tv Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN May 28, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT
this is "gps," the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. today on the show, we'll tackle the president's whirlwind trip. saudi arabia, israel, rome, brussels. the highlights, low lights and the scandals awaiting him back home. i have a terrific panel. also, it's commencement season. and once again, there is a diversity that's absent on college campuses, the diversity of thought. i'll tell you about the silencing of conservative voices. and deep into the heart of africa with one of its great
modern-day western chroniclers. jeff gettleman has put the continent on the front page of "the new york times." why does he say he loves this much-misunderstood continent? then, is science under attack under the trump administration? that's what many of the president's critics say. but superscientist brian greene just wants to make science cool again. and he's doing just that. but first, here's my take. this week's bombing in manchester was another gruesome reminder that the threat from radical islamic terrorism is ongoing. and president trump's journey to the middle east illustrated yet again how the country central to the spread of this terrorism, saudi arabia, has managed to evade and deflect any responsibility for it. the facts are well known. for five decades saudi arabia has spread its narrow
puritanical and intolerant version of islam, originally practiced almost nowhere else, across the muslim world. osama bin laden was saudi as were 15 of the 19 terrorists of 9/11. and we know through a leaked e-mail by former secretary of state hillary clinton in recent years, the saudi government, s along with qatar, has been providing clandestine financial and logistical support to isil and other groups in the region. saudi nationals make up the second largest group of foreign fighters in the islamic state and by some account the large nest the terrorist group's iraqi operations. isis draws its belief from the saudi arabia's version of islam, as the former kingdom grand mosque said, isis exploited our own principles that can be found in our books. we follow the same thought, but apply it in a refined way.
saudi money is now transforming european islam. leaked german intelligence reports show that charities closely connected with government offices of saudi arabia, qatar and kuwait are funding mosques, schools and imams to disseminate a fundamentalist version of islam throughout germany. in kosovo, "the new york times" tribes the process by which a 500-year tradition of moderate islam is being destroyed. from their bases, the saudi-trained imams have propagated the supremacy of sharia law as well as ideas of violent jihad, she writes. saudi arabia has begun to slow the most egregious practices. it's being run by a de facto reformer who appears to be refreshingly pragmatic. but so far, the saudi reforms have mostly translated into better economic policy for the kingdom, not a break with its powerful religious establishment.
trump's speech on islam seemed to zero in on the problem when he said -- >> no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three -- safe harbor, financial backing and the social standing needed for recruitment. >> but trump, it turns out, was talking not about his host, saudi arabia, but rather, iran. now, to be clear, iran is a destabilizing force in the middle east and supports some very bad actors. but it is wildly inaccurate to describe it as the source of jihadi terror. according to the global analysis of terrorism database from kings college, 94% of deaths caused by islamic terrorism since 2-3 zone were perpetrated by isis, al qaeda, and other sunni jihadists. iran is fighting those groups, not fueling them.
almost every terror attack in the west has had some connection to saudi arabia. virtually none has been directly linked to iran. trump has adopted the saudi line on terrorism, which deflects any blame from the kingdom and redirects it towards iran. the saudis dazzled trump's inexperienced negotiators with attention, arms deals, and donations to a world bank fund for women that ivanka trump is championing. even though trump demanded in 2016 that the clinton foundation return money from the saudis who, quote, want women as slaves and to kill gays, unquote. in short, the saudis played donald trump. america has now signed up for saudi arabia's middle east policy, a relentless series of battles against shiites and their allies throughout the region. that will enmesh washington in a never-ending sectarian struggle, fuel instability and complicate its ties with countries like
iraq that want good relations with both sides. but most important, lit it will nothing to address the direct and ongoing threat to americans -- jihadi terrorism. i thought that trump's foreign policy was going to put america first, not saudi arabia. for more, go to cnn.com/fareed and read my "washington post" column this week. and let's get started. we are going to dig deeper into all of the president's trip this week with our all-star panel. richard haass is the author of he and anne-marie slaughter were in the state department. she is president of the thinktank think america.
