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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  February 3, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EST

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the syrian leader was kind of caulky about it. >> just a word about saudi arabia. it has been loosening a bit. clearly aware of what's going on. can the saudis get by with their methodical progress in expanding democracy, human rights or do they have to step it up now and risk a revolution? . .
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hear. the key in saudi arabia is about continuing. it is less about how fast you go, it is more about the constancy. what i worry about in saudi arabia, is the replacement of king abdullah by a new monarchs to not have the same attitude about reform. he took on a bureaucracy. he took on members of his own family. he had to fight hard for the limited changes he has been able to make. it will be very surprising if when he died in that another member of the royal family who is not interested in that.
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that could be a calamity. the saudi arabian people now expect constant change. revolutions occur when all of a sudden expectations are dashed. >> away in the back. -- way in the back. >> thank you. so far the obama administration has reacted to the events. what do you think they want as a first priority? do they want a major regime or do they want to have a transition government that they a military regime? why do they want? >> i think they want an orderly transition where everything stays the same. i think anything they do not like pales' on the street, but
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they are not in favor of the military coming in. that would be a huge -- that would not necessarily serve their interests in the long- term. i think they are trying to figure out how you strengthen and put your weight behind your moderate leadership. i would add that in a lot of arab countries right now, the leaders are transferring their money out. i would not be surprised if some of the delayed for president mubarak, his family, and his colleagues or because they are repositioning their assets. you could track their financial flows nc which leaders are most nervous. -- and see which leaders are most nervous. >> they prefer a peaceful transition. that is to say, the military
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will not fire on the people and, thereby, eliminate the stability to steer the situation. the situation is with the military in terms of the influence we have on them. the bully pulpit in terms of making sure we support democracy -- beyond that, there is not much we can do except to hope and pray that it comes out ok. >> i will give you one more final word. for all the uncertainty, what are the big questions you have in mind about the days to come? >> the big question is the military. we have to keep a big eye on the military. will they tell mubarak peonies to leave sooner rather than later? will they try to confront the
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demonstrators and clear them out of the square and impose a new military order? of course, what will the demonstrators do? will they come out in tens of thousands on friday as a further manifestation of their commitment to seeing at newport go, -- to seeing mubarak go? this is not going to be resolved in the next day or two. this is going to take months if not years before we know that there is a new government in place. >> we are going to leave it there. this conversation can go on and, indeed, will go on. these professionals dedicate themselves to this region in the world with their scholarship.
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there could not be a more dynamic an interesting time. we were watching the news last night. my eight-year old asked why the people were fighting for their freedom. i told him it was that important for freedom and the people around the world. it is a great moment and we will keep the conversation going. thank you very much. [laughter] [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> in will not make age an issue in this campaign. i am will not exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. [laughter] >> look on the life and presidency of ronald reagan on line at the c-span video library.
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more now on how the political unrest that began in tunisia may affect the middle east. this is hosted by the "frontline club" in london. this is one an hour and a half. >> i last visited cairo in november. we have seen for arab governments fall in five weeks. tunisia and egypt are having an
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effect on the opposition to help the region. arab countries are very diverse. they are segmented and wheat. they are feeling disparaged and emboldened by what is happening. that will have a huge effect. we have seen very little pressure for further democratization in the arab world. i would like to [unintelligible] the ripple effect may take years to work through. the barrier of fear is broken. the barrier of fear [unintelligible] >> i am davis lewin,
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. i came in with seconds to spare. it is almost bad i did not have time to check my blackberry. it could be changing by the second, it is so fluid. it is difficult to talk about. we can potentially talk about how we got here. to talk about where we are going is very tentative. the events that are happening in the middle east right now remained the biggest in my lifetime that have happened. the consequences will play out in a very long time. we urge a note of caution whereby we note that revolution can go various ways. i do not want to see the new leadership of egypt, which i expect there may be one, in london in a few years with the
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muslim brotherhood in power. that would be very dangerous. >> please enter root the proceedings if you received news from the sources. >> i am mustafa abulhimal. i am a research fellow based in london. i lived most of my life in egypt. my headline would be, "i am said and happy for what is happening in egypt." people are being killed for what they are actually fighting for. i am happy for the fear factor on people's minds. understanding what has happened in relation to this fear
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factor, egyptians we discovered themselves and their ability. they have a voice that needs to be heard. my statement would be, "i hope everyone will haired -- will appear the people's voice and the politician's voice for the first time in the middle east." >> i am mohamed yehia. i started working as a journalist in 1990 a few days after saddam invaded kuwait. since then, i have been covering news in the middle east, egypt, and the balkans. we are struggling to understand what is going on in egypt and what is going to happen.
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we have heard from our audience as well that the barrier of fear was broken. people in the middle east -- all of a sudden it dawned on them that they do not have to live like this. they can change something. we are weighing all the possibilities rather it will be a rebate to democracy or something more sinister will come out. personally, i am optimistic. we are about to witness a historic change in the whole world. i believe it is for the better. >> thank you very much. does anybody on the states want to chip in it? you are welcome to make a statement or a question. wait for the microphone. >> i am a student.
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we heard that jordan -- we do not have much on the news anymore. egypt is attracting all of the attention. do you have any information on the situation in jordan? >> yesterday we heard the government is forming a new one. when the protest first started, there was almost $500 million in new subsidies. [unintelligible] yemen announced a bunch of economic reforms including
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modifying tuition fees. the president said he would stand down during the next election. he also said that before the last election. >> i just want to sharpen that a little. i would call it emergency measures. we are seeing bread riots in jordan on a regular basis. this is entirely different. >> besides yemen and jordan, i have heard from some friends in syria and algeria. they are calling for mass protests in february in syria and algeria. whether this goes into effect or not, we will have to wait and see. >> we have to look at each country individually. we cannot generalize. for instance, in jordan the
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monetary -- the minority is very stable. they what they came to remain. we have to look at these countries separately. >> i heard they came in kuwait is giving $300,000 a month. >> [unintelligible] they were amazed by this. it came out of nowhere period. >> use the microphone. >> we have been watching the streets of cairo. where is the threat and where
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did it start? >> would you give us a sense of the shock that you feel? i believe you are a student in cairo. he is asking you to be human about this. let's go down the panel this way. tell us about the shock and where it came from. >> after the events in tunisia, we went out to the poor neighborhoods and ask people if they thought the same thing could happen in cairo. we were met by overwhelming apathy. if people were saying they were ok. we have food. this was really a shock. i think it is a testament to how detached from reality all the observers and even the government was. the anger and dissatisfaction in
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egypt was building up for years, even decades. it was waiting for a trigger to blue. this is what is happening. >> we have about 200 strikes in every corner of the country. they are not widely reported in the media. the frustration was the small attempts to strike and make their voices louder and louder -- all this has been accumulated. >> can you give us a sense of what it means to you? what it feels like in your heart? you grew up in egypt. >> it is quite difficult for me, obviously, having my family is still there.
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my niece was crying and the other day. she is only about five-years old. she does not understand what is happening. i talked to her mother after words and told her that the kids would have a better life than what we had. unfortunately it is quite costly. hundreds of people have been killed. i think it is time for a change, not necessarily in a revolutionary way. mubarak does not have any political rivalry. he creates a political culture for people to create opposition groups. >> you said momentous, but spell it out. >> we are talking about a gigantic policy failure. western policy is implicated in
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a sense. >> i did not mean to say i wash my hands of it. i am not going to be emotionally involved. >> by a show of hands, the west has a case. hands up. the west does not have a case, hands up. >> you can emit all you like. -- emote all you like. >> the unhappiness has been building up for years. i think it has gotten worse. we were already seeing it, but people's attention was focused on september when the presidential election was due. this process in january -- what
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changed was attendees yet. -- tunisia. >> he wanted to spell out -- you wanted to discuss the domino effect. he wanted to discuss the intelligence failure. try to remember we will not lose the important matters. you are first, you are second, and you are third. >> we track a lot of these on a daily basis. i cannot help but notice that at the moment there is a lack of talk about saudi arabia. someone has said they had been confiscating satellite signals.
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there has been a high amount of policing. i was wondering if any of you have heard any more about saudi arabia? >> absolutely. i doubt the public in saudi arabia has been glued to the tv. what is interesting is that we need to look particularly hard at the risk in countries of where the rumors are aging. whether people are working in foreign policy or working in the oil sector, there is a paralysis when it comes to policy making.
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the next three people in line are [unintelligible] there are concerns about the health of all of them. some of the princes and may try to make a common cause with the protesters. in the we could see a change there. >> of wanted to ask these -- a similar question about saudi arabia. all wanted to ask about libya as well. i had a month working in libya. what surprised me the most was whenever the committee was
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brought up, i thought they could not match in big government. they actually laughed about it. they thought it was a joke. i wanted to ask do you really think that ripple effect will have that big of a wave? >> we have to stop using phrases such as "like saudi arabia" and " like libya." >> we need to look at each country on its own. there are common threads. what will give you a story to explain this. on our website, we published a forum. it changes from the serious political issues. one thing we had noticed is that
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in many of these forums, the debate turns into criticism of leaders. you have people in the middle east to blame our bidders for everything from the state of football to consumer society. these are the common threads. people are fed up. the internet opens up new opportunities for people in -- at the media. we recently heard something about women's rights in saudi arabia. we heard women in saudi arabia criticizing the establishment. i was astonished. this is the first time i heard this voice -- the women inside saudi arabia criticizing the religious establishment. >> to the back of the ram. then we will come to the front. >> my question goes to saudi
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arabia. how long do you think the saudi family has? what are the implications for the price of oil and the markets? >> oil is at a two-year high today. what is the implication for the royal family? >> if it is not ashley a governmental level or a popular level, we can see reforms taking place. people are rediscovering the power of the people in a sensational way. the absence of political culture in most of the region -- it is a problem. blaming the leaders for everything is a problem that has been generated for this passive- attitude.
