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tv   CNN Special Report  CNN  October 17, 2020 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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the following is a cnn special report. >> april 1945. world war ii. with america and britain just inches from victory. winston churchill surveys the battlefield. there's own one thing worse than fighting with allies, he said. fighting without them. winston churchill, meet donald trump. >> our plan will put america
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first. >> our friends in the world, they're laughing at us. >> i don't care about friends. i don't care about allies. >> we fought wars with them. we bled and died with them. >> america turns inward, away from the world. >> the united states has taken its marbles and gone home. >> we have become a real object of pity and scorn. >> no longer the indispensable nation. >> i don't recognize my country. >> we are not who we think we are. >> a president insulting allies. >> in france, they have all sorts of problems. germany is a disaster. >> leaders like merkel and macron tried to work with trump. >> he views every foreign relationship as if that company is renting space in trump tower. >> a president embracing tyrants.
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>> he wrote me beautiful letters. we fell in love. >> he does admire strong men. >> a shocked world watches. the great retreat. >> we have seen the battle field. >> the united states has been absent. >> another power rises. >> china's returning to the global stage. >> then a killer virus shakes the global order. >> the dysfunction, the death of developed countries in the world, the worst. more deaths, more infections. >> a cascade of mistakes. >> what happens to the world without america at the wheel? >> we are in very big trouble. >> good evening. i'm fareed zakaria. after four years of the trump presidency, what does the world make of america today? it's a question americans shy away from asking for fear of the answer. we must ask, because we are living through a great
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transition. americans are already voting for the next president, even in the midst of a pandemic. even as the president has been sick with covid-19. we used to know exactly who we were. the planet's sole superpower, with the strongest alliances in the history of the world. if that is no longer true, who are we? if we needed our allies, would they stand beside us now? or is america first america alone? our story begins in london. december of last year. donald trump arriving in britain for a high stakes nato summit. he left behind a washington in turmoil. impeachment hearings were just beginning. >> article two does not give him the power to do anything he wants. >> what a disgrace to this committee.
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>> passionate arguments about high crimes and misdemeanors. in london, the mood was tense. trump alienated many of europe's power brokers. macron had embraced trump at first. >> we have a special relationship. in fact, i will get that piece of dandruff off. >> relations turned icy. >> would you like isis fighters? >> let's be serious. >> angela merkel had little patience for the american president. boris johnson of the uk appeared friendly. but hadn't always been. >> i think donald trump is out of his mind. he is betraying a stupefying ignorance. >> the queen was holding a reception for nato leaders at
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buckingham palace. the mood grew edgy as everyone waited. donald trump was late. one group of leaders was enjoying itself. canada's justin trudeau, boris johnson, emanuel macron, princess anne and the dutch prime minister. they were caught in a hot mike moment. making fun of the american president. >> they were essentially laughing at the u.s. president. that's remarkable. >> the president of the united states, the most powerful country in the world, being mocked by some of its own staunchest allies.
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>> how low can we go? how far can we fall? we are the united states of america. we are being laughed at. >> donald trump ran for office saying that other countries were laughing at us and they wouldn't laugh at us anymore. >> they are laughing at us. we don't know what we're doing. they are laughing at us because they think we're stupid. >> what we saw was actually the literal exhibit of what he was talking about. how did that happen? >> i think the world doesn't know what to make of us anymore. for the first time, we have actually become frightening for people. >> diplomats and experts have come to the same judgement. >> donald trump's affect on america's standing on the world has been nothing short of disastrous. >> donald trump introduced an element of brutality and vulgarity. this is not the way we are supposed to run decent democratic societies. >> we're in very big trouble. i'm terribly worried.