ian bremmer. and matthew kroenig is a professor at georgetown and its school of foreign service. matthew, i'm going to start with you because i'm guessing that you're going to be the most sympathetic to donald trump. and so, i'm going to engage in a little athortive action here. tell me, in your view, how has donald trump's trip gone so far? >> overall, i think it's been a real success. early on, many people thought this was going to be an isolationist administration. and what this trip shows at the broadest level, that's not the case. the administration is very much engaged in the middle east, in europe. two of the most important geo-strategic regions to the united states. second, we've seen the
administration is able to stay on-message. the trip was orchestrated and carried out very well. even some critics early on -- even supporters of the administration, including myself early on, did criticize the administration for message discipline, having a hard time sticking to a core strategy. and here, we've seen the administration has stuck to its message on this trip. you may not like the message. but they've stuck to it. and third and finally, we've seen improvement over the previous administration in some areas. including most notably, in the middle east, where trump was welcomed by israel, by saudi arabia. you know, the obama administration left a lot of ambiguity in the region. they stand with israel and with partners in the gulf, and against our enemies like iran and radical groups in the region. >> i was struck by the fact that, at one level, the optics were, the president of the united states was palling around and supporting a bunch of arab
autocrats, including the saudi monarchy. and when he got to europe, to a traditional democratic, western allies, he was awkward, he was hectoring them and lecturing to them. it did seem almost like there was an inversion. >> it did. it was almost a flip of the way the united states normally thinks about its interests. it was also, i think, actually the first run at what i think will be his new national security strategy. he announced it was principled realism. what he meant by that is we're not going to lecture you, we want partners, not perfection. but we're going to stand with you, to pursue our common interests and values. and then, he talked about our common values, religious pluralism, upholding women. he is standing in saudi arabia, where if you convert from islam,
that's punishable by death, you can't practice any other religion. and it ranks 141st out of 144 countries on oppression of women. he does that in the middle east. then, he goes to europe, where countries do share our values and as you said, he hectors them. he in many ways sows doubt about whether we are firm nato allies. >> richard haass, you've been considered a realist. but you have argued that realism has a limit in the middle east because the problem is, many of the countries like egypt, like saudi arabia, are breeding a certain kind of instability or terrorism in the long run. >> absolutely right. and the reason to talk about the quality or nature of the societies is not to make points in principle. these are societies that are generating the bulk of contemporary terrorism. if you had come in from mars you could be forgiven for thinking that iran was the originator of
al qaeda and isis and all of the other groups. the answer is, it's not. the saudis, it's come out of saudi arabia. a lot of recruits. saudi money, saudi preachers and religious schools have had a terrible effect, not just in the middle east, but in the entire islamic world, and in some cases in the united states. that was missing. the reason to talk about those issues, again, not to make points that we want to make saudi arabia switzerland. if we have a strategic concern about terrorism, unless you cut off the recruits, you will not get at the core of terrorism. that's where i thought the president had a disconnect. >> what was your reaction to this -- the two parts of it, the arab world and europe? >> it's transactional. trump is prepared to have good relations with democrats to make them look good, like japan's prime minister abe. you talk about this trip, presidents go to canada or mexico first. he was right not to do that. there would have been demonstrations. he went to the countries, the two allies, whose leaders were happiest to see the back of president obama. he's not going to talk about human rights. against iran, that makes them happy.
that was close to a home run for trump. then he has to talk to traditional u.s. allies in europe, who actually support multilateral institutions that the united states has historically not only create bud engaged with because of shared values that trump doesn't care about. of course, what would have been the easiest part of the trip for any president that any of us knows, turns out to be the most problematic. and the body language, the emotions, with people like macron, with merkel, was disastrous. i will tell you, the hardest part of this trip for him is the next one when he's going back to the united states. because ultimately, that's where things are getting nasty for him. >> matthew, let me ask you. are you optimistic, as he seemed to be -- which seemed to be a
little bizarre, that there's going to be peace between the israelis and the palestinians. >> i'm not terribly optimistic. it's a very difficult situation, as you know. there may be an opportunity here, though. one of the problems historically that the palestinians have not wanted to engage with israel. i think if the trump administration is able to work with traditional partners in the region, with israel, and put pressure on the palestinians, with these regional partners, there may be an opportunity to bring the palestinians to the negotiating table and restart a dialogue. there's many other obstacles. i wouldn't hold my breath. there may be the opportunity to restart some kind of negotiations. >> okay. i'm going to get richard haass' take on that in a moment. we'll be back. also to talk about the president and the pope. when we come back.
