tv Cross Talk RT May 1, 2018 11:00pm-11:31pm EDT
correspondent is caught up in tear gas and during may day riots in paris police also fired water cannons after masked protesters are. going on here to tell you one thing. israel's prime minister tries to convince the world that iran cannot be trusted just days before likely to scrap the historic nuclear deal. and trump says negotiations with north korea on denuclearization will go ahead while his national security adviser believes what happened in libya should serve as a. starting dot com to read more about those and other stories up next though crosstalk explores what goals washington may be pursuing in syria stay with us.
hello and welcome to crossfire. u.s. president donald trump says he wants american troops to leave syria the foreign policy blob surrounding him says differently so what exactly washington's goals in syria. war for war sake or a means to sticking it to iran and russia. are poorly thought out. cross talking syria i'm joined by my guess and washington he's an independent
investigative journalist and historian as well as author of manufactured crisis the untold story of the nucular scare and. london we have danny makki he is a syria commentator and co-founder of syrian digital media group and in doha we cross the mohammed kawi he is a professor of conflict resolution at george mason university and author of what is an lightman continuity a rupture in the wake of the arab uprisings all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want and i always appreciate dan dan let me go to you because i know you just came back from syria so you have a good feel for the lay of the land here you know i asked in my in my introduction just take zachary what do you think washington's goals are because i guess it depends on who you ask in washington these days go ahead dammit. absolutely i mean washington has really had nothing of a coherent strategic policy in syria for many years it's not just now i mean we've
had four five years of of washington saying that one to take the lead from behind and not not really understanding exactly where it's going with this strategy and this is been really really shown by the last events of over one hundred u.s. tomahawk missiles striking different syrian military targets while i was in damascus for that matter and at the end of the day three or four hours later you've got. to within syria and jubilation in the streets because they know washington will not achieve their policy of regime change and that this is purely a symbolic slash limited strike on different military targets but it doesn't come with the package there is no package at the moment there is no clear consensus over what the u.s. wants to do in syria it's just bits and pieces. it in but if you read between the alliance what you've got is an administration where you sense a lot of people want to leave the want to leave syria trump really doesn't know what he wants it's all up in the air and if i was america's allies at the moment in
the region especially saudi arabia i would be very worried over what the u.s. wants to do in syria you know guaranteed or maybe this is by design because there is no real reason for the united states to be in syria actually it is there illegally under international law i also said in my introduction is this just a means of policy wedge a tool just stick it to iran and the russians well at one level you could say that it's all of the above because there are people within the national security bureaucracy who holds those those goals but at the same time you know there has been. no coherent strategy there's been no agreement on what u.s. policy should be what u.s. strategy. should be for many years and you know beginning with the original decision to intervene on behalf of the armed opposition to to assad
back in two thousand and eleven when the president himself when president obama knew very well that he didn't really want to do it he felt that this was getting into another sort of afghanistan type intervention which could not turn out well he made that argument we know repeatedly over the next couple of years and at the same time you had hillary clinton and david petraeus and others in his administration pushing for a much more aggressive policy that's been the pattern now for years now today you have trump as everyone knows really expressing repeatedly the desire to get out of syria and to to have a very strict time limit on the war against isis and the military saying no we can't do that and others in the administration clearly not in sympathy with it
and so there's a there's a kind of uncertainty about how that's going to play out but if you look at it in the larger picture of geopolitics you know that basically the president united states and the president of russia are both not interested in having a war continue in syria and i think that that ultimately is going to play a big role in how this plays out in the next year let's see how this plays out mohamed let me go to you in doha it seems to me one of the reasons why the u.s. is staying there first of all doesn't like the current condition in it wants to be a power broker it wants to be part of some kind of settlement and it will in all the are always in it wants to make sure it's a settlement that it wants so. still kind of hedging its bad bets for regime change i'm sure that there is pressure on from the saudis and the israelis to stay there
as well but it at all ties together is it it is really incoherent and we have these situations where we have these false far as i'm concerned it was a false flag operation this. chemical weapons attack i mean i guess a lot of the regional players have to be very worried about what the u.s. is going to do because it doesn't know what it wants to do go ahead in doha. while apparently there have been mixed signals coming from the wash the white house in particular and they think it is no disagreement the president from lacks a coherent strategy or a after the attack plan how to sustain the prisons or how to sustain the impact of u.s. foreign policy in the middle east could all of the region the recent homes in damascus have been ridiculed because he would raise the expectations very high
