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tv   Fareed Zakaria GPS  CNN  September 1, 2013 7:00am-8:01am PDT

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just search for state of the union. "fareed zakaria gps" is next for our viewers here in the united states. welcome to all our viewers in the united states and around the world, this is a special, live edition of "gps," the global public square. i'm fareed zakaria in istanbul, turkey. if you cross behind me and went a few hundred miles, you'd be in syria. if you went through the other way you would reach the mediterranean where u.s. warships are at the ready for possible orders to launch missiles at syria. and that's where we'll focus the show today on president obama's dual decisions announced saturday, that the united states should take military action, but that he would seek congress' approval first. we'll start the show with big minds in foreign policies.
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whether those decisions were right for america and the world. then to politics. the british parliament decided against military action in syria. will the u.s. congress do the same thing? and i'm in the region, so we'll take the pulse of it. what is actually going on inside syria? and is it now a regional war? but first here's my take. last march, president obama spoke off the cuff about how syria's use of chemical weapons would be a game changer. it has turned out to be, except not quite in the sense that he meant. it's been an event that has confused and con founded the obama administration. whatever your views on the larger issues, it's hard not to conclude that the administration's handling of syria over the last year has been a case study in how not to foreign policy. the president started out with an understanding that the syrian conflict is a messy sectarian
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struggle that cannot be included easily by american military intervention. he was disciplined in resisting calls to jump into a cauldron. but from the start, he confused and undermined this policy with loose rhetoric. perhaps egged on by some of his advisers and critics to do something. so he announced just over two years ago that president assad of syria had to go. now, a pundit can engage in grandiose rhetoric. the president of the united states should make declarations like that only if he has a strategy to actually achieve it. he did not. in truth, obama and many others miscalculated. they believed that assad's regime was near the end, misreading both its strength and brutality, but also the level of support it has from several segments of syrian society. then, just about a year ago, came the off-the-cuff remarks about a red line on chemical
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weapons. insufficiently thought through but now publicly stated and definitive. since then, american foreign policy towards syria has largely within concerned about ensuring that obama's threat does not seem empty. after all, what american national interest is being followed? the administration says it is upholding international law. except, as fred kaplan points out, the institutions that embody international law and consensus, the united nations and other international organizations, do not support this action. the united states plus france and turkey cannot be considered the embodiment of international law and global public opinion. the nature of the strike we are told will be short and symbolic. a shot across the bow in the midst of a civil war in which both sides are in a high-stakes struggle for survival. does anyone think this will make any difference? and then the strangest twist, an unplanned last-minute appeal to
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congress, paving the way for further delay, weakening momentum, erasing what little surprise existed, and setting the stage for a potential defeat at home. i don't think that this strike, should it eventually take place, will be as damaging as critics fear. the assad regime will likely hunker down, take it and move on. it will make little difference one way or the other. but the manner in which the obama administration has first created and then mismanaged this crisis will cast a long shadow on america's role in the world. that's my view. let's get started. we are live in istanbul, turkey, a country that shares a 500-mile border with syria. you just heard my take. now let's hear from two experts on u.s. foreign policy.
