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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  May 24, 2015 9:15am-10:01am EDT

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good point. that would be good. but if you look closely at the american electorate these days there are deep changes taking place. of the electorate is more polarized than it used to be. more people are either hard-line republicans or democrats. than in the past. the center has been eroding. i do not think that will solve the problem, by a nonpartisan approach to redistricting would be a good thing. host: how does the party take the big 10? the moderate votes. i mentioned that because the washington post mentions how difficult the mat is for republicans you look at where mitt romney is -- was in 2012 and compare him to george bush in 2004, your shrinking the moderate and ethnic vote to the republican party. guest: there are two schools of
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thought and i have a this the bias as well. there are those who say we should try to turn out more of, if you well, the traditional white republican vote and get that percentage up higher. i reject that. i do not think it will work. it cannot work in the long term. the party has to be competitive amongst young people minorities , particularly hispanics and asians. we also have to do better in the black community. down to 10% there. demographics may be destiny, and a certain sense, but voting groups change behavior based on that appeals they hear from political parties. the message of the republican party is what matters. there is no reason why we cannot be competitive with hispanic and black voters, a jiggly after president obama is no longer the candidate with these special appeal he had to that community. if we have a message that talks about upward mobility
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economically and dealing with problems of education and employment. the message of the party matters. young people in the last elections have been overwhelmingly democratic. there is this presumption that if young people vote, it is bad for republicans. young people voted for reagan. they can change based on the message the party delivers. our job is to find a candidate and a message that appeals to voters who have been voting democratic. host: and your plans open the process for debates, do you think it will go anywhere? guest: i hope that they will respond. there is a widespread belief that this system is rate in favor of the two parties and it needs to be opened up. i would like to have them invite us into talk. host: vin weber, policy adviser to jeb bush. along with lee hamilton saying it is time to open in the debates to third-party
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candidates. return to the front page story in the new york times about the ice is gains -- isis gains. we get a perspective from colonel derek harvey to talk about his perspective on what happens next. this is "washington journal" on the sunday morning. ♪ >> monday night on "the
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communicators," acting executive director tj kennedy on the creation of one emergency -- >> they would be able to provide a broadband network for first responders. so those responding to the incident that are on the scene of the incident in the future when the first net network is running would have the ability to have video from the scene sent to comment -- sent to incoming responders. to have important situational awareness data on where everyone is. not everybody would have the ability to see where the other ambulances are staged that make, and to pick up additional patients. and a mass casualty situation. you can leverage it for triage. there is technology like fitbits and wearable technology -- what
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if that was done for emergency medical services? they could get vital signs on a patient. not necessarily with the devices today, but think about the innovation that could happen. you would know where your patients are and check their vital signs and can make sure there is continuity of care when they are handed off to the hospital and you could adjust to a changing situation in a rapid fashion. >> monday night at 8:00 eastern on "the communicators" on c-span 2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we turn our attention to isis and the gains they have made in iraq and syria. we welcome colonel derek harvey, retired, the former director of the afghanistan-pakistan center of excellence and currently the director of the global initiative for civil support asks civil society and conflict -- global initiative for civil society and conflict.
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we are told isis has 50% control of syria. does that number surprise you? guest: no. they have been resourceful and capable and we underestimated their strategy to expand their reach in syria and iraq. host: a former senior cello -- fellow at the state department. some of the negotiations in regards with iran's nuclear program. guest: iran's role complicates this for u.s. policy because of the overlap -- overlapping interest in syria and iraq and the competition between shia and sunni multiple levels. host: it is important to put into perspective what the new york times piece is writing. it is the front page. the headline is "with two victories, isis dispels the hope of swift to klein -- decline."
