tv Cross Talk RT March 5, 2018 11:00pm-11:30pm EST
ronald to block iran that should not be the goal the goal today and i believe this for some time. should be to end the violence and the conflict and for the political issues to the side for now but you know you have hundreds of thousands of syrians who died as a result of this conflict they should be the ones who are thinking. ok rob we're going to take a short break right now and when we're back we'll continue talking to robert malley obama administration's advisor on the middle east and present their reaction to a crisis group about the situation in syria stay with us.
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what politicians do something to. put themselves on the line to get accepted or rejected. so when you want to be president i'm sure. some want. to go on to be press was like before three in the morning people. i'm interested always in the lines in the house. first. now we're back with robert malley of the obama administration's advisor on isis on the middle east now had of the international crisis group talking about the war in
syria is growing more and more complex mr malley you met president assad in person do you think you'll stop short of conquering the whole territory from the rebels i mean what recovering its unity under asset may ultimately be better for syria than splintering it into a patchwork of rebel warlord controlled areas. so i made him many many years ago before before the war so i can't i can't really claim that i know from those meetings how he will act i think we know from the way he's been conducting the war that the goal is to reconquer or to retake as much of syria's possible and perhaps all of syria i don't think that that's something that's going to happen in the near term because of turkey's presence and because of the u.s. and kurdish presence in the in the east so i don't i don't think that that's going to be an attainable goal it is a goal that in the medium to long term the regime is going to continue pursuing you know it does going to raise an issue i mean again one one could one could say that
when they take a position one way or the other about whether assad should go but it is clear that there be many constituencies in syria who would not be thrilled to see the regime extend its writ back on them and not part of the country where there are solutions and i know that this is part of what different countries are talking about whether the solutions that would involve greater decentralization in syria so that some of the areas that have been. not under control of the regime for some time could be slightly more thomas even though they fall under the sovereignty of the state that's something that needs to be discussed in the context of the political the political talks that are ongoing whether in geneva or the place in sochi in the context of talking about a new constitution so theoretically should the come through as a country be reunited and not be a patchwork and not have influence by different countries of course and i'm sure that's what most syrians would want i don't think that's realistic under current conditions it may not be realistic as long as the regime is what it is today i
don't know that's that's obviously something that the syrians are going to have to decide but there is unfortunate lot of blood that's been spilt and i'm sure this. it's going to take some time for many syrians to reconcile themselves to the different reality now the geneva she asked are not talks about achievements such as different the confliction zone observation pos reconciliation centers but obviously failed to dent the greater war itself can post war syria be decided during this conferences i'm in is that realistic. you know having spent a long time in geneva both with the russian colleagues but also with the un and others it's hard to be particularly hopeful that was going to be decided in geneva is going to make much of a as much of a difference as one might have hoped the reality on the ground is what's going to determine the future of syria that means the balance of power between among the warring parties the warring syrian parties in there the regime certainly appears to have the upper hand in most of syria i think as i said the exception is that the
kurdish areas and it live but then there's also the competition as you say among foreign powers turkey iran israel. cetera and. there are their views are also going to weigh heavily as to the future of syria so my own i think my own in crisis group's own assessment is that at this point we are looking at a patchwork that's not by any means ideal and hopefully that can move towards a more decentralized syria in which foreign parties exit but that's again i think we're at it depends on what time horizon you're talking about i think for now the aspiration should be the priority should be lessened if not end the violence and if that means having zones that are slightly different in terms of the way they're governed and choose the kind of influence of the regime actually exist or if that's a price to pay that's an acceptable price to pay in order to stop the suffering the bombing of hospitals the bombing of civilians the displaced with the refugee if
