Skip to main content

tv   Fareed Zakaria GPS  CNN  November 21, 2010 1:00pm-2:00pm EST

1:00 pm
h hermes bag, a birkin. grayson was defeated earlier this month andic we're going to meet him. thanks for watching "state of the union." i'm candy crowley in washington. up next for our viewers here in the united states, "fareed zakaria gps." this is "gps," the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. this week we start a crucial debate, one that will decide whether the united states can start on a path to growth. we've got short-term problems, mainly because consumers remain cautious and mired in debt. the government can only do so much and only for so long to
1:01 pm
boost the economy through spending and tax cuts and low interest rates. fundamentally, the u.s. government has to create an economic climate that convinces consumers and investors and businesses that america is open for business. and that means getting our house in order. the fiscal reform commission appointed by president obama has presented a set of proposals from its two chairs, republican alan simpson and democrat erskine bowles. they're smart, centrist, and sensible. i don't agree with all of them, but there's enough in there to begin a conversation that could lead to a compromise that would finally set the u.s. on a sound fiscal course. the problem is very simple. americans have an appetite for government benefits that greatly exceeds our appetite for taxes. for over a generation, we've closed this gap by borrowing, lots. but over the next decade as that becomes impossible, the gap
1:02 pm
becomes gargantuan. over the next 70 years, the cost of entitlement programs exceed government revenues by $40 trillion. yes, that's trillion. so the present path is unsustainable. what to do? the obvious answer is that we have to cut spending and raise revenue. each of us will prefer a different mix. in fact, "the new york times'" website has a nifty feature that you can open up and simply punch in the cuts and tax increases you would prefer to close that gap. i've made my choices and you can see them on our website, take a look and make your own choices. the commission's proposals are valuable in that they take on a number of issues that have been politically radioactive so far. advocating gas taxes, phasing out tax benefits for debt on our houses, cutting defense spending, and we need to be able to put everything on the table to make this work. the greatest danger is not in the economic realm. there are answers in the economic realm. it's in the political realm.
1:03 pm
the political system is geared to destroy exactly such centrist proposals. because the left and right tear it apart from each side, the moderates run scared, and the problem stays unresolved. that's what happened with immigration, for example. the only problem is, this is our biggest national problem. unattended, the costs spiral, the politics get worse, and the fiscal condition of the united states becomes more and more dangerous. i write about all this in greater detail in my column in "time" magazine. you can check it out online and in print, and you can also see an opposing view on the same issue from joe klein, who is a good friend, a bright man, but on this issue, simply wrong in my humble opinion. we have a great show for you today. first up, a rare glimpse of iran's world view from a fascinating source. the larijani family have been called the kennedys of iran. mohammad larijani came to the u.n. this week to defend his human rights record at the u.n.
1:04 pm
he'll talk about that defense and much more. is iran ready to come to the table with u.s.? then, what in the world, a government plan that worked, part two. next, the u.s. and nato say combat operations in afghanistan should end in 2014. should it happen? can it happen? we'll ask a terrific panel. let's get started. mohammad larijani comes from what is certainly the most powerful political family in iran. one brother, ali larijani is a speaker of the parliament. another heads the judiciary. in the islamic republic, they have a special status on religious issues. their father was a very influential grand ayatollah. mohammad, our guest, is a math me technician, former parliamentarian, former foreign
1:05 pm
minister, who is now among other things the head of the country's human rights commission. that brought him to new york this week to defend his country's human rights record at the u.n. larijani is a very smart man from a very influential family. a family that is often at odds with president mahmoud ahmadinejad. you'll want to hear what he has to say not just on human rights but democracy in iran, the nuclear issue, and relations with with the united states. welcome, mr. larijani. >> thank you very much. >> let us talk about the reason you're here. there is a u.n. resolution condemning iran for human rights. you have been involved in human rights for a long time. what do you say to the world when they look at iran's record on human rights and seem appalled? [ speaking foreign language ] well, this is the right question in the right time. this democracy, which is unique in the middle east, and in fact,
1:06 pm
the great democracy in the middle east, led iran in less than 30 years to be a prominent country in science, technology, political influence. so i think this is a very basic issue for us. when we look to the human rights, we see it in the way that it is pursued by countries like the united states and a number of europeans, as a way to put political pressure on iran, because they don't like such an direction of democracy. >> but the condemnations are not just from the united states and they are not just from governments. they are human rights watch, they are amnesty international. you go to almost any impartial human rights organization, and they will point out executions, stonings, amputations, political prisoners. this is fairly well documented. >> well, it's not well
1:07 pm
