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tv   Worlds Apart With Oksana Boyko  RT  January 19, 2014 5:29am-6:01am EST

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my own view of myself as an american patriot and criticism of my government's policies now many of the policy is that if you are an alarmist in your book america's misadventures in the middle east tend to have some sort of recurring patterns you know some of the mistakes tend to be made over and over again and yet i think. there is so little self reflection on the part of both the american public and the american decision makers i wonder why is that we are a continental sized country of three hundred and fifteen million people very self-absorbed we are. slated from the world by two large oceans. we tend to think of foreign policy is something we do to other people other than the something we participate in with them or that they do to us so there's a particularly since the end of the cold war there's been
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a sense on the part of many americans that we are invulnerable exempt from reprisal and unfortunately that is not the case so if you don't suffer consequences directly and personally for the mistakes you make you tend to not learn from them and to repeat them you know what debts many foreigners including russians about these american self image is this sounds of exceptionalism a special mission this shining city on a hill and. you know whether people like it or not i think we have to admit that at least in one respect america is an exceptional country and that is its ability to influence the lives of people in other countries is the power that will still willed in the world and i think you would probably agree with me that bill leverage that american presidents have in foreign policy is much greater of the. on iran
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on the domestic front do you think people in america realize how much power they have all over all of you know beyond the united states well there's a disconnect in in our thinking on the one hand as you indicate americans have always sought to aspire to a higher standard for ourselves and to try to persuade the world that we we have that aspiration then that in some respects we live up to those those aspirations on the other hand we are very powerful country in the military sphere in particular we have no peer there is no one who can begin to match us and economically until very recently there was no challenger to our ascendancy so we have we have been able. to have an inordinate effect on people abroad without really realizing the way this this looks
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to the people who are on the receiving end of american power but do you think it's simply because the american people don't care that they don't travel around or while they on all day interested in foreign news and therefore couldn't care alas or is it because of the way some of the american institutions are sat up and i think it's. the case that. you know during the cold war there was as there was a true sense of peril from foreign relations somebody in moscow could turn a key and seventeen and a half minutes later perhaps eighty million americans would be dead and so there was a sense that foreign policy was something that one had to exercise extreme caution about. since the end of the cold war the united states has not faced any kind of existential threat from anyone certainly not from russia or the other remnants of the so. i thought after anon eleven i thought that this would lead to an
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upsurge in american public interest in for a news but it did and it was interesting to read explanations of why. these basically centered around lack of familiarity with foreign conditions such that the readers of newspapers said well i don't have enough background to really understand foreign news so i don't bother to read it because i know i won't really understand it so we are actually very. much less well informed on the mass level than we ought to be now if you mentioned earlier that there seems to be much less caution in the american foreign policy following be collapse of the soviet union and the following be. you know essentially be the loss of any deterrent for the united states in your book you know you mentioned. you
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know. the lack of that caution that we have seen in some of the misadventures that your country has been engaged into over the past. several decades and i think one common thread that we can see in your book is that regardless of how valid the policy objective may be it seems that it often lacks a thought through reality based implementation strategy you know the united united states proclaim some certain goal but it never follows through and never of brings it to any sort of completion and you give the example of the first iraqi war which you believe was a tactical success but a foreign policy failure simply because it was sort of abandoned way and i think we can see the examples of that in many other american adventurist so if you don't mind me comparing the united states or finding a matter for. for for being here is foreign policy i would compare it to
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a person with age the who is eager to start many new things but than sort of abandons them halfway because he lacks i don't know discipline you know where determination or any kind of strategy to bring them to some sort of result what do you think about that well i don't agree with you about that i think the problem with the the gulf war that is the war to liberate kuwait was the absence of a war terminations strategy there was no end saddam hussein was not asked to accept anything there was a united nations resolution imposed on. and he cheated as best he could about its implementation so the war didn't that and in fact it resumed in a different form in two thousand and three so what do you have done differently to bring about a workable political solution to iraq well i think if you're talking about the
