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tv   Up Front 2018 Ep 10  Al Jazeera  March 30, 2018 10:32pm-11:01pm +03

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to violate the israeli sovereignty or to infiltrate the israeli territories and put himself and his life in danger all the participants in the gaza strip aside but hamas put the lives of women and children in danger when it sent them to the security wall to infiltrate israel and storm. a syrian rebel group has denied reports it's agreed to evacuate the last opposition held and even eastern ghouta both russia and the syrian government said they'd reached a deal with them to leave the town of duma but representatives from the group said the reports were false on wednesday the syrian government issued a three day ultimatum to get out or face an all out offensive u.s. president donald trump says he may hold off on airing a trade deal with south korea until an agreements reached with north korea on denuclearization made the comment just a day off to reaching they call mass deal that would see south korea limiting steel exports to the united states russia's throwing
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out to payments from twenty three countries as the route grows over the poisoning of a former spy in person the moves in retaliation for the wave of expulsions of russian officials following a nerve agent attack on sergei scriptural and his daughter yulia in the english town of souls free. judges in senegal have sentenced a major opposition figure to five years in jail for embezzlement khalifa sols also the mayor of dakar he was arrested a year ago accused of misappropriating funds worth two point eight billion dollars . the top stories upfront is next.
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it's been called the worst manmade disaster since world war two seven years on from the start of the syrian civil war is there any hope for a solution and to the violence that's our debate. syria has been described as one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time more than five million people have fled the country hundreds of thousands of lost their lives and yet the war continues syrian civilians have been under fire in areas like it live in eastern guta and even though some say bashar al assad and its allies seem to have defeated the rebels there is no clear political solution in sight so what has to happen to bring the fighting and suffering to an end joining me in the arena to debate this are mara cullen senior fellow at brookings and a former top pentagon official in the president obama alexi klebnikov
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a middle east expert at the russian international affairs council in moscow and from ankara syrian journalist and activist rami jarrah thank you all for joining me on up front rami let me start with you it's been more than seven years since the arab spring failed in syria the war broke out but given that bashar al assad with the russian and the iranian support seems to regain control of the majority of his country is it coming to a close how does the syrian regime one. i think. we'd have to focus on the fact that if we were saying that winning the game was meeting the aspirations of the people of syria then that wouldn't be the case but if we're talking about this political game and training not stronghold in syria maintaining power for the near future than stephanie the case alexei clinical of hundreds of thousands dead millions displaced from their homes is this really a victory for should i say. well so if we all agreed
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that the russians major goal was to. back up existing syrian these decisions and regime to significantly to eliminate the ability of terrorists in syria then of course that was a successful and is successful story but if you look at this as a political solution that the ultimate goal is the political solution then of course the conflict is really far from over and i think this this year is going to be quite challenging for all parties involved internally and externally as well mari you said at a recent u.s. congressional hearing that quote assad won his war to stay in power a lot of people would say that's because of the united states and its refusal to get more involved in getting rid of him is that fair or not i think the united states played a role the international community more broadly played a role the timing of the conflict in the throes of other conflicts or rupturing and
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uprisings across the region no doubt also did too and frankly those inside syria have their own agency you know this idea though of what assad wins is a pretty interesting one to think about he's no doubt won a long term insurgency even as he tries to take more and more control of syrian territory he's also won some sort of interesting dynamics with the russians the iranians and hezbollah how does a what do they see is their long term goal in syria what do they plan to do what sort of weapon systems do they want to keep in syria what sort of military presence what sort of activities do they want to launch from syria so his winning is not an entirely positive affair even in his eyes i suspect but you worked in the pentagon during the obama era would you call syria his biggest failure president obama's biggest failure i think on the foreign policy front absolutely. rami how
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did we get to this stage where do when you know when you allocate responsibility or blame for the position syria finds itself in today still in power violence still continuing rebel groups still divided where do you place the blame if there's a hierarchy of blame that you have in your head in syria now what you have is a segment of society that has been banished from society and it is one that refuses not to have a voice in syria and it's been labeled as being a fundamentalist group that is not accepted in society is considered in any form of refusing to accept the standards in this country means that it's the terrorists so i think what the main problem that we have in syria is the labels that have been granted to everyone and those labels being accepted on an international level if you look at the existing parties in europe that now supports openly saying that
