tv [untitled] June 10, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
editor of counterpunch and a contributing writer to the nation magazine alexander coburn and that's going to do it for now but for more on the stories we covered go to our team dot com slash usa check out our you tube page you tube dot com slash r t america and christine freeze out how to great night. sure is the same or different if you choose it is your. take. is it all about libya now with understanding the ongoing changes often finally to leave here middle east and what makes yemen in syria different from what's going on in. hey tom our been here broadcasting live from washington d.c. coming up today on the big picture.
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follow it welcome to crossfire computer liberal is it all about libya now when understanding the ongoing changes often violence in the arab middle east what makes yemen in syria different from what's going on in tripoli and is the arab spring with all its hope for change only worthy for some in this volatile region. can. still see. the cross-talk protests in the arab world i'm joined by nineteen shaadi in london he's an associate fellow middle east and north africa program at chapman house also in london we go to investor mohammed who bought the he's an opposition activists and a former advisor to yemeni prime ministers and in tel aviv we crossed the arc of law and he's a journalist for the jerusalem post all right gentlemen this is cross talk and that means you can jump in anytime you want on now do you might like to go to you first and go to the newest news here we still have members of nato really pushing very
hard for some form of intervention that's left unsaid right now in syria here and i started out by the program are we all looking at these events now and like yemen in syria through the lens of libya is it a mistake to do that or is it correct to do that because we have to remember resolution nine hundred seventy three was our no fly zone and look where we are now . yes i think i think the west is looking at syria through through two lenses libya and iraq and that's what learning learning division. what is needed is not a military intervention what is needed in a first step is clarity in the position of sort of a clear statement the pros bashar assad what the west thinks at the moment what he's getting is a very ambiguous uncertain. form of form
of confused formulation of words that he interprets as a form of support so he thinks the west wants him to stay and israel wants him to stay because israeli said level you know whatever. the west the israelis the arabs have not told him yet what the in a clear way that his time is up he thinks that he has a license or a car to belong to do whatever he wants or kind of a license to kill. and do what it takes to remain in power because they want him to remain in power they cannot see beyond him that that's what's needed mr mastering go to you in london it's interesting when the team said is it we're is a yemen between libya and iraq is that a good way of looking at it i think human is a special case to a certain extent because in being on the just very close and chairs about police thousand kilometers of border with saudi arabia and the saudis in the g.c.c.
have asked you know the west and our friends in the west. to be given a chance to sort of sort of the situation saw shots are being called for you from saudi arabia from the west itself unlike syria. the saudis are happy with what the west is doing there. if i could say we if i can stay with you mr ambassador i mean looking at an article from the new york times yesterday u.s. is intensifying a secret campaign of yemen air strikes how does that play into it all i mean is the u.s. really pretty quick care who comes out on top in yemen as long as they can continue their airstrikes against what they believe are terrorist party groups in operations in yemen where this yemen in the yemeni yemeni people feel into all of this well it's obvious that the u.s. are very much what it you know or what happens. very important stretching their
area and for sure they would like to see somebody who is in charge there who could continue their cooperation which which. has given to the west and i think the opposition and in your region would give the. united states that. they will cooperate perhaps better than the last as regards fighting terrorism and with any other you know. towards the stability of the region you have of if i go to you in tel aviv where do you stand in all of this here the devil that you know that's we've heard on this program here i mean what about what's going on in yemen and i'd like to spread it out it with syria too i mean how does and i'm not asking you to speak for the state of israel but i mean how do you think the israelis see what's going on here i mean the devil you know is better than when you don't know. well that's a reference of course to bashar the devil that we've known for quite a few years and his father provided stability in the golan but on the other hand he
also tightened relations with iran and with iran's were present in southern lebanon isabella so i think from israel's point of view clearly israel is interested in stability and a peaceful northern border but beyond that israel wouldn't be instructing or advising anybody in syria about how they should run their own country israel's israel's main interest is ensuring a stable northern border but i think while we're on the topic of syria i think syria is very different from libya and it's very different from yemen because it's a country which really i think most resembles iraq you're looking at a group of. several types several groups that are there you have the minority alawite who have been in power for decades since the sixty's at least and you have the majority sunni as who deeply resent being ruled by a minority and therefore most analysts here believe that if the regime falls and