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if there is no other revolution, uprisings, or by clashes, it leaves many individuals and to reconsider the capacity. >> the question is how long does the cell the family have? >> it will be something like a transition to a constitutional monarchies. people have been predicting the overthrow since the 1960's, but while the oil is still there [unintelligible] >> the price of oil -- does anybody want to comment on that? it is not going down. [laughter] the what to say anything? >> i want to say something of the ripple effect as well. i think it is completely true in
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terms of keeping pace country a separate entity. the key word is the "media." every conference you go to talk about the media. >> in 1989, would this have been an accelerant? would it have accelerated the process? >> let me go back quickly to the egyptian example. i can see the effects in the last few weeks. this was completely ignored by the media. media is closely watched by the government and by the police. people have been calling for this event. 200,000 have said they were
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going to attend at this event. it was not taken seriously. the reporting of facebook and tweeting has motivated people to get out on the streets. that is why friday they had to shut it down. >> let's go around the audience. >> i am a former journalist. i know this will call for a highly speculative answer, but could this be a game changing moment for the israelis? >> we are all very busy. we will take that first. >> the first important bit for the israelis is that they are
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often ahead of someone saying they support mubarak. he provides the stability they need. they appreciate that you do not want -- you do not know what happens in the transition. there are problems there we do not have time to discuss. really, it is up in the air. the israelis and of that. they are worried about what is going to happen. >> you have to come back at the end. >> it is obviously a big issue. concerns are quite legitimate. they are quite happy with mubarak. if anything would happen in the
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future, what the israelis should do in the future is start selling peace to the people. they have to start actually do believe that stability could be parallel with democracy. if they manage to convince the egyptians they could be a friendly neighbor. >> what did you want to add? >> take the microphone from there. you are really in trouble. [laughter] >> could it began changing in the sense -- forgive me, but i think there is a reason to ask this question -- the of their tyrian leaders in the arab world -- the author tyrian -- authoritarian leaders in the
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arab world -- it is not just about egypt or mubarak. it is about a real game change. >> i think the egyptian government would want to keep peace with israel, but may allow [unintelligible] i was waiting to see when an official would come out and blame the zionists for the current riots. >> in the past seven years, [unintelligible] we heard four days ago that
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mubarak has changed the constitution. they are discussing setting a process for a transition period to what extent are we going to have equal representation? will there be a political change doctor by the united states of america? >> what an interesting question. the people are a bunch of old cronies backed by the west. there was to start there? >> most arab leaders are, in
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reality, one of very good terms with the u.s. and with israel and see iran as the enemy. this is something that everybody neaknew. wikileaks gave us proof about it. if tunisia, egypt, or what ever country turns into a democratic system -- my prediction is that it would be a pragmatic administration who will listen to its people first. it may not be as friendly to israel or the u.s., but it will deal dramatically with the situation and try to look after its people and do what is best. >> how will we know and how soon will we know? >> i think it is quite difficult
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to tell. areope -- people's voices being heard. their choices are put forward in the constitution is changed and we will have public relations -- elections in the nine months, i am quite confident that the people will be represented. >> president obama -- if president mubarak sticks it out, there could be a lot of people on the street because of facebook. it is a strewed -- shrewd strategy by mubarak. if you leave it long enough, it is just a bunch of people wearing different suits. >> i would imagine a different
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scenario. if i want to go back the last five years where people have been politically oppressed, whether we agree with them or like or dislike them, they have some grounds in a jet it is bad for them to express themselves. >> you can take a step back and talk about this transition. a transition to something that we are hoping for, where are the civil society structures that are in place? how is this going to work for one day to the next? i do not believe it is going to work. it is serious danger because the ground work that should have been there for many years has
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not been there. >> there is no civil society that is necessary for a new regime to control agent. >> this might be shocking to many, but we have enough socialist and islamist that would fill in the gap with the coalition government. >> i agree on that. civil society is weak. i think there is potential, but i think the army is a big risk. even if there is a democratic election, it has taken them a long time to get them to step
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back. [unintelligible] >> let's make sure we return to that. >> i am a member of the public. >> welcome. >> thank you. [laughter] you have partially answered my question, but not accurately. to are the contenders of power in egypt? what is the army's involvement? what is the possibility of the protection of the minority after
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the takeover? are there any theories on that? >> thank you for that. this is a public meeting. we hope you'll come back later. >> i was conscripted for 14 months in the egyptian army. the egyptian army -- the people look at it again a very dramatic way as the defender of the country. they would never accost demonstrators. no officer or soldier in the army could a imagine doing that. there is a long history where the army sees itself as the pure form of military. they look at the police as thugs. the police see themselves as the
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guardians. the army, i think, will remain neutral. there is no tendency in the army to seize power to a military coup or anything like that. the army wants to remain as a source of national pride, a protector of the country. i believe the civil society has a lot of qualified people who can form governments, who can create something that is workable. i do not think the muslim brotherhood has enough expertise or caliber of people to form any sort of government. >> thank you very much for joining us. if you had been one of these boys in the tanks, what would you have done? these young men in the tanks,
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they are sitting there surrounded by rock throwers. what was that like in there? >> with the army was first deployed in the square, one of the demonstrators went to a soldier on a tank ander asked if he was joined to shoot them. >> the officer said he would never shoot them. i would do the same if i was there. >> you were in a way. the timing was different. the second part of jessica's question and then we have to move on. navy minorities -- name the minority rights. >> [unintelligible] we have a liberal figure.
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we also have someone from the muslim brotherhood. i cannot name a figure that would stand out as a muslim brotherhood candidate. we have other prominent, leftists -- permanent, leftist leaders. again, i think this is down to the citizenship and now it will be perceived. it has turned into a better evaluation of human rights. >> we need to discuss the muslim brotherhood and islam. >> i am an egyptian.
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i have one comment and one piece of news. >> welcome. hell are you? -- how are you? >> i am finding difficulty to engage in this discussion intellectually. it is affecting my own country and people. >> tell us how this is affecting your family and your people? >> we have police forces in the streets. egyptian families are defending themselves using very basic things. this is a very critical situation. it is in the way sustainable. >> at the foot spoken to your family? -- have you spoken to your family? >> they are ok, but they are at risk.
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food resources and medicine are quite decreasing. they are diminishing, which is creating a bad situation in the country. speech, apresident's lot of people work in support to start getting people back to work and start getting life normal again. it moves the debate into a venue for negotiation. i want to say one comment, with all due respect, these people do not deserve to rule egypt. they are using those who have been mobilized.
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the people to mobilize those people are anonymous use. they were simply a group of anonymous youth. they have no political ambition. all they seek is what is best for their country. there should be some way to politicalhose activist to start playing a leading role in the coming phase. political parties in egypt are all illegitimate. they have never done any sacrifice like what these youths have done. they do not deserve anything. beads per cent saying he will
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not accept any concessions, this same person was accepting concessions at other phases in which he did not play any role. of only one to add one thing. i received a piece of news on facebook. for all of those who are working in journalism, there are eyewitnesses on the ground who are saying that pro-mubarak people were paid brigid's >> thank you for your update. i am proud of your country. i am extremely proud of my country. i am extremely proud of my people by would urge journalist
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working here to start asking for people who are missing. there are about 100 people where we do not where they are. >> i am 100% with you. he is not considered to be a real political leader. these were meant to be in the transition. i cannot see any of them as president of egypt. this is much bigger than all of them. this movement will generate leaders. in these next few months, we
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need someone there until the political power happens. it has to be someone obviously selected by the people. >> i think those people he is describing or the hope. he was interviewed while it was going on in the airport. >> we are going through the room. we have the muslim brotherhood to discuss. the gentleman in the blue shirt is next. you can be second and third. >> i see a lot of parallels between the phases of the revolution. we had eight similar situation in the early part of the
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revolution. it pitted university students against the authorities. to what extent are the people in the schools and university campuses radicalized? had they refuse to stay or will they get back to their classes? >> keep the microphone. you can discuss it with our panelists. would one of you like to discuss it with this gentleman? quite a few days ago, no one would have imagined that we would be discussing what we are discussing today. no one can predict what is going to happen. >> his question is, to what extent are those radicalized? do you know? >> what we know is that they are angry. do you mean religiously radicalized? >> what do you mean? >> it is like a teenager who does not want to answer to his
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grandfather any more. they basically will resist. my experience was that they go into a bubble. >> there is a division between these people. people do say they will wait until september and the hard- core people saying he has to go now. it is difficult to say to will convince the others. it is all very volatile. i will not make any bets. >> do you get mubarak credit for dividing people with a delaying tactic? the as an amazing 82-year-old -- is he an amazing 82-year-old or is he a bad one? >> the is extremely stubborn. >> would you like to respond
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with our friend here? >> i cannot speak about it directly. they have more ideological weapons at their disposable -- at their disposal. they were to some extent able to undermine the protest. i do not see an equivalent to that on egypt. [unintelligible] >> we will part with that for now. let's turn to the muslim brotherhood in 10 minutes. >> i am half egyptian and half english. i am working on my journalism degree. i wanted to come back to the
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earlier point about none of these people deserving to be president. you have to believe that they need a leader. the muslim brotherhood has put themselves behind a candidate who was to push for true democracy. he is an alternative to mubarak. they could take the transition to a true democracy. >> i think you want a leader who does not want to [unintelligible] >> in addition to these comments, i think they do not have a chance to be president. you have to be vice president,
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the head the parliament, or the head of the supreme court's to be considered. none of them have a chance. >> you are half-egyptian. how long will mubarak's states? >> it is difficult for me to say. it is changing minute by minute. i thought friday he would announce his abdication. i am speaking as a citizen rather than a journalist here. i thought last night he was finished. >> do you want a change with no one there to take over? that is the argument in the room. there is no one to take over if the leaves. is that good or bad? >> i think the people who organized this uprising ark generally educated and middle- class. the people who use twitter and facebook are the middle class in
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egypt, but they are not running the place. i believe if they are educated enough to be as organized and efficient, they are organized and efficient to start a move towards democracy. >> i am an economic analyst from germany. to what extent do you think the protest art driven by societe-in economic concerns -- socio- economic concerns? to what extent -- extent are they given by normal people? how deep do you think the west's commitment to democracy is in a scenario where this change will come about? >> we will do the west at 8:10.
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the muslim brotherhood at 8:00. >> we have not seen the west be committed to democracy in egypt. economic reasons were very important here. it is hard to separate those forces from dissatisfaction. there is a general sense of the economy being managed by an elite that is disadvantaging more people and making few people very rich. they have completely but the global trend in egypt. that has a lot to do with monopolies. it is very much solving the economic problems. it will be a massive challenge for the government.
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thousands and thousands of jobs need to be created. >> i will only comment on the democracy commitment from the west. the point being, it is a complicated issue. look at what happened under bush. mubarak pushed back very hard. they did not have time to deal with someone who was holding up. >> you with the microphone. >> i do not have a microphone. >> you should have. [laughter] >> i am a journalist. i am interested to know if
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anyone has any evidence that iran or syria is making any overtures toward the protesters. >> iran -- there was a statement by the foreign minister saying that what happened in tunisia and egypt could be the start of the the transformation to an islamic middle east. they described what was happening as a disease. they said syria was demanding -- immune to this disease. >> i think the iranian comment basically reflects or should be sufficient evidence that the establishment in iran knows
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there is no islamic state. when iran speaks this language, you should completely believe the opposite. [laughter] >> i am tunisian and what to start a new political party in tunisia. what is happening in egypt, we have seen everything blow by blow. i guess we are one step ahead -- the two or three weeks ahead of what is happening in egypt. my question to the media is when are you going to start looking at what will happen next? we have a very long road ahead towards democracy. we have changed our constitution. we have to educate our population.