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they support a dictator whereas if any one individual across europe said that they supported him . they could face trial whereas now it's ok to say that you support a dictator who's killed five hundred thousand roughly what would you say half of the country or the u.s. . that's fine who said on the show in march twenty sixth that there were quote no good guys in the syrian tragedy. yes our sides are monster but there have been some pretty serious many monsters faced up against. i would say that it took a very long time until there was an actual i don't think we actually even sworn intervention in these things there was no serious approach to solving the problem in syria i think that it was i think there were many interests of the countries involved that were standing on the sideline and watching to see what was going to happen and maybe hoping that there would be tomorrow in the middle east and they let this this this problem go on for way too long life is the reason that we were we lexy is another reality what yes there may be quote unquote terrorists among the
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opposition but they're all full lot of innocent people who just want their freedom from assad that hasn't changed over seven years and you know countries air force has joined our sides in bombing and killing those people a lot of whom just want freedom. well first there are no saints in any war there's the first thing secondly russia joined. as an individual by the russia supports the existing institutions and state structures and primarily it's the armed forces who are able to fight on the ground against terrorists secondly yes russian air forces are participating in in the. campaign against terrorists which which is called malian they're taking isis and put in the sort of targets but yes there are some claims which are not you know factually proven that
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russian jets were like part of the offense in ghouta which is not the case for example alexi you know there's a long list of human rights groups including u.n. officials who say russian aircraft have used unguided bombs including blast weapons in densely populated civilian areas and may have committed war crimes in civilian areas you know that there's plenty of reports documenting. yes of course i've heard about those reports yes and i mean as as oda mentioned there are no saints in any war and especially in the civil war when there is a woman campaign we've heard lots of times when terrorists use civilians as a civilian that shields on that and use hospitals and universities and schools packed with kids as a human shields so yes this is of course the case and this tragedy this happens in syria for for the last years when we when we look at the sum total of violence in syria right now the united states is the problem for the united states that you
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rightly accuse russia of killing civilians in syria that's well documented but the u.s. has been doing its own bombing in pain in syria and in iraq in which hundreds of coalition air strikes have killed according to one air will study more civilians than russian air strikes did at the beginning of last year the first three months of twenty seventeen look there's no equivalency whatsoever the russian regime works hand in hand with assad and his regime and that has been clearly illustrated and it preceded isis no doubt where you are seen at least at the american side fighting it is trying to trying to fight against groups like isis it is trying to support civilians as much as possible absolutely doing a lot of civilians at one stage more than the russians would be genuine a civilian casualties have absolutely occurred on the u.s. side and they have been a tragedy they are regularly investigated by the u.s. military there is any questioning of procedures rules of engagement and what needs
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to change it seems as though when you look at how the russian military is operate in syria that actually civilian casualties may be part and parcel of its strategy. i don't think so simply because it's not in russia's interest because it's absolutely not true that it's civilian casualties collateral damage is a part of russia's strategy. in see rabelais when i joined the military is just pretty incompetent i mean it's been pretty clear russia's military has tried to use syria is it as its tactical and operational battleground to test its weapons to give its military personnel a bit of practice that's not the initial reason for going in syria of course it's during during the campaign you test the weapon as well as your arms systems on the ground in the rio but yes of course it's not comedian reason that's not the driver of russia's involvement in syria it's absolutely true
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what you're saying. russia's involvement in syria since it intervened i mean i one of the people that was in aleppo and i documented the russian air strikes we watched closely i think there was a group called belling the actually found pictures that were released by the b. by the by the military and by the foreign ministry russian foreign ministry that said that they had targeted isis were in these images and those images were actually residential homes and sent to a little where there were no signs of violence isn't this happened a number of times so rushed out of the the thing is that russia plays this bigger brava role where if anything goes wrong then it can say that you know this is doing this thing no the amount of civilians that are being killed they have this not i think they have more data than the syrians and some of them so they know exactly what i said let's do a is doing and they have big responsibility in the crimes being committed isn't it the case president obama was considering the bigger threat and therefore that was
