tv Michelle Obama in Iowa CSPAN April 29, 2012 9:55pm-11:00pm EDT
copyright national cable satellite corp.2012] >> a token of our gift of appreciation a gift for mrs. ann romney. >> thank you. >> first lady michelle obama spoke to iowa campaign volunteers tuesday about their efforts to re-elect president obama in november. the event took place at the community and event center in windsor heights just outside of des moines. this is about 15 minutes. >> i want you to know that the grassroots work that you all are doing to get people focused and fired up, that work is the
core of our campaign, it truly is, because that's who we are. that's what we do. we reach out, right? we bring folks from all different backgrounds into this democratic process, right? and that's how we did it four years ago. and that's how we're going to get it done again today. [cheers and applause] [crowd chanting "four more years"] >> but, you know, the one thing i know is that all the work you're doing, it isn't easy. and i know you all are putting in long hours. that i know. we've been through this. i know you've got families to raise. you have jobs to do, classes to attend. but i also know that there's a reason that you all are devoting so much of your lives
to this cause. i know there's a reason why i'm here in des moines today. and it's not just because we all support one extraordinary man -- [cheers and applause] although i admit i am a little biased, right? and it's not just because we want to win an election. we're doing this because of the values we believe in. we're doing this because of the vision for this country that we all share. right? we're doing this because we want our children to have schools worthy of their promise, schools that push them and inspire them and prepare them for good jobs where they
can make a good living, right? we want them to have clean air. and safe streets. and we want them to grow up in a world that's peaceful and secure, right? we do. we want our parents and grandparents to retire with a little dignity. because we believe that after a lifetime of hard work, they should enjoy their golden years, right? yes, indeed. we want to restore that basic middle-class security for our families because we believe that folks shouldn't go bankrupt because someone gets sick. they shouldn't lose their home because someone loses a job. we believe that responsibility should be rewarded, right? we believe that hard work should pay off and that everyone should do their fair
share and play by the same rules. [cheers and applause] and really, those are basic american values. and they're the values that so many of us were raised with, including myself. and i share this often as many of you know, my father was a blue-collar worker, right. at the city water plant. my family lived in a little bitty apartment on the south side of chicago. and neither of my parents had the opportunity to go to college. but they did do something important. they saved and they sacrificed so that my brother and i could get a good education, an education they could only dream of. and while pretty much all of my
college tuition came from student loans and grants, my dad still paid his little teenie portion of it, and every semester, i remember he was determined to pay that bill right on time. he was so proud to be sending his kids to college. and he couldn't bear the thought of me or my brother missing that registration deadline because his check wasmt is what is at stake. it is the fundamental promise that no matter how you started out, if you work hard, you can build a decent life for yourself and then even better life for your kids. [applause]
that is what you need to tell people to regard with every sort you not gone -- knock on, you need to tell folks about our values. tell them about everything that is our stake next november. barack tell them hollaw fough for tax cuts for low income and small businesses. you can remind them how about when he first took office, this economy was losing an average of 750,000 jobs a month, but for the past 25 straight months, we
have actually been gaining a private sector jobs, a total of more than 4 million jobs in two years, so while we still have a long way to go to rebuild our economy, today millions of people are collecting a paycheck again. you can remind people about, niece -- how folks told a rock obama to let the auto industry go under. remember he had his back of american workers. as a result, the auto industry is by province feet again, and -- is back on its feet again, and people are providing for families. did you can tell them how
because we pass health care reform, insurance companies can no longer deny our children coverage because they have a pre-existing condition like asthma. they have to cover preventive care, things like contraception, cancer screening, prenatal at no extra cost, and because our kids can stay on their parents' insurance until they are 26 years old, because of that 2.5 million young people in this country are getting the health good you need you're a can tell people about w and -- are getting the health care they need. you can tell people that young people can get the education they need or the good jobs they
need. tell them that. you can tell them that he has been fighting for the tremont so the immigrants who came here as children and -- fighting for the dream act so the immigrants who came as children can go to college or serve in the military. you can tell people because my husband finally ended don't ask our troops will never have to lie about who they are to serve the country they love to hear a good return the country they love. a fair pay act, the very first ago my husband signed into law,
it is now easier for women to get equal pay for equal work, and with those two brilliant supreme court justices he appointed, for the first time in history, our sons and daughters watch everyone man and -- watched three women take their seats at the highest court, but all that is at stake in november, and it all boils down to one simple question. will we continue the change we have begun and the progress we have made, or will we allow everything we fought for to just slip away to? we know what we need to do. we cannot turn back now.