documented, it's a kind of media blitz about the issue of human rights. but the allegations are not well founded, or it is ill founded. let me take you to the famous one, sakineh mohammadi, capital punishment. she was involved in a relationship with another person. she received capital punishment. but our legal system in the case of capital punishment, it has a lot of check and balances. it is right now going through the check and balances. while there is the chance that it should be lessened, the punishment, or not. >> let me interrupt, because the differences, as i understand them, it is not clear that sakineh actually murdered her husband at all. this was a later charge. she's been condemned to death by stoning, which is a cruel and unusual punishment. >> okay. >> and as far as, until the
1:08 pm
western outcry, frankly, there was no process of review that anyone was aware of. so it does seem very different. and in addition, you have hundreds more executions per capita than any country really outside of one or two in the world. so this is an unusual case. >> let us -- >> stoning a woman to death, you know, burying her up to her head and then trying to prolong the pain as long as possible. you regard this as a compatible with the modern world? >> first of all, you should be aware that the stoning is a very rare punishment for extreme case of crimes which involve extreme adulteress case. it is a extreme criminal structure. let's go to notion of cruelty. well, cruelty is a notion which is very much a cultural relative. you know, consider in europe or berlin or london, if a puppy is
1:09 pm
overrun by a car, people get around it, police is coming, some people cry that there is damage to the body of the puppy, but at the same time, governments are tolerated who kill hundreds and thousands of children in the world. so you see, this is not cruelty, and the other is cruelty. we think punishment is cruel. it doesn't matter how to kill. if it's executed by gas or executed by injection, by sword, it is cruel. now, what is the rationality of the punishment -- >> historically, you don't flog people to death anymore. you know, you regard that as cruel and unusual. you're saying it doesn't matter, that at the end of the day, if you inflict punishment, it's all the same? >> no, punishments are quite different. i want to say that cruelty is a notion which is not absolute. it could be cruelty in one
1:10 pm
society, in another, it is not cruel, as it is perceived in the other. >> let me ask you about democracy, because you say iran is a flourishing democracy, but not a liberal democracy. i want to see what you mean. because many of us look at iran and we see a country where there is a kind of facade of democracy, but you have a screening process, which effectively rules out any serious political opposition, because anyone who wishes to run who is not approved by the guardian council, cannot run for elections, even then when you have people who run for elections, the vote tallies have been questioned by many, many independent authorities, and indeed, by millions of iranians. this is not my view, but millions of iranians thought that the last election was fraudulently conducted and calculated. and now many of those people, the leaders of the so-called
1:11 pm
green movement are either under house arrest or have been in various ways persecuted. that's a democracy? that's a model for the middle east? >> well, our democracy is as genuine as any other democracy. the latest election was, in fact, a great election in the sense that we had most time of medvedev voted to the debates. every issue was quite clear. the decision of the people was exact and clear. 24 million voted for ahmadinejad, about 12, 13 million voted for mousavi. >> and you don't think there's anything to the reports, widespread reports in iran, by iranis, who said that the vote tallies were announced in places that the voting could not have even begun. that within 10, 15 minutes of the voting being over, the announcements were out there that ahmadinejad had won by these large margins.
1:12 pm
you don't have computer votes, you were meant to be doing this these -- in many these of places, they were being hand counted. >> no, we have computer votes. in fact, we check computer votes with the hand record as well. we do have them. i think even themselves, and even other countries in the world, they can see that the election is correct. >> no country can see that, i'm sorry. that is simply not true. there are a lot of countries that reconcile themselves to it, but every independent observer got reports from iranians saying that these were fraudulent. >> no, iranians, some iranians -- >> millions of people protesting in iran, not in the united states. >> protesting is not for democracies. any democracy could have protest or dispute in the election. in iran, there was dispute, how could we be a democracy without
1:13 pm
dispute? >> a dispute about whether there was fraud. >> it was a general election, mr. fareed. democracy needs to be strengthened and flourished. democracy needs a culture. the great mistake of green was they were carried away by the exploitation of the united states and western countries. it was an ugly scene. that obama and others interfering with internal affairs of iran, siding with one of the candidates against the other. this was a great mistake of the green. this is the reason they lost even the popular support of the people. >> we will be right back with mohammad larijani. he says iran and the u.s. don't need to be enemies forever. when we come back. could you imagine normalization of relations with the u.s.? >> why not? why not? i mean, hatred and hostility is not authentic. we think we should have good
1:14 pm
relation with all countries in the world. what's around the corner is one of life's great questions. and while it can never be fully answered, it helps to have a financial partner like northern trust. by gaining a keen understanding of your financial needs, we're able to tailor a plan using a full suite... of sophisticated investment strategies and solutions. so whatever's around the corner can be faced with confidence. ♪ northern trust. look ahead with us at to bring you a low-price medicare prescription drug plan called the humana walmart-. it's a new plan that covers both brand ans and has the lowest-pricednatioy of only $14.80 per month and in-store copays as .
