tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 4, 2016 10:30am-12:31pm EDT
ghani for a very long time, since we were in high school together. in fact, we were going to come to the united states has high school student, we went to the american embassy together and fill in the application for that, your first name, last name and i did not know what the last name meant because it's not just a first name. so, the president, dr. ghani was next to me, so he was a little more worldly than i was at that time because i had just come to kabul and he was a resident of kabul for a long time.
.. we have been interacting for a very long time in beirut were both were students. the president met his future wife. with that background, i wanted to start the conversation, we have about 15 minutes or so come and give ample time to the audience but ask a couple of questions if i might. one is that you have been quoted
by the inspector general, expressing your view with regard to the development activities or investments that have been made or the monies that have been spent on development projects. concern that the past patter with regard to legacy project that the united states has with regard to women, not that past pattern of holding conferences, giving certificates, contracting and subcontracting would not be repeated. i would be interested and i'm sure the audience would be interested to know your view of the lessons learned, and how should, going forward, the expenditures focus on development generally, or women project in particular should be carried out.
>> yes. i remember -- is this working? i remember seeing the report, and i was talking at the launch of the promote program which, you know, is if idea program that usaid has started for helping afghan women. the program had not yet started but i kind of raised the concern that this program should not repeat the mistakes of the past. because indeed there has been a lot of programs, a lot of ngos to a lot of international aid agencies that have come and spend money in afghanistan. but the people who have
participated in those projects more often than not have had probably, took part in workshops for two weeks and then ended up the workshop, nice design documents they can frame and put on the wall in their home. nothing else. no follow-up, no card to use their new skills, if ever they acquired a new skills. sometimes it was also the case that they didn't really learn much. and so i wanted to tell a little bit in cheek to promote people that peace, make sure that you our -- you are doing something that is doing something that is substantial, patrick many people, you a drink capacity trading, a drink capacity to income your kind of people so they can carry on after your training and do something substantial. >> thank you.
in your statement you mentioned the progress of afghanistan has made, and one area that a lot of progress has been made impacting also women is the spread of telecommunication, which covers to almost all of afghanistan from a very few phones, i remember when i went there first after 9/11 taken satellite phone district you know maybe 17, 18 million cell phones. to what extent that success can be used, which also includes lots of women having the means to communicate now to address some of the areas where more progress is needed, whether it's in the area of quality of education, whether it's in the area of economic empowerment of
women to include the more indie economy. >> phones are a tool, and it's true, as i was saying, we now have phones all over afghanistan. and we have phones, a lot of people also have smartphones, which means they can access things on the internet. phones have been used. phones have been used, i know of an organization that uses them for literacy programs. they have done little or the more classical way. but when they started doing it on the phones it was much faster. the women would learn in less than a month. the reason is that they had a motivation. they want to be able to use their phone to send messages.
so they knew that is still there going to learn there going to be able to apply immediately. this is maybe the secret of the success. you have to teach people things they need to learn so that they can improve. phones, i know of a group of poets and writers, mostly when i talk about groups, that are usually women. these were women, and they communicate, they come and meet in kabul once or twice a year. they don't have much money. they don't get money from anyone, but they communicate with each other by phone. and sometimes if some member was not able to come to the meeting, they would put the phone on speaker phone and she would be under village where ever she is and should be reading, for example, a poem that she's written. she would be reading it aloud
and they would discuss it to her and tell her what they thought she did welcome what they thought she didn't do well. so it really has come together. so yes, phones are very important. and phones are now, everybody has a folder even though coke or the driver. you need a phone to be able to function in kabul. >> i think the phone, as afghanistan leapfrog not having lying to phones -- line phones to cell phones an area that thinking about is whether this digital technology generally can be an instrument for addressing some of the other issues, particularly with regard to the quality of education or with regard to financial inclusion
where we see significant results in parts of africa, like kenya, on digital finance. can afghanistan benefit from the infrastructure that's a developing with regard to cell phone technology to address some of the other issues of development? >> i think now, i can think now of other examples. i'm not involved in this. as the details come back to my mind, phones are now being tested to pay people, to pay them directly instead of going through intermediaries which would cut down on a lot of corruption. phones are used by traders to find out where, you know, if somebody is trading in full in one province -- wool. either by looking at the phone, the internet they can see what his price in another part of the
contador in other countries. so economically it is a tool to find out, to get more information. it can become very important. i'm not myself, as i said, involved in pushing any kind of phone program so i can't really talk more about it. >> i've been very impressed. i do watch as we talked before coming here, afghan news whenever i can and have been very impressed with your public statements and farsi and your commitment and your leadership has been extremely inspiring, so i thank you for your service as the first lady for afghanistan. with that, i would like to open the floor and take questions, comments. please introduce yourself so we know who you are. please, here and in we will move
around. >> i want to say that yes, i mastered the dari language. i've also given a speech in pashtun. >> you have? >> on april 6 i went to jalalabad and joined their women's day, international women's day celebration and outspoken posture and because this is the language of a -- >> and deeper i missed about. thank you spirit there are things you don't know about me. >> we will not make any commen comments. >> madam first lady, congratulations on speaking in farsi far better than i do their i was born in kabul. i am the program director for a group called capitalize international in washington, d.c. i thank you for being a positive inspiration a public image not only for the women of afghanistan but for the country
as a whole. my question has to do with education, and we all accept education to be the master key for success for all individuals and society. many, many years ago i was a student at georgetown university and i was attending many meetings at the u.s. afghan women's council. back then we're debating how to create some social changes that are sustainable for economic empowerment of women in afghanistan. but on numerous occasions i suggested the idea of creating a women's only university for afghan women in afghanistan, modeled after colleges in massachusetts tiny. back then nobody listened to me but i recently have heard that that idea has been adopted. i was wondering if you becoming
a look at more about that and if you are engaged in that intervention? because i believe such an intervention is the right intervention for future of the women's apartment across the broader spectrum of life are afghan women in social, economic, and political aspects of life. thank you. >> yes. there is a project for a women's university. i will not take credit for the idea. it was one of my husband's promises during the campaign. he followed on that promise by default on many of the promises your i think the country that has taken upon itself to create this university is turkey. and they are, as far as i know, like months ago i was with the minister of higher education
issue told me that they were about to sign the memorandum of understanding. so it is on the way and probably within a year we will have that university. it's going to be located -- and have a beautiful view of the kabul. i hope that it will benefit a lot of women. >> thank you. please, back there. >> i am a graduate student at georgetown university. thank you, first lady, madam first lady, for your presentation. from sri lanka and and falling the world quite recently and you know, the established cricket nations have been incredibly impressed by afghanistan. they were defeated by the afghanistan team a few days ago.