and we need to keep moving forward, because while we have come along way, we have so much more to do, and more than anything else, that is what we are working for, the chance to finish what we started, a chance to keep fighting for the values we believe in and the vision we share, and that is what my husband has been doing every single day as president. over the past three and a half years i have them the chance to see up close and personal and what that looks like. but i have seen how the issues aress the president's desk always the hard ones, the one
with no easy solutions, and there is no margin for error. as president, you can get all kinds of the advice and opinions from all kinds of people, but at the end of today, when it comes time to make the decision, all you have to guide you are your values and vision and life experience. in the and when you are making the impossible choice, it all boils down to who you are and what you stand for, and we all know who my husband isn'. he is the son of a single mother who struggled to put herself through school and pay the bills.
that is who he is. he is the grandson of a woman who woke up before dawn every day to catch a bus to the gray, and even though his mom work hard -- to catch a bus to the bank, and even though his mom worked hard, she hit the glass ceiling, so barack knows what it means when a family struggles. he knows what it means when someone does not have the potential tune it -- does not have the opportunity to fill their potential. those are the experiences that have made him the man and the president he is today, and we are blessed to have him, so what you need to know is when it comes time to stand up for
american workers and american families, you know what my husband is going to do. when there is a choice about protecting our rights for our freedom, you know where he stands, and when we need a leader to make the hard decisions to keep this country moving forward, you know you can count on my house and, -- my husband, because that is what he has been doing since the day he first took office. that is what he has been doing, but i have said this before, and i know you heard me say it. he cannot do this alone. he needs your help. he needs all of you to keep giving a little part of your life each week to this
campaign, and he needs you to keep pounding the pavement and signing up your friends and colleagues. he needs you to recruit even more volunteers and organizers and show them how their day-to- day efforts will absolutely make a difference, and he needs you to send people to the website, gotitregistered.com, the website to help every person in this country find out how to cast their ballots -- gottaregister.com, a little grammatically challenged. if you have any doubt out on all -- no doubt at all, i want
you to remember that in the end this could come down to those last few thousand people we register to vote. it is important to remember it could come down to those last few thousand votes we need to get to the polls on november, on the sixth of november, and i want you to think about what those numbers mean when you spread it out over an entire state. it might mean registering just one more person per town, just one more. it might mean helping just one more person in your community get out and vote, just one more, so understand with every door you not gone -- you not gone,
with every conversation you have, i want you to remember this could be one that makes the difference. you could be the one who inspire someone to make their voice turned next november. that is the impact all of you have been having and can continue to have. understand it in those terms. one more person could make a difference, and that is up to you, so i have one last question for you. are you all in? [applause] are you ready to do this? because i am in. i hope you are fired up.
are you fired up? let's get this going. god bless you. >> yes, we care and your your -- yes weekend. >> john brennan outlines president obama's policy on terrorism. he will talk about the ongoing efforts to destroy all kinda -- al qaeda and its affiliates. no discussion on the role and effectiveness of the united nations. this is 45 minutes.
