tv Amanpour Company PBS February 1, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
hello, everyone, and welcome to "amanpour & co." here's what's coming up. we speak to the man at the very heart of venezuela's fight for democracy. national assembly president juan guaido and china and the u.s. on a collision course over trade. our interview with a businesswoman who built beijing, zhang xin and why is president trump turning on his own intelligence chiefs? we speak to a colonel who has been in the room as it happened. also as u.s. talks move forward with the taliban in afghanistan, are women there paying the price for peace and afghanistan politicians and women right's activist joins me. ♪
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london. tense times in venezuela, and the world is taking sides. the european union parliament is the latest to recognize juan guaido as the interim president of venezuela. the significant addition to more than a dozen countries that have already declared support for the national assembly president, including, of course, the vital backing of the united states. president trump personally calling guaido earlier this week, but russia, china, iran and cuba have forcefully thrown their support behind president nicolas maduro whose 2018 election was condemned for electoral fraud. the crackdown on recent protests has seen some 850 people arrested. at the heart of all of this is juan guaido who is continuing his campaign to ratchet up pressure on maduro at the central university in caracas today. he joined me to talk about what he'll be doing next, and he spoke in his native spanish, although i did ask him to briefly address the american
people in english. mr. guaido, i wonder whether you can in english give a message to the american people about your goals for venezuela. what would you like the american people to know about what is happening there? >> well, i went to thank you for this interview. i went to talk to the american people, to want to help us and recover our democracy and our liberty, and i know maybe to know many venezuelan people in the country, you know all that -- all the good people we are, and we want to reconstruction our country, our liberty. >> mr. guideio, but taido, the is watching and waiting to see what is the plan for removing president maduro. do you rely on the military? how can you persuade the
military? tell me what the plan is. >> translator: we have determined three phases. we understood we're in a dictatorship and we have the worst crisis here within venezuela in terms of the larger migration that's leaving this country and what we need to be able to remove maduro from power, and we have this transitional government which will then reconstruct all of the institutional basis for a free country. in order to do this, we'd have to pressure through political means to a dictator because in that manner it is -- his -- the way maduro is characterized throughout the world, so in this sense we have to take away all of the support that he has at the moment through the military forces and to give amnesty to all of those militaries to be on the side of the constitution. this is an incentive, particularly for the armed forces, although the
functionaryies who have usurped maduro, offering them an incentive to be able to remove themselves from that power in order to be able to remain not -- to be able take care of the interests of this country. >> mr. guaido, you have received direct support from president trump of the united states. you have spoken to him on the telephone. can you tell us the substance of your talks. what has he pledged to you and the people of venezuela. >> translator: look, i've had an opportunity to speak with president trump which i am most appreciative, and it's very clear to us what is happening here in venezuela in terms of the commitment with the liberty and the democracy. inclusively we had democracy, and we've lost it, and all of the institutions which value which are federal and republican are in this country now.
i think the proper trust would be the federal law. i've also spoken with the president, other presidents as well in terms of being the president in charge here of venezuela and other executive branches in -- in europe, australia, japan, israel, and they are all supporting the potential of our country, and in terms of the humanitarian -- the most severe humanitarian crisis which has been suffered here. one of the most severe was in the world, so i appreciate those conversations and all of the backing that we've had in terms of democratic venezuela. >> you must have been watching the whole debate about whether the united states might intervene militarily. there's been that very famous yellow pad that john bolton, the national security adviser was seen carrying, talking about u.s. troops to colombia. where do you stand, and have you
asked the president of the united states for any military support in your struggle? >> translator: in terms of taking a decision, even though this is a dictatorship, the venezuelan people want to advance with whatever pressure is needed so that we can finally end the dictatorship at the moment. >> so i just want you to tell me whether you would support a u.s. military intervention if maduro does not leave peacefully. >> we are in venezuela. here we were venezuela are doing everything we can to put as much pressure as possible so we don't get to that kind of scenario which nobody would wish to have. >> are you having any talks, any negotiations with nicolas maduro? >> no. >> what do you think will be the impact of the u.s. sanctions on the venezuelan oil company
pdvsa, and are you concerned that if oil sales and oil exports stop that will make life even harder for the people of venezuela? >> translator: that is an important question, very important, because as well as inflation and the contract are pdvsa, the venezuelan petroleum company, at this moment we're demanding legislative power to be able to protect the interests of venezuela in terms of this president has invested. no one has invested more in terms of the oil industry. only russia and the united states and venezuela. all of those have received almost so million barrels a day. venezuela has produced 3 million barrels a day, incrementing their production after having
had $300,000 to invest in petroleum. you know that money has been stolen in terms of the oil industry here in this country, so what we're doing is trying to reactivate this industry and so there will be no usurping action by the way of maduro in keeping this money and that the production of petroleum will be on behalf of venezuela. >> mr. guaido, you say there are no conversations between you and mr. maduro. are you worried that there might be a bloodbath if he stays? i say that because the pope himself who has been in central america has said that he's very concerned about the safety of venezuelan people amid this political crisis. >> the bloodbath is happening. in one week in which we've initiated the protests which is the strongest and just yesterday there was a protest.