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he served as national security adviser to president jimmy carter and richard haas is the president of the council on foreign relations. he served as director of policy planning at the state department and he is the author of "foreign policy begins at home." welcome. let me start with you. secretary kerry revealed on cnn on the preceding show that the united states now has independent confirmation of sarin signatures. do you believe that this case is now both clear and important enough for the united states to act? >> i think the fact is that we are very heavily committed to act. presidential leadership is at stake. american credibility is at stake. i think the worst outcome would be now to act indecisively. the vote in congress, for example, if it turns out to be split evenly or if there's a very heavy vote against it will
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further complicate issues. i hope the united states acts now in keeping with its commitment. it has made a commitment. i hope congress supports the president. i hope we then close the chapter on two years, as you have correctly described them, are very inept performance by the united states internationally. we now have to think in a larger perspective. we have to ask ourselves is the region sliding into an explosion. and what can we do, together with others, to avert that. >> richard, is it possible for us to make this move, to do the strike, because at this point not to do it would clearly be -- would be in some ways a collapse of credibility, but to do it and then stop, as he is suggesting? have we not inched forward over the last year more and more to a point where we have a dog in
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this fight? >> well, it's important to do the strike. as you say, we've made it more difficult on ourselves with the delay, with now the need for congressional authorization. we've raised all sorts of questions about our reliability. we've raised questions about our predictability and so forth. i also think we've now made it more difficult to thread the needle as the president wants to do. all along he said he wanted to reinforce this norm against chemical weapons use. he doesn't want to get the united states enmeshed in the syrian civil war. now with the ability to prepare psychologically and physically against these attacks, it seems that the administration needs to do a pinprick or a shot across the bow or anything token doesn't underscore the norm. it defeats the purpose, which is to inflict real pain and cost on the syrian government for using chemical weapons. so to use a different metaer
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for, it's a real goldilocks challenge. he has to make the point but not so much that we get dragged into the civil war. finding that spot is going to be difficult. >> is that possible? because at the end of the day it is a civil war. and by attacking assad, you are indirectly helping the sunni militias that are trying to oust him. the largest, best organized of which is al nusra which is deeply allied with al qaeda. so we are not only taking sides in a civil war but we are helping guys in afghanistan and yemen we are actually trying to kill with drones. >> you are absolutely right. i have been saying that for almost two years. i think the whole approach has been misconceived. but i'm operating right now from the point at which we are currently. what do we do now? it seems to me he has to go through some symbolic military action because he has committed himself so heavily and i hope the country supports him.
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but beyond that we have to move towards a wider international effort to deal with the problem in syria but also in a larger regional context. we have to enlist not only our former colonial powers, namely the french and the british, in some joint effort, not necessarily the turks, who used to dominate the region, we have to involve the asian countries which are so dependent on a steady flow of oil from this region. they have to be very worried as to where this is headed. let's engage in some fashion also the russians, in spite of the aggressive and insulting language they're using. you know, one of mr. putin's closest associates said the other day, and i'm just reading it to you now, the west behaves towards the islamic world like a monkey with a grenade. we have to be aware of the fact that the russians may use this conflict, if it explodes, to undermine overall our position in the middle east. we have to create a situation in which it becomes in their
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interests to participate in the larger international initiative to define the rules of the game and the solutions for the current problems which go beyond syria, that is to say the overall potentially explosive state of the middle east. >> richard, you understand the republican party and foreign policy pretty well. you've served three republican presidents. what do you think the republican mood right now with regard to this issue is? >> well, the republican party, as you know, is split on foreign policy. you've got everything from minimalists who essentially want to have as little foreign policy as they can to so-called neocons who are quite assertive in their view that the united states ought to try to remake other countries abroad. and you've got those in between. i think there's also those in the republican party who want to weaken the president. that said, my guess is many will
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rally around some form of a resolution, simply because the cost of not supporting this would be enormous. i also think that whether, fareed, the next president is republican or democrat, this sets a strong precedent of going to the congress, not simply for approval, but for authorization. it in some ways diminishes presidential prerogative. it also puts the president in real trouble if congress narrows the authorization. so i think there's a lot of precedents here that are unfortunate for future republican or democratic presidents. and i think that what will happen as a result is that this republican party will be loathe to make it impossible for the united states to act, but this is not going to be, if you will, uncritical support. i'd just add one other thing. even if the president wins the vote, it doesn't provide a blank check of support or cover down the road. if this were to go badly.