by them in the red lie to the red line of his this is obama in two thousand and thirteen so far i think trump has trouble himself in the very same position like obama and a lot of fictive in lack of effectiveness on the field has turned the united states into a joke now and i think now the iranians are smiling in the saudis bewildered and also most of the governments here are asking what's next and i think this is a sixty four thousand dollar question yes and i will add one more perplexity to all this danny is turkey ok the u.s. made it won't it won't let it won't cut the kurds loose this drives the. works mad ok and i have said repeatedly. that turks are in syria legally under international
law however i do understand their concern and i can see from their position about their security issues visa v the kurds i understand it i don't necessarily agree with it but really is that what it stake here not only is there ambiguity coming from washington there is a very serious danger to nato unity and you know it is being played out on the ground and i you know talking about red lines i don't see the turks backing down at all go ahead danny. the turks won't back down and not for one primary reason they say they believe that they have some sort of historic right to the north of syria and they've been led that way through the actions of the united states of america that if you look at the situation now between turkey and turkey in northern syria you've got the start of another very very very long war i don't think that this will end anytime soon and what the u.s. has got out of all of this is actually that it's a very weak ally that the moment one of its allies faces a problem or faces danger the u.s.
just ups and leaves and pretend like nothing has happened and the kurds have only went to going to the russians and going to a serb because they feel that the u.s. has betrayed them because the u.s. just left them they love turkey to literally eat up all of this kurdish territory in the north of syria now what we're seeing in the whole country which is very different to how the previous situation was is it's a war of peripheries now if you look at it the only areas where there's conflict and there's tension is border areas you know between syria and syria and iraq syria and lebanon syria and jordan the sense in the center of the country has been retaken because of the russian intervention in two thousand and fifteen and now we go back to that huge intervention without russia intervening we wouldn't have the situation the other eight and the u.s. only acting out of envy because they want to be in russia's position you know russia today russia so over the over the previous weeks as brokered a number of agreements for rebels to leave areas around damascus and call them own
while the u.s. is looking on woods in striking one of two military targets in a very very good tuck which which ultimately didn't really get into the area how to chemicals weapons chemical weapons ability those strikes would not have affected it because they simply gave them a week's notice by posting it on twitter so this is the way the u.s. is running its war these days and this is from his tweets and this is something he said he would never ever. her do one of his first press conferences he said i will never tell you what i'm going to do and then he telegraphs it but garrett he did that on purpose because he knows he's painted himself into a corner and his advisors are making sure that he doesn't have any maneuver room so that's why you throw these these missiles out and we heard a dozen different versions about how many of them made their target how many were shot down how many and didn't work ok i don't know ok but the american version doesn't stand up to much scrutiny from what i can tell go ahead garrett it was just
political theater it wasn't actually a military strike it was political theater guarantee i couldn't i couldn't agree more on that point and you know if you actually read the the the morning briefing that was given at the pentagon after the night that the strikes took place it was an amazing performance in the sense that you know the people doing the briefing absolutely would not answer a question that's you know that had to do with for example you know with you know did did you actually do any air sampling to find out if you know when you hit this supposedly a place where they were making chemical weapons there was any pot problem of fact ing the air of the people surrounding it and it's clear that they hadn't done it and that they couldn't basically say what the consequences were of the target they
hit and i think that what that means is that they really didn't have any information of course was always the case where the right producer and let me jump in here let me let me jump in here we've got to go to a hard break and after out hard break we'll continue our discussion on syria stay with our city. i've been saying the numbers mean something they matter the u.s. has over one trillion dollars in debt more than ten white collar crimes happen each day. eighty five percent of the global wealth he longs to be ultra rich eight point six percent market saw a thirty percent rise last year some with four hundred to five hundred trade per second per second and bitcoin rose to twenty thousand dollars. china is building
a two point one billion dollar a i industrial park but don't let the numbers overwhelm. the only number you need to remember is one one business show you can't afford to miss the one and only boom bust. for a world cup twenty eight team coverage we've signed one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time but there was one more question and by the way it's going to be our coach. guys i know you are nervous he's a huge star in the us and the huge amount of pressure come out you have to go i mean eight percent of the digital with you and we'll show the all the great game the great game you are the rock at the back nobody gets past the oh we need you to get down going let's go. along as just i want to know and i'm really happy to join us today for the thousand
and thirteen world cup in russia meet the special one come on don't appreciate me to just say the reno p.r.t. teams latest edition make up the bigger so i need to just look at. welcome back across the uk where all things considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing the situation in syria. ok let me go back to mohammed in. nikki haley she says she's not confused i think she's confused all of the time she made it very clear that the u.s. presence in syria is aimed at iran she was very clear about that of course people in the white house didn't like her saying it but she said she's not confused ok. is this really what it's really all about is that.
