tv Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN October 23, 2022 10:00am-11:00am PDT
on today's program, amidst the utter political and economic chaos in the united kingdom, liz truss resigns, becoming the shortest tenured prime minister in that country's history. >> i'm resigning as leader of the conservative party. >> what happens now? i'll ask "the economist quest editor in chief. then, next week, benjamin netanyahu might get a third stint as israel's prime minister. today, you'll hear from him about iran's nuclear program, israel's relations with its neighbors, his own relations with vladamir putin. >> i wouldn't call it a love affair, but i would call it a question of interest. >> and more. also -- the protests in iran have now been going on for more than a
month. and show no signs of slowing. i'll get the big picture from robin wright of "the new yorker," who calls this the world's first women-led counterrevolution. but first, here's my take. in late 1992, i started my first full-time job as managing editor of foreign affairs. i remember sorting through manuscript after manuscript, arguing that japan was going to take over the world. that claim was not unusual at the time. a big best seller of the year was the novel "rising sun." a call to arms for economic war with tokyo. in 1991, the book "the coming war with japan" predicted inevitable and major military conflict. during the 1992 presidential
primaries, one of the pitt -- pithiest campaign slogans came from democratic senator paul sonders. the cold war is over, he would say. japan won. what is striking about these words is that they all came well after the crash of the japanese stock market, which fell from its peak in december 1989. we now mark 1990 as the year that japan's giddy growth era ended. but at the time, people assumed this was just a temporary interruption. they saw the data, but then returned to their old thinking. could we be seeing something similar happen with china these days? it seems clear that china's growth is stalling. the country that, since 1978, has grown at an average of over 9% annually, is projected to grow about 3% this year. some think tanks have postponed their projections for when the country's economy would overtake the united states to become the world's largest economy, to 2030
or even later. some even suggest that this might never happen, which is striking, given that china's population is four times larger than america's. there are many reasons for this bearish mood about china. its crazy covid poll circumstances debt, and perhaps most consequential for the long-term, a demographic collapse. china's fertility rate is now lower than japan's. but above all looms the change of course away from the market, undertaken by the chinese government in the last ten years. china grew at a stunning pace since 1978 because it embraced markets and trade. but xi jinping has moved the country to a very different model, one that views the state as the primary engine of the economy, identifying industries, providing funding, and controlling the participants. and growth has stalled. but if we can see that china is weaker than we had thought a few years ago, has that led us to
change our conclusions accordingly? no. just as it is becoming clear that xi's embrace of the state and the made in china industrial policy is not working, washington has been visibly implementing its own version of chinese-style insticy. the situation is reminiscent of the late 1980s when americans spoke enviously of japan, who were in the process of making a series of future industries that flopped. xi's foreign policy has mostly been a failure. his expansionism have produced quantifiable results. unfavorable views of china have skyrocketed to near all-time highs in several countries according to a pew survey.
from australia to spain, countries have shifted away from beijing. from the expensive and messy belt and road initiative, to the efforts to rule eastern europe. the latter project, china's 16 plus one group, is fizzling due to country's disappointed expectations and beijing's relationship with moscow. and yet, in a move reminisce sent of america's crazed efforts to counter soviet influence anywhere and everywhere, washington has been frantically wooing palao, a population of 18,000, and other tiny pacific islands to free them from beijing's embrace. china was rising fearsomely, and that is what made it so dangerous. prepare for a new argument. china is declining
precipitously, and that is why it's so dangerous. so even if the facts are the opposite of what was previously asserted, the conclusion somehow remains the same. in fact, while declining powers do pose a threat, the general and obvious rule remains that, as countries grow rich and powerful, they try to expand their political and military reach. moscow, in the 1990s, when its economy was collapsing, allowed ukraine to become independent. putin, flush from a decade of high energy prices, invaded ukraine. scholars have found that it turns inward in periods of weakness and stress. let me be clear. china, with all its limitations,
still presents a powerful challenge for the united states. the most serious long-term one by far. but right-sizing this threat and understanding it correctly is crucial to formulating the best strategy to tackle it. instead, washington's conventional wisdom is still filled with exaggerated fears and fantasies of an enemy that is ten feet tall . go to cnn.com/fareed for a link to my washington post column this week. and let's get started. when british prime minister liz truss came out of 10 downing street on thursday and announced she was resigning, she did ensure her tenure would go down in history as the shortest ever. she had been in office just 45 days. truss promised a successor would be chosen by the end of this week, but it, in the meantime, raises questions .