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if the middle east, if you will, stays true to form, this is not going to protect the president from republican or from that matter democratic criticism in the future. >> one last quick thought from you. you know obama. you've been national security adviser. does this reflect some kind of breakdown of process? what went wrong? >> well, in a sense i think a lot of things went wrong. i think the president became simultaneously the chief executive, the principal spokesman and the policy shaper. without clear indication of what the strategy is. i think he stumbled into a series of tactical problems that now loom large as potentially strategic dangers. so i think that's part of the problem. secondly, i think our foreign policy in the middle east has been essentially ad hoc, never dealing comprehensively with the region but dealing with its
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separate parts. i think we're now beginning to pay the cost of that. we have to redeem ourselves in this respect, and this is where i agree, i think, with richard that an outcome in congress can be troublesome because the president -- precedent is being established that the president can not act. we have to launch a comprehensive regionwide international initiative which engages the major countries of the world that have a stake in this region of blowing up. these countries are not just western countries. in that context we might be able to seduce the russians into a more positive stance because the russians don't want to be isolated in the end and they are fearful of stability in the caucuses. putin has a stake in the winter olympics. there is leverage here that we can use intelligently if we have a long-term policy for the middle east as a whole and not
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just for disparate parts. >> thank you. very important messages. lots more ahead. we're going to dig deeper into britain's vote against striebing syria. what does it mean in the u.s. congress? we're live in istanbul, turkey, and we will be right back. so then the little tiny chipmunks go all the way up... ♪ [ female announcer ] when your swapportunity comes,
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it is clear to me that the british parliament reflecting the views of the british people does not want to see british military action. i get that and the government will act accordingly. >> welcome back to "gps." i'm fareed zakaria live from istanbul, turkey, today. that was british prime minister david cameron speaking in paurl lent, seeking approval to strike syria but he received defeat and accepted it. i have two expert watchers of politics on both sides of the pond.
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nicholas wopshot is a calm ul nis for reuters. the founded tor of "the times" magazine in london. welcome both. nicholas, is what happened in britain with the british parliament the price for iraq? in other words, the disenchantment that the british public and, transfer, its representatives feel about the whole iraq and the fact blair led them into war or is it about more than that, the unwillingness to play any kind of a world role? >> no, it's the first preeminently. it's about the fact that the iraq war cast a very long shadow on both sides of the atlantic. the interesting thing about cameron was that actually he didn't need to -- rather like obama, he didn't need consent from parliament but he like obama faces a divided parliament. he doesn't have a majority of his own people. it turned out there were just too many people who reasons
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completely unrelated to foreign policy were prepared to trip him up on this. he also didn't prepare himself properly, it's true to say. this came before that extraordinary convincing list from john kerry of reasons why we know who exactly did it. had he prepared the ground more carefully, i think that he wouldn't have found himself in a position. but for obama, he spoke to obama after his defeat. and for obama to walk straight into the same trap strikes me as bizarre. >> jay, when you listen to british parliamentarians saying they simply didn't understand why this was in british interests to get involved in this, do you hear enough echos of that among congressional republicans that makes you think that we might be surprised by the weakness of support from the congressional republicans? >> absolutely. you hear not just from congressional republicans but also from congressional democrats. this is an issue that splits
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both parties and you satisfactory hawks and doves on both sides. it's going to be very difficult to muster these votes. you'll see a lot of coalition building. it's interesting to see that you have both sides. both nancy pelosi, the leader of the democrats, and john boehner, the speaker, set their caucuses free and said you can vote your conscience here but we expect that we're going to have to build coalitions and spend a lot of time with both sides and see where the votes are. >> nicholas, you're a historian. you're writing actually about the anglo-american relationship. do you think that these kind of setbacks have occurred in the past? or is this new? is this the sort of end of the special relationship? >> no, i don't think it's the end of the special relationship but you're quite right that history tends to repeat itself in various forms.
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this wrote a book. it took two full years between the beginning of world war ii and pearl harbor was the final trigger but it took two years as the isolationists in congress tried to prevent him from doing what america now faces. it is the richest country in the world. it is the most powerful country in the world. if it foregoes the responsibility that goes with that wealth, then they are going to seed the ground to another country to start intervening or even worse, to allows country, the whole world, which is shrinking, you can hear it shrinking by the day, to become a lawless place. so the issues here are about as profound as you can get in terms of history of the world, i would say. >> nick, jay, thanks for joining us. we're going to stay on this story. up next, the regional perspective. what do syria's neighbors want the united states to do? turkey, lebanon, israel. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "gps," the global public square. i'm fareed zakaria coming to you live from istanbul, turkey.