so my question to you, do you see the potential for cricket to advance a nationbuilding process, like alisa garnering consensus on a, national identity? we've seen in the best sports being used as a true to bring people together. what's the rule of cricket, in your view, in bringing afghans together? >> you might laugh but it is a very fortunate statement. cricket is extremely important in afghanistan because it is news that nobody can turn into negative news. it is positive reviews and they are very proud of their teams. on cricket tonight, everybody stays up to watch on tv the cricket matches. they were very happy to see that afghanistan has progressed to the upper level and that that of
the four matches they did, they did win one against the country that have been a champ in 2012. so people were very, very proud, yes. sports can play a very important role. and as you said it's a level or. in sports it doesn't matter where you come from. it doesn't matter what language you speak. it doesn't matter anything. it matters that you're good at it. it's a good symbol of national unity, yes. >> way back, yes, please. the gentleman who is standing and then we will come this way. >> thank you. i'm with the hindu american foundation, nonprofi a nonprofit studies the plight of the hindu minority in several countries, unfortunately in afghanistan a hindu and sikh communities continue to decline in numbers. they seek refugee status in
european countries. do you feel the hindus and sikhs of afghanistan and other religious minorities actually do the place in the state and can the government into their security? or should they seek refuge elsewhere in order to just survive? >> i'm going to start by answering with a large answer, more broader answer. it seems nowadays in the world that everybody wants to compartmentalize every country into different groups. okay, in afghanistan might be that we have ethnic groups and the hindus are one of them. in other countries, you saw what happened in the middle east and so the we discovered with all these groups that lived there for centuries, and live there in peace and some of they started being persecuted. i think this trend is a very negative trend.
the hindus have been part of our history. the our hindus in afghanistan. the our hindus in india. there has been a back and forth between the two countries. it's a very strong one. i visited india, and so many people have tremendous -- kabul during the good days, how they would go on their honeymoon to kabul. i don't go for taking the sat because it was not an offer in india. now we're in a situation where kabul in afghanistan needs to catch up to where india is. the sikh and hindu community in afghanistan, they speak the language. they have been there for centuries. there are certain consideratio considerations, practical
consideration i know of that relate to, for example, the funerals where you need to have up higher and burned the bodies. -- a pyre. the government has reached an agreement with the hindu committee about modern hostilities because people complain. kabul has been expanded. it is become such a large city and there were no places to be able to do these rituals. so that was some friction there. i would encourage that seeks to stay, and sikhs and hindus to stay. afghanistan is an inclusive country, and we are a country where, for example, she is and sunnis have no province unlike our neighbors. it is a country that is really very hospitable. >> thank you. the lady over there. yes, please.
>> national democratic institute. thank you so much for the wonderful speech. as always inspiring. my question is on sustainability. passion international unity government has made some great progress towards strengthening women's role across different sectors, encouraging women political engagement, assigning women members to hide council at very high official government positions. do you think these efforts are sustainable? talking beyond parody numbers, filling seek the position. how sustainable do you think these efforts are? thank you. >> the efforts will be as sustainable as the women themselves. you can open up, encourage, but the work has to be done by the people themselves. so if they are really keen on being part of the society on
playing a role, there they have a chance and they will build the situation to if they are not keen come if it's just a fantasy, but the way i see the women in afghanistan, they are very keen and they're very grateful to be able to have so many for a what they can express themselves, where they can have an opinion and then push for certain things that they need. so i'm optimistic. >> great. this lady over here and then we will go back. >> thank you very much. you gave a wonderful speech. that i asked my question in that dialect please? >> sure. go ahead. [speaking in native tongue]
afghans who have gone to europe coming back, whether the government plans for we've integrated, we integrating it in afghanistan. and number two was followed to mobile money, that their benefits that already women have achieved from that. what more can they achieve from that technology? please your. >> okay. yes, we have, i read the latest number but i don't know because i have no real statistic. the latest number was it was 180,000 afghans had left the country. i want you to put that into perspective. the press makes it sound like you are hordes and hordes of afghans that are leaving. in a country of 32 million inhabitants, 180,000 is a small number. now, to the question, whether afghans will be welcomed when
they come back to afghanistan, of course. afghanistan is the country. they are more than welcome to come and now that the of seeing the situation elsewhere is not much better, maybe they will feel more motivated to contribute to work for building up their country. so i don't see any problem with the coming back. as far as, i don't know the second question is not really a question from it's a statement and i welcome this. it's kind of -- that's okay. yes, why not? anything that can help women, i am for it. >> yes. this young lady here. [speaking in native tongue]
[speaking in native tongue] >> let me just very quickly because it's a very long. basically, the lady was very kind to thank me for the work i've done and how i've given hope to every woman in afghanistan. that she can become, she can take part in the decision process in afghanistan. the question is, is there a plan for our affirmative action to allow women to have more, i'm not quite sure because this is not something i am doing. now you've raised the question. i will look into it. this is how i function. people come to me and raise
question and see there is this, so i said okay, i go back, i try to understand who's doing what in all those, and maybe eventually i'll be able to push. but you have to remember i was neither elected nor selected. [laughter] i have very combining, on the book i have very little power. it's just because the women and the men are really appreciating what we are doing. if i were somebody from the office but i say i'm calling from the office of the first lady, they are responding. that is so, i hope i will be able to look into this. thank you. >> i think the one thing she did make to congratulate the first lady was for institutionalizing this office of the position of the first lady in afghanistan. please, yes, back there. >> thank you. my name is mohammad. i'm privilege to go to school at boston university on a covert
scholarship. -- fulbright scholarship. more privileged to meet the first first lady that i have, i would have in afghanistan, that i meet in my lifetime. you spoke about long-term thinking, long-term planning with the initiatives. how long do you need to put afghanistan in a position that is reasonably irreversible in terms of development and stability? and how are you explaining that to our allies for your administration and those that are going to fall if you? thank you. >> again, i would mention that i don't do politics, i will, but my answers are going to be very precise because i don't interfere. when i talk with foreigners it's much on social and development issues.
it takes time to build. it takes a minute or two to destroy. you know, one bomb counted for everything in no time. but then to rebuild the house, it takes one year, one year and a half. the previous administration was very good at stopping the civil war. remember, we had a civil war for 23 years. we were killing each other. we were bombing each other. we were destroying each other. so you have to give credit to the previous administration that the day, president karzai was able to bring everybody at the table and say we are all together in this. unfortunately from the point of view of management, the previous administration was not very detail oriented, let's put it. so as long as things were going
on, this administration has arrived and found a lot of this organization. last asked. .. this is why it's still in my mind. the minister is now have to have a 100 day program, and at the end, they are in the cabinet. whoever said the cabinet sessions don't do anything must not have attended the sessions. in the cabinet, everyone reports on what he's done those 100 days.
has he met the goals he has set, has he or she been able t to moe them further and organize? i think there have been different. so they are beginning to get more organized over time. every ministry has employees in the south and you need to be trained everyone and tell them this is the way you do things and this is not the way. so it's going to take time. i can't say whether it will take a year, two years, three years. i hope that the end of the mandate you will see a very big difference from the beginning. that is what i would commit to.