that's looking to be the case more and more as time goes by it looks more like it will fall that would likely be followed by terry a bloodbath in syria as all of these groups the kurds. in all of these groups in syria make me battle it out and look after their own interests and that would of course be quite a tragic outcome should it actually come to pass and to yemen yesterday because i just wanted to ask my friend in tel aviv would be happy to see a functioning democracy in in syria because that's what you have said you know when you refer to the devil then your is the devil who who all rules you know that country you know where that could could that could be kept under control the way he likes but not the way of the people of the country allowed so would a functioning democracy be in or a happy alter. for the israelis if you want to reply to that then you have to this is a great question plight for you. you both replied i like you like you i would like
you happy to report there is nothing there's nothing that israel would like to see more than a fully democratic syria in syria that's ruled by the rule of the people and a peaceful syria a place where the syrian people can express their political views and have economic opportunities because the rule of thumb has been that peaceful democracy still see conflict with one another so yes absolutely. israel we would like to see a democratic fully really democratic syrian republic is no question about that the only question is will that happen once our stuff falls and that's not at all clear ok now deemed go ahead in line and go ahead well you know i just like the way you. repeat the mantra that has become the sort of standard one in the industry revolution that is not libya is not. is not egypt and then you have.
somebody saying jordan is not is not syria is not libya you know everybody is saying we're not we're not we're not but the question is the bottom line is that every single country is completely different and you cannot compare any of them but once the idea of these regimes continuing has fallen once a line has been crossed in which there is no more return from prague then it's a matter of time and cough and ambiguous statements even like the one you just said he he would like to see democracy but there's a but in there there's a hesitation so all these are you're sleeping with are only prolonging the process and making it more costly because the because it was interpreted as a form of support that we wanted to stay because we could. what happened and that's exactly what they want to hear mr ambassador thanks to you. ok.
i'd like to ask the ambassador because you know i think we all agree obviously these countries are all different but there are some similarities and some countries get more support from the west and the united states specifically bahrain for example what to do with yemen because of the presence of al qaeda there i mean the there is one thing that he is a common denominator is how much the west wants to intervene in not intervene mr ambassador go ahead. yes again see that's the symbol of i mean i'm just now you know you wish shouldn't work myself or the question i have sort of put to you a call would with the saudis like to see a functioning democracy and. and that's the thing we're all here and the thing which is which is stalling i think change across perhaps i mean i have read many many reports and so on and people say that what is stalling the whole change in yemen it has take a long long time and i've seen the this is the initiative which had in many many
flaws and perhaps to a certain extent it's cause there's cause this now sort of gears and very. grave area where we are now in yemen you know we don't know where we're going to step what are we to stepping towards and the west unfortunately our friends our friends in order to be a man has been a little bit different from the rest of the of the countries you have been mentioning that we have got a group named as the friends of yemen which was formed here in london on the initiative of gordon brown the previous prime is saying u.k. and they're to group actually involve sell our regional partners our world as well you know international partners global partners and we have seen them to a big extent especially our western partners and friends they had been rather you know very slow in their action we have seen that they're pushed a lot of you know pleasure and leverage on on syria and as well on libya but we
have seen none of that being used on yemen at all ok i. just want to go you are careful before we go to the break go ahead and tell you greg. well i just i just want to say what i what i was saying is not what we in israel want to mock or see but rather what i was saying is that democracy would clearly be best for the region and for the syrian people first and foremost and then for israel but but the but is a reference to will it actually happen and that's a legitimate question it's a legitimate question to ask whether once bashar assad falls whether a liberal liberal they're not the show you know how many how many come back until after the break you can all come back if you have to break after a short break we'll continue our discussion on the arab protests stay with r.t. . and. you can.