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we have to overhaul the media. we have all sorts of transitional justice issues. all of these things are not being followed at all by the media. i am wondering why? >> what is your party called? you have one minute -- even at 15 seconds to tell us your platform for tunisia. >> we just got started two weeks ago. >> what is the thing he what? what is our platform? >> defense of democracy. that is the first thing we need to work on. >> under the suit? under which leader? >> someone it will have to be identified. we are in the same situation as egypt. there are people who had been mauled over the years. >> we published reports every
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month. i think it is very important. a lot of things seem quite similar. in tunisia, the situation on the streets were restored quite quickly. [unintelligible] >> have you taken your eye off the ball because of egypt? >> we struggled with this. we struggle between making premature assumptions that dominoes are going to happen and all hell will break loose everywhere. at the same time, there are realities on the ground that there is fundamental change happening in the middle east.
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the ideal outcome is to build infrastructure of working civil that society that is functioning. i would not worry about who is the leader. a couple years ago, who knew about barack obama? >> if we wanted to know about your party, what is it? you'll be in the room and you can meet journalists at the end. you will want to talk about the muslim brotherhood. i will take the panelists' views. tell us why you want to talk about it and what we need to know. >> my impression is the brotherhood has been quite a fight it in recent years -- quite
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parties. that goes for the b i met in november with a strategy consultant whose grandfather had brendbeen a supe spiritual leader. see three broad trends. one is participation this politics, the other is preaching and social work. the third was maybe we could be something like apac. he said not like apac, but a group that is power, and not necessarily being part of the institutions. they liked a strategy when it came to the recent parliamentary elections. they strong ties with elbaradei when his pictures -- his daughter was in a swimsuit, he
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said this doesn't matter. when elbaradei called for a end of the elections. they were rigged. they said gosh they're rigged. i think when we're seeing about the sudden young people, it is embarrassing to the brotherhood. maybe they could take advantage of the chinch. you norks if -- if i was a support, i would be asking why weren't you able to choose it. >> let me talk about basics. the ideology of the muslim brotherhood which i had the opportunity to study closely. whether you're a muslim or you're a westerner, actually it is the same thing. you're a muslim and westerner and everything in between. the ideology of the brotherhood is a road to totally tall tayrnism and grave danger. there's a struggle in the middle east between force that is will
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allow an islam to flourish once at the same time accommodating themselves to being integrated into the global community. i don't want to talk about lofty goals and whatever. this is a clear struggle. ivanians on one side. why do they hope mubarak will fall? because they believe they will be joined in the struggle for what comes after him, the islam brotherhood. there's a ideology division between that and totally tall tayrn and what we see in southeast asia and so on and so for the. if you're on the wrong side of the de, we have a problem. i think you need to be on the right side of that debate. >> the muslim brotherhood are considered to be conservative. i don't like the label. in my view, i would label a
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muslim secular society. the muslim brother hood are a minority and what you have official numbers of how large thiser. and -- the estimate are between. i'm talking about in the street and the role in what is happening now. not more than 25% in the best case. they don't have more than 25% representation in the street today. there -- their official statement actually in the 24th of january, the day before the process with the official statement, saying we're not taking part if in the protesters. two days later, had to join. everybody else had to join. they had to join because they didn't have another choice. do they have a role. does it inspire this? are they going to talk over this sth they did not inspire this. they had a minimal role as members and as a group. the -- the role they play now is
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as big as any other group. they might have a larger organization skills than others. but by no means, they're -- is ham. not only in southeast asia but the rest of egypt. egypt has -- as -- i really underline, like to underline the statement queerly -- clearly. the vast majority of of egypt chans, between mubarak and brotherhood. the most are in between this. they have been politically passive for a long time. i i think the takeover may take longer time than what i'm allowed at the moment. we'll push that in a couple of minutes. >> i agree with the estimates made by -- made by the scholars that their way, the way to society is not more than 0% of the site.
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it would be a minority. and -- i mean, if you look back in egypt in the 80's. the muslim brotherhood were almost nonexistent. they were their appeal at that time was to more hardline form. there was the war in affling afghanistan and -- and thfing -- and this was being encouraged and then the 0e's and 90's poll actually the appeal of the muss him brotherhood, is i think because of the injustices and the poverty and they played a role in -- in providing cheap medical fass sits and tuition and things like that. they're benefiting from the imbalances and problems in egyptian society. >> are they dinosaurs because the new group is younger and motivated by the internet and is
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on the streets throwing rocks. where is it? for them they're going to be bypassed or would it settle down the longer it drags out. my question about mubarak's strategy. the longer it goes on, they become hungry. is it -- is the fact of the muslim brotherhood now and it restreets with time? >> first of all, they cannot claim this -- this uprising because it was done by young people from all sectors. there are divisions inside the brotherhood themselves, between the young generation and the old guards. >> james, i read a book and [unintelligible] can i address the question of egyptian -- egypt is separate, it is not on the border, it is a different
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character. s a you -- as you say there are different characters. whether the question is muslim brotherhood -- whether or not it is important that -- there are alternatives and get mubarak again or suleman. all of that will depend on the character of the egyptian people. is it different? is it the most important arab country in terms of the tate of is ham? >> coop the microphone -- keep the mike frone. the jeants think it is. -- egyptians think it is. the influence on -- on the -- the influence has been limited more recently. and i would say, there's a shawl
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minority of egyptians who have been -- who have gotten this more conservative islam. egypt is a big nation and they have hundreds. i wouldn't say hundreds, they got a large number of divisions of islam. it is down to the egyptian character. what we see, a nationalist revivel where -- where the old -- revival, where the old pictures of resistance. the resistance to egyptian occupation. >> we know the tunisias got there first. it is not that egyptian. where were these feelings before the people of tunisia that are not egyptians sexressd fear and loathing. what were the egyptians doing
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then? >> they were sleeping. i would have to say, they were 14r50e7ping. this is unden -- they were sleeping. you see this again from the generation on facebook is incredible. you hear about how they talk about the n.d.p. you think we have a man -- and the and the french. this is like an occupation and we have to free our country and sentimental songs. this is coming back again. it is all very secular. >> and i been told by an iranian colleague, people in iran, they look at the egypt and they don't see the other countries. but egypt is evolving. it is not set in stone. out of the 80 million, 70 million have access to the internet. it is changing them. >> hi. my name is [unintelligible] i'm iraqi journalist. i was in iraq before the
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invasion and after that. i'm -- we don't have a soiled candidate to run egypt. i'm worried that it is going to be the same in iraq. like what happened this iraq that we didn't have's -- any person that -- who can really lead iraq. that led to the division. doubt think -- do you think the scenario will be the same? taking apart the coalition forces being in iraq? >> stunned them to silence. >> i think egypt hasn't had quite the bad luck that iraq has had in the last 30 years. the history -- the various wars. the proliferation of weapons, the extent of the corruption. i think unfortunately, your country has suffered a lot worse. i think it is hard to see those,
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those kinds of problems being mirrored in egypt. >> to you in the front. >> would you give us the benefit of your name. >> anita. i'm egyptian. i'm answering that statement. i think -- has it is premature to worry about -- about replacement of -- of -- you know regime, like saying we need to put something in place is basically fear mongering. the democracy never came to any country overnight. you could even look at great democracies like the u.k. and france and america. it took years. i fully expect that with any protests or any revolution, egypt is going to go through a lot of problems and upheaval for months, for years perhaps. people saying, particularly our government, the n.d.p. saying if you don't find a replacement we're going to go the same way
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as iraq or something is fear mongering. we need to go for it. >> my name is ramsey. the panelist. the question i have is that the a.k.c. party this turkey, the ruling party. they came -- they came from under the umbrella of the muslim brotherhood. they -- they done quite well by all measure -- so the question is why is everyone running scared in the brotherhood? >> i think for you -- to -- you answered the question well. look at the foreign policy, if you're sitting as a western policy maker, that's why you're worried, they're doing well and things you consider to be counter productive to the kind of things you're trying to achieve. i noticed there was a big speech. i only had time to read a little bit. very supportive of the
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protesters. and i'm not surprised that he came out in that way. i think you answer your own question. >> that is the main thing. and forget foreign policy. they done well for their population. there are priorities. >> it is the best case you can make. it is the government that has been really successful economically. >> and -- yes. >> what -- what is your point for the wrest of them? >> no one has give kenn the -- brotherhood a chance -- nobody has given the brotherhood a chance. >> the government hasn't given anyone a chance. >> why is it so feared? >> how the west see this is. i want us to talk about that in five minutes. you. >> please give us your name. >> nina. i'm turkish economist. i agree with the sentiment of the last -- of the last, the last contribution.
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i think that the -- that the -- that the panel i haves were slightly underestimating the -- the -- underestimating the brotherhood to come to the four. in turkey, you had deep secular reforms and in 10 years you have a very islamized society. it is a question of how strong is secularism in egypt and that kind of dynamic. j keep the microphone. would you like to pick on one of them? >> the egyptian one. >> you want to be egyptian one. >> so long as we don't use names no one will ever know. >> from the way i see it, you're looking at the muslim brotherhood, i don't see in their agenda or their literature thick that indicates to me that they have enough caliber of --
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of people and enough expertise, enough political skill to form a government on their own. i'm not counting them out completely of the equation. they could be part of you know any -- any democratic system in any country, so long as they respect the rules of the game. but from what -- my point of view, if egypt, they can't do it at the moment. >> the point about the rise of the party in turkey, they were catapulted and supported by the rise of a business class. they were supported, had a social base. and here we have egypt, which has been undergoing privatization if the past 20 years. there's a middle class there which is probably resents the coneys around mubarak and are looking for an option and political answer to cent them. i'm saying the muslim brotherhood could be the mill
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actor that represents these small immediate crumb sized sectors in egypt. >> what we have is at least 25% and growing? >> compared to the turkey experience, as you said, for example, again it is completely different historical process, because turkey has gone hard-core secular process. egypt hadn't had the experience at all. so that's why -- it is my -- it might sound reasonable to have a islam party coming out, after other reaction to this secular process. while in egypt actually. back to the question. how strong secularism is in e giant. before this question. what secularism means in egypt. i think definitions are tricky. if you talk about western tunisia and turkey style of secularism, you won't find this in egypt. you have day to die, people are religious and devoted.