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we've been talking about the situation in neighboring syria. should the united states strike damascus or not? what do people in the region think? a professor of international relations at turkey's university and fowas is in london. he is the author of "obama and the middle east, the ends of america's moment." welcome, both. soli, let me ask you, if the united states miscalculated about the durability of the assad regime, so did syria's next-door neighbor, turkey. the prime minister also thought assad would go and declared he was going to go and seems to have been caught in a similar miscalculation. turkey has been trying to build up some kind of moderate, legitimate alternative to assad as a political leadership and has very little to show for it. take us inside, what is going
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on? >> well, to begin with, i think most everyone in the world that wanted the assad regime to go made the same miscalculation thinking that the result is syria would be something similar to what happened in tunisia and then in egypt and you can say even in yemen and then in libya, but of course outside intervention. and it is true that the turkish government after having tried to convince assad to change his ways positioned itself squarely against him and tried to build a coalition and the syrian national council was born and raised inside turkey. but those efforts really didn't lead anywhere either in the sense that the syrian national council is a political force did not prove to be a very potent one and it could not really have a leadership that had much to say over what goes on in the territory. and the turkish government, i suppose, like the lebanese and the jordanian governments and
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the perhaps in particular is very unhappy both with the humanitarian disaster that is unfolding inside the country and the burdens that the war is inflicting on its own people and on its own interests actually. there are probably over 400,000 refugees here, over 500 in jordan and as many in lebanon that is really testing, especially those two countries, but even in turkey i think the available space to accommodate more and more refugees is becoming very limited. so turkey would like to see -- >> let me -- let me bring you in. fowas, let me bring you in. what do you think is going on in syria right now? do you believe that these strikes are going to be effective in deterring assad? >> my reading, fareed, is that the disadvantages of an american military strike outweigh any
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advantages. i don't think that an american military strike or strikes would make a critical difference. in fact most probably it would exacerbate an already complex situation. quickly. it would deepen the involvement of regional powers in the syrian conflict. this is not just a conflict between assad and the opposition, this is a regional conflict. you have two camps. turkey, saudi arabia and qatar and you have iran, syria, hezbollah and to a lesser extent iraq. you're going to see intensification of tensions. in particular tensions inside syria and neighboring states. if assad survives, i would argue that an american military strike would turn assad into an arab hero, standing to the might of the greatest american and western powers. and also, i think, what you might see is that an american attack or attacks, fareed, would rekindle collective memories in that part of the world of
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western and american efforts in the region to remind them of iraq and other campaigns in that part of the world. >> soli, let me ask you again, though, this issue of trying to create a moderate syrian opposition, this has been the stumbling block for the united states. as i understand it, they want to be more involved in helping create that opposition, they just can't find it. turkey has had a similar experience. are we to conclude from that that the opposition to assad is largely very sectarian, very hard-line sunnis and it's very hard to find kind of moderate, pluralistic, more mainstream kind of people who we could ally with? >> well, the thing is, by now it is very fragmented and it appears from every report that i personally saw that the most radical, most violent elements are the ones that actually have
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some power. i mean there is no central authority to which the fighters on the land can actually turn to. there's no one that commends either respect or loyalty from all the groups inside. and most, i think, western countries in particular, and i suppose russia as well, fear that if assad falls, we will end up with a jihadist state, which will probably prompt the continuation of the war. therefore -- i mean, first of all, i agree with fawaz that a pinprick war with no strategic orientation, no political goals and directions will really not give us much at all. so diplomacy ought to be pursued. and if i may make a comment about something that was said earlier -- >> soli, let me -- i've got to cut you off because i need to
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ask fawaz very quick low on that issue. if there is going to be a diplomatic settlement, fawaz, very quickly, is russia the key? and can it be wooed? >> russia is a pivotal player, but this conflict, fareed, is a regional conflict. you have to involve the regional powers. turkey, saudi arabia and iran. you can not bounce around inn, hezbollah and iraq and take in saudi arabia. i hope the united states, the obama administration uses this particular moment to renew efforts of diplomacy, try to involve the regional powers who have major stakes in the conflict inside syria to end the carnage. this is not about the credibility of the u.s. presidency, this is about stopping the blood shed inside syria and the killing that has been taking place for two years and a half. >> we have to get out, soli, fawaz, thank you very much. i'm sorry we had to cut you off.
