tv QA CSPAN December 6, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am EST
more than a billion muslims around the world -- including millions of patriotic muslim americans who reject their hateful ideology. moreover, the vast majority of terrorist victims around the mof terrorist victims around the world are muslim. if we're to succeed in defeating terrorism, we must enlist muslim communities as some of our strongest allies, rather than push them away through suspicion and hate. that does not mean denying the fact that an extremist ideology has spread within some muslim communities. this is a real problem that muslims must confront, without excuse. muslim leaders here and around the globe have to continue working with us to decisively and unequivocally reject the hateful ideology that groups like isil and al qaeda promote; to speak out against not just acts of violence, but also those interpretations of islam that
are incompatible with the values of religious tolerance, mutual respect, and human dignity. but just as it is the responsibility of muslims around the world to root out misguided ideas that lead to radicalization, it is the responsibility of all americans -- of every faith -- to reject discrimination. it is our responsibility to reject religious tests on who we admit into this country. it's our responsibility to reject proposals that muslim americans should somehow be treated differently. because when we travel down that road, we lose. that kind of divisiveness, that betrayal of our values plays into the hands of groups like isil. muslim americans are our friends and our neighbors, our co-workers, our sports heroes -- and, yes, they are our men and
women in uniform who are willing to die in defense of our country. we have to remember that. my fellow americans, i am confident we will succeed in this mission because we are on the right side of history. we were founded upon a belief in human dignity -- that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what religion you practice, you are equal in the eyes of god and equal in the eyes of the law. even in this political season, even as we properly debate what steps i and future presidents must take to keep our country safe, let's make sure we never forget what makes us exceptional. let's not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear, that we have always met challenges -- whether war or depression, natural disasters or terrorist attacks -- by coming together around our common ideals as one
nation and one people. so long as we stay true to that tradition, i have no doubt america will prevail. thank you. god bless you, and may god bless the united states of america. members of congress reacted to the president's remarks on twitter. king of newve pete york said "not one proposal would have prevented california attacks. increasedout need for security against isil." senator from democratic tonight president obama provided the nation with an important update on the shootings in san bernardino and our fight to defeat isis."
tomorrow, home security secretary jeh johnson discusses counterterrorism, cyber security, and border security. eastern on 8:30 a.m. n2.pan two -- cspa also, representative michael mccaul from texas discusses national defense university. you can see them both on c-span2. all individuals give their attention to the supreme court. announcer: on landmark cases, we will look at the case of baker versus carr. chief justice earl warren called this "the most important case of
my tenure on the court." 11 tennessee voters live in five of the largest cities in tennessee. they are the intended an actual victims of an actual tour real scheme to reduce their right to vote to about one 20th of the value. announcer: by the early 20th century, population shifts had people living in rural areas move into cities. the helped voting power in larger districts. so a group from knoxville challenged the disparity and took it all the way to the supreme court. this has continuing relevance today as one person, one vote is
still being debated. olson andth theodore discussionth and the of one person, one vote and how it came to the united states. for background on each case while you watch, order your copy of landmark cases at c-span.org/landmarkcases. on friday, new america hosted a discussion of isis and al qaeda, the rivalry between those two groups, and the future of these jihadist movements. this is about one hour and 20 minutes.
>> good morning, my name is jason fritz, and we wanted to look at al qaeda and the islamic state. the intent of this is to find how al qaeda and isis are in competition with each other. the islamiced at state and al qaeda as revolutionary groups. it is not the only way to examine them. looking at them as resolution -- revolutions as they try to fight against the standard world order and in particularly, in the region around syria and iraq. in this way, we have identified al qaeda as more of a traditional maoist organization.
they favor political preparation of areas that they intend to go into. they use violence, but it is not in support of political objectives. the violence comes second. this has been seen in a number of the public writings from the leaders. they feet off of the experiences and writings of che guevara, on feed off of the experiences and writings of che guevara, on how they put dominance towards violence, and politics through violence.
