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tv   Counting the Cost 2020 Ep 32  Al Jazeera  August 13, 2020 2:32am-3:01am +03

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when 6000 people were arrested during 3 nights of often violent protests denouncing alexander lukashenko landslide election victory france is seeing its highest infection numbers since restrictions were eased in may the health ministry says it's recorded more than 2500 new cases at least 18 people have died in the past 24 hours lebanon's president has put out a new estimate of damage in losses from last week's by which explosion more than 15000000000 dollars it's a bill lebannon pay in its current financial crisis the world health organization meanwhile says hoth of the city's health clinics and hospitals functioning corruption and mismanagement of being blamed for the disaster so those were the headlines the news continues here on al-jazeera after counting the cost statement time so much in buffalo. as protests rage over police brutality and corona virus grips the nation campaigning on the election trail has been forced to take
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a back seat will the presidential candidates ever hit the road and so their brand of politics to americans before the vote follow the u.s. election on a. follow on daryn jordan is counting the cost on al jazeera you look at the world of business and economics this week russia seizes control of libya's biggest oil field despite losing ground moscow flounce libya with warplanes and russian. currency crisis debt default hyperinflation lebanon's economic paralysis devastating exposure so is it time for a marshall fund. weaponize in data and disinclination to manipulate elections
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nations are using artificial intelligence to get past the best media defenses. well despite being driven out of eastern libya by government forces backed by turkey warlord honey for haft are continues to blockade the country's oil exports and with the support of russian mercenaries is seizing control of the country's oil fields and its ports starving the country of much needed financial resources. well have to has always had the support of russia france and the united arab emirates but as russia steps up its reach around the mediterranean and africa it's increased tensions between moscow and washington the united states military has taken the extraordinary steps of cataloguing and releasing satellite imagery in may 14 made 29 and several su 24 were flown from russia to syria before being flown to libya is thought they're being piloted by private military contractors russian private
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militia group wigner which has close links to the kremlin has about 2000 personnel in country and is said to be supported by other foreign militias the one the group has been able to have to add to seize control of the country's biggest oil field which produces $300000.00 barrels a day and russia's control of oil fields and ports means the un recognized government in tripoli can't pay its civil servants russian private military contractors are active in 16 african nations that's according to africa washington has threatened to sanction have to are it was a u.s. citizen and a former cia as it owns property worth more than half a 1000000 dollars in the united states so what is russia's end game and caught in the middle of all of this are the libyan people themselves let's bring in france's guinness in tunis he's a north africa analyst and former financial times correspondent frances this conflict is turning into a real mess isn't it i mean russia is printing money for have to as political base
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in the east and having lost the battle for tripoli russia now seems to be going after the main economic resource which is of course oil. well i think in a way all this is sad to predictable because when the french took the decision to chair lead britain and america into libya their intent was to protect the inhabitants of being down there but it quickly turned into an operation to oust gadhafi the problem about that is that nobody had thought through the consequences of ousting or murdering the lady the libyan leader and so other countries got involved a bit it was france britain america gulf countries is not mercenaries made their appearance very quickly and then we got this division over the last few years between eastern and western libya and so inevitably. like in like in syria if you will the more the conflict goes on it turns from
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a local conflict into an international conflict where every player has their own agenda and now the russians who've used the syrian crisis very adroitly to to come back into the middle east or to reinforce separate in the middle east which had been weakened after the collapse of the soviet empire the russians a car coming back into libya so francis you mentioned the point about mercenaries in your previous answer we know that russia is providing and using private military contractors in libya from the wagner group we understand the group is active in around 16 african countries how's it being funded do you think. well the russians are very good at keeping this kind of thing secret they're not the only one who use proxies but the russians have a powerful state to powerful military and a leader determined to get back into the middle east so it could be funded from indirectly from the state budget it could be funded by one of the oligarchs you
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know there are any number of ways you could fund this and one must remember of course of the funding will not go through any kind of traceable western banking system so exactly like you know with iran that have been other cases you tracing the money is of course a way to find out but before you trace the money that's virtually impossible so let's just talk quickly if you can france about some of the key players turkey supports the un backed government and now it has its hands on rights to explore for oil and gas off the coast that's caused a spat because this is disputed territory claimed by greece. well indeed will the text of play that card then you know whatever one thinks of tech and they've played their cards well because what they've done is that they've they signed with the government in tripoli at the beginning of the new treaty which read to found the boundaries that see which accepted internationally and they're trying to push their claims on waters closer to cyprus and to different greek islands off the coast of