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there's much more ahead, including the latest headlines from around the world. we will be back. orta you? at humana, our medicare agents sit down with you and ask. being active. and being with this guy. [ male announcer ] getting to know you is how we help you choose the humana medicare plan that works best for you. mi familia. ♪ [ male announcer ] we want to help you achieve your best health, so you can keep doing the things that are important to you. taking care of our customers. taking care of her. and the next thing on our list is bungee jumping. [ male announcer ] helping you -- now that's what's important to us.
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[ male announcer ] helping you -- hd hello, everyone. i'm frederica when itfield at the cnn center in atlanta.
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fareed zakaria will have more in just a minute but first a look at today's major stories and other headlines. nelson mandela has been released from a hospital. the 95-year-old former south african president had been hospitalized since june for a lung infection. he remains in critical condition and will continue to receive care at home. in japan a sharp spike in radiation levels is reported in pipes and containers holding water at the fukushima nuclear plant. tokyo electric power company says only a single drop of highly contaminated water escaped the holding tanks. the company is confident its crews can deal with the problem safely. the fukushima plant was severely damaged in peculiar march of 20 the tsunami hit japan. veteran british broadcast david frost died of a heart attack last night. he was 74. frost was best known to u.s. audiences for his series of interviews with former president richard nixon. cnn's "reliable sources" will
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have more on david frost in the 11:00 a.m. hour. those are your top stories. i'm fredricka whitfield. now back to "fareed zakaria gps." now for our "when in the world segment." watching countries from around the world grow and prosper, we tend to assume that global poverty is falling. in fact the world bank says that in 1981, nearly half the world citizens were impoverished, they lived on less than $1.25 a day. today less than a fifth of the world's population lives in poverty. in raw numbers that translates to a 40% drop, from 2 billion to 1.2 billion people. when i dug deeper, i realized the picture was more murky. most of the reduction has to do with one country, china. take it out of the equation and the numbers look very different. let's go back to 1981. back then china accounted for
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43% of the world's poor. the other major contributors were south asia with 29% and subsaharan africa with 11%. past forward a decade and you'll see china's share of the world's poor began to drop. the trend continues through the 2000s. by 2010 china accounted for only 13% of the world's impoverished population. south asia's share had jumped to 42%. subsaharan had tripled to 34%. the world bank data shows the total number of impoverished chinese declined by 680 million in the last three decades. that's about 95% of the total global decline. by registering double-digit growth for three decades. beijing has transformed the fortunes of a poor nation within a generation. that's amazing, but it tells you that in the rest of the world, progress has been much, much slower, if there's been progress
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at all. there's a lesson here for other developing countries. take india, for example. new delhi has also made strides against poverty. the problem is those strides have only been a few steps ahead of population growth. look at the numbers. in 1981, 429 million indians lived in poverty. about 60% of the population. by 2010, the percentage of impoverished people had dropped to 33%. and yet the total number of indians living in poverty was still around 400 million. why? you see india's population had expanded by about half a billion. for all the millions who were lifted out of poverty, millions of others were born into it. what is the answer? growth. in the 1960s and '70s, india was infamously stuck in a rut of slow growth with a mediocre 2% a year. in the 1980s it began opening up and in the 1990s new delhi
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scrapped much of the socialist set of controls. by the mid-2000s india was growing at 9%. that helped create india's middle class and dramatically reduced the number of people living in poverty. but according to the pro free market kado institute, if those reform had had taken place two decades earlier, india today would have fewer impoverished people. 175 million fewer. that's why india's recent drop in economic growth is alarming. those most affected will be the poor. africa is also changing, but for its poorest, change is still too slow. look at this graph. since 1981, poverty rates have been dropping steadily in both the developing world and the world as a hole, but in subsaharan africa, poverty rates got slightly worse in the 1980s and '90s. it has only recently begun to turn the corner again, thanks in large part to faster economic growth. global poverty is falling, but china deserves most of the credit and thanks to the
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communist party of china, we now know that the path to poverty alleviation is capitalist led growth. lot more ahead. a fascinating look at how 3-d printing works and how it's going to change our lives.