>> why we are getting organized. >> yes, thank you very much for being here today. i had the pleasure of hearing you speak at the conference and my question has to do with how do you relate to the women's ministry? is that what the women's ministry does? >> can you introduce your self? >> my name is max. >> i've had a long relationship with afghanistan, married to an
afghan lady. >> that is a good question. i'm not about creating new institutions. i am about helping the existing institutions work better. so i do that with all the ministries i'm in contact with. the ministry of the women's affairs are around regularly whenever she needs me. they say, yo need to understand what you're doing. they brought it to me it almost surprises me but apparently i do have something in afghanistan. they come and ask for advice. i never prescriptive and i never say this is the way to do it, don't do this.
no. she came to a ministry that was a little bit in turmoil. there were two very strong women as the deputy ministers and she had -- i never said to do this or do that. but eventually they have been replaced and she has two other deputy ministers. i worked with her for example when i was interested in the units in the ministry and we worked very hard and brought the people from the ministry. we had a huge meeting and we discussed things and kind of made a summary at the end of things that were not working well. after that, i had her follow-through for example i got the organizational structure to
sit with her to write for these unit. for you and me it is obvious that is what you need but it's not obvious in afghanistan. eventually i think after that i like go because she was taking over the reins and it's her project and her ministry. i'm glad she came to me for some advice and i was able to help her in a small way that was essential. so yes. i do the same with the ministry of counternarcotics and also some dealings with the ministry of higher education is not very much. the minister of education was to be an ambassador for literacy but they are undergoing a very big reform.
all i'm doing is maybe talking and announcing and telling people the way i see it and hoping that somebody will pick up the project and run with it. please stand up so they can see. >> of the executive director of the afghan women's council at georgetown university we are so grateful that you are here and i would also like to publicly thank you for staying up at the middle of the night. i don't think people notice and you've been sending support and advice and you participate in the meetings at times when you don't even have the staff to do it. we are so grateful for you reaching out to us in washington, d.c.. i would like to ask specifically the myth of the afghan male as
being uncivilized and part of why i ask about that is is in y work what i found is with all of these successful, beautiful, talented women that you talk about figures always a strong and supportive and feminist and wonderful father, husband, brother, cousin, uncle we don't always hear about. so if we can talk about the beauty of the afghan man in this struggle -- [laughter] >> i think in that respect, afghanistan is in ver isn't vert from other countries in the world.
i will give you an example we have a hotline that is for the resolution of family and it's a hotline people can call anonymously and ask for advice. it is addressed to women but i found that 70% of the calls are initiated by men. fathers, brothers, sons who are worried about the situation in which a woman dear to them finds herself and so they would call and make sure that it's legitimate and once they are
assured that it's a good place for the person they give the phone to the person and she calls. so, this is i think the best confirmation that there are men that care about the woman and i don't -- i'm not saying there isn't a bother that doesn't want his daughter. they love their daughter so mu much, they are really close to their daughter but essentially from afar you think maybe they don't care but they do care about it. >> thank you for that. yes, all the way in the back please.
>> what is the enrollment rate in the primary and secondary education and does afghanistan have enough resources to educate both the boys and girls? >> it is a good question. i don't know the answer. they are not really very precise, but i do know that there were articles at the beginning of last year that 1.3 million young people joined the first grade last year. i don't have any confirmation. they read in the newspaper. our education system was extremely strong and has produced people like my husband and other people and it was because we had a very
forward-looking 1919 to 1929. she was in charge of education and was the minister of education and she made sure that a lot of people got a scholarship to study abroad. she was prescriptive and insisted about everybody study education. i hav had a friend tell me thatr father wanted her to become a doctor but no, the scholarship was only for education so he came back and became a teacher in a school or university. so, we had some very highly educated people running the schools and universities. we had a very strong educational system and i'm sure the ambassador confirmed all that came to the university would
perform very well by comparison to the other students at the institution because they had a very solid grounding so i think we can do it. i don't think we have reached that point yet. we have a very -- a minister that needs to be reformed totally and we need to know how many schools we have. you read thyou've read the repod some schools are only there on paper. we don't know how many we have or how many children attend. the first shift starts at 6:00 in the morning and finishes at 11 demos as the child to do afterwards? there's a lot to be done in the education sector, but i am
confident we can do it because it was done in afghanistan and we do have the experience. >> you mentioned -- have you studied or taken inspiration from her role? >> when i became a public person that the public could reach out to yes i tried to understand the role and what she was doing. she was much more involved than i was, she was a minister in the cabinet. she was -- she went everywhere with the cane. and i don't do that. i'm not interested -- she was young and maybe she felt it was her role and responsibility. i feel that my responsibility is
to be there and my responsibility is to be like an ombudsman woman where people can complain but i never scored th them. it is a one of these problems in the center that is quite isolated and i said okay that is a good thing. the other day said we need electricity to produce out of these and i said fine, perfect. i will convey your message is. then they said we don't have room for schools. in the winter we have them next to the wall that gets the sun
and then it gets the shade. i looked at them and they were a group of 25 or 30 strapping young men and i said come on. you get together for one day or two days and you can vote without one or two schools. don't be lazy. my role is to be much more a place where people feel safe to come and seek to be able to say whatever is on their heart and also sometimes ask for your questions but i feel they have been hurt. >> you have been the first lady now for the team this -- 18
months. if you had to identify one thing that the government -- i don't want to get you in trouble, but to pay attention in terms of the empowerment of women, what would that be, and second, what is your message for the united states now what would your message be to the united states if you could come include on that -- conclude on that. >> we are going in the right
direction. that's what i feel. i think it is probably difficult for people outside the government to understand how much work is ongoing within the government. i don't get to see my husband very often. he needs usually early in the morning and comes back at 10:00 or 11 but it's really very interesting because with regards to the presidential palace they had to change their shift because he stopped very early in his term so instead of having two shifts, now they have three. but anyway, i think the
government is trying very hard so whenever i see a detail or place for example the affirmative-action icy weather they will do something or not. so yes there will always be room for improvement. it took six months to get this and i think for one year that is quite a lot. as far as the message to the american public i'm tempted to say don't believe what they say in the newspaper. >> there is a lot of skepticism towards the media. >> in this audience at least i can hear it.