1:15 pm
when you could save over, you can focus on the things . ♪ go to for details. ♪ if you live for performance, upgrade to castrol edge advanced synthetic oil. with eight times better wear protection than mobil 1. castrol edge. it's more than just oil.
1:16 pm
try capzasin-hp. it penetrates deep to block pain signals for hours of relief. capzasin-hp. take the pain out of arthritis.
1:17 pm
we are back with mohammad larijani. he's the human rights commissioner of iran, one of his brothers is the speaker of parliament, another brother is the head of the judiciary. they have been called the kennedys of iran. mohammad larijani is also a m h mathematician who has been deeply involved in iran's nuclear program. let's talk about nuclear weapons and nuclear issues. does iran wish to -- is iran on track to build nuclear weapons? >> iran is on track to advance its nuclear technology. nuclear weapon does not add to our security. it won't be for our defense. it is mostly a liability for us. >> are you categorically ruling out -- >> absolutely and categorically, iran's strategic interest and practical strategy is not to go
1:18 pm
after weapons. >> if you say you're not going down the weapons path, why not find a way to clarify that and therefore have a different relationship with the international community? do you foresee a possibility of a deal? >> well, there are people on different perspective. i, am, myself, very optimistic. i think the sign of success will come from the moment, that the western countries and united states reach the position that they should live with a uranium capability, which is not directed toward weaponry. >> but everybody from president obama to secretary of state clinton have affirmed that iran has a right to peaceful nuclear technology. >> well? >> the issue is really just the weapons. >> well, if they really, serious -- >> -- keep saying that? >> well, they are not serious, because the platform is obvious,
1:19 pm
is mpt. mpt has three pillars. >> right. but let's just stay with whether or not -- you say you're optimistic. why are you optimistic? do you think the -- >> the reason that i'm optimistic is that the hostile policy of the united states, on depriving iran from nuclear technology, has failed. and it's failed drastically. >> but you have more and more sanctions against you every month. well, sanction is not -- >> where's the optimism? where's the deal possible? i don't understand. >> well, the deal is obvious. if the united states reached this conclusion that let us work with a capable iran, i think this is the big of the success. >> do you think that in the next few years there is a likelihood of iran having direct confe conversations with the united states? >> well, it is up to the united
1:20 pm
states' administration. they are flag leading the most hostile policy toward iran. politically, and even infiltrating iran and sabotaging iran, supporting terrorist group in iran. so for any common purpose that talks to the normalization of relation with iran, the basic question is, so, what is the expectation of the united states? what they want? why they are so much hostile toward iran. i think it's up to them. iran is not going to be a country to be ordered, like some other countries, for the relation. >> the united states made an overture to have comprehensive negotiations on all issues with you, would iran accept? >> iran will very much welcome such a comprehensive discussion, which the reason for that is, we are interested to bring the tension down in the region. it is in our basic national interest as well. >> could you imagine
1:21 pm
normalization of relations with the u.s.? >> why not? why not? i mean, hatred and hostility is not authentic. we think we should have good relation with all countries in the world. so why not united states? there is nothing intrinsically bad in here. it is a policy. and the continued policy. and unfortunately, persistent policy of the united states in hostility toward iran. this is the main blockade. >> and you will get rid of the death to america chants and the ritual burnings and desecrations of the american flag in iran? >> the death to america chant is not death to america. it's death to imposing -- is this, is death to bringing country under pressure.