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one of the main reasons he didn't go all in as some of his advisors wanted to in terms of no fly zones or greater weaponry to the rebels and they were already sending etc i still shifted the conversation at that moment in time i don't think it was because of i said that he did not call and that decision had already occurred in some ways but instead it was isolating near term no kidding serious problem we are still profoundly concerned about what is going on with the assad regime so it was not mutually exclusive per se but in terms of prioritization i still had to be that one let me put that same question to rami do you think if i still hadn't appeared on the scene a few years ago more would have been done more would have been done as you would have liked to be done by outside powers western powers against assad and the syrian government. i think that would have been a game changer yes because the the truth is the syrians isis i'm going to say the isis became an option but then. isis made it easier for other groups moderate
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islamist groups we would call them. i mean committing crimes against syrian civilians as well such as just the. mujahideen these groups committing cruel crimes against those opposed to saddam those who supported assad so they became an easier option for people who had to choose between a son and something else because isis was i think that isis is presence as i said earlier the if it has caused any damage it has caused damage to the syrian opposition more than any one. hundred come into the picture then we would be in a different situation today definitely alexi what do you think the russian syrian government plan is for the. al-qaeda forces in syria do you actually think that's even possible. for the syrian government in the
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long term to reconcile with legitimate. opposition groups as you can see russia since its military involvement in the town is they started to launch this reconciliation process within syria secondly we witnessed this launch of a new. negotiation track which was not an alternative. as many argue but the additional track which was aimed at settling down like. more nuanced. things on the ground which made it happen when real field commanders from the ground who have actual influence were able to meet and sit together and talk so i wouldn't put all blame for syria's destruction along the russian. we wrote evidence i've let me put them all that he was going to get you basically. ok let me let me put the point about america laura what you
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think troops and the game is we know we talk about obama's failure in syria wouldn't trumps you know that's the million dollar question maybe at a minimum i do think the trump administration's priority has been to deal with i sell and they have continued the obama administration strategy and are successfully doing so the challenge will be what's next right now the u.s. military has two thousand personnel in syria so going forward what's the purpose in having those two thousand u.s. military personnel what's actually their mandate their mission their rules of engagement my view is at a minimum is should just be clear we should not delude ourselves into thinking that they are not combatants in whatever's going on and i think the u.s. really needs to prioritize humanitarian assistance particularly for the refugees now who have really streamed across the region in a number of states that aren't terribly strong to begin with and never u.s. president who deal with us as well as terrorists and snakes etc rami let me ask you this what would you what is your message to the u.s. government today to other western governments what would you want them to do if you
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could wave a magic wand and get them to do what you wanted to do what would it be. magic wand . the thing is we the thing is i don't want to i don't want to be offensive but i think. whatever i'm going to say is not really going to matter in that sense but i think what's important now for a syrian population is not just looking at the situation of syrians that are inside syria because a very large segment of syrian society is no longer in syria and i think what we need now is integration program sassoon's abroad because i think that's where the opposition is headed it's headed abroad where now a syrian diaspora has been built outside the country because the situation in syria doesn't is an opening it's not open arms to syrians coming back it's open arms to syrians that are willing to keep them and accept the fact that half of the country has been driven out and five hundred thousand people have been killed and society
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has been great to pull of its rights so i think that if they want to fix this situation at this stage it's to provide syrians that have actually left the country and those that wish to leave the country a situation where they can actually live in dignity and enjoy the freedoms that everyone else would enjoy we'll have to leave it there mara rami alexi thank you all for joining me in the arena here on out front thank you. johan hari is a bestselling british author has spent the last three years working on a new book about what he believes the real causes of anxiety and depression are already says we've been looking at depression all wrong it's not the widely prescribed antidepressants we should be focused on but our society and our culture a self-proclaimed child of the prozac age already says we need to spend more time in nature enjoying our work building lasting relationships these unexpected solutions will help solve anxiety and depression but just how unexpected are they and how realistic are they now joins me now thanks for coming outfront very early