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, they listed a series of setbacks in the city of kobani, battered by heavy airstrikes, forced out of a growing list of towns and cities in iraq. but the islamic state has turned that story around. it solidified its cold -- hold with a carefully carried up assault on ramadi. it stretched its territory into syria. the twin offenses have been a showcase for isis's disciplined adherence to its corpus of -- core philosophies syria fighting on multiple fronts. enforcing its caliphate in the sunni heartland. your reaction? guest: what i would say is that we have overestimated the
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islamic state in a number of ways. in the metrics or majors will look at syria ss the advance and capabilities of the islamic state. they have been off. when we placed -- p ushed isis back from kobani and tikrit, they were not defeated, they were pushed back to fight again. host: this is a map from inside the new york times. it almost looks like an octopus. it kind of filters out across the landscape. guest: most of the land characterized in these maps country of syria, you have to look at your frady's river where
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the resources and population are and along major corridors. a lot of the land is empty desert. when it says it controls half of syria, he have to focus on what it really means when you talk about their control overpopulation, key terrain mobility quarters, and resources. host: look at this editorial from the wall street journal. the writer says that ramadi's fall undercuts the white house and pentagon's syringes that the war against isis is going well. the reality is the political limitations that the white house has put on military planners allowed isis to hold or retake most of its ground. is that accurate? guest: i think so. there have been authorities that have not been granted. limits on the number of resources applied to this fight. most importantly, the president's strategy has not been given a chance to succeed because it has been disjointed
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poorly resourced, and even in washington d.c., the interagency partners supposed to be executing this strategy are not doing it. it is like is this as usual. host: your pc wrote for the wall street journal "the islamic state is winning in iraq" and specifically say the airstrikes are failing. guest: we have a great number of airstrikes, but it is not the number of airstrikes that matter. it is the impact on the enemy's ability to conduct operations at a tactical and operational level. we have not degraded their command and control. we have not undercut their resources. an example: if you look at oil strikes in syria, the islamic state responded in a sophisticated way to develop thousands of many refineries say replace the losses they had. they are still making millions of dollars.
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they are responding effectively. host: our guest is derek harvey. what is the global initiative for civil society and conflict? guest: we focus on civil society and issues that relate to that and conflicts, primarily in the middle east and africa. we look at the drivers for individuals and groups that caused social conflict, quite often violent, in places like iraq in syria and nigeria. when we look at these issues, we looked at it more holistically and understand the human terrain, environment, the political environment, and also things that relate to this. government, development, security issues. host: affiliate with the mercy of south florida. we get to your calls a moment. 202 is area code. (202) 748-8000 for democrats. (202) 748-8001 for republicans. independence, (202) 748-8002.
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this past week, josh earnest was asked about the isis gains in iraq and syria. [video clip] >> we have seen there are no quick fixes involved. we have seen there have been important progress that has been made as relates to this military operations versus senior iso-officials. but there have been setbacks. the isil effort to take over ramadi is a setback. we have been candid about that. this illustrates how important it is for us to maintain some perspective. we have had other periods of setbacks followed by progress. there has been extensive discussion on capitol hill and the media about the risk posed by isis wanted to go over kobani. there are cameras trained on
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that village from turkey filming the day by day effort to take over that village by isil. but because of the effort because of -- because of the effort of the us-led coalition to cooperate with fighters on the ground, isis fighters were driven several miles from that city. that is an indication that while we have certain periods of setback, we also have days of progress. host: the white house press secretary asked about the gains by isis. the atlantic magazine has photographs of refugees leaving ramadi as the isis stronghold continues in that part of the country. this from senator mont -- senator john mccain the next day. [video clip] >> the secretary of state of the united states of america said ramadi was a mere "target of opportunity." have we completely lost -- have
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we completely lost our sense of any moral caring and concern about thousands and thousands of people who are murdered, made refugees, who are dying as we speak? the secretary of state says that we should not like our hair on fire. what does the president have to say today. he says it is climate change we have to worry about. i am worried about time a change -- about climate change. do we give a damn about what is happening on the streets of ramadi and innocent people who are dying and being executed and their bodies burned in the street? host: colonel harvey, that is where it -- that is how it played out this past week. you can see the area ice captured. your reaction. guest: in conflict and war
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there is an up and down process. you will have setbacks. we have to look at the overall trends. they are concerning. as i wrote in my article in the wall street journal, there has not been any little progress since last fall. kobani is a peripheral action. baghdad has held the line a while, but with ramadi and their operations and other areas of iraq and the advances in syria it should be clear to anyone watching that the momentum and the progress is on the side of the islamic state. host: in the wall street journal piece available on you say the iraqi government needs more military assistance. does that mean more troops on the ground, airstrikes? guest: when we look at this situation -- i will give you an example.
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iraqi soldiers fighting in ramadi were overmatched. they were outgunned. they have been under pressure for well over a year and that area. they were bled and exhausted. iraqi soldiers are fighting well in a large number of areas. let's get past the collapse of last summer and early fall. if we are to stabilize the situation, they have to fight on equal terms in these areas. i believe the government authorized some 2000 anti-take -- tank weapons, which would have allowed them to stop vehicle bombs which were devastating. on a broader scale, we need to accelerate the mission to get more trained units out.