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the star trek replicator could instantly fabricate anything out of thin air. it may be science fiction, but one mit professor says the real thing is coming, and soon. neil gershenfeld teaches one of
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the university's most popular classes called "how to make almost anything." and he says the next digital revolution is right around the corner. how would you like to design almost anything you wanted and produce it on demand? so you say the next big digital revolution is in fabrication. >> yes. >> explain what that means. >> what's emerging now is a science of digital fabrication that lets you turn data into things so we can program the physical world. and what it's leading to, the science is how to make the star trek replicator, and the impact is anybody can make anything. >> digital fabrication is already used for more than manufacturing prototypes or machine parts. nasa awarded $125,000 grant this year for the development of a 3-d printer that would create food from powders and oils. there are medical applications, like the production of
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custom-made prosthetic limbs. and believe it or not, scientists are even developing the technology to print human organs, and the machines that come to mind are kind of 3-d printers that layer through kind of a squirting process layer by layer build up something that looks like a physical object, but there are actually many, many different -- >> i've used every 3-d printer from the beginning. but that's among the least useful machines. it's like the 1950s telling the chef the future of your kitchen is a microwave oven. microwave ovens are good, we have them, but it doesn't replace the rest of the kitchen. >> if a 3-d printer is like a microwave, then what are some of the other kitchen appliances? at mit's lab there are high-powered lasers that can cut shapes very precisely allowing two-dwengs dimensional shapes to fit together to make three-dimensional structures. there are machines that cut wax for making molds and casting parts. there are water jet cutters where high pressure water pushds
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abrasive sand to cut materials. there are also milling machines that can manufacture other fabrication machines. >> we're transitioning now to a stage where not only can the machine make something, but the machine can actually make its own parts. >> nadia peak, a ph.d. student, developed this machine. controlled by a computer, it makes these inexpensive circuit boards. the circuit boards can in turn be used to control the machine. it can produce the parts it needs to run itself. >> explain the implications and the ramifications of this, because it strikes me as it seems to suggest that you in a sense have a complete transformation of manufacturing. let's say i'm on an oil rig somewhere. i would have five of these machines that would just manufacture every spare part i ever needed, things like that. >> you could certainly do that, but that's only a little piece of the impact. the impact is much broader. >> today 3-d printers deposit materials in layers. in the future, machines will
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deposit or assemble digital materials. this means tiny building blocks will be designed to put together perfectly, analogous to legos snapping together. just as pixels make up images on computer screens today, these materials will come together as what are essentially 3-dpixels which will make up physical objects. >> where the research is heading, is again the star trek replicator which builds from the atoms on um, at a real molecular level you assemble anything, and that may still be 20 years away. >> while we wait for the star trek replicator, he opened a fab lab in boston's south end that provides free access to digital fabrication machines for local children, teens and entrepreneurs in the community. >> we set up a community lab that was in between the research tools on campus and the star trek replicator in the future. it was maybe $50,000 worth of machines, and that was the whole
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project. >> but gershenfeld's whole project soon got a whole lot bigger. when m if theit and the nationa fabrication were asked to set up a fab lab in ghana. >> they started doubling. there are 200 now. they're above the arctic circle in ruralville annuals, in jalalabad and afghanistan, in shanty towns. every time we opened one, somebody else wanted one. the labs get used for education, learning skills. they get used for creating businesses. they get used for play. they get used to make art. then we link them globally with video and online content. >> around the world people are benefitting from these fab labs and the potential for this technology seems limitless. but as with many emerging technologies, there are downsides. in may of this year, a texas-based company successfully fired a bullet from a gun that was entirely made from a 3-d printer. some lawmakers have rushed to
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ban these guns, and the state department ordered that the online blueprints be removed. before they were, the blueprints were downloaded more than 100,000 times. so should we worry? >> one thing that people have pointed out about digital fabrication is you can make guns. you can make the keys to unlock any police cell in the world. you know, the power to use this in kind of disruptive ways is pretty intense. what do you say with that? >> any remotely well equipped workshop can make gun parts. and in fact if i gave you a choice between a gun made in a weak piece of plastic versus a gun made out of a piece of metal, you'd pick the piece of metal. >> you don't worry about the -- i mean you're giving individuals enormous power that perhaps they didn't have before. >> any technology in all of history has always been used for good stuff and bad stuff.