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and we are back with richard haass, anne-marie slaughter, ian bremmer and matthew kroenig. we were talking about how trump seems and he has been optimistic about peace between the israelis and palestinians. do you understand this? what is behind this strange optimism? >> from his mouth to god's ear. but i don't think god is listening on this one. for him, it's the deal of excellence. and if you can do it, it would reinforce his persona. but it's not going to happen. the parties are not ready and able to make significant compromises. this is true of israel as is the palestinians. just in case i'm wrong, i'm wrong all the time, glad to admit it. it wouldn't affect anything but israelis and palestinians. the idea that the israeli/palestinian issue, unlocks the middle east, that it's going to do a lot about
syria, or libya, or yemen, go around the region, it's not. it's been a local dispute and intractable for the foreseeable future. >> what did you make of the optics of the president and the pope. the exchange of gifts. the pope giving him his letter on climate change? >> i thought it was interesting that the pope was playing a political role. i expected the pope to talk about walls. they had fenced back and forth during the campaign. the hope said walls are not christian. he could have done that. instead, he knows, the pope knows, as we all do, there's real debate in the white house whether the u.s. should pull out of the paris climate agreement. and so, the pope focused on an issue where he, like many european leaders, thought he might have headway. he gave trump all the -- you know, the prestige and the good press of a meeting with the pope. it mattered to him.
and then, he hands him this incyclical about the planet. it was deft politics on the pope's part. >> matthew, quickly, does the vatican matter? or is it trivial? >> well, with all due respect to the pope, it probably was the least important leg of the trip. but more than trivial. i think that basically agreed to disagree. been a meeting of the mind on one issue. he spoke about peace. and he referred to that point of peace, i listened to what you had to say. and trump talked a lot on the campaign about peace through strength. maybe not what the pope had in mind. but there may have been a meeting of the minds on the importance of peace and prosperity in the world. >> does trump come out of this looking more presidential when he comes back? you indicated he's coming back
to hot water. >> he is the president. this is the least capable, least coherent president we've ever had on foreign policy. he has capable people around him on the team. but they weren't playing much of a role. the national security adviser, mcmaster, wasn't in key meetings. tillerson in london. wasn't attending key meetings with the president in europe. jared kushner has been critical on foreign policy comes back to an investigation that's active. in a year's time, all of the crises that's happened have been self-inflicted. nothing big has happened in the world, thank god. that's not going to continue. if it does in a year's time and people like mcmaster and mattis, jared kushner are not there, are gone, on the defensive, we're in a different situation. then, i'm quite worried. >> ian bremmer, anne-marie slaughter, richard haass, matthew kroenig, nice to have you on. we will be back.
for more insights and analysis from these smart people, go to cnn.com/fareed for a web-only segment. next on gps, why the students who walked out on vice president pence's speech at notre dame are part of a much larger and darker problem which is bad for america. the silencing of conservatives, next. , we're all about making things simpler for you. like, imagine having your vehicle serviced... from the comfort of your own home. introducing complimentary lincoln pickup and delivery servicing. because the most important luxury of all... is time. pickup and delivery servicing on the entire family of lincoln luxury vehicles including a complimentary lincoln loaner.
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now, for our what in the world segment. we're at the height of commencement season and across the nation people are imparting their words of wisdom to newly minted graduate. i was honored to give the commencement speech at bucknell this morning. but at notre dame, where vice president mike pence was giving the commencement address, the ceremonies were interrupted when about 100 students turned their
about 100 students turned their backs on pence and walked out in protest. a few weeks earlier, u.s. secretary of education betty devos was booed while giving the commencement address at bethune-cookman university. i wanted to share my thoughts here. american universities seem committed to every kind of diversity except intellectual diversity. conservative voices and views are being silenced entirely. the campus police have gone after serious thinkers like heather mcdonald and charles murray, as well as firebrands like milo unopolis. some were disinvited and others were booed and interrupted. it's strange this is happening on college campuses, that promise to give their undergraduates a liberal education. the world liberal has nothing to do with partisan language. but to the root, pertaining to liberty.
