tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 5, 2013 6:00am-10:01am EDT
king over the edge. this is for all of us. including themselves that the white church cannot afford to be smug and we need to think what is our faith really mean? >> that is exactly what i was going to do agree with jim. it's kind of, some kind of weird fluke or a weird consistency i guess i should say of human nature. it's really hard for people to do something for the right reason. even in the debate about torture now it's like we have to prove that it doesn't work in order to make your argument. you can't just say it's wrong and we don't do that. and what was kind of interesting with the eight clergymen one of the reasons that they were so shocked that king had gone after them was that they had published a statement in january in
protest of george wallace's segregation now, segregation forever a doctoral address. and for the first time they had said it's wrong and that was a really notable departure for someone to make a public statement. we listened to that now and it just seems so trivial for somebody to say that but at the time they were really going out on a limb. so when they get this back from king you know they go you are so misunderstood and when i interviewed him in the 80s he was still complaining about how king had made them out to be a bigot. that was what he had taken away from this experience. >> what the d. say? i miss some of that. >> rabbi was complaining in the 80s when i talk to him that king had made him out to be a bigot and he was really sore
about that. >> if we could collect the written questions now and we will continue but we will go ahead and do that. >> you may want to research this later. i am roman catholic and i would remind you of this. dr. king when the -- the united states itself. [inaudible] the archbishop criticized the priest and the nuns. he criticized the priest and the nuns in support of himself to support the demonstrators but say if he will put the bishop
said when he was a nationalist. he was saturated with segregation for many parishes and schools. [inaudible] >> i will just say a quick word because i know jim wants to follow with the questions but i do give a great deal of respect to him because it is true the eight clergy were not all the same and there was the callous bishop carpenter whose response was inexcusable and there was doric who became, he understood. he said i was against segregation but i did not understand it the way dr. king meant it and the one on two really embody the prophetic ministry of king and after king
was killed, he preached the words, the critique of moderates at the commemoration. and because king loved to sample other people's language he would always quote people and imagine them quoting him. he would love the fact that doric was quoting his own words back to him. he would give him such pleasure that he would stream that in and doric became king in some sense. you make a very lovely point. >> did you all write any books about -- of the klan? >> i did not. i did a little bit on bull connor but it's really diane spoke "carry me home" is an extraordinary voyage into that world so absolutely. it's terrifying and it really puts you back in that time but again a very good points to keep
in mind there. >> john let me ask you if you grew up as i did in segregation you heard -- always heard the expression extremists on both sides and what that meant was the civil rights activists were considered to be the moral equivalent of the ku klux and considered comparable. one of the brilliant passages in the letter from birmingham jail, uchitel when he's being called extreme by the clergy that the nerve on his temple starts going crazy. talk a little bit about how he embraces that label. >> well, before that again the very affable king is trying to say see, i am not extremist anti-does it in a number of boys and he talks about and reminds you of the conservatism. the boston tea party and everything but knox's did in
germany was legal and i hope i would have been there for my jewish brothers and sisters if i was in nazi germany and in hungary. he puts himself with the hungarian freedom fighters who violated the wall -- law to fight communist oppression. he is not really an extremist and even says look in these two strains within the african-american community there are black civic there are blacks to become adjusted to segregation or have got a little bit of privilege because they are in the middle and upper middle class and they don't want to rock the boat and then there are these voices of hate who are black nationalists who sometimes border on hatred of the white man. so came, think what he's doing about there. it's a hope portrait. you thought i was an extremist but i'm a moderate like you. i have my george wallace is and i have his other people so he has now tried to do that and
that is when he finally stops and this is how you know that king has been affable and friendly and being nice to the white man but then he turns on a dime. it's a series of slurs going back and forth. he takes the manners right back and becomes as rude as can be. i beg you to forgive me if i have shown an unreasonable impatience. who is going around begging and apologizing to the white man even in 1963? not shuttlesworth or james babil not very many people in sclc would have done that so you think he's not interested and he immediately says in the same parallel but if i have been unreasonably patient -- inpatient and goes whose convoluted phrase that says with justice i beg god to forgive me. what he basically does is he is taking the apology that because what really letters is what god
thinks and not the people he just apologized to paid once he family embraces extremism and looks like he is still acting diplomatically but he takes it back and says because ultimately what defines justice is mike god and he says in the quaker edition he left a more explicitly. the differences in the other versions are miniscule. some scholars make a big deal out of that one of the things he took out between may and june was -- let me make sure i've got this exactly. i may be confusing it but in any case there is the importance always of this embrace of extremism. i'll go i know, he does leave it in. an early version he said think about there were three extremists on calvary. two were extremists for injustice and one was extremist for love and justice.
king always identified with jesus more than moses. he used exodus often but if you listen to his weekly sermons overhears, exodus is and that import most of the time. jesus is the savior and the sacrificial endeavor so he says jesus was an extremist. love those who hate you. bless those who despise you. so again, but to really appreciate the power of this letter you have got to see. this is a little bit bad. at first he says c. i'm going to show you that i'm okay with you. i'm glad you approve of me. i'm not going going to show you who have you think i am and then the crowd turns around and says i am proud to be an extremist. he says i to pleasure the more i thought about it. there is such richness and that. >> john, as the attorneys on law and order say since you opened
the door and as a way of asking the question i'm going to ask, what john mentioned the birmingham public library is sponsoring next years reading of the letter from birmingham jail and what we did, a very simple idea. we decided we would have people here at the library read the letter aloud to whomever shows up in months to hear it. we decided that we would issue an invitation to anyone anywhere who wanted to also do the same thing any time on that day. i am not someone who understands social media so i don't quite understand how these things happen, but through the hard work of a number of people here and through this magic of this social media thing it just took off and we have on our web site at page asking everyone to just
let us know that you are going to be a -- doing a reading and where and how you might do it. when i left my office to come up here we had 176 locations signed up so far. they are all over the world. [applause] thank you john. we have locations in 28 states. we have people who will be reading the letter and the wonderful thing is it's going to go on all day because it's going to start in australia and it's going to come around the world. we have people in south africa somalia cameroon israel england northern ireland germany thailand. we have a teacher in taiwan who is teaching her students about the letter. they are going to read the letter on the 16th and then the students are going to write
letters back to dr. king which we will be receiving. so i said all of that to ask you to talk about that because you can include in the book talking about the place of the letter has not just in birmingham history or american history but in world history and in freedom fighting all over the world. >> there are two complementary impulses at work in the letter. one, of the man who is a fighter for his people. he says i'm here because injustice is here but it's really because black people are suffering. but he never forgets that he is here because universal humanity suffers. so there is nothing that he is doing in birmingham in particular or not in particular but in the letter from the birmingham jail it's -- lazarus
because the sid as king makes him is he was a rich man but it wasn't his riches that makes him the center. he is a center sinner because he did not recognize the gimpy beggar covered with sores at his door. he walked past him as if he didn't exist. in a sense for king his preaching as we have an obligation to respond to everybody, not just our own people. white people on the sidelines. that is the critique of the moderates. they have to respond and black people have to liberate themselves so it's utterly sensible that over time this document has been read not only as a civil rights in birmingham document but as it ascends psychotically to its status it takes a while to grow. it goes to the nobel prize and
describes quote words spoken to mankind. is such a powerful document that it resonates at that very occasion. the freedom fighters in polish solidarity understand this speaks to our vision of christian militants. lech walensa so when he comes to america since people to talk to andrew young and to tell them thank you for teaching us to always give our opponents ace face-saving way out. he goes to south africa and apartheid and goes to the east german movement pastors movement against communism and eventually the european and christian and black world and goes to iran and tahrir square and tiananmen square. so i think the greatness of the document is as wyatt walker felt an and andrew young put it this way, is a philosophical document
that summarizes the christian strain within the civil rights movement. it may not capture sncc but it captures an important part of the movement. it has been read by people around the world who see in king's critique of moderation and civil disobedience and his affirmation of protest kind of a reflection of their own struggles and is all great documents are, they usually read it in the light of their own world so it's all different. if you look at the game movement there is a very well-known and bisexual web site which basically translates the letter from birmingham jail into what it means for people addressing white moderates. so, the answer is part of its power is its artistry. part of its story is the
statement of black defiance and christian forbearance and the other part is that universal words spoken to mankind. >> i think we have time for one or two questions from the audience and this is touching on something i was wondering as well in terms of you know i think about president obama and the fine line he walks in not saying the angry black man because that so quickly you no, turns on you. this person has asked the u.s. a sociologist feel that king realized during his stay that -- with the apathy of the complacent and when he returned he had to change his statue. he had to push people out of their comfort zones to succeed. >> you know i have talked plenty tonight so i don't think i need to go on too long. but yes i think the question answers itself absolutely.
remember he wanted to push blacks out of their comfort zone as well as whites out of their comfort zone. the gospel of freedom, there are versions for the oppressed and the oppressor. >> this is a good question to end with here for both of our authors. my question today with so many people of color in prison and a greater disparity between rich and poor, what do we need to do today to defend the promise of 1963? >> i think that we need to use 1963 to learn to teach ourselves how to recognize and is king said inevitability.
human progress does not come on wheels of inevitability and i thought that when i was younger. i do think there is his arc that it was getting better and i don't really believe that anymore. they think things he coming around and it's really important to be able to break the code in figure out when these injustices are coming around again because they always, under a different disguise. now you know we have used some of the tools of 1963 now to fight back against the immigration law that was passed in the state that to me was reinventing jim crow. we couldn't quite -- the legislature couldn't quite recognize and of wasn't remembering that we have been there before but the resistance was ready. resistance has not succeeded so that is kind of you know but their assistance is there and knows what to do now. the clergy was the first out of the gate on that and they were
ready to protest this immigration laws. and then you know of other people joined in as well including the newspapers who are king's enemy here. so you now it's just maybe you get a little bit better as you go on down in history but it's the same issues that keep recurring. >> you know i and "gospel of freedom" by saying we misunderstood what king meant by the arc of justice and it was related to what king imagines moses, god telling moses to tell the children of israel. the arc and i'm really repeating what diane just said in a somewhat different image. king did not believe the arc of the universe would bend towards justice without men and women doing the bending which is her point about co-workers.
i hate to use a fancy word and i don't usually like them but king's vision of deliverance is quite difference from reverend cl franklin's version who was also a freedom fighter but aretha franklin's father one of the great preachers of the 20th century. when he preaches he says wait on him. he will part the waters. king's view was god wants you to deliver yourself and the bending of the universe requires that actual people bend it. the faith of the arc of justice because god is on your side. that brings us back to criminal justice and a whole lot of other things. king would say today our work is not done. he wasn't a glass is half full guy. not in a bitter pessimistic way.
just because all black people do not suffer from jim crow doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of other suffering people who required the intervention of co-workers. or co-workers for whoever is your spiritual guidance. the co-workers of active human beings to minister their pain and bring justice. so the answer is exodus repeats itself in every time and every place. it just looks different in every time and therefore the obligation of people never ceases. >> i've always thought the ultimate lesson of birmingham is one that as diane pointed out was seen playing out in our own time with questions over and the current rights and i think the lesson is when you come down on the wrong side of justice that history does not judge you well. and you live with the
consequences. i will say that i've been an archivist and a historian for 20 years and i am encouraged in that i see more and more people that are open to see this story in its complexity and to see this not only as a tragic story and some people feel we just need to stop talking about. and people who want to know and want to understand why this happened and why this does keep happening. i know you pointed out many times, kia birmingham conserve the world is a good example and as a starting place for all these conversations we need to have. speedway you all please join me in thankto professor
medgar. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. [applause] >> it is wonderful to be here this evening. i'm going to read very briefly, three short excerpts from the autobiography of medgar evers. that captures different aspects of what the book covers. the autobiography of medgar evers was a labor of love. for both myrlie and myself because medgar evers was more than simply a pioneer of the black freedom struggle. he was indeed a central figure in american history. who has yet to be fully recognized. for the giant that he was.
this evening i'd like to speak for about 20 minutes. myrlie is going to follow with her own personal reflexis and comments on her experiences in the struggle for civil rights working side-by-side with this central figure of american history, medgar wiley evers. then we can entertain questions and your comments. the true origins of medgar evers' political life can be traced back actually to 1832. when the mississippi state constitutional convention was held, establishing that state. the del cats at that convention adopted the principal of universal white manhood suffrage eliminating all property qualifications on the voting franchise. however, blacks, slave, or free
were obviously not permitted to vote during the period following the civil war of reconstruction from 1865 to 1877, there was a brief experiment in multi-racial or biracial democracy in that state. but with the demise of reconstruction, that was snuffed out. the legal and political regime of white supremacy was established in 1890. when the state held a new constitutional convention. a series of provisions were developmented including -- blacks were also kept from the polls through outright violence and lynching. between 1882 to 1927, there
were 517 after kwan americans limped in the state of -- african-americans lynched in the state of mississippi. the highest number in that state during that period. a book ward politically -- culture rooted in violence was firmly established by the early 20th century, making mississippi symbolic of everything undemocratic and oppressive in the american south. it was in that repressive environment of white domination and black subordination. into which medgar wiley evers was born on july 2, 1925 in decater, mississippi. he was one of six children of james and jesse evers. james was employed as a stacker at a decater sawmill, his wife, jesse, took in laundry and ironing for local white families.
the evers family was never well to do yet it managed to acquire land. and a -- and modest belongings. her piety and deep faith had an effect on you will all of her children. james served as a deacon of the congregation. both parents preacheded to their children the qualities of self-reliance, pride, and self-respect. values directly contradicted by the customary values that african-americans in that state were supposed to assume. as a child, medgar was taught that for his maternal great grandfather during reconstruction actually killed two white men in dispute and had some how managed to escape the white retaliation by escaping from town.
medgar, as he was growing up, was taught to have pride in himself and an awareness of his own heritage and history. when medgar was about 14 years old, an event occurred that had a profound impact upon all the subsequent events in his life. a neighborhood friend of his father's got into trouble. suppose did you for quote sassing a local white woman. at the local fairground. the black man was promptly apprehended and brutally beaten to death. the lynching had a profound effect on medgar's feeling about racial feelings surrounding himself and his entire family, he was determined to escape the omnipresent shame and fear that segregation imposed on every black person. as a teenager he sought to assert himself in various ways.
