tv [untitled] December 31, 2012 4:30am-5:00am EST
economy remains weak the arab spring rages on europe is dealing with painful austerity extreme weather headed self-help and obama reelected and there was no shortage of conflicts tragedies and misery around the world. to cross talk two thousand and twelve as it was i'm joined by john glaser in washington he's an assistant editor and blogger for antiwar dot com in san francisco we have will durst he is a political comic and syndicated columnist and in paris we cross the analysts a bit more he's a journalist and political commentator on cross talk rules in effect if you want to do this for this episode here. analysts say if i go to you first in paris if there is a hierarchy of events or ideas of the year that's about to end what would they be for you. well it's got to be the presidential election for us because that was really sort of the great thing marking the. political year and the
fact that nicolas sarkozy was sent home by the voters so i would say that's the biggest thing this year john how about you but what because i was going to say to you do you think two thousand and twelve droned along. it did zone along for a lot of unfortunate people in pakistan and yemen and elsewhere they're not too happy with the u.s. drone program there but i think probably you know my realm is foreign policy and i think unfortunately syria has been the headliner in two thousand and twelve it's been getting much much worse and you know impending doom all the way a lot along one thing that was probably beneficial is that i think this year iran was a lot less. on the front burner is than last year last year was was a lot more teetering on the edge of possible war and this sure sort of calmed down so that was at least good well we have next year also here we'll how about you was
at the presidential campaign in the united states because you did some good stuff with it oh it had been it just sucked all the decision out of every news channel in newspaper and it was from february until november and well i will caucus is i think were january second or third so right from the beginning of the year until november seventh the heavy heavy and romney fortunately was he just provided so much material at every juncture you can't you really busy touring the year analyser what's the mood in europe as this is the year and so ok because we know we austerity is the word first word that comes to my mind. yes i mean even though europe culture the nobel prize of peace this year i heard say that's not enough to lift the gloom from the general
feeling it is all sterrett the sort of it looks like the idea has been saved for for a bit but still the price of committing to the budget cuts everywhere to earn employment that cannot be reduced and in general with the feeling that we are being sort of passed by by by a south pacific. asia pacific region so. you know we're sort of looking towards twenty thirteen and not thinking that it's going to be much better in fact at least two countries france and britain are looking towards recession. spain and ireland do not know yet whether they're going to be able to sort of turn back the current crisis so i should say that europe is not feeling so well right now john another thing that isn't feeling very well do you think the two thousand film was another bush foreign policy year. he know that that's true in
some respects but that sometimes can be overstated i mean. a good example is for example what's happening right as we speak which is this this controversy over chuck hagel the presumptive nominee for obama secretary of defense i mean this is a guy who's been who was a vocal opponent of the iraq war he criticizes sanctions and isolation when it comes to iran he's weary of foreign entanglements he has opposed the obama administration's eva asia pivot were the military surge of throughout asia to contain china all of these things and he's he's been hit with a lot of criticism but it's interesting to know that a guy like that could possibly sit in the seat that was previously occupied by panetta and rumsfeld so there is some change in the obama straight and has even though it isn't it intervened unfortunately in places like syria to a limited degree and has heart imposed harsh sanctions on iran i think
a lot of the bush crew might have already intervened and so you know as much of a warmonger as obama is there isn't a a a fortunate slight change in foreign policy from the bush years well what do you think what's the setting in america how my foreign audience how americans are ending the year you know is a good mood i mean we have the newtown shooting which is really heart wrenching his america changed in this year. you know what not a lot of changed the republican party opposing obama at every juncture and not negotiating with them right now the fiscal cliff is coming and we're all going to shoot off the fiscal cliff like thelma and louise and we're holding hands with grover norquist and everybody's crying mostly because the lose in the sixty six thunderbird to the grand canyon but the republicans even though they lost the
election even though they lost seats in the house and lost seats in the senate they still refused to negotiate and they're being held hostage by their far right wing and that hasn't changed and it might might change next year but i don't i don't think so and loose with what about the polarization let's say in france right now after the election because the sitting president is not very popular right now. it's complicated because you you get a kind of windshield wiper effect in france you get one we can which the president sporty and the president himself are doing extremely badly for instance you have the steel works. with mr lakshmi mittal the fact that basically the president and the prime minister the minister for industry all had different theories about what to do and how to try and keep jobs into the country and then the following week all the following months you get
a complete fight between the two would be leaders of the you position right wing party and they can't seem to rio and even whether they had enough votes to to get the job and it goes on and on and on so the general feeling in france is that none of them is up to much good none of them is really has got the stature of the states vary and what's really dangerous about this is that it's basically opening a bill of all four million look and the extreme right wing for this you know ok you know john i read your blog all the time and i really enjoy it can you say one good thing about american foreign policy just for the record. well it's a tough you know in order to say one good thing you have to speak in relative terms like i said before if the bush crew were still in power we might be ok trying to overthrow the assad regime you know on the ground in there but you know things are improving as compared to other know. vietnam years or you know world war two
and the whole world is that ward stuff like this but there's still plenty to consider that's a c. minus answer and so. i will do anything and i did what good happened in america this year what good to happen that america the economy it looks like it may be kind of incrementally just a little bit possibly moving into a positive direction as well who for we have moved and are you talking about like unemployment your time unemployment because the rich are quite safe and happy and found out that yes while the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer but that's the way of things. the economy in terms of housing starts and construction is a you know the base of the american economy when you get people working and