the administration itself does what i'm doing so i don't need to tell them anything. but the american public just remember that they are unlike any other people. they have dreams and maybe their dream is to be able to live in a country where there is peace. i was just in morocco a few days ago and i have been there in my mid-20s. at the time i didn't know it was at the same level. i was pleasantly surprised but also very sad when i went from a three days i could tell how much they have developed and how much
life was present and how people seemed at ease in pursuing their own goals and dream is and the ministers were outspoken and very well read and trained. everybody was very happy and hospitable and i thought my god this is what lebanon would have been if we hadn't had the war. so maybe this is what i am feeling these days. i understand the cost of the war. it's difficult and it is time-consuming to build again. but the people in afghanistan want peace and want to be able to live in their villages. they want to be able to have good schools. they have seen inspiration and i
labor market individual economy. that is life at one time 2:30 p.m. eastern. the senate returns for general speeches at five and the debate begins to combat the theft of corporate trade secrets. a final vote is set for 5:30. see both on c-span2. landmark cases come historic supreme court decisions and the 12 part series offers real-life stories and constitutional drama behind the most significant decision in history. during the times of war they put before the court' central themes and conditions during the times of emergency that can do things that may not be expressly said in the constitution and the limits the court can place on
it. how many can we say about that? >> it isolated the u.s. as one of only four nations of 100 in the globe. they haven't settled the issue at all. we will look at the case in the company. it's the case that curbed the presidential executive powers stating that it was unconstitutional for president truman to see the control during the korean war because it wasn't authorized by congress. watch landmark cases on c-span and c-span.org. the council on foreign relations hosted a discussion friday on dusty green president bishara al-assad. they analyzed the actions in the civil war and discussed whether he could play a role in the future. this is just over an hour.
>> welcome to today's council on foreign relations profile meeting. let me introduce our speakers. right next to me is joshua landis. i'm sure you have the biographies of the packet. and andrew, so this is a profile and i want to think about what that means and what the tower into the profile to the personality and the exercise of
the government power being together. it's something you can have more than one at a given time. but then there are moments where there is only one option for the power and so i want to start with one of those moments for thinking about al-assad and bring you back to the morning of march 30, 2011 to the time when syria is on edge and there've been pictures of child protesters tortured and pressure on the regime. he's getting a highly anticipated speech to the syrian parliament.
he's going to announce major reforms and that doesn't happen. maybe he can talk up the shock of tha the moment and its implications for this idea of who he was and the exercise of power in syria. i had the opportunity to connect again with many people who were close to assad. some of them are still with him and others are in exile or left the government for one reason or another.
there's a lot of mystery on where he was and what was he going to do which was a seminal moment. some of these people that were involved in preparation for the speech was that there were many different drafts. one person that was a close friend who is no longer in the government solve a draft about an hour before he went to the syrian parliament. it was full of the announcements and reforms and so when you assatheassad gave his speech ine parliament and they were watching he was shocked to see that there was another version. they believe that some of the
security chiefs got there and there was a tug-of-wa tug of waa number of differentindividuals, some counseling that he made concessions and somebody cracks down and they convinced him he could put down the uprising. it reflects the fact that he's s someone that a lot of people had hoped when he came to power as a reformer and in my view this was his moment and a lot of people in opposition and pro- assad were waiting for this moment. could he be the person they hoped he could be and finally stand up to the hardliners and do something and obviously he did not. there was a great deal of disappointment among the officials and government people with whom i spoke not just the opposition. was there a way that speech represented different profiles
who assad was and why do you think that he picked up one draft rather than another? >> i think that he saw what happened in cairo and he feared that it was going to happen to him. that would be certainly the key factor i think. i thought it was very interesting that it wasn't just that there were drafts that was well known. with this announcement when it's completely ended up being the reverse i realized we were going down a very different road, and i think it's one of the things that struck me the most living in syria especially this is something that people close to the regime used to speak with me about often is how much
unpredictable he was in his father and they were adamant. he could go down the road of david had mentioned or he could try to choose his way out of it and he chose the latter and he had this result. >> i think what we have seen out of assad is that the regime is extremely brittle. he can't really reform. i have little hope that there's going to be any reform in the regime. we have seen the regime shrink into a small part in syria and it would have shrunk further and it can expand but it can't reform. at the alibi thinkinthe alibi td that if they begin to disassemble the regime, they are going to fall apart. >> i was going to interrupt and say i'm sure people know that
his family is none -- members in the communities that you can throw in a little bit about what that means for the personalities of the regime and about assad's connections. >> i'm sure that all of you are familiar with a certain degree. it's 12%, ten to 12% when the french arrived in the 20s, they were segregated at demographically almost entirely in the community. there was no town of over 200 people in which they live together. they didn't live there. the first census taken by the syrians showed that they didn't have them in the cities. now, the integration has taken
place since then and it is important but it's not that important. when they came to damascus in big numbers after they took power in the 70s but it was conquered and commonly in damascus and i heard that word many times living there in the 1980s when i was a fulbright and these people who have come in and the alien from the outside and this has been the dilemma. they were met. the brotherhood in the beginning in the 1950s and 60s, the intellectual of the brotherhood described them as unbelievers and this was a war because it would be like the first tale of having to reconvert arabia to islam after the tribes pulled
away from islam. >> he married somebody from that community. >> yes he has and so has the jordanian king. this is made up of first and they tried to united kingdom on the marriage bed and he was doing the same thing of course he couldn't have four wives were many more as the kings did but nationbuilding was part of the process and the alawites community felt very strange and when they witnessed the first shooting began the security people were telling everybody they had been rolling up two or three g. harvests every month for the last several years. if you left this demonstration
of young boys, the median age is 21 so most of the people didn't know tha the bloodshed that had preceded. they wanted reforms but if you let them begin to go down that road of losing power they were going to take over i think the regime people felt sure of that. so if he had been tempted to go down the road of reform to people around him that you are a fool. you don't understand the region and we are the ones that have been keeping it down and rolling them up and controlling and manipulating them and sending them into iraq. you can't do this you will be swept aside so he's shot and that's where we've been ever since and will be difficul it wt for him to let go without fearing revenge for him and his family. >> on the subject of those surrounding the speech i wrote a