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it is a core element in the identity nationalist and islammist identity, while at the same time, they don't think -- what is actually, i have to say -- doesn't mean anything to them. they're -- one point legal codes in egypt composed in har moan. most people are happy with it. >> you're giving the lady an analysis. she says you're underestimating the potential. are you disagreeing? >> i don't think we're underestimated. i agree. they would be part of the coalition, 20, 30%. they been successful so far as far as 30%. in the future, they might actually diminish. we'll have the other groups speaking up. >> now we got 10 minutes left. you not hearing why you came in the room, let me know. >> that's takes in the audience. you're going to be the first question. and the -- the analysis is it is not about past, it is about
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them. this is putting the foot on the throat of young people for 30 years and their parents. it is so much repressed anger coming out. it is less about the west. then we see it through our prism as this gentleman in the audience is saying. they seem -- barack obama -- he doesn't seem to work out what he has to say. want to put it in your terms, about where is the west supporting this now that it is collapsing? >> i think a lot of people -- are tweeting and blogging. they're asking, why going back for years and years, there's a recurring thing that you see on american news where people pick up tear gas canisters which they say made on the u.s.a. in the bottom. and they say why is this happening? obama within the language of international diplomacy, it
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sounds like he's going from mubarak. he's talk about an ordinarily -- orderly transition. if you have tear gas thrown at you, you probably not hear that message. i think there's a big resentment that got so bad that even some people have -- have nostalgia for telling the stuff that bush said. >> i wonder what he's thinking on his ranch right thousand, he's suddenly -- whether he's feeling vindicated. the reality is the west has been caught -- obama has been caught sleeping at the wheel. let's use that analogy in a way. i think i said before that the reality, there should have been paid attention to this. despite it is not a flash point. you look after those parts, a difficult region in the world that poses a great challenge. if we think back a couple of years, we were worried.
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you look after those points. i think the principle behind the democracyization is a more stainible long-term government is assailible. it is disgraceful that when the obama administration came in is disgraceful. you said people realized we don't have to live like this. exactly. >> they don't have to live like this. >> anyone else record the cairo speech that obama gave two years ago. someone, shouted we love you barack obama. that was cairo university. >> that wasn't there, tf here. i remember this as well. and obviously, not regret that filling the dictatorship, the west would consider the future policies in the region. but i would like also to voice, some of the -- of the people in
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egypt now. and in regard to the west. they didn't really care much about the west and what they think then me think it completely domestic issue and we get support from the west. we hope obama and others will speak of it and support the people. which they know they're not going to do. they're more caught up. it is what they're doing inside. are they going to speak with -- with the american ambassador can -- in cairo the other day, was interpreted by people on the street, here you go, here's a puppet. and where this happened in the future. >> perfectly understandable, the image of the world leaders as puppets. there's a strange scene in the square. people were there, and chanting anti-mubarak slogans. then they burned an israeli flag. for me it is strange.
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we have to ask ourselves. what do we want from the west? what do we want from the outside world. if -- if a demonstration was to take place tomorrow and -- in jordan, is obama supposed to overthrow the king? is this -- i think -- this is -- this is in the hands of the people now. the people have to decide what they want. and forget about the west, forget about israel. decide what they want for the future. >> if you gave up your time. you not hearing the panel -- now is the time to speak. >> i would say many werners that watched the protesters in egypt and across the arab world, the domino effect. one of the surprising things was or positive things about it is the lack of islammist or very strongly religious movement within the protests. and to what extent linking that
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-- linking it to the hope and also, to what extent is the west's bogeyman and 9/11 and effect it had on policy around the world. how does this undermight be the west role in the world, in the past decade? it was striking in ton nichia, it wasn't an islammist led up rising. there's questions to be asked to what extent is it true that most people forecasting if the west have had in their heads that any resolution would be favoring islammists consequence us. and i would say a lot of secular or left spist opposition groups also -- i -- a lot of opposition groups wouldn't fit with the u.s. if you look at the attitudes toward israel, you see a lot of
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egyptian gruchese they're krill of israel -- groups, they're critical of israel. it is not just going to be about the islammist. >> your name? >> hi, jim. >> you all right? >> i think -- i think the reaction of the western leaders to these tensions is almost one of 0 noticeance it seems. as far as they were concerned, mubarak despite his ways. he was a safe pair of hands. after the war, they didn't have are to worry about much in egypt. i think all of this hype going on around the muslim brotherhood is just werners like projecting fears -- westerners, projecting fears. they're worried about the new guy. this is particularly -- par
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particularly israel. >> we'll hear from the audience and wrap together what you're hearing and points you didn't cover. you next? >> then to you you in the gray. >> my name is scott bowlinger. i lived in egypt for a year. i wanted to make a coom meant about this intelligence failure from the west. it is that we have to remember that politician is always changing, it is never static. i was talking about this with iran. somebody told me about the great movement is dead. there's a hogs of legitimacy there, something will happen. some same thing with the arab states, the governments will tend toward something more stable. whether the way they get there are is stable, is different. they have to start from that point that politics will evolve and is evolving. >> gray man. >> i'm an analysts. although our previous conscript, i don't know your name.
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commenttators sympathize that the -- that the army is for the people and that's why they will remain neutral. what i want to know, does anyone see, see the neutrality to be short-lived. there seems to be an important breaking point now. >> please put that in your closing remarks. >> you had one. that's it. closing comments from the panel. we'll close this to time. everyone is busy. you worked hard as an audience. we'll go this direction. just for the record, this is muhammad. -- muhammad, from bbs online. >> no. i don't think neutrality would break. there's the guard which is like mubarak's bodyguards. they would defend him if somebody stoned the palace. but generally speaking i don't think the army would break its neutrality.
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your closing comment? >> it is interesting, henry kissinger said on channel four about why the u.s. is what is stopping mubarak. he reminded when sad dat did the peace treaty with israel and egypt shifted from a soviet alley to a u.s. ally and that's what assassinated, and shortly afterward and mubarak came. at the time u.s. was happy to have him. it stayed this way. and the policy was built on having him as a friend and tolerating him and seeing him as a safe pair of hands. all of this, is i think being shattered. we're about to witness a totally new reality in the middle east. >> thank you, your closing view? >> i think the region is changing. i think politics from the region and the middle east and west, should start develop new agenda
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and policy for the region. few quick comments about -- about islammist, the is ham in question. governments have -- want more credibility among the people in the street, they should actually incorporate with democratic secular leaders, not dictators. then they will have credibility and stability and democracy as well, considered. the issue of the people. i think they will hopefully start develop political culture and that will take generations. as the lady said earlier, this will take years to develop. and -- those are -- those changes, again i would have to trust, theory secular changes. they're for -- for no ideological or religious reasons. if you put this in violent is and like hard-core violent --
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hard-core groups, they change it, they make it possible that secular revolutions and changes are do-able. you don't have to blog in the tube to do it. people can doo it with their own voices. >> you hope not to live in interesting times. these are definitely interesting times. i would say, it is about an opening up of space. this is not about western fears in the region. this is about a space having opened up and there being a real risk that it is filled with -- with this kind of regime that would be very troublesome, overall, you can't help but be excited. the reality is that the iranian regime knows since those protests that its days are numbered. across the entire middle east,ed dictators know this is not working anymore. surely that's a good thing. >> i think we had a motive -- a lot of optimism,, which is exciting. but then we hear pome possibly
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300 people are dead. we talked about the western policy. the west, and the attitude of the states in the other region. probably most of the governments in the region are not desperate to see a well functioning democracy in egypt. it has been convenient to point to pal tin and -- palestine, lebanon and iraq. having said that. one of the most positive things i had, is the idea people are thinking more about what they could do for themselves, not just blaming the leaders and not just blaming the west. and they do have power to change ning's. >> thank you. we came for a briefing. thank you from the board. for everything you done. the second part of your question was worth waiting for. thank you so much. all of your questions. i hope it was broadly what you you wanted to know. to hear from someone in the egyptian army.
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a big movement in the u.k. and your analysis on youtube and leading -- heaping around the countries, i learned something. we have been trying to contact by skype. it is not working or he's not answering? he's not answering. maybe we can't get through and hear more from people, if you have contact there. for -- from all of us, thank you so much and thank you for coming. thank you so much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> over the next several hours, a look at the situation in egypt and a forum moderated by bob schieffer.
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in an hour, the brookings institution hosted a discussion on the middle east moderated by david gregory. but after that, we will re-air the discussion at the front line club on how the unrest in tkeisha may affect the region. one "washington journal," the latest on unrest in egypt. we will speak with several senators, and take your questions about energy policy and the oil markets, and we will focus on unemployment and jobs with an economist stephen rose from georgetown university. that is live on c-span, every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. a couple of live events tomorrow. at a congressional oversight committee examines the effect that commercial real estate
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losses could have on banks stability. members will hear from representatives of the fdic and federal reserve, live on c-span at 10:00 a.m. eastern. tomorrow night, former alaska governor sarah palin speaks to a young america's foundation event in santa barbara, calif., marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of president ronald reagan. that is at 11:00 p.m. eastern. >> the whole environment of politics had come apart, become polluted and destroyed and violent. >> sunday, schubert h. humphrey, the art of the possible. >> part of the reason was to show another side of this. everybody thought of him as looking at lyndon johnson's boots all the time and had no mind of his own.
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>> sunday night at 8:00 on c- span. this weekend, on c-span2, michael reagan on his father's legacy, as next week marks the 100th anniversary of ronald reagan's birth. it and family lambert on the history and purpose of the futures market. -- and emily lambert on the history and purpose of the futures market. but the schedule emailed to you by signing up for our "book tv alert. >> now journalist perspectives on egypt. panelists include an al-jazeera correspondent and a correspondent from the pentagon. this is one hour.