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we need more direct operations. like the soft operation versus abu-salha -- babu sayyaf. one rate is not enough. airing the iraq search, there were up to 10 rates which led to further rates to go against al qaeda in europe. special operations forces should be unleashed in this fight in iraq today. you need to take pressure off iraq by creating a problem for the islamic state in syria. there is no strategy to go after this ensuring the islamic state has in syria. they have freedom of movement and action despite the air campaign. they need more command and control and enablers, which is what some presidential candidates have talked about. senator lindsey graham talks about an increase of about
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10,000. that would be command and control, intelligence, aviation. but not soldiers to fight street to street in ramadi like we saw in 2006 to 2008. host: we are talking with retired colonel derek harvey now the director of the global initiative for it civil society and conflict at the university of south florida. mark is up first from south florida. caller: good morning. colonel harvey, we have been in iraq since 2003. we are still there, still have troops there. nothing has really changed in all these years. why did we even invade this place? guest: i do not think we need to go over the invasion and decisions about either blaming the invasion in 2003 or another view, which is claiming
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president obama and demonstration for pulling out precipitously in 2011. after there had been relative calm and success, but the job was not finished. if you want to place blame, you could go before this and say why did the consider ministration not finish the job with al qaeda and osama bin laden during his administration? there were other opportunities. bush one could have conducted the campaign better to topple saddam in 1991. you could go further back. it is not about blame. it is where we are today and u.s. national interest. i think we have an interest on a strong, independent iraq. we have an interest in not having an islamic state dominate syria and iraq and continue to expand in de-stabilize saudi arabia, north africa, and expand
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into other parts of the world as we see them doing now. this is a threat to the homeland of the u.s., destabilize the region, have an impact on oil and economy. as senator mccain said, there is a humanitarian aspect. there have been 300,000 civilians killed in syria. this is a brutal regime of her epic proportion's. i think the american people have been -- we had the responsibility to assist and bolster the people in the region that need leadership to help them address this dangerous area. host: larry is next from massachusetts. republican line. caller: i want to remind all americans.
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the reason why isis has taken up -- we gave the iraqi army all kind of training. army vehicles. the reason why isis has taken up is because these soldiers ran like cowards. i do not think -- we have trained them. give them arms. everything so they can defeat isis. i do not agree we should spend more time in iraq. guest: i understand that perspective, but with some more information about what transpired, it makes a difference. the army left there by the united states trainers and our presence is not the one that collapsed last year. unfortunately, the prime minister and his party
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aggressively undermined the professionalism and leadership of the iraqi security forces. if you were a professional officer, whether a kurd, sunni or shiite, and you are not a political hack of the regime you were purged. then you had corruption by the sectarian-driven prime minister's regime. stealing money. diverting resources. we had a problem with ghost soldiers. soldiers on payroll but they are not there. these leaders are pocketing the money. it is not the military we left behind. it is -- the iraqi security force needs to be rebuilt, but we have to keep perspective on who these people are, what happened to the force we left behind, and what needs to be done today. host: we did capture an early --
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and isis leader earlier this month. took his wife said get information. what did we get from that? guest: i think what we got was some real strong leads based upon thumb jives, computers, and cell phones, to inform us about the financial networks that are supporting the islamic state. this is a sophisticated and professionally run financial organization. they are adept at what they do. anytime we can conduct a raid and acquire the material that gives us insight into the people, places, and things they are doing their techniques for many relating money or other operational measures, it is of value to us. it will lead to other operations. they could be financial
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designations, judicial in nature or in working with partners in turkey, lebanon, or elsewhere, to go after notes supporting the islamic state. host: fallujah is a city with a population of over 300 thousand. isis took over with a force of how many? guest: we do not know in most of these areas. it -- estimates of very. i would say that within the sunni community, there is tremendous anger disenfranchisement, and frustrated -- and frustration in that has built up in the last decade and became increasingly so between 2011 and 2014. it created an environment that insurgent groups took advantage of last summer. but we really do not know how many there are. most of the fires -- fighters are not foreign. there are some sociopaths, but
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the leadership is not. host: victor says all of europe was fighting in world war ii before america joined in. saying iraqis need to fight. we go to hank and virginia. independent line. caller: colonel harvey, i worked with you in 2004. i was a strategic planner. it seems to me that may be a better policy or strategic policy for the united states would be to allow iran and iraq to go out it versus isil. guest: that is an interesting perspective. i have a draft article looking at that issue. the idea of firewalling this
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problem and containing it to syria and iraq and letting this burn itself out. there is a certain attractiveness to that, allowing that enemies, iran and the has states the sunni and shiite's fight it out. i do not think we have the ability to firewall it, as hank suggests. it will spill over. the results would be detrimental. one of the things we have a problem with is we have -- we are not hitting the target. we are reactive. we continually find ourselves responding six weeks too late. responding to warnings about the attacks coming into anbar and elsewhere expressed in march of 2014 and in february of 2014.