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invasion of iraq in two thousand and three that was a terrible mistake for the same reason that. that option was rejected back in one nine hundred ninety one. the notion that somehow or other you can invade another society and impose a system of government on it on the cheap this kind of hit and run democratization notion is absolutely preposterous so the objectives were wrong actually of course the invasion in two thousand and three was not justified on the terms that were stated there were no weapons of mass destruction saddam was not seen by his neighbors as an imminent threat. and the there was no strategy for regime change so. if you ask me what i would have done differently i wouldn't have invaded iraq and. said so publicly at the time. to
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say somewhat less than universal applause now given what we already discussed about the recurring patterns in american foreign policy and i know that in many of your previous interviews you stated that clearly the united states hasn't achieved its objectives in iraq despite wasting all those billions of dollars and thousands of american lives do you think the prospect of restoring the war in iraq is possible given that again america still has interest in that part of the world well i think the american people are quite weary of war in the middle east and you could see that with the last minute. calling off of a proposed limited strike on syria the problem in iraq is that the united states catalyzed a sectarian struggle between shiites and sunnis and also added
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to the differences between kurds and arabs with the result of the society is greatly divided and very violent and it has not been able to achieve any kind of domestic tranquility or stability and in that sense the war was supreme fairly or is it really. isn't really the case of a bomb or administration being in the willing to engage itself into another war i mean he's trying to do it from the very beginning was leading from behind and you can argue that peace still leading from behind in terms of acquiescing to both you know saudis and turkey funding and arming the rebels so whether the united states is actively involved in that war may be of secondary importance the the fact is there would the war is still raging and the united states is playing a lot of. has a lot of influence in that war well i. i think after the deal on chemical weapons
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which. basically imposed on. john kerry. the odd thing is that we have a rhetorical stance of favoring the overthrow of the regime but in practice we need to preserve the command and control apparatus of that regime and in other words the regime needs to stay in power for about a year in order to police the chemical weapons as agreed so there are lots of contradictions we have to take a short break now but i would like to come back to this very point afterward that also it's been five years since barack obama was elected to the american presidency promising a change in how america deals with the rest of the wild what happened to all of that promise that's coming up in a few moments on well the part. millions
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around the globe struggle with hunger. what if someone offers a lifetime food supply no charge. they can the very strong position against g.m.o. and we think that's. the genetic anymore the right products are priest. there is no. evidence to this any problem with genetic engineering when you make a deal. or is free cheese always in a mouse trap i don't believe that that destroyed. and that's the. end of. this process. for social justice. this golden
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headlines tune into cars a report. we speak your language. news programs and documentaries in spanish. to you breaking news a little tonnage of angles kidney's stories. you hear. the spanish find out more visit. welcome back to worlds apart where we're discussing here is foreign policy with one of the country's most distinguished diplomats chast for months ambassador freeman
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five years ago you were offered the very influential position in the obama administration as the chair of the national intelligence council and elsewhere that you had to decline because of congressional opposition and some other factors as well but back then you had very high expectations for president obama let's listen to what you had to say on that topic very bright and articulate man with a strategic and and what we need more than anything is a strategic review of the policies that have brought us to this sorry pass in which we now find ourselves ambassador freeman i wonder five years on has that strategic review of the american policy is really taken place no i don't think it has and that's a great source of disappointment not just to me but to many americans. there is instead been there a great deal of continuity between the policies of the george w. bush administration which in many respects were
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a disaster and those of the obama administration i think the president began with an effort to change course and he was very quickly mugged by reality in the form of the israel lobby in the middle east. and the congressional republican. party effort to ensure that is residency felt but i wonder what is it about the years foreign policy that makes it so entrenched in its old ways because we have president obama somebody here described as a bright and articulate a matter with this to egypt mind somebody who managed to reinvigorate not only his own the actress but people all around the world they've been in countries that are . do not consider themselves traditional american allies like china russia iran all those countries were excited about having him as a new type of leader and yet even he it seems all parades in these old modes is there any hope at all for american foreign policy to be reviewed well it's nothing