first and foremost, who will that person be? and can he or she pull the uk out of this great political and economic chaos? joining me now is the editor in chief of "the economist." zanny, let's count the votes. you need 100 votes or expressions of support to be a contender for the tory party's prime minister. the former chancellor, indian brit has it. boris johnson is trying to make a comeback. can he make it? >> well, fareed, great to join you from this laughingstock. you from this laughing stock country that we are right now. you're right, the former chancellor and the man who lost to liz truss in the leadership consideration over the summer has well over 100 mp votes in
the bag. so he's definitely in the running. the deadline is 2:00 p.m. tomorrow. boris johnson supporters claim he has a hundred, but publicly declared he's only got about 60. we-informed web sites suggest he may have 75, but he's still short with just 24 hours to go. and if he does get a hundred, then we'll have a contest that goes to the conservative party members. those same people who put liz truss in downing street over the summer. and i think the most likely is that johnson doesn't make it and his opponent has it in the bag. but if boris johnson makes it through, he is popular with the party members, and he may well then -- we're going to have a chaotic next few days if that happens. he doesn't command enough support to form a stable government. so if boris johnson makes it through, the soap opera continues, but if the opponent makes it through, hopefully this extraordinary soap opera is replaced by a
stable, sensible government. >> to me, it's so extraordinary that it's happening in the tory party, one of the most disciplined and oldest political parties in the world. is it all fundamentally a hangover from brexit? it seems as those that britain's relationship with europe has cracked the conservative party. >> that is an underlying cause. the proximate cause is that liz truss turned out to not only be the shortest lived prime minister in history, she was clearly almost the most incompetent. she came in with a package of warmed over reaganism, where she was going to use tax cuts. the way she did it. the way she brought in even more tax cuts than she promised, she fired her chief financial civil servant, she said she wasn't going to look at any of the technocrat reviews how much she was spenting,
that meant she lost the confidence of the market, and that loss of confidence in the conservative party, in the british government was the proximate cause. but behind that, there are two things that are related to brexit. one is economically, britain is a riskier place since it left the european union, because the economy has been hit, and the fact that we had covid and the pandemic sort of masked that. but there is no doubt that the british economy is in less good shape that it would have been if we hadn't left the european union. and secondly, politically brexit still hangs over the tory party, a party that's tired over whether brexit -- or whether it's a means to allowing a clamp down on immigration and much more sort of little england view that much of the tory party has. >> is there a new age where
interest rates matter, you know. reaganism and it could work in a world of declining interest rates, deficits sort of didn't matter, and what the market seems to be saying, and maybe we all need to be listening, is interest rates do matter. you know, reaganism and thatcherism would work in a world of declining interest rates. deficits didn't matter because you were borrowing at almost zero. >> absolutely. interest rates do matter. we're in a world where 9 macro environment is very different. it's also true that britain could never do a warmed over reaganism. he had the dollar and the dollar surged. bring is a smaller, open economy, so it's a much riskier bet and relies much more on
market confidence. >> your cover this week is brilliant. the idea is that britain as italy. i suppose what one thinks of when one thinks of italy is chaos and constantly changing governments. britain has had four prime ministers in five years. does all this -- it's a very funny way to think of it, but does it damage britain's credibility and influence in the world? >> absolutely. first of all, i'm delighted you find the cover funny. i'm afraid many of our italian readers and people in italy did not. it caused a storm of anger and protests. we were trying to use humor to shine a spotlight on comparisons that i think are very real.
italy has long had political instability. it's been under the thumb of the bond market and had chronically low growth. if you look at the uk, we've had the same number of prime ministers as italy since 2015. we're also under the thumb of the bond market, even though we have our own central bank and own currency. but our productivity has slumped, and we have very slow growth. one thing that liz truss was right on is that britain needs to get its growth rate higher. it needs the reforms that make the economy grow. because we can't support our social spending, our national health service, all the things that britons like, without faster growth. but we are at the moment unable to produce a coherent set of policies and have politicians who are steadfast and have the caliber to get that done. >> as always, thank you. great insight. always a pleasure. >> thank you. next on "gps," boris johnson isn't the only former prime minister who may get another chance at the top job. next up, israel's benjamin netanyahu on his path to power.
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next tuesday, israel will hold its fifth election in four years. the unstable coalition that ousted benjamin netanyahu last year collapsed in june with the upcoming vote, netanyahu, already the longest serving prime minister in israel's history, has another shot at power. in his time out of power, he wrote a memoir called "bb, my story" and he joins me from jerusalem. welcome, sir. >> good to be with you, fareed .