unemployment is coming down so that's that's a minor bright kind of light in the in the far far distance. with any hope in france. actually yes the thing about the rolls is even though we complain about our government we complain about the economy it's it's every it's a big country it's a solid country it's got strength it has got international companies that export yes it's got an agricultural agriculture sector which if you look at sort of general figures total figures is the second in the world and if you look at the figures per capita is the first in the world we will keep exporting. fifteen thousand dollars bottles of wine will keep exporting we and you ignored supermarket and luxury handbags and planes and so it takes a great deal to bring down this country and i think the french themselves are a bit aware of that and i would like to quote something that i think was really
a very interesting way of sort of fighting back against the recession there is the opening of the new louvre museum at loss and no says a northern town and i would forgive you all if you've never heard the name of it before it's about fifty miles from little it has seen the textile industry disappearing at sea it has seen the coal mining of the steel industry disappear and basically it has a great deal of unemployment it would be what americans would call the rust belt and we decided that one way out of the recession was to make it a tour unprobable tourism destination but it now is that actually very likely tourism destination because it has. an out and out buildings certain say of the movies even it's got some fantastic pictures and sculptures and pieces of art it's got there like was a revolution leading the people it's got da vinci's it's got no nodders it's got all sorts of things it's a magnificent piece of architecture and everybody has said this is not
a gadget this is this was inspired the curator said it was inspired by the idea of the guggenheim in bilbao and strangely enough one where. the two sort of very french way to bring back up to move them to a depressed reason is to say look we do bring people they need to look at the works of alton what we french have been doing best over the years and we're not giving you a second great museum we're giving you a fast great museum with great works and strangely enough it has had an effect which by would compare to you know the queen's jubilee in england ok that's inspiring we go to a short break folks after a short break we'll continue our discussion on the events of two thousand and twelve state with r.t. .
he survived war atrocities. to make a psychologist says she. has changed his life and the world around him. by giving. hope. and loves to so many children. nikolai the glare of the work on t.v. . she was your language. calling because we know in the financial services some of. the consents to. choose to get the news that you think are a couple. choose the stories get him to. choose access
like the way. welcome back to crossfire i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're talking about that what happened in two thousand and twelve. ok well i'm going to give you some material ok the cording to the economist here the top three internet search trends worldwide in two thousand and twelve on google was whitney houston number one gangnam style. hurricane sandy other contenders were pussy riot the hunger games skyfall and the kate middleton pictures released what does that tell us about this year. that people have too much time on their hands.
skyfall was a great movie i still think it was as good as casino royale though. it's you can't you can't people who have time at their job they want they're not going to get into stuff that's important to them that's going to take a lot of time to investigate they're just skimming the surface or maybe because things are so depressing things are so depressing for many years when you listen to whitney houston it makes you happy ok well they were talking about whitney houston's death i don't know what she got a lot of hits on you tube but it was a lot of. yeah she saw a lot of albums afterwards you know it's it's the old adage you want to be successful you should be ok and elizabeth what do you think about the list i just read out. i am a great believer in soft power i'm a great believer in what graham she called the superstructure to culture popular
culture i have found it in culture which i haven't and i think these things matter to people i think especially the fact that you can share. videos on you tube music . and that you can discuss this with people on social networks i think that actually matters and i think politicians don't always follow i was fascinated by the fact that though some do and for instance the the last israeli operation in gaza was also fought on the thought of the social network where you hand on the one side you had the hamas with the same brigade twitter account and the idea of twitter account and they were studying out and sending out different thoughts and i think if we miss out the fact that people will talk about sherlock holmes one minute and they will talk about magnum after that and then they will talk about war it's all part of a different way of scaling the things that are part of our lives i think that's the way it's going to be and we're not going to change it and we should learn you know
how it structures in a different way this is going to be interesting in our journey. to continue with what analysts had to say i mean facebook i.p.o. this year i mean it's a remarkable phenomenon because in a we go back to your expertise of foreign policies and how many people actually do critique foreign policy and actually know quite a bit about it ok they don't make it into the mainstream. no i think you're right and you know despite the lists that you that you. listed there from the google searches you know i think people in some ways are more involved then they have been in a long time and then we have the internet to thank for that you know you you ask about perspective and you know what what might be good about this year what's been good about this year is that the internet is still strong and still growing and it's still allowing people to get. immediate news and immediate information and immediate communications with their friends and you know in a professional realm as well and these are all really wonderful things that we need
to be extremely optimistic about and government attempts to crack down on this or censor the internet or you know cut it in half and so on and so forth these have been unsuccessful so far and you know this is all a very good thing you know well i'm not a big admirer of time magazine but do you think obama deserved to be man of the year maybe facebook should have been. obama this year you've seen the heights you know the victory you've seen some some wonderful optics that was just a recent one of him confronting a kid of spider-man just makes them incredibly lovable and then and then you've had the lows like the first debate the presidential debates where seventy million americans tuned in unfortunately obama was not one of them and so you had that lowered the whole race it became a race again and so we've seen obama at his best and is worse this year yeah i
think because he did pull it out and he was ad mean. the republicans lost election to a black man in a lousy economy and he was he's very it was an ingrate it was an incredible race ok analysts but i want to ask three of you i mean who do you think is the person of the year. i would say is this fifteen year old girl in pakistan who were attacked because she was trying to fight for girls being educated in pakistan and i have great respect for her and i think she should have been person of the year john you've got a person of the year hillary clinton it's a tough question no i don't think so you know. we were tempted to look at people in power when you think about personnel year. but i had so arbitrary you know why not why not make myself a candidate ok we can consider that next year ok well how about you.