>> just over two weeks since the ceasefire plan in syria appears to be in crisis triggered we turn to two experts on -- appears to be in crisis. we turn to two experts one isn't new regulatory affairs fellow and -- is the new regulatory affairs fellow. we will start with you. start with a roll of the united nations. good >> the un is playing hard huge role in international security. it has over 100,000 peacekeepers worldwide and ranging from
haiti who liberia, and it has been playing a significant role in the global response to the arab spring. now it is in the thick of the conflict in some regard, but this is hard work, and the u.n. is sometimes struggling. there are cases where the peacekeepers do not seem able to stop wars from reigniting, and the u.s. presence in syria is still pretty tiny and does not look capable of halting the ongoing oppression there, so some great successes for the u.n., but some great crises, 2. >> we will put up some facts about the peacekeeping operations going on. you studied foreign policy at heritage since 1995. the question is as the u.n.
still work in your mind? >> in some ways yes, in some ways know. you have to recognize it as a pretty limited instrument. in some cases it can be very effective. in other instances it cannot overcome the challenges facing it, and richard mentioned sudan. they are spending $2.5 million, and collectively, this is the largest un presence around the world in terms of peacekeeping efforts, yet they have not been able to clamp down the violence in our four. -- in darfur. they have not been able to quell the disputes between south sudan and saddam, nor have they on aable to get saddaudan
stable footing, and when you take a look of the challenges in stereo, yes, we only have a few observers on the ground now, but even if we have many more peacekeepers, i do not thing that would be sufficient to ander the efforts to try en stop people acting out against its. >> we want to get your thoughts on whether the new wind still works. -- whether the u.n. still works. give us a call. if you are outside the u.s. and want to comment, 0184. what are the measurements we should be looking at of success and failure of the un and the arrow we are in? >> the most important role of
the u.n. is to try and broker a basic agreement between the u.s. and other major powers, such as china and russia, and since the end of the cold war, the u.s. has been dominant in did you win, and there have always been crisis such as iraq, but america has normally been able to set the rules in new york. today the global picture is changing. china and russia are much more assertive, and i think the big task looking at an immediate crises is whether the u.n. will work as a mechanism for china and the u.s. to work out common strategy for managing conflicts in future. at the moment there are positive signs. china and the u.s. are cooperating pretty well to but there areudan,
other cases where there have been a vicious and breakdowns. >> i have some numbers we will show you about the cost of some of the operations, but i know you have written extensively about funding, how you win is funded. talk about what he was commended is and what is expected to be in the future. >> you have to understand the u.n. is much broader than people realize. people think about new york. they think about the security council, un peacekeeping, but it also encompasses several organizations that fit under the umbrella, and when you take a look of the entire system, it is rather expensive, and the effectiveness of those organizations in terms of
serving u.s. interest vary greatly. there are some parts that are extremely useful to the united states. there are other parts that are not useful at all, and the united states should reevaluate whether it should be a part of those organizations, and there is a massive amount of mismanagement. there is also duplication between these organizations, so the entire system has been built up over time in a haphazard fashion, so the organization has been very smooth. is not well organized. in terms of the u.s. contribution, the latest figure we have our was $7.7 billion in fiscal year 2010. that is the number put forward by the office of management and budget at the white house, and that was $1.3 billion more than
in the previous year, so we see not only of substantial financial agreement but an expanding agreement by the united states. >> i want to ask about the situation in syria and weather is succeeding. syria accused ban ki moon of bias and called his commitment outrageous on saturday, a day after the leader blamed the government for widespread ceasefire violations. the government's annunciation raise new concerns that could eventually force him out of office. is it succeeding? >> the mission is not succeeding. i think there are 15 or 20 u.n.