according to interviews in the riting of this book, in high school medgar was a sooth suitor wearing large oversized suits. it was also followed by a young malcolm little in harlem who would later become known as malveaux come x. as myrlie put it, his vocabulary was a little on the raunchy side when he was in high school. in 1943 medgar prematurely left high school by lying about his real age and followed his brother, charles, into the army, and he served in europe during world war ii. in 1944 the u.s. supreme court in the smith versus al right
decision, outlined the primary election that throughout the south was a means of disenfranchising african-american voters. 1946 the mississippi state legislature pass ad law exempting returning soldiers from paying the local poll tacks. -- poll tax. without pause to realize there were 08,000 african-americans who were residents of the state of mississippi who served in the segregated army in world war ii who would also be eligible to vote in that state's elections. thousands of black veterans like medgar and charles medgar with a determination to vote. so on his 21st birthday, on july 2, 1946, charles medgar evers and four other young
black world war ii veterans walked to the county courthouse, word of plans of their voting spread and decatur's main street was nearly vacant. a cluster of well-armed angry white men stood at the courthouse entrance. according to the account of charles evers, they held schott shotguns, rifles and pistols, quote, we stood at the courthouse steps eyeballing each other. >> whites who knew them and respected their parents urged them to leave before violence erupted. the sheriff did nothing to assure they vote. he wasn't going to let us vote but he didn't want to try to kill us. he knew he might have to kill us, but he didn't want to do that. finally it was medgar who decided that today was not the best time to have a confrontation. certainly not when the odds were six against 20.
don't worry, said medgar. we'll get them next time. as they departed one enraged racist yelled you damn evers anythingers are going to get all the negroes killed. this was the education of medgar evers. our book documents through his writings and speeches if extraordinary journey that this great men took. beginning as he was, coming back from the war, sacrificing his life. sacrificing all of these things. his freedom, to fight for a democracy that did not include his people, his family, his friends or himself. he attended all -- alcorn
university. alcorn college. became one of the most well-respected and popular students on the campus. a business major, he excelled in track and football as an athlete. he became the editor of the campus newspaper for several years and was recognized by being named who's who in american colleges. perhaps his main accomplishment was winning and -- winning over an 18-year-old sister from mississippi to be his wife. and the two became an indom nabble force, in a partnership that rewrote the history of the civil rights movement. i want to move forward in the book and talk about what happened when myrlie and medgar went to live at their first -- the first home that they had
was in mound bayou, mississippi. now, for young people out here, mount bye yew is an historic african-american town founded by montgomery in the mississippi delta. the book begins in early 1952, the evers household moved to mount bayou and medgar began to travel extensively throughout the delta visiting dozens of 'em improve relinquished homes to -- he could scarcely believe the backwardsness of the delta region. he said that gave him a real taste of poverty on the plantation, myrlie now reflects. he said to me, at least i can call these people many and mrs. . i can give them a sense of dignity.
i can help them when they need to escape. share croppers who owed their landlords incredible sum of money simply would vanish from their hasn'ties in the middle of the night fleing to memphis then freedom in the north to chicago. medgar courageously decided to assist them. medgar became active in civil rights organizations, and he, along with other young black women and men, seriously questioned whether it was possible to achieve substantive civil rights or political reforms. perhaps other kinds of solutions and strategies. learning from the experiences of black people struggling throughout the african -- throughout africa and the cribans needed to be employed
in the black belt south. medgar was fascinated particularly by the revolution that was being waved in kenya in the 1950's, and in particular, the charismatic intellectual kenyatta. kenyatta came to personify for medgar, the kind of leadership the african-americans needed to embodyy. medgar studied whether armed struggle should be employed. why oppress blacks in the mississippi delta against their white oppressers? medgar seriously struggled with the issue. was armed struggle the way forward? eventually medgar came to the conclusion that it was possible to build a nonviolent movement. nevertheless, i think it is significant that when myrlie and medgar had their first
child, darryl, his middle name is kenyatta. unlike dr. king, medgar was not an advocate of nonviolence in the face of white terrorism. he purchaseed a rifle, and over the next years carried it with him in his automobile in case he had to protect his family or himself. he concluded that race war was unfortunately a very real possibility in the deep south. if white structural racism, the extensive socioeconomic institutions of prejudice, power, and privilege that created a permanent sub class of americans. endured, then what alternatives would blacks have? myrlie, during the writing of this book said to me that
medgar and her quote, we found ourselves in a separate part of america. how we could not be starved out, how we could be in a location where we would not be surrounded and wiped out at one time. he was thinking about building a nation, a nation of black people. this is a side of medgar evers that few of us really appreciate i'd like to go to the very end of the book and talk briefly, first by reading a short excerpt then talking about my personal experiences working with myrlie. medgar evers was sags nailted. -- assassinated. when pronounced dead at the university of mississippi medical center at 1 cologne 14 a.m. june 12, 1963. he was 37 years of age. this was the first political
assassination of the modern black freedom movement. but it would not be the last. perhaps the thousands of women, men, and children who gathered in jackson to honor their servant leader understood this that evers death had changed everything. thousands of people who came 6,000 who came to the funeral including dr. king and other prominent civil rights leaders understood that something had fundamentally changed. the vast majority came, however, were not prominent celebrities. they were not prominent civil rights spokespersons, they came from hundreds of tiny touns and rural areas from all over the state of mississippi to honor their native son. they marched three miles from
the ma sonic temple to the home on the street. all of them we want. others chanted "after medgar, no more fear." following the formal funeral march, several demonstrators went to capital street downtown. the reverend ed quing, other civil rights activists quho could be quickly identified by the police were clubbed, stampeded, the cops began to shoot up in the air over the heads of the demonstrators. in death med ger -- medgar evers became not just the principal architect of the black freedom struggle in the state of mississippi. he was no longer the holder of the most difficult civil rights job in the country. that of field organizer of the
naacp in the most difficult and racist state in the nation. he was now indeed, a hero to the entire nation. following medgar's efforts, several rights organizations doubled their amendment to contain fundamental democratic change against racism in mississippi. the congress racial equality slerted their voter registration campaign in the fourth district. they then launched an ambitious -- so that thousands of mississippi residents would indeed vote. they organized a mock election held in the autumn of 1963 in which nearly 100,000 african-americans vote indeed that state in the mock election. the following year there was
the freedom summer of 1964. 1,000 largely white idealistic college students traveled to the state of mississippi to assist local civil rights workers engaging in voter registration and education campaigns. and yet as all of us know, there were more sacrifices. three civil rights activists, michael shwarner, and two others were brutally murdered in late august 1964, white racists were responsible for fire bombing and attacking. that summer alone, 37 black churches, 80 civil rights workers were seriously injured by beatings. 9,000 civil rights activists that summer alone had been arrested.
but with the courageous leadership of fanny lou hamer, of aaron henny, of charles evers who had replaced his late younger brother as the naacp field secretary, there was no turning back. in august, 1964, president lyndon johnson -- they passed the civil rights act outlawing racial segregation laws. the first such law in american history. the following year the voting rights act was passed. by 1969, in the span of only six years, mississippi went from less than 6% blacks who were registered to vote to 61%. today, the largest number of after kwan american elected officials of any state in the country is from the state of mississippi.
medgar evers' vision has yet partially -- and i want to repeat that. partially has come true. this is the book that documents in his own words the struggle of medgar evers. but i want to speak for just one minute about the courage, the dignity, and the struggle of myrlie evers williams. in putting together this book, this labor of love. i traveled several times to mississippi, and i walked with myrlie through her former home. where medgar had been killed. i stood in the carport where medgar had been shot cowardly in the back. she told me the story of how late at night after her husband's murder, that she would go outside in the middle of the night and try to scrub out the stain of his blood stai
the carport, from the driveway, a stain that was a stain on the driveway, but a stain that had taken away a beloved father from her children, a loving husband from herself, but had taken away a central figure and visionary leader of the black freedom struggle. and for all of us, regardless of race who believe in democracy in this country. i walked into her bedroom, and she paused for a moment, and i asked her why. she told me the story of several days before medgar's assassination, he came home early. she was ironing his white shirts and starching them. she had done about a dozen. she said aren't you going to thank me for ironing and starching your shirts? he said i'm not going to be
needing them. what we owe medgar evers and what we owe myrlie evers williams cannot be put into words. because the struggle for democracy and the struggle for freedom is indeed a struggle. and what we have sacrificed for the principles of this country ironically a majority that benefits from those principles does not realize the sacrifices and the pain that it has taken to win them for all of us. part of medgar's greatness was his conviction that what he thought for was not something narrowly just for black folk, but something that was a principle that extended to all americans. he wanted fairness and justice
for all. but as an african-american, he was grounded in his history, he was grounded in his people, and what he fought for was human dignity and justice for black folk. it is a struggle that was worth fighting for, and he believed it was worth dying for. that is why i am deeply honored to be with my partner and friend, myrlie evers williams, in putting forward for the first time the voice, the writings, and the documents of medgar evers. i'd like to turn the podium over now to myrlie evers williams. [applause] >> thank you.
good evening to all of you, and i'm so delighted to see you here. i am, as always, moved by my friend, dr. manning maribel, and how articulate he is, the historian that he is, the picture that he presents to us so thoroughly and so colorfully. if i may at this point call you manning in front of all of these people, i thank you, i thank you. dr. maribel has played such an important role in getting this book published and out to the public. i want to in my thanking him tell you how this came about. but before i do that, i do want
to say that he is a man who makes promises and i'm sure very carefully, but he keeps them. and that's something that epitomized medgar as well. of not promising anything that you can't keep, but that that you do promise, keep that promise. and that's what medgar did. i thank you, too, for going into his younger years and back ground. i met medgar evers the first day, the first hour of the first day that i was on campus as a freshman student, and we mississippians call it alcorn a&m college. my grandmother and my aunt had just left me at my dormitory, and they left me with their last words of wisdom, and to
quote them, they said -- and they called me baby. baby, now don't get involved with any of those veterans. within 30 minutes, i was involved, so to speak, with one of those veterans. we freshmen had come to the campus a week before everyone else, the upper classmen had come. there was a football practice going on and medgar was a member of the football team. we were standing out by the president's house, and there was a big, tall light pole, and i just happened to be leaning on it, and all of a sudden you heard the found as though a herd of elephants or something was coming your way. we looked up and we saw all of these football fellows still
dressed in full regalia and dressed in their cleats, and that was what was making the noise. they came over, they looked at us up and down as though to say let me see which one i will claim for myself. this man came over to me. he looked at me. i looked at him. and he said you'd better get off of that light pole. you may get shocked. he said i simply tossed my hair. it was long then. and gave him a funny look, and that was it. but i was intrigued. little did i know that his words of being shocked would come to fruition because my life was never the same after that moment, never the same
after that moment. medgar was what we called at that time a big wheel on campus. big in sports. editor of his yearbook. president of his class and all of those other wonderful things that dr. marable said. but he was something else as well. he was someone that everyone looked up to, but he was also at the same time someone that people were afraid of. teachers, students, because he would tell them particularly the fraternity men, you party too much. be serious about why you are here. what about the communities from which you came? what about your ability to register and vote? the teachers said about him he rocked the boat. the students said about him he's ok, but he doesn't know
what fun is. i found all of that intriguing. when we would talk, i would find myself making an excuse to go to my dormitory room and look up words that he had used, and he didn't do that to embarrass me or anyone else, but he had moved from that point of expressing himself with words that were not of the best choice to someone who had really become interested, interested in education, interested in refinement, and interested in being able to articulate to everyone, whether they were his classmates, other students, the teachers, the president of the college, anyone else what he felt, how he saw his country, and what he thought needed to be done. he said i went into the army, i
served my country, i came home and i found out that i was still a second-class citizen. my father was still addressed as boy. i was addressed as boy. my mother as girl. in a sense, we were slaves of that mentality during that period of time. medgar decided that he could only do one thing, and that was to give of himself to make those changes. i was really surprised and a little enthralled by the man because in the first couple of weeks that we dated, he said to me i'm going to make you into the kind of woman i want you to be. i was 17 years old.
i knew nothing about the women's movement, anything like that. but believe you me, that struck a chord with me. i don't like this, but i'm fascinated by it. he also said to me shortly thereafter you are going to be the mother of my children. i replied as a naive girl of 17 but you haven't told me you love me yet. and his reply was whenever i do, i'll let you know. but there was something about the man who had a sense of purpose even then, who knew what he wanted, who knew how to go about it that was absolutely fascinating to me, and it was different, very different. medgar came from a family, as you have already heard, of
activists. his father challenged the system. they called him crazy jim because he simply refused to take any of those negatives from other people in the community. it was a time when we were not allowed to walk on the sidewalks. daddy jim made sure his family walked on the sidewalks. when he was challenged about the cost of food, his bill, medgar and charles there in the store with him, and he said no, that's not it. and this group of men descended upon him, and i am told that he said to his sons go outside where it's safe. daddy jim proceeds to take a bottle from some place, crack it across the counter, and to
tell those men who were challenging him, his sons, and his family come on, come on. backed out of the door, and they went home. but that was the kind of example of manhood, of strength , of devotion to family that medgar grew up in. i grew up in another kind of home, one where there were three females in it. my aunt, my grandmother, and myself. we didn't argue because my grandmother had the last word each and every time. so it was peaceful there. they were school teachers. and their motto was don't rock the boat. so here we have these two people coming together, one
that says i can't do anything beyond what society has set for me, and the other saying you are so wrong. you must challenge that society . don't reach for the stars, go beyond that. i admit to you that there were periods of adjustment here and there. i did not always support medgar in his work. that's not something i'm necessarily proud of, but remember how young i was, and i was deathly afraid of his life. when we moved to this town of mount bayou, mississippi, we worked for an insurance company , and how southern it is, the magnolia mutual life insurance company. it was owned by negros, as we used the word to describe
ourselves then, and medgar said why not work to build businesses in our own communities? and i can be control of my career. i worked alongside of him, an i.b.m. punch card operator, as i recall, when the computers as such were every bit as big as this table. we were there, and medgar decided he wanted to pursue a law career. it's something that most people don't know, that medgar evers was thers african-american to apply for admission to the university of mississippi. of course he was rejected. and in this book as i thumbed through it to kind of refresh my memory, i saw a copy of the letter that he had written in response to them, governor
coleman's rejection. he was asked well, where are you going to stay? and he said in the dormitory, sir, with the other students. i bathe every day and i guarantee you this brown will not rub off on anyone else. and he was determined to pursue that. he was rejected. the naacp said come, work with us, open up the first office of the nacp in mississippi, and he accepted, provided that i was his secretary. they agreed, and we moved to jackson, mississippi, and a whole new life opened up to us. but during that time when medgar felt so hostile toward his own country and when he felt that the only way we could
possibly survive was an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, he and other strategically planned how they would manipulate and use what little resources they had to protect his family. and i'm reminded now of this one piece of what? warfare i guess i can call it that we had that was broken down into three parts. it was a machine gun. and i often asked him, i said what good will that do if we need it? when one part of it is in the upper delta of clarksdale, the other part is in a lower part of the delta in cleveland, and we have one part, how will we ever come to bring that one -- those three pieces together for one piece of damage, i guess i should call it? and he said don't worry about it.