can't. walk a match across town people about to remind you we're talking about the changing arab middle east. all right gentlemen let's i wanted to really talk a little bit more about libya and the president that libya is set for the region but an email you started out of democracy but for the region which i think is just as interesting go right ahead you want to make a comment before the break no it's just that it reminded me of what i told my doctor and my wife that i'll stop smoking going to diet and exercise but you know and. so i think this is clear. and it shows that the what is the key issue is means that this is the devil you know
we've dealt with how we've dealt with russia has given us the ability so ok if you kills a few people it's ok if he supports terrorism but he folds it later it's ok if but but you know that's that i think is the key word in the long term interest of the west of the arab world even know. that there should be democracy in the region but they don't know it and they prefer the devil they know ok if i can go to unite and you know bring up another country here but the rain here i mean i gan democracy and civil society and western values and all these wonderful things that we keep hearing the west saying but you know bahrain isn't going to get that because well there is american military interest there in iran is just across the sea so that'll always be far more important than any values that anyone in power will ever say ok you want to put you to buy me out of my own program go ahead no idea i mean nobody
out of god had no idea where. we're not talking about work provided here we're talking about universal dialogue is not something the west has invented or all you're going. but it doesn't exist everywhere and i can show you please ok ok if you want to go ahead and tell beef. again and again i feel that there is some sort of a gap in what i'm saying and how it's being perceived i'm sitting here in the middle east as an observer looking at what's going to happen and what the options are so what i say will not proceed replace the brutal bloodthirsty dictatorship of the. shit nobody i think in who has any awareness of the history of this region would immediately say oh of course the minute our steps down it's obviously going to be replaced by a liberal democracy but bottom line is we don't know that's what we would like to happen but there's absolutely nothing wrong with from a strategic analytical point of view asking the questions who are the forces at
play what is the structure of syrian society can can it survive a fall of this of this brutal dictatorship that's been in power for years without sectarian bloodbath i think anybody who does not ask these questions is unfortunately planting their head in the sand and these are questions that have to be asked by any responsible observer and i think that's you know a very important point to make ok mr ambassador i mean we hear there's a i think that. brought up a very good point about democracy and we heard also the term liberal democracy mr ambassador can we have arab democracy and islamic democracy why should it be liberal why can't it be the version the worse for their societies. well the people have actually experimented with different regions and values and so on and that's why i agree with nadine when he says you know these values of liberal. democrat has ation they're not a letter to the west only this is a humanity now sort of helped a.j.
and that's why we shouldn't lead by him being western you know at the end people have been watching across the world how the wherefore for them to take share on and to actually take part in the in running their own daily affairs and we hadn't nobody could invent something different although of the you know the the experimenter and looks different from one country to another obviously and here in london the westminster democracy is quite different from the democracy back of the goal but still at the end you know when you mean by democratization i mean to give the people the ability the you know the chance to take share and to in running their own affairs and this is what people have been asking instead of having this is a question we are facing now actually in the in the in the arab world is we have never had a sort of parliamentary system most of the systems in the arab world republican systems where a presidential system which which by looks like the this is the luck not unlike
your system it's the so-called weak system like in france and then you end up with a president who like all rules like a thorough in on or the prince of the believers and he becomes their spot and a tyrant and who are not and who wouldn't allow anybody else in a in a collective sort of leadership and this is the question now because if one of the people who had been for long time trying to. put the question we should be asked in our new all democratization in the arab world is moving towards a parliamentary sort of democracies like in israel or in turkey and so on with the islamic culture we have. but if somebody reaches only himself which is at the top of the of the then he would become at this point by the way of the cult so it goes and this is the thing now we were expecting to happen in egypt and unfortunately such a system a parliamentary system is it is what little monkeys in the arab world don't like ok