excuse me for a second. further, we look at differences in their strategies within the construct, and how we examine it. we look at -- al qaeda has been going through a branding effort in the last two years where they have been trying to downplay their own role within their affiliate organizations across north africa and the middle east. contrasting that with isis's declaration of being an actual state, and their use of violence. the other aspect -- daveed is here. mr. gartenstein-ross: don't go away. mr. fritz: the ultimate d.c. action move is being linked to your own launch. mr. gartenstein-ross: my apologies for this. it has been kind of a long week. i want to fundamentally give a shout out to jason, the team who worked on this. a phenomenal team. i want you to finish, and then i might say a thing or two.
i apologize again for being late to my own launch event. mr. fritz: particularly putting the focus on politics, with silence supporting politics. they are trying to present themselves to the muslim population of the world as a more reasonable alternative to the islamic state. that is really about it. one last sentence, and then i will hand it over to you. mr. gartenstein-ross: to pick up on that, one concept that comes
up a lot in my work is what i refer to as consensus areas. areas where virtual consensus, those of us operating the public sphere, about what particular events being that -- mean that end up being wrong. the arab spring ended up being the exact opposite. we see something that resembles a consensus area in this. my prediction is that in 2-3 years, one of the things we will be talking about is the fact that al qaeda is able to operate much more openly than it ever could before. you already see this in syria where al qaeda made itself almost impossible to attack. the reason being that they are so thoroughly embedded with
rebel groups, the syrian population, they have genuinely one over -- won over large portions of this population. these have all been important moves. and you can see this coincide with a few disturbing trends -- the increase in state support to al qaeda, turkey, qatar, saudi arabia, are all helping it gain ground in syria. u.s. backed rebels are helping al qaeda take ground. this is openly acknowledge. this is not nefarious. the reason the u.s. doesn't is we acknowledge that moderate rebels are so marginal at this point that they need -- they cannot operate in areas if al qaeda wants to deny them the ability to do so.
charities that we worked so hard to close down post 9/11 are back in business. the sanctions regime at the united nations is fundamentally collapsing. all of this is going to create a very complex situation is, as i believe, isis ends up -- it's flame does not burn quite as bright in a few years. you have to understand, there are different jihadist actors. one has been playing off of this dramatic rise of isis. the way the isis has been able to capture our imaginations, and the imaginations of so many, like the san bernardino backers. they have been able to capture the excitement of jihadist, especially young jihadist. they have been able to capture
our imagination. not paying attention to how al qaeda is pivoting is something we will regret, and probably sooner, rather than later. >> with that, we will turn it over to start with some comments on his view of the paper. mr. ollivant: sure. i've really enjoyed reading this paper, which clearly laid out the distinction between the two groups in some interesting ways. we are used to thinking of these two groups as different, but i think we do not think very hard about why that is so. we know this is the islamic state, and they are a little more violent. we know there is al qaeda, and we have hated them for so long. it is almost like we are ready for something new. we have not thought about the distinctions, and i think that is something that this report
does very well. if i could lay it out even more simply than the report does, in very short hand -- of course was shorthand, you lose some nuance -- a shorthand way of thinking about this is is the islamic revolution, the caliphate, now or later? for al qaeda, it is not yet time to bring about the full islamic revolution. the people are not ready. they still live in relative content in the not truly islamic state, which means everything from malaysia to saudi arabia. they are not ready. there needs to be a period of education, teaching, and preparing not only the people, but the cadre, for what is to
come. in the meantime, there are these far enemies who need to be dealt with and taught a lesson. as september 11 demonstrated. that is their theory of the case -- it is not yet time. the islamic state thinks, it is time. now is when we need to bring about this revolution, and we now see what they consider that to be. we see the islamic state, as they set it up in the territory they have captured in iraq and syria, and spreading throughout the world. both in the affiliates and the lone wolves -- whether in paris, san bernardino, or where have i appreciate this paper bringing it to the floor and allowing me to think about it in that way.