>> let me ask you about one of the central issues of your time in office, and that is the abraham accords and the more broad approach with the moderate arabs. for a long time, people believed in the middle east that unless you could get anything done on the palestinian issue, the israeli/palestinian issue, you could not make peace with the arabs. actually, what you did was reverse that. you and the gulf states in a sense. what do you think changed? was it that the palestinian issue has just declined, because there was a time when you go back to nasser and people like that, where it was the central issue. or is it that the rise of iran has given israel and saudi arabia and the uae a common enemy? >> well, i think it's the rise of iran and the rise of israel. i devoted a good chunk of my life, and all my adult life to enhancing israel's military
power, which could only be enhanced by freeing up its economy. so we have economic power. and the combination of the two gave us the third power, which is diplomatic power. when israel became the leading -- perhaps a leading if not the leading innovation nation that produced thousands of start-ups, produced cybersecurity, produced unmatchable intelligence against terrorism, we became interesting to other countries on five continents, but also in the middle east. and when i frankly led the opposition to iran arming itself with nuclear weapons, that created a common interest with many of the arab countries. so the rise of the iranian threat on the one side and the rise of israeli power on the other side, combined to, i think, create the interest in the gulf states who now view israel not as their enemy, but as their indispensable ally to
confront a common threat, iran, and to better the lives of their citizens with israeli innovation and technology. >> what do you think it will take for saudi arabia to join in that normalization process? you obviously tried to get it, and the report saw that they want some movement on the palestinian issue. what will it take to get saudi arabia to recognize israel? >> saudi arabia has already begun an incremental process of normalization. in 2018, well before the abraham accords in 2020, the saudis open the saudi airspace to hundreds of thousands of israelis who could fly to the gulf states and now beyond the gulf states. that was a deliberate decision. also, to be honest, and i don't think i'm revealing here something you don't know, but
i'll say it anyway. there's no way that the accords with the gulf states would have happened without the approval of saudi arabia. so saudi arabia is inching its way towards normalization. i think that's enroute. that will be my chief diplomatic goal if i'm re-elected, as i hope i will be in a few weeks. they have to have the confidence that israel is continuing the policy of standing up to iranian aggression, which threatens them, not as much, but not much less than it threatens us. and i think they will be assured of that if i'm re-elected. >> you don't think they will require any movement on the israeli/palestinian issue? >> perhaps. but i think they recognize too that if you give the palestinians a veto, we're not going to have peace. >> let me ask you about the iran deal. you were very influential of getting donald trump to pull out of the iran deal. at the time, and the iaea and
israeli intelligence, everyone believes that iran was adhering to the deal and was about a year and a half away from the capacity to make a nuclear weapon. now that the deal has been scrapped, most intelligence estimates say that iran is one month away from the capacity to make a nuclear weapon. how does that enhance the security of israel to be in a situation where iran has no constraints on what it's doing, and has ramped up all the pathways to a nuclear bomb? >> i describe in my book, fareed, a raid on iran's secret nuclear archives that i authorized to be carried out. did you ever see the movie "argo?" >> yes. >> this was "argo" on steroids.
our men pilfered from locked safes half a ton of materials, disks, documents, and were being chased by iranian security. they got themselves out, and when we looked at this material, we could see that iran was lying, that it wasn't keeping to the agreement. in fact, we then went to the iaea with three sites, three nuclear sites that they hadn't declared. so iran was cheating. the deal wasn't protecting in any way. and yes, with or without a deal, iran would go forward to develop nuclear weapons. the only thing that stops a rogue regime from developing nuclear weapons, and i say this specifically in my book, is the combination of crippling sanctions and a credible military option. all the agreement does, fareed, is give iran an international seal of approval to become a threshold nuclear state. everybody understands it. the deal is not going to stop iran. it's not going to prevent a nuclear arsenal. it's going to facilitate it with
international approval. you can't avoid the fact that you have to confront iran. >> let me just say for the record, the iaea and u.s. intelligence do believe that iran was adhering to the deal. but my question to you, if you become prime minister, the dilemma you presented is one you will face. iran will be one month away from a nuclear weapon. and the possibility of making a nuclear weapon . are you comfortable allowing that short fuse to exist, or will you use military means to do something about it?