almost 5,000 people protested, but there was a group, a commando of the -- a group of military forces called saes. they have tried to create a lot of fear. they have detained 700 people amongst 70 or 80 of those that are underaged, between 11 and 17 years of age. they have been tortured to be able to generate fear in terms of areas that are in the worst shape because there was no medicine. there is no food. >> mr. guaido, what is your reaction? what is your answer to maduro who says that the united states through you is organizing a coup in venezuela? >> translator: we're asking that the armed forces are on the side of the constitution. it's very different than it would be a coup here in venezuela. some of the people in the
countries in europe are backing in process here in venezuela, and so we are making a calling to all of them, to all the countries to be able to solve this crisis here and to be able to restore the constitution, to be able to re-establish it, to be able to bring back this facet of what is happening where maduro is usurping this country. the resistance to be able to tend to the best interest of the people, and work towards prosperity and the well-being, the social well-being of the people here in this country. >> now, very finally, i want to ask you, where did you come from, mr. guaido? all of a sudden you are the new leader of the national assembly and the interim leader as many countries have recognized you of venezuela, but how did you come to this activism?
i think you were very young from hugo chavez first came to power. >> translator: yes. i was barely 15 years old. we never stopped believing in our country, in our generation, and we've gone through a lot with this dictatorship, through a lot of sacrifices and a lot of loss and the security that we live here in this country. we always remain constant, and this is really a moment of -- we have gone through a lot of sacrifice for many parties to a reconstruction of a country. it is our goal to reconstruct our country and particularly all of that effort that we're going through, that we inserted here to be able to restore venezuela as it was. >> juan guaido, thank you so much for joining us from caracas in venezuela today. thank you.
it's clear the maduro regime is trying to intimidate him having earlier this week seized his assets and barred him from leaving the country. just now after our interview security forces visited guaido's home where his wife and daughter lived. we continue to reach out to mr. maduro and his officials for comment. they have not responded. turning now to a looming march deadline. nope. it is not brexit but rather the u.s.-china trade deal. china's top trade negotiator vice president liu is meeting president trump today in washington, and if a trade deal is not made by march 1st, president trump is threatening to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of chinese imports. our next guest says president trump needs to tone down the rhetoric and get the deal done. known as the woman who built beijing, zhang xin is a self-made billionaire and ceo of soho china, a real estate empire
and a world away from her poverty-stricken childhood and with business interests around the world she does have the ear of leaders in both washington and beijing, and she told our walter isaacson this is the worst she's ever seen u.s.-china relations. >> thank you so much for joining us. you group as a factory girl and then became a multi-billionaire. you were born during the cultural revolution. how does that happen? >> you know, my generation in china, we all were born during the cultural revolution when there was really nothing. materially there was nothing and politically it was under socialism, and so the minute that china's door opened to the outside world which is in the late '70s and i went with my mother to hong kong in 1980. i was 14 and we had nowhere -- we didn't know how to start a life there other than being from just the very basic which is to
get a job in the factory. so i worked in the factory for five years in hong kong. you know, hong kong then was a manufacturing center in asia, and, you know, i would work from 4:00 to floor. these factories are in the highs rise buildings. one floor would do collar. the other floor would do zipper and the other floor would put the sleeve together so i would just do from factory to factory. whoever pays $1 more, i would go to that factory. so i did that for five years and obviously i was desperate to least. hong kong then was the english colony so the obvious place to go was to go to england. i had saved a little bit of money. i had saved about 3,000 in english pounds. that was enough to get to england, but i didn't speak any english, so i had to go to an english language school.