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aisha myna and they're doing this in tripoli as well the advantage for their point of view is that it disrupts current oil bring in operations and even if into all 3 years time whichever international thora to declare what tech is trying to push is invalid it has the advantage of disrupting current oil search for oil that said this doesn't matter for europe because europe doesn't need to get its particular gas robin oil europe doesn't need the gas but i think that from the beginning there's been a suspicion and colonel qadhafi had said very well before he died that what people were off though was the oil and gas of libya and they are indeed off to algeria and angola and nigeria they have very very major reserves many of which are not even explored properly so clearly the russians are interested because that gives them extra leverage in the middle east if they can control some of that oil and some of
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that gas and we have to briefly talk about the united states it's getting increasingly annoyed at moscow for supporting khalifa haftar is washington then france is throwing its weight behind turkey's efforts to support the g.n.a.t. . well the you know one gets impression from the outside that the americans are playing both sides of the game you know it's not very clear but the americans one must remember that as the title of the book which has just come out says the unraveling of you know of american has given me is having all kinds of effect because before they used to be one country america if america really put down its foot everybody will fall into place be it the europeans the gulf states saudi arabia or russia today a very erratic president who's not particularly interested intervenes from time to time and therefore america has lost a lot of clout and in the case of libya particularly when you're in face of
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a very complex situations when you are playing against players like mr eldo on mr putin who have a very clear endgame whatever one thinks of it american doesn't seem to have an end game except getting out from time to time saying no we don't like this no we don't want this but that's not a policy and the disarray of american policy is causing any number of problems and the other key player francis is france which has been supporting half but is getting increasingly irritated with turkey's involvement but do you think france has backed the wrong horse in this conflict. i think very frankly as a frenchman i think the french you've got it totally wrong from the beginning because never forget that president sarkozy went into libya for reasons we still don't understand he went into libya boasted about it used
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a french writer to proclaim they were going in for freedom and liberty and right human rights and president sarkozy couldn't care less about human rights they went into this as some kind of cowboy film and french diplomacy i'm afraid in the last few years in my mind is totally ludicrous and there are many criticisms inside france what the hell is france doing supporting half that is that helping the stabilization of the region in particular france has very close relations with china as a country which i'm saying at the moment that this is causing enormous problems in tunis it economically and in terms of fight against terrorism is causing problems in algeria have the french thought about their interests in north africa the answer seems to be no france and keyless great to get your thoughts thank you for talking to counting the cost. now a massive explosion has rocked the lebanese capital beirut leaving many dead and thousands injured the blast has destroyed the country's main port and left
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a trail of destruction throughout the city for a country in the midst of a political and economic crisis this couldn't have come at a worse time lebanon defaulted on its debt earlier this year it's one of the most indebted countries in the world where the central bank is fast running out of dollars to pay for imports the currency has collapsed and inflation has soared to almost 90 percent in june hyperinflation has pushed up prices by 190 percent poverty is rising and more than a 3rd of the population are out of work. well lebanon is in talks with the international monetary fund for a possible 10000000000 dollar bailout its usual back as the middle east has refused to help the country the fear the money will end up in the hands of hezbollah well joining me now via skype from beirut has some of the talent and some is the executive director of the lebanese center for policy studies that's an independent think tank focused on governance policy and reform sami look there's so much anger
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in lebanon that the political class and corruption that's literally brought the economy to its knees do you think this terrible explosion is going to be again change or perhaps for the country. during a task to be a game changer we have no choice we have been trying to reform the system for the last 25 years and no new forms have been made and what we just witnessed this huge explosion show days ago this incompetence is actually a product of a political system that. so incompetent that holds no one accountable and in fact all but look that undermines people's livelihood and this one not only did not provide them with services actually literally killed people we've got 135 people dead we've got thousands of injured we've got property losses this is huge and we have
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a system that actually doesn't care to serve people's welfare and i think this is not a game changer i don't know what will be because people have actually now are suffering this political system actually killing people so i really hope that this actually will steal the end of this system that we have that actually bears no. cared or old old old who. cared in terms of providing people their welfare or their their services something let's just talk about some of the nations that could help you what about those middle east countries like saudi arabia that have in the past given financial aid are they likely to step up and provide the billions of dollars that it's going to need to stabilize the lebanese economy. look i don't see that happening what i see right now that the east and middle east countries are actually providing humanitarian support and relief medical supplies which is rainy day and i think we really grateful for that but beyond that i don't see that there will be