letter to him in a contact i have with the government and they never knew whether he read the letter and it was advising him making some suggestions of what he could do in terms of reform in the presidential term limits and this sort of thing to encourage them to be the person that we all thought he could be so that's sort of thing. the interesting thing i learned a couple of years later from two different people he did in fact read it and what is interesting is that he rejected everything said about there were people from two different sources close to him who wanted him to go down this road. i agree with my friends andrew and josh i always thought that again many people hoped he would change the system but it seemed that it changed him and this
system is a reflexive reaction to the disservice and they use the hammer. >> that is an interesting question for the agency. i went back and looked at the coverage of the speech and that the speech did accomplish which were many was to exclude the narrative that has been written since he took office 11 years ago that his efforts on the reform were being blocked from his father but in a way what you're saying is it didn't do much to explore that narrative but to say they one which brings together the question did he at that moment have power? >> by 2005 he was putting his
people in. he said it very well after the withdrawal that he may have lost beirut but he gained damascus so he used that episode to really secure his way into power. when i visited in 2,006, as people were in the regional command in the military security apparatus so there's no excuse in terms of them being forced. he could have gone one way i'm sure as historians of political scientists to say you should have done this handmade reforms and fought against the system. he said he could have used the people against those hardliners. >> said he could have pushed back against the message. >> he could have perhaps. >> or i guess the question is
whether he was holding the gun or if the gun was -- [laughter] >> the whole idea of this reform with the fashionable british rights was this always a delusion. was it ever real war will be lookinor were welooking at the ? >> i think a lot of them believe that in earl seemed early on, is easy to believe because he had just died and the only way was us. they had survived and i think that he promised a lot and there was what became known later as the reform there were a lot of reforms that were launched and came to syria and saw first-hand people were giddy at the idea of
the reform because wha it happed in the previous decade in the turmoil since independence they wanted to have a soft landing to this but that didn't prove to be the case. >> a reminder that assad was only i believe 34 when he came to power for just ten years younger than marco rubio. >> and they had to change the constitution. [laughter] >> i don't think there's theres another contradiction between those things. he was fairly naïve and led most of the people out of prison at his father had imprisoned for decades. he thought he could modernize without changing politics he thought he could put a chicken in everybody's pocket. but the reality of power remains
the same. he may not have understood that he was going to have to do that or that he was going to have to come of it he would face another and in a sense of com come out h guns blazing but he learned that he's got to win this war or he's going to lose and that is what he's done. it's the awkwardness of the speech was seeing a guy who was naïve to deny that he was going to shoot everybody and he finally learned to slowly that that's what was going to happen. >> one of the things the expectations were way too high for him. for the first time i met with him and after we exchanged pleasantries i told him biggest
mistake that you d that you do s that you do for me it is letting it become known that you like phil collins music. [laughter] he looked at me kind of weird that i said no that information was disseminated and it reinforced this pathology that was building in the west but because he was an ophthalmologist, path to power that spent 18 months studying ophthalmology -- to make his father trained him to be a dictator. >> he had several years after that he was being groomed although they deny it. but he's supposed to be this reformer in the united states because of this unusual background but what people don't understand and a lot of us have been saying for years is that he is a child of the era of israeli conflict and that's what shaped
his worldview more than the phil collins music and the toys of the west. i see the computer nerd and photographers that there was this image that's totally was inconsistent with reality and the reality of the system so when the expectations were not less, the disappointment was that much later. >> i remember the things that struck me so fa for a time i wod with one of the charities in the development and that charity that did a lot of good work did a lot of research in the areas and a lot of it had been mapped out and look at the demographic explosions that happened in the ten years after the massacre so
they were putting out all this information including to the palace about hears this problem and you are essentially sharing with the president and despite all of the advice that would come out of that just msn there was the resulting reforms that did not accommodate the growing population so he had a wife that was switched on enough to be able to map this stuff and gave that advice to the presidency but at the same time is still in the system they couldn't change the. >> they overwhelmed the system when they came out of the streets in 2011. >> so finally after the speech between a quarter of a million and a half million people are dead, 4 million people are in syria are refugees.
give us a sense of what do we know about assad and the brutality of the war into the cities that are made to starve indifferent to civilian life, what is the way the war has been waged and not just persistent. >> i try to compare what is going on in the larger middle east to what happened in central europe. the lines were drawn and people were stuck together. in world war ii, that explosion took place and the borders were not changed the people were changed. portland was 64% polish, 100% by the end of the war, 30% minorities that were ethnically
cleansed. that was true. 12 million germans ethnically cleansed from the 6 million killed and of course yugoslavia came later and exploded to the nationstates made out of it and you could argue that ukraine is being sorted out today. we have already seen that being booted out of every set city. they are the only minority that was able to gain a sense become a majority in palestine. all of the other states where minority because of the colonial experience in lebanon and iraq and c-reactiv syria and they arg on for dear life. 20% christians and all ethnically cleansed during the turkish revolution so almost all
the minorities and to support the one from iraq as a result of this sorting out and they are fighting it out. now they are the same way and say there are no more in turkey. of course there are but there's not going to be a two state solution. they lost and they look at a very grim future. if they lost, the chances are they would be ethnically cleansed so they could use any methods in order to destroy their enemy. they haven't arrived the nationalism of at least that was
in central europe so it's quite different. but what we are seeing how do you put it back together? that's the problem america wants to put it back into power to destroy the state that has been created and to put everybody back into these states and make everybody get along and i fear that it's going to be very difficult to do that. >> what role did they pla do thn making this more of a sectarian and less of a political which had some instances but in himself becoming more than he had ever been seeing more in religious terms what role did he play in dirt what's there a
deliberation or attempt to appeal to those? >> it is much more nuanced. the leadership cultivated ties with the business class with a concealed class. he did a particularly active role in cultivating a. it's much more mixed than most people figure and many of them were alienated from their fellow's who were in power. now they are coming together because there is no other alternative and that is kind of the binary situation that his
supporters have been trying to create that he is the only alternative, he's the least worst alternative and the only other answer is this g. hottest state and that is unacceptable to most. >> one way that he's needed sectarian they are extremely diverse but the one way that he has made it the biggest problem for the regime is reliable manpower and because of the president's response to the uprising is difficult to what he did and what subsequently happened is they reorganized the forces but you have the national
defense forces whicdefense force trained and organized by the ir gc and also invited and hezbollah and that isn't new. when they start showing up in places where the forces start showing up in places so with that it plays into the narrative that there's this alliance but then they take it a step further and say they are in the league with it and they use it in these different ways. >> that means you can do something.