we have a plan. that spoke over the years to the plan that we had as well in the way in which we communicated with each other. i'm going to fast forward just a little. i find what is happening today so critically important to what happened during that time, because it was during that time when emmett till was killed, and medgar and others dressed in old clothes and disguising themselves as sharecroppers made that investigation possible that we read about today. i remember the anger and the hurt and the need for revenue generals of a sort. but he was able to take that
anger in vengeance manner and turn it into can go using the mind, the strategies, the techniques. and when you read this book, i think you will find that those strategies are there for any community group to go to action. and i don't mean violence now, but just a plan of action that we can adopt today that took place then. i of how important it is that today we look at what's happening in philadelphia, mississippi, when this man is on trial for the murder of the three civil rights leaders that occurred one year almost to the day after medgar's assassination. here we are looking at that. what do we see?
we still see a few ku klux klan members cheering him on. we still find that people in those communities are saying that's an old case. we don't need to revive it. why bring up the past? let's let it go. let's let god take care of it. and i answer did not god give us a mind? did not god give us the strength? why are we depending on that? that can bring closure, i feel, to all of these negatives that still float around in the air, whether they be in mississippi or whether it be in other parts of this country. it was the same thing that was told to me. years and years i searched for evidence that would help us get a third trial with medgar's assassin. people said you're crazy,
you're living in the past. you've got to move away from it. i can't help you. i won't help you. and this one word, one word that medgar had and i had, and i hope all of us want to make positive changes will have, and that's perseverance. a believing in something, a being determined, having that vision. being determined of seeing that vision comes into being. and assessing whatever is out there, the pros and the consequence to make the positive change that we need. it's almost as i stand before you today it's like all of these things are kind of coming around full circle again. and we're finding interest again in what happened during that time because indeed it does relate to us today and where we are.
i say oftentimes that we don't have to worry about the klan or others visiting us in their white robes and hoods. but what we do have to worry about or be concerned or at least aware about are those in the brooks brothers suits who are still undercutting what this country is all about and what it's supposed to be about and what medgar worked and stood for. now, you might ask me why, why this book? for years, i was upset, i was hurt, i was angry. i didn't know what to do. and i said why is it that every book, every magazine, every pamphlet, every calendar that corporate america puts out or
what not, medgar's name is not mentioned, or it is mentioned as a footnote, or there is simply one sentence that says medgar evers, civil rights leader, slain june 12, 1963, period. this book is not about medgar's death. it is about his life, of living, of loving, of strategizing, of moving forward. and hopefully as we read, as we pass the book on to others, we will reach out to young people. young people who are interested in this period of time and those who are not, to help them to understand and move away in many cases from the attitude i don't need your help, i don't need to know. i have made it on myself. that is something i don't need
to be bothered with. hopefully in this book, we will find ways to communicate with them and through medgar's letters, through his reports you will be able to say to them this is why. make this link between this past where you are today and your future and the role you play one way or the other, positive or negative, as leaders in your community. so if those things can happen as a result of this book, then i personally would be able to say medgar, it was worth it. and sometimes that is very difficult to say. again, i think about emmett till and i think about us as our young son, who was 3 years old when his father was
assassinated, a young man, went to arlington cemetery when his dad's basket was exhumed, and they took the body, the casket to albany, new york. and van insisted on being there. we didn't know what they would find in the casket. what they did find changed his life forever. because when the casket was opened, medgar's body was as well preserved as it had been two or three weeks since his death, except for the tips of his fingers. that was documented on tv. it was documented in pictures. so we know. and i know that it was a fact when my child said to me mom, now i know where i came from. it was a blessing that that happened. so as much as we might think
that it's very difficult for us to go through times like that, it's critically important as well. and i am just so hopeful that as we revisit these cases, as we revisit where we are and we are honest with ourselves in terms of where we are in our communities, that we will soon adopt what manning marable says, that we need servant leaders. not people who are out there for the glory and for the press, but people who have a vision, who truly believe in their people, in their country, and to change it around. there is a letter in this book that medgar sent to president eisenhower at the time, and he said to him you have invited people from russia, a delegation from russia to come to america and view how
democratic we are, how we vote. and he said to him may i suggest to you, mr. president, that you bring that russian delegation to mississippi so they can see what it's like, see what it's like. and i'm saying this now, see what it's like to be asked the question how many bubbles in a bar of soap? to see what it is to be asked how many peas or beans in this jar? to see what it's like to have from the depth of your soul the spirit and the desire to register and to vote. and you can't do it. instead, your business is shot in two. your name is listed in the paper. the banks call in your mortgage overnight in full. think of those things, my
friends. not to go back with a negative oh, this is the way it was, but to learn from it. and i truly hope that that is what will happen. i am just overwhelmed by the people who have purchased this book, who have come to me, who have stood as you are sitting and said we need this book because there is nothing out there by him. we need to know what he thought . we need to know how he walked. wep. we need to know how he walked. we node to know how he felt about death. and i hasten quickly to say that medgar evers did not want to be a martyr. he did not want to die. he wanted to live to see his children grow up. but as he said to me in those last days, i am so tired but i
can't stop. this is something i must do. and i knew he meant that because we did not have an all sweet and kind marriage. it was a loving one, it was a very good one, but in the early years i couldn't embrace, as i said earlier, all that he was doing. it was because i was afraid. but he said to me i cannot fight the people out there, and bring my people along and come home and fight with you. myrlie, you have a choice to make. either you're with me or you aren't. and, of course, i'm standing here, so you know the decision that i made. as i look at all of the changes that have taken place in our country, even though it may be difficult to say, i can say medgar, it was worth it all, and he would agree with me as
well. i thank you, and if you have any questions, i will be willing to answer them. [applause] >> if there are questions, fine. if there aren't, that's wonderful, too, because i expect all of you to purchase one or more books. and we will be absolutely delighted to sign them. well, i don't see any hands. >> still thinking. >> still thinking. the gentleman here. >> try to talk into the mike, if you can, if that's possible. >> can you hear me? good evening. i admire your strength. my -- i grew up in virginia.
i went to a high school in a small rural county in virginia. the black history section was only like seven books. the first book i ever read was for "for us to live." i couldn't find a copy of it. when i became a man, i told myself i would get the original copies of all the books i received in hard copy. i picked this up in a black memorabilia show in gaithersburg. i would be honored if you would sign it for me this evening as well. >> i would be honored. thank you very much. >> pleek into the mike. >> again, i would be delighted to sign it for you. thank you. >> i did have my hand up. i went to the play last night. what did you think of your character in the play -- in the play last night?
>> i was so pleased to be in attendance at that play "if this hat could talk." it's about the life of dorothy haigt. i was also surprised to see the myrlie character in the play. i had no idea. what did i think of it? i think the young woman performed admirably. i see myself a little bit differently than i think she did, and perhaps i was like that at that time, and living has made me much tougher and stronger. i truly was devastated when medgar was killed. what can i say except that he was the love of my life? i wasn't sure that i could
live. i'm not sure i wanted to live after that, but i had three children who were looking at me, and i had to survive for them. i can recall in her words in the play, she said certainly no one is going to hurt you, medgar, because the f.b.i. is here and others are here. the f.b.i. is here was not meant as a sense of protection, because we knew better than that. they were not there to protect us at all. so there was that little -- i don't know what to call it -- that maybe gave the sense that i truly thought that the f.b.i. was going to protect us, and that was not so at all. i'm just pleased that the character was there. for the brief moment because you didn't ask, but i am going
to ask this, when the movie "the ghost of mississippi" came out and whoopi goldberg played myrlie, i said to whoopi on one occasion please put a little whoopi into the myrlie character. and i know she wanted the correct pay to portray me, but i was very angry at that time, and i wanted a little more emotion to show with it. she did a very good job with the script that she had, which wasn't much for that character. so, you know, different interpretations of a person. medgar used to say to me sometimes you aren't quite as nice as people think. they don't know because i have to live with you. so, you know, i don't know. it all depends on who you are, where you are at that particular period in time. but thank you for asking, and i hope that that play will be successful throughout this country.
>> i'm just wondering if over the years you have given some thought to perhaps what we might do now to continue and build on some of the struggle people made. it seems at a certain point people experienced certain gains and maybe didn't think about all of the effort that had gone into the progress we have now and the effort we need to really move forward again. we're kind of in a point where if we don't move forward from here, we're going to move backwards. if you have any ideas of what you think might be -- >> i'm sure that dr. marable also has strong opinions with that as well. i truly feel that those of us of that generation who were activists and paid such dear prices were so pleased when we began to see some progress
being made, when we realized that our children would not have to go through the same things that we did at that time, and we were retired, battle fatigued, and just kind of stood back and let out a big whew. we've finally done it. as a result of that, i truly don't believe that we worked with our children in terms of imparting that history to them in the way we should have, and now we are trying to recapture some of that, and i'm afraid we're going to have to be very creative in order to do that and to bring young people into the fold, or at least listen to them and follow them because that's really what we did during the civil rights movement. our young people took the stand, and they moved forward, and they were beaten and they were bitten by dogs and they were thrown into dirty trash
trucks. they found themselves behind barbed wire in mississippi with the food being brought in in tin tubs and the policeman spitting in it, you know? they went through so much during that time, and some way or the other, we have to do that, too. i do believe with all of the different groups that we have, and the media still ask who is your leader. not leaders. who is your leader? that we are going to have to come together as a unit at least for once and develop a plan of action, of strategy that every organization can go out and implement in its own way. very similar to what mayor hatcher did in gary, indiana, some years ago when he brought the groups together.
>> one of the reasons that -- the way that i became involved in this project was myrlie honored me very deeply by inviting me to give the first medgar evers honorary lecture in jackson, mississippi, in 2003. and during the research, i learned that when medgar was killed, in his back pocket, he had his voter card showing that he was a registered voter. it was stained in his blood from his assassination. medgar evers was killed because he fought for the democratic right that all americans have to vote. what is important for us to consider is that that vote is now being taken away all over
this country and especially in mississippi. a third of all black males in that state have lost the right to vote for life. we have millions of americans, white, black, and hispanic who have lost the right to vote either permanently or temporarily because they are former prisoners. and so the prison industrial complex, the structure of the criminal justice system in this country that penalizes unfairly millions of people who are disproportionately black and hispanic, and low-income and working class and unemployed folk taking away their right to vote after they have paid their debt to society, millions of people. 818,000 floridians, citizens of the state of florida were not allowed to vote in the
presidential election of 2000 because they had a felony -- prior felony conviction. in states like mississippi, across the south especially in the far west. many of these states you lose the right to vote for the rest of your natural life. and so what i call the new racial dough main, the colorblind racism of the 21st century doesn't have the simplicity of the old white and colored signs that segregated us when i was a child, when i was a boy growing up, visiting my grandmother and my relatives in tuskegee, alabama, in the 1960's. the new colorblind racism is mass unemployment, mass incarceration, and mass disenfranchisement. all three of these things, this unholy trinity, it represents a new kind of institutional racism that in my view is even
more pernicious than the old jim crow system because it's colorblind. it doesn't operate with the word -- with the epithets of nigger. it now carries out the disenfranchisement and oppression in a colorblind race-neutral way. read "the new york times" the other day, pointing out that african-americans who have the identical criminal record and identical job qualifications will be turned down for jobs at three times the right of white former prisoners. an african-american male who has no criminal record has a more difficult time getting a job in this country than a white man who has gone to prison. so when you look at are we going backward -- oh, yes, we're going backward rapidly.
so i participated in this book because, unfortunately, we must relearn the knowledge that medgar had. we've moved backward 50 years from the kind of vision and strategy and commitment to serve the community that medgar embodied, and until we get a leadership that speaks to that, we will continue to regress. but if we have a knowledge base of what it takes, what does it take to lead? leaders aren't born. they are made. medgar's parents, that community helped make him the visionary he was. we can make our young women and men have the same values, courage, and principles yet again because the challenges are even greater today than they were then, because we now
have colorblind racism. >> thank you. just let me add this to what dr. marable has said. in these last few days, i believe we have certainly had a wake-up call in this country. when the senate voted to apologize for the lynchings that have taken place, everyone did not vote in favor of that. you would think today that might not be the case, but when you look at it, you say initially there should have been no lynchings anyway. secondly, it's taken so long to say i'm sorry. what benefit does that get for us, i'm not sure. and maybe the benefit comes
from the third thing that i'm going to mention, is that everyone did not vote for that, and if you look at it, i go right home again, because the representatives from the state of mississippi said no, and they said why should we do that? and i think of one in particular who said praises be unto you, strom thurmond, at his birthday party. have you forgotten that little incident? if we had elected you then, we wouldn't have to deal with these now. what did he do? he went on b.e.t., he went on
every radio station and tv station he could get on apologizing for it because i think -- i think it was the president who said you really need to do something to smooth that over. even if you feel that way. and he did that. but doesn't that say to you what i just said no longer in white robes but in blue brooks brothers suits. these men after all the apologies that they made said no, we are not voting on apology, why should we? we don't have to. and for any of us who have fallen asleep and think that it's all right, you need to refer to that and think how far have we come and what do we have to do, because you don't
register, you don't vote, you don't say all right, i have done my part, and then not keep up with what those elected and appointed officials are doing. it's a continuous struggle, and you have to be awear lest we're going to end up losing everything through all kinds of acts that are being passed, all kinds of action that is being taken on terrorism today, and the little subtleties that go underneath. am i taking too much time? yes, i am, but i do want to say we must be aware, ever-vigilant. >> all right. [applause] >> myrlie, you should get the last word. you no, i said it. >> i want to thank you for
coming out tonight. i know there are additional questions, but c-span is covering this, so we have to reach at least the conclusion at this stage. but we're not disappearing, and we will answer questions. yes, you do have -- but you seem to have an urgent question. yes? one more question. one more. >> i need to say something that's very important. i'm from the mississippi delta. medgar evers was one of my heroes. when i was growing up in mississippi. in fact, i saw him shortly before he was killed. i want to say that i will always remember his service and the freedom struggle. i am grateful that the two of you are bringing his legacy and his living and the documents,
we need the documents that show his sacrifice. i just can't tell you how this anniversary, it's like an anniversary because this time in june so many years ago reminds me of the day that i learned that he had died. i will always, always remember that. and i just can't tell you how we mississippians benefited from his sacrifice. >> it is a fitting closure. medgar -- and the only thing i would add to that is that actually medgar evers lives because as long as there is the struggle for justice, medgar is alive and well, and this book is a testament to his courage, to his dignity.
it is his voice, it is his vision for the struggle for freedom. it was an honor to work with myrlie to put this together so that a future generation could be similarly inexpired to achieve the greatness that he embodies. thank you so much. and now please come forward. we would love to sign your copies. thank you very much. [applause] >> our special booktv programming in time continues tonight at 8 p.m. eastern with a form on the 50th anniversary edition of "the feminine mystique."
the american enterprise institute hosts the chief of naval operations. talking about the navy's plans for the next 10 years. he is expected to be asked about the navy's role in the possible use of military force in syria. that's on c-span3 at 8:30 a.m. eastern. here on c-span2 at 9 a.m., you will see a forum on iran's nuclear program hosted by the carnegie endowment for international peace. on our companion network c-span, a panel of scholars from the brookings institution will discuss the use of military force in syria. that's at 3 p.m. eastern. >> wilson was so intellectual and he was our most academic most educated president, don't present with a ph.d. as result of that i think most of the books that were written about him has been academic in nature. i think that ms. the very human side of this man.
he was deeply emotional, passionate, romantic figure. he had two wives. his first wife died, he courted and fell in love with a woman, and merit a second time. he wrote thousands of passionate love letters to each of these women. this was a real living, breathing human being. and i don't think we have seen that about woodrow wilson. >> pulitzer prize-winning author a. scott berg's biography of woodrow wilson releases next week. hear more sunday night at eight on c-span's q&a. >> according to a brookings institution report released this week, a free trade agreement between the u.s. and european union's could cause trouble for economic -- could cause economic trouble for turkey. this is an hour and a half.