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>> good evening. welcome to everybody coming out on such short notice. with the dramatic events that we have all seen in egypt the last several days, this really made this an important session to have, and i am so glad you all could make it out here. i think this is the first series we have done cents the horned frogs won. i would also like to think united technology, our sponsor of the series, who has made it possible for us to have these wonderful sessions led by the one and only bob schieffer. >> thank you very much. we try to stay on top of the news. i remember the last one of these we had was right after the north korean thing. we were the day of when we did
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that. foukara >> we are going to talk about egypt today. we have some great folks. dr. abderrahim foukara is the bureau chief for the al jazeera satellite channel. he is the host of "from washington," a weekly show on american issues and foreign affairs. and foreign affairs. he came to al jazeera a years ago from the d.c.-bed before that, he was with the bbc and the boston-based production of the bbc. nancy youssef was a bureau chief
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in baghdad for a long time. most of our reporting in recent years has been about baghdad and iraq and afghanistan. she is the egyptian. both of her parents are egyptian. they live here now. but she has a lot of family in cairo. she can tell us exactly what is happening over there. not from the sense of a demonstrator, but from folks who live there. dr. jon alterman is the director of middle east programs. prior to that, he was with the u.s. department of state as a special assistant for near eastern affairs. he was a member of the naval operations executive panel. before that, he was an academic. he taught at johns hopkins. he was a scholar at the u.s. institute of peace and the washington institute for near east policy. we have some folks here who have
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a pretty good experience --who have pretty good experience on what they came here to talk about. i want to ask a general question of all three of you. dr. foukara, is this a revolt or is it a revolution? >> oh, boy? i am going to relax and think. [laughter] i think it is a revolution to the extent that it may succeed. if it does succeed and it passes off peacefully and leads to a good outcome for egypt and for the arab region and for the relations between the arab region and the west, particularly the united states, i think it will be revolutionary
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in its implications, transforming the region, something that some u.s. adminirations have tried to do in that part of the world and have dismally failed. it would be revolutionary in the sense that if it happens relatively peacefully, we have seen some violence over the last 24 hours. if it happens peacefully, it will be food for thought not just for egyptians, but for other arabs about how they can transform themselves without necessarily going back to where the arab world was just two months ago before tunisia happened. >> nancy, you were on the phone with friends and relations all y today. what do they think? >> they do not know. the reason this is a critical question, is we are asking what is an acceptable outcome for the
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egyptians? if an acceptable outcome is that members of the current government and the status quo are no longer there, it is a revolt. if there is a fundamental change in how things are done in egypt and in the middle east, this becomes a revolution. to your question about what people are saying, i am talking to the people who are not in tahir square right now. they are protecting their neighborhoods and are trying to stretch their money as far as possible because they do not know when they are going to get to the banks. they are middle-class egyptians i am talking to. i hear them saying, we do not want mubarak. but to this idea of an immediate end of his regim what next? it is the uncertainty that worries them did it is the
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devil -- it is the uncertainty that worries them. it is the devil you know versus the one you don't. they feel their needs and wants are being hijacked by these two forces. the ones who don'want mubarak and the one to one of the revolution. i call everyday and i called various parts of cai. i call a place today near where all this is ppening. if you are in addition, then you know you are related to people and you don't know how. i will say my cousin's wife. she said, when you had your monica lewinsky scandal, you had months to investigate the president. why do we have to form a new government tomorrow? [laughter]
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that was her analogy. >> who do you think these people are? >> they do not really know who they are. there are a lot of different people who have never been put together before. when they have tried to come together, it has not worked. there was a movement several years ago to create a broad base coalition. it never really succeeded. you hav a group that is largely agreed on negative propositions. it is hard to agree on a positive proposition. the president and the government have been careful not to allow people to formulate an alternative. the alternative is the government or chaos. one of the things we will see over and over when president mubarak talks is the word aos. he is the alternative to chaos. the question is whether this is a revolt or a revolution. it is interesting to remember that when egypt had a clucoup in
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1962, it was not called a revolution. it was called to the blessed movement. it did not have the name revolution until time had passed and people wanted to define it as such. whatever happens, we are in a period we do not know what it is quite yet. what it is is likely to be significant. it is early to say thathis is a revolution because it is early to judge the direction of the impact. rather than turning things over, it may create a conlidation and much more of the status quo that anyone would have participated one -- anyone would have anticipated one week ago. >> president mubarak gave an inteiew. he said he is tired. he said he doeis fed up.
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he said he wants to quit. but he says he can because there would be chaos if he quit. do you think that is what would happen? is it mubarak or chaos? >> to put it in a philosophical context, it has something to do with power. power does something to human beings. as an arab living in ts country where there is a constitution that reflects the foresight of the founding fathers, it is an interesting question you are raising. when those guys wrote the constitution, they foresaw that power is addictive. unless you have a strong incentive to leave it, you will not leave it. there is a joke in the arab orld that yu americans may
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have heard. one of mubarak's aides went to him and said, people are clamoring for a farewell speech. he said, a farewell speech, why? where are they going? [laughter] i think it sums up the relationship that mankind has had throughout history to power. the specific case of what he actually said, i find it interesting that he has gone on the record as saying that after the going got tough. if he had chosen to say it one week ago, you and probably woult have raised that issue. he is -- the last week has probably taken a strong pull on
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him. i still find that the statement is a little disingenuous in the sense that all politicians can be disingenuous. >> john, you and i were talking before -- jon, you and i were talking before we came in. what do you see happening now? please demonstrators appeared to be sent there by the government. that is the way it looks from the outside. >> there seems to be some demonstrators from the government. some seem to work for government businesses. there is some basic support for the leader among many of these people even if they are not viewed with approval by people near them. my sense of what is happeng is
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that the government seems to positioning itself -- seems to be positioning itself to be the broker between the people who are starting to use violence and the protesters. what the government says is, we are going to hold back the mob and we will make sure that the mob of therotesters does not take over. we urge -- we have heard the protests. someone said, thank you for raising these issues and alerting us. we will work with you to resolve the difference between ts mob that is using violence against the protesters and the peaceful protesters. that puts the government in the position of holding two out of
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three of the chairs. they can go through the prime minister with the support of the president and the regime's suort of the military. rather than leading to an opening of the political process, it ends up being a continuation of the political process. there are important reservations. perhaps the government feels it was too lax allowing the protests to go on. you have more control over the internet and political activities leading up to this. and a retreat from the economics that were intended to bring in foreign investment to make it better investment climate in egypt and returned to the socialist insred subsidies and capitalism. what you are going toward is not in egypt that is going toward an open and prosperous economic future, but egypt of 1995, and egypt that was going into the
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1950's. >> thank you for bringing this up. think it is working. there are real and practical things happening to everyday day egyptians -- happening to everyday editions who are in their homes and do not know who these people are. they do not know when this is going to end. they are not going to work in some cases. it is a viable option. in a way, the egyptian government is outlining what it will do. the protesters are not. i think people are astonished at what the protesters have accomplished. they are hopeful about what lies ahead. there is the immediate proble of not knowing what is next. at least there is the promise of stability. i was talking with someone today and i said, what did the egyptian vice president says in
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september, i won despite all evidence otherwise. what makes you think he will leave? she said, he has to leave. there is a belief that there is power in the masses and on the streets. if the government gets out of control, they can rein them back in by taking back to the streets. there is a renewed sense of power in the people. how much of tt is real and how much of that is fear of living under this for the last 10 days. it is hard to know. those are things the government is able to exploit. >> we keep hearing from our people there that tomorrow is going to be the big day. what happens tomorrow? >> remember what happened last friday. we were talking about the internet and t impact it has. last friday, when the protests got together, there was no ternet. you have people going to the mosque and listening to their
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imam and going out into the street and saying, will bar, you need to step down. what you have offered -- say, mubarak, need to step down. what you have offered is not enough. we want immediate change. the question is what kind of push back they will get from pro-mubarak supporters and what happens when the mubarak presency does not end tomoow. how does it go from there? what we will see tomorrow is another metric in terms of what is this is a revolt or a revolution. whether people are saying the reform cannot happen until president mubarak not happen or whether they can see reform coming. >> how has someone looking at this from a foreign perspective -- how has the united states
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handle this? we all know what the stakes are. how do you judge the way the administration has handled this? >> the first thing i would like to say is that it your audience had come to this session feeling happy and optimistic, my purview is to depress them. >> at an academic or as a representative of jazeera -- as an academic or a representative of al jazeera? >> you will get a double whammy/ ./ let me go back to tunisia. the impression about what happened in tunisia was that it came too late. we had secretary of state
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hillary clinton visiting the gulf a couple days before the president of tunisia fled. addressed the situation in the middle east. she was addressing the leaders and telling them about the conditions of their daily existence and they had to take some drastic measures to improve that. but she also said, talking about the riots going on in tunisia and the uprising and the revolution, which ever way you w call it -- she said, we do not take sides. seen from d.c., you can understand why she said that. seen from the region, a lot of people took it as a slap in the face because two years ago, when the youth in iran was going through their turmoil, the government in the united states s more forceful in endorsing what they were doing.
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if you go back with memory to the collapse of the former soviet bloc, the position of the united state government was much more clear and to the point. this i what we want to happen. that did not seem to happen in the eyes of people in the arab world in tunisia. because of the complexity and the consequence of egypt, which is much bigger than polynesia -- bigger than, tunisia, people see the united states as being more tentative in the way they handled the egyptian potato. what a lot of people in the arab world were clamoring for it -- if you see it from washington, you understand why the obama administration is not putting it in those terms. people in the region were clamoring for a clear-cut, we
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want mubarak to go before it is too late. it obviously has repercussions for the future role and influence in the united states in that region. i do not want to go to that long. whatever the outcome is, i do not think there is a good outcome of 100% for the united states in the region. i am not sure that there is a good outcome for the egyptians and for the wider arab world. let's watch tomorrow. if it passes off relatively peacefully, that will reduce the risk down the road. if it goes down as a bloody event or the army suddenly
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decides to kill civilians, i think you are talking about something much more on scalable. -- much more unscalable. >> nancy, why has there been no particular person emerged? why is there no way to handicap who the people would be if there would be an election? is there anyone who has a lot of popular support? >> mubarak decided that way. he cracked opposition. he pitted them against each other. he assured there was not a threat to his regime or a natural successor other than his son as ameans to protect power. that is why he can frame the debate as a choice between civility and chaos. it is such a vast sale of on
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known as going forward. the most noble place you would think a leader woulcome from would be the army. every leader since independence has come from the army. if you are a general in the army, you have tacitly or texas in supported the mubarak regime. -- you have tacitly or explicitly supported the mubarak regime. we have never heard the name of the person that could rise up. the first president of egypt was a colonel. i find myself thinking that is where the person will come from. you have people talking about mohamed elbaradei as a possible leader or as a transition leader. i think he is more popular
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outside of egypt that is within. he is seen as an outsider and as a secular rest -- a secularist. i do not know people who see him as the and lighting it up a revolutionary figure. -- see him as the embodiment of a revolutionary figure. >> if mubarak does go, can an orderly transition take place? >> i hate to make prognostications because somebody might actually read the transcript. i am not sure that he is going to go. people i have respect for say there is no way he can stay. there may be a way he can ay. we will have a transition that will be the transition that will be more orderly than if he died
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suddenly in office without these events. people are playing for keeps. the military is focused on retaining this rong role as an actor and a guarantor of the political system. people are looking at the next nine months and wondering how they can have an orderly transition that makes it more sustainable than it has been. all of the other arab leaders would be absolutely delighted if mubarak -- then you not only have tunisia, which is important to everybody, and suddenly you have people being terrified of a domino effect. if mubarak is able to what this movement and control the
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movement and emerge as the paternal figure regarding and protecting the nation's national interest, we are right back to a much more comfortable status quo for every single arab government. >> how does he stay if you think it is possible for him to stay? >> the goal is to emerge as the arbiter between the street thugs throwing molotov cocktails and rocks and the protesters. we have a process. we have heard you, he could say. we are going to mediate this. we are going to have a committee meeting. you have to talk about the constitution. it is going to be legal and orderly. you drive it into process. the process is controlled by parliament. parliament was handpicked by the ruling party. former generals, who have an
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interest in making the current system -- >> do you agree with that? -- do you agree with that? >> to a certain extent. tunisia is important. some extremely big things in the history of the region came out of tunisia. you a egyptian and you would know this.