. they look like you are very much disagreeing there go right ahead but you know i'm i'm agreeing i was just thinking that the desperate is a dictatorship are also a part of world heritage and you have to make a choice which which which part of it is your sort you support it has nothing to do with being are or muslim it can be i mean it's exists in north korea with three or four leftists and the same the same. and people have said over the years that you can't have democracy in central central europe or or eastern europe because the slavs and the greek orthodox car can't do it and the catholics a lot of america can't do it and the spaniards conduit you know it's always a good excuse. to true the other model which is equally part of road heritage you know and you have to make a choice and i can change gears here you have to find go to you know there's loggerheads now in the united nations security council on how to move forward in
dealing with yemen in and syria do you think there is a direct result of the arch job in libya and in a really should the international community be so involved because when it got really involved in libya it turned into a quagmire. right it turned into a quagmire because no clear set of objectives were fine at the outset of the mission libya's dictatorship hinges almost exclusively. fee and the minute that you leave the head of the monster so to speak in place then you haven't solve the situation so i think you know in retrospect they should have either not got involved at all or or said the mission of getting rid of gadhafi but the sort of half assed attempt to intervene is just said it's setting up a permanent status quo as freezing the situation of a libya split into two one controlled by the rebels and one controlled by the regime i find the relative silence of the west and what's happening in syria according to recent reports over one thousand three hundred unarmed civilians
murdered by the security forces of. a million of these forces run by his younger brother mark who was in charge of the fourth division and the republican guard whose main task is really to oppress the population i find the relative silence on that quite shocking really in disturbing i would believe you would not let me just maybe just the reverse because dictators in the region now see a look at the west to you know the botched it in libya they might think twice about doing it again explicitly since countries like russia and china are saying you know you we gave the united nations security council mandate and they abused it badly so a lot of the pain is must be pretty pleased right now that maybe they're not going to be a victim of an invasion make an ass out of you know what do you think i'm being pretty good thing in these days go ahead. there where it's too much of a luxury what your congress proposed is ideal for for policymakers if you're not sure just keep away but the west has no choice but to get involved because you've
got a policy of noninvolvement is in itself a very significant policy if you tell it if you're if you're turning if you're turning away and you're putting someone this is a lot of our business you're. you can do what you like it is a policy so there is no such thing as a luxury of having no policy or keeping out there is no neutrality in the west towards what's happening there should not be in your view it is not yes we can it's yet you have to locate mr ambassador yes we have to what does that mean when we have to do be more specific go ahead unfortunately for the western or as regards him and we have been. experimenting with democratization for the past twenty years and they have known for the past ten years that they have been troubled there and they have been trying to help you know trying to encourage more participation a sort of a dialogue in versal dialogue where they have been speaking that for the past you
know three four years now when we did this is initiative we see that they're going to allow this thing go forward without the need of dialogue because in yemen we have got big issues like the southern issue nor and like the truth is and many many other sectors of the opposition have been kept outside of having a say in the future of the relation of the new regime so again there we find that in spite of there are those a community given by them on the sidelines of the meetings in september in the meetings of the general assembly of the united nations the three countries yemen and the u.k. and saudi arabia committed themselves to us and national universal dialogue in yemen but in spite of that nobody is speaking about it now you know because i don't know that these values are at the end will be used only if it helps their own interests if it's against their interest then they find themselves in a dilemma ok because i'm going to be the last word in this program do you think
that israel in the united states and its western sky too used to having a very clients arab world and they're just they're just caught flatfooted to deal with all these strangers and we all agreed all these countries are different. well i think again it's never chose it's environments never decided that yes we'd like to be surrounded by police states and dictatorships because first of all these these regimes their interest is in perpetuating conflict because it's a great way for them to take world attention on the attention of their own civilians away from the real problems of the region so again there's nothing that most israelis would want more than to be surrounded by fellow democracies real democracies and have free trade and peaceful relations this is a vision that's shared by everybody here so how to but again we have to make a separation between what we'd like and what may happen if we could push a button and that would happen they'll be great but the region is so complicated
and societies are so divided among some complicated. complicated many thanks to my guest today in london and in tel aviv and thanks to our viewers for watching us here on r.g.p. you next time and remember crosstalk. ok. if you want. him arriving here broadcasting live from washington d.c. coming up today on the big picture.