tv Up Front 2017 Ep 26 Al Jazeera September 22, 2017 10:32pm-11:01pm AST
period after the u.k. leaves the european union in a speech delivered in florence uneasily aimed at breaking the deadlock over breaks it to reason may said she wants britain to be allowed to stay in the e.u. single market during that time and she promised that britain will honor its budget commitments. the former general guide of the muslim brotherhood mohammed marked the archive has died at the age of eighty nine his daughter maybe announcement on social media earlier on friday he was last arrested a day after former egyptian president mohammed morsi was ousted from power in twenty thirty. rescuers in mexico a still pulling survivors from the rubble of tuesday's earthquake as the search enters a fourth day officials say it is still a rescue rather than a recovery operation and they are hopeful of finding more people alive two hundred eighty six people are now confirmed to have died after the seven point one magnitude quake. currently heading towards the turks and caicos islands residents of death and destruction across the caribbean the storm already killed at least
thirty two people in dominick or water loop the virgin islands and puerto rico. a judge has ordered the release of six people who were arrested on wednesday in a crackdown by spanish authorities in preparation on preparations for an independence referendum process are being held in barcelona calling one end to the government's position up front is next. with tensions rising protests on the streets one presidential election old and another just weeks away i'll speak to kenya's opposition presidential candidate and the country's former prime minister right thank. you. thank.
you if. i may the house and also on the show more than six years into the war in syria and with bashar al assad still firmly in power is it time for the opposition to admit defeat or was it a mistake for outside powers to back the syrian rebels in the first place that's our debate but first following protests and legal challenge from the defeated opposition candidate right the kenyan supreme court the presidential election for the first time in the country's history the decision was hailed by some as a victory for democracy and the rule of law that says he won't participate in the reelection scheduled for next month until his demands for electoral reform are met so what's next for kenya this week's headlines from nairobi. thank you. thank you for joining me on up front the initial results of august presidential election so you losing to incumbent president. by fifty four to
forty four percent this week the supreme court said it had an old those elections because they were neither transparent nor verifiable the court also ordered a reelection to be held next month you must be delighted to have another opportunity to run for president yet again. years the deeds were the right thing because as you know i know that i did not lose elections i know the one delusions and the results were just manipulated so this is want. an injustice and. did that i thing meaning the evidence before it and nullified those elections former guardian president john muhammad who was the leader of one of the international observer missions in this election said the kenyan election system appeared quote credible transparent inclusive kenya has the potential to be the most inspiring democracy in
africa he said at the time he's not the only observer to praise your country's election the u.s. state department at the time welcome the transparency integrity and public confidence in the electoral process impressed by kenyans commitment to ensuring their voices are heard through the ballot box so you can understand why incumbent president kenyatta doesn't agree with the supremes court ruling the international observers are largely on the president's side are they not. well you're very disappointed with the position taken by the international service it really brought to question there are love international of subversion of elections they did not wait to see who witnessed the transmission of the results from the polling stations telling centers of the constituency and also. to the national center where everything went wrong that is why i say that is very unfortunate
but the other thing is for the join mahama did not disclose that conflict of interest is a friend of president who cannot or if the international observers praise october's rerun will you accept their verdict in october i don't want him to praise i wonder just be objective if i win fine even if a lose fairly then they should say so so just to be clear you are running for president again next month. will be running and subject to certain conditions being met we have written to the little commission in which you have given them. the deuce of a minimum which they need to meet to put is between the elections next month william ruto the current vice president of your country and one of your former coalition allies at one time he also on twitter last week in reference to you for
how long will one man unable to win elections continue to blackmail forty five million kenyans using threats of violence chaos bloodshed and what do you say to him. basically. suffers from. because in two thousand and seven he was with me. he was in the in the front line for doing again to the reading of the lucian's and he's on record as saying very many things about what happened in twenty seventeen zero seven. lives in do now because he himself has witnessed election rigging firsthand. a fair point before the august elections you asserted that the only way kenyatta could win and stay in office was if you rigged the vote are you going to say that again if he wins this time in october because if so