the second point that the paper really brings out is something that daveed emphasized at the end. i guess i will emphasize it a little more. the way they put it in the paper is that because of the existence of the islamic state, isil, or daesh, al qaeda in general is able to enjoy state support. in syria, they explicitly get -- i do not think this is a matter -- this is well known in open, classified materials. they get money from turkey. if you ask them, they say, no, we are supporting the rebel groups, we are giving to the coalition, and the fact that there happens to be a big affiliate in the middle of it is a regrettable necessity. the combination of the syrian revolution, and the fact that you have now isil,
metaphorically speaking, to al qaeda's right, as the new definer of what true evil is has now made it possible for people to talk about al qaeda, and deal with al qaeda in ways that would have been unthinkable in early parts of the last decade. the day went prominent figures would publicly talk -- maybe we can reconcile with pieces of this al qaeda affiliate. you cannot imagine people saying that in 2003-2004. it would have been unthinkable. now we have this. an al qaeda group which may or may not still be a more significant long-term threat that is now able to get state support, which daveed points out. the sanctions regime is showing
weakness. and, just in the public sphere is talked about in a much different way, almost as an afterthought. oh, yeah, there is an al qaeda affiliate in the middle of them. again, unthinkable to think about talking about an al qaeda affiliate in these terms. you have to ask the question, last i checked -- until a few days ago -- isil had not attacked the homeland of the united states. even now, we certainly regret it happened in san bernardino, but it is a qualitatively different event and what we happen a 9/11. when did a group that attacked our homeland somehow become moderate when compared to a group that is evil, never really
has, or not in the same sense. third, there was one thing i did not see in the report that i would like daveed to respond to. i did not see the report treat the distinction, in the way that two groups treat the arabs. that is something that has always been qualitatively different about the two groups, starting with the founders. osama bin laden, in my understanding, at least, always had a soft spot for the shiite -- certainly viewed them as mistaken, heretics, but never talked about exterminating them, subjugating them. they weren't issue, and sometimes they had regrettable
political views, and had to be lectured. that needed to be killed, or at -- of course, they were with iran, and that was a problem, but they were seen as a group of heretics. that needed to be killed, or at the very least, put in a very subordinate status. i think that has been reflected in the approach by the two groups. i did not see that in the paper, and would be interested in daveed's thoughts on that. as the paper brings out, there are two responses that al qaeda could have to the rise of isil. do they try to mimic them and increase their visibility, their approach. do they essentially agreed that maybe we do need to accelerate the revolution? or do they double down -- slow and steady wins the race. we are the tortoise, not the hare.
i think a lot of this depends on where is the islamic state in two years? al qaeda may be forced to mimic them more. where, on the other hand, if they were able to remove their abilities to hold the territory, and there is no longer an islamic state existing in the north of iraq and east of syria, then al qaeda's longer-term strategy may look different. i guess i will stop there now. >> thank you for the report. i thought it was very generous to al qaeda, maybe too generous. for one thing, if you look at the fighters of isis and al qaeda, they go back and forth. a lot of influence with isis. in terms of ideology, the difference is practically none.
to say things like al qaeda avoids frightening or alienating local populations -- for someone who grew up in the arab world, we do not have much more generous political parties who care about thes population. we do not have the kind of democracy that we want. we have terrorism springing and every part of the world. another thing is i would have liked the report to have discussed the brutality between the two groups. it is a huge problem that fighters go back and forth. they started executing whoever changes camps, basically. there have been executions of hundreds and hundreds of
fighters. it is documented. it is always documented. by al qaeda, as well as isis. it is creating such paranoia, but actually, at one point, isis executed four of its premieres, and 100 people at one point. there is no shortage. but we talk about caring about the population, we really are not -- we have to make an enormous distinction between, in
the west, what we think about, when we talk about caring for the populations, public support, and the arab world, which again, the bar is so low that maybe an ant can crawl under it, it is so low. we are talking about maybe the best case scenario -- may be the taliban. do you consider the taliban and organization that cares about the population? i wouldn't. i think there is the violence -- public support is relevant. what we talk about public support, we cannot take the leaders' words. we are talking about night and day difference is. another thing is the organic --
i really have an issue with this. prewar in syria -- actually, everywhere in the arab world, the practices that al qaeda has cannot be called organic in anywhere except for maybe saudi arabia. it is not organic to any other place. it is planted, supported. the same thing -- this is really available. pretty much all of the leadership are saudis. some of them are professors at saudi universities. some of them are current or former officials. saudi institute at a clause in the army, where you can be paid, take a vacation, and go fight in syria. if you are killed in syria, you are a martyr. it.