because of the political situation the status quo in syria were other actors are creating political facts and the u.s. is just occupying is are they really turning in a different direction is this really what it's all about is focusing in on iran. although you think that nikki haley is not the only or it's official in the nation who is going to fuel. doesn't know how to put up with the intentions of trump and i think now with the situation that is a combination of perform active politics from prism if we can see it that way and also a piecemeal tactics when they have a trump runs into problems he has to figure out this through asterix of politics in front of cameras yet the difference between what is said in front of cameras and what is done on executives in the field in particular in syria is
a huge and i think now we have been talking about the rise of bernie canoes and i think that we have to pay attention to something new is the waning for the in washington by. and now it becomes like this great power that has lost its focus and also probably from power. put so much on his plate that he can handle now we have the future discrimination next month with iran and the nuclear deal we have the upcoming summit with the north korean leader there so so much to deal with and i think now has probably a lot of the expectations of the public in this region of the world by embrace in so many adventures and then he cannot deliver much what i you remain concerned about is if trump and the kremlin loses their grip on
both the iranians on the one hand and the israelis on the other that's when it's going to be a messy joke and i don't think that trump will be able to figure out what to do next you know danny that mohamed brought up a really good point because there's so many festering issues particularly in the middle east and on a broader broader scale with north korea the u.s. doesn't have a grasp on the situation i mean one of the things i have noticed with this administration is that it's there's so many war hawks so many military people and then you have pompei all coming in not exactly a man of great tack ok in diplomacy and what we really need now and i mean this for all players because my primary issue issue is peace and having peace settlements ok you can need a lot of finast you're going to need a lot of patience and to date this it ministration doesn't exhibit any of the above
go ahead danny. well i would just like to bring you back to the moment where. the initial disagreement between the russians and trouble started and trump issued the tweet and the response of the russian foreign ministry was we don't we don't participate into it to diplomacy now even bring this back here because because you the main problem is the policy it's not just to people you need finesse you need you need a class of managing to find agreement obama managed to do it with the iranians for sure but the americans don't have a policy that's the problem you've got trump who's just discussing leaving syria and then within the next couple of days he sets another red line and then he begins . to make threats of attacking syria after an alleged chemical weapons attack which wasn't verified internationally and he chose to strike syria on the same day that the u.n. chemical weapons inspectors arrived to investigate the scene and so from that perspective you've got a leader who is acting in
a very confusing way who's misleading himself it administration and his allies and who essentially doesn't know what to do in syria longer than this week so what what syria needs at the moment is an international agreement to be aged but is trump the person to deliver that agreement that consensus absolutely not and what followed site in moscow is position now i would be very wary of having to negotiate or deal with trump on any matter not just syria for that matter because because because in trump you're dealing with an individual who is someone predictable who has such a lack of understanding of the situation that all you have to do is bring up his tweeds from two thousand and thirteen ridiculing obama who didn't act in syria to understand that the gods has completely gone against every one of his statements i mean one of the commentators said you know there's a trump tweet for every occasion so if you look at the situation now i wish i got i wish that weren't funny but it is ok i should laugh because it's such
a. agents of great gravity here and they let me go to gareth here we can see you know both muhammad and danny bring up a really good point there i mean next month i guess we're all going in we're all in tis a painting and that it was going to withdraw from the iran deal ok in the at the same time maybe he wants to make a deal with the north koreans i mean and then the us is stubborn and it will end in actually it works as a negative force in syria that doesn't allow a peace process to move forward any time peace could possibly break out in syria while ash carter comes around and bombs ok or or just women a major city is of liberated from terrorist and supported by foreigners oh we have a chemical weapons attack here so i mean i on every single scale there's no reason to be optimistic here and one does influence the other these situations are interconnected go ahead gary well of course they are interconnected in the sense that the north koreans are constantly looking at what the united states is doing