so i started english language school and then went to high school and college and then to graduate school, all of that in in england. >> so you ended up after leaving cambridge working for places like bear ron's and goldman sachs. when did you sort of realize that i should go back to china now, there's opportunity to do something pig in china? >> i always wanted to go to china, go back to china. you know, going to goldman was a temporary detour from what i wanted to do because even at cambridge when i was writing my thesis, this was about china's privatization. china at the time in the '80s had already become very, you know, exciting with all the talks of the reforms and economic reforms and open doors, and i just wanted to go back to be part of that, but, you know, the -- i couldn't really get a job immediately back to china because i did not know how to do that. it happened to be the investment banks who came to cambridge to
recruit and that's how i got a job, but from the very beginning when i went to wall street working in hong kong, i had always wanted to go back to china. >> how big was this entrepreneurial explosion in china in the late '80s and '90s that you were able to tap into? >> oh, tremendous, tremendous. i mean, like no one had an idea how to do anything right. no one knew how to do building right. i -- i didn't either. but one thing is i remember i was always getting into a fight with my husband. i said, look, i've seen buildings better than this. i can do better than this. i took on the job as working with the architects to do the designs and thinking about how the buildings should be built, so that's like -- every single industry start that had way in china back in the '80s, right? today when you see these state of the art buildings built, just remember like 25 years ago, 30 years ago, there was none. >> you're known as the builder of beijing because that's where the billions came from that you and your husband did when you
did real estate. tell me about starting soho. >> back in 2000, year 2000, there was a dotcom boom, boom and bust, and i remember i as a developer thinking, that you know, people were thinking about change, right. everybody is going to be working in the garage. no one is going to go to the office. people are going to dress casual, and life in the world is about to change, so i was thinking so what does that mean to a developer? are we going to be building different homes, different office? people going to work and live differently, so then when we came with an idea of small office, home office, therefore, soho, and so essentially it's a duplex of, you know, on the top home and the lower part is an office so you can work and live together. it was very popular. that product got sold like this.
everyone was like -- got this dotcom buzz and wanted to have something to do with that, but we -- after, you know, after 2000, after the bust of the dotcom era, we went back to building traditional office buildings and, you know, focus on architecture and creativity and no longer doing the soho. >> some of the chinese investment overseas including what you i think put $1 billion into the general motors building just a few blocks away, it's starting to come back. people are bringing that money back to china. are you doing that, and is that important for the economy? >> i think it's not the money been brought back to china. it's the money has been stopped coming because china a few years ago started a capital control program which is you cannot really get the money freely out of china, so you're seeing a
drastic decline of chinese investment to the u.s. because of that. >> is that a bad thing for the u.s.? is that a bad thing for china? >> i think that's a bad thing for the u.s. because you always welcome the investment, right? the more the better, right? there's never a limit. china, i think the chinese government has to do it because otherwise, you know, they don't want to see the capital flight and they have to put the gate and say you can't get the money out and that's the only way and that's what they are doing. >> how harmful is this trade war and talk of trade war between the u.s. and china? >> this is bad. this is really bad. i mean, it's -- you can see that here in the u.s. it's -- it's sent a jitter to the market, and china is the same, like, you know, even more so i think. china -- people are -- this one trade war really captures everybody's attention. on top of that, have you this very political -- at least it's
interpreted in a very political way by chinese media and public that the arrest of the huawei ceo, you know, most chinese believe that's a political move and she's being held hostage in order to advance the trade talks, so that was unfortunate, so this chinese are watching it and then i've been watching it it seems like the last two days. only been bad news coming out from this. let's hope that that is going to change and get better. >> aren't there serious charges against her? >> i just don't know the details. maybe it is, but you still need to think about the timing. you still need to think about what's the right way of doing it, and it seems to be -- i don't understand -- it seems to be the chinese delegation arriving the day before that. this is as it was sent out in the official notice.