doesn't that make this whole process pointless if you are never going to accept the result. you could not win. by rigging and have been proved right. that you didn't know to win this time around rigged elections and i know it from the kind of support that the grounds that he cannot win free and fair elections are going to be good support because there's no way that he can be. direct. and just to be clear they didn't accuse kenyatta of vote rigging they said the electoral commission was not transparent enough but just on kenyatta president kenyatta has promised his pledge to his supporters that even if you win the reelection he will have you impeached within three months given his ruling coalition is not far from having the numbers in parliament to do that how worried are you that even if you win you're going to last very long your tenure will might be over before it even begins. saying he
didn't bring the commission there was a commission that was doing it on his behalf. and his behest that's not what the supreme court said no that's all i'm saying the supreme court didn't point the finger at kenya specifically. because but he was the beneficiary of the rigging so you can infer. the conclusion the thing is that. this this idea of impeachment is better hair brained because the clear provisions for impeachment of a president of the country well there must be a real crime committed by the president then it has to go first to the national assembly where they must get two thousand a jersey we don't have at least twenty eight people have died in the violence that
followed the announcement of the election results twenty eight people have died now of course everyone in your country remember the election you lost in two thousand and seven the violence that ensued then i think over a thousand people died at the time more than half a million people were displaced displaced a decade ago are you worried that if the october election doesn't go your way there will be even more violence will you be calling for protests again if you lose again in october and you believe vote rigging. you know if you only return to say the. democracy in africa must come of each. election rigging must come to an end it must be fixed we cannot just be glossing over it that you have a situation where the incumbent convict hold elections every five years or so as a ritual we demand when at all costs because this basically lives to a party with respect rollo doing you're not answering my question if you lose the
election in october again will you call for protests that may lead to violence one more time. if they lose elections fairly. put those we lost. that's how it is so we're democrats you know people want to see. what you're saying to me. that if you lose fair and square you'll accept the result and you won't protest the implication being that if you believe vote rigging happened again which i suspect you will say if you lose you will call for protests and you will tolerate violence you will be ok with the violence to make a point of asking what message are you giving to kenyans to try and avoid violence in october. what we are trying to. be prepared if they don't have the numbers and we do this fairly.
outcome of those is the results if there is. rigging of elections the people are entitled to put this as you know a constitution provides for peaceful demonstrations. picketing. and so on you've been the main opposition candidate for four presidential elections in a row if you lose the rerun next month is that it for you will you put aside your presidential ambitions and let somebody else run in your place next time someone maybe younger different surname. i don't doesn't have to be me. atone i mean. my colleagues are the ones with me as a country. but we have got a movement and there are so many other people. people running but
if you don't think this is your rigging doesn't matter who you are. over the who is still there will be rigging so they need to see the elephant in the room is this manipulation of little results and this is what must be fixed for us to. democratic society is going to vote and we're seeing that they will because you should not be judged by a different standards lower than the example in europe where you know the. right thank you for joining me on out front. after trying to topple bashar al assad for six long years the syrian opposition is not just losing the war but also losing support on the international stage the u.s. has announced it's no longer focused on getting rid of assad and the un special envoy to syria has said if the opposition was planning to win the war quote facts
are proving that is not the case so how did it all go wrong and in hindsight was it a mistake for outside powers to throw in their weight behind the armed opposition to assad joining me to discuss this from london veteran middle east correspondent for the independent patrick coburn who reported on the war since its onset and is the author of the new book age of jihad and from new york mohammed al ahram am a policy advisor to the syrian american council and former professor at the university of damascus who's been involved in the syrian uprising from the very beginning thank you both for joining me in the arena mohammed let me start with you even by the end of the obama administration it was pretty clear that the u.s. had given up on trying to get rid of bashar al assad under trump that's now basically the official u.s. position so mohamed gets to stay he's one hasn't he. no he has not for sure the assad regime is iranian backers its russian backers and a cough any of voices in the west are eager to the clear us out of victor but you know really if you if what is the assad regime right now the assad regime is not
even the shadow of its former self assad is not winning iran is winning iran is getting its corridor to the mediterranean russia is winning the assad regime in the process lost legitimacy lost independence assad cannot travel around the country and on the ground the russians do the fighting hezbollah does the fighting iraqi militias do the fighting and everyone knows that assad's troops are little more than entertainment so let me bring in patrick coben you've been covering this war since the start in twenty eleven is it your view that assad has basically now won and it's over for the opposition for the rebels yes he clearly has won because he controls most of the syrian population most of the populated areas. the syrian army is pretty strong with a main opponent says i make state. are on there or treat. and he's got