>> first of all, i think it takes a lot longer to produce a nuclear weapon, but i won't get into that, because there are many components involved. but i will say this, i will do, fareed, whatever i need to do to prevent iran, which calls for the annihilation of israel, to develop weapons that threaten us. but they also threaten you, the united states, because they call us the small satan. they call american the great satan. they chant "death to israel, death to america." now, do you want this regime to have the means to deliver with intercontinental nuclear tipped missiles to the united states? of course not. we have to take common action to prevent this from happening, because if iran gets a nuclear arsenal, the problem of staving off iran's aggression and terrorism and iran's actual threats to our societies, would be much more difficult. i'm committed to preventing that from happening. next on "gps," i'll ask benjamin netanyahu about what one israeli columnist called the strange love affair between vladamir putin and bb netanyahu. does he regret it now? ♪ what if we- ♪
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it's what the israeli journalist calls the strange love affair between bb and putin. you met with vladamir putin, phone conversations, you went to the opera, the ballet with him. a lot of people feel that international statesmen coddled putin rather than creating kind of a tough stand of deterrence that would have made him understand the cost of his kind of actions. in retrospect, what do you think of this friendship? >> first of all, i wouldn't call it a love affair, but i would call it a question of interest. the national leaders have a responsibility for the security of their country. the russian and israeli air
forces are literally flying next to each other over the skies of syria. i was committed to preventing iran from creating another lebanon front in syria. so we took hundreds and hundreds of air sorties against their attempts to implant themselves militarily in syria. that got us into a potential clash with the russian air force that is also flying over the skies of syria. so i made it a point, and we almost did, i also write that in my book, we nearly clashed several times. and starting a war between russia and israel, i didn't think was a good idea. so i made every effort to coordinate with the -- with putin and the russian military the sorties so we wouldn't bump into each other, and we achieved that goal. that is a matter of national interest. as far as russia is concerned, i think you have to be -- look, i think the ukrainian thing would spiral out of control. i think it's tragic. the wand -- wanton bombing of civilians is horrible,
but now you face another issue, and that is it could spiral out of control to what they call a tactical -- the use of tactical nuclear weapons. i don't think that materially matters if it's tactical or strategic. the world has not crossed that threshold for 77 years, and i think it requires very firm and prudent stewardship to prevent that from happening, because as horrible as the tragedies are today in ukraine, you could face a much bigger tragedy if this is not prevented. >> i was in kyiv about a month ago, and i talked to president zelenskyy and pretty much all the senior officials there. and one theme that came through very clearly was their disappointment with israel. they felt that israel had not really supported them as they would have liked in word and deed. they have asked for -- israel has this amazing iron dome defense. they asked for some help there. and they feel that israel has maintained a kind of -- you
know, a kind of -- has been fudging, is not willing to really support them in their life-and-death struggle. you know, president zelenskyy, who is, you know, of jewish descent, i think it was particularly painful. >> i think israel has supported ukraine, first of all, in humanitarian terms. it's taken in an inordinate amount of jewish and non-jewish ukrainian refugees. number one. number two, we've sent field holds and humanitarian supplies. number three, i don't argue with you, this is the decision of the current israeli government. if i get into power, i will look into this question. it's a very delicate question given the issues i raised. but it's a valid one. if i get elected, i'll look into it. >> bb netanyahu, pleasure to have you on. >> thank you, fareed. good to be with you. next on "gps," women are leading the charge for change in
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never lose your edge. ♪ women burning their hijabs. cutting their hair. and chanting "women, life, liberty." it's all in protest over iran's regime, now in power for more than 40 years. the spark, of course, was the death of a young woman who died after being detained by the morality police of the islamic republic. five weeks after the protest began, it seems the regime is in for a protracted fight. the veteran middle east reporter
robin wright said in "the new yorker" that we are witnessing the world's first counterrevolution led by women. and i'm pleased to have robin joining me today. she's the author of "the last great revolution." turmoil and transformation in iran. robin, explain first where you call this a counterrevolution and not a revolution. >> at the moment, it's still just a rejection of the system, the islamic republic. we're not at the point that these kids have an idea, an ideology, something they are offering as an alternative. so far, this is largely kind of flash mobs. people gathering on a campus, gathering on street corners where they light a fire and throw their hijabs, their head scarves. we are seeing a rebellion against the islamic republic. this is an -- at an early stage.
