tv Cross Talk RT September 2, 2013 7:29am-8:01am EDT
a closer look at the labels they would see that exported stoli is produced and bowed in latvia by the s.p.i. group not in russia also according to the n.p.t. group beverage alcohol report the most popular vodka in america with a russian sounding name is smeared off which is british owned and produced and bottled in various countries around the globe including the usa itself way to support the american worker people love to panic over the hip and trendy scandal of the month but everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that homosexuality itself is legal in russia and is punishable in many other countries including a death sentence in some of them and yet russia gets all the attention if people really wanted to effectively boycott any country with any laws even hinting against homosexuality they would have to hit them where it hurts and stop getting natural resources imported from countries like russia saudi arabia venezuela and iran and so on and so on that is a vastly more difficult proposition than pouring american made vodka onto the
sidewalk but that's just my opinion. please see. below and welcome to cross talk for all things considered i'm peter lavelle going to be obama administration's continued insistence that the syrian regime must be punished for alleged use of chemical weapons has convinced few of washington's traditional allies the americans have said they will strike syria on their own if they have to. what does this say about america's standing in the middle east in the
future of international law. to cross out the ongoing conflict in syria i'm joined by george samuel in new york he is a fellow of the global policy institute of london metropolitan university and author of bombs for peace nato's humanitarian war on yugoslavia and in washington we cross to jason isaacson he is the american jewish committee director of government and international affairs all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage it i want to make sure our guests understand and our audience that president obama has not decided at this point time as we're sitting down to regard this part of a program to attack syria so let's please keep that in mind george if i go to you first hear what you believe is the most important trend you see going on in the arab world from tunisia all the way to a as we speak right now with the situation the united states and syria what's the most important trend in your mind well i think the. most important trend is.
obviously instability and there is. clearly a wave of. uprisings in the in the arab world i think much of this has been fueled by outside forces i think it the origin of this is. what happened in. the later stages of the iraq war around about the two thousand and six two thousand and seven . when the united states decided that it wanted to thwart. supremacy because of the you know the shiites seem to be the dominant force now after saddam hussein there was a concern in washington that now iran would be the dominant player in the middle east and the united states saudi arabia is. rael decided to.
join forces with the muslim brotherhood the salafi is these alarmists in order to bolster sunni muslim strength in the middle east and thereby warty iran and i think that what happened a few years later is it the direct result of this and any the odd thing is that it was in libya they had actually pressured gaddafi to release of the various islam is who he had imprisoned largely at the behest of the united states and as part of the war on terror the extraordinary rendition program and some of these very same people that gadhafi had released and then joined forces with the united states and nato and and the and so to topple his regime and much the same is going on in syria where again the united states of saudi arabia got into bed with the muslim brotherhood there
a few years before the uprising still plays ok jason it looks like intentional instability for the entire region but doesn't work out very well for american or western interests. thank you peter i just might add my breath is taken away a little bit by george's last comment so let me just provide an alternative explanation for what's been happening across the region for the last couple of years. rather than it being instigated by israel the united states and saudi arabia i believe what's been happening across the arab world since the very beginnings of a revolution in tunisia two and a half almost three years ago is something very different it's i believe it's homegrown i believe it's a desire on the part of people who have long been oppressed by dictatorships trying to find a. better way to claim we are again saying let's be clear these were dictators supported by western powers and the united states correct let's be clear here. you
know the fact is a little more complicated than that i think that what we had was countries that have never had traditions of democracy but have been reasonably stable although frankly some of these countries libya supported terrorism syria as you know as long been a bastion of terror support i don't think it was a it was outside forces it was and it was mostly homegrown forces that led to the wave of revolutions that we've see in racing across the region now of course we're faced with a very very very complicated picture there are american interests at stake here there are saudi interests at stake here there are russian interests at stake here as well but i think what's important to focus on is the need to find some way of satisfying the the very definite expressed desire on the part of the arab people to to have self-determination and to be free of oppression ok well then george then what about egypt and self determination. yes. the