>> ladies and gentlemen, if everyone could have a seat. there's a couple of seats at the front. i'm fiona hill, the director and i'm delighted to see so many people turning out here just one day after the labor day break. they chose were already for action and work again. we have a very interesting event today on turkey and the transatlantic trade and investment project which is a bit of a mouthful. i got to practice that sometimes in elevator. trip myself over ttip, not the most promising acronym for big negotiation. but nonthelessnegotiation.
but nontheless, one that has really gained a lot of scrutiny, a lot of attention around town, which is testament to come there so many turned out today. we today are going to take a look at the transatlantic trade and investment partnership from the role of turkey. our colleague kemal kirisci who is a senior fellow here at brookings and also the director of the central on the turkey project, just did a report which looks like most of you to finish the -- managed to get a copy of for those of you just in case if you didn't get a copy you'll also be able to download this from the brookings website, and plus as i know from coming to the office today with boxes of it sitting around. if you didn't get a copy please get in touch with it and the conservative one out to you again. kemal is launching the report today and we'll be talking about some of his conclusions come
having spent several months now looking at turkey's interest in the negotiations about this is likely to unfold and the challenges this will pose not just for europe and the united states but for turkey itself, and by indications some of the other countries it would be very interesting to see how the trade deal between europe and the united states may unfold. we are also very much delighted to have our neighbor uri dadush from carnegie endowment who is one of the u.s.'s leading experts on economic and trade topics. and his director of international economics program next door at carnegie. the format will be that kemal will give it we've overview of his report, which you all have, and then uri will give some commentary based on his experience and his own work on this issue. and then they will both open it up to you in the audience for more of a discussion and also the questions. and, finally, i would like to
thank our colleagues from the turkish industry and business association. we're just representatives sitting here in the front row. for their support for this project over all the turkey project but also the work that kemal has been doing on this topic. as you can all imagine there are lots of people in turkey who are very interested in reading anyone's report, so we hope that this will also be of use to people elsewhere as they address this question. kemal, without any further ado, headed over to you, and very much look forward to over interaction with all of you have come to this. thank you very much. >> well, thank you, fiona. i wasn't very sure whether we're going to do this from standing on the stage, sitting on the stage or standing at the stage. well, i would like to thank you for joining us this afternoon. ttip is a topic that i became
exposed to, or encountered, as soon as i arrived at brookings earlier in the year in january. i can't say that i had heard it before. it was a topic that evolved to be one close to my heart. so i feel very committed to the topic and i am delighted that uri is able to join us because i can tell he's going to try to bring me down to earth on solid grounding. july was a very interesting month because the transatlantic trade and investment partnership first round of negotiation took place. and in the same month also took place the 18th around of the transatlantic -- trans-pacific partnership negotiations. now, when you put the two together on the basis of the 2012 statistics, they constitute
just about just under two-thirds of the world gdp, the gross domestic product. and at the same time, a little bit under 50% of the world's trade. i think when you put these two figures together, one can begin to understand why turkey is very much interested in joining in finding a way in participating in ttip. what i also got to observe soon after i became interested in the topic is that government bureaucracy and the business world appeared to be on the same wavelength on this topic. the prime minister himself has written a personal letter from to obama. the minister of foreign affairs,
when he received his counterpart, john kerry in march, this was a topic he also brought up. and in the meantime, major turkish business association from the union of chamber of commerce, whose representatives are here, have expressed interest in turkey's participation in ttip. i believe out there amongst government bureaucracy and business circles there is, if i dare to say, intuitive feel why this is important in terms of turkey's future economic performance. and all this is happening against the following background that here is turkey who has been part of the western economic order since ruling the very beginning, since the period when
the imf, world bank, cap, although started. furthermore, it's also taking place against the background of turkey becoming a trading space. we might need this. you may have heard that once the churchill at the house of commons when he pulled up his watch, people from the four were yelling at him saying that you need a calendar, calendar, not a watch. [laughter] but i doubt i will perform at his level here. in the last 20, 30 years the turkish economy has been transformed dramatically and trade has come to play a very important role. i'll return to this issue, but we have also introduced since january sensitive and interest in this topic a terrible in time both in turkey's region in terms
of the middle east. i did not to go into the details of it, but also in terms of turkey itself. and many would agree that turkey, turkey's democracy has taken an important didn't, and that the are the early signs of economic difficulties in the horizon building up. however, the background is that turkey is in a very important geography. i believe it's in the get on with the -- it's in a geography of two forms of government, what we could call the transatlantic form of government that relies on democracy, liberal democracy, free markets and human rights. and on the other hand, it's the government's model that puts more emphasis on what they call sovereign democracy and state involvement in capitalism, one
way or the other. so what i would like to say in the remaining time is what is at stake here? why is turkey so keen, go a little bit more into details of it. what has been so far the u.s. in the eu response is? and let me say that not been very excited so far. what should be done and what are the challenges and opportunities there? a few very quick words about the trans-pacific partnership and ttip itself. very simplistically again, i see these two exercises as exercises that are trying to pick up from where bill had failed, to deepen -- doha fail. to deepen world trade with what they call a wto plus agenda. not just removal of patterns but also addressing the issue of
nontariff barriers, much more important, we begin to harmonize rules to deal with investments, public procurement, labor rules and much more important, particularly for the u.s., harmonizing rules that govern intellectual property. in the words of one expert in the area, this is an attempt to create a new trade rule book for the coming decades, if not the century. and it aims, both aims to achieve job and growth, job creation and growth. much more interestingly, the european commission responsible for trade called the tipping point strategy, in a way get a number of like-minded countries together they constitute an important part of the world trade and develop these rules in a way to compel others to come
on board if they want to benefit from the more open and liberalized market. the undersecretary of state also made reference to alluding to ttip as an economic nature, the notion that the u.s. is strong, the eu is going to be stronger, if the eu is strong, the u.s. is going to be stronger in international relations at large. and i can't help think that reminds me of deputy to immediately after the second world war. let's say a few words about whether turkey stands these days. i think, i believe turkey in the last two or three years, decades, have gone through an economic massive transformation. we had an event in the spring this year that looks at the phenomenon here at brookings. in 1979 -- 75, when i still a
junior student at university in east temple, turkey's foreign trade was just a mere $6 billion. in 2012 last year, this has gone up to $390 billion. a huge change, and maybe the best way of capturing what otherwise even aids statistics, is that back in 1975, foreign trade correspondence were just about 9% of turkey's gdp. today, it corresponds to 50% of turkey's gdp, and i think they should give you a rough idea of the significance of foreign trade, as far as turkey's contemporary recent economic performance is. what is the
background? customs union is very critical. that came into operation in
1996. and in terms of ttip, what is significant here is that turkey has incorporated 55% of the european union rules that govern the internal market. so you could say for all intents and purposes, turkey is part of the internal marketplace. even though the european union place in turkey's overall foreign trade has fallen from 47, 49% in the late 1990s, early 2000s, to about 30% today, the eu is still the largest partner of turkey as far as foreign trade goes. and through the interviews i made i came to realize how businesses in turkey are trying to give priority to what they call the wind, 1.5% profit
they going to make with business in the european union to 80, 90,
100% profit elsewhere in the world. most of the foreign direct investments that comes to turkey, around 75%, comes from the european union, and about 65% of turkish investment abroad goes to the european union as well. this is also a period during which turkey's engagement with the neighborhood, in economic terms, increase significantly. this has important implications for ttip. i won't go into the details for benefit of time. and thirdly, for all the criticism mean made direct to the turkish government, the prime minister as well as his foreign minister, by the late 2000s, there was a very clear vision about what he wanted to
achieve in the middle east entrance of economic regional integration and liberalization but he had envisioned a middle east where there would be a bit like europe, free movement of goods and people from the most eastern city to the atlantic ocean. however, that, as you're all aware, has turned south. lastly, with obama coming to power and then his famous visit at the very early stage of his first term, the model partnership was launched, one of its important legs being improving economic relations. and in that context the framework for economic and commercial cooperation was set up. against this background what is it that is at stake? and this is where impacts, the
study of what the impact of ttip will be on countries participating in ttip and on third countries comes up. these are timmy still at the preliminary stage. -- these are timmy still at the preliminary stage. there are still some in the pipeline and whose results are expected about the end of this year. ttip will impact differently, of course whether you're part of this art outside it. but when you look at these studies, and i must admit that some of these studies are being challenged and questioned, but that is what is at the moment is available, turkey is going to be one of the losers. it is almost cut and dry. and the loss is going to correspond to roughly
$20 billion, and that is about the trade that occurs between turkey bilaterally, or a kurd in 2012. between turkey and the united states. this is not surprising. it has a lot to do with the customs union and the way in which the customs union has been formulated. i believe trying to will be reflecting on the. what happens with the customs union -- i believe uri will be reflecting on that. it automatically binds turkey, which means that turkey has had to lower its tariffs, customs tears and open up its markets to the third country where everybody may become an in case of ttip it would be the united states. whereas the third country is not obligated to open up its
markets. instead, turkey has to engage the third country in an effort to negotiate its parallel treaty. i realize some of you, this might be a funny deal there, but we can always go back into the details of it. this arrangement had been okay until a couple of years ago because most of the free trade agreements that turkey had signed -- that the eu had signed, where ones with relatively smaller economies. however, as the eu begin to engage bigger and bigger economies and as turkey began to difficulties in persuading these countries to come to the negotiating table, ranging from algeria, mexico, south africa, and more recently the eu has started negotiations with india, japan and a number of other important countries, alarm bells
began to ring hi in turkey with respect to this particular arrangement of the customs union. what does that mean? what does it mean if ttip comes into effect in terms of u.s.-turkish relations? first of all, turkey runs eight and a half billion dollars trade deficit with the united states. it means that trade deficit is clearly going to increase, because american companies are going to have a freer access to turkish markets while the turkish companies will remain, will continue to face similar restrictions. furthermore, ttip is going to lead to all sorts of trade diversion. that is, turkish companies are going to find that there are, for example, european companies as a result of ttip, but also
south korean won as result of the south korean u.s. free trade agreement and the members of ttip, that these companies are going to feature access to the u.s. market and turkish companies are going to squeeze out. so the outcome, greater trade deficit for turkey. madeleine albright and stephen hadley last year with a council of foreign relations published a very interesting in which report on turkish-american relations. and they point out that this is the kind of problem that would few already high levels of anti-americanism in turkey. the one impact for these i made references to has actually calculated that turkey would be losing 95,000 places of employment as a result of ttip.
you may challenge those statistics there, but it does suggest that it could lead to unemployment while generating employment within the eu and the u.s. similar outcomes would be observed in the case of turkey's relations, trade relations with the european union. turkey runs a large deficit. that deficit will continue to expand. american companies will compete, will have a better deal in competing against turkish companies, as well as the companies of countries with which the eu has been signing these free trade agreements. in this, it's no wonder that we have ministers, i will choose not to name the name of these ministers, who have been using, unfortunately, somewhat denigrating language towards the european union. and i think this is very much a
function of this frustration and grievance that has been felt towards the way the customs union is operating and the way the eu is responding to these grievances. to such an extent that i'm sure you've heard our prime minister back sometime in january revealing the tv program that he would like to take turkey out of the european union into the corporation organization. i call it our prime minister having a mood of life. ..
>> it will mean lots of jobs, but it will also mean lots of jobs for the neighborhood for the very reason i cited earlier on, that the neighborhood has a growing part in turkey's economy and foreign trade. migration pressures would increase. turkey as compared to 20 years ago has moved to an immigration country. and i i doubt whether i would be wrong if i would also say that there runs the risk of turkey being less stable and
democratic. inclusion of turkey is the other side of the medallion, and i need not stress how the mechanisms would work in the other direction. what can be done in this respect? there are a number of scenarios that could be followed. the one that the government, turkish bureaucracy and the business world throughout february, march, april and may pushed very hard was the inclusion of turkey into the ttip negotiations themselves. however, that did not materialize, and it would be unrealistic to expect that turkey would be invited to the negotiating table for a string of reasons that we could maybe go back into during the q&a session. the best that turkey was able to extract from both the e.u. and
the u.s. vis-a-vis ttip was the promise to be informed about ttip negotiations and where they are getting it. and as you might imagine, the word of the e.u. in turkey does not carry much credibility. the second is, the second idea that has been promulgated is this notion that texas -- ttip if it gets to that stage could be concluded in such a manner that those countries, there are very few of them, who are customs unions or who are negotiating for full membership could be admitted, or the door would be kept open. however, that one is also not a very highly likely avenue that will materialize. a third idea that has been
advocated in the context of tpp which is called docking, the idea that you reach an agreement that leaves the door open to third countries who might want to join these partnership, in a way apply for membership, we will yet see if this will be the case for ttip ii. however, we will have to bear in mind that in this case if docking was made available with ttip, turkey's membership would still have to go through congressional and e.u. apprentice -- approval process, and imagine what if that failed or if that turned into what e.u./turkish membership negotiations have turned into, the grievances and the negative attitudes it would generate.
lastly, there is the possibility of turkey and the u.s. negotiating a free trade agreement. actually, the reference, th albright and hadley report that i made references to came up with this idea and called it, interestingly, turkish/american partnership, t.a.p.. however, that idea could not be pursued because of the way the customs union works in the other way around, that turkey cannot negotiate free trade agreements with a third country unless that third country has a free trade agreement with the european union. so because the u.s. did not have such an agreement with the e.u., this idea of albright and hadley could not really be put into practice even if there was political will behind it.