personnel there, and that number is creeping up slowly. >> these are the observers on the ground? >> yes, and they can only watch. they cannot act, but that was thrown into it as a compromise. they could not agree, so they turned to the u.n. and said, do something. tragically, it seems some syrian civilians have been targeted, maybe even killed after doing so, and i think his mission will be seen as probably a tragic failure, and it will probably have to be closed relatively soon common on but that should not detract there are other much bigger mission is that some have a very good track record of creating stability, but the
syrian case is not an advert for what the u.n. can do. >> i want to add a little more about what is going on. 15 monitors are in stereo, -- in stereo, and the u.n. is also sending over someone to lead that operation. more than 9000 people are thought to have died of the uprising that has gone on, and some of those deaths have come in the two weeks since the ceasefire was agreed to. >> richard mentioned by the reader, and that is a good example of where the u.n. can be effective in terms of peacekeeping. it was a situation where the combatants were exhaustive. they really wanted to resolve
thought, wanted to move beyond the conflict, so when did you win enters into a situation where the circumstances or the prospects for peace are right, so they can really facilitate by putting a damping of fact on those who may want to abandon the process, but in a broader context, you have to take a look of peacekeeping operations outside of that. there is a tendency when they are not interested in major powers, they give them to the united nations or a situation where they cannot come to agreement, they give it to the united nations. these can be very difficult and
not particularly good in terms of conduct. the un has been there for over a decade, and the circumstances in eastern congo are terrible. despite the fact that we have invested over $14 billion in the congo, you do not have a tangible effect on the improvement in people's lives, yet the u.n. peacekeeping mission is there. it is robust, and they cannot have a situation where the prosperous for normal life, the prospects for development are allowed. >> we have a few callers waiting to talk with both of you.
we are talking with the fellow in international regulatory affairs at the heritage foundation and a former department of affairs defendant, and the associate director for the center of international cooperation at nyu. you are the manager of the european program with the center in london. let's go furs to the democratic line. a comment or question? >> we know the united nations does not work. and we are talking about situations in the condo and syria. what about haiti? wasn't he wins because of a cholera outbreak in haiti's a cause- wasn't a u.n.
of a cholera outbreak in haiti? it is of a waste of money, and you have a good day. >> you have a chance to respond to about your your -- response to the. >> the un has not handled the very well, but i would say prior to that you in forces region -- that un forces did an astonishing job after the earthquake. the peacekeepers got back on their feet and did actually restore hearing honorific
crisis, and that is an example of the un succeeding. good >> a question for you on its winter and -- a question for you on twitter. does the un have a standing army? >> there are a few countries who are eager to provide troops, and there are those who do not provide much in a way of un peacekeepers. the united states is on the low end, and on the high end are countries like pakistan, bangladesh. >> we have a number of those on troop contributions that will go through. bangladesh is 8000, india, 7000,
egypt at 4000. brett is on the independent line from panama city, florida. caller: i love this show and both tv shows. i have got a question. the best i can tell from the news i get, the countries do not pay much attention to what they do, and the one guy was talking about the nation thing, but i just heard last week the red cross has not figured out how to disburse, pushing $1 billion they raised to help patients --
>> do you think it's a role for the u.n. to sflay >> it's in the book and shifted my paradigm on the value. the book was called "the unsung hero" and it was a simple book where people are placing values and organizations are placing values. when you look at it, they're placing them on the almost to make money to self-promote or to promote their agendas as opposed to making logical common sense placement of the values and their resources. i mean, it's like the limon in the book are overlooked, teachers overlooked, basketball players, golfers make zillions and it's kind of the same thing. it's like they don't pay
attention to important things and the u.n., like i said, follow their website and resolutions they pass. it doesn't seem lake they're getting a lot done. >> brett, thanks for the call. we'll go to tom on the republican line from new jersey. good morning, tom. caller: our country is bad as far as economics. we're giving a billion-plus. when we're paying that money and we're watching as a country those folks in syria and folks in areas where these people know what's going on, they've been there, they supposedly have boots on the ground looking at what's happening and our country is failing those people and the bottom line is the u.n. has definitely wasted billions and
trillions of dollars. and it's not taking care of the people that we're supposedly there to help. and i don't get it. it's the bottom line thing is they're coming after us because the trayvon martin case? >> would you like to respond to his thoughts on the u.n.? >> well, u.n. operations are expensive but they're not as expensive as some of the alternatives, including sending u.s. or nato divorces to trouble spots. the cost of one u.n. peacekeeper is roughly 20% of the cost of one u.s. soldier in the field. the entire u.s. expenditure on u.n. peace operations adds up to maybe 5% of what we're spending on afghanistan. and although the u.s. does spend a huge amount by a great degree the biggest financial contributions to the u.n., it is still only paying under a third