i'm going to deal with obama i can't think of anybody because in america you know we have we have the a let it go should i once the pacific ocean and the other side of mexico and canada we're so isolated you know it's not like paris where you know within fifteen hundred miles you get twenty three different countries and we're so isolated in america it was obama who took us through and held our hand and in the sandy hook i mean hurricane sandy and in newtown the president actually he actually brought us through that he held her hand and dragged us through and said it's going to be ok. and elizabeth what about social protests to mean we had the occupy movement ok do you see something like this you know coming back i mean because you kind of who went to a low this year. yeah they have vanished haven't yet which is really interesting in
itself i think the point was made in you know in many ways including during the american presidential debate you know is it the forty seven percent or is it the the one percent it was interesting and i think the point was really made but at the end of the day they did i think it will come back they will come back and it will be about as it was in seattle ten years ago it will be about the environment or they will come back and be it will be about something else because at the end of the day we know who these people are and they all the people who used to demonstrate and say in the sixty's and seventy's and eighty's. on the left they were the people who said we want to be read not that. they go through a trance modification every year and every decade but they are basically the same people and i think they change that ratio and they they make sure they get different. playing a part in the in the sort of international movement but at the end of the day i think we've seen the limits of it i think it's going to be very difficult to
persuade public opinion round the world that the economic crisis does not exist and in many ways the ruling governments themselves have taken up the fact that there are now in the western world too wide a difference between the rich and the poor and it was a good thing that your people brought it to the forefront but i don't think they have a political role to play immediately john what do you think about are you watching washington d.c. was pretty powerful ok. yeah and it's you know it's. i like a little rowdy protest once in a while he gets good for the country i was disappointed in a selfish sort of way because too much of it was focused on not necessarily too much but too little was focused on my issue of foreign policy you know there's a lot to criticize but it's understandable because people are stuck in an economy that thanks to the over powerful government is is geared and shifted to
the favor of the rich in corporate corporatism and the rent seeking corporations that we see so you know. i don't blame them for the high unemployment in the. you know troubled economy for focusing on that kind of thing but well is obama still the president of a god don't you go ahead jump in your head. well no i was i was the occupy movement i thought it was very important and they laid a base that mitt romney found very difficult being the poster child of the point zero zero zero one percent of the one percent he front in the occupy actually set up this barrier and made it he had to crawl over it because they made it so low i thought that was one of the problems with the occupy movement was that they didn't they didn't focus on corporate greed and income inequality in america that it did
splintered off because you know unfortunately that's that's you know the definition of the term liberal accepting in many viewpoints and then you had the global warming people show up and then free tibet and then the hemp contingent wanted to sell you hacky sack bags in and then you had the dolphin free tuna people and then the two hundred free dolphin people and then the reggae club and that was the problem with occupy it wasn't laser focused all the way through well that's it's true to some extent but you know. i think when people think back about the wall of the occupy wall street they think maybe one as to your point it was disorganized it wasn't focused on you know a clear path forward and so forth but the other thing that i think people remember about it was sticks in people's heads is the vast and economic inequality and the one percent and how they're sort of tied to the government so closely thanks to
people like not just mitt romney but barack obama i mean this is a guy that. has has helped out the banks and not so much the people not that i want him to be helping anyone out but you know i think people will remember the whole one percent mean and. to that extent i think they were they were focused but it changed the conversation ok ok analysts made them with even a last word in the program ok what is this year going to be remember. for i think we survived you know it's going to be the world's economic crisis and at the end of the day when we look at the lives of people in the first world will doing so badly it's a tough economic crisis i think i think we'll get out of it ok i'm afraid i'm going to jump in here we've run out of time many thanks to my guest today in washington san francisco and in paris and thanks to our viewers for watching us here r.t. see you next time and remember cross topples it's. a relief.