could he do something that would end this in some way even theoretically and what would that look like? >> he could walk out the door. we talk about the structures. >> he's not going to do it. i was in brussels about a month and a half ago and there was a group working on the situation and we were informing and making recommendations at the time that they were going on and i just made this impassioned speech if you will but there is no way there's just no way. i saw this even before the
uprising that it is synonymous with his well-being of this bubble is constructed around these leaders and they see the world in a different conceptual paradigm at the nature of the threat is different and so they defined the threat and what to do about it and there are people outside of the public. >> he thinks he's going to conquer the country and that will make everything right and the conspirators will all be kicked out and syria will be saved and that is his slogan and that is what he's intending to do and i think that he believes it. >> speaking about the leaders let me ask you we are about to open up to the members questions
selecquestions. next year you've are advising president trump on dealing. you're not going to get him to read the book so why do you want him to keep in mind when he's dealing directly in the way that he wants the voters to keep low-energy in mind when they are dealing with looking at jeb bush what is that slogan you want him to having his head when h he's dealing with that name that would be helpful? >> you mean he would be directly engaging with us? >> i don't think that any american president would be directly engaging directly or indirectly but how would you be essentially deals with --
>> effect is going back to the original setup how do you figure out is he the reasonable reformer with a hard-line dictators the only way to cut through that you have to put him into the dilemma and the only way you can is you have to be willing to follow through on whatever dilemma you put him into. >> this is trump so you just have to give him one sentence advice. [laughter] i'm not sure there is one sentence. the dilemma. >> if he was meeting with assad, and i am president donald trump right now i would say you have to give up enough power. any political settlement you have to give up enough power if you are still in power in the
foreseeable future to satisfy the minimum standards of the critical mass of the opposition for the population that has moved on and that has gone on with their lives and have been empowered. >> so he's got to give up some power. >> i would say it's a bad deal. [laughter] >> that's what i would say. he said it himself many times. it's a bad deal. we can spend trillions of dollars -- >> so your advice is to stay away. >> there are more from one end of lebanon to the end of iraq than therthen there are the sun. there is a majority from one end to the other. iran and russia are committed to the cross and if you will, the new security zone. i've argued with many people that there are people that want
to fight russia for that security belt. >> and i bet there are people here that have questions. how about you right there. and identify yourself. >> so much of the conversation today is about to shed assad leave. >> it has some attention running through what you said. >> i think that many of these states you take out the leading families and what would you have left, you would have nothing. if you got rid of the family the place would crumblthat place woi think if you get rid of them the generals around them would fight each other just the same way that the rebels all fought each
other because there isn't a democratic tradition. they all want power and they have been played that way to keep them balanced so they don't have to fight each other to consolidate the new regime so if they were to pull him out of all of his attendance and legal people coming you would get a hole in the middle of the regime that would cause chaos, instability and they won't do it because he has grea command of e into the reflection of itself with the alawites stacked and a lot of people are trying to do what america has tried to do for decades. it would turn out to be in afghanistan. >> that is one of the main argumentmainargument is would he regime changes done in the middle east and you have the collapse of the state so
regardless whether or not you like assad this is keeping what is left together in hopes of something that resembles syria. >> the problem though is that it isn't stable. i realize it could get more chaotic but the sectarian war that is generated and contracts the fighters, the number of migrants and the claiming that he was talking about, those kind of things are in the security unfortunately it will mean instability to a high degree of the question is whether we can live with that or not. >> good afternoon. with the atlantic council looking at the instability that you've all described in syria and iraq etc., is it in our interest to sort of facilities
and develop the ostensible lines and draw russia and iran in a protracted conflict because we don't want them to dominate that area? can we do that or do we need to take a neutral position and say well we are talking to everybody that we are not committing. >> david, do you want to -- >> i've taken the position in some places it's popular in some places it isn't that the obama administration carrie. out of policy with regards to syria and tend to agree with what josh has said.
>> and, of course, that didn't happen. and what that it is by saying he is illegitimate, by telling him to step aside or step down, if activision an equivalent or choice was to fight in order to maintain power. in my mind enemy with the russians from very early on they had a better understanding of the situation in syria very, very early on, that assad is going to stay in power and this would be a protracted conflict for a number of years. >> i served in damascus.
first of all let me congratulate you. this is those rational discussion group on syria i've heard in the last year. thank you again. on any larger than sectarian institutions left in the lot or have they all gone away? >> -- in the levant? >> theoretically you have not just baathist party still functioning, and you have this eerie and state. what does it mean anymore? theoretically it's their and the core of the regime to it gives up in your of some sort of rallying at those are whatever you want to call it, theory. but the sectarianism which is always right below the surface in syria i think that is the primary dynamic. what josh was talking about, the shia crescent.
when i lived in the middle east sunni and shia didn't come up as much. in syria is always discouraged. now people talk about it a lot. even business men from damascus when they come from beirut speak in those terms which is interesting because it's an a mixed area where these things traditionally didn't mean much. >> barbara slavin from atlantic council. right panel i agree. what iq i think perhaps of david said we thought bashar al-assad was franco and it turned out to be michael. [laughter] i think that the shoreline i hope i'm quoting you correctly. given everything you said, what's the purpose of these peace talks that are going to resume supposedly in geneva? what's the best possible outcome? isn't just a continuation of a lesser level of hostility so aid
can be distributed? any expectation it will actually lead to a quote-unquote settlement? >> good question. i have a good friend of mine who's the u.n. liaison in damascus, and remarkable guy. i followed him in beirut when my trips to beirut last year. i put two and kind of that same question. i said, you're putting your life in danger and all of us for what? it's almost an impossible task. in a very emotional way he said we have to try, we've got to do something. people are dying. the country is falling apart. you have these remarkable people that are trying to do the impossible. they have given up these grandiose attempts in many ways, and some of the u.n. special envoys came in and they announced they wanted a holiday, or a three-day holiday.