of the u.n.'s total costs. the members of the e.u. pay a higher percentage, for example. i think in future india and china and other growing economies are going to have to step up and spend more, too, taking some of the pressure off the u.s. that brett describes. the idea it is massively expensive needs to be corrected a little bit. >> mr. schaffer, you have written on this subject. >> the fact is there are 16 countries in the united nations that comprise the geneva group. those 16 countries pay about 80% of the u.n.'s regular budget. u.s. pays 22% of the u.n.'s regular budget. those 16 countries pay a little over 86% of the u.n. peacekeeping budget. u.s. pays 28.1% of that. yet these 16 countries are routinely overwritten when it comes trying to reform the organization, trying to make the organization better managed, trying to reorient the resources in the budget towards task that are relevant, not dube la ca
tive and -- duplicative and not proven to be effective. when you look at the way the bunt works, it has to be passed by two-thirds of the general assemblies. the 128 countries that can pass the budget, the countries that pay the least to the united nations, pay just a little over 1% of that budget. so in theory, 128 countries can pass the budget over the objectives of countries paying almost 99% of the budget. that is not conducive to moving reform forward. when you look at some of the least assessed countries, take sierra leon, for instance, it pays .01% of the bunt versus 22% for the u.s. that means for the regular budget u.s. is paying about $260 million a year to the u.n. for the regular budget. sierra leone is paying about $26,000. in terms of peacekeeping sierra leone pays .001% and u.s. pays a little bit over 27%. u.s. pays about $2 billion.
sierra leone pays about $8 billion. all-told sierra leone pays roughly $34,000 for membership, voting privileges exactly the same as the united states absent security veto. in the u.n. system, most prestigious organization in the entire world, they pay about $34,000 for that privilege. this is the discrepancy between financial obligations on some countries but yet the privileges that is so frustrating to moving reform forward and trying to make the organization more effective and more cost effective. >> mike on the independent line from german town, maryland. mike, you think the u.n. is still effective in its missions? caller: no, i think it's been a stillborn from the day it was initiated. but people need to realize the charter for the u.n. is based on the celebrate unions constitution that's written by communist alger hiss. but people need to realize the united nations is implementing
agenda 21 and it's -- a part of it is it stands for international council for local environmental initiatives, and they are basically trying to usurp sovereignty of nations and even communities by draconian measures under sustain ability to basically hurt people into small compact cities and restrict use of public land and ultimately outlaw private party. it doesn't get any more matchous than that. >> unpack that comment a little bit for us and take us through it. >> two points. don't think the u.n. is built on a soviet constitution. the u.n. was create primarily by franklin roosevelt, who was not an communist, he was president of the u.s. over time, although deeply imperfect, the u.n. has tended to advance u.s. interests rather
than hinder them. i completely exact their deep problems with reforms the institution. pretty much brett's analysis on that. but the fact of the matter is i would say seven times out of ten, the u.n. does exactly what the u.s. wants to do. on the agenda 21 issue, which is a complex and actually rather unimportant program that the u.n. has run for some years, this is a program that is meant to inspire communities to do good for the environment. it's well intentioned. it's pretty futile, like many u.n. programs, but it is not some sort of global draconian marxist plot at all. >> mr. shafer? >> i agree the u.n. charter in some ways mirrors the principles outlined the u.s. constitution. for instance, there is a call for human rights and basic freedoms and so forth in the u.n. charter. the problem is that a number of
u.n. member states failed to live up to the principles outlined in the charter themselves. you can point to china, cuba or point to a number of different countries that are repressive. they are totalitarian. they are not respective of the rights of their own citizens. these view views unfortunately are echoed and magnified through a number of different bureaucratic procedures. for instance, countries tend to line up in regional groupings. in the regional groupings, africa, asia, latin america, western european and eastern european, they are tend to reflect and honor principles and priorities of the member states. you have a number of countries very vocal in those groups and very influential. there are their influence over their debate in the united nations tends to outweigh their actual real-world influence. it's unfortunate but a lot of times you have countries not
honoring the prince pims not charter, peace and international security, that are hostile to international human rights that are frankly not doing much in terms of advancing the living standards of their own people, which is another principle in there, that are able to manipulate the debate to i think the detriment of the organization, detriment of people around the world. >> we have 15, 20 minutes left with brett schaffer of the heritage foundation and richard gowin of new york university. let's go to bronx, new york. louis is on the democratic line. good morning. caller: good morning. you know, i was figuring out some stuff the other day, i was crunching some numbers just for fun. i realize we sell a huge amount of gasoline by the gallon. we can put a 50 cent surcharge on gasoline and use it to pay