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what happened was not a surprise to those watching it closely. we need to get ahead of the game. i am not sure we are doing it well. i think we're almost like a high school model u.n. in our sophistication and approaching this. host: you can go to the university of south florida website to get more information on the global initiative for a civil society and conflict. iowa, republican line, jim, goo dmorning. caller: i do not know why we do not discuss the fact that this is a result of policy. the fbi fighting the cia. we have -- so the pipeline for gas could be run through syria. against people's wishes.
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we equipped the rebels in syria. trying to foment that relation -- the revolution in syria. we equipped them with arms from libya and trained in these rebels. this is all part of our policies. [indiscernible] we get a response. caller: -- guest: early in the arab spring, there was a different coalition rising up against al-assad and his regime that was considered illegitimate by the majority of sunni arabs at the time. there is some real problems with trying to identify a moderate coalition in syria today. we did a similar thing, if you look at what happened in libya.
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we contributed to toppling the libyan regime. we toppled it. we left. it has been wracked with civil war. humanitarian disasters. islamic state has taken advantage. we have to be careful at looking at this issue of intervention and how we do it and make sure we do it smartly and have a plan all the way through from the beginning. that we are prepared to accept the costs and risks. that the leadership is committed to an action that is aligned with national and interests -- national interest and interests of those in the area. enforcing the execution in our agency process, giving authorities, to allow us to achieve the results necessary. if we are going to get involved in places like this. host: we are talking about iraq
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and syria and the isis gains. our guest is retired colonel derek harvey. ben joins us from massachusetts democrat line. caller: good morning, colonel harvey. i go back to the beginning of our nation when thomas payne talked about the efforts of police the world. even at that stage in our country's development. we do not have to rue everything that happens in the world, we do not have to control every nation. that is a problem we have had. i am not sure whether colonel harvey, you can tell us when some of the strategies you articulated has worked. i am an old dude, i am going --
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i served during korea. we have made a lot of mistakes in our attempts to determine the outcome of situations in different parts geographically. host: how would you respond? guest: the u.s. role in assisting and directing and leading the new world order that was created post-world war ii has been on net beneficial to the world economy people of the world, and the expansion of freedom and economic opportunity. we can focus in on where the problems are and where we had failings, looking at vietnam or elsewhere. we have done a tremendously beneficial role in places. you can go from korea and east asia to europe or even north
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africa. our assistance aid, and support has been critical to a great number of countries. advancing people's freedoms or democracy or other kinds of government reflective of legitimate role in those areas. host:, years did you serve in the u.s. army? guest: 26. host: where did you grow up? guest: iowa where we had a caller from. a beautiful place. caller: i used to hear that people around the world. he americans were the most stupid and uninformed people of every country on the earth. now i understand how people could solve through the lies that got us invading the middle east to begin with. mr. harvey says it does not
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matter how we got there. we are there now i need to look after our interests. we do need to look at why we are there. you said we were attacked on 9/11. we were not. that was a controlled demolition. guest: i do not buy into that conspiracy theory. what i think is this. we have an american political system where the interest of the u.s. play out in the political arena. we elect representatives executive leaders. we have interest groups and mobilized citizenry who take part in the political process. it is through this that we inform and get the leaders we have -- who makes the decisions in congress and in the executive branch about what our interests are. they develop shed his use and are in charge of executing and funding them. i think we get the results from the decisions and the voting
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processes we have in the country. if there is a problem, we need to have citizenry more involved and participate more. that is where these issues are resolved. the ballot box. host: we have been public and certainly want president assad out of syria. does the instability by isis indirectly help? guest: i think the advances of the islamic state and the unification of a number of opposition groups fighting their , the increasing pressure of the syrian regime, will create factions in the assad regime. the iranians have had to divert a number of their proxies out of the fight in syria in order to help stabilize the situation in iraq.
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very special operations command or equivalent has been orchestrating the iranian campaign from lebanon to the iran-iraq border. they directed the employment of almost 20,000 shiite militia from iraq to support president assad. almost all of those have left syria and returned to the fighting in iraq. this is stretched and undermined the security apparatus of the assad regime. there is vulnerability. the momentum is going the wrong way for a side. -- assad. host: we read in a about the isis gains this past week in the new york times earlier. next to that, republican rivals skirting specifics on the isis fight. john is joining us from cambridge, england. this is live on the bbc parliament channel. good afternoon. caller: yes, sir.