the idea of a u.s./turkey fta was brought up by the prime minister when he came to visit washington, d.c. in may and has also been brought up by his deputy prime minister. however, it doesn't seem to have gained much traction in the u.s. for a string of reasons stretching from the very fact that the u.s., the u.s. trade representatives have a heavy agenda in front of them, and then i have also heard the excuses of turkey's democracy problems being brought up as well as congressional politics. what turkey has at best managed to extract from the american side so far is what a disappointed diplomat called yet another committee. and this committee that has been set up has been set up at least
at the cabinet level, ministers of economy -- that is the ustr as well as his turkish counterpart will be engaged. i am somewhat optimistic because i see the turkish officials, the bureaucrats at least on the ministry of economy side, being optimistic about it as they consider this an avenue that could eventually lead to something like the high-level working group that had been set up when the e. u. and the u.s. first embarked on the path of ttip. what is critical in this last scenario is that there should be a bottom-up pressure building up, especially from the american side and american businesses. my concluding remarks, uri,
before i turn the floor to you, turkey in the last couple of decades has, indeed, massively transformed. it is, it's the size of its economy core responds to the sixth largest economy in the european union. and if you add russia, it makes it the seventh largest in russia and 17th in the world. but what from my point of view is much more important when one talks about turkey's engagement in ttip is that when you exclude russia and iran in turkey's neighborhood -- and with neighborhood i also mean countries across from the black sea -- is that turkey's gdp corresponds to the total of all those other countries excluding russia and iran. now, that is significant when turkey engages these countries economically as well. so one needs to bear this in
mind as well. turkey's soft power and economic performance had received a lot of praise, but this has been changing real fast in the last year or so. and turkey's commitment to the transatlantic alliance or community is increasingly being questioned as well. and this, the ttip would be one way in which this could be regenerated, and it could also beside bringing economic benefits to the e.u. in terms of jobs and growth to the united states in terms of jobs and growth, to turkey in terms of jobs and growth, but also to the neighborhood, to every single country in the area stretching from armenia all the way around
the neighborhood itself. and there i'd like to conclude with the remarks of stuart eizenstat who reflected on, ttip earlier in the year, arguing that the ttip, if successful, would be a mechanism that is going to help the transatlantic form of governments around the world compared to the alternative one. now, turkey's sitting on the fence. they're straddling both countries. which way it goes is going to be very critical in terms of which form of governance prevails in the neighborhood and beyond. and for turkey it will be very critical if our prime minister really believes that he wants to see turkey as the tenth largest economy in 2023. thank you for bearing with me,
and uri is going to take me apart now. [laughter] >> there you go. [applause] >> thank you, kemal. well, i'm certainly not going to take kemal apart, although i would disagree with him in one or two areas. and be, in fact, i wanted to congratulate him for having prepared a very good, comprehensive, balanced report that also happens to be a good read on a rather dry subject. so i strongly recommend that you carefully examine what he has written. i'm going to make one main point. before that let me say as a premise that trade agreements should be looked at as two-dimensional chess. at the top layer and the less important is trade. and at the bottom layer and the more important is the politics.
and these trade arrangements are very much motivated by politics. just about anyone deals with strategic considerations, any one of them that you want to consider. but i like to keep some separation between the political discussion and the economic discussion. and since i'm an economist, i'm going to focus on the economic implications of the current setup for turkey, and i will listen obligingly to those who will correct me from the political dimension which i recognize is very important. i basically take the view that the current arrangement, customs union with the european union is
a very costly arrangement for turkey. and one that has become increasingly more costly. and i would advocate on economic grounds that the arrangement be reconfigured into a free trade arrangement enabling turkey to negotiate with third parties including the united states. and i believe that one can be very much favorable to turkey eventually joining the european union but against the current setup of the can customs union. of the current customs union. that's the main point i want to make, and let me give you three arguments to support that point. the first is that the world has changed. the global environment has been a lot, has become a lot less propitious for the customs union
that turkey has with the european union as currently configured. not only, of course, of prospects for e.u. accession dimmed into the indefinite be future and have been -- indefinite future and have been made a lot more problematic by the e nor pows problems, challenges that the e.u. faces internally, its own euro crisis and the difficulties of the political developments within turkey are well known, not only have those prospects for accession receded into the indefinite future, perhaps as important a development is that we have a completely changing picture of world trade. so in my book, "juggernaut," i look forward 15, 25 years, 30
years. you can take all that with a pinch of salt, except that a lot of what i'm talking about is already happening. and 25, 30 years from now six of the seven largest economies of the world will be developing countries. none of the european countries will be part of that, of that select group. only the united states will be among them. these guys in powers, the developing countries of the g20 that today represent about a third of world trade or 35% will represent something like 70% of world trade within a generation. just as important is the fact that these are the countries where, actually, the biggest trade barriers exist today. so the highest trade barriers in the world are knot in the united
states -- are not in the united states or germany, the highest trade barriers of the world are in india, in brazil, to a lesser degree they're in china, and they are in a number of other very rapidly-growing, developing countries. so those are the object of trade policy of today and trade policy for the future. that's where the big growing markets are and where the barriers have to come down. and have been coming down. and this has been reflected in a major redirection of trade in the direction of these economies including in the case of turkey, by the way. where the share of exports going to the european union has fallen very markedly in the course of the last 15, 20 years. and the share going to the
united states is weak and has also been declining over the last 15 to 20 years. the growth markets for turkey are in the developing world. these economies, of course, that i'm talking about with the exception -- these economies are excluded from ttip. even if turkey was part of ttip, it would not actually affect its capacity in a significant way to improve its export performance towards these very rapidly-growing third markets. the second -- so that's one argument. the second argument is that as kemal has already pointed out, the establishment of ttip and to an extent the establishment of
ttp -- not the establishment, but the negotiation and eventual success which may or may not happen -- of these negotiations can significantly raise the cost for turkey of the customs union arrangement. and, in fact, the incentives on the e.u. and the united states to correct this problem are all wrong. the incentives don't exist. so as somebody who has followed trade negotiations for a long time, i, you know, i empathize with what, with what kemal was saying. but, you know, the idea that you go to the u.s. congress and you basically say to them, really, we need to lower the barriers for turkey to export to us, turkey's a big economy, has a lot of unskilled labor, its labor costs are competitive, etc., etc., and then they ask,
well, what are we getting in return? you say, oh, no, we get nothing in return because we got everything already through the negotiation with the european union. that just doesn't work politically. it does not work. so the incentives for the united states are not there to do this free trade arrangement with you are key if ttip succeeds. and similarly, the incentives for the e.u. to change this arrangement are completely absent. in fact, the e.u. negotiators, some of which i know personally, can go and very happily go to usgr and give away in inverted commas access to the juicy, fast-growing, enlarged turkish market without actually demanding anything in return from the americans for turkey, just demanding things in return for themselves.
so this is like a little bit of a trade negotiator's dream, to be able to do that. so it's actually a win/win for the united states and the european union to maintain the status quo on customs union with turkey and negotiating processes. meanwhile, as kemal has mentioned, with these negotiations turkey stands to suffer erosion of preferences in the e.u. and trade diversion in the united states. the same would apply if there's progress on government procurement, access in the united states and potentially in the european union as well. the regulations negotiations are less problematic for turkey because, you know, shifting regulation by definition -- well, for the most part, cannot
be discriminatory. so it'll be a choice that turkey faces, whether they want to adopt those regulations or not, and they might actually benefit from doing so. another important element here is that the ttp and the ttip are going to cause very likely a big push globally towards competitive liberalization. the countries that are left out, and there's a very large number of them and they're very important countries, are going to feel a lot of pressure to themselves and -- it's not just turkey that's feeling this pressure. they're going to feel the pressure to enter into trade agreements with the european union, with the united states and with each other. but turkey will, in effect, not be able to do that. now, in theory they can do that, right? so long as they get agreement from the european union when the
european union's not negotiating. but the european union isn't going to give that approval except perhaps in some marginal cases. and once, once the negotiations are embarked upon with the european union, there's very little incentive to negotiate with turkey. just as i have discussed for the united states, the same would apply for india, the same will apply for brazil, etc., etc. so turkey is stuck in this changing world in terms of a very, very important part of its policies which is trade policy. the third and be last point i want to make in support of the idea that the customs union arrangement has become dysfunctional and can be improved upon by moving towards a free trade arrangement is
mexico. i want to use the example of mexico. mexico's an interesting example for turkey partly because it's a country more or less in a similar per capita income, and back in 1994, two years before turkey signed its customs union with the european union, back in 1994 mexico negotiated nafta free trade agreement with united states and canada which, as a free trade agreement does, left mexico completely free to negotiate with third parties. well, you know, mexico did not do disastrously from the point of view of trade at all. in fact, if you look at the, if you look at the trade intensity of mexico, mexico's trade has grown relative to its gdp much
faster tan that of turkey -- than that of turkey and that of other comparable countries like brazil. for example. so mexico shows that you can get a very large boost to your trade by having a free trade area. you don't have to have a customs union. mexico was also able to negotiate a large number of regional trade aa -- arrangements. turkey also negotiated some, but the quality of mexico's free trade agreement is much better than that of turkey because mexico has been able to negotiate an agreement with the european union whereas turkey has not negotiated an agreement with the united states. mexico also negotiated
agreements with the pacific alliance and now with the ttp. they are negotiating a free trade agreement with japan, and they are negotiating a number of other free trade agreements. one of the effects of this is that mexico can probably aim to be better integrated in global value chains, these global networks of productions that have arisen over the last several decades. this part because if you produce in mexico, you not only have access to the u.s. market and the canadian market, but people see mexico as a base from which you can export all over the world. and you can import easily from all over the world as well. so i think mexico's been helped
in that way. mexico did not do as well on growth as turkey has, but it has done much better on macroeconomic stability and balance of payments. and ironically, since a big objective of the customs union is to create these closer links with europe, if you look at remittances which, of course, depend on migration, remittances in turkey have come down hugely in recent years. heir now a very small feature of the -- they're now a very small feature of the turkish economy. mexico does not have a union, it's not part of a political arrangement, so to speak, with the united states. remittances in mexico are a very important feature of the economy. so that's what i wanted to say.
i wanted to challenge a little bit the conventional wisdom of which i associate with the secular middle class in turkey, with whom i share many, many sympathies, etc., and i'm a big believer in the european union and in the need for turkey over time to move in that direction. nevertheless, i wanted to bring out what are the can -- what are the costs, which are very significant, of the current trade arrangement and inject a note of realism about what can be done in particular with regard to convincing the united states to take a different tactic. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> we may be having a technical
problem. we don't have any -- [inaudible] i think we, i should maybe very quickly respond to your remarks, and then let's open the discussion to the floor. we have clearly set cat amongst the pigeons, as the saying goes. the notion of questioning the customs union and replacing it with a free trade agreement. however, it is an issue that has been, has come up in turkey and has been discussed, debated maybe not as extensively as uri might advise or would want to see it take place. the challenge here, i think, is results from the fact that uri takes a very economic,
trade-oriented perspective whereas when you look at the customs union and you look at turkey's relations with the your mean union -- european union, inevitably, the political dimension is very critical, and this is why i think i chose to put that quotation from stuart eizenstat there in an effort to take a shortcut. now, as i listened to you, uri, i was trying to say what would be the most cleverest way of responding -- [laughter] to this. and i couldn't help, and i mean no offense here, i couldn't help think whether after all mexico is not a very good example to choose to question the significance of the customs union for turkey. i think you're absolutely right in all the observations you have made as far as trade policy and
trade relations go. although very quickly in brackets i'd like to point out that trade experts -- i'm not a trade expert -- are going to have to look at the fact that some of these countries, including mexico, including south korea and now including japan and most probably soon some other countries who could keep the cake and eat it at the same time with turkey are, are kicking and yelling coming to the negotiating table. the mexican president was in turkey not long ago, and it looks like although the turkish side has been fighting for more than a decade to drag mexico to the negotiation table, very recently some green light began to flicker on the mexican side.
the same thing is happening on the japanese side. however, i'm not experienced enough to be able to speculate on what might be happening there, and something interesting may actually be unfolding, and i'm closing the bracket there. when i, when i look at many mexico -- and i'm not an expert on mexico -- i only look at mexico through the washington post and what is debated here. although turkey's been having serious problems in the last couple of months from, with respect to the performance of its democracy, at least there is not the kind of insecurity and instability that reigns in the northern parts of mexico bordering the united states when it comes to drug trafficking and kidnapping of people, smuggling
of migrants. i'm just wondering whether we may be able to establish a relationship there between the difference of a free trade agreement and an agreement like the customs union which should be coming with a political package or was coming with a political package there. again, in the case of mexico in some ways i'm wondering whether the high level of mexican remittances is not also a reflection that the mexican economy is not performing at the level that it should to be able to employ its own people. the turkish economy relied on remittances because in the '60s, '70s, partly in the '80s too, the turkish people had to go to europe to be able
to live a living and then ship the remittances to turkey. whereas these days we will see how long this is going to last, these days most turkish labor stays in the country or goes into the neighborhood with turkish companies to work on construction projects, etc. and again here if time would allow us, i would be able to establish a link there between the customs union and this particular development there. my last response, uri, to you is that i do agree that there's a major transforor mission that is taking place -- transformation that is taking place. however, when i look at turkey and i look at turkey historically and the way in which from my point of view and there you can turn around and point a finger at me as a member
of the secular middle class elite in turkey, i see a major historical connection that has been there for centuries, and one cannot just wash one's hands of it. and it bears on turkey. and when i talk to business people including business people that may not directly be associated with what you called as the secular middle class, they do give importance to the rule of law and to transparency and to accountability. and the last two months since the parker events and the way in which the government has come hard on some of the big businesses in turkey, noises have been coming out from those business circles too. i think in turkey in successful
business circles there is this craving for the rule of law, for a level field. and as far as i can see for the time being, that level, level playing field and the rule of law is very closely associated with the european union. and i see ttip at a time when a link to the european union is weak, weakening is a -- [inaudible] that could genre invigorate the primacy of the rule of law. but this is all from a political perspective, uri. let's turn to the floor and start taking some questions and remarks -- comments, and let me remind you the brookings custom here, talking about custom union, to do mention your names and maybe the institution that
you're associated with. and bear in mind that there may be others who might also want to ask questions. yes, sir. should we take two or three? >> you're the boss. >> yes, kathy. >> brian beery, washington correspondent for euro politics. i was very interested when you unpacked the consequences of the custom union, how it's working out as seemingly a bit of a bad deal for turkey the way the trade patterns have developed, how serious are turkey's ruling class about renegotiating or just pulling out from the customs union, and what would be the political consequences of turkey withdrawing from the customs union? >> kathy, let's take a second
and a third question, and right next to you, kathy, there. >> thank you very much for your presentation. my name is -- [inaudible] from csis japan chair. there's two questions. one is japan is preceding the joint study on fta with turkey, but also as you mentioned, we have started a negotiation with e.u., fta. so what do you wish to happen between japan/turkey negotiation? i think this situation is very similar to the u.s./turkey situation, so i would like to have implications from you. and second one is i heard sumeria saying that turkey is willing to join the attack against syria if it happens.