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like failure to induce reflection. and the number of failures is mounting it's not just iraq or which. was a failure. afghanistan is also shaping up as a major failure we will leave there in whole or in part and we will leave behind. in an incomplete and unstable state a robust insurgency and the largest opium market ever. so it's very hard to see what has been accomplished at the cost cumulatively of perhaps six trillion dollars an enormous amount which burdens future generations of americans with debt that must be read by the reflection doesn't seem to be
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forthcoming because if we take the most recent engagement i want to be mentioned in the first part syria president obama declared the assad regime illegitimate very early into the conflict i think it was august two thousand and eleven here throw three of his diplomatic and political support behind the militarized opposition as i mentioned he acquiesce to saudi arabia and turkey funneling arms and support for the rebels but i wonder if you think that the war terminations try to do for the obama administration in syria is any clearer than what it was for george w. bush in iraq or afghanistan no i don't think anybody at this point has a credible strategy for. terminating the struggle. in syria and. i think the president made several major mistakes. if indeed the united states would be it would benefit from the overthrow of the said
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regime it was not wise to declare that as an objective at the outset because once that was said publicly. to diminish the advent of the administrations and sat have to negotiate and it persuaded the opposition that there was no point in negotiating because somehow or other the united states and the international community would do the job of getting rid of us for them similarly drawing a red line about chemical weapons basically had the effect of incentivizing some people to use chemical weapons to produce an intervention or at least produce evidence whether it was accurate or not that chemical weapons had been used so this is been a particularly bad demonstration of of bad diplomacy and it raises a question about the competence of the people around the president.
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has to have grave doubts about their confidence now are we mentioned earlier are you here or appeal for that strategic review all of policies that i would argue about a great possibility for that was missed when you had to withdraw your candidacy as the chair of the national intelligence council a body that is actually responsible for compiling those strategic recombination for the american government now the main reason the side of baghdad was a smear campaign by what you called the far right israeli lobby or likud will be since that bad political force gave even more power in israel and on the top of that it seems to have. a lot of leverage over the album mike ministration one recent example of that is the new tony afro sabotaging talks may be iranians are you know preventing the obama administration from even getting to the negotiating table left along striking any deal is netanyahu indeed more powerful than obama
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based point well he certainly has more of a following in congress and that is a big problem. there we have now a remarkable situation in which. on the syrian issue or the or for that matter on the iranian issue which you raised we have israeli laws being power being brought to bear in france and the united states along with saudi money in the case of fronts and it's quite a formidable nation but it's not over yet. the question that the israelis and the saudis have in effect goes back to some of the earlier failures they don't trust the wisdom of the united states of the obama administration they don't trust our constancy they don't see this as reliable and therefore they fear what sort of deal we might make with the with the iranians i
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think there's a deal to be made. and i expect that there will be a strong effort to make one. i hope if there is a deal maybe it will be a sound one. there for him and that leads me to my next question as you just pointed out israel is not alone and its efforts to avert any deal with the iranian saudi arabia is also extremely anxious or wary about any efforts in that direction and since you served as ambassador years and master to saudi arabia let me ask you this question i know that this alliance unlikely alliance between israel and saudi arabia didn't emerge yesterday existed for quite some time probably quietly and it was glued by the united states but nowadays both of these countries at least the current leadership of these countries are somewhat critical publicly
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of the obama administration and i wonder whether you think that this alliance between saudis and israelis can be sustained on its own without the united states i think they have concerns which are directly but i don't i don't see this as an alliance and i don't think it's likely to. it's it's interesting during the cold war saudi arabia. was able to put aside its differences with the united states over the israel palestine issue now the saudi arabia has such an and strong concern about the power of iran that it's again willing to set aside. the israel palestine issue and relegated to a second level of priority and even to. act in such a way is to invite for it is that it has an alliance with is it's really quite remarkable ambassador freeman but i don't think our saudis concerns our ambitions