the deficit down i think that would be the right thing to do. >> what do you think about the u.n. or future of the u.n. and this mission in ceia that's going on right now? >> well, we have our hands full with u.n. right now. we have to just stick to it. i really think we have to make it work and invest a little bit in it. and as the deficit goes down with the new technology that we have now, with the internet and all of that, it's going to be fabulous. >> we go to mike on the republican line. caller: i think that call was spot on. a lot of people should check that out. i would like to know why would
we support al qaeda and libya and we shoot at them in iraq? i don't understand, you know, how people don't see the fact that, you know, they're allies on one side and not on the other. i wonder if could you explain that to me. >> mr. gowin, if you want to talk about some of the complicated partnerships that the u.n. gets into. >> it's certainly true that in both libya and syria, the west is cooperating with islamic forces who five or ten years ago we would have rejected and destructed. the arab spring has created an incredible degree of political turmoil and the u.n. missions in libya and syria find themselves trying to navigate unchartered waters and it's not clear who ar
allies will be in the region in five years and who the u.n.'s partners will be in the region in five to ten years' time. i would say though in libia, it was the western powers and nato backed up by gulf arab states that decided to use force to overthrow qaddafi. it was the u.n. september in afterwards to try to reconstruct the libyan state with quite limited resources. i think that's a good example of how often the u.s. and west does something and then asks the u.n. to clean up. but quickly, people are blaming the u.n. for creating problems rather than looking at the actual origins of the policies and conflicts involved. >> you talk about some of the complications in syria. i wanted to read some comments from susan rice, the u.s. ambassador to the u.n., talking about the challenges facing the observers that are on the ground, u.n. observers on the ground over there. we said there are about 15 on the ground now.
from "the sydney morning herald" earlier last week said the challenge for observers they will be dependant for security on the very government which is responsible for the main security threats. mr. schaffer, is there a way to save this u.n. mission in syria right now or is it going off a cliff? >> the u.s., the obama administration, probably the most pro-u.n. administration in recent memory, went before congress last week and said the u.n. mission in syria, the peace plan brokered by former secretary kofi annan was
failing. richard you go anne has -- gowan said the program is failing. i agree with that assessment, it is failing. the reason is because of an inability by the security council, particularly russia, to apply efficient pressure on that country to force it to change its direction and what it's action and what it's willing to do. as long as the syrian government is willing to go ahead and continue to commit violence and oppress and maintain and hold on to power as long as it can by any means possible, the u.n. mission will not have the circumstances necessary for it to be successful. >> mr. gowan, kofi annan brokered a six-point plan. are any of those plans being met in syria? >> there have been a partial reduction of violence, but the violence seems to be escalating again. i should say i have spoken to a
number of u.n. officials about this and i think there's a lot of doubt inside the u.n. secretariat about whether it is right to deploy this mission. it's very dangerous for the monitors themselves and a high chance some of them might lose their lives or be taken hostage. and there's a moral danger. there's moral question over whether you should put peacekeepers into a situation where there is no peace to keep. because it's an ally for more serious action. and here i entirely agree with brett. unless you have far more effective diplomacy and far greater pressure from the security council, the monitors cannot do anything at all. although slightly better, slightly different political circumstances, the monitors could contribute to an effective peace plan. at the moment the conditions just don't exist. >> i want to read you one more article from the a.p. about the syrian brokered peace deal and the struggles that the u.n. is
facing this from. the associated press this morning -- u.n. visited an embattled neighborhood in the central city this sunday. activists said government snipers shot dead two people nearby. the state news agency said the observers toured the kalidah district which has seen hevery shelling between forces and rebels. part of an advanced team of 15 monitors in syria trying to salvage a peace plan brokered by kofi annan that ames to end the country's 13-month-old crisis. that again from the a.p. this morning. let's go to flushing, new york. tedla is on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning, gentlemen. my question is this united nations has to be readjusted, i mean restructured again so that, for example, they represent they can always veto things they
don't like and the other members can veto such powers. that means no country should even if they veto power, should be overturned by the majority. these should be the allies because this reflects the reality now. indiana -- india does not have such power, other countries like brazil. eastern africa, should have presentation as veto power. but it should be adjusted so we can see some structure. the united nations has been something good for the whole world but when we see what's going on in syria, there's a flaw for that. if we override the veto by now, we could have sent peacekeepers right into syria and hope there will be peace between the warring parties. but it did not work out that way.