if it's not at all designed it seems to be much of a coincidence. >> koss donald trump have some point though that perhaps we have to rebalance and recalibrate our economic relationship with china? >> i mean, trump is very focused on trade deficit, right, and i don't know that this trade deficit can be resolved this way. some jobs left the united states were reason that the jobs -- things are done cheaper in other countries, and that's not just china. it's like if you're producing a mug that's cheaper to produce in indonesia at half the price, you as a manufacturer will do that. >> what can you do then to bridge the gap between the u.s. and china which seems to have become very acslated recently? >> i think that this is the worst time that i've seen in my how long, since, you know, 1980 i left china to hong kong to
now. this is the worst time i've seen the u.s.-china relations, and it's worrisome, and i think someone like me who is always pride myself as part of the bridge, bridging china to the rest of the world and u.s.-china relations is one of the most important relations, and yet we're seeing, you know, the -- the tension build up to this level, and i think the more communication the better it is. >> what advice would you give the american leadership of what to do to help bring down the temperature of this trade war? >> well, the thing is i think chinese culture and american culture is so different, right, and americans are used to being aggressive negotiators. chinese are different. chinese are always like we should create a friendship first and then it's easy to get the business done. it's a very different approach. >> suppose donald trump were
watching this show right now. what would you say to him? >> i think tone down the rhetoric and get the deal done. >> and suppose the chinese leadership were listening right now. what would you say to them? >> also, you know, just make sure that you get the deal done. it's important to get the deal done and billions of people are dependant on this. trade wars, no one wins out of this. you put tariffs, they put tariffs and you put more tariffs, and ultimately what? consumer is going to suffer. >> you have on the chinese equivalent of twitter more than so million followers. wow. that's -- i mean, making $3 billion and so million followers, how did you do that? >> well, for a while the chinese twitter called weibo was very, very active, like tons, tons of hundreds of millions. people were on that every day and very vibrant so i was just tweeting a lot. i was always tweeting about my
work, my life, you know, my running, my interviews, my travel around the world, and people just find that interesting, but now that is not as vibrant, you know. chinese twitter has been heavily censored so it's not as vibrant. i don't tweet as much now. >> do you worry sometimes about the censorship of the internet and social media in china? >> i do. i mean, i do. i think any constraints and controls is inevitably something that affects the entrepreneurship. you need a free environment. you need to give the people the freedom to imagine to do things. yes, do i worry about that. >> would china be wise to just open up to american social media, to google, to the facebook and twitter as well as to its home-grown social media instead of making more restrictions on it? >> well, that's -- well, i think
when social media was invented that was the whole idea, right, you connect everyone around the globe, but i think inevitably you would hit some stumbling blocks because some countries want to control tighter, and that's the case with china, so china has its own system, its own social media. it's not small. it still has hundreds of millions of people there, but it's not connecting with the rest of the world so it's not like connecting. if you're on facebook and twitter, you're connecting with everyone around the world. china is only connecting with the chinese, that system, and that's so far the system, and i don't see how this is going to change immediately. >> there's a billionaire businesswoman in beijing. are you sort of the inspiration now for many, many other young people in china saying i can aspire to be that?
>> well, i get invited to speak to students, you know, a lot, and i love it. i really love speaking to students, and if anything i always encourage them to go out, study and be the bridge and connect with the world and, you know, the more adventure the better it is. >> did that help inform your philanthropy that you're doing these days this, need to help kids that don't have privilege to get a great education? >> oh, definitely because i look back. the game-changer in my life was education. had hi stayed as a factory girl i wouldn't have captured the opportunities later in life, and so when i had the means to help the others, the one thing that's very close to my heart is the financial aid program because it wasn't somebody's generosity to sponsor me to go to college, eventually go to came bridge, i would never be able to do what i do, so i -- a few years ago my husband and i started a soho china scholarship program which
is to provide financial aid to chinese students coming to america to study. this year we have over 40 soho scholars at harvard and yale. these are fantastically bright kids. different from the days when i was a student. i couldn't speak any english or very little english after language school, but these kids all speak fantastic english. that's how much china has changed. >> you have stories about some of the students coming from rural areas and yet speaking english and you get to meet them. what inspires you about them? give me one of those stories. >> so i make a point of meeting them every year multiple times, right? and then i host this forum every year in the fall. some of the older scholars have been there like a couple of years and some of the new scholars just came in, and i would, you know, always try to learn their story. one of the girls really stood out and she -- she's from a