these things never had a chance from the beginning but there is political pressure to do something dramatic. i think there's been a change with the u.n. approach to this, a lot of people got to them, that you have to try this implement a slow fix. you have to work on the humanitarian issues. on the other side of that, small steps open to build up confidence and trust and the inkblot cease-fire type approach. but now you have russia and china as well trying to congeal the regional allies behind a common approach and that's been a positive thing, in my view. but no, as long as assad is there and saying such things come and i'm not, we are talking about this beforehand, i'm not convinced that the russians are going to really pressure assad
to proceed to a managed transition, even though in track to talks with all been evolving with russians and speaking with russian officials, they all say when the first things out of their mouth is we don't really like assad, we are not committed to. they are committed to ending a strategic ally. they are committed to keeping this regime in power, and it happens to be assad. what we were saying about assad and is due in terms of staying in power, i just don't see something happening with regard to these negotiations, particularly because the kurds are not in there. which is a major, major issue of mine, in my view. so it's just come i don't think anything will happen in the short term. but the key is to keep it going. that's what they're trying to do, keep a process going so it doesn't break down dramatically
as geneva to did. >> what the regime people say is we would go to any meeting that day and i didn't even to the wedding of his son. then they say, well, what are we going to negotiate with, with his delegation that is there quick the only militia leader is there is mohammed and he owns half of duma. we could negotiate to get that half of duma back from him, but none of them on anything. they don't own any territory in all a syria. what are they going to negotiate with us? they want to undergo. we are not going to give it to them and that's the end of the discussion because they don't own any land. >> i talked with one of the top security guys our assad in beirut after geneva tonigh to md use of the cut the background was running things. this guy is one with running it.
he was bemoaning this meeting and you said exactly reflecting what josh said biggies i can get on the phone and stop fighting on our side on all the funds to idle if they can do that again because it has become dispersed, the regime forces but i can get on the phone and i can stop. who in his delegation can call and stop the font on the opposition side more than one area, one little zone? >> so in a way there's a power question on the other side and then -- >> but the captain dettra present a number of groups throughout the country but the problem with umbrella organizations is that you never, you don't have just one address. that's the difficulty and that's the u.s. homework in the negotiations whereas the russians have a different bit of homework. make less rigid a historically very rigid regime.
>> thank you very much. the washington institute for near these policy. account is how profile. at the moment i don't feel that i know bashar al-assad any better than what i did when i walked in the room. what are the adjectives or the single adjectives that you would use to describe him? we for that he is influenced by the hard-liners, the reformists, his wife. but you probably haven't seen and i have seen and i have a seat but there's presumably they profile of them written somewhat in the cia. what does it say? to meet he looks like a chinless geek or is he indecisive, is evil, is he delusional? what are the words, the single word you would use to describe
them? >> so i think the appropriate term here, and i've struggled with this over the years and when other than syria and i earlier used the word moody. i think that's true but it doesn't mean he is not intelligent certainly, and able to maneuver. i think the term that i've settled on his borderline personality. he sometimes has thousand 46 in a rational and you can deal with it. other times i for the life of me can't figure out what he's doing and i don't think the people around him can either. >> what words? >> measured and desperate. measured because he does not make decisions decisively or dramatically.
he likes to think things over, whether that's an active or passive approach, it depends on the situation. desperate i think now because i think he realizes that for one, this dream he had of syria being this internationally recognized country that's integrated into the world community just isn't going to happen. he realizes that he has to rely on the russians and iranians and hezbollah to stay in power. >> i think he's rational. he is very limited by his world. he got out to europe once. he's gotten a series in education, which isn't a great education. -- syrian education. the job was way too big for him. he's shy, although a bit indecisive, but he's allowed the
people around them in a sense, he formed a consensus with the major security guys around them. he's got a loyal crew that are working hard and doing, but he is in a very brutal regime what he cannot get the power to the alawites because all the people around them will be killed very quickly -- brittle. he tried to keep the people alive an entire alawites community, vast majority agree with them. you can argue he's backed into it and he should've just float away and it would've been okay, but you know, he did save his crew and ultimately he dragged his entire nation into this conflagration but he may come out of it with the people of the coast, a life. entity does then he was himself as being a victor spent i think part of your questions also about assad as a family member.
who is his family, in his view? who are the people at the table who are part of the assad family who he listens to? do we don't? >> yeah. i mean, we have his immediate family. i brought this along or i didn't think we're going to use it but this is on our institute's website. ithis talks about the members of the assad regime. you have the red lines are blood relations. the white ones are non-blood and then broken down by sector. we know who are in the region. i think the hardest part is the physical the inside of the regime in terms of relationship between these people anyone tide is difficult to ascertain and before it gets down to if you decide to pressure such a regime or take military action against such a regime, for example, you don't know what's going to happen. we know is that there. we just don't know about what do we do in certain situations.
>> if we compare to the saddam hussein, which i think is an apt comparison because both represent small minorities which dominated their party -- country to a single family. they have never killed anybody within the family. they have always been polite. his brother had a heart attack in 84, got three chances, sent out of the country, came back and said at the country, finally sent in exile with billions of dollars. but nobody in family has ever been killed by another family member. we can argue about, before he was a family member, the brother-in-law, but once you begin a family, once he married the sister, they were could ago and he was made head of intelligence. he was in. so there's a sort of mafioso
paradigm but the family is a middle-class family, he was addicted jerry who signed petitions under the french, the father. so there's three generations of being fairly upper-middle-class alawites, which is very poor, but they came from good stock. saddam hussein was an orphan who was taken in by an uncle who was a criminal and he became a criminal himself, if he killed lots of his family members. so we didn't hold people together through consensus and using the soft touch. obviously wants that falls apart, soft touch, syria was a much softer touch place that iraq was but now it's falling apart and it is becoming like iraq. but the family is held together in large part because it hasn't been a terribly dysfunctional family.