a superiority of forces that's not going to and the only way the western intervention would have a overthrown assad is if the power of the us air force and its allies had been directed against assad in favor of the opposition just as they've given support to the syrian kurds all they've given support to the iraqi army and northern iraq this would have drawn something things but anything less and that is just simply prolonging the war so mahmoud was the war on necessarily prolonged punter but it. i don't think so at all neither do millions of syrians hundreds at these hundreds of thousands of syrians the mistake the community of nations or the international community has actually made is that was not extending real support the opposition got a lot of rhetorical support but there was nothing concrete to back it up on the ground it was more like wishful thinking we think assad is going to fall so we're
going to say that assad is going to fall but there was no real support the mistake that the community of nations committed and paid dearly for was actually not support in syrians in their quest for dignity and good governance a lot of people would say well hold on you know the cia one state i think one dollar of every fifteen dollars of cia's budget was going toward syria operations the saudi gave saudi government gave lots of money the turks opened their borders to fighters from abroad the qatari spent as much as three billion dollars on the rebels in the first you you say none of that support counted it was all irrelevant . the cia program that you were talking about is something i'm very famous and is an effort i was very familiar with i've written about and the program was a joke that the west was never interested in a for the in the syrian opposition a military victory they were not interested american officials would tell you that they don't want assad to actually be toppled militarily they wanted us out of the khan to come to the negotiating table so they trying to turn up the heat against assad on the ground a little bit but it was it was very meager it was very small it was never meant to
me and that's why the obama administration. how do you think about it you. brought up the saudis revolt and i'm going to go do we have you brought up the saudis in the kind of do we have saudi troops on the ground in syria know do we have iranian troops yes do we have saudi militias like the iraqi militias in syria fighting on the bow on behalf of the because you're an opposite point do you have a power do we have the united states actually fighting look at russians are fighting on behalf of the regime all stolen for inflation profit response support. i think that it's one of the problems is that the syrian opposition is going in for a lot of wishful thinking along the road which hasn't enabled them to really see the situation on the ground the problem is that the most effective armed opposition were people supported trained by al qaida in iraq they had the experience they had the supply lines and so forth so they immediately began to
take over they became the heart of the armed opposition even when they split between isis and. it was these extreme elements that were in charge and that they was the great sort of political weakness of the opposition which i think they never admitted to themselves ok let me also mohamed one of the earlier you said western cia support for the rebels was a joke a lot of american officials might say well a lot of the rebels they supported were bit of a joke they would point to the fact that they gave weaponry to american you know american backed rebels got weaponry we. then handed over to groups like isis al qaeda in twenty fifteen for example syrian rebels trained by the us gave some of their us supplied weapons to the front in exchange for safe passage to the country that's undeniable that happened in that is actually not what cia officials in charge of the program said cia actually top cia officials in charge of the program the top general in charge so to speak in charge of the program continue to argue
for the program to continue even under mr trump even under foggy but are you saying that didn't happen and i'm saying american never gave any to al qaeda groups regardless of this international degree you know you're right i mean some some of that happened but think about it. but not in any statistically significant point let me put the point to patrick patrick you said earlier that from the very beginning you thought that there was no real chance of the opposition winning a military victory and i thought but what what but what should syrians have done who were opposed to assad who were being killed by such as they've just surrendered because they had no chance they were told by people like yourself that they had no chance no this is this is very difficult to you know this isn't you know this isn't many syrians most syrians i know felt they were choosing between bad and worse. and they did think that the alternative was. linked organizations would take over if i fail and that of course was a strength of. his words in your analogy that because moment of saying assad's much
worse is the number one killer of civilians when you say bad and worse and you will do that saddam. and elsewhere really did think that they would prefer to stick with that had rather than have islamic state take over. they or al-qaeda linked organizations that was the weakness of the opposition the way the armed opposition been taken over by them i'm not saying that there's much they could have done about it you know there's a genuine tragedy here. which has faced the syrian people that there isn't an obvious alternative thing that they could have done i just wanna be clear were important because yes you're right a lot of people do worry about isis and see beheadings and al-qaeda atrocities but the statistics suggest the most studies and reports suggest that the number one killer of civilians in syria has been bashar al assad he's done barrel bombs he's done torture he's used his militias abuse rate i mean the major human rights abuses