and at the heart of liberty has been freedom of speech. from the beginning, people understood that this meant protecting and listening to speech with which you disagreed. oliver wendell holmes said when we protect freedom of thought, we are protecting freedom for the thought that we hate. freedom of speech and thought is not just for warm, fuzzy ideas that we find comfortable. it's for ideas that we find offensive. there is, as we all know, a kind of anti-intellectualism on the right these days, the denial of facts, of reason, of science. but there is also an anti-intellectualism on the left. an attitude of self-righteousness that says we are so pure, we're so morally superior, we cannot bear to hear an idea with which we disagree. liberals think they are tolerant but often they aren't. in 2016, a pew study found that democrats were more likely to
view republicans as close-minded. but each side scores about the same in terms of close mindedness in hearing contrarian views. and large segments on both sides consider the other to be immoral, lazy, dishonest and unintelligent. this is not just tolerance for its own sake. the truth is, no one has a monopoly on right or virtue. listening to other views will teach us all something and sharpen our own views. one of the greatest dangers in life in business or government, is to get trapped in a bubble of group-think and ask, what if i'm wrong? what is the best argument on the other side? as i said at bucknell, technology, capitalism and globalization are strong forces pulling us apart as a society.
by talking about us seriously and respectfully about agreements and disagreements, we can come together in a common conversation, recognizing that while we seem so far apart, we do actually have a common destiny. next on "gps," inside africa with a man who has come to know it intimately. jeff gettleman who has been "the new york times" east africa bureau chief for over a decade, on what we get so wrong on this much maligned and misunderstood continent. she switched to the best deal in america: total wireless. she gets the largest, most dependable 4g lte network, and 5 gigs of high speed data for $35 a month.
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into africa you can fit china, india, the entire contiguous united states and much of europe. africa is home to 1.2 billion of the world's citizens. it's a resource-rich melting pot of religious, ethnicities, cultures and cuisines. it's a continent where natural beauty can take your breath away. it's home to some of the world's most dangerous places, most intractable conflicts and longest wars. yet, africa struggles to get time on the evening news or placement on the front pages of newspapers. where my next guest, jeff gettleman became the east africa bureau chief, he changed that as much as one reporter at one paper could. gettleman has held that post for "the times" for 11 years. but he's been in love with the continent for many more. his new book is fittingly called "love, africa." welcome back to the show. >> thank you, fareed.
>> when people think of africa, they think -- the images i think are mostly still poverty and conflict. what do you think of when you think of africa? >> i think of some of that, too. unfortunately, the states in africa are among the weakest poorer states in the world. and that bree breeds all sorts of problems that we don't see anywhere else. like famines, for instance. where else do we have a problem of famine in the 21st century. and africa right now that's happening. one of the bigger stories i covered was the somali pirates. everybody loved the pirates. they represented modern-day outlaws. where else do you have modern-day pirates to that extent like in africa? there's so much more. and you kind of laid it out in your introduction. it is one of the most physically blessed parts of the world i've ever seen. there's so many places that look
like nowhere else on earth, the pristine environment, the thick jungle, clearer lakes and rivers, untouched. at the same time, i think a lot of people don't appreciate what the spirit in africa. and that's what really moved my as a young man and totally changed my life. was this idea that you could have some of the poorest people in the world, who have so much less than most of us. and they still had -- they were still so warm and open-hearted and connected with each other. and that was one of the things i took away from the early trips was a sense of empathy. i showed up as a clueless 18-year-old and i wasn't really, you know -- i wasn't connected to other people. and i left different. >> and you feel like that spirit of optimism in the face of extraordinary material hardship has actually increased, right? in the last 10 or 15 years. africa is on the move in some ways. >> it is. it's changed a lot.