examples that we're seeing now in libya we see in egypt are seeing also to a certain extent unity is. chaos killings. extremism in all territories george george i think you outline your earlier point if you are actually taking please take you up in your early twenty's in instability who does that serve instability serves who's interests here because you make an interesting point in your first comment well i tend to think that instability is the interest of the united states and united states has always been concerned that some kind of arab nationalist movement will become dominant in the middle east. and america has always wanted a kind of a much weaker divided arab world and i think it also serves the interests of israel
which an israeli nightmare has always been that there should be a united arab world and the united arab voice speaking on behalf of the palestinians so as long as the arabs are involved in this it was essentially was over i think. the americans of this rate is a perfectly happy not to mention the americans vast military industrial complex that thrives on selling arms to the various in international actors ok jason to be fair go right ahead fair time that it's complete nonsense of course we're also we're you know appearing on a network that is hosted by a country that has made quite a quite a handsome profit from selling weapons across the region or here's a lot of countries in the world did make running out of ammo and strangely it's not you legally you're saying something like that of what you know that you know would not clarifying it here these are transparent internationally respected of contradict it. strange the united states sells a lot of arms in the middle east let's not forget about that also yes ok all right
yes it does united states the united states does so does russia so do other states as well but instability is not in the interest of the united states instability is very definitely not in the interest of israel a small country surrounded by hostile neighbors that have made war on it half a dozen times in the last sixty five years so you know it's ridiculous to say that this is somehow serving the interests of the united states or the interest of israel stability as internet is is in the interests of both of these countries as in the interests of the west in general it's frankly in the interest of russia as it is countering other regional threats the threat of terrorism and very definitely the threat of. iran getting nuclear weapons capability ok george well i find this extraordinary the say that you know if america wanted stability there was always a very simple way to go about stability there would have been to avoid getting involved in libya for all to get off his regime was extremely stable and
a good ally of the united states during the war on terror the americans could have helped the russians to get geneva two off the ground. and a peace accord in syria. it is an interesting point let me just let me say if i can stick this back in my ear the what happened in libya was not the united states invading libya was a much more complicated story you may recall it was an uprising within within libya itself against a brutal dictator the united states was a very reluctant partner in this international coalition the one about trying to help indigenous forces topple a terrible dictator each of these countries had
a very different path of revolution very different path of transition and very different levels of success frankly we haven't seen a lot of success may be. what is the playing out right now in syria maybe the most difficult thing we're likely to face in this in the revolution the history of revolutions that we're seeing across the arab world ok george maybe the each country has been different in their experience has been different but it seems like the outcome is always the same go ahead. yes i mean what i want to remember all of these interventions have one goal in mind which is. the united states seized on the situation in libya in order to effect a regime change i don't know why jason says that united states was reluctant and i'd say it was not reluctant there was a united nations resolution that said that we should do something to protect civilians no way that it say that we should stop bombing and lobbing missiles in order to overthrow gadhafi this was the united states britain and france together
decided on this objective the united states has been hankering for an intervention in syria for ever since this. crisis started in march two thousand and eleven it has had three security council resolutions rejected and then finally it is seized on this chemical weapons story in order now now it can get its intervention off the ground the goal is always the same regime change use force with which some insurrectionist on the ground in order to topple a regime that the united states does not like and so you know the goal is to overthrow the regime but of course stability is never the outcome it would always be instability all right gentlemen i'm going to jump in here we're going to go to we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on syrian state of art.