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it is at a cusp. what's limiting this and the opportunity is it's a real reinvention, how do you live, work and play. how do you organize society. >> big, big stuff. neil, thank you so much. >> my pleasure. and we will be back. 3w4r57 ♪ [ female announcer ] when your swapportunity comes, take it. ♪ what? what? what? [ female announcer ] yoplait. it is so good.
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. tomorrow is labor day in the united states and we pay tribute to working men and women. who do we have to thank for that? it brings me to my question of the week. which u.s. president signed the bill making labor day a national holiday? a, abraham lincoln, b, benjamin harrison, c, grover cleveland, or d, thomas jefferson. stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer. go to for more of the gps challenge. you can follow us on twitter and facebook. and remember, you can always go to if you ever miss a show or a special. this week's book of the week is "harvesting the biosphere." smill is an academic who has
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written widely and intelligently on a range of big topics. this one is about how much of the planet's resources we humans use up and how we're going to take up even more. it raises profound questions, provides some fascinating data and insights. it is not beach reading, but it is extremely rewarding. now for the last look. take a look at these stark images of refugees around the world. from syria, the sudan, afghanistan, iraq. across the globe some 45 million people have been forced from their homes by political conflict or violence. that's the highest in 18 years, according to the u.n. but this grim world, there is perhaps a bit of good news on the horizon. the u.s. high commissioner for refugees currently has two options for emergency shelter. a tent or a tent. anyone who's ever slept in a tent knows it's far from optimal for long-term stays.
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along comes the ikea foundation, the charitable arm of the furniture giant. armed with its wealth of experience mass producing big items that pack up small, it allied with the refugee housing unit and came up with a hard-sided shelter, powered by solar, that even the tallest somalis can stand up in. it packs up flat and it expected to cost about $1,000. prototypes are currently being set up and tested in ethiopia and are en route to lebanon and iraq. just don't lose the instruction manuel or the little wrench that comes in the box. the correct answer to our gps challenge question was c, grover cleveland. in 1894 president cleveland signed the law which designated the first monday in september as labor day. but ironically, cleveland was perceived to be anti-labor for sending 12,000 federal troops to stop a strike by the american railway union at the pullman
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company in chicago. about 30 workers died as a result and the bill was actually seen as a way to pacify organized labor. despite giving everyone a holiday, cleveland's party deserted him and did not nominate him for the next election in 1896. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. good morning. i'm fredricka whitfield. cnn's "reliable sources" hosted by brian stelter of "the new york times" will start in just a moment. first an update to the crisis in syria. let's go to nick payton walsh at the united nations where a briefing has just wrapped up. nick, what's the headline? >> reporter: well, we're getting a bit more indication of how long this process will take to get some sort of results out of u.n. inspectors. the spokesman for the u.n. would not give a timeline, wanted to stay well away from that. we do