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>> i don't think that he is ready to leave any time since. although, when -- was introduced by your colleague dan rather before the invasion of iraq and he asked me the same thing, would you consider leaving iraq. i am iraqi and i expect to die in iraq. the only difference is that -- the ultimatum to leave iraq was coming from the americans.
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for present a bar, this is coming from egyptians. -- for president mubarak, this is coming from the egyptians. i don't see the departure as the end of the story by any stretch of the imagination. to nietzsche is a good date -- case in point because we saw the president fully. some of the remnants of the old regime continue to hold onto power and their argument which is maybe a good argument depending on who you talk to is that we are still holding the country together. without it, the country would disintegrate in all sorts of ways.
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>> perhaps the best thing that could happen, mubarak to quiet down the protest and he is now announced that he will leave. now he will stay in office until elections can be held? >> i don't think that is the crucial point. the crucial point is will you be genuine about changing the nature of this system which has been a remarkably close to system. >> is there a better chance to do that if he stays or leaves. >> the system is the focal point but this is much deeper and much broader and much harder to penetrate. . i mean, in some ways, it's like a country with a king versus a president. sometimes it's easier when you have a king because a king isn't contested and a king can
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sometimes bend the rules, sort of a crooked referee in order to keep everybody playing on the same playing field. to tt extent, maybe on a marginal side if mubarak were genuinely interested in playing that role, he could play it. i don't think he's interested in playing that role. i think he's interested in the durability of the existing system and i don't think the durability of the system matters if mubarak is there or not except for the fact that if there were a widespread perception that the mob had run mubarak out of office and the re-- then the remaining elements of the system would feel besieged and would be less charitable. that's not to say it's good thatubarak is there, but i think the way -- it's always between the -- between mubarak and chaos. there's in alternative but him or chaos.
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the most dangerous job in the country is being the second most powerful person. this is a country, there's no charismatic leaders or ministers widely perceived to have done a good job, nobody with popular backing except for the president because he had a huge warning track around himself and those who got close to the warning track had to find other jobs. >> nancy, what choices does the egyptian military face now in the coming months? i mean, what could be difficult and what should get easier? >> in a way, they're in a bod position. we compare their military to our, how they see their responsibility. i think first and foremost there is a unifying thread in the egyptian military they see themselves as defenders of the
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egyptian state. at this point -- and they answer to their leader. they leader is mubarak so they are carrying out orders from him and the order right now is to not shoot on demonstrators, it's not their job to shoot on demonstrators and i think they understand if they did, it would lead to instability in the state. therefore the only time i think they need to cross that line is if the state itself collapses. if the system as we now know it collapses and it becomes their job to intervene. but at the same time, for everyday egyptians, it's frustrating to many of them to see the violence break down. i felt that yesterday as you were watching the violence break out yesterday, and the military not get involved, you see the tanks on the street and see the fire bombs -- the mobs breaking out andere's the egyptian army defending the institutions of the egyptian state, the egyptian museum, the artifacts and history, defending the constitutioning
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and watching the riots break out. they're walking a very, very th line. it's the job of the military. it's the job of our military as much as their military. it's not their job to be an arm of mubarak but an extension of the state. they won the respect -- they already had it before all this but they've won it thrghout. i always think of it this way. the police are an extension of mubarak but the army is the extension of egypt. that's why you see the frustration with the people with the police. when the police came out, the people wersaying, you cowards, where were you because they had run away a few days. but the to army stayed. i think they're walking that line remarkably and consistently since this began. >> i'm going to ask all three of you, i'll start with you, nancy, talk about the effect that this, or the impact that this could have on the rest of the region.
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we know about what happened in jordan and we know there's a couple in yemen. what are the real danger points and kind of where do you see this goint across the region in >> it affects all of the region. you know, tunisia broke down that barricade of fear of the government. because it was so astonishing and haened so quickly and the dominos started to fall. and if you think this was a big vat of oil, that was the spark, the match that got thrown in in syria, i think it will be a little more fficult, they're certainly not as open, i think the active regime would come down quickly on protesters, i think the day is scheduled for february 12. in yemen, i think they're split about wh they want. it's not as clear cut as egypt. there are some who want the president to say he and his son are not going to run in 2013,
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ich they've done. there are some whoay he needs to step down right away. there are still others who say economic reform would be acceptable. it's a little more split. in jordan, because it's a monarchy, there's a division between the kingdom and the government. we haven't heard people say they want the end of the hashemite kingdom but they don't have the option to say that, they're not allowed to criticize the government. we saw king abdullah try to get ahead of it by firing an unpopular prime minister. each country is touched by this but the inner machinations of this are all different. i think you'll see countries that haven't been hit by this to get ahead of the country. and other countries are now trying to adjust to what their populations are asking for. >> i want to hear the other two panelists give their views on that. while they're doing that, though of you who want to ask
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some questions, be thinking of the questions you want to ask. >> i think it's no big secret that the region, some countries areless stable than others. yemen springs to mind as one of the least stable countries in the region. i do not, however, believe the domino effect is inevitable. but the condition is speed. the speed of change in egypt may avert the risk of the domino effect. and i think several of the leaderships in these countries are beginning to ripen up for change. i think if the change happens egypt, in a way that safeguards the interests and aspiraons of the egyptian people who have been clamoring for it this past week, and at the same time safeguards the
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ypt -- some of ept's international commitments, whether with regard to israel or others, i think the government in egypt would have -- would be under less pressure to introduce some of the genuine internal changes that the people of egypt want. if thahappens in a relatively short period of time, i think other governments in the region may have an opportunity to do some of the adjustments that their own people are clamoring for, although some of these adjustments could actually be quite bitter as a pill. but i do not believe that the domino effect is necessarily inevitable. >>on? >> a couple of things you said, i think the speed is remarkable. we've never seen a popular revolution in the history of the arab world, we may have seen two happen inian depending
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on how this comes out. the fact that you can have things happen so quickly, thall ja zero rah effect and the twitter effect, the television effect and the social networking internet connection, working together in a profoundly interconnected way to change things. i'm less optimistic that this leads us to reform. we saw the congress -- the courage congress showed dealing with our budget problems, i think that governments under threat are not going to want to swallow bitter pills, they're going to want to sell, they're going to want to restore subsidies, especially at a time when global commodity prices are rising. i worry that the effect is going to be more government control of communications and more governmensubsidies and rather than moving forward to
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the kind of middle east we thought we were moving toward, i wonder if weir going to be moving back to 1994-1995, not really in a positive direction at all. >> the one country out there we haven't talked about is israel which is obviously watching this. i think it was underlined to me how serious israel view this is when prime minister netanyahu asked thministers in his vernment not to comment. it's been a long time sense i've heard an israeli prime minister -- >> and the ministers listened to him. >> to have him think he could tell them to be quiet, but they have been. how serious is this for israel? and then we'll go to questions. >> israel is terrified. israel is terrified of a muslim brotherhood like egypt. israel is terrified of any leadership change. israel has become quite comfortable with mubarak.
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they're uncomfortable with more populist politics in egypt because the israeli-egyptian agreement is deeply unpopular in egypt. israel feels they have all the understandings they need with the current system in egypt and any change to that system -- >> let me ask you this. if mubarak does go, do you think the camp david accord, the thing that's been in force here for 30 years now is that out the wip doe? >> i think the israelis have better understandings with -- they have excellent understandings with mubarak. they have agreements on gaza and a range of issues. when you start talking about bringing in other players and broader politics in egypt, that's when the israelis get extremely concerned because that leads you away from the
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kipeds of ver pragmatic understandings that the current government of egypt has reached. >> i think that as long as the army remains the back bone of power, which is the very likelyout come anyway, although i would argue that for many egyptians, fortunately, the army is the instrument of the state, but unfortunately, it's also the instrument of the regime. but that's a different question. whether it's an instrument, whether you look at it as an trument of the state or the regime, i think any government that takes over in the future in egypt would not want to open that front with israel by abrogating the camp david accord peace treaty with israel. for one thinking, the army would not go for it. i think on that front, i'm not
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so -- i'm not so sure that the egyptians would go down that road. where i do think they would make a change, the new government in eyipt would make change is in the relationship between the israelis and the palestinians. the egyptians have obviously been mediating between the two remember that egypt has always carried the mantle of arab national. i and the palestinian issue continues to be a very strong nationalistic rallying cry for the arabs. so the government in egypt will want to reassume that mantle because in the eyes of many arabs they have stopped wearing it and they want to assume it, it would be important for legitimacy throughout the arab world to change course in how it mediates between the israelis and palestinians. in other words, israel, i don't
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think, at least as far as i can see now, would not necessarily have to worry about a peace treaty but the issue of settlement, i think, yes. >> and gaza security. >> yes. >> one quick thing. i hear comparisons between this and what happened in iran. israel needs a -- egypt needs a relationship with the western world, iran didn't. eyipt needs the suez canal for tour. i, for usaid, for cotton exports, that depends on a relationship with the western world. it doesn't have the option economically to anger the western world. so it's going to have to balance sort of carrying that tiflet representative of arab national. i while sustaining itself economically. >> i promised we'd go, this gentleman here, cowl you go to the mike? it's on c-span.