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i feel like we need to sort of find a bench, sit down, clear our head. remember who we are, how we got here. >> it wasn't so long ago that we were the world's great superpower. >> mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall. >> the united states led the world in a titanic struggle against soviet communism. >> we meant to change a nation, and instead, we changed a world. >> reagan saw the soviets as an evil empire. america as a shining city on a hill. >> after 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge. her glow is held steady no matter what storm. >> when the berlin wall came
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down in 1989, it brought the cold war down with it. decades of nuclear fears began to fade. germans tore the wall apart with their hands. the final blow came in 1991. the flag of the soviet union was lowered for the final time. >> an era comes to an end. >> america was the last superpower left standing. that was the world we got used to. america striding in, making war, making peace. that vision of america has changed radically. >> from this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. from this day forward, it's
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going to be only america first. >> get off my lawn. that really is trump's message to the world. get the hell off my lawn. >> to trump, the enemy is globalism. >> americaism, not globalism, will be our credo. >> when trump talks about how much he hates globalism, what he means is why do we have so many agreements with other countries? to him there are winners and losers. you make a deal, you give up something. >> trump is a real estate tycoon and a marketing guy.
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so he views every foreign relationship as if that country is renting space in trump tower. he thinks anything that is multilateral means he is giving away rent for free. >> as president, trump has walked away from more international deals than any president in history. >> thank you very much. >> there was the nuclear deal with iran. >> the iran deal is defective at its core. >> the paris climate accords. >> i was elected to represent the citizens of pittsburgh, not paris. >> what we have said to the world is, you can't make a deal with the united states and have confidence that that deal will endure beyond the life of any given administration. think how deadly and dangerous that is. >> trump has taken an ax to almost every foreign trade deal created by his predecessors. >> transpacific partnership.
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>> he killed off the transpacific partnership. he replaced bill clinton's nafta. >> we are the piggy bank to the world. >> he believes the world is stealing america blind. it has been an obsession for trump for decades. this interview with oprah was done 32 years ago. >> you took out an ad in u.s. papers criticizing u.s. foreign policy. what would you do differently? >> i would make our allies -- the enemies you can't talk to. i would make our allies pay their fair share. we let japan come in and dump everything into our markets. it's not free trade. >> this sounds like political, presidential talk to me. people have talked to you about whether you want to run. would you ever? >> probably not. >> trump's xenophobia is iconically not aimed at america's enemies but rather at its closest allies. the countries of nato. many of whose soldiers have
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fought and died in american led wars for 70 years. >> nato is obsolete. it's old. it's fat. it's sloppy. >> before leaders were caught mocking trump, the resentment was plain. he has broached the idea of america quitting nato. >> that would in my view be a true disaster. we fundamentally feel these are our allies. we fought wars with them. we bled and died with them. >> trump has no memory of landing on normandy beach. >> donald trump made clear from very early on, i don't care about friends. i don't care about allies. that was profoundly shocking. >> even as donald trump pushes away allies, perhaps the most striking aspect of his foreign policy is his embrace of a bunch of dictators. his first foreign trip was to saudi arabia.
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he cemented his friendship with the young crown prince. when the cia revealed that he directed the murder of "washington post" journalist jamal khashoggi, trump ignored it. >> he's a very smart guy. he is a great negotiator. >> it's not clear what his friendship with kim jong-un accomplished. >> we fell in love. >> amid mounting evidence that the young leader has continued to build his nuclear arsenal. then there is putin. >> we spent years reckoning with this question of why donald trump is so deferential, admiring, submissive in the face of vladimir putin. >> even now, the fbi says vladimir putin is trying to
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manipulate the presidential election. just as he did in 2016. >> russia. russia. >> this frightening reality elicits not one word of objection from the president. >> russia. russia is looking at our election. russia. here we go again. russia, russia, russia. >> there's one utterly puzzling moment that seems to sum it up. the helsinki summit. >> would you now with the world watching tell president putin, would you denounce what happened in 2016 and would you warn him to never do it again? >> my people came to me, dan coats came to me and some others. they said, they think it's russia. i have president putin, he just said it's not russia. i will say this, i don't see any reason why it would be. >> you have been watching perhaps one of the most disgraceful performances by an american president at a summit in front of a russia leader that i have ever seen. >> reaction at home was swift
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and fierce. >> i think it's imperative he understand that he is misjudging putin. >> he is playing into the hands of putin. what the hell is going on? >> for america's allies, alarm. >> european leaders who have been allies of the united states for decades are horrified. >> we are in a zone where president trump is essentially saying, all these great friends and allies of the united states, they are competitors. he feels free to criticize them at will. these people over here are are friends of ours. it's a world turned upside down. >> i'm worried about america. more than in my whole lifetime. >> it's not just experts. the world is worried.