when i went there for the first time, it was incredibly different. i grew up -- from life at home. i grew up in suburban chicago. and when i stepped off the plane in 1990 in nairobi, it was unrecognizable to anything i had experienced. that gap is closing. so, for instance, there's now domino's pizza and burger king and lots of big american brands. and in a way, that's diluting the character. and some of the things we're exporting aren't necessarily the best aspects of our culture. but the gap between africa and the rest of the world is closing. but it's still huge. you look at life span and the number of kids who die from preventable diseases, i mean, it's something like almost a million african kids die every year from malaria, which is essentially a mosquito bite. and that doesn't happen anywhere else. >> let's look at one of the places you covered really well because it's an intersection of many of the trends and a way of getting the world interested, which is somalia.
somalia is a place that is very poor, often very weak government, as you say, has pirates. but it also has radical islam. and you know, explain to -- did you understand why radical islam was able to spread into somalia, spending time there? >> that's a good we. we have the knee-jerk reaction to these places. and we see them as a threat. but in somalia, the world abandoned somalia for many years. the u.s. tried to go in and help in the early 1990s and there was the blackhawk down incident. and that left a bad taste in our mouths that we didn't want anything to do with somalia. and in the intervening years, the radical islamic group came to power because they were the only ones that offered a vision. and people were starving for something, for some structure. >> and they were able to
stabilize the place. >> very much so. and they used islam -- i met some of these islamists in the early days. an they were open to meeting with the american journalists and negotiating with the american government and the u.s. government slammed the door in their face. they were turning to islam for a practical reason, which was somalia is divided between clans. and the clans have been tearing up the country and fighting with etch other. and the islamists said, let's find something that unifies us. and that was their religion. >> what gives you hope about africa? >> i think the fact that people work really hard. i think the gap is closing with the rest of the world. and the world is more interconnected now than it's ever been. and the resources -- there's special elements in our cell phones that come from congo. and we're all connected now. those guys are digging in the ditches, you know, for a few
bucks a week. and they're producing something that we all need. and so, i think that as time goes on, we will feel more connected and we'll have a little more empathy. and africa will become less of an other. and that's key because for so many years there's been all these stereotypes going back to heart of darkness and so much that's been written. and that's what i kind of overcame. no. these are just -- this is just a part of the world that's -- that i can feel close to and feel accepted in, even though i'm very different from it. >> jeffrey gettleman, pleasure to have you on. >> thank you. up next, from the mysteries of africa, to the magic of science. brian green will actually make you understand what dark matter is. you'll want to hear this. it surrounds us, after all. i count on my dell small business advisor for tech advice. with one phone call, i get products that suit my needs and i get back to business. ♪ ♪
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it's graduation season. and i would guess if you polled kids coming out of college today, somewhere near 100% of them would say their dream is to be mark zuckerberg. they want to start the next facebook. but who wants to do the science that's going to make the next great advance in computing possible?
who is able to do the science that propels elon musk's rockets or cars? it's hard to get americans interested in science past high school. i wanted to talk about this problem with brian green. he is the superstring theory and the co-founder of the world science festival that kicks off this week in new york city. brian green, pleasure to have you on. >> thank you. >> so, what is behind this festival that you put on is the idea of getting people, not just interested in science but actually excited about it. and it seems to me, just watching my own kids and their educational cohorts, it happens naturally when they're young. but then, there's a point at which it starts to -- they start to lose the interest, partly because it seems hard. >> yes. >> you know, the physics start to require calculus. what do you do about that?