>> mr. schaffer, talk a little about the overhaul efforts that are under way. >> what the caller was referring to was security council reform. and there's been discussions about how to reform the security council for a long number of years. but there hasn't been any kind of agreement on how to exactly reform the security council. are there proposals out there for instance suggesting to add new permanent members, add additional rotating members. currently the security council has five permanent member with the veto and ten members elected for two-year terms. they want to expand it to about 25, 26 countries. the problem with that the more countries you get on the u.n. security council, the less likely it is the security council will act quickly, decisively or that you're going to unanimousty to present a
united front to present a particular issue. the more issues on a council, the more likely their particular international interests will lead them to either delay, defer, underline or block actions in the security council. and that problem becomes more difficult when you add veto opponently to new permanent members of the security council. but the caller also mentioned somehow getting rid of the veto. that is not going to happen. the veto was established in the first place because none of the major powers wanted to end into an organization that could force or compel action that they objected to. so the veto is essentially the price of admitance or price of creation for the u.n. security council in the first place and prospect being able to act this way. broadly what i think we need to do is step back as a nation and take an effort to analyze the benefits, the costs and the effectiveness of the entire u.n. system. we should take a welcome at each
individual agency, find out what it costs, whether it's unique ors whether whether it's duplicating the activities of another organization and determine for ourselves whether it's worth being a member of that organization. whether we should call for some of the organizations to merge together or whether these organizations are acting in u.s. interests and doing a good job. the u.k. government just recently completed one of these studies and concluded four u.n. agencies were not performing well and they decided to end their membership in these organizations and suspend the contributions to them afterwards. they also eye fide another of organizations that were -- identified another number of organizations performing poorly. they warned them if you do not improve your operations and improve your management, we will consider exiting those organizations as well and end those. one is unesco.
but that's what we need do as a nation periodically and frequently to make sure we're spending u.s. tax dollars effectively and efficiently. >> mr. gowan, do you agree? >> i do tend to agree. i think we focus a great deal on the failings of peacekeepers and what's going on in the security council. but there is as brett said an amazing number of agencies and many do overlap. it's astonishing the agency has three operate food issues all based in rome. and actually they spend a good deal of time fighting each other in rather pointless turf wars. there are unquestionably efficiency savings to to be made in the u.n. system and most will involve organizations with acronyms that i haven't heard of, let alone most taxpayers in most countries. >> monte on twitter writes in his thoughts on these changes. he said, the five perm intercept
members have a vested interest in queeping the status quo. -- keeping the status quo. let's go to the bridge line. duncan is on the phone. caller: good morning. i was wondering if you were familiar with such organizations as the council on foreign relations and tri-lateral commission organizations blombed to have real power and if they balked at the process of the u.n. being corrupt zcht i know the council on foreign relations and a number of people who work on the council of foreign rellses. i don't believe it's quite as the caller described it to be. >> let's go to bridgetown -- i'm sorry, that was duncan on the republican line. let's go to the independent line. richard is in sarasota, florida. good morning, richard. caller: good morning. what is going on in syria, i think it's a disgreat. we on the ground put in monitors
there. back in the days, like years ago the u.n., and before they would take any action, embraced all of this going on. the way technology is and the way the world is today, how things are modern now, don't think we should sit back and look at the killing of innocent people by one person. we should go in and get that person like they do in syria. why can't they do that? everybody looking at the political -- what's the word? everybody's looking at the political accomplishments and everybody wants to be boss. and nobody wants to go in and do what it's supposed to do because they're afraid if people talk about it. but i think they should go in and get that guy out from there, that president out of there. of course, it's a disgrace we do and it's happening or shall we