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billions of dollars coming in to stabilize the economy you know we did and this is struck tranquilly the product of a faded of the system to form itself we have been seeking funds from abroad since 2001 when we 1st went to paris to the paris one conference which has brought a lot of donors together to provide lebanon with money tools sold its economic and financial problems that's almost 20 years ago and since then we have gone through many conferences and seeking international aid but the political establishment has actually failed to undertake any of these 3 forms and now we are not somehow going to say that we know that most of the bad debt is held by local banks is it likely that those banks are going to be willing to accept the losses or is there any space to set up some kind of bad debt bank to hold all the debt together look just before
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the crisis or the explosion took place what lebanon was actually going through is a major battle on how you distribute the last ride the financial losses because now it has been estimated by this government we're talking about $80.00 to $100000000000.00 off losses which as at least twice to 3 times the g.d.p. of the country now that banks are actually refusing to bear any of the losses which i find it shameful so what they have done is that they have chance to government and they have used the parliament and parliamentary committee to undermine the government's plan which i think is probably more credible in terms of assessing. in the lawsuit so what the banks are coming to say that the loss i'm not as bad or as big because they don't want that equity to be touched and this is frankly unfair because that what they're doing now is pushing all the losses on citizens and
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average and no income people to actually bad the losses a few years of mismanagement ok they have also benefits from some what about the i.m.f. are they still the bank of last resort or are they the only game in town frankly yes we have been left with no option lebanon probably should have sought and i'm after all the way earlier they tried to go to this international conference as i mentioned in 200132007 but they failed to undertake to undertake any of 30 forms now we actually need the liquidity to inject liquidity into into the system and in fact there is no other option because no other country in the world to give billions of dollars as they have done before because lebanon and the political establishment they have failed to do with god in fact what they have done is actually keep themselves and power so right now we are just not sure but to eat they have to resist in fact. programs and i what i would argue that we need to
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negotiate very well that i am asked for a program and conditions that actually favor or at least not hurt the average citizens and in fact there are many people who are actually the one percent who made a lot of money and billions of dollars who just used to share the burden of the cause and that should be at the heart of and i have program something let me get a final thought from you i mean does lebanon do you think need some kind of marshall plan to rebuild the capital and do you think lenders should control the monies that it doesn't fall into the hands of political parties like hezbollah etc if that's a sticking point. look lebanon doesn't need a march for a plan but not with the current political parties and establishment that are in power and that includes all the parties not only hezbollah that have been responsibly and must be held accountable for their mismanagement of the country for the last 25 years so yes we do need that but not under the conditions or when these
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people are a simple at parties that are in power because they have failed miserably and actually managing the country and they have not realized this they keep on blaming each other as if each one is trying to solve the problem well actually that's not true they must be held accountable and i think we are left with not option but for the lebanese people to actually democratically overthrow this government and these political parties and my last thought on the people should have the courage to actually not step out and actually vote them out of office because they have been borked ok i have been both through elections they have been scary fied they've been forced to fight both for them as well so i think this is the time but i am that these people actually step up and say we have the courage to vote them out of office so we can rebuild the country some say you're talking about ordinary lebanese people voting out the political classes but who is capable of stepping up
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to take those there then. oh look there are several groups actually emerged in the last few years that are actually organizing preparing their programs and coordinating together so i don't think there's a shortage of people or organizations that can take over and i'm not going to name any because in fact it's a part of the process but there are alternatives of their people that are credible honest and not capable to actually run the country that can lead the of people who could do so you know so the but right that you actually you know get out of this fear that you know if i don't vote for this leader or that leader you know i'm going to be actually negatively affected and that's how people are afraid to vote them out of office because they need the protection and the reason they need the protection is because the simple it that the markets have undermined this they have undermined the law that actually make people feel like they need to stick to these leaders to have their rights protected this actually this nonsense this is what we
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need to liberate ourselves from to build the state to build a state that actually capable to protect citizens not to be hostage all clients to this that means and leaders that have actually in poverty trust and more recently killed us and this political establishment has shown after years and years now with this explosion that they're not a sponsible i have not sponsibility or i'm able to be held responsible to govern the country ok keep us safe to keep us to take it all to bring our money back from the banks you know that has been stolen as deposits and that's actually it shows you how political elite and the existing system is not capable to serve people ok somehow tell a very good to get your thoughts thank you very much indeed for talking to counting the cost thank you now who would have thought that liberal countries would have created the very tools that foreign powers would use to undermine them or thora tearing regimes have used facebook and twitter to influence elections and