>> i think the main thing is you want to have kids experience the excitement of science. as opposed to what often happens in the classroom -- look, there are many great science teachers around the country. but the experience of so many kids is, science is about learning some facts, solving some equations, learning about parts of the cell, having to split it back on an exam after and you leave the classroom it's irrelevant the rest of your life. the point of the festival is to change the experience of science. to show this is a story of discovery that we've been on for thousands of years. and it is a privilege and d america are kind of -- dangerously illiterate about science? that when we have public policy discussions that involve science, for example on climate change, do you feel -- do you cringe when you hear the level
of scientific discourse? >> sometimes, and sometimes when i hear the level of scientific discourse coming out of this administration, it's shocking. but at the same time studies have shown, and this is hopeful, that a wide spectrum of the public does have great respect for scientificin for scientists. so what we need to do is not beat people over the head with science, not saying your daft ozil , or silly, or stupid, to integrate them into a full world view. >> and then again, the stumbling block is like you said not a lack of respect, but just in the sense that it is mystifying. for example, dark matter, it's one of the things where you hear most of the world is actually
made up of dark matter, and we can't touch it and see it and feel it and we don't know whether it exists. so what do i make about that? >> well, that is actually a thrilling idea. your mind spinning around in dark matter. when we observe galaxies, we find that the world is spinning around and the stars should be around the edge sort of like a bicycle, where the water gets flung out. but the stars are not getting them flung out. something must be holding them in. we don't see anything that can do that but we know gravity has the power to bring things together. so there is matter out there. dark matter, that is why it doesn't give out light and that matter is observing the gravity holding them together. when we make the hypothesis, so
that maybe the things we haven't seen or smelled or touched yet maybe it's real. so we build protectors and try to capture one of the dark particles. we haven't succeeded yet but maybe we will. this is an example of how operations drive rational thinking to explain the facts and ultimately verify it through observation and experiment that can be replicated. that is what science is. and that is what can get your heart pounding when you realize the human intellect can figure out things you cannot understand. >> and when you think about the practical applications sometimes they're huge and profound but there is a long time lapse. you have quantum physics leading to computer power, and albert
einstein's theories. just trying to figure out what is happening in the world -- >> yes, but if people can grasp what you are putting your finger on they can recognize why science is the fundamental equation. mechanics developed in the '20s, right? if you would have asked the practitioners then, what will this be good for? what will it fund? what will it do? they could say well, it's a practical matter, i don't know if it will affect your life in any way. but if you fast forward 80 years, with the computer, and the cell phone, it all relies on physics. a certain percentage of the gross national product comes out of basic mechanics. so it shows you basic science over time will drive innovation. >> just to explain that, the reason is quantum is about stuff
below the atom -- that is really what a computer chip is. >> that is right, because your phone is working because electrons are going through tiny microscopic circuits. we are able to provide the mathematics for that. when you hear an example like that and you see the budget that has been put forward by the administration where we're proposing apparently to cut fundamental basic science research by something like 20 or 15%, you realize how incredibly shortsighted it is. because you're cutting out the legsfuture, if you're not driving the fundamental issues of the day. next, we'll investigate the terror attack in manchester, but something unexpected lifted their spirits and if think it will lift yours as well.
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so isn't it time our networks did too? introducing america's largest, most reliable 4g lte combined with the most wifi hotspots. it's a new kind of network. xfinity mobile. we don't have time for a question this week, we'll work on a really tough one go this week. but this week's book of the week is, can't we all disagree more constructively. it searzeros in on a crucial prm today. liberals and conservatives don't talk to each other, don't listen to each other and they don't understand each other. he explains why and explains how to get oath of this polarizing trap. it's a kindle book. and now for a last look. that was the british national
anthem "god save the queen" ringing out at a yankees new york city baseball game this week. following this week's loss of life at a concert in manchester, messages of condolences and solidarity poured in from around the world. the union jack colors were projected on famousab buildings world leaders expressed their shock and outrage. but one man from manchester best expressed the feelings in this northern story. take a look at him reading his people, entitled "this is the place". >> because this is a place that has been through hard times, obsession, northern great manchester lyrics, and there are hard times again. and there is hard times again.
there is hard times again. in these streets of our city. but we wouldn't take defeat and we don't want your pity because this is the place where we stand strong together with a smile on our face. mancunians forever, because this is our heart, our place, this is a part of our bones because manchester gives us such strength from the facts that this is the place. we should give something back. always remember. never forget. forever manchester. >> following the senseless bombing of a venue that celebrates creativity and the arts it is a reminder that it is
often these exact things that can help us lift our souls in the moments of despair, go to cnn.com and read this entire people. thank you for joining us. i'll see you next week, i'm fareed zakaria. happening now in the news room. >> we're chasing our tails as a nation when it comes to the russians. >> the cloud of russia hanging over the white house grows with allegations about the president's son-in-law, jared kushner. >> i can't confirm or deny whether they're accurate but if they are it's obviously very concerning. >> i know jared, he is a great guy, a decent guy, lot of different ways to communicate back channel publicly with other countries. i don't see any big issue here. >> i think jared has said that he is more than willing to answer any and all questions. >> my dashboard warning light