will it enhance the economic partnership between with u.s. and turkey? >> there was one more in the front here, and then we'll come back to -- no. uri, shall i? >> go ahead, please. >> shall i? >> both questions. >> okay. but i think the first question was -- [inaudible conversations] i feel you may be able to give a more balanced and objective initial response, and i can give a more biased one. >> i see. so the first question was how serious is the turkish ruling class about getting out of the customs union? the answer is i don't know, and i'm, you know, what i will say is that based on the economic evidence which i tried to put forward, i think there's a very serious argument for looking at it, yeah. whether they are ready to do it,
whether politically they can do it, no doubt. you know, these are international treaties, and unraveling them -- including, by the way, implicitly the access that countries that have negotiated with the european union since free trade agreements since turkey signed on, these would have to be undone. so this is a complicated, a very complicated process. but nevertheless, i retain my point that, you know, the arguments are very strong. there was a second part of the question, but i can't remember what it was. >> political consequences, i think. >> the political consequences. i think it's not clear to me that the political consequences would be significant, that significant in the current context. it's not like anybody saying
that turkey is going to accede to the european union in 5 years or 10 years or 15 years or 20 years, number one. number two, as i said, i think this is a very sweet deal for the european union. and turkey has sort of unwittingly -- because this was supposed to be a temporary arrangement -- maneuvered itself into a very difficult corner now. from the point of view of the european union, it has turkey in its back pocket. as i said, it can give away the turkish market without asking anything in return for turkey. just asking things in return for itself. so turkey pulling out of the customs union technically could actually improve the negotiating position of turkey vis-a-vis accession of the european union
in the long term. because they can say, you know, over the next ten years, fifteen years we will join the customs union, and you're going to get the benefit of a bigger area in which when you are conducting your international trade negotiations. right now they have all of those benefits, but they're not taking any of the cost. >> thanks, uri. i partly agree with uri's remarks there, but i should mention that this is, we have entered the period in turkey where this customs union issue and the grievances about it beside the grievances concerning the broader e. u./turkish relationship is growing. and through the great line we
hear that the world bank has been commissioned to study the customs union -- >> they have. >> yes. >> they have. >> and we have to see the report. and i suspect once the report comes out, this debate in turkey might liven up. however, i'd like to underline this. the customs union, i think, is very much product of -- because of a lack of another term -- functional part dependency. that part dependency for some might go back to 1959 when together with greece, turkey applied to the then-eec, the european economic community, to have a relationship that culminate inside the 1963 treaty which is being celebrated this year. there's much to celebrate about it. and that treaty, you know, uri,
you mentioned -- you made a very important point how these international treaties bind countries with each other, and undoing them is a very difficult exercise. so the ankara treaty in a way bound the two sides to follow a certain path. and when the customs union was signed in the mid 1990s, one needs to remember the context as well, it was seen as a critical step, a transitionary step towards turkey's eventual membership to the european union. the world, in the meantime, has changed significantly. i think both on the e.u. side and on the turkish side there are those who recognize the minuses and the pluses of this relationship, and i feel that increasingly there's going to be a move -- my personal opinion on this is that there's going to be
a move towards improving the customs union, towards, towards restructuring it rather than replacing it completely with a newer arrangement. restructuring it may be for the reasons that, the technical reasons uri cited might be an easier exercise than tearing it apart. tearing it apart and throwing it away in the context of two days turkish domestic politics would really be setting the cat amongst the pigeons. i mean, turkey's an already terribly polarized society, and i can imagine how all kinds of dreadful scenarios would be read into such an exercise. the same could be said about the e.u. side. i mean, in the european union, yes, the public opinion by and large wants to keep turkey at an
arm's length. but when you engage business circles, when you engage some government cans, when you engage parts of the civil society, the perspective is a different one, that things are not cut and dry. in that context one last observation i would like to make even toe uri and i, too, mentioned that place of the european trade with the european union in turkey's overall trade has been proportionally, proportionally been falling, turkey's trade with the european continues to grow. and i have looked at the statistics for the first seven months of this year, and trade with the european union of turkey has been increasing at a time when trade with the u.s. has shrunk somewhat. ..
negotiations will start. now, i suspect if things come to the point that they have, that these negotiations are actually going to take place. the syrian issue i think that deserves an event on its own. all i can say is, is that the crisis to crisis, politically and economically, the trade within the region is being impacted. a way in which the egyptian crisis is unfolding, or rather turkish governments response to the egyptian crisis is unfolding may further undermine turkey's economic relations in the region and the departing ambassador of egypt to ankara made it quite clear that this might actually be the outcome. now, if turkey, i listen to the
deputy prime minister yesterday when he came out from the cabinet meeting and listed the different scenarios. and my reading of it is that even though some members of the government, and including the prime minister, is keen to see some kind of an intervention in the middle east, syria, beyond just punishing assad for using chemical weapons, it doesn't look like turkey is going to go do it out on its own it and i think it is because they are very well aware of his economic concept, which does not mention political ones. >> another round. we have a little bit more time here, 10 more minutes. kathy, the lady there in the back. right there.
>> i'm the trade council here at the delegation and we have discussed some of these issues, kemal, and we know each other. i will make a small comment on especially uri's presentation. i think the only thing i would say here is that eu policy and it's been the case for the u.s. as with other trading partners. we are negotiating with is always to support turkey entering into a negotiation. we are negotiating. it has worked i believe in the case of korea where i don't know what is your assessment but turkey gets i'm free trade agreement relatively soon after our agreement entered into force. you may want to talk about that. and, obviously, with the way negotiations work, things are not automatic. it's not from day one turkey would have to address the terrorists, takes time and usually a time spent of their own, turkey would conduct its
negotiations. so that's just a classification from our site. i had a question steering away from controversy about what is the best path. in terms of the level of ambition that you see in u.s. free trade agreement and eu free trade agreement. to what extent do you feel turkey is ready for a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement? so beyond tariffs, looking at intellectual, radio to aspects, measures basically, to what extent are the issues that would be difficult for turkey regardless of the support of a large part of the turkish business community? thank you. >> this. there's one here. right in the front. >> i'm from the american-turkish
council. you know, i'm trying to, like, think of ways in which turkey might be able to think beyond out of the box in the sense that perhaps maybe are there provisions that you know of within nafta that if turkey would be strengthened, strengthen its ties with mexico to get some of the and access to the american market because of a third party intervention, a third party playing a role in perhaps helping turkey, not necessarily mean itself off the customs union, but ways to think beyond just the conventional means of, you know, zero-sum ways of thinking about this issue? >> one more question there. and then we'll try -- we may be able to have -- i think we are running out of time.
>> i am from turkish embassy. thank you so much for the report. i think the discussion is a bit different from that construct part of ttip turkey. from a turkish point of view, ttip is an area of cooperation between turkey and the united states. and as we've seen in the recent visit of the prime minister, -- [inaudible] both parts, go ahead. i think there's also support for that. and for the customs union. i mean, customs union is not something that turkey is deconstructed. it is sort of, purpose for kirkus trade and international trade with the european union. so, i mean, maybe we should view ttip as an area of cooperation between turkey and the rest,
instead of seeing it as an area of risk and challenges. thank you. >> uri, would you be able to answer that question? because i feel i'm on -- >> well, you know, so i haven't looked at the turkey-korea deal, and i suppose i should have been preparing for this. but my point should not be seen as you cannot negotiate any trade agreement with countries that have already negotiated with the european union, that turkey will find it's impossible. i'm not saying that. but it is the quality of the agreement. what is contained in the agreement. that really matters. why would the united states, and i'm really, you know, in part
repeating what kemal has written in his report. why would the united states on economic grounds, maybe political and security issues, and those may overwhelm everything. but on economic grounds, and a congress that is very hard-nosed about these issues, why would the european union negotiating a deal with the united states and united states has full access, you know, according to the ttip to the turkish market? what interest does the united states have to give turkey access? so it's a question about the quality of the agreement, not necessarily whether any type of agreement can be negotiated. i'm sure there are issues. there are always issues that are regulatory issues, behind the
border issues, et cetera, et cetera, which have a specific, and country specific, that are not actually a profit of ttip trade or the european union, but also decisions made at the country level which could be included in the agreement. but they would be secondary. there was a second part to the question. i can't remember what it was, from the -- >> the extent to which turkey might be ready for deeper -- >> that is probably more for kemal, but my sense is, my reading is that turkey has done a lot already insurance of taking on the competition policy, et cetera, et cetera, all the statistics about a very large part of commercial law acyclic informing to the eu model. however, you would want to
define, would want to define that. so my guess is that turkey would be ready to go for the additional mile. in this regard. but maybe kemal has a better sense. >> you have seen an example of how the european union could have commissioned -- i think it's points were very good there. but let me make a couple of very good observations. i think the reason why mexico, japan, south korea, are behaving to use uri's line of thinking in an irrational way in the sense that -- >> economically. >> yes. in the sense that they have this access to the turkish market,
but they are accepting to come to the negotiating table and negotiate a parallel free trade agreement with turkey. it's a puzzlement. it deserves to be studied, and answer may be to your question about thinking out of the box, make amount of such a study. i can only speculate on it. i would like to give some credit to the institution whose member -- i think they're putting pressure on it. but the second factor, which is related to the first one, is the fact that the turkish economy has become an important economy. in its region and beyond this as well. when i was listening to uri's point about why on earth should the congress decide political
geostrategic and security reasons, be that as it may, you know, they have an impact, why would the congress be interested? i think they would be interested in it because of not only the investments that would come to the united states from turkish companies, which is already happening, and i recognize that this is not going to make a major impact on a huge economy like the united states, but it may well make a difference when it comes to localities, to localities within the very states around the union. so the domestic politics of that goodwill impact itself on the congress. secondly, the body that i made references to that were set up in 2009 has been working very hard towards encouraging projects that the two sides,
together, can embark on in turkey's neighborhood. so there are american companies who clearly see that with turkish companies they can work in the neighborhood and do business, and that translates itself back into employment and jobs here in the united states. so we need to look at two factors that are, the way in which the turkish economy has grown and its size is beginning to attract attention and impact on players, not mrs. are just states, but players in the widest sense of the word, their calculus. and the second one is the way in which, maybe political, geostrategic and security practice place to it as well. my last remark is that it's very
interesting that if the turkish economy has come to where it is and is beginning to impact on players tie services, you may challenge me on this, trying to come and we will see what the world bank report will say. i think it is at least partly a function of the customs union, and a function of the fact that turkey has incorporated eu legislation. and by incorporating eu legislation, it has made -- >> you can watch the rest of this broke out at c-span.org. the carnegie endowment for international peace and arms control association is hosting a discussion titled guarding against a nuclear-armed iran, this is live coverage on c-span2. >> to address world's most dangerous weapons, including nuclear chemical biological weapons. we publish the monthly journal
arms control today. so it's good to have you all here. let me just remind you all to turn off your mobile devices so that we are not interrupted before we get going. as you all know from this issue, for the past decade, iran's nuclear program has been a subject of intense international concern. since the international atomic energy agency, about a decade ago, confirmed that iran seek lewdly build a uranium enrichment and in the years since iran has improved its nuclear capabilities in various ways. and over the years, iran and the united states and the other great powers, france, uk, germany, russia, china, have fumbled fleeting opportunities to resolve the issue through a negotiated deal. in the meantime, iran has expanded its enrichment program and other sensitive fuel cycle
activities including its heavy water reactor at iraq, and even as international sanctions on iran have tightened and had a huge impact on iran's economy. now, iran's leader apparently have not made a strategic decision to build nuclear weapons, and they do not have yet the necessary ingredients from building a nuclear arsenal, or the take other steps necessary to build a nuclear arsenal. so that is time for diplomacy, to secure a meaningful win-win deal to guard against a nuclear-armed iran. and with the august 3 inauguration of hassan rouhani as iran's new president, hassan rouhani, the former iranian nuclear negotiator, there's a new and crucial opportunity to achieve finally a breakthrough to achieve meaningful and practical limits on iran's enrichment rogue ram.
it's other sensitive nuclear fuel cycle projects that are iaea accessed to its program, to ensure there is not a secret program going on. in exchange for significant phase to relief of the international sanctions that have been put in place over the years. leaders and wash in and around also say they want a diplomatic solution from our perspective, the arms control association i'm sure my colleagues here agree it's time to translate those words into concrete action, beginning with the next round of p5+1 talks with iran, the p5+1 of course being the permanent five members of the secretive council plus germany, which is expected to be scheduled soon, perhaps within a month. is also an important meeting on september 27 between iran and the international atomic energy
agency to try to address the long running questions about potential military dimensions of its nuclear program. a note that just this morning in a step towards those talks, president rouhani posted on his twitter account that foreign minister will lead ironically shooting team, which is a shift from the previous presidential approach on this, previous iranian approach. so we will hear our colleagues about what that this shift could mean for the iranian tactics and approach. now, this is a very complex issue, and to help the public and you all here, and policymakers better understand the key issues and history and the options, the arms control association is releasing today an updated version of a briefing book that we published earlier this year titled "solving the
iranian nuclear puzzle," and there are copies outside on the flash drives that we have provided for you. it's also on our website this morning at armscontrol.org. it goes through all the key issues, the history and the options, updates as of this week. more importantly we have three excellent speakers here today. to provide their analysis on the status of iran's nuclear capabilities, and the elements required for a deal that could provide both sides with a win-win outcome. the first we will hear from david albright who is to my right. he's the founder and president of the nonprofit institute for science and international security. david and his team at isi has for many years have been a leading independence source of information on the nuclear programs in iran, north korea, pakistan, india, other states of concern to and among other
things he's going to fill us in on the latest international atomic energy agency quarterly report on iran's program, and its implications for diplomacy and iran's nuclear capabilities. and next up will be colin kahl, an associate professor in the security studies program at the edmund walsh school of foreign service at georgetown university where he teaches courses on international relations, international security, middle east on u.s. foreign policy. is also a senior fellow at the center for a new american security, and from 2009-2011, he served as deputy assistant secretary for defense for the middle east. and then batting cleanup will be george perkovich, my friend and colleague for many years. he is of course the vice president for studies and director of the nuclear policy program here at the carnegie endowment, which is co-organizing and, of course, hosting this session this morning. george, of course, for many
years has written on nonproliferation and nuclear policy issues and he's going to provide us with his perspectives on the path ahead. so with that, i'm going to turn over the podium to david. after david and collin and george big for about 12 minutes or so each come we'll turn it over to you, the audience for questions unsure we'll get into a robust and interesting discussion. so thanks all for being here. david, the floor is yours. >> thank you, daryl. as daryl said, i will be concentrating on iran's nuclear program, its status and so the implications for negotiations. mostly i'm going to be talking from, or about the results from the iaea's courtly safeguard reports which is an unclassified public document that they produce, four times a year. to fulfill its responsibilities to its member states, and also the u.n. security council about
what it's trying to do to verify iran's commitments under the nonproliferation treaty and also whether iran is abiding by u.n. security council resolutions that calls for suspension of its centrifuge program, and then the halt to construction of the arak heavy water reactor. and, obviously, the iaea reports have brought -- not fulfilling its obligations under the resolution and so it's a mixed message on the verification of its commitments under the npt, name of its declared nuclear materials are accounted for but its potential or its past activities and possibly ongoing activities may be in violation of the nonproliferation treaty. it hasn't said they are but it's certainly raise enough concerns that it's an issue that has to be addressed.