-- this is state-supported, state directed/ it is not so much organic. this is very active. i will stop here. mr. bergen: we will turn it back to daveed to respond, perhaps starting with the question, are these two really distinct groups? or, they cannot truly have a distinct strategy? mr. gartenstein-ross: they are definitely distinct groups. nadia supported that, by saying that the way that people defected from one group to another can be killed. they definitely see the distinction. i agree with everything that nadia said. it is possible that we do not do enough in the report to emphasize al qaeda's brutality, but we start with the premise that al qaeda is an incredibly brutal organization, and unlike isis, keeps a chunk of its brutality off camera.
i do not think there is a moral distinction between them that al qaeda is actually organic, or actually avoiding brutality. rather, it is a question of what image they are trying to craft. i would rather talk about the organic question than the brutality question. i believe that language we use is that al qaeda, unlike isis, likes to make itself appear that it is an organic part of the population. i agree, it is not. you can look into two things. one is the writing of its ideologues. the second is the expansion of the actual practice. in tunisia and libya -- i think
tunisia is a purer example -- they used front groups. there would be this openness. they made a point. don't be too hard on the population. these dictators have made sure that they do not understand true islam. you have to lean them. to be clear, this is al qaeda talking. i'm not giving theological credence to them. nadia: how do you explain the killing of two politicians with this rhetoric? mr. gartenstein-ross: again, there are multiple ways that one can explain it. she's talking about the assassination of two tunisian populations that ended up to the disbanding of the organization. there are two possible ways. there is something that i've not been able to get at. was that organized from the top or out of local initiative? either way, i do not think it fundamentally changes things. number one, i think that does represent the true face of the group. even the fact that the assassination of the politicians, another thing they have been engaged in is violence
-- what they mean by lenient is way different than what we mean by lenient. they are lean yet if they kill a few hundred people. you think of all the other people they could have killed instead. what they are talking about is the way it will come across to the population. to them, isis goes beyond what we can consider leniency. al qaeda has a very quixotic view of what they mean to be lenient. in terms of practice, the front group that they put up did a lot of work. i visited tunis, neighborhoods that were normally under served by the state. people have the perception, these are good guys. that is how they appear organic. other faces are carrying out different types of violence. to them, they are the average man on the street. if the average man does not care about a couple of politicians being killed, to them, they have been lean yet and organic. with respect to brutality, i want to say a specific word about that. and looking at their actions, al qaeda versus isis, the way i described the two of them with respect to religious minorities
-- we will get to the shiites in a moment -- is hard genocide versus soft genocide. hard genocide is isis. they slaughtered men in mass and -- men en mass and enslaved women. that is pretty straight out of any sort of genocide playbook. in contrast, al qaeda had a program that was definitely genocidal. genocide defined as attempt to destroy the group, in whole, or part. they had people sign of an invasion their faith, and put them in reorganization classes. this is not the -- round them up, slaughter them, and slave them. instead, it is a softer genocide. it is still a genocidal policy. in some cases, there are documented cases, where they try to employ brutality, and were dissatisfied when it got caught on camera. one example is yemen, where they went into a hospital, and
slaughter people, only to find it came up on the internet. they apologized for it, said it was a rogue commander. i think a more likely explanation is they were ok with it until it turned up on the internet. these are two different approaches to violence. i would go back to the correspondent in 2005. isis' predecessor was busy brutalizing the population. the leader wrote them a letter telling them not to do that. he made the point, couldn't you just shoot them rather than cut their heads off? to me, that is a lot about their strategy. al qaeda is ok with them being dead, and keeping the reputation relatively high. i think that doug -- doug asked about shiism. it is a great point, and a great distinction. al qaeda's approach to shiites
there is. -- varies. in the guidelines for jihad, it is talked about how you must avoid unnecessary conflict in order to not harm the reputation, but at the same time, in theaters where they have a bigger role, they have been extraordinarily anti-shiite. you look at yemen where you have houthis shiite backed by iran. i went back through a trove of things posted online uer a
pseudonym. it is extraordinarily anti-shiite. it was surprising at the time because it resonated less with where al qaeda had taken himself. he described the shiites as the main enemy of the muslims. i do get with situational for what they face fear they do not have a consistent approach, but in general, i think al qaeda's
outlook is, do not cause unnecessary conflicts because it can hurt your reputation. where you can really benefit from it, like in yemen, they are anti-shiite. also, doug's point about time -- i agree with them entirely that isis' view is caliphate now, al qaeda's view is the time is not right. in preparing the population, al qaeda has been concentrating on this progressive destabilization. they understand that destabilize areas play to their benefit. assuming isis does not usurp them, it plays to al qaeda's benefit. even in places with a big al qaeda presence, including somalia, yemen, northern mali, syria -- areas where you have lack of state capacity, violence on the ground.