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a recent pew poll asked people in 13 countries how much they trust the united states and its president. never in the history of polling has the u.s. ranked this low. as for donald trump, he has a lower approval rating than vladimir putin. now it seems, putin may have found a new best friend. we have developed a level of trust with china says putin. still ahead, while america withdraws from the world -- >> it was an opportunity. >> -- china surges ahead. what if i sleep hot? ...or cold? introducing the new sleep number 360 smart bed. now temperature balancing, so you can sleep better together. can it help keep me asleep? absolutely, it intelligently senses your movements and automatically adjusts to keep you both effortlessly comfortable. can it help with snoring? i've never heard snoring. exactly. no problem ...and done. so you can really promise better sleep? not promise... prove.
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they should really turn this ride off. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ (burke vo) start with a quote at 1-800-farmers we will sign three memorandums. >> three days after he was inaugurated -- >> we have been talking about this for a long time. >> -- president trump pulled america out of the largest trade deal in history. >> that's it. great thing for the american worker what we just did. >> the transpacific partnership. it had been brokered by president obama in part to reign in china.
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>> we have successfully concluded the transpacific partnership. [ applause ] >> the u.s. and 11 allies making up 40% of the world economy had banded together to blunt beijing's growing clout. >> if we don't do this, china will be writing the rules. >> we will keep out of the transpacific partnership. >> when trump left the deal, the chinese were thrilled. trump has given us a huge gift a chinese major general said. >> you could win against china if you are smart. >> for all of trump's tough talk. >> we can't continue to allow china to rape our country. >> his retreat from the world has allowed china to surge forward.
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forging new alliances. delivering its own marshal plan. coming one step closer to becoming a superpower. this is the story of america first as seen through china's eyes. >> an astounding upset victory -- >> november 2016. >> amid scandal, bluster and insult, donald trump won the presidency. >> trump's surprise victory. >> i just received a call from secretary clinton. >> left china in a state of shock. >> they want to take your throat out. cut you apart. we will stand up to china. >> what would trump do as president?
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>> i beat china all the time. >> to one of his favorite targets on the campaign trail. the communist party enlisted an army of think tanks to study trump meticulously. soon realized, he was someone they could deal with and even manipulate. they wooed him with pageantry. >> the proud owner of 35 new trademarks in china. >> they approved valuable rights for his businesses. >> it's them that's the problem. >> they have taken advantage of us. >> china's loudest critic. >> a very, very good meeting with president xi. i have great respect for him. we have developed a friendship. >> was calling its leader his friend.
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>> it's going to be only america first. >> what's more, trump's abdication of america's leadership -- >> we're going to do tremendous things for china and the united states. >> was playing right into china's hands. >> this from china's perspective was thrilling. it was an opportunity. >> we just officially terminated tpp. >> as trump backed out of the transpacific partnership -- >> the regional comprehensive economic partnership -- >> the chinese were moving forward with their own massive trade deal. >> will count for a quarter of global trade. >> with some of america's allies. >> when we withdraw from the global stage, they can advance their model of global leadership. >> a revival of the old silk route. link 66 countries. >> china was pushing one of the
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most ambitious diplomatic efforts since world war ii. >> an extraordinary ambitious move. >> a massive infrastructure plans. >> build projects. >> called the belt and road initiative. >> this measure is america's answer to the challenge facing the free world today. >> it has been compared to the marshal plan. >> american help to supplement european self-help. >> when america helped to rebuild post war europe. winning over valuable allies. >> the italian prime minister, the first g7 leader to belt xi's initiative. >> china hopes to do the same thing around the world. building railways in kenya. a major port in pakistan. enormous projects in over 60 countries, costing an estimated $1 trillion. that's more than seven times bigger than the marshal plan. >> china arrived in some cases so aggressively that it turned
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people off. >> meanwhile, trump was telling the world, it's america first. >> we don't make great deals anymore. >> his main obsession with china was getting a big, beautiful trade deal. >> i promise you. >> confronting the chinese alone on trade, without enlisting the clout of america's allies, was a costly mistake. >> china countered with its own tariffs. significant income losses will continue. >> consumers will notice prices going up. >> trump's trade war was mostly paid for by american consumers. it punished america's businesses more than the chinese. slashing their stock prices by an estimated $1.7 trillion according to the federal reserve bank of new york. over 3,000 american companies are suing the administration over the tariffs.