1:22 pm
it is death to prestige. so certainly no one wants to have death to a single country. it is not death to america, it is not death to the united states as such. >> that's what you say. >> what? >> that's what the chant says, this is a literary interpretation of it. >> though, the death means, no more american interference in iran. iran an independent country. if they are ready to deal with a strong iran, a influential iran, on a very legal base, the door are open. >> let me ask you another question about which there is much discussion. some iranian officials, particularly president ahmadinejad, have said things that have led many to believe that iran wishes to attack israel. can you say categorically that iran will under no circumstances launch an attack on israel? >> it is not in our interest to attack any country and we never did that.
1:23 pm
>> so when president ahmadinejad says israel should be wiped off the map, what does he mean? >> well, what ahmadinejad has said is very clear cut. he said the policies that israel is following, the policy of u a occupying, ethnic cleansing, this policy has failed. we consider this regime a grand failure, a grand unjustful act in the area. the source of a lot of tension, and the source of tension, which the result of that is felt even new york. what is the source of 9/11? the sad story which happened in here, more than 3,000 people lost their life. well, the source of a lot of tensions and terrorist acts in the world is stemming from this
1:24 pm
point. and i think this approaches that the government of united states, one after another is following, giving a carte blanche to the jewish state, this is a continued mistake. >> mr. larijani, thank you very much. and we will be right back. [ female announcer ] imagine skin so healthy, it never gets dry again.
1:25 pm
can your moisturizer do that? [ female announcer ] dermatologist recommended aveeno has an oat formula, now proven to build a moisture reserve, so skin can replenish itself. that's healthy skin for life. only from aveeno.
1:26 pm
1:27 pm
and now for our "what in the world" segment. this was the remarkable scene at 9:30 thursday morning at the new york stock exchange. the largest ipo in american history. the people revving that engine were executives of general motors, and they were about to raise $20 billion. let me remind you just how bad things have been for the car company. amidst the global financial crisis in november 2007, gm posted the biggest quarterly loss ever, a staggering $39 billion in the red.
1:28 pm
in the summer of '08, things only got worse when gas hit $4 a gallon. shortly thereafter, general motors looked at its books and warned that the company might soon run out of cash. that's when we all witnessed the now-infamous shot of the executives from the big three automakers on capitol hill, pleading for tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans. in 2009, general motors filed for bankruptcy and suffered one of the biggest wall street insults, being delisted off the new york stock exchange. and in the end, the u.s. government bailed out general motors with more than $50 billion taxpayer dollars. but restructuring the company worked. general motors has been steadily paying back the government's money to the tune of about $10 billion, and that's before the ipo. it made $2 billion in the third quarter of this year, and every quarter of 2010 has been profitable. the company has said if trends continue, general motors will
1:29 pm
make $19 billion in pretax profits this year. so the much-derided government bailout saved an american icon, rigorously restructured a company, and brought it back to profitability in virtually no time at all. it also saved jobs, about a million of them, according to a new study from the center for automotive research, which tallies with other estimates. and so, as we enter thanksgiving week, instead of constantly deriding the american government, this may be a case where we should say "thank you," something along the line of warren buffett's thank you note to uncle sam for the t.a.r.p. that was published in "the new york times" this week. buffett says the country faced an extraordinary emergency, a destructive economic force unlike any seen for generations, the only thing that could save us, buffett says, was uncle sam, and save he did with remarkably effective actions. look, the government does plenty of things badly. in fact, government actions, bad
1:30 pm
regulations, deregulations, bad policies helped cause the financial crisis. but sometimes government acts wisely as well. and thank god, in the depths of 2008, it did just that. and we will be right back. we spent billions on the afghan army, and they didn't show up -- i was in helmand in 2009, they didn't show up for that search, they're not showing up for this search, so i don't know where the hell they are. [ commentator ] lindsey vonn! she stays tough!
1:31 pm
earlier, she had an all-over achy cold... what's her advantage? it's speedy alka-seltzer! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus rushes relief for all-over achy colds. the official cold medicine of the u.s. ski team. alka-seltzer plus.