now, one of the nice things the iaea has been doing in this quarterly report is trying to put in enough detail so that the member states and the interested public can actually chart progress of iran's nuclear program. and at isis were trying to identify several metrics that kind of bring that to life. and then you can just evaluate it in a sense are things getting worse from our perspective, their program is a fancy significant, or are they getting better in the sense that program is going slower. and i think the last report is actually kind of a mixed bag. for us one of the most striking things is that the number of their centrifuges continues to grow quite dramatically. and particularly the ir one, the first generation over the last two years has doubled in numbers of centrifuges.
they've also an insult advanced centrifuges. they call them the ir to ends and they now have 1000 installed and under vacuum which means they could enrich uranium at any time. the good news is that all these recently installed the center pages are not enriching uranium to iran has decided for some reason which we don't know why not to actually use this growing centrifuge capability in the sense and ranges in the same number that it's enriched for the last two or three years. and begin we don't know why but to us that the positive develop a. in that sense they could be making a lot more 20% enriched uranium which is viewed as the most sensitive until right now than they are now. and so another metric we use is then at a concept called critical capability and it's just a measure of calm it was motivated by how well kind of
deterrence policy, namely to prevent iran from seeking nuclear weapons, how well can the policy work. and from our view it works at best if what you are really trying to do is deter iran from making enough weapons grade uranium for nuclear weapons. from our view once they have whatever i'm out, 25 kilograms is in that we use, what happens after that? it will be extremely difficult to work with. we don't know where it will go. it may take them several months to make a nuclear weapon but you have no mechanism to know where that's going to happen. and facilities that could make a weapon are small. the iaea stated iran knows how to make a crude weapon and was working on more sophisticated nuclear weapons. and so they haven't had start, but the bottom line is that if you're trying to deter them from breaking out and making weapon grade uranium, then you want to
have adequate warning of that. and so the idea of critical capabilities when you can reach a point where you will lose that ability to have that adequate warning. and what does that adequate warning mean? go in and strike militarily and stop iran from actually finishing making enough weapon grade uranium for nuclear weapons. we think that deterrence innocent is going caching is in effect now. it would take them i think if they use all their centrifuges, all their 20% in the form of hex afford right now it would still take the monster breakout. and this is kind of a minimal estimate inner calculation but it could take longer if they have problems with enrichment plant which happens a lot in iran. but a month is enough from our view enough time. where critical capability comes in is if they could come in and do it in a week or two weeks. then you're in the regime where they made l.a. inspectors access, doing some other things that would make it hard for the
iaea to detect a. or for intelligence agencies to detect it. and so we think that based on their progress in mid-2014 is when they would reach a critical capability. and at that point i think obama's deterrence policy would face serious challenges, if it's intended to deter iran from actually crossing the line. and we don't see anything that changes this. also on another bad news, i mean, the iaea continues have no progress on weaponization, deterring nuclear issues. the thing that's gotten the limelight in the last two years has been -- that's almost a small part of the issue. the iaea for whatever reason decide to focus on it but the weaponization and military nuclear is much better, and in the sense of focus on parchin of the last few years has kind of
allowed the focus on these broader set of issues to be reduced. and i think in this report the iaea a is asserting it wants it back and play more and that laid out some of its positions to bring back a more realistic view of how to deal with those issues. i think with all the activity of parchin, if you follow that, which essentially it's a site that has had no activity for years, and all kinds of construction activity starts taking place. things are taken out of the building, there's all kinds of water being used which could either be washing down facilities or cooling equipment that cutting up equipment. and so using asphalt at the site recently. there isn't a lot of asphalt at facilities at parchin. it's creating large parking lots which is not normal. bottom line is clearly there's
not much i can do much. it's very likely they will get an ambiguous result and i think they're stepping back. and this report is a look, it's a much bigger issue and we need you revisit that. >> is to put this in context, what you're talking about is with parchin, the site of suspected high explosive tests that have -- >> could be related. >> to nuclear weapons. and the iaea efforts over the last two years to clarify that question and other questions about potential military activity has not made progress, and for the first time in his report as you were saying the iaea lays out several steps that iran could take to help clarify that it and as i said at the beginning, their next meeting will be september 27, so there is an opportunity for progress if the iranians want to help achieve that. >> and hopefully ronnie --
rouhani will make the right decision. it's hard to believe that you can settle this issue. i mean, you certainly can get short-term deals but without solving the weaponization, you're not getting to the core concern is that iran had a nuclear weapons program, and hasn't stopped that program. and the international committee has ways of dealing with data, and honesty about past activities doesn't, does it usually lead to punishment. it leads to increased confidence that they won't do it again but and that's been played out in south africa, brazil and other countries. so it's an important condition to achieve, and hopefully rouhani will come clean on that. part of the problem though is rouhani is the one who set this up in 2003, or was involved in setting up coming clean on a whole set of activities, but hiding the weapons.
and so he's very skilled, but again easy going to make a different decision now? i'm sure i'm running out of time. how much time left? another good news was they didn't increase their stock of near 20% low-enriched uranium, hexafluoride, which israel has laid down as a red line that if they get about 240-250 kilograms of that, then israel supposedly would do something. and the way iran can avoid that is start making it, which it's not doing, or the other is converted into oxide form for use in reactor fuel. and iran is -- following the latter. the amount produced the state about the same but it's sending more of to the conversion facility for conversion into oxide. and that is seen as a positive
development. and it's also a sign that iran does respond to pressure. i think that's one of the advantages in this situation is iran can be deterred. its behavior can be changed through various pressure tactics, and we saw that in '03 when they radically changed their approach. and i think you see it, again, this limit on the 20% enriched uranium production, or at least limiting the stockpile of the hexafluoride forum. it doesn't mean that they stop the program at all. another positive step, although i think they shouldn't be overplayed. i mean, iran is very proud and it often will say things about its nuclear progress and are not realistic, and so a couple
months ago in the last iaea report, or the one before, in may, it said it would pretty rapidly start the arak water reactor. in this report it's clear they can't start on that schedule in the way the start of day. now, that reactor is important because arak -- israel has bombed two reactors in the middle east already. one in arak in 1981 and one in three and 1987. one would expect israel to on this reactor, to come and would be a waiting coming to into the military option. and so there's certainly, if you watch this, you want to see this reactor operation delayed. you just don't need the hassle. arak doesn't need the reactor and it's just from my point of view, just a disruptive element where it creates another
timeline that could lead to military action. and also pose a dilemma for israel. are they going to not vomit and allow it to operate? and i think that it would create dynamics in israel that could increase the chance of a strike. >> and heavy water reactor is especially worrisome from a proliferation specter because heavy water reactors are better suited for plutonium production, but that really could not happen for some time, and tell that reactor operates, correct? >> correct. no, i think, thank you, daryl. i think they have chosen to use kind of a core that is an ideal to make weapons-grade plutonium. they could've chosen a different core, maybe they will in the future, but their core design which was a fuel design provided by russian entities back in the
'90s when russia was working more intensively with iran's nuclear program. it's not ideal. and iran has no processing capability that we know of right now can and we need that to separate the plutonium from the fuel. so i think, i think at isis we view the iraq reactor as serious, but we don't see it as nearly as serious as the centerpiece program, particularly the growth in the number of centrifuges. and in that sense, you would almost in an agreement, you want to cap the enrichment output of the program, use the term -- you want to cap it at a much lower level than it is now. if you count all the centrifuges. you want to roll back not a suspension necessarily but a rollback in the number of centrifuges because you don't want, you don't want a capability there that, if the
agreement isn't working, could lead to a huge surge in the production of 20% and be used in a breakout. and so we think that it's important to reduce the number of centrifuges. some of the things not in the report, i mean, two years ago it was announced they suspended construction of the third centrifuge plant. and they would keep a suspension in place until the summer, for two years, and that two years has passed and so questions remain whether iran is building a third centrifuge plant. and given the number of centrifuges, you have to worry that they can do it if they wanted. and the iaea doesn't have the mechanisms to know. and iran has refused to allow, or welcome are you going to cover notification, george? >> i was going to say, it would
have to be any deal but it was going to go back into the history of it. >> okay. i'll leave it to george. but that's an issue that remains. and then the last one is, how is iran banking on the centrifuges? there's a lot of efforts to prevent them from buying things. there's a lot of successes in vital goods for centrifuge. they need to buy a law. you see a lot of efforts to buy. there's interdictions, but they have been getting what they need. and i think at isis we used to think they were cast in a way. we now see that they probably have enough carbon fiber, which is a vital component of advanced centrifuges for thousands of ir-2m. they seem to have gotten some key goods for the ir-1 that have allowed them to build a lot more than we would've thought they could build. and so again, the centrifuges are not operational so we don't know if have all the equipment they need in the plant to make them operational.
but they appear to be getting through, or bypassing the sanctions. and in our work we see big to loopholes now and i will end with this. we see china not doing enough and that iran can bide their time and again by an american to be taken by german, taken by french. and which think they can get high-tech goods were sent to future programs, and iran still wants those goods. we also see you as a problem. while they have dashing eu as a public we see cases where example goods went from japan to the u.s., there was carbon fiber, went to europe. to a good country, legitimate sale, and assorted disappeared in the eu, which is a big place. many other countries don't have the same level of controls as kind of the white knights there. and trucks via turkey or adjacent country to iran.
so we have identified these to loopholes. and thank you. >> thank you very much, david albright, for that great summary of where the program is, what some of the implications are. now we will turn to colin kahl to give us his take on where the negotiators can go with the election of rouhani after the last round of p5+1 talks with iran, which last were back in april. column, the floor is yours. >> thanks, daryl, and thanks to carnegie for hosting a thanks to all of you for coming out on a morning to listen to us. has daryl mention my remarks basically focus on three things. whether there's a window of opportunity with the election of hassan rouhani as the new president of iran to make diplomatic progress. second, what a deal might look like and i just negotiators should approach getting the deal. and then finally i will just a few words at the end about what
the implications of a possible military strike on syria might be for all this because it's in the forefront of our minds at the moment. look, i think there's a lot of skepticism in some quarters in congress among israelis as it relates to hassan rouhani but i think he's a genuine moderate. is not a reformer. is not a liberal. he's not likely to transfer iran into a jeffersonian democracy. he's a regime insider and has been for the entire period of the revolution, but is also a pragmatist with a demonstrated history of being able to forge -- to include the nuclear issue. it's also important to keep in mind that rouhani campaigned, the iranian elections were not there in the sense that not everybody who wanted to run got to run. but a lot of people voted in them and rouhani campaigned on a platform of reducing iran's isolation of the international community. and his opponent, most
especially iran's national security advisor and lead negotiator in the nuclear issue, jalili campaign on a stretch of nuclear resistance of just saying no to any cover much on the nuclear program. so to some degree the iranian election was a referendum on whether the regime's current approach on the nuclear issue and on the sanctions issue was the right approach but an overwhelmingly the iranian public said no. so there is a mandate for change. since the election moreover, rouhani has continued to emphasize his willingness to engage substantively seriously and probably to find a new government. he's expressed a willingness to meet bilaterally at very high levels with the united states, which is promising. he's put together a largely technocratic cabinet, and including the english-speaking mohammed who was iran's former u.n. ambassador during the
reformist era in iran. he is a well-known figure in the west. george has been -- he will be the foreign minister and it looks like he will have the lead for the nuclear negotiations with the p5+1, although as daryl mention, is breaking news via rouhani's twitter feed, so we'll have to see. colin kahl has suggested the economy is worse than they imagined, and now this is a standard thing for new administrations to do in all countries to kind of lower expectations, but i suspect they were shocked by how bad the economy and iran was with a result of sanctions such as in their highly motivated to cut some deal to reduce the pressure. i think it's also important to note in rouhani's writings and some of the speeches and remarks by his team to include the reef, they make an interesting argument about iran's nuclear weapons. it's common for officials to say that nuclear weapons are prohibited by islam. so as a result of the supreme
leader spot against the weapons, iran will never pursue the. what's interesting about an argument that rouhani and others have made is that not only are the religious prohibitions against nuclear weapons but actually the pursuit of nuclear weapons would be a net negative to iran's security. that is they wouldn't provide strategic dividends for iran which strikes me as an ardent that they may use for stopping somewhere short of a nuclear capability, at least in the internal infighting with hard-liners who may see nuclear weapons potentially very much and iran's security interest. the are a bunch of uncertainties about how much rouhani can do. i think there's a window of opportunity because of his election that we don't know how much latitude the supreme leader will get him on the nuclear issue. supreme leader is the ultimate decide on this issue. we don't know how the negotiations will be framed. efforts to zarif will take the lead does that mean the p5+1 talks need to be elevated to the ministerial level, or who will be a point as kind of the
undersecretarundersecretary of l director level which the current talks have been ongoing? will zarif take the lead in a bilateral dialogue? will it even happened what will happen in the context p5+1 or what happened quietly, privately on the margins of something else? we don't know any of these things. it's also not exactly clear what type of arrangement rouhani might be willing to accept, and more important to be able to dispel to the premier and other factions in iran. ..
what is also queries he will not accept or sell a deal that does not allow him to frame it as respecting iran's right to nuclear energy which they interpret as said meaning some level of domestic enrichment. the probability of this iranian government or iranian regime agreeing to an overall compromise with the p5+1 that calls for a permanent suspension of enrichment the probability is zero. this regime will risk war including with the united states to defend what it interprets as its right which means it is not the right thing for the p5+1 to insist upon it. we can talk about that later. darrell mentioned there is no date for the next round of p5+1
talks. there was polk some might happen before the general assembly meeting. that is not true anymore and divot syria strike happens it is less likely something happens in september so things could slip further. i will get back to the syriac issue in a moment. if talks resume there's an offer on the table for the p5+1 issue that the rounds of negotiations, it is a confidence-building measure that attempts to get initial agreement towards the final agreement. of calls on iran for a period of six months to suspend its enrichment activities, should out its stockpile of 20% material that is not required for medical purposes, to agree to enhance iaea monitoring of centrifuge production and monitoring, and suspend activities at its enrichment facility that is under a mountain, that is a major concern to the u.s. and israel.
to suspend activities and the betting is of that facility previously made a call for shutting down that they moved off of. in exchange the p5+1 would provide relief from u.s. and e.u. sanctions on petrochemicals, provide licensing for u.s. repairs for iranian civilian aircraft and pledge to have no e.u. proliferation related sanctions for the period of the confidence building measure. if iran agrees the six month period will be used to negotiate the next step toward a final agreement. that is the general framework on the table. i call at small for small. some call the fall for small requiring small concessions from iranians and provides little in exchange for those concessions. my belief is the small for small and work because even though it is a fair deal from the u.s. perspective it looks like a raw deal from the iranian perspective. there two sources of negotiating leverage, 20% and richmond, this yield asks them to give up two
most important sources of leverage, what they've u.s. peanuts. it is a fair deal objectively but i don't think it is one the iranian leadership can accept or sell. i also fear that if the p5+1 goes back with a new negotiating team and they have the same old daughter, it will give -- his softer tone has bought and nothing in negotiation. i don't advocate small for small. some advocate we need to do more for small. we ask the same of the iranians but promised to give the more on the sanctions front. this is a terrible idea. a terrible idea from a negotiating tactic, sends a signal that the longer they wait the better deal they get which is exactly the wrong signal to send. the only thing the iranians really want is significant relief from financial sanctions for oil sanctions and those of the biggest sources of leverage over iran solution to give up those forces of leverage for a small deal.