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>> is this on? >> yes. >> my name is joe, i'm an energy analyst and senior associate with csix. i don't know where flill president mubarak is, obviously someone does but i can't understand why the protesters have not ud the classic protest tactic of surrounding him, wherever he is. >> i'll start. i was wondering that myself. i wathought -- a reporter said she interviewed him in the palace. it's said he's in sharm al
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chic. that's closed -- al sheik. that's closed off to most egyptians. it's not as easy to storm the palace. the other thing is, it's an information war as well. the cameras an attention is focused on the square, it's been cast as the battleground in terms of who is representing the voice of egypt. so i think all those factors are in place. i don't know anyone who has identified precisely where he is. i heard the palace, i took that to be cairo but couldn't tell you for sure. >> thank you very musm i enjoyed the presentations. i hear, of course there's a sort of conservative -- by the way, my name is paul apshere.
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i've heard about this become a revolution as opposed to a revolt and you indicate it may go back some to the extent that president mubarak can position himself as a broker between the revolutionaries and the counterrevolutionaries, if you wish. if you could perhaps elaborate more on the role of the united states which was touched upon earlier on, president obama has said, for whatever it's worth, the transition has to start now. watching yesterday, the state department briefing, the state department indicated that there has to be a press, it has to be inclusive, has to be participatory, it has to be transparent, we're going to watch it and so far it has n progressed to the level we would like to see. now are these just generic exhortations sort of to satisfy world opinion in a generic sense? or is there something behind the idea that the transition has to start now or else, or if
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it doesn't start now in a satisfactory manner what is a satisfactory manner and last point, obviously, the united states provides egt with enormous amount of resources, i believe egypt is the second largest recipient of military and civilian aid. i personally visited usaid cairo which is a city ouin the outskirts -- outskirts of a city. is there leverage or is this something the united states is watching, hoping for the best and what does transition has to start now mean in a practical sense? >>on? >> the egyptians would argue it started. mubarak gave a speech, talked about th committees to to be formed an the timeline, i think one thing to look at is the respops to the freedom agenda, to have a big conference in alexandria and talk about how the american freedom generals, an authentically egyptian
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agenda, you saw how many times the conference continued to meet and how many times the committee did everything else. the fact is, what the egyptians will seeto do is institutionalize precisely what the merps are talking about and run those institutions. one of the problems we have from the u.s. government side is you can assign people from the embassy to try to work with people as all the committees are doing and everything el bu for people in the united states, this is an advocation, this is one of the many things they do for people in the white house, this is one of the many things they do for other people going on, but for the egyptian this is the whole ball of wax. this determines what the next 50 years look like. when that is faced the americans are trying to do a whole range of things, it's hard for the americanso have a whole lot of influence over the process. that that being said, there's no question that the shape of the u.s.-egyptian relatiship going forward will change as a consequence of this.
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it has gone along for 30 years and i think quite frankly it's been running on fumes. we have a relationship which because it's been so much aid for so long, there's been a mutual resentmentrom both sides, each side is feeling taken for granted by the other. it's forcing both sides to think about what they want the u.s.-eyipt relationship to be. part of that will mean egypt will not be as central to u.s. thinking as it's been and how central it is depends on how the egyptians behave during this process. but we are certainly wenting a change in this relationship a relationship that president mubarak inherited from anwar sue dat when he was elected. it's a relationship that mue par rack has invigorated. because of what is happening, this is a relationship th
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will be redefined, refocused over the next several years and the way that happens will be very much in the shadow of what happens in terms of the demonstrations, in terms of the nands, in terms of the succession to president mubarak. >> i want to quick hi say two things, if i may. the way i seit is that president mubarak has two different clocks. when he hears president obama talking about we want change now. one clock is pointing to yesterday which , as john said, he's thinking, i've already introduced some of those changes that you askede to do. the other is pointing at tomorrow because he still feels he has cards he can still play and he is going to climbown, the climb down is going to be incremental and it isn't over until it's over. whatever shape or form that over finally takes. one fix thing i want to say about the aid. i think the aid in the eyes of
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the american is one thing. the aid in the eyes of egyptians is a different thing. in other words, aid has been part of the solution but also part of the problem. yes, the united states has invested a lot of money in military to military cooperation with egypt but the way egyptians see it, remember egyptian, 5,000 years of history, 80 million people. crucial to anything that happens not just in the region but in the rest of the world in terms of scust and stability, how much does it get less than $2 billion a year. i'm not saying th expectation is that the united states should match up what it gives to israel, we know that's st not going to happen. but a lot of egyptians see it as -- more as an affront to someort of tissue an affront
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to their dignity where the regime has actually put them. it has put this country where it's actually seeking and giving from the americans what in fact the major power that should be sustaining itself rather than asking others for money. >> question here. >> bob, i was wondering, john quickly said tunisia is nonstrategic and what the carte ginians and romans thought of that area 2,000 years ago. we have spoke on of jordan and israel eric we haven't mentioned lebanon. to my understanding, the u.s. has suffered a great defeat as has israel in the recent developments in lebanon. could you speak to that and how that sort of touches all the larger bases we've been discussing? >> good poin
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the fact is how this pla out in all these different countries is very, very different. how it plays out in a country like jordan which is divided between east bank jordanians who served in the army and the government who feel that jordan is their only home to palestinian jordanians, west bank jordanians whoest bankers say are not real jordanian, we just were nice and gai them citizenship, i'm afraid we'll have uprisin in yordan, it would be civil war, it would be jordanians fighting jordanians instead of a united front appealing to the government. in yemen, you have different interest groups. yemeni politics have been about interest groups making a demand on the government. in lebanon, you have 18 different sects who are all officially recognized, who all have their o politics. i think the way it worked in lebanon -- >> i'm talking about the strength of the dominant force,
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it's iran and syria. >> hezbollah can have influence in politics because they made a deal with the jews, with a faction of the christians. with all of these countries, the manifestations are different. i think what we've seen is the speed of this, the unpredictability, makes everybody less comfortable because of the sense that people thought they knew the game. and the sense that maybe they don't know the game that tunisia can collapse, really to a presidential level and when they're weak, the president was on a plane out of the country. i am not ashamed to say that on thursday, of that week, i said people are talking about the evening, why are people rushing this? and the next tai he was on the plane.
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the manifestation in each country is unpredictable but also shaped by the conditions in that country. >> there's one final question here. because our time is running out. but let me ask each of you and i'll start with you, doctor, what is a successful outcome here, and will we know it when we see it? >> pass. [laughter] >> can i come back on saturday at least? >> tomorrow is a b day, right? >> yes. it's a big day. i think a big part of the answer to the question hinges on what happens tomorrow. i mean, the ideal scenario is that it would pass off peacefully. the expectation after what we've seen in the last 24 hours
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is that it's not going to pass off peacefully. we may see some more clashes among egyptians. but the other two scenarios that i see is that either the army intervenes and puts down the revolution uprising, whatever you want to call it, bloodly, and i think that would -- bloodily, and i think that would launch egypt down t long and painful pathway of chaos for a long time, and re-- and the region with it, or, i want to go back to what he said earlier, the army does manage to control the situation in one way or another but the temptation for it to take egypt back not just two months, but many, many, many years that temptation will be gone. i think my sense is that that the arab world will not go back
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to where it was two months ago. that's a judgment of value. i'm not saying the arab -- the prospects are very good. good or bad, there's no going back to where the arab world was two months ago. >> i'm feeling ambitious, i'll try to tack that will first question. i come at it from a personal perspective. the successful outcome to me is an egypt where you don't have well-educated men, smart men, graduating college in their 20's and staring at a lifetime of hopelessness. you've had a whole generation do that. i think one of the reasons you're seeing these men come up and take to the streets is they've seen tir fathers do it and they don't want to do the same. it's what the -- the process of th is what broughty ther here. it's what i see in so many of my relatives going forward. i don't know what the outcome is strategically or politically but my hope and the best
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outcome to me is that egypt offers something other than a lifetime ohopelessness. >> i agree with nancy. the good outcome is one that leads to a genuine incorporation of more people into a political process that improves outcomes, gives people a sense that they're vested in the society and creates a more resilient country. my fear is that the country may be on the brink of heading in the opposition -- opposite direction. i hope with all my heart this is not true. >> do you believe tomorrow is the uciaday? >> i think tomorrow could be crucial if it were extremely violent. it could be crucial if it were extremely massive and disciplined. it could be crucial. my own guess is we won't really know how this is going for another two months, that there's going to be some sort of ongoing process and at some point people will say is this
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process at all genuine or is it a complete fraud? it will be hard to capture the moment up of the day. the worst outcome clearly is that you have a sustained period of conflict that leads to polarization, radicalization, i think that's what leads us to extremely negative outcomes, eher very hard line secular military led government or a hard line religious led government. i think that's one of the things the government, the u.s. government has been saying all along we're tryingo avoid. >> all right, well on behalf of t.c.u. and the schieffer school of journ. i, thank you all. [applause] of journal. i, thank you all. -- of [captioning performed by
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national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> the founder of "the american spectator," has written a number of books. the latest, "after the hangover, the conservatives road to recovery." >> this weekend, on american history television, we will visit the old naval observatory which operated in washington, but dc and -- washington, d.c. a look at political cartoons of the civil war and how they provide an insight into political issues of the deaay.
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for more, you can go to our web site. >> next, foreign-policy and national-security experts on how the unrest in egypt is throughout the middle east and the obama administration is a response. this is a little bit more than an hour. , and this is a little bit more than an hour. >> welcome to another session of "meet the press" at brookings with david gregory. we bring this to you together with the center. the director was with us this morning on the panel as well. he is a expert on the u.s. national security and military
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affairs. he has been the director of persian gulf affairs for the national security council. he is the author of "path out of the desert: the grand strategy for america in the middle east." we are very glad to welcome to "meet the press" at brookings, the associate dean at the school for our services at georgetown university. she was for a decade the executive director of freedom house. he is a professor of political science and international studies at mcdaniel college. he is an expert on the politics of north africa. he has just completed a policy analysis tape which you can find on our website.
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the perils of complete liberalization, about the challenges of politics in north africa. on the big screen or the small screen we see someone who will join the discussion. he is the director of research at the brookings center theqatar, an egyptian by nationality who focuses on islamic political parties. . . >> i don't have to tell you that revolution is in the air in egypt. i never thought of 35 years of studying the middle east that i would in my lifetime see the events that are unfolding before our eyes at this moment.