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including household names like ford and home depot. in january 2020, with the election looming, trump tried to declare victory signing a phase one deal with the chinese. >> this is the biggest deal anybody has seen. >> after all of that economic pain, it accomplished hardly any of the administration's main goals. >> why did you accept a partial deal? >> we never had an agreement. it's like a free-for-all. this is a great agreement. >> had trump challenged with america's allies and leveraged all of their economic clout, things may have turned out very differently. >> what trump did instead was make it about trump versus xi over who has the biggest tariff. he does not think in alliance terms.
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>> in may, in the middle of a pandemic -- >> we will be today terminating our relationship with the world health organization. >> trump said the u.s. would leave the world health organization. a convenient scapegoat for his catastrophic response to the virus. the u.n. agency that helped eradicate smallpox, which the u.s. once dominated, is now more and more china's domain. and today, we're turning on 5g across the country. with the coverage of 5g nationwide. and, in more and more cities, the unprecedented performance of ultra wideband. the fastest 5g in the world. it will change your phone and how businesses do everything. i'm proud, because we didn't build it the easy way,
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the united states is the world's leader in science. renounced for its medical expertise. it has the best research universities, top public health institutions and the most nobel prize winners in the world. >> the united states is the country that people come to for medical treatment if they can afford it. >> hospitals are facing a crisis. >> how could this happen here? >> doctors and nurses in short supply. >> the world was shocked by america's response to the worst public health crisis in a century. >> in new york hospitals, they have had to bring refrigerated trucks in to act as morgues. >> no question, it has tarnished
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the image of the united states. >> these are painter masks. get us equipment. >> in the richest country in the world, doctors and nurses on the front line were forced to fend for themselves. >> what is that? it looks like a garbage bag. >> it is. >> the united states now has a higher death toll than any other country in the world, including developing nations like brazil and mexico. it is still rising. >> what you saw was not just one mistake. you saw a cascade of mistakes. >> historically, it had been america that made donations of medical supplies to the world. now the u.s. was getting emergency shipments of medical supplies from china. even after the president blamed that country for the crisis. a plane load of supplies from russia. >> the united states is getting
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help battling coronavirus from an unlikely source, russia. >> it was a very nice offer from president putin. i said, i will take it. >> imagine what that looks like to the rest of the world. >> russia was one of the countries worst hit by the virus. now, vladimir putin seems to say, at least we are doing better than the americans. in the u.s., he says, politics have been put above the health of the people. america made its most consequential mistake in february when it should have begun mass producing covid-19 tests. >> we keep hearing is we're going to ramp up testing. the question is, when, where are the supplies? >> testing never got up to speed. >> i don't recognize my country. >> the cdc's initial test kits were faulty. >> the dysfunction, the death. >> the federal government never established a national system to make sure test results came in within 48 hours. the time frame needed for contact tracing to be effective.
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tests were seemingly available to celebrities and sports teams before they got to many front line workers who needed them. south korea recorded its first case of covid-19 one day before the united states. its covid death toll is under 500. america's is over 210,000. it is not just south korea. taiwan, hong kong, new zealand, australia, germany, all did far better than america. a key reason, of course, was that donald trump never took the virus seriously. >> it's going to disappear one day. it's like a miracle, it will disappear. the risk to the american people remains very low. >> he rarely wore a mask in public. even after he got it himself. >> don't let it dominate you.
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>> america's failure made headlines around the world. single largest driver of coronavirus misinformation according to one study was donald trump. >> there's no covid. it's a fake pandemic. >> meanwhile, angela merkel, a trained scientist, has led germany through the pandemic armed with facts. we cannot fight this with lies or hate, she says. we are seeing the limits of denials and populism. one of the most shocking aspects of america's failure is that for decades the u.s. was the leader in the battle against global disease.