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local. t.v. . welcome back to cross talk where all things considered i'm peter lavelle true mind you were discussing the crisis in syria. ok jason i'd like to go to you when looking at trends in the greater middle east how is the relationship between the united states and saudi arabia plus i mean this is a very very conservative regime there is ample evidence that it exports jihad it supports them and things like that i mean how can that be positive for the united states and in the intermediate term long term for the region for the people that live on the ground it's a it's a complicated relationship you're right peter there has been
a history of support for jihadist movements for. dresses across asia that have taught the worst kinds of lessons about extremism and intolerance anti-semitism as well he's of anti-semitism as well and i thank you for pointing that out peter anti-semitism as well but let us also say saudi arabia is important energy supplier to the united states and to the world in general the saudi arabia has been supportive of efforts to advance a regional peace has been also key ally of the united states in keeping a close eye and and the possibility of something more than a close eye on the danger posed by iran's pursuit of chemical to be of nuclear weapons and also its support of terrorism it's a problematic relationship but and. the result has been generally an important ally in the arabian peninsula and georgie it doesn't seem like it's been there
either positively it seems thinks more than problematic to me that's going to work as well as going to georgia new york it's more than problematic ok when you let loose these type of people you can't control them later we've seen this from the mujahideen in afghanistan to the present. yes exactly it. was a story the other day that when the prince bandar visited president putin in russia he told putin that well why don't you drop us sad for us and then we promise that there won't be any chechen terrorist activity during the sochi winter olympics so here is a devaluing is saudi officials essentially acting like a mafia down. with the president of russia saying that well you do what we won and we want to unleash terrorism in russia and this is been the saudi game long it has been doing this for years and years going to various countries and threatening
terrorism because it has the power i mean it is it has enormous resources at disposal and it has been the chief exporter of terrorism in the world so there was this fraudulent war on terror that were that we've been waging and are still waging . against the very states that have had nothing to do with terror and have always been the the anti. saudi elements within the middle east so we've had the war against syria a war against iraq or both and against libya all three of which had nothing whatever to do with al-qaeda these were always secular anti islam is anti salafi as regimes the very opposite the weather was the supposedly which should be the allies and in fact weren't defacto allies of the united states in the war on terror and now on our targeted by the united states in cahoots and at the at the behest of
saudi arabia the chief sponsor of terrorism in the world ok jason do you think saudi arabia vision for the greater middle east is a positive vision go ahead ahead go. in an awkward position of having to defend the values of a country with which of course i have huge problems but but it's an important strategic relationship for the united states there it's a democracy deficit there's a values deficit there is a terrible history of support of extremism of various kinds around the world and of course in its own country but it is an important strategic partner of the united states in defending the gulf and in defending other interests i wouldn't go beyond that i there is truth in some of what george is saying about the danger that has been posed by that country but it is an important relationship for the united states well george i mean at the end there's an ability and that and that region and it's a vitally important energy supplier let's not forget that all we all know that but
i mean the values that are applied for some people and values and applied not applied for others i mean this is that one of the reasons why the and i'm going to go to georgia this is one of the reasons why americans reputation in the middle east has plummeted it's just it's duplicitous it's apocrypha see all the time all of the time george. yes exactly because the allies of the united states in this in this current conflict in syria before that in libya are saudi arabia qatar the various gulf states which are the worst regimes in the world and. which actually you know repress. political movements when they're inconvenient to them such as in bahrain at the very time when they were sponsoring the. fists in libya so what we happens is the united states then says oh well that is the use our
allies you know they they are there so they're very good for us and those that provide stability in the gulf but they provide those the billet in the gulf i mean the the goal is basically to control the in energy supplies in the in the middle east and and this cannot be good for the rest of the world when the energy supplies in the middle east are going to be controlled by one bloc of powers and can therefore threaten the rest of the world with by cutting them off on the energy supplies so therefore this is something that is dangerous for the rest of the world and. ok i mean i think we all agree that saudi arabia is an important i need to be a supplier but jason. what about the fact that. the united states in all three of us on this program agree about energy but so he really looks at it through religious prism ok sunni against shia in isn't that going to drag the