small town in china. this is a town that produces vinegar, so we all know the place as a vinegar producer. i said to her you speak fantastic english. where did you learn that from? she said by listening to taylor swift's music. thought, my god, that was amazing that someone could learn english through listening to songs of taylor swift. >> thank you for being with us. >> thank you. so while president trump tries to nail a trade deal with china, his european allies are trying to assure them they can continue trading with iran setting up a mechanism to bypass u.s. sanctions penalties and shore up the iran nuclear deal. and this week his own intelligence community contradicted several of the president's key foreign policy beliefs on iran and north korea, for instance, the president has just said he disagrees with them and that, quote, time will prove
him right. now, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is piling on by leading a proposal to keep troops in jeer and afghanistan. so let's dig down into the disconnect with former chief of staff to secretary of state colin powell larry wilkerson. mr. wilkerson, welcome to the program. >> thanks for having me. >> there's obviously a lot to discuss. let's just start by picking up where the last interview ended and the idea that right now president trump is meeting with the chinese vice premier and they are trying to get some deal by the deadline of march 1st. do you think that there will be a deal? what do you think are the risks of continuing this trade war if there's no deal? >> well, let me say juries that zhang xin is a fascinating woman and that was a great interview. i think she's right, too. kill the rhetoric and get on with the deal, and i think that's ultimately what's going
to happen. it's just too important of a relationship. i saw that in the first bush administration when george w. bush reluck tonight to let powell have a lot of portfolios essentially gave him the china portfolio almost exclusively and put richard cheney, the vice president in the closet over it, and powell ran that relationship for four years and ran it quite well. it's just too important to mess it up. >> so we'll see how it -- how it all boils down. let me also ask you about venezuela which was the lead story and has been for a long time. it's pretty incredible, you know, that the president of the united states has reached out to this young opposition leader and let's face it. even juan guaido, it's not like he's from the president's own political party. he's more aligned with the labor party here in the united kingdom and yet the president is giving the support. what do you think motivates that policy from the united states? >> i think it's the age-old -- it's nothing new with trump.
it's the age-old giant of the north's view of latin america and its prerogatives in latin america. they haven't changed for 150 years, particularly the last 70 years so i'm very concerned and the person behind juan guaido is leopoldo lopez, and those who represent the interests in venezuela, despite their party affiliations and names of those whom we throughout the years have most supported, the 5% of the most wealthy people in venezuela. so i'm very concerned that we don't mess this up by allowing ourselves too much interest in it. the venezuelan people need to settle this issue. it's going to be probably very difficult to do so because look what happened with chavez. chavez managed, despite his thuggery, corruption and maduro is deepening and making it even more profound, despite all that
have he gave power to the people from the barrios, people who never had power, they are tasting that power now. the simultaneous split over that power so we could have a civil war in venezuela that could be quite bloody so the united states needs to be very, very careful about exercising its more or less traditional policy with regard to latin america, in this case of venezuela. >> we've all been watching venezuela very closely, and it has been unraveling in a really dramatic way and the big losers are the people. 3 million have had to flee. >> absolutely. >> and there's the famous maduro diet. we're told the average venezuelan has lost 19 pounds of body weight since this crisis, that they just don't have enough to eat. there is -- >> and almost -- almost no one else -- almost no one else will take the venezuelans in south america. colombia feels a debt to them because during their many problems with the farc venezuelans took colombians so colombia is taking millions of
venezuelans and this is very destabilizing. >> right. let's face it, juan guaido is the first to have really got out there and mounted a very, very serious challenge that the rest of the world, including the u.s., is paying attention to. you talk about a potential civil war. do you think -- i mean, what do you make of the famous bolton yellow pad with that control, 5,000 troops to colombia? >> well, it was john thinking out loud as it is were or it was john very carefully trying to orchestrate a leverage point, and that would fit in really well with the transactional president we have right now, donald trump. i don't think it means anything. i certainly hope it doesn't mean anything because the worst thing we could possibly do would be to deploy u.s. forces into what is a very volatile situation and that the venezuelans themselves, thank you very much, ought to be able to take care of. >> one last question on
venezuela. you know, you recently admitted that part of the reason for the war in iraq was about the oil reserves, the oil money, the oil, and you know that already maduro and those who are against juan guaido and against the u.s. support for him are accusing the u.s. of staging a coup just to get the oil. what's your view on that? >> we are the biggest buyer of that oil because it's got such a high sulfur contempt, and it requires a lot of money to get it out of the ground, even though they are sitting on possibly the largest oil reserves in the world, so that is venezuela's future. without that oil and without the u.s. ability to process it, refine it and so forth and ultimately to buy it at all, that is a problem for venezuela, so to sanction that which is the main source of venezuela's income probably is going to wind up as sanctions often do hurting the venezuelan people more than anyone else. i understand why they are trying to keep the money away from maduro, but if it really is