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and with just rivaling iran i know that you've been very complimentary of the about the saudi king abdullah your called him abdullah the great for his efforts to reform the country and. you know trying to limit the influence of religious extremists extremists but it's no longer a secret that his house leaves much to be desired and much of the foreign policy decision making is now concentrated in the hands of friends bonder the chief all for our security services and his masses of operation a somewhat different at least when it comes to syria. has not shy about the call parading with the extremists on this syrian front lines what is your view of saudi arabia's new role in the region and the tactics that it seems to employ well saudi arabia continues to have a strong relationship with the united states particularly centered on counterterrorism but it is now openly in disagreement with the united states on
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a range of issues these include the nature of the regime in egypt. and they include what should be done and. they include whether the government in baghdad should or should be supported they include issues in syria directly the u.s. reluctance to. use force against the assad regime and of course they include iran and its regional activities as well as its its nuclear programs so that's a pretty long list of disagreements and what's different about things is that the saudis no longer seem constrained about talking openly about their differences with the united states and they're taking a much more independent role in the region it seems to me ambassador that it's not just the saudis who have this expansionist wind policy can that israel has
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similarly broken broad ambitions turkey also has a very. high expectations and a very high esteem ational what's wrong in the region and i wonder if that is in an in an over itself not the result of american foreign policy all those countries essential east seeing themselves as a larger version of the united states well i'm not sure i'd agree with your characterization of what's happening in the region i think it's clear that the order that was once sustained by the united states and our relationships with various countries in the region as essential to be broken down and countries are acting. in an essentially an archaic situation in the region in their own interest as they see it but most often i think they would characterize their own actions as defensive rather than off fences even israel would do that despite
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the constant expansion it it gauges in but that's that's a very convenient this isn't it they have to use these difference to a strategy or defense just difficult mission for sounding rap and intervening in their affairs of other countries read them in. the i think there's been a sudden consistent pattern here of using the same. sort of just if occasions because the united states also all the time justifies its actions by the need to protect its own security it seems to be the paramount concern for everybody and nowadays it seems to be a justification for whatever actions you might take in foreign policy i don't think this is a particular trait of americans i think everybody has their own. view of what threatens. tributes their own but coals their own behavior
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defensive and probably believes that so that is the case even though from the perspective of those with whom they're interacting their behavior doesn't seem defenses at all it seems quite. offensive but i don't think this is particularly related to any other attributes of the united states well i guess me i am about to finish with what we began with and this is a total lack of self reflection not only on the part of the americans but now increasingly on the part of many other countries in the region ambassador freeman unfortunately this is all we have time for but i really appreciate your candor and to our viewers if you like the show please join us again same place same time here on worlds apart.
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i know. tanya played it well tell me how you know my little grandson. i don't like i don't like. being cut us. except as an ecovillage that the spiritual side is destructive. i tried to convince her try to preach that it was a sect but it's dangerous that she had to leave it was a story she had lost her mind all. you know you she will come back i know it and i will wait but even if it means i must wait until my dying
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day. speak your language. programs documentaries in arabic. reporting from the will talks about six of the yard p. interviews intriguing story. arabic. visit arabic. there were millions of dollars moving from a company in saudi arabia called sharpie fruit a fruit company and they were sending money to. one of the leading members of the
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muslim brotherhood in yemen so this is what. is allowing that in facilitating that to happen here that causes political instability in the region and that causes i mean that's the it's treason it's financing our enemies and what's crazy about it is that each s.b.c. admitted to the department of justice and to the world they've made it treason financing the enemy if you plead guilty to financing the enemy i don't think you should just walk with a fine that's not fine and that's jail time. i
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made it sound all disputed some divisions assumer as national coalition for ny agrees to attend trinity but peace talks as some key rebel find a groups reject the conference. the forms of opposing today should give the american people greater confidence that their rights are being productive the last president assures americans that the n.s.a. is you so wholesale private data will be arraigned to end but critics say the long awaited announcement is serious because like in substance. also torture the sayings and even sexual sold which are senior minister figures are accused to widespread abuse during the if you're wrong which we're going to townsend three and could stand trial in a. most perfect.

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