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referendums around the world russia. has been using propaganda and this information warfare for the past decade special counsel robert muller indicted russia's internet research agency for using social media posts data driven messaging and analysis to influence the 2016 us presidential election separately the oxford internet institute found evidence of organized social media manipulation campaigns in $48.00 countries in 2018 it also found that political parties and government spent more than $500000000.00 on ways to manipulate public opinion of a social media since 2010 and data is such a crucial area of contention and president trumps decision to ban the popular tick-tock the u.s. fears that user data could be handed over to the chinese government well let's bring in sean gourley he's c.e.o. and founder of silicon valley based primer prime it is an artificial intelligence startup that can summarize reams of data in just seconds sure it seems that dissin
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from ation is really getting high tech isn't it and countries are deploying all sorts of artificial intelligence and bots that can work around social media defenses how much of an issue is this show but i think can cross the really important scientific milestone in the last 12 months where we're now able to generate both images videos and text that's indistinguishable from what a human can produce some machines and now indistinguishable from humans and people who have a desire to manipulate populations realty to do that at a super human scale alyssa's look forward sure if we can do to this year's u.s. presidential election how concerned are you when are you seeing an increase in dissin from asian from other states at. yeah look we've seen i think the 1st experiments in 26 train have now it's all a very very profession. actions that take into account not just social media but go
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through all sorts of different media channels and this would kind of characterize this is a mythic elation a crisis them to this is been effectively weaponized and it's now being deployed to good effect and so we're going to see impact in this for the next election for sure all the any lessons that we can learn from the 2016 election 'd that we can pull through to 2020 yeah look i think i think the 1st here is that the technology and 26 thing was very very primitive we now are at a place where you can order made a lot of these things and what that means is that you can i say test messages that have been generated by machines and couple that with pictures that are being generated by machines and you can i be to set the scale of millions to really find targeted messages that are going to appeal to each kind of individual on a on a very very customized isis so we've seen that i think you know the technology is going to increase and in terms of defenses i think you know the major defense that we've got is just educating the population that they are going to be susceptible to
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large scale manipulation campaigns show let's just talk about the british if we can for a 2nd because we don't know for sure if there was any interference in the u.k.'s bragg's it campaign does it worry you though that there was no real public concern no effort by the british government to launch an inquiry into this but we do know that it was a large volume of tweets coming out on social media that were generated by thoughts very very large number of it and we know that that likely was from an outside site aca. you know i do think this should have pain and best advice and this i mean the reality is if you're a democracy and this well to die and you value freedom of speech and you don't want to censor information you are going to be susceptible to manipulation attacks at the kind that we've seen in the us elections and i'm sure. you know we're going to keep saying so you know this is something that democracies need to take very very seriously yeah and sean i mean it does pose the question doesn't it i mean do intelligence services have the resources to tackle these attempts to subvert
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liberal democracies do you think you know look there's a nice symmetry here if you look at this from the perspective that the return on investment it's actually a very very cheap attack that yields huge kind of disruption and the reality here is that you know it has to be defended against in the same way as she did going to get any other attack on a democracy from kinetic weapons we're going to have to sign with these kind of information weapons and you know it's something that you know that france is now kind of working up to is taking very seriously and so on just to get a final thought from you how do we know as individuals that we're being targeted i think it's safe to assume that you are and it's your responsibility as a citizen of a democratic country to do everything you can say educate yourself around that i think it's also a responsibility for the platforms that a serving of everything in their power to make sure that you've got the context the information that's sitting in front of you i think the bottom line is it's both on
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the platforms and it's on us as individual citizens to do our homework all right sean go to great to get your thoughts thanks for talking to counting the cost thank you and that is our show for this week but remember you can get in touch with us via twitter and use the hash tag a j c t c when you do all you can drop us an e-mail counting the cost of al-jazeera dot net is our address. but there's more for you online at al jazeera dot com slash c.t.c. that will take you straight to a page which has individual reports links and entire episodes for you to catch up on. and that's it for this edition of counting the cost i'm darren jordan from the home team here thanks for joining us the news and al-jazeera is next.
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a global pandemic mass protests demanding change economic recession and geopolitical tensions not to mention the small matter of a looming election join me steve clemons in conversation with leading voices on the bottom line your weekly take on u.s. politics and society on al-jazeera. global food production is wastrels and the streaming our planet. but pioneers are adapting with new food sources jellyfish is delicious with a very light seafood taste and a texture and some that alum ari. and innovative production techniques i've seen are vertical farm before i would never in a restaurant after say this is great earthrise feeding the 1000000000 on a jersey to. be the hero the world needs.
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washing. revote ready to get to work rebuilding this nation and building a better white house hopeful joe biden and running mate come on harris make their campaign trail debut attacking president trump to his handling of the coronavirus and damage. in just 83 days we have a chance to choose a better future for our country. hello i'm don jordan this is down to 0 live from doha also coming up from.


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