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in your new book lost connection do you do a deep dive into anxiety and depression. what made you want to even begin researching and writing a book on the subject to begin with yeah i was a bit before that i'd gone to my doctor when i was a teenager and explain that i had this feeling like pain was kind of bleeding out of me and i couldn't regulate or control it but quite ashamed of it and my doctor told me i give you these drugs and i thought a tremendous amount of relief like most people take the drugs at first then the feeling of pain started to kind of bleed back through so i was given higher and higher doses until i was taking the maximum possible those thirteen years at the end of it i still felt terrible and i thought well what's happening is i'm doing everything our culture tells me to do but more importantly straight to me is why were there so many other people in our culture who were so deeply distressed you know one in five americans will take a psychiatric drug in their lifetime there are far more people who are really deeply anxious and depressed who are not doing this so i ended up going this big journey i mean scientists all over the world the leading experts on what causes depression anxiety have saw them i learned the world health organization the
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leading medical body in the world their position is that the chemical imbalance there is way too simplistic that actually as they put it mental health is produced socially and in social as well as individual solutions if the w.h.o. is saying that and you call that consensus of the chemical imbalance deeply misleading and unscientific reason the consensus of the medical about gets the result of consensus so there is no consensus if the w.-h. are saying that then what's the problem is it not filtered down to grassroots levels to local doctors or what so there's this weird problem yeah and that's a really good question there's this weird disconnection because nobody denies that there are social or psychological causes of depression and anxiety but that has not informed most of how we respond to this promise so i give an example i noticed a lot of the people i know who are depressed and anxious that depression and anxiety focuses around their work start to look at what's the evidence for how people feel about their work and the figures are quite shocking they come from gallup the most detailed study we have thirteen percent of people in our culture like their work most of the time sixty three percent of what they called sleep
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working so that i like it or hate it twenty four percent of people hate their work it means eighty seven percent of people don't want the thing they're doing. most of their waking lives if you go to work and you feel controlled you have low or no control you are much more likely to become depressed are also much more likely to have a stress related hard to say our culture but there are many many non-western cultures that have always taken valuing other things other than material goals focusing on a community that is not necessarily innovative or new to everyone around the world you're telling us what we already know and do yeah i think that's a fair enough point i think as a culture western culture which has become the dominant culture across the world and subsea being imposed on a lot of a lot of the world is disconnected many people from their deeper underlying psychological needs met this is one reason this was interesting research that actually mental health massively increases when people move from developing countries to developed countries right so if you are you live in bangladesh and move to the united states your risk of mental health problems go up absolutely enormously now part of that is the pressure of racism in those things which are
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very real but i think a big part of that is moving from a society where deeper psychological needs are met to societies where our psychological needs are met much less effectively and you talk about interviewing a lot of experts and doctors and scientists your not an expert or scientist or your senator and of course a journalist i'm not a scientist yeah you're not telling people to stop taking a deep breath yeah you're not qualified to say that but it's bizarre that loads of people have acted like this what i've said what i've said or been burned that has a neuroscientist at cardiff university in the u.k. he says you're asserting yourself as a quote maverick expert and backing up your arguments would suspect cherry picking of evidence he says because of your past reputation you were accused of that you admitted to plagiarizing in the past that people shouldn't people like yourself with that reputation shouldn't make quote sweeping statements about something as sensitive as mental health when you say to him what's curious is dean burnett himself wrote an article less than a year ago making exactly the same point i make which is that moore quoting approvingly a study which shows that more and more than half of people who take chemical antidepressants don't experience