going to be a reconciliation and maduro is going to be asked to leave and somebody else to take over, then they need to restore that very, very quickly. i wouldn't take it away at all if it were me. the best interlock terz are obrador from mexico, maybe vazquez and maybe pranzies. we don't need people that aren't interested in the best interests of the venezuelan people being intermediaries here, and i hate to say this. i include us in that in terms of honest balanced the negotiations. >> it looks like juan guaido is most definitely looking for support from the united states and hoping it would be an honest broker. in any event let's move on because there also does seem to be a bit afro between president trump and his intelligence community again. so the whole group of members of the various different branches
of the intelligence community have come up with certain facts. dan coats, the director of the national intelligence, had an assessment that he testified in the senate about, and this is what he said about isis, about north korea, iran, et cetera. let's just listen. >> isis is intent on resurging and still commands thousands of fighters in iraq and syria. we currently athat's north korea will seek to retain its wmd capabilities, and it's unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities. we assess that foreign actors will view the 2020 u.s. elections as an opportunity to advance their interests. >> so dan coats laying out three or four key findings. he did also add that while he saw north korea giving no indication of giving up their nukes that iran was showing no indication of developing any nuclear weapons. so this directly contradicts the
president and he had this to say in the oval office today. listen to the president. >> do you still have confidence in gina haspel and dan coats to give you good advice? >> i disagree with things they said. time will prove me right probably. >> so from your vantage point and having been at the state department in a pretty, pretty difficult era, the iraq war era, what do you make of here we go again, you know, nag intelligence, the president, and in this instance they are on different sides. >> well, you know, i'm no fan of the u.s. intelligence community particularly with regard to iraq's weapons of mass destruction, but at the same time i think dni coats is level-headed. he gave a presentation that didn't break really any new ground. most of my colleagues, most of the experts on the koreas,
particularly north korea, believe that kim jong-un will not give up his nuclear weapons. i think at the end of the day donald trump knows, that too, but he's got some plans about how he might finesse that. japan might not like that very much. with regard to isis, i just read an assessment this morning that the caliphate may be down, but isis is still alive and well. they are even in the southern philippines killing people. with regard to iran, donald trump's remark to coats' remark about oh, they just shot off some rockets shows that he's a little bit detached from reality on that one which doesn't surprise me that much. that's a detail the president probably wouldn't be apprised of. the reason the iranians are shooting rockets off is basically because that's their principal form of military defense because we have sold billions, tens of billions of doll tears worth of weaponry to saudi arabia, their principal enemy across the straight.
it has nothing to do with their nuclear program which the intelligence community agreed even in the last part of the bush administration said they had not wanted to do. they once wanted to develop a nuclear weapon and they made a decision sometime around the 2000s or mid-2000s that they weren't going to go for a nuclear weapon, for cost reasons, for international relations reasons and so forth. the fear i have is that the united states violation, not abandonment of, violation of the nuclear agreement, a u.n. security council codified agreement, our violation of that agreement might ultimately compel iran to change its mind and to develop a nuclear weapon which would be exactly the opposite of we, europe and probably the rest of the world want. >> so you would support then the europeans taking any means necessary to try to keep this deal in place. for instance, they have now come up with some kind of mechanism that will, you know, finesse
payments for iran's oil and i think the things enshrined in the u.n. nuclear deal to support u.s. sanctions. you would support that. >> actually the special vehicle as i understand it, and i've read many comments ton this morning. the special vehicle is mostly for humanitarian aid and food, so i'm all for that, that we are enforcing our banking sanctions to the extent that we're hurting humanitarian assistance and food from getting to the iranian people simply is nonsense. it makes no sense. it's too brutal. so i'm for it in that sense. here's where i'm alarmed, christiane. i think that this is the beginning of europe's developing an identity, a self-identity, if you will, that does not include in a major way as it has for the past half century since world war ii the united states, and i
think president trump's remarks about nato, his remarks about people not pulling their weight and so forth, while they had some validity, they were so undiplomatic and then this comes along, violation of this agreement that was agreed to by all the countries involved, that is beginning to make the rest of the world think the united states is not quite as trustworthy as it used to be, and sanctions add to that in a sense that makes them want to do something about our ability to be so effective with sanctions which means eventually an attack on our currency. that's really going to be dangerous for us. >> let me ask you whether you were surprised to see as we describe a stalwart ally of the president, the senate majority mitch mcconnell, also sort of piling on, you know, supporting the foreign policy establishment and basically not -- disapproving the president saying he's going to withdraw, you know, u.s. troops from syria