1:32 pm
1:33 pm
2014, that's when combat operations in afghanistan are now set to end, but afghan president hamid karzai wants to reduce military operations before then. so just what is the right strategy to end this war and not create bigger problems in the process? i've gathered a panel who will come at this question in very different ways. rachael reid is the afghanistan researcher for human rights watch. max boot is a senior fellow at the council on foreign relations. he writes prolifically on afghanistan and all kinds of
1:34 pm
defense issues and has been called in to advise general petraeus, general mcchrystal, and various other key u.s. officials over the years, and near rosen is a journalist and filmmaker who has spent years in iraq and afghanistan reporting on america's wars there. welcome. so, max, is ending the wars the right way to think about this in the first place? >> i think our goal should be not so much to end the war, but our transition our troops to the afghan national security forces. and i think that's something that's eminently achievable by the 2014 deadline that nato is going to put out there. just in the past couple of years, you've seen the afghan security forces increase in size from about 150,000 to more than 250,000, and their quality has been going up because of more intensive mentoring and a closer working relationship with american troops. so that should be our goal. it should not be to make afghanistan as peaceful as switzerla switzerland. we don't have to. all we have to do is make sure that the afghan government can
1:35 pm
defend its own territory. that's our real objective. >> what's the problem with that? >> on paper, you have 20,000 troops, but in reality, you only have a fraction of that because of attrition. and the best example of that is kandahar. it's billed as the most important battle ever, but we'll be relying on the afghan army, but a war lord, a destructive, brutal war lord. so we've spent billions on the afghan army, and they didn't show up -- i was in helmand in 2009. they didn't show up for that search, they're not showing up for this search, so i don't know where the hell they are. but this is a political conflict and requires a political solution. which requires talking to the taliban. but instead of doing that, petraeus has ruled out negotiations. he's killing our cabinetry in taliban and creating a
1:36 pm
self-fulfilling prophesy. there's no reason for the u.s. to be in afghanistan, because the taliban is not in afghanistan. >> i agree there's not enough focus being pushed on to some of these questions about governance and the rule of law. too much focus on handing over to the afghan security forces without really looking at or trying to shape the political environments that underlies much of the conflict that we're seeing. i was just in kandahar a couple of weeks ago and looking into some more recent allegations of human rights abuses by rasick, and i think it sends a terrible message that this was the year that the u.s. and nato, looking at going into kandahar and sorting out governance, and look who their partner is. it's a man notorious for past human rights abuses, narcotics smuggling, a whole host of problems. and this is the man that they're standing shoulder to shoulder with. >> a lot of the reason why we've been so dependent on these malign actors is because we have not had a lot of our own troops in afghanistan. we have not been able to exert
1:37 pm
our own power or put a lot of money and effort into training the al qaeda security forces. the number of our troops has surged from only 30,000 in 2008 to 100,000 today. and to the nearest point, he talked about how we shouldn't be fighting these guys, we should be negotiating with them, but it's not either or. what general petraeus realizes is, you have to fight them to set the preconditions for negotiating. and this is a point that was driven home to me by a nato officer in kabul. you have to knock them on their backside before you offer a helping hand up. because if you reach out right now, they'll slap you away. >> nir, was travel there and look at these people, one of the puzzles in afghanistan is that the taliban seems to be able to make inroads in large parts of the pashtun areas, even though the polls don't suggest that there is very much support for them. so if you look at the polls, it says, they have, what, 10, 15,
1:38 pm
20, 25% support depending on what area you look at. but then look at the towns and villages, and the taliban is able to very easily come in and replace some karzai-backed governor or some karzai-backed officials. >> polls in afghanistan is nonsense. it's not the actual polling companies that conduct the polls. they use afghan subcontractors. afghanistans, the most corrupt country on earth. you can't actually go and conduct the polls in most of the country. but, yes, it's true that the taliban aren't necessarily winning because they're beloved by people, but because the government is losing and the government is hated. and the americans are hated as well. we are not a benign actor. we are as much a malign actor as are the war lords. we're dropping bombs on the weddings, we're empowering war lords, we're arresting innocent men by the thousands and breaking into homes and special forces guys are killing pregnant women. the occupation is a brutal systemic imposition of violence. >> i just want to hear what rachael has to say. >> a very clear example of just this point that nir's making, i