that what we need to do is put a priority on that and that may mean for some time that syria will not be as unified as as a regime or others may like it to be so they've become flexion agreements don't include jihad as brigades fighting in italy or elsewhere and since they control the whole lot of territory i mean assad soldiers will and have the right to move into it and fight them. and that's probably what they going to do if it comes down to it so is dick confliction there for just a symbolic move saying how it doesn't really concern the main front of the war. so i mean this is been one of the issues that since two thousand and fifteen we've been debating with russia and others when i was in the ministration our crisis group is grappling with which is of course. you know we can't treat jihad as same way as you treat as civilians and they are parties that are going to have to either change or behavior they're going to have to be fought. but it was all too often
it's been used as a pretext justification to go in and bomb everyone including if they're not out it's then and again you know the maybe disagreement on this but that's certainly been the experience that i saw the screen so there are a lot of folks on the ground that the figure leave for the pretext of saying we're going after jihad this will not in this for a long after al qaeda is often used to indiscriminately bomb people are nothing to do with them now the answer to that is a not indiscriminately bomb of course but it's also to find ways to pressure those groups either so that they disband or that they the they change i mean this is not this is been one of the issues that has plagued syria and again i think responsibility is not only on the regime and its allies many of the supporters of the opposition turned a blind eye when some of the more the less jihad is groups were. good intermingled with the job is groups and that became a real issue and that's partly why we are in the situation we're in today but if again if one takes the position the goal the priority today must be to lessen if
not end the violence then we need to take some time where we're going to stop the bombing and try to resolve the question of what to do with jihad as groups and to do it in a way that actually does not go into effect and kill civilians because i think you know this and your audience know this on the international law it's not an excuse to say the reason we bombed civilians is because we were going after after terrorists sometimes united states has done the same thing and not on the scale that russia is doing in syria i would argue but sometimes other countries have gone in on the on the claim that they were going after terrorist groups they've often hit civilians. it seems to be happening in series that's being done in a more deliberate way in a more large scale way and that's that's really what needs to stop all right so this whole assad must say assad moscow issue has been a debate forever and washington was first very adamant about assad must go now we hear well wait you can maybe stay do you feel that state department has
a clear cut line one it comes to syria doesn't really know what it's doing because i think what happened is we went for as you say for a period of a sudden let's go then during the first months of the trump administration it sounded as if that position had softened if you go back and look at some of the statements that secretary of state tillerson or u.n. ambassador nikki haley made one thought that maybe there was a shift of late very clearly certainly in the words of secular tillerson were back to assad must go as i said earlier i think for prodi now should not be assad stays as it goes we all could have our views and whether he is the right person to lead syria at this time the party for international crisis group is not let's not focus on that now let's focus on ending the war and let's not make intermingle the humanitarian concern which is the bombing of hospitals or bombing of civilians the shelling of damascus by rebel groups that's not and obviously the bombing by the regime as i was mentioning earlier the son makes it that with the political
objectives which some people may still have we need to put those aside the political objectives of those need to be resolved at the negotiating table they're not going to be resolved on the battlefield at this point so so i think that's the i think the position of the state department today and of the i assume of the white house is clearer than it had been in the first ones of the trapped in this regime there back to the notion that assad needs to go the new geneva process needs to leave to his his departure and again eyes are going to go share this with some of the many russians and many others we would spend. years arguing over whether assad should leave in a month or in two months or in six months. years have gone by so let's not waste more time on that question i mean it is not going away in a wasting where it's going to milan italy but like you've said it does feel like you know the state dept is back on to the assad moscow thing you know and i mean that is the little strange i mean you seem like a sensible man like you not really picking sides is a little strange the fact that there is a country or several countries which openly demands change in other governments by
force why is that ok and if minutes well it just said you know sorry we've had enough of you trump you must go on that he knows start arming anti trump extremists how would that look like to america you know if i had to do the list of who's responsible i think we wouldn't we would have enough time in an hour but certainly the the regimes disproportionate response the decision by by several outsiders to sue as i say makes the objective which is to end the violence with the political objective which was to get rid of assad the fact is sir became a better ground for regional insurance between iran saudi arabia turkey its us than russia all of that and the fact that people were in a way encouraging the rebels to believe they could topple the regime which which only food for the few of the comp i think you know will have time in the months and years to come to look back and learn everything that shouldn't have been done in syria and i said think everyone is going to come out of this looking pretty bad the