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from helping to found the world health organization to efforts to combat polio, smallpox, aids and ebola. >> when america puts itself on the sidelines, the world becomes a really much more unstable, less secure and less prosperous place. >> trump's decision to pull out of the w.h.o. sparked an international uproar. at the u.n., china appeared to chide america. major countries should act like major countries said xi. behave responsibly and help the world. as the world races to find a vaccine, american companies are well positioned to be among the first to develop and deploy one. even here, the trump administration has spurned international cooperation. it has refused to join an international vaccine effort involving more than 170 nations. >> we cannot defeat this pandemic as a divided world. >> when the united states is able, not only do we harm our own interest, but we are failing to bring the world together to
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3% at drugstores, 3% on dining including takeout, and 1.5% on everything else you buy. chase. make more of what's yours. who'sgovernor gavin newsom. the governor says prop 15 is, "fair, phased-in, and long overdue reform", that "will exempt small businesses and residential property owners." join governor newsom. vote yes on 15.
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who's supkamala harris.5? harris says, "a corporate tax loophole has allowed billions to be drained from our public schools and local communities. no more. i'm proud to support prop 15." vote yes. schools and communities first is responsible for the content of this ad. long before donald trump talked america first, back when he was trying to make atlantic city great again, in the last decade of the 20th century, america reigned supreme. the 1990s, the down of the internet revolution.
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>> you've got mail. >> not only it seemed like we were inventing the future, we were. >> apple could not churn out computers fast enough to satisfy demand. >> an explosion of innovation. >> gps. >> an economy that roared. >> america seemed to have the right formula. >> this came before donald trump. how the world's sole superpower began the squandering of its historic power and status. as we entered a new century. an american tragedy. a challenge for american power. >> this has all the appearances of an extraordinarily well coordinated and devastating terrorist attack. >> 9/11 was the beginning of the 21st century.
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a different phase of american power. >> at first, the u.s. stood strong with friends by its side. >> the world rallied to us after 9/11, russia, china, certainly europeans. there was a sense america was wounded and people knew that wasn't good for the world. >> with overwhelming international support, the bush administration went to war against al qaeda and the taliban in afghanistan. two years later -- >> at this hour, american and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm iraq. >> america decided to go to war with iraq, despite allied protests and to do it largely unilaterally. >> done bypass the united states and on the basis of faulty intelligence. >> distinguish between al qaeda and saddam when you talk about
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the war. >> days into operation iraqi freedom, america appeared victorious. >> we will be greeted as liberators. >> in a matter of weeks, all hell broke loose. it soon became clear, washington had gone in with few troops and no plans for a post-invasion iraq. >> i hate all american. >> it is a fundamental misunderstanding to see those images over and over and over again of some boy walking out with a vase and saying, my goodness, you didn't have a plan. that's nonsense. they know what they're doing. they're doing a terrific job. it's untidy. freedom is untidy. free people are free to make mistakes. >> perhaps the greatest damage to america's credibility was this. >> we have firsthand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails. >> the intelligence powell
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shared with the world was false. >> the weapons of mass destruction weren't there. that revealed a level of disorder, a chaos at the top of american politics. >> the incompetence of the bush administration harmed america's reputation. >> abuse that included beatings. >> so did accusations of war crimes. >> completely undermined our leadership role in the region. >> the iraq war raged on for years. costing hundreds of thousands of lives and by some estimates nearly $2 trillion. one man who watched closely as the iraq fiasco weakened the u.s. was vladimir putin. >> at the time that the united states was beginning to go out into afghanistan, vladimir putin was beginning to try to re-establish in his mind a level of russian power that hadn't existed in decades. >> i looked the man in the eye. i was able to get a sense of his
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soul. >> for years since the fall of the soviet union, russia and the u.s. have played nice. russians had become frustrated with america. there had been no american marshal plan for moscow. then washington attacked russia's allies, serbia, and liberated kosovo. it expanded nato to russia's borders. >> good-bye. >> the u.s. invasion of iraq without approval from the security council suggested an out of control superpower. in 2007, the russian president decided he had had enough and he wanted the world to know. >> translator: the united states has overstepped its national borders in every way. who would like that? >> this was putin's coming out. he decided it was time to push back on the united states. >> the speech was very aggressive. >> the speech was a turning
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point. putin was setting out his opposition. >> did we in some sense create vladimir putin? >> we didn't create putin. but we created the conditions where putin's message is ultra-nationalist, the west is out to get us message. really resonated with the russian public. >> then as if the failed war in iraq weren't enough to threaten american dominance -- >> this is the worst financial crisis since the great depression. >> an economic meltdown of catastrophic proportions. >> 2008 for many countries around the world, for many leaders was the emperor has no clothes. >> the implosion of many banks shook the world's confidence in america's system. >> it was doomsday. >> overnight, trillions of dollars in value evaporated, not just for american businesses,
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but for foreign investors and financial markets across the globe. >> it was really something that rotten at the core of the american economic system. >> u.s. unemployment went through the roof. >> 2008, nearly 1.2 million jobs have disappeared. >> these two crises, iraq and the financial meltdown, one military, one economic, fuelled a sense that america's elites had blown it. it allowed for the rise of a populous demagogue. >> we will make america wealthy again. strong again. proud again.