1:39 pm
was in kunduz in september, and you get daily rape and extortion, and people have nowhere to turn to, because if your district police chief or judge are all connected to the same militia that has some cover that goes back to the cabinet or the vice presidency, then where do you turn? so one of these things that we say often in afghanistan is that kind of predatory behavior, among the local government officials, drives the insurgency. and in kunduz, you really feel it. >> a lot of the reason for that, we have not made a serious effort at nation building. we have not given afghanistan the attention it deserves. we have not given it the kind of resources we have given in the past to bosnia or kosovo or iraq or other countries, and that's only now starting to change. so we're training the afghan security forces, making a bigger push on governance. the number of civilian u.s. officials in afghanistan has gone up 300% in the past year. there's no question these abuses
1:40 pm
are a problem, but know we have the resources to begin to address them in a way we weren't before. >> you made one point that i think is actually really pertine pertinent, that when we have more stability, then, then we can do these things that's been the mantra from the beginning. >> in iraq, the conflict was about oil. people wanted to control the states so they could get the resources. in afghanistan, there are no resources except for american dollars. our presence, this corrosive presence that fuels the conflict. nobody wants peace. everybody benefits from wars. war lords are benefiting from us. karzai and his drug dealing brother are benefiting from us. the taliban who are demanding kickbacks from different contracts to work in their areas are benefiting from us. our money is the main source -- is the main cause of the conflict in the first place. so all we want is more and more and more, more troops, more money. >> i agree with you there's a lot of corruption in afghanistan and a lot of our aid money has
1:41 pm
been siphoned off to very ma li malign actors. if we weren't there, you would see a repeat of the 1990s when you saw horrific civil war with kabul getting bombed every day and with the taliban eventually taking over. that would happen again, if our troops weren't there. >> all right. we are going to take a break and we're going to talk about what is likely to happen when we do start pulling back 2014, whether that's realistic, and what afghanistan will look like after 2014. when we come back. it is something you hear very often in afghanistan. people's fear that there would be a return to civil war. one word turns innovative design into revolutionary performance. one word makes the difference between defining the mission and accomplishing the mission.
1:42 pm
one word makes the difference in defending our nation and the cause of freedom. how... is the word that makes all the difference.
1:43 pm
1:44 pm
1:45 pm
hello. i'm fredricka whitfield in atlanta. a look at your top stories right now. there are new fears about north korea's nuclear program. a u.s. scientist visited that country's main nuclear research site and he says north korea has a new uranium enrichment facility that could easily be used to produce bomb fuel. a u.s. envoy arrived in south korea today to discuss ways to restart six-party talks with the north. saudi arabia's king abdullah heads to the u.s. tomorrow. a top government official says the 86-year-old needs medical treatment for a blood clot and for back pain. and manhunt is under way in utah after a park ranger was shot. police say the suspect is wounded and is on foot. fareed zakar"fareed zakaria continues right after this.
1:46 pm
[scraping] [piano keys banging] [scraping] [horns honking] with deposits in your engine, it can feel like something's holding your car back. let me guess, 16. [laughing] yeeah. that's why there's castrol gtx... with our most powerful deposit fighting ingredient ever. castrol gtx exceeds the toughest new industry standard. don't let deposits hold your car back. get castrol gtx. it's more than just oil. it's liquid engineering. >> ( creature inhaling ) >> ( branches breaking ) >> ( creature growling )
1:47 pm
>> ( horse hoofs beating ) >> ( horse nickering ) >> ( train whistle blowing ) >> ( engine revving ) >> man: experience the power of progress. take advantage of exceptional new and certified pre-owned values during the season of audi event.
1:48 pm
[ female announcer ] in the grip of arthritis, back, or back joint pain?