and afghanistan. this is what mcconnell said just yesterday. >> so what we must remember, mr. president, is how hard won these gains have been. our response to this progress must not be to take our foot off the gas pedal but rather to keep up the strategies that are clearly working. our partnership with iraqi security forces and the syrian democratic forces have stripped isis of much territory in those two nations, but we've not yet defeated isis. we have not yet defeated al qaeda in afghanistan. >> so, i mean, he's making those facts clear, but clearly president trump has a base that would like to see these troops come home. i mean, the polls are very, very clear on that, so how does the president so of straddle that popular belief versus what it seems the foreign policy
establishment is worried about now? >> well, i'm glad the senate majority leader finally found a voice? however, i don't necessarily agree with much of what he said. i happen to be a fan of president trump's desire to get the u.s. forces on the ground out of syria. there are only 2,000 some odd forces there. there are over 4 million men and women under arms in professional militaries from iraq to egypt to syria to saudi arabia. there are plenty of people to handle the remnants of isis, and if they can't, then i'm not sure the american taxpayer ought to be forking over dollars to help them any longer so it's not a real tragedy that we're bringing some 2,000 troops home. the air power will still be there. we have the largest hair force base in the world in qatar, so there will be plenty of u.s. power there. the idea that we're pulling out is simply nonsense. mitch mcconnell doesn't know the force layed down very well. so i'm a fan of bringing some of these troops home. that said, i'm not a fan of hoy
discordant and disorganized our middle east policy is. the american people deserve that. >> you were in an administration that thought it knew what to do in the middle east and clearly didn't, and -- and, you know, we witnessed the -- the principal ministers, secretaries around president bush basically be in lock step with the war in iraq. having said that, i want to know your views now of the president having a whole number of very important positions filled by people who agree with him, people who are more inclined to agree with his, you know, his ideas on the middle east and elsewhere, whether it's pompeo and bolton who have replaced mathis, mcmaster and the others. are you concerned about that? do you think that there's enough
sort of different dna in the room when the president is forced to make decisions? >> you make a good point. by and large you want a team that's trusted, that can work together collegially like with george w. bush and brent scowcroft and jim baker and things. you want a team that can get things down for you but at the same time you want people like jim baker and brent scowcroft who will tell you when you have no clothes on and you're making a mistake. i think you're right that trump has reduced his administration to a group of sycophants and people who think the way he does with the possible exception of the national security adviser whom i know quite well and who might be dangerous in that regard because he sees the president's inattention to detail as developing profound gaps into which he can wade and cause things to happen, and at the end of the day i'm alarmed over what gideon levy has said a number of times in haaretz and elsewhere, and that is that u.s.
middle east peace policy is not made in washington but in tel aviv, now jerusalem. there's a lot of truth in, that and i see a neglectful president of that policy giving too much leeway to now an extremely right wing leader in israel, bebe netanyahu who might conjure up a war in iran in syria. seems to be very intent on doing that. attacking targets over and over again and iran is going to respond sooner or later and then the united states is going to find itself in a bind with a country that is arguably its principal ally in the world, israel. >> well, that raises a whole new spectrum out there, and we'll have to discuss it another time. of course, the much vaunted peace proposal that president trump talked about is not yet on the table either. we're going to wait and see what develops down there, but thanks for your heads up. thanks for your warning. larry wilkerson, thank you very much indeed for joining us today. >> thanks for having me. >> let's drill down a little bit
further on afghanistan. it is, of course, america's longest war, about 17 plus years and counting but this week there's been chatter about a possible breakthrough as the united states and taliban agree to the outlines of a peace deal this. immediately worries afghan women who have been fighting for their rights against this religious patriarchy, the taliban. they fear being left out of the peace process and thus ending up the major losers. of course, under the taliban, you'll remember, women couldn't work. they couldn't go to school. they couldn't even leave their homes alone, and president trump has just said that he will pull out troops if there is a deal. so let's discuss. joining me now is the african mp and woman's right activist fawzia koofi in geneva attending a human rights meeting at the interparliamentary union. fawzia koofi, welcome to the program. >> thank you. >> so fawzia, tell me something. what do you make. i want to know your views as an