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a significant relief in their depression so it would be completely right to be critical if i was coming along with some maverick position. that was outside the scientific consensus what i'm trying to do is explain the position of the world health organization and the leading scientists i'm going to because you come along it is a bestselling book it's got going to lots of interesting people reviewing on the back but then when i'm asking about it you're saying well i will tell you anything new with why i wrote a book about it it's a really weird disconnect isn't it because on the one hand this has been known by scientists to years and yet i don't know anyone who went to the doctor and got told this stuff so i think the book is trying to come in the middle of this weird disconnects were actually scientists know this stuff perfectly well right this is not particularly controversial and yet firstly it's not been explained to the public but i think more importantly in the medical front line that's where the message is being lost when you go to you know it's more that it's just not been explained to the wider culture of another critic of yours car mind perry and to a psychiatrist professor at king's college london just contrary to the claim that too many people are prescribed antidepressants he points out that only one in five
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people with depression in high income countries receive help psychological or pharmacological in the developing world is even less only one in twenty seven people who need it get help so are you look at this problem the wrong way around yeah i think absolutely right people urgently need help with depression and anxiety one of the people who really helped me to understand this is a wonderful south african psychiatrist who got to know some of field so that something happened to be in cambodia when chemical antidepressants were first introduced and the doctors there didn't know what these drugs were obviously so he explained to them and they said we don't need them we want to get antidepressants and he said what do you mean they told him a story that was a farmer in their community who worked in the rice fields who one day stood the alarm i left over by the american invasion of southeast asia how does a leg blown off they gave him an artificial limb he went back to work in the fields but apparently it's super painful to work underwater with an artificial limb i imagine it was quite traumatic to be in a field where you've been blown up he starts to cry all day he doesn't want to get out of bed classic depression and anxiety they said today we gave them anti
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depressant he said what did you do they explained they went and sat with him they listened to his problem they understood again his pain made sense. wasn't some irrational malfunction they figured if they bought him a carol he could get out of the situation he was so depressed to become a dairy farmer the boy mccowan within a few weeks he stopped crying all the time as they said to him so you see dr backhaul was an antidepressant that's what you mean right now what those cambodian doctors knew intuitively is what the world health organization's been trying and all these other scientists been trying to tell us be years which is if you're depressed if you're anxious you're not crazy your pain is not a malfunction it's not a pathology you're not a machine with broken hearts the spirit of it depresses is it your view that there are overprescribed and i because look i'm just wondering about your view sure. no not particularly i mean i think there are people there are plenty of people who were like me who were taking chemical and presence and they didn't help and for those people if they want to i recommend they cut back very slowly there are other
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people who would be helped by antidepressants who aren't taking them this isn't an argument for or against chemical antidepressants it's an argument for expanding what we think of as an antidepressant it's dealing with the reasons why people are depressed and anxious in the first post so you have three hundred million people worldwide living with depression or anxiety you sound optimistic. how optimistic are you what hope is there for three hundred million people i think part of the cruelest thing we've done is we've put the onus to solving this problem on to depressed or anxious people we don't do that with other problems we don't see the problem car crashes have to be solved by people have already been mangled in a car accident right we have seat belts and speed limits and airbags and we arrest duis right in a similar way what we need because this is a social crisis primarily not entirely there are real biological factors because this is primarily a social crisis we need social solutions not least because the fact is making some people acutely depressed and anxious are making most people in this culture less happy than they could be i think you'd struggle to find
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a person who could read the nine causes depression anxiety about the book and not identify with at least one of them playing out in their life now most people don't become acutely depressed thankfully but these changes are changes that will radically improve people's lives more generally even if you don't suffer from depression executive or general well being and happiness exactly and think about what it's like to be in a culture where people are increasingly isolated they are alone they are broken up they're told that money is about spending it is so that life is about spending it's about buying and accumulating they're encouraged to spend their lives screaming each other through screens and being controlled at work and then we tell them that the pain of all that is just the result of a chemical imbalance in their brains are we surprised that depression and anxiety keep rising in those situations it doesn't have to be this way. we have to leave it there thanks for coming on up front that's our show up for we're back next week. i.
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on counting the cost of crude futures contract was launched in china this week find out what it all means for the dollar and oil for. a look at africa's biggest companies plus technology under scrutiny the latest on our digital data economy. counting the cost. zero. for you.

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