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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  September 15, 2013 7:00am-10:01am EDT

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then a discussion with bruce wood.od -- ruth wedg states