regime may be worse by some measure but everyone else will look will look bad as well but i think there will be time to debate that to debate the bigger question about humanitarian so vention one is a justified one is not justified that's the debate that has been taking place now for some decades but let's not be paralyzed by that debate and let's focus on what really matters today and which is that's just silence the guns so you know there's there's a question i you know everyone will have their opinion was the right to call from a bar
for khadafy for saddam hussein for for for us to leave what has it meant for the middle east was that the right approach i think crisis group has had. as were in the past many times about the big flaws of u.s. policy that has tried to impose its will on other countries and often in ways that have hurt not just the countries but in the u.s. as well as we've seen certainly in iraq that let's you know we could have that debate is a worthy debate to have because there's also the day what does one do if one sees massacres in countries whether it's from the wrong or in syria with hundreds of
thousands of people are killed does the international community whoever that whatever that means does it have a responsibility to step in and to stop that they've got the real question that people have to face to which we don't have a good answer today but you know all of those questions will have plenty of time to resolve the need to
be resolved but let's not use that as a reason not to address the media urgent question of how to stop the killing in syria. all right mr malley thanks a lot for this interview we're talking to robert malley former advisor to president obama now president and c.e.o. of the international crisis group discussing crisis in syria and that's it for this edition of so thank you next. thank you.
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italian general election fails to produce an outright winner but sees a surge for euro skeptics prompting the leader of the lead the party to predict the downfall of the euro zone. it's clear to us that the system of having one common currency is going to end so we want to be prepared for that moment. the u.n. aid convoy enters the syrian rebel enclave of eastern good at this by being shelled by terrorists are he hears from two children who managed to escape the area. and. the letter. and
a russian man convicted of spying for britain reportedly falls critically ill in the u.k. after a suspected poisoning. by broadcasting live direct from our studios in moscow this is aren't international i'm sean thomas certainly glad to have you with us. now italy is heading for a hung parliament after an election that fails to produce an outright winner sunday's vote saw a surge for the euro skeptic five star movement. that was the party leader reacting to the exit poll results which gave five star the largest number of votes. in iowa who is just thirty one years old says he is now ready to find coalition partners to try and form
a government and weeks of deal making a lie ahead and several other parties will be seeking to form an alliance as well the anti immigration league party is seeking to form a center right coalition it has teamed up with former prime minister silvio berlusconi from go italy and the people of freedom party berlusconi himself is banned from holding office for another year over a fraud conviction league party leader matteo salvini has already put his name forward to become italy's next prime minister. so we are now under obligation to form a center right coalition we have a right and a duty to rule in the coming years. one person who has already ruled himself out is former prime minister matteo renzi he quit as leader of the center left democratic party after their worst election result in over a decade renzi also added that the party would not enter into a coalition with either the five star movement or the league honest as he is
following the post-election reaction in rome for us. this was an election that was meant to bring stability and clarity to italian politics but it seems to have done anything but that with of course the antiestablishment five star movement rocketing poor word as well as the right wing likud nor taking quite many seats from the way things stand right now those parties of course are celebrating victories in parts in terms of the italian moods we have to say there seems to be a lot of confusion in terms of where this is going to head forward because of course nobody has been able to grasp a majority to be able to leave the way and form a government so there's going to be lots of broad discussions and negotiations moving forward it seems now we have some of the biggest newspapers in italy today with had lines such as this forward for the m five star movement but the government is in a puzzle here
a win for demaio but italy is in governable so these are just really celebrations inside party headquarters but where italy goes from here is the big question we've been gauging summary options on the streets here in rome are you doing let's cross a five star movement here young why not interested after such a disaster over the past few years we would be left policies didn't make anybody happy feet is mainly the result of the democratic party's politics the basically it's a very dictated by fear and despair of people's reaction was expected to postpone going to those who make promises and keep them. more in a strange situation which. we find ourselves in political confusion and it's brought about an uncertain result therefore we will face the same trouble again what we've seen some reactions for starters from france where of marine le pen had said that the european union is not having a very relaxing night so to speak we've heard from former you keep leader