so we're not at a revolution. who knows what it will lead to? but we have seen many protests in iran over the last five years, and none have quite gotten to the point that they were a practical, tangible threat to the regime. >> and that means -- it sounds like from what you're saying this does not seem to have the kind of organization, the idealology, the staying power to pose a real threat to the regime. >> the regime claims that 41% of those arrested are under the age of 20. this is not the kind of critical mass, as you know so well, that brings together the elite of society, where people were willing to defect from whether it was the military or the oil workers. there's tokens of that, but there's no body to it yet. >> it's interesting. i think one of the things this symbolizes all the things you were describing, but you need a leader. you need an alternative leader. even for example in venezuela. but you had that opposition
leader. in iran, is it fair to say -- as they used to say about saddam hussein, all the potential opposition leaders are dead or in jail? >> or in exile. yes, i think that's true. in 2009, the protest rallied the green movement protest rallied around the two losing candidates. there was a sense there was an alternative to the president. today, we don't see the -- an organization, a leader, a manifesto, an idea. these are people very diverse political and social positions who have come together because they want private freedoms. they want personal freedoms. they're not yet giving us an alternative vision. >> it seemed as though there was, within the regime, a certain amount of dissent and a kind of breaking off. as you say,
there were people running for president and one of them had been a former prime minister. so these were leading figures of the regime. of course, rohani and the previous administration were trying to be reform minded. what do you think killed reform and brought this hardline government into power right now? >> i think u.s. policies in some way contributed to that. >> trump pulling out of the iran deal? >> yes, absolutely. one of the other things is with the sense that there is a transition looming in iran, that the supreme leader is 83, he's reportedly ailing again, he suffered from prostate cancer in 2014, that there is a sense that very -- in the very near future, the next two, three years, there will be a transition from the current supreme leader to a new system, and they're trying to fortify the system so it won't collapse then. i think these protests have underscored to them how vulnerable they will be down the road.
>> what should we be looking at when we look at iran over the next few weeks? >> you want to see how hard the regime comes down on the girls. if they allow enough of these flash mobs to get out there, they have cracked down on the internet, including instagram, which is one of the few outlets remaining to post on social media. whether they close down the universities and schools, which is where much of the action has taken place. how far they're willing to go to punish the kids. this is the third generation. the first two suffered hardships. the iran/iraq war, the upheaval after the revolution, this is the first generation, the gen-z born between 1997 and 2012, who feels the freedom to do what they want, and not have to worry about, you know, fighting a war or, you know, post-revolutionary upheaval. so watch the girls. >> we will watch them and we'll
and now for the last look. russia's invasion of ukraine is a return to the dark days of old when great powers routinely tried to conquer their smaller neighbors. but this war is being fought in 2022, with new technologies that are reshaping warfare. among the most important are drones. now, there's been a lot of breathless coverage on drone strikes, so let me explain what drone can and cannot do. in the first few weeks of the war, ukrainians hailed the use of turkish made drones in beating back the russian invasion. videos circulated of those drones pounding russian convoys with laser guided explosives. they named babies and animals
after the drones. a song about the drones went viral. in recent days, russia has grabbed headlines with iranian made kamikazi drones. these don't fire weapons but are themselves the weapon sent to smash into targets in kyiv and other cities. ukraine has used kamikaze drones against russia as well. but the focus on attack drones whether they fire weapons or themselves are the weapon misses the point. more than being a force on their own in this war, drones have enhanced other forms of power. they are not the heroes but trusty sidekicks. they generally lack the firepower to take out major targets. experts believe the big damage to ukrainian infrastructure during the kamikaze attacks, the has been from cruise missiles. the drones hem by flooding the zone to overwhelm ukraine's air defenses. most were shot down, but missiles were able to slip through.
these drones are serving a psychological purpose, as well. russia is showing that it can hit ukrainian cities far from the front lines, and ukraine has used drones to strike deep into crimea. they hover and buzz overhead, loupdly sending the message that no one is safe. there is an argument they are similar to the b-1 flying bomb attacks on london in 1944, which sowed terror among the british people. on the battlefield, more advanced drones can be used for pin point attacks. the u.s. has made great use of precision drone strikes in the war on terror. its technology has gotten so good that when america assassinated the al qaeda leader al zawahiri, it was said to have sent a spinning saw that cut him into pieces while avoiding any big explosion that would hurt
others. no one else has these capabilities, but even ukraine has been able to use a drone to drop a bomb into an open tank hatch. the most important role of drones in ukraine, says peter lee of the university of portsmouth, is not in attacking themselves but in providing surveillance and reconnaissance for heavy weaponry to take out high value targets. drones are eyes in the sky that tell soldiers where to aim the big guns. one example, when the ukrainians triumphantly sank the russian flagship, drones helped them figure out the precise coordinates to target. cruise missiles delivered the knockout blow. but drone technology is still in its infancy. many used in ukraine are inaccurate or able to be jammed. we won't see the real potential of drones until countries unleash swarms of hundreds or thousands of drones that are equipped with artificial
intelligence. functioning as one large, coordinated armada, they would make a truly fearsome fleet. so while drones today are less than the buzz surrounding them, mostly playing a supporting role, in time, they could become a decisive factor in the battles of the future. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. yello♪ ♪ heart-pounding design. intelligent technology. ♪ courageous performance. discover a new world of possibilities with a bold new take on the lexus rx. never lose your edge. think he's posting about all that ancient roman coinage? no, he's seizing the moment with merrill. moving his money into his investment account in real time
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