it listens to the people around them. and unlike saddam's family which was extremely dysfunctional and crumbled quite quickly. >> back to the question of power profile, you said that he had about a three-year tutelage until he took over. maybe. but the issue of god is it is being tutored by others how could even have declared the damascus spring? that's exactly a reformist group student and teacher in lebanon as well in the armed forces. it's a good question. i think the one thing that struck me early on in going to syria come and i started going there in 2000, 2001, shortly
after he died, was that he, some of the expectation that gave a talk but he was out to a westerner or had been westernized were completely false. he did not spent a lot of time there. why he decided, i think they're a couple of theories. when his that he thought he was naïve which we talked about. also a model of the 100 flowers campaign. you listen people out of prison, see what they say and to see who goes back in. then you plan on the old guard which they did. they blamed everything on the old guard. beyond that i don't know. >> a little different, and ultimately we don't know what was in his head. i believe that he intended to incrementally reform the system. but he just ran into this, he inherited a dilapidated system
from the so-called old guard and realized that he just could not make the changes he wanted and he wasn't able to do so really until five or six years into his tenure in power. i always have this image and some people in damascus at the time, they were telling me the damascus spring which radio stations and private newspapers and salons and so forth and prisoner releases, that some of the security apparatus just came around to him and said hey, this is not how we do things, this will cause a lot more problems and, therefore, damascus winter set in. so he finally realized he couldn't do what he wanted to do. >> john negroponte. you have a very difficult task. having overseen leadership profiles are briefed them to the presidenpresident or other futuf our government, it's not an easy
thing to do. you can get things really right but you can also get them terribly wrong. but obviously it's worth working at. i've a question about how the israelis see bashar al-assad. because my impression over the years has been their impression of the syrian leadership is more benign. they see it as in their interest that he stay in power. i don't know if that is still the attitude but how do they view him? >> i pursued that very question in israel, and i met with on one occasion, this was before the uprising, the chief of staff of the israeli military at the time who thought that he was weak, which tended to be a dominant view when he came to power, that he was weak and incompetent. then i met with his deputy who thought very much differently, that he has some promise, that
he did get this thing together and, of course, as the uprising came in, there's been this divide in a shelter certain degree regarding his best to see him go and, therefore, iran and hezbollah weekend, or he's the devil we know type of thing and we want stability? i had one israeli poppe general tommy turning out a couple of years ago in answer to the question and he basically said and this is reflected by another is when a military leader last week or something that would rather have isis on our border than iran. because as this gentleman we can deal with those guys. iran is a much bigger problem. >> my last conversations in israel is that they have been confused. they use the menachem begin
i would expect with more strikes. >> we've only got a couple minutes left. so a quick question. >> jeff smith, center for republic integrity. a lot of players were stuck it we were stuck. assad is stuck. the russians are stuck. so in a very unfair way could you please open your crystal ball and tell us what you think will be present five years from now in damascus? looking forward, if you could give us a good sense of where things are now the project forward from where we are right now. this is an unfair question that i knoi know it's difficult i wod still likely what you have to say. >> i won't just complete the painting i started out with. if the unite attorney and the international community have been willing to spend real money in syria, one could have done a yugoslavia and created a sunni state where
isis conquered easily. we are not going to do that because we have stuck to international borders and our plan of power sharing amongst all these different sects. america's busy destroying the cities of iraq with a very sectarian shiite regime the rush is busy destroying the cities of syria and we are both cooperating in a sense to destroy the remaining sunni powers that remain in there. they will be oppressed. it will be unstable. assad when i think a large chunk of syria if not all of it back over the next three or four years with russian help and with iranian help and will be a shiite crisis will probably go for the next 20 years or something defining that security zone. and america is going to
increasingly be anxious about an unstable gulf with low oil prices, and that's were i see, i see a lot of instability. i see is in the middle of this great sorting out and i think we're going to see great instability and oppression in the middle east for decades to come. >> on that note, right? [laughter] spent perhaps that's where we need to end. if you have -- >> only one less thing to a colleague of mine saw assad a few days ago, and one of the big takeaways from his meeting was that assad said openly in a meeting that he was very eager to get along, get a process going, because before the general election here in the united states, which, of course, if you read president obama's interview in the atlantic it wouldn't be a surprise why,
right? syria has become a very controversial issue. the presidential candidates are not as -- certainly hillary clinton has a slightly different view i think that obama is hardly anything clear that would lead us to a direct military intervention or any thing like that. >> that's a fascinating note to end on. at us when we didn't get to talk more about the american election and so many other things. thank you all so much for coming today and for the great questions from members. thanks. [applause] >> [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> today the american enterprise institute and the foundation hold a discussion on expanding opportunities for the national labor market in the digital economy. that's live at 1:30 p.m. eastern. the senate returns at 3 p.m. for general speeches. at five, debate begins on bill to combat theft of corporate trade secrets. a final vote is set for 5:30 p.m. see both here on c-span2. >> the supreme court heard oral arguments wednesday in the army corps of engineers versus hawkes, case that pits property rights against the federal government regulations under the clean water act. the dispute is over a proposed mining operation in minnesota. hawkes company incorporated
despite a decision by the army corps of engineers that the mining property includes wetlands that fall under the clean water act triggering a costly and lengthy permitting process. the question before the court is whether an army court decision can be challenged immediately in court or must wait until a permit is rejected before property owners can seek a judicial review. this is just over one hour. >> we'll hear argument next this morning and case 15-290, the united states army corps of engineers v. hawkes company. mr. stewart. >> mr. chief justice, and may please the court. a jurisdictional determination issued by the army corps of engineers is not final agency action because it doesn't or to any person to do or refrain from doing anything and does not alter anyone's legal rights and obligations. the jurisdictional determination expresses the course of opinion about whether a particular tract contains water protected by the clean water act.
that's the opinion that affect the recipients assessment of the options of able to get but it does not affect the actual legal status of those options. this court's precedents make clear that the practical effects of which responded rely on a sufficient ground for creating an agency communication as final agency action. the respondents primarily emphasize the practical impact that the corps' of jurisdictional determination would have upon themselves to the recipients and the intended audience. they say the jurisdictional determination indicating that the court believes that our waters of the trinitron the property will force them to choose among three unattractive options. one would be seeking a permit which could be an expensive process and would not be by any means certain to succeed the basic would be discharging pollutants and taking their chances in a future enforcement action, and the third would be playing it safe, foregoing develop an entirely.
the problem with respondents argue is that that choice would have existed before the jurisdictional determination was issued. it would've existed if the corps had never adopted its practice. it simply a choice that is posed by the clean water act. >> if they were a provision of law saying that a jurisdictional determination by the corps or by the epa is binding on the federal government and future litigation, would that be reveal? >> i think that the statute said that we would have a very different case. because in that case we would have something much closer to bennett versus beer. in bennett versus beer the court was dealing with the biological opinion issued by one federal agency, the fish and wildlife service to another federal agency, the bureau of reclamation. it includes an incidental statement the terms and conditions found in