dare or not dare. >> mr. gowan, your thoughts on richard's desire to go in and get it sorted out by u.n. >> let's think you can actually do it because u.n. peacekeepers are not the right people to overthrow a government. who could send in forces? the u.s. could. european countries acting under nato could in theory but for both america and europe the financial costs are arguably too high and the political costs of entering another quagmire in the islamic world are simply unacceptable. so u.s. and european forces are very unlikely to go. that leaves turkey positioned on syria's border. turkey could intervene and has been under some pressure for western countries to think about intervening. but the turks are also very
concerned about getting into a quagmire in syria. and although arab countries talked about intervening, they probably lack the military wherewithal to do so. so there is no credible intervention force as of yet. and that is why everyone turned to kofi annan and the u.n. and said can you find a diplomatic way snout it's possible in three months or six months if the syrian crisis gets word, there will be another political will for an intervention. but right now there isn't and so instead there's a u.n. process. >> let's go to molly on the democratic line waiting in cincinnati, ohio. good morning, molly. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. you know, this president assad having family and relatives in syria, i can tell you not only he but his father as well were ruthless dictators and continue to suppress and repress the population.
even if we can't send troops in ourselves, i think it's only fair to perhaps do maybe what libya was offered and to maybe try to arm the rebels in some way and help them at least give them an opportunity to fight for their cause. i know the u.n. can't do this but perhaps like mr. gowan said, the european countries or the u.s. can maybe do that. and kind of equalize the playing field for them. >> mr. schaffer, the likelihood somebody will step in to do that? >> there's been some discussion about whether saudi arabia's already begun doing this. i think there was some suspicion and comments that they weren't. people discussed this. i think the largest concern on the part of the united states and other people is what exactly the rebels are. it's very confusing exactly who the groups are involved in the
rebels that apparently it's a very fragments movement. it's not consolidated. there are suspicions that a number of islamic extremists, terrorist groups are participating in support gget the rebel movement. so if you arm the rebels the question is where do those arms end up and who are you supporting? i don't know the answer to those. i'm not an expert on syria or the dynamics of that, but i do know that there are questions and concerns and that is contributing to some of the hesitation. >> dan's next from biloxi, mississippi, on the republican line. good morning, dave. caller: good morning. how are you all doing this morning? >> go ahead. caller: hey, look, excuse me, i see something inherently wrong with the united states giving up its sovereignty for a large entity that our enemies run and then wanting to dictate what the
united states does. somehow or another when we think we'll have this wonderful globalized world and won't have wars anymore, that's impossible. what america needs to do is get out from under all of this, just get rid of the u.n. because it's the worse thing that can happen to any country, having one large head grabbing power and currency from a country, breaking us down to set us up for agenda 21. all of these things are set up to beat us down. thank you very much. >> mr. gowan, do you want to respond? >> again, i would encourage viewers to go online and learn more about agenda 21. i think they will find it is, frankly, much less threatening then some of the callers seem to assume. >> tomorrow on "washington journal" author robert draper talks about his behind-the-scenes book. "do not ask what good we do:
inside the house of representatives. " the "law and journal" editor uses drones by the cia to conduct strikes in yemen. and the author of "uncle sam in pinstripes" evaluating u.s. federal programs examines the way the federal government provides granted and loan guarantees to private industries. "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. next, "q & a" with arthur blaine harden. and the british house of commons. after that a senate hearing from the m.f. global bankruptcy. >> the aclu believed for some time that police departments around the country are tracking people's cell phones on a routine basis, often without getting a warrant based on probable cause. >> should tracking a cell phone require a warrant? monday, american civil liberties
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