i think part of the longer-term plan -- i think they believe that time is not on the side of the state. not only is the population restless, but there are factors that make it difficult to govern -- climate change, though bin laden did put up a message that focuses on climate change. all of these things are things that make it harder to govern as a state. the more destabilization there is, the harder it is for the u.s. and the west to do what they have done over time, which is the lack of strategy. the al qaeda backed islamic state popped up in mali. the french whacked it down. to them, if you have enough destabilization, and they built the infrastructure, preparing places like yemen and syria, to them, they will be in this very complex situation where that whacking is not going to work. >> there is an ideological way for which it is falsifiable. they will have some explaining to do because that is not supposed to happen.
as grisly as much as what they inflicted on the population. at first you couldn't pray while trunk and it was discouraged and then eventually it was banned. tradition,islamic you have areas which sharia is implemented more slowly over time. slower the thread of implementation has always been there within al qaeda.
they always have that discussion about pragmatism. isis takes a more hardline view. theseeel that limits in parts of pragmatism is -- even in the muslim brotherhood. there is absolutely no imagination that somebody could be introduced to their thought and think that i'd want to believe. it is not possible. or youyou see the light need to be killed. you are completely out of humanity as far as they are concerned. so this is the limit of the pragmatism. let's just convince them and again, the convincing doesn't givinghave the choice of you the choice of saying i don't want to believe.
al qaeda is an organization in tunisia and they are investing in services and their providing services for their population. is that we have of the last of aq. is but it's very tea and a expanding. you cannot say that we are just going to be contained in this area where we have a perfect islam. that is not islamic. there is a lot in the qumran where there are so many voices that you cannot compete with. muslim,ant to be a true
to say that there is a political -- islamist ist not possible, it is not part of the dna. >> i'm sure all of you saw the famous obama anchor translator reservedere obama says nadia is like my anchor translator. i agree with you, obviously. use turns -- terms like pragmatic, it is not pragmatic in any way that we think of it, it is pragmatic in setting up an islamic state. want to phrase this right as
i'm thinking about this on stage, but is -- it is interesting to me that these groups are taken very, very seriously. it seems to some extent that this coalition has bought into this. 65 member coalition, the u.s., states --the golf differents, isis is a animal than anything. that lets say the coalition as a whole is buying it. but when i think about the alternative coalition that i russians, the iranians, they are not buying it.
potato. why is there it this distinctive view between these two coalitions? i think that is a nominal observation/question. hand, i think it is important to recognize the distinction between iso-and al isil and alween qaeda. i am not saying we have done a not job of doing so, we do to a could job of exploiting -- and there is the u.s.-
coalition for you which recognizes that not everyone aligns with al nusra does so because their extremities -- they are extremists. definitely want to drive a wage between them to cleave into that area. the flip side is as nadia very well articulated is that isis and al qaeda have expansionist -- ideals.