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i think that what is happening in iraq is the same thing happening in syria. bashir is killing his own people. the shiites are killing the sunni people. we notice that what is happening -- nothing is happening to -- we should join isis. if you cannot beat them, join them, to destroy iran. host: we get a response. guest: i use this question to give it to a broader, can sexual response. in the middle east, there is a conflict that i look at as being for different levels. there is a political struggle between riyadh tehran, and the
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persians there. then there are the jihadists -- al qaeda, islamic state, muslim brotherhood and establishment sunni islam. then there is a hot -- a fight between jihadists for leadership of the brand. we see this playing out between the islamic state and al qaeda sometimes violently. there is a grassroots level fight for power and influence and authority at the tribal and local level between shiite and sunni. as these committees are polarized. this is the objective of the islamic state. to polarize the communities so you get sick area and civil war not just in iraq and syria. that is why he had the bombing in the easter out -- provinces. there have been other attacks elsewhere, designed to create intra-sectarian violence that
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can spill out over a wider region. host: our guest is the director for the global initiative on civil society and conflict. we are joined from florida democrat line. caller: good morning. one does all the killing stop? you keep saying they are a threat. when we went into iraq, they did not attack, it was the saudis. why did we go into iraq? the only way we were attacked is when we let them into our country. no one does anything about that. they common and you say we were attacked. we should pull out completely. let them fight their own war. the only reason they attacked in the first place was because we were in their countries. can you answer that? guest: i did not bring up 9/11 or anything earlier on, but the
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ideology of osama bin laden and the jihadists is not just about our presence over there. they were not have struck at us in my judgment -- i have studied their writings and strategy -- they would have struck at us in the west in any event. it is part of what they are and what they believe in. it is easy to say it is because we were there or because of bases in saudi arabia or because we support israel. if israel was removed tomorrow, it would not change them under vision for a good number of these hard-core extremists driving this kind of fight. there is a threat to the homeland. we have to make judgments about how much we want to fight over there in order to keep the right from coming here. are we willing to take the risk and absorb aperiodic terrorism
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strike in the u.s.? most political leaders do not want that fallout from having the enemy have a successful 9/11 again. it would be destructive politically and for american morale. we have decided to take the fight to them on the five yard line -- a football term -- rather than fight on our side of the field. that is a judgment political leaders have made. host: michael from augusta georgia -- augusta, georgia is next. democrat line. caller: some of the things people avoid talking about is that saudi arabia's religious group -- isil and al qaeda follow that particular religion. these are sunni. that said, they are in the
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middle of a civil war. i think we find out that, for the most part, the iraqis that supposedly threw down their weapons and ran in fact just change unit firms, as they were sunni, and just marched act in the direction of the shia groups. host: which is what you said earlier. guest: i would say that that religious group's view from saudi arabia is different from the -- ideology of the islamic state. the islamic state once to wipe everything out. that is why they are conducting cultural genocide in places like paul myra -and- pal -- in
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palmyra. it is not anything like you have with the wahhabi views out of riyadh. we need to be very precise and thinking through what this conflict is within islam between these political and violent groups and the struggle and the islamic community about the role of islam in private and public life. there is unrest there because of this debate about dealing with modernization, globalization technology, the role of women. it has exasperated civil society on multiple levels. host: one minute left. quick question for our guest derek harvey. caller: yes. i think you said earlier that one world society has been good
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-- new world order is good for the u.s. and the world. i do not think so. i think what is happening here is that isis is there to make it so we go in, with our forces, take out a side -- host: we get you there -- we stop you there. is it all about assad? guest: no, but the syrian assad problem is key. there is no opportunity to do with it now because of the way it has progressed. we need to consider being more aggressive in dealing with the assad problem and striking at isis in syria. we can only do that if we agree asadsad is a primary objective. that would bring other countries on board. it would be a coalition with the unity of purpose and strategy.
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it is hard to have a strategy if you cannot agree who the enemy is. that is one of the problems with the syrian dilemma. it prevents us from getting a major alliance. host: gets compensated. -- it gets complicated. guest: yes. host: retired colonel derek harvey, currently the director of the global initiative on civil society and conflict. thank you for joining us. we turn our attention to veterans on this memorial day. the political director for the iraq and afghanistan veterans for america. marvin and deborah kalb will be with us at eight up slow to take your calls and comments. thank you for joining us. "newsmakers" is coming next. we look at another scene at the vietnam memorial along the mall
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in washington, d.c.. enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a great week ahead. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> here on c-span this morning "newsmakers" is next. and the hearing talking about the agency upon -- agency's conduct. and later, the commencement speech at the university of south carolina. followed by the senator speaking at the commencement ceremony for graduates of oklahoma state university. john mcardle: and on "newsmakers" is memorial day -- this memorial day weekend, we are joined by senator johnny isakson, republica


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