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throughout our history any time something bad has happened to us ...we've recovered. every time. we fall, we rise. we break, we rebuild. we stumble, we learn. we come together. we work together. we innovate and create. we meet up and get to work. we find our way forward. every time. this has been the key to our survival, the key to our growth that whenever we thought we were at our weakest, this is when we became the strongest, became the best version of ourselves, and found our way home. together. masimo. together in hospital.
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together at home. in 1941 in "life" magazine, at the time the dominant media platform in the united states, the famed editor henry luz wrote an editorial urging americans to forsake their old isolationism and embrace their new global responsibilities. throughout the 17th century and the 18th century and the 19th century, he wrote, this continent teemed with manifold projects and magnificent purposes. above them all and weaving them all together into the most exciting flag of all
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the world and have all of history was the triumphant purpose of freedom. it is in this spirit that all of us are called, each to his own measure of capacity and each in the widest horizon of his vision to create the first great american century. so was born a beautiful phrase and a grand concept. but from its earliest days, the american century was compromised. at first by the soviet union. presenting a different vision for the world. washington built an alliance of democracies then and fought the cold war for four decades and won. and then as the 1990s began, it seemed that finally luz's vision for america had come true. the world was going washington's way. ancient civilizations like china and india had given up socialism and nonalignment and joined the open international economy and the global system. the american dream had become the global dream.
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presiding above it all, pioneering the information revolution, america looked more powerful and respected than any country since the heights of the roman empire. it didn't last long. in part this was because the international system never stands still and is now moving at warp speed. the countries that rose from poverty kept rising until, like china, they have become formidable competitors with economic growth comes political and cultural confidence. these countries from brazil to turkey to india, all act now with greater independence and strength than ever before. partly the nature of power itself has become more diffuse. what does it mean to be the most powerful country in the world when you cannot quell an insurgency in iraq? nor counter the pervasive influence of social media or secret attacks in cyberspace?
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but all this taken into account, it must be said. washington squandered its supremacy. during its moment of ascension, the united states acted in ways that were arbitrary, unilateral and narrowly self-interested. it attacked iraq without any u.n. mandate. it withdrew from international treaties and courts and organizations. it levied unilateral sanctions on its own allies. the path to extending liberal hegemony as i have written is simple. be more liberal and less hegemonic. washington was the opposite. donald trump might seem an abrasion, a crazy expression of some of the demons in america, distrustful of the world, of allies, of immigrants, of foreigners. there is, however, another america. an america that built the united
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nations and the world bank and unicef and the world health organization. that is also part of america's history. the question for the country is, can it recover that older tradition? can it remember its own legacy to the world? can it renovate, rebuild and recommit to its world historical mission? to create a better future? it is still not too late. i am fareed zakaria. thanks for watching. >> i have drawn some of the ideas in this special from my new book, "ten lessons for a post-pandemic world." ♪
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announcer: the following is a cnn special report. he's gone from a young politician with swagger. >> they said we think you should run for the senate. i said i'm not old enough. >> to a young father suffering great loss. >> my brother looked at me and said she's sad, isn't she? >> he's an irishman with a life story that reads like a greek tragedy. >> how can you experience the worst thing imaginable twice in one lifetime? >> his career has been long and often controversial. >> do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god?


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