with i did fieldwork in tunisia, it was obvious that there were guys who did not know that they were part of al qaeda. agree withthem would the fission. more than alosity qaeda's religiosity. to bendd, they want this organization to serve their strategy. taking veryt are seriously into what these organizations to leave. when you look at a lot of the ways in which these groups are interpreting it -- are
interpreted, they are talking about setting up a state in syria and they will do it in coordination with these other organizations, i don't think people are buying it. find plenty of people who buy into that argument. we are stopping at what they are saying and not looking at the other layers of thought, which is what no idea is talking about. matter, doon religious ideas matter? and they absolutely do. point at aeed to religion and say that this but manyis bad, actually believe that this is an obligation.
if you don't have this perspective, you can before or you can miss opportunities. it is important to understand an enemy through their own worldview. if we don't to that, we are not going to fundamentally understand groups like isis and al nusra. a few of youradd questions, but i think we need to answer the biggest question from all three of you, is isis theect that it can disrupt al qaeda network and become the single operator in that network? ofwon't be able to see more
-- it's not even close. it controls significant areas and it has areas it didn't have before. if you look at al qaeda and --ir power on april 30 20 11 april 30, 2011 versus today is just tremendous. >> we have to take it back. the international community is going after the fruit and keeping the tree. we will go after the fruit. so you have massive efforts on and no one will touch it.
this is an effort to spread a very conservative form of islam watching cnn this morning, and the shooter in california was described as someone who took his religion theory seriously. actually -- we also have to put this in the context of geopolitically in the middle east, but we have two powers, ridtheir desperate to get of each other's influence. populations are really paying for it. this is almost an axis digital fight.
ideological way for which it is falsifiable. they will have some explaining to do because that is not supposed to happen. the other way is, basically what happened with al qaeda in iraq. al qaeda in iraq was known for its brutality. as they lost ground, former members themselves got brutalized. humiliated, executed, what happened to them was every bit as grisly as much as what they
inflicted on the population. you already see this happening to isis members, you can find it on youtube. it is not well known because isis is not as exposed as isis supporters. but it is there. >> or publicity. >> majority of the people do not like isis. you don't have dedicated people sending out stuff of isis getting killed. i'm not talking about in the theater, where you have bloodthirsty revenge killings going on. what i'm saying is, eventually, one of the reasons al qaeda in iraq turned toxic, is because the population turned against it and their members were being killed. its brutality time from this symbol of strength to a symbol -- its brutality time from this symbol of strength to a symbol of how it is overplayed. part of it is ideological because it was clearly too early. the other would be a visceral reaction to see what happens to people who had been a part of crisis which would invalidate the aq process. >> we have a question up front here. >> thank you, mark from george
mason university. thank you for such an interesting presentation. my question to you is, how many holes should we regard from this pledge of allegiance to groups outside of syria and iraq? whether it is africa or the middle east? are they subordinating themselves to isil's authority, or are they more technical or tactical submissions, they get something from this? ultimately, is it possible that we might see some of these groups do to isil what isil did to al qaeda? i will in the sense that is there the prospect further a there the prospect further defecting -- four defecting? a thank you. >> i think it is a phenomenal question. the answer depends on the group. some cases, there is a clear subordination. number one, you have the pledge. second, is the pledge accepted? some cases, it has not. tunisian groups have pledged, but some have not.
third, look at isil leadership. in libya, this is isil's strongest held -- hub outside of iraq and syria. a you have those who state ground in libya, giving it the ability to have a command of control hub in such a place. -- the group that is likeliest would be boko hoaram, a group that tends to be difficult to control.
isil weakens, then you get into the question, the same that people have been debating about. as central leadership weakens and it starts acting out ways that defy it, that could provoke organizations for a tailspin. in al qaeda's case has dealt with that for a number of years. we can see, to care for readings -- careful readings of letters, this attempt from leadership in the region to execute strategy and accordance with the issues of the leadership in south asia and now spread out. such that i think al qaeda senior leadership is in places like yemen and syria. you see these attempts throughout the network. the question is, aq has dealt with years of pressure upon them. isis has not been tested the same way.