1:49 pm
aspercreme breaks the grip, with maximum-strength medicine and no embarrassing odor. break the grip of pain with aspercreme. and we are back, talking about afghanistan, with rachel reid, max boot, and nir rosen. max, if we -- if things go according to plan, we do transition, we do start passing things over to the afghan authorities 2014, what i'm not sure i understand is why will some of this not simply start up again? that is, the violence. because in afghanistan, in iraq, we were, in effect, backing the majority of the country in a civil war. they won. in afghanistan, it's not quite that situation. because the taliban, which is the largest part of the country, is divided. the northern alliance is not going to go anywhere. so it feels like there are still
1:50 pm
elements of a kind of ongoing civil war. we can repress it, you know, it's like putting a lid on it, but when we leave, won't it all just bubble up again? >> it's not really a civil war, fareed, it's an inter-pashtun conflict. the taliban have very we're probably 42% of the population and even there a minority. as you pointed out, the public opinion poll suggests very little overall support for the taliban. if we stand up afghan national security forces that are fairly robust, they're not necessarily going to eliminate the insurgency but they can tap it down for a fairly low level where it's not a threat to the integrity of the state. >> is it likely it will start up again? >> people in afghanistan say there's a fear of a return to civil war. i think unless you actually engage in the serious political reform and bring in accou accountability and marginalize the abusive figures, it's a real
1:51 pm
risk. in the mood with the internationals so impatient to get out and move on, i think we're likely to see hasty and bad deals done in the name of reconciliation which will be deal making rather than genuine reconciliation and that's dangerous for long-term security. >> what about the role of pakistan which at the end of the day the single most likely scenario it seems to me is if we pull back won't they move forward? >> depends on how you pull back. you have to reach a settlement with the taliban. there's no negotiation. so if you just suddenly withdrew from afghanistan, you would have backing with russia, china, iran, everyone would back militias. that would be terrible for the afghan people. i don't think it would affect national security in any given way. we talk about what we can do. >> explain. >> i can't imagine an interest
1:52 pm
they have in afghanistan today. al qaeda was defeated to the extent that it exists is not in afghanistan. it's in pakistan and yemen and in slums around the world. it's a symbol and a motivation and inspiration but it's not some james bond villain which is planning and sponsoring operations around the world. >> i can't believe i'm listening to someone say you can't imagine what national security interest we have in afghanistan. all you have to do is think back to 2001 to remember why we're there because of the attacks on the world trade center and pentagon which emanated from afghanistan. >> or florida or germany. >> it was planned from afghanistan which was the headquarters of al qaeda. it's true that we've succeeded in chasing the al qaeda headquarters across the border into pakistan but that doesn't mean they won't come back if we leave afghanistan. another huge consequence of our departure if we leave in a way that creates a vacuum for the taliban and terrorists and all sorts of malign actors is a victory for al qaeda.
1:53 pm
they will see americans leaving with our tails between our legs as an encouragement for more attacks on us. >> people talked about prestige after vietnam. we're the only superpower in the world. >> what do you think about this underlying debate that's going on really about what is the affect of american military actions in afghanistan, pakistan, and there are those who say that you are creating more anti-americanism and rat c raticallism. >> i have done a lot of work on civilian casualties in afghanistan over the last couple years. it's true to say this is a recruitment rule for the number of civilians that were being killed by u.s. nato forces. i was in the hospital which is the main hospital in the south a couple weeks ago interviewing the conflict related patients
1:54 pm
there. and every single one of the patients that i interviewed except for one ina soldier said their injuries were caused by american bullets, american bombs and american mines which is not true because the majority of civilian casualties as we know are caused by the taliban but it is notable despite the effort to reduce civilian harm there's still enough disruption and anger and hostility in some of these areas that have been so battered by the conflict that the americans are being blamed for it. >> on that note we are going to have to stop. thank you very much. we'll be right back. hey, lawrence, my parents want to talk to you. oh. about what? uh, they don't really think you're an exchange student. what? they think you're a businessman, using our house to meet new clients in china.
1:55 pm
for reals, player? [ woman speaks chinese ] they overheard a phone call. [ speaks chinese ] something about shipping with fedex to shanghai. and then you opened a bottle of champagne. that was for a science project. [ man and woman speaking chinese ] i'm late rehearsal. [ man speaks chinese ] you and i are cool? i'll be home by curfew. [ male announcer ] we understand.® you need a partner who can help you go global. fedex.
1:56 pm
1:57 pm
1:58 pm
our question this week from the gps challenge is which of the following was not added this week to the u.n.'s list of intangible heritages that are in need of preservation. is it -- stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer. don't forget to check out our podcast. you can subscribe to it on itunes. you will never miss the show and the price is zero. this week's book of the week is martin jack's "when china rules the world." the end of the western world and birth of a new global order. the book says we haven't even
1:59 pm
nothing yet. china will change the western dominated world we are all comfortable with. whether you agree with it or not, it's a lively book full of provocations and predictions. now for the last look. after the recent u.s. elections new york mayor michael bloomberg said the incoming freshman class can't read. >> i imagine he doesn't mean that literally but there's a politician who is an actual clown named grumpy. i'm not making this up. grumpy won his congressional seat by landslide garnering twice as many votes as his counterpart. he's been forced to submit to a literacy test to see if he's fit to serve. the campaign slogan was it can't get any