congratulating the five star movement. well after the election mondays at talian newspaper headlines talk of a mass and an ungovernable italy now the western headlines are predicting broader shock waves for hero. the media is calling the result a nightmare scenario for brussels as well as a warning and a stinging rebuke and the league party is actions for the euro zone actions for the euro zone. i have never changed my mind and keep on saying choosing the euro was a mistake it's clear to us that the system of having one common currency is going to and not because he wants it to be the case but because it's a matter of common sense the real economy shows it so we want to be prepared for that moment on associate you're going to ask talian a political analyst about the possibility of a rift with the e.u. do you think brussels is worried yes he's really really worried because you know first of all find some mormons to live in or even though their right wing coalition
they are not so happy have a eurozone about you with your union on and said several times article we saw been you see that you want to abolish the sanctions against russia you want to change even the foreign policies are we totally he wants to start again cooperation with the russians and for sure because not happy about these is really concerned about the only bridge so i can see even the united states if we will. even. intelligence how you see it they publish some analyses somebody does that and they are really concerned about these and i believe. in the future we can really choose to joke about this new world by in the international arena. u.n. aid convoy has entered the syrian rebel enclave of eastern good outside damascus thousands of civilians are trapped inside the besieged area or war correspondent i guess you have has the latest. the first batch of u.n.
aid has gone in food and health supplies medicine as many as forty six trucks with enough food for twenty seven thousand people this is by the way the first time this has happened since the u.n. has called for a month long truce in syria the aid it self was delivered during a cease fire a daily unilateral ceasefire established by the syrian government and russia its purpose was to provide a safe window every day for civilians to flee guta via special crossings but it seems is the mist rebels had different ideas they're doing what they did in aleppo they aren't allowing any civilians out at all and the shelling those crossings therefore the syrian government has allowed this aid to go in but the u.n. says it didn't get to take everything it wanted certain items like field first aid
kits the sort that could be used by militants would take it off the convoy anything of military value jewel use is being blocked nevertheless this is big it is a significant development at least those civilians trapped in east ghouta will now have food if the rebels don't do again what they did in aleppo and hold it all in their warehouses fighting also hasn't debated russian monitors in damascus say that islam is in east ghouta have not stopped shelling the capital the syrian government in turn has kept up its own offensive on the enclave forty percent of it has now been retaken by government forces in an operation that has gone on for the last several weeks. we asked representatives of the u.n. and of the red cross for their views on russia's efforts to help civilians in eastern good. we were not part of the discussions around the humanitarian corridor
however you know anybody any initiative you know alleviate the suffering of people you know we of course well we you know our primary goal is that there is a cessation of hostilities that there is a humanitarian cause that is long enough for us to be able to deliver assistance on a regular basis what we call for and what we continue to call for is thirty days at least thirty days just ration of hostilities so that we can deliver assistance to people in need in. other british and hard to reach areas in syria what what's important is that most all parties on the ground warring parties and. respect and protect civilians whether there are humanitarian corridors or not so civilians must not be must not be targeted should be allowed to flee whether through humanitarian corridors or not if they wish and if they wish to remain inside their homes and
they are not to be targeted that is clear according to the international humanitarian law. meanwhile the russian foreign minister sergei lavrov says the syrian government has the legal right to continue its offensive against terrorist groups in eastern good. of under the u.n. cease fire resolution it is entirely legitimate to continue the fight against terrorists we have mounting evidence the western powers including the united states are trying to shield the al nusra front which keeps changing its name but not assessments and is seeking to use it as a backup plan to overthrow the government of syria. meanwhile the u.s. has put its operations on hold due to the turkish offensive in afrin according to the department of defense it has become difficult to continue the operation without the kurdish forces who are not involved in the conflict with turkey and despite suspending ground operations u.s. airstrikes will.