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this is a time of great deceleration for the people of the middle east and a very scary time not just for the authoritarian leaders there but for those who wonder about where this will hit. we are in uncharted waters. we are very grateful to david gregory for hosting this panel discussion. hopefully we will come out with some kind of way ahead for the region and for the u.s. >> will think you to all of you here and to the audience. -- thank you to all of you here and to the audience. this is not get any more exciting and more vital to have a conversation like this to be surrounded by such expertise
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when there is a good deal of confusion surrounding what is happening on the ground. the question of what is happening and what it means is more important given the uncertainty. let's talk about what is going on. what is happening? everybody test this initially. what's happening? what do we make of this state of confusion? >> we're not exactly sure what's happening? cairo is now kind of recovering from the battles of the last 24 hours. the army seems to have moved into position between the competing camps of demonstrators going from mubarak, those saying it is enough and supporting it. the prime minister has just apologized for the actions yesterday but the big questions,
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what will the army do and particularly what will the army do tomorrow? friday is a time when everybody will be coming out to the mosques to pray and coming out to the streets demonstrate. one can assume that will happen across egypt and not just in cairo. now the question is does mubarak have the strooge in effect stay in power and oversee a transition to his people? >> let me pick up on that point, shad sharksd who is in doha, let me go to you on this question. the end game here for mubarak, how do you read him? -- shadi hamid, who is in doha. how do you read him? >> he doesn't want to leave power. he is planning on staying until september when the elections will be held. the protesters are clear about
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what their single overarching demand is for mubarak to step down and not in several months but immediately. i think yesterday what we saw is the official start over the counterrevolution. i think people caught caught up with the euphoria of the first few days and thought this is an effective strong regime. what we have seen yesterday was a concerted effort. i think we saw sniftmoot yesterday to previous days where we saw in some cases over a million protesters. >> >> shadi can talk about the muslim brotherhood as well and other opposition groups who have been somewhat silent here. elbaradei said nobody is sitting down for conversations with the mubarak regime until he actually
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leaves power. talk about where protesters are. they understand if they are not in the streets forcing the issue, they lose a lot of momentum. >> absolutely. one thing the protesters have going for them is the international media spotlight on them. mubarak doesn't want to leave power. they are being constrained by the international media attention on them and that's why it is critical that the protesters are able to keep the media with them. it is why you have seen the counterrevolutionary forces, the pro government forces trying to beat up journalists to try to shut down coverage of the square. once the media spotlight is gone, their freedom of action is going to be greatly enhanced. >> this is not napping a vacuum. this has been a broader movement until this point. what is happening beyond what
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we're seing in cairo? >> sure. everybody is watching. the autocrats from algeria to yemen. and elsewhere are rooting for mubarak because this is the scenario that we're seeing unfold in egypt, that's what we expected to unfold in tunisia but never did. the surprise for the people and for other autocrats is how quickly that regime crumbled. when he left tune ease yarks he called his counterparts in algeria. he was stunned. he said an algerian president would never flee and this is a regime that was willing to fight and to take the country into a
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catastrophic civil war that cast -- cost 200,000 people. that's what we're looking at. so the people, as martin said, fascinating from morocco to algeria. they are looking at how it is going to move. that's where we are. from morocco to where i'm from, algeria, everybody is watching the reaction, also the united states. >> jennifer, i want to bring you into this. talk about a freedom movement that is around the region. the king of jordan dissolves his cabinet. the leader of yemen saying he will walk out of power later on in the year. mubarak himself saying he will be gone by september even though they are calling on him to leave now. this is quite an effect. >> well, it certainly is
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unprecedented. egypt is a region considered one of the most oppressed in the world. there have been some signs of movements forward, especially, i would say, on the part of civic groups and independent media, satellite and bloggers, really trying to open things up, even in repressive countries. so -- and so i'm rooting for them. i think that -- that this tells everybody that said that middle east is not capable, does not really want freedom. there is obviously a constituency out there. it is too soon to tell where it is going to go. there is many, many steps. there is a long road ahead in terms of getting from protests on the streets a democrat system in place. >> i want to talk about the u.s.
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response but i want to go quickly back to shadi. one piece of this, we're talking a lot about it in this country, shadi, is the muslim brotherhood. where are they? were they caught flat footed? are they poised to become a major threat here? >> up until now, the brotherhood has played a limited role. they have not been visible in the protests, but that is by design. they realize if they a prominent role they will trigger fear in the community and particularly in the u.s. they are aware of that. i was just speaking to some muslim brother figures over the phone today. they plan to get more involved. they want to emphasize they don't have any leadership aspirations and are leading their -- lending their support behind elbaradei as a potential leader.
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it is interesting to note, though that, the brotherhood has kind of moved and tried to make some public statements to allay some fears so there have been several leaders who said they will abide by the peace treaty. one said that just the other dained another who said we will affirm all past international treaties. the argument can be made how genuine are the brotherhood leaders when they say this? i think it is interesting that they have gone out of their way to make that point the the international media. >> mohamed elbaradei, former head of the iaea. is he electric wolenza or not? >> he might be the leader that -- there are a lot of historical
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examples that make us very cautious. there have been lots of good, moderate liberals inserted into a revolutionary system that were swept away. one of the things we ought to think about is the muslim brotherhood, they are the minshoviks of the revolution. a critical element of al qaeda are probably right now if, they haven't already done so thinking this is our moment. this is the revolution we have been trying to create for 30 years in egypt and my guess is like that lenin, they are trying to get these people back to egypt to stir up the situation to seize this revolution. >> was part of the brotherhood himself, the founding kind of
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intellectual father of al qaeda. >> they have to not only deal with mubarak but also the extremists. >> i want to come back. this is a fascinating topic. >> it is very interesting to see. even though we do not see the military acting in the square, they are acting on the borders. they are controlling the borders. they are controlling the airport. they just sent more forces into the sinai making suring in comes out or comes in gaza. the silent hand of the military is still there and functioning. >> would you expand on that? its potential, jennifer, you can comments on this as well, for becoming part of the caretaker government. >> this goes to what happened in tunisia. there we saw the army playing a role of the -- an orderly process of transition could take
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place. will the military play that role in egypt or will it basically back mubarak and try maintain regime that has given them so many privileges? it is a stretch to imagine that they are going to -- to democrats but that is what we need them to be in order to get out of this crisis in a way that provides for orderly transition to a democratic government. >> what does it mean, jennifer, that they are staying on the sidelines at this point, as these protests unfold? >> well, it is absolutely critical. any past successful civic demonstration has ultimately been about splitting the security forces from the regime and the security forces need to feel that they will not be punished, all of them in a post-transition period and i would stay in the case of egypt, it is very important to look at the security situation. it is not monolithic.
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what i thought about the thugs was this was the intelligence services, which are really the kibed kind of cutting edge, really brutal part of the services in egypt asserting themselves. vice president comes from the intelligence community. so there could be a struggle right now internally and the -- the ability of the civic movement to be able to continue to split the military, to continue to keep the army on its side, is going to be very critical and that means they need to stay disciplined. as disciplined as they can, given their size. clearly what was happening yesterday was the ability that the thugs wanted to actually turn this into a chaotic, violent scene that then order would have to be restored. >> let me get to how president
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obama is handling this. everybody has a view. start off interpreting where they are and where they have been. >> well, they have been playing catch-up, not surprisingly. a very fast-moving situation. last tuesday this whole thing started. in the ninth day. they have moved from talking about egypt as a stable country and mubarak is not a dictator to saying he has got to go. he has got to go now. so this is a dramatic shift in policy that has taken place, kind of watching it in realtime. and so now, having i think succeeded on two fronts so far, which is to press the military using the leverage of our military assistance and the context we have with the -- and on the other hand, getting mubarak to say that he won't stand again but they fell short. what they needed him to say is i'm going now. i'm handing over to suleiman and
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suleiman would then be the one to oversee the transition. mubarak has no credibility for the transition. the administration gets high marks for avoiding bloodshed so far but only b-minus in interpret s of getting what had to be done, which is -- in terms of getting what had to be done, mubarak to leave now. >> when the president spoke to mubarak and said it is time, that he would get the message and leave? >> well knowing what we know about mubarak, i don't think that should have been that expectation. he is a survivor, if nothing else. it is hard to envision him stepping down voluntarily. i think, though, if we look at the obama administration's statements, they are definitely hedging their bets and i think if we look over the course of the past week, they have been been behind the curve. yes, their tone has gotten a little bit more tough. with the mubarak regime, they
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always seem to be reacting to events, rather than shaping them. i think a lot of people misinterpreted the word order transition, the famous statement that there should be an orderly transition. that doesn't mean that mubarak has to step down immediately. a transition could mean a variety of things including laying down a procedure over the next six to seven months leading up to the presidential elections and again to emphasize what the protesters wanted was not mubarak to not run again, they wanted him to leave immediately. so in that sense there is a big gap between what the obama administration has been saying and egyptian protesters want and i think there is widespread disappointment now in tahrir square about the obama administration's response. they are questioning where is the u.s.? where is the international community? >> is that realistic?
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does the united states have a responsibility to look at events and think about how that transformation actually occurs? >> well, let's start -- the united states misunderstood the whole region and the debate really what was going on. ken wrote a terrific book about this situation two years ago warning the navings we have really entered into a prerevolutionary mode. the storm is coming. it is only a matter of time. we only need a galvanizing event for everything to explode. so yes, civil society, the public from what i hear in morocco and algeria, they are waiting for the united states to rethink its strategy and waiting for the united states to show some leadership. obviously the obama administration i think must be from my view congratulated for this evolution we have seen talking from stability, orderly transition and then we want to
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transition now. i think from an american standpoint, the nightmare scenario is where the standoff persists. we all know that there are forces lurging in the shadows waiting to take advantage of the situation. the fear is like in iran, the opposition might radicalize. so that is why i think the united states -- from what i hear, from the streets is that the united states should be more firm, for the simple reason that it has huge leverage over the military and the military finally are the decider in there. so that is what -- >> pick up on this point. you have been in a room in these kinds of situations. what is the calculation going on right now? >> first, let me start with -- very important needs to be reinforced, which is time -- just a lot of -- continues, very
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problematic, in particular could cause the disintegration to have military, which as martin pointed out would be disastrous for egypt. it would resulted in chaos. that is one thing administration has to worry about. >> what would cause the military to disintegrate? >> oralizeation. >> a sense that the egyptian people were moving in one direction and the military was movinging into a different direction. this is a draftee army. they come fra the people. having them feel like they are caught in between. for the u.s., there is another sets of situations. on the one hand, it is clear the protesters want mubarak to leave immediately, as shadi said. on the other hand, these kinds of transitions are extraordinaryly difficult to make them turn out well. most revolutions don't turn out well. one of the most important things here is that you can't have everything all ate,


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