more for small is a bad idea. some said more for more, ask more from the iranians in general and offer more in terms of sanctions relief. what could that mean? it could mean the p5+1 could offer sanctions relief on the financial front, the oil front, the insurance front in exchange for everything in the current confidence building measure plus iran doing something with its 3.5% low enriched uranium stockpile, shipping out of the country, putting it in escrow, something like that as well as agreeing to tougher inspections, additional protocol for new year's when rahani was the nuclear negotiator in 2003-2004. this is better than the small deal but will require the west to give the biggest sources of leverage, oil sanctions, for a deal that is less than complete. already use those forces of leverage for the big final deal, not some interim deal of any size all the like i said this
would clearly be preferable to the small agreement. what i would propose is what some people call big for big. that is the edmund walsh -- p5+1 flesh out roadmap for the end game up front, instead of allowing it to be implicit which is the way i understand it to be now. this could start in private, a bilateral setting between the exchange of the united states and iran. you flush out a road map for the end game, what iran's nuclear program would look like and what sanctions relief they would get in exchange and then have phased implementation so instead of having confidence-building measures that build for the final agreement you have a road map and final agreement that is implemented in confidence-building measures so it reverses the order of the current negotiation. what would such an agreement like? i don't know but there's a consensus that it would have several components. it would cap iranian and richmond at -- enrichment at 5%.
that would be hard for people in the united states and congress to stomach the cap it at 5%, limited domestic stockpile in perpetuity to less than one bomb's worth of enriched and rhenium, limit the quantity and type of centrifuges and a number of stability's -- facilities, stop or dismantle activities at the plutonium reactor david mentioned. it would result in past military dimension of iran's nuclear research with the iaea and submit to more intrusive inspections. in exchange the p5+1 would clarify iran would be some limited safeguard domestic enrichment which would read at least implicitly recognize some right to enrichment. they will get significant sanctions relief, everything that was related, provide, p5+1 would provide peaceful nuclear cooperation, for example an
alternative for the reactor in arak, fuel for the tehran reactor. the p5+1 would have to assure iran against forceful regime change or at least the united states would have to make that pledge, probably in private, and perhaps the united states would have to offer the prospect of long-term dialogue with the iranians on security matters in the region, something the iranians periodically say they want. moving quickly in this direction is preferable for a couple reasons. one is time and this relates to david's point. worst-case assumptions about iran's current technological trend line the next 12 to 18 months they had milestones which could make either return strategy david reference for the possibility of an israeli military action more likely. whether that is break out capacity in the form of uranium enrichment or because the arak reactor could become live and in that moment create a very tense time especially for the israelis whether they bombed the reactor. we don't have a lot of time
under worst-case assumptions so we should benchmark our diplomatic schedule to that. i also think a bigger deal is more likely to be able to be implemented by the united states because i don't see congress waving sanctions. the probability of that is zero. i think more likely they would increase sanctions if they could in the face of a small deal. they would frame it as in trenchant since -- intransigence and increase sanctions. i don't see any prospect of congress diamondback on sanctions unless there's a big deal that can be sold as substantial limitation on iran's nuclear program. i also think the offer of a bigger deal gives hassan rouhani something to use against hard-line opponents to make the claim that he has changed the contour of the conversation and shifted it and is having iran's rights respected. that is important for him. last but not least, the deal that i outlined gives iran
everything they have asked for. in a way it called their bluff. in reality they have no intention of building nuclear weapons they should be satisfied with this deal. if they have secret intentions to build nuclear weapons and reject this deal on those grounds it would be very clarifying for the international community and of the united states needs to take military action and galvanize as much support for such action as possible it would be better in a context in which a good generous offer would split across the table on the iranians, still said no. speaking of military action let me say one or two things about syria because it is on people's mind. the reality is there's no one iranian view on syria. hassan rouhani and his moderate allies made the case put all use of chemical weapons is at war and, they have not assigned blame to anybody, and it called for this issue will be resolved through the u.n. so they have taken a fairly sedate tone, and
in contrast hardliners within the regime especially along the i r g c said the opposition did this end of the american strike, syria will light israel on fire. this is a standard argument. i wouldn't believe that bluster. israel struck syria five times since 2007 and the iranians have done nothing. nevertheless, it is a threat. the ceo at issue generate friction between the moderate threat and a hard-line faction that i believe has an interest in trying to spoil hassan rouhani's success domestically and ability to improve relations with the west. this will be a huge test for hassan rouhani if a military strike happens. in the aggregate the strikes could arguably helped convince iran united states is serious about its threat to use all options to prevent having nuclear-weapons which could add to this deterrent effect and even give hassan rouhani an argument against the notion that hardliners advance the united states as a paper tiger not
serious about using military action. it would on him to make that argument but in the near term it would put him on the defensive by allowing his adversaries to paint him as soft and weak in the face of western aggression. the answer is we don't know what the effect of a strike would be, but it certainly will create a wild card in the diplomatic equations, thanks. >> thanks for that robust and details outline of some of the steps forward. with that, george perkovich, director of studies at carnegie. >> i thank all of you for coming. i want to build on what colin kahl said near the end when he talked about the importance of going for a big for big type deal because i agree with that premise entirely, that the only way to get a diplomatic resolution of the iranian
nuclear issue is going to be to put out how you actually end the crisis over this issue and that has to be big in ways colin kahl suggested and doing it a little bit at a time, confidence-building incrementally doesn't work for the reasons colin kahl mentioned and reinforced by saying you would have to -- a president in either country would expend a lot of political capital to get the various opponents or skeptics to agree to anything including a little incremental process and neither of them will have that much political capital to spend for a series of incremental steps. you need to frame how the thing ends and implement it incrementally. in building on what colin kahl said i would add a couple points. one is we have to understand
that the leader of iran is, like many religiously trained people, obsessed with fairness or with his understanding of fairness and justice and like many heads of state he doesn't no details of nuclear policy. this is not peculiar to iran. anybody who talked with heads of states or foreign ministers starts to get into details of nuclear policy issues, realize they don't follow those details but they get the general principle. the principle is basically is it fair? are we being asked to give up a lot more than we are getting, and are they discriminating? are they picking on us? in terms of thinking about how to design a deal and how to approach it i think we have to
have those general principles in mind so the framework that i would suggest as we think about it barrault's from president reagan, those of you who remember him, the famous thing about negotiating arms control with the soviet union which by the way the people who elected him in 1980 did not expect, the early reagan would not have been expected to be a major leader on nuclear arms reduction but in the second term he did at and he said trust but verify. that was how he explains what he was going to do. with iran we should distrust and verify. not trust but verify but distrust and verify. that would be neutral because as much as we discussed iran they distrust of the thousand times more and we can talk about historical reasons for that. under the notion of distrust and verify what do i mean?
they say they don't want nuclear-weapons. they say there is a religious law against it and it is not in their security interests. that is great except the u.s. government and others don't believe it. so a deal would have to pick up on what they say is their position but verify that that is their position. we say we don't see regime change and that we welcome them having a peaceful nuclear program. they don't believe that. they are kind of right because we do seek regime change, always have. the u.s. government doesn't support islamic republic and the fiat roughy -- theocracy. the issue is actually that the u.s. would not physically or otherwise try to bring about
regime change in iran and the iranians don't support the u.s. regime or liberal democracy. they talk about air arrogance and corruption and so on but the issue is they are not going to try to develop nuclear weapons or otherwise physically endanger us and our allies and we would not be physically in danger ring them but we have to demonstrate that and we have to demonstrate that we actually do recognize what they claim is a right to peaceful nuclear energy which currently they don't believe so the basic, with that kind of frame, the basic approach is to convince us they don't seek nuclear-weapons they are going to have to provide transparency as we have all talked about. that means signing or implementing the additional protocol which is a stronger mode of inspections that the international atomic energy agency has developed. it means going back to something
david alluded to, there is a thing called subsidiary 3.1 which basically is a commitment that states make to the international atomic energy agency, that they will tell the agency when they are planning to build a new nuclear facility and will provide them with design information before construction starts and so on so that the agency could then monitor and have a better idea what is supposed to be hidden compartments underground and that you don't wait until the facility is basically constructed and they say it is constructed and in two months we will start enriching uranium so this agreement is an important way to provide transparency but also a lot of warnings. iran unilaterally several years ago basically abrogated their commitment so they would have to put this back and as david
suggested there would have to be additional transparency necessary to address the questions about whether iran had done military experiments in the past and to build confidence that they wouldn't in the future and this is what david is talking about, that the iaea is trying to focus on. there are couple important things to say. we have been asking for a long time in iran to, quote, come clean about its past nuclear activities and u.s. intelligence and others believe before 2003 at least they were doing experiments related to making nuclear weapons and we say we ought to come clean but we never said we would indemnify them for coming clean. like every cop show when the cops say tell us what you know and the guy or his lawyer says yes, but first you got to guarantee you are not going to prosecute or he doesn't get the chair or whenever the thing is. we haven't done that. we say come clean, all right, if
they give us the answers then we bomb them based on those answers. asked government officials for years about this. have we offered, whatever we use we won't use against you. they say no, a french official said they haven't asked for it. it is like the iranians are supposed to say if we tell you what we did then what are you going to do? is not realistic. we have to put that out there as part of seeking this kind of transparency and very importantly on transparency, the leader will insist that what they'd to be consistent with the non-proliferation treaty so they are not being asked to do more than the legally required. that would be challenging but experts in this room, david and others in the united states government can come up with examples within the non-proliferation treaty that go beyond the routine. iran is noncompliant with its
obligations under the iaea. of the state of the noncompliance, libya, egypt, south korea. what kind of transparency and remedial steps did those countries have to take in order to satisfy the world that they are back into compliance with their obligations so what iran might be asked to do wouldn't be what you are asking, pick a country that no one suspects. maybe there isn't such a country. kind of routinely, but you are asking them to do things for which there are precedent. south africa is another example where south africa disarm the. they had nuclear weapons. they hadn't done a lot of enrichment like iran and they joined the npt, so framing what is asked of iran based on
precedent is very important. going beyond the fuel cycle stuff that colin kahl and david albright talked about it has to be important. the nuclear non-proliferation treaty doesn't define a nuclear weapon and doesn't define nuclear weaponization. we want confidence that not going to build nuclear weapons. an agreement as to specify additional, beyond the enrichment issues, has to specify ways that iran would agree to in the area of experimentation, adapting missile nose cones, so you have confidence they are not going -- the way to frame that is something hassan rouhani offered when he was the chief negotiator. he came up with the phrase in negotiation with france, the u.k. and germany we will provide
objective guarantees that iran will not seek nuclear-weapons. that was the phrase. it that time in 2003-2004, the only objective guarantee is you don't do enrichment or plutonium reprocessing so focused on the fuel cycle and that was the whole issue about suspension and so on and the iranian suspended for a while and get anything, but i think resuming the objective guarantee framework, he will have to acknowledge iran is going to do and richmond which is a huge win for them. so you have to go to them and say you won, hassan rouhani. in 2003 this was the issue nt were insisting you wouldn't give up or suspend and we insisted you had to but you won. you also agree there had to be objective guarantees. now that you are doing enrichment we need layers of objective guarantees that somehow compensate for what you
won which was the biggest objective guarantee that we wanted and some of that has to be in the area of weaponization where iran would specify the things they would forgo which at a minimum would include all the experiments that the iaea is worried that they did in the past and benchmarking and transparency about what they did in the past but the weaponization side needs to be looked at. these guys talked about the arak reactor, the heavy water reactor. a couple brief points on that. it is helpful americans and israelis and others don't emphasize this a lot especially publicly like a great threat of the iraq reactor -- the arak reactor. drives the price up in iran when you do that and so i think keeping it as low-key as possible is important. it is worth exploring in addition to them not building that reactor or suspending which
may be harder. are there technical modifications that could be done to the reactor? ways it could be operated and verify, power or how long they keep the fuel in a reactor or could use which the court? do other modifications so that if the reactor continued to exist the concerns about usability or breakout could be addressed? on the right to enrich, which iran has insisted upon, they will have to be able to say they won even if we don't put it in those terms. i would modify that and this is something my colleague suggested which is a great way to think about it is the right to make fuel for people -- peaceful purposes in reactors, and richmond as a means to an end. the issue is the right to make fuel. iran can talk about that.
one of the reasons this is important is there could be valued in them saying iran and other countries who would do enrichment should turn that into fuel immediately or paid the quantity of a product -- this is going to be a model, it has greater value. last point building on what colin kahl said, what is it for iran as i alluded, worry about regime change, that is what they think the sanctions are about especially that heavier sanctions as they come, that is regime change. a schedule and a plan for removing those sanctions absolutely has to be part of the arrangement.
you may implement it incrementally just like they would implement what we want incrementally but you have to give them the map and the schedule and the trade-off by which those sanctions would come off and that is the most material way we could demonstrate to the leader that in fact this is about regime change. it is about the nuclear program so if they take the steps we need on the nuclear program those sanctions would come off. last thing i would say unless i already said that was the last thing in which case i am sorry, we naturally focus especially in washington, are the iranians ready to make a deal? could they live up to a deal? i think if at least it is difficult to ask whether the united states would be prepared to make a deal and then to implement it to the extent that implementing it would require bipartisan cooperation, which means to the extent that congress would have to go along
with providing some of the trade offs that the iranians would insist from the u.s. because relieving sanctions or some of the sanctions will require that cooperation. we have to look long and hard at whether this town is prepared and these political parties are prepared to deliver on our end of any deal that this is the question the iranians want to know so we wanted to know what about their politics and will the leader of the along with it and are we being do this and everything, they are saying the same thing. i can negotiate with obama but he can't get a budget or do this, there's a whole list. what makes us think even if we negotiate with you, you are not going to just talk at what we offered on our side and we are not going to deliver on your side? that is the big challenge for us, thank you.
>> thank you. you just heard a lot of very good ideas on the iran nuclear issue. let me underscore a few points and get to the questions in a second. as david said, iran's nuclear program, advancing slowly in some areas, so there is time for diplomacy still but that time can't be squandered and as we heard from george and colin kahl both sides need to exhibit more creativity, more realistic thinking about some of the key issues, we can't simply repeat the bold proposals from the past that didn't get across the finish line. there's a new team in iran. they should be tested, they are more positive words that need to be tested out and the talks need