united states into making choices that we you've already agreed to that are not convenient choices based on our values. peter it's an extremely messy world and it's a very messy region and the united states has very difficult options and sometimes very problematic friends but i think that given this very complicated equation that the united states has to play with and not just the united states i think that it's it's generally been on the right path of trying to support stability trying to encourage efforts toward political reform against corruption against oppression against intolerance but it's been very problematic and yes you know jason lies let me ask you not always been on the right side of the ok i agree with would you like to see an arab spring in saudi arabia and bahrain and in kuwait and qatar would you like to see that. peter i really don't want to sit on your program and encourage revolution across the arab world that's a democracy and putting we've been promoting democracy if. we want to see it all
want to see it we would all want to see we would all want to see an embrace of reform an embrace of democracy it's a complicated process and it's helpful when it happens based on foundations and principles that are widely accepted by the populace and have some historical roots and frankly that's been missing and deprived of the people of the arab world for generations we hope that that can be grown in time but it's not going to happen overnight ok joe george where is that deprivation come from. i don't i don't see it i am it i suppose i see is how do you arabia increasingly. using again it's the islamism to topple regimes and to exert human the over the rest of the middle east and i think that is a very bad thing because i think the very people that the saudis sponsor the worst elements in the middle east they are the most extreme the most dangerous elements
and these are the people that saudi arabia is using in order to. far more civilized far more. advanced states and therefore the ultimate outcome has to be something that is very dangerous so we call the spring. is in the sea that you know with the cannibals the other that are running rampant in syria. i think want to go to jason. i think an alternative reality and i think we because of the reality is is the other pole that's that's that's driving these negative forces in the region and that comes from iran and it comes from syria countries that frankly are very heavily supported currently in protected by russia but countries that poses an enormous terrorist threat and strategic threat to the whole region to the west to your country and
i fear that if we let all of our time focusing on the danger posed by saudi arabia and ignoring the huge danger that suppose well i don't know if i can go to your door and i don't see that as i don't see invading any countries i don't see syria invading any countries i see them all besieged ok george you have yes absolutely i disagree i have washington over. syria was an ally of the united states in the war on terror i mean it was a very actively cooperating in the in the extraordinary rendition program moreover the in the say the same way to go this goes for iran and i don't see way we can say to syria well what's the evidence of syria sponsors terrorism in the world i mean syria is certainly align with hezbollah but has ball is
a political movement in lebanon and when it comes to. his neighbor i mean i really don't. eventually spare time is really extremely very has been extremely helpful towards israel in the golan heights and it's created no problems at all for israel since one thousand sixty seven in the golan heights jason replied go ahead ok just a few wars in the background just a few words in the background but not recently ok just supporting hezbollah which is not just a political movement but happens to be a terrorist organization resistance times of gotten out and change in city from jason i wrote in to this i hate them out they going to run through my hate to interrupt my guess like this one not everyone in the world looks it has been was a terrorist organization a small number of countries do aligned with the united states ok go ahead jason give you the last word go ahead go ahead. peter i just missed what you just said as well as a terrorist organization the resistance that is supported by syria is losing us helping us helping our side helping our side right now killed his own people and
you're saying some of their friends just a political organization that's nonsense ok it's a political organization that really just said it was a sham that go ahead to us as a result of the israeli invasion of lebanon and one hundred to one hundred others that i wanted to invade lebanon and then. the shiites the shiites in lebanon had been very pro israeli up until the one nine hundred eighty two invasion of the rise of the hizbollah all right gentlemen excellent debate we had two great sides here many thanks to my guest in washington and in new york and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at you see you next time and remember hospitals.
they were ready to do anything for their country. is to love the country more than yourself if you join the military for any other reason that you're probably not to have a good day they were tools in the hands of the state now they live bring the past which is impossible to get. or. but however good people didn't get hurt. but i have heard good people empty silent.
a lot. but would prefer not to be sometimes i feel like. i should have died over there. because i. i saw some people who had died and. there is cheaper than tariff. on our. we speak your language and not a day of school music programs and documentaries and spanish what matters to you breaking news a little tonnage of angles kiddies stories. you hear. the choice all teach spanish find out more visit i to allahabad all tito is calm.
i'm going to. the u.s. nuclear carries heading in syria's direction as the obama administration presses a military strike ahead of the congressional vote only. a thousand days and essentially house arrest time spent in a london prison and now in the ecuadorian embassy is the price we can be expounded on at sun trust paid and his bottle full transparency. and radiation at japan's fukushima nuclear plant has spiked to these levels sink to ban enough to kill in just four hours of exposure.