elsewhere in the world to assess you know how to how to deal with them in terms of trying to negotiate a settlement which they've been trying to do for three generations of the kim family and so that that is entirely that's centrally important to their to their calculations. and i think that it's very important to understand that that kim kim jong un does indeed intend to bring about a comprehensive solution with trump if it's at all possible and i think that this has happened primarily i would argue because of president moon of south korea's patient diplomacy with the north and with terms and clearly trum moon has been very clever in appealing to trump's sense of vanity you know making it possible for trump to say i am the one who has made this possible and it couldn't have happened
without. me as long as the moon is able to carry on that diplomacy with trump i do have some hope for these talks really succeeding but of course we have john bolton whispering in trouble you're going to convince him to do something different and that is the fly in the ointment to say the least but but definitely i think that trump is now moving in the direction that is hopeful on peace with north korea and that is quite an astonishing turn of events even more astonishing i must say than nixon going to china yeah let me quote about back to doha mohamed one of the things i think is very interesting i mean we had the north korean leader visit beijing recently we had pompei oh actually state department designit had a meeting with the leadership of north korea i get this strong feeling and i don't see western analysts looking at it this way the trip to china wasn't begging it was
like i've got an idea and you back it and i think it's going to be and this is going to be the true test of leadership is that denuclearization yes america must withdraw its military completely from the peninsula that is actually a good idea with chinese and russian guarantees ok the american deep state the blob will never ever under any circumstances buy that deal though it would be a good deal go ahead mom. a month ago i was very optimistic about the next summit to between the north and kim jong il on they thought they would cheer a breakthrough but having reflected on trump conflict analysts from my perspective i am kind of confused because when i consider him a pragmatist or a realist he is not good at waging war and this is the second.
and said may go back and use the chemical weapon once again so there is no programmatic ism in the way trump handled his decision of go into war at the same time when i considered him a deal maker i don't see haim innovative leader who can engage in deal making and so he is everything but being a pragmatist so now my fear is that we will witness. kind of media event be votes around the off ramp on the one hand and kim on the other and because of these inflated politics we may not see or we may not witness what we are looking for a little major or a little significance in advance in the agenda so i think now the ball will go back to the court of the chinese i think if there is any balance in power between north
korea and the united states is what the region can do or their ways if it is left to trump and i don't see any i would regard as kind of going to finish with danny and i'm going to give you a situation danny you know with the with the situation with iran deal with north korea that this is how it's going to be trump comes out and says we want a deal and sitting right next to me is john bolton and he says to the iranians the north koreans all you have to do is surrender and everything will be fine ok that's how it's that's how it's going to play out again the second sadanand finish up. and . more likely that way but but in essence what the fundamental flaw in trump's syria action was which will lead to huge problems now in the future well setting a precedent and saying that he was going to stick by it because now any any any with of of an idea that chemical weapons might have been used and he will be on the immense pressure internally to strike syria again and if he doesn't attack syria again who knows the next time what kind of response will be from the russians from
the iranians from the syrians and you've got to remember there are u.s. troops on the ground in syria who for the shop are partly saudi arabian troops are going to go in now and replace them so you've got this policy which is up in the air but trying to set a very dangerous precedent now in syria ok on that point gentlemen we've run out of time many thanks and i guess in washington london and in doha and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t. see you next time and remember cross talk rules.
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