syria being carried out by the regime not by the rebels would you accept that. you know i'd say that's probably true but you have to if you look at four hundred thousand dead you know this is a genuine civil war. both sides merciless with almost a competition to commit atrocities on both sides of. course well assad is responsible for over ninety five percent of civilian casualties in syria so i mean let's just please use some data so it's not an opinion that we're trying to propagate or it's not propaganda ninety five percent over ninety five percent of civilians have been killed by i so i don't know how you can see that data and then say it both sides are equally actually brutal and it's a civil war so we have to accept four hundred thousand people killed there is a half of the population as in this place and it's been this place not because actually not even because of isis isis has displayed a lot of people but i'm a little something to the russian air force the assad regime air force and they're
in this place and people that's why you have refugees in new york you have an international rugby club let me ask you how does this if you my mom it regardless of equality you don't deny do you that syrian rebel groups have been involved in human rights abuses. with the awful groups amnesty human rights watch so here's my question and i think you do agree with that you don't deny that they have my question is that one of the reasons your revolt failed because so many groups lost the confidence of areas they were controlling because they were carrying out beheadings and shootings and stonings no no no that's not like people in it live with the. well you know that's not what people in aleppo at least four hundred thousand in the city of aleppo who are ethnically southern and i don't speak for all the people that when you tell you here's what they would tell you here's what they would tell you they would tell you. first of all violations infractions and such are working in advance or in opposition and that is something we totally condemn and that's something that we will always try to address but again what's the percentage of people left because of barrel bombs because the russians used bunker buster bombs assad targeted hospitals schools so it's not just an issue of
moral equivalency that i'm trying to make here it's pragmatic i'm trying to be pragmatic here for if you're being pragmatic and it's what men are loved you concede at this stage we started the discussion by talking about how the oppositions on the side of the moment isn't part of the the behavior of the rebel people around the world looked at syria and said you know well there's bad guys on both sides yes well maybe we'll stay on the other but the problem is the rebels didn't exactly cover themselves in glory that is that is not what syrians and homs again think about the major i'm going to say about syria and what i'm talking about the obviously the international community which decided not to kind of throw its weight behind one side the international everyone in the interaction the inaction of the international community and this conflict has been going on for six and a half years now has definitely empowered the extremists because think about it you have to again tens of thousands of people in the free syrian army you starve them of resources and then you allow a.q. . to act as they wish in the country and to recruit people patrick one syrians betrayed by the international community and pushed into the arms of these groups is
not the problem i think this is one of being one of the weaknesses of the opposition is this completely unrealistic view of what was happening inside syria and how people responded you know if i'm sitting in damascus and i see i see this in america hating people in the theater there if i see them setting fire to. with petrol to people who they've captured you know i'm very frightened i'm very frightened i'm going to do the same. to may have monetarily but project a lot of science in fact i said yours as extremism to present us was either me or extremism let me put some people who would like extremism to end you have to and let me put up with my director that's true isn't it i thought it always wanted you know to portray the opposition as extremist as run by al qaeda have journalists like yourself contributed to that narrative helped with that narrative. because you know every government in the middle east since i've been covering it which is
a long time and always tries to portray its opponents as extremists you know it's a conspiracy theory and a very misleading one to think that i say it's the diet was somehow an invention of us and. it wasn't he took advantage of this militarily it didn't do much good the existence of isis was politically in the interest of unfortunately not militarily ok let me ask you this more than six years in hundreds of thousands of dead do you both believe that there is still a diplomatic solution to can bring this conflict to a proper end yes or no mohammed war is a terrible thing but in syria we need a war to end this war because the chamberlain like the policy of appeasement of of the assad regime in syria over the past six and a half years has not worked and we have a crisis now of epic proportions so we need a war to end this war patrick. way that we what exactly what we don't want is more
war more syrians killed more refugees has one i don't think that's great i thought was so i think would've been very bad if his opponents had won a lot of things are still up in the air but i think the idea of we should have more war to get rid of assad that i'm afraid the verdict is in much better that we try and have some sort of case gentlemen have to leave it there we're out of time thank you both for joining me on this episode of outfront that's our show up front will be back next week.
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