funding the salary of these jihad is
from outside the country that's what the u.s. policy has been and now they are illegally present they're under it legally under international law the damascus government wants them out and they won't leave i mean who is breaking the law here who's being an animal here ok this is this war could have ended a long time ago if it hadn't been backed by the united states saudi arabia the other gulf countries and israel would have been over a long time ago go ahead michael do you want to jump in it could have been over a long time ago if i hadn't been beaten up those kids down and ok and on the first and richard on their first stand yes there were violence and they were it was from outsiders it's very well documented you know don't tell me you know if this is all peaceniks war you know wandering around you know giving flowers to people because i had to buy one started on day one ok michael you want to jump in. the you
know our relationship with the cia are with i'm sorry with with syria actually degraded in two thousand and three when we invaded iraq the assyrians saw that this was going to happen they had they had the back channel with the cia how and when they let this a they have helped to a point they did and then that's when they turned to the pentagon just on the eve of the invasion to say don't don't invade we'll while try to work this out we'll leave the state some five thousand troops to go into iraq for you to to look for w m d they saw what would what the outcome will be so everything went to pieces from then that's when assad really turned to iran right after that and that cannot be disputed that is a that is a fact and i think that that's when iran and syria really began to become closer you've got to keep in mind assad is a she is
a white so that was normal and this is what upset israel to a great extent our foreign policy in the united states has been to carry out to help implement israel's foreign policy for years and the pentagon was the instrument for doing that ok joe that forty seconds you had to program go ahead joe . yeah well john bolton began this week his new job and i asked her to advise he has a real thing for iran the iranian presence in syria might be what he ultimately be going after even more than trying to overthrow assad yeah it looks to me that always it's a rant always that is at the very very center it has been since the revolution in one nine hundred seventy nine and trump and he has surrounded him with a group of people that feel exactly the same way people that lament the the defeat in vietnam that's all the time we have gentlemen many thanks to my guests in washington and in new york and thanks to our viewers for watching us here see you next time and remember cross hospital.
do films for good good girls. don't go to shows to look but to distribute belonging to show you story you should go. to starbucks to get to meet until it was done that is the most dangerous you look it is it's. from stuff from understand just me. it's an emotional. mr president and please introduce me to. those who have petitions to dismiss me to snoop on what we knew of those the girls are with me for his supporters to whom she looks shouldn't feel you should put all through the one who's doing.
it. was. all options are on the table is the only answer given by the white house press secretary to all questions on syria that's of the donald trump fired off a series of contradictory tweets first threatening russia but later dialing back his rhetoric. british media reports prime minster trees a maze preparing for action ordering u.k. submarines within missile range of syria. another news arm of police vehicles have moved in to break up an eco camp in western france on a third day of protests of this is be met with violence from activists.