afghan, as a member of the afghan parliament and as a woman to the increasing talk about possibly there being a deal emerging, a peace deal, with the taliban. >> you know, christiane, i think what makes the current situation different is there is a kind of consensus on the urgency for a peace in afghanistan. and we would like to finally end the 40 years of war which we have had and you were here during the taliban so you know how the -- the pain the people of afghanistan went through. however, there are two different views. one is the current president of afghanistan who opposed the peace process, and he has his own issues because he will have an election and sees the power and the continuation of his job at risk. then there's another discussion at the african political elites
and people and especially women and activists about, you know, the future of their engagement if a political deal is to be made, and, you know, i lived all my life in afghanistan, including during the taliban time and we all know what that means. taliban basically during the time women's presence was reduced to minimum and they were basically invisible. and then i think the position of taliban in thighs peace talks they didn't want to talk to the afghan and the afternoon gan women and they want the the islamic rights for women. someone who lived during the taliban and i know what their interpretation is, we're very much worried, especially that we have gained so much over the past 18 years. the society in afghanistan has transformed to the level that it will be very difficult to bring it back to the time where we started in tuite when the
taliban government was just withdrawn so i think, yes, we want a peace, but an inclusive peace where the public and, of course, where the public and the women voices are heard and they are part of the process. >> right. >> and for the issues that we have achieved and gained should be regarded as non-negotiable issues. >> how do you make sure that that happens because right now it seems to be a process between the united states and the taliban. vernment is not included yet and women are not included around the peace table. and at the same time president trump says that he will pull out the forces if there is a sustainable peace deal, and, you know, he's -- the american people want the forces back. what is the risk to you right now, do you think? >> i understand perhaps there are many anti-afghanistan people who want the u.s. troops to be
pulled out but if the international community was in afghanistan for a right cause, not only to protect afghan people from terrorism, that were basically killing us every day and continue to kill us, and also to protect the american security, so the troops in afghanistan was for the mutual security and trust of the two countries and i think eventually we will perhaps agree to an withdrawal, and that has to be -- in a way the security interest of the two countries are not at risk, and plus we need to realize that the taliban are not only violent extremist group in afghanistan. there are other groups including isis. in fact, 18 terroristic groups that are functioning in afghanistan. so what if, you know, taliban did a peace temporary or a peace deal with them but then we don't look at the other -- the threats
that they might face. yes, it's important that we make a peace deal but i don't think taliban will leave violence because they are never ready to talk to people of afghanistan. the ones that had problems with them and the ones that continue to have ideological problems. in the peace talks you basically talk to the people that you have problems, so i think it's important that we are included. it's important that the people of afghanistan with legitimate concerns and demands are heard to. it's important that we take the peace process out of the hands of individual, in this case the afghan politicians, and make it basically a national issue. i understand president trump perhaps wants, you know, kind of considering the domestic politics to -- to pull out the troops but they are there for a right cause. also i would like to call on the feminist groups. i would like to call on first lady laura bush, condoleezza rice, hillary clinton, the current first lady melania trump, ivanka trump to look at the situation of a gan women fgs
a human rights issue. look at other peace processes in the world, it only works when you include the whole walks of life people. there should be some level of justice. there should be some level of tolerance and some level of compromise. >> okay. >> so we're happy to compromise to some extent, but when it comes to the basic rights, i think it's too late perhaps to go to the compromise. >> well, we are going to keep an eye on that. fawzia koofi with a view from the afghan women, thank you very much indeed. and just a note before we go. the syrian regime of bashar assad has been found liable for the targeted killing of legendary american reporter marie colvin whose work was documented in "a private life."
she was killed in a rocket attack in 2012. now a u.s. court has ordered the assad regime to pay $300 million in punitive damages to colvin's family. now you can watch my interview with rosamund pike who played marie in that film online at amanpour.com and go to find my interviews with colvin's family. tomorrow, join us for a special show on the scourge of anti-semitism i.speak to hilda shram, the daughter of adolph hitter's favorite architect. she has committed her life to fighting intolerance and racism of every kind. that's it for our program. thanks for watching us on pshs and join us again tomorrow night. uniworld is a proud sponsor of "amanpour & co." when bea tolman's 60-year culinary career began, she didn't know the recipes from her
cook books would make their way to her river cruise line. uniworld. bea's locally inspired cuisine is served while cruising through europe, asia, india and egypt because according to bea to travel is to eat. bookings available through your travel agent. for more information, visit uniworld.com. >> additional support has been provided by rosalind p. walter, bernard and irene schwartz, sue and edgar wachenheim iii, the cheryl and philip milstein family, seton melvin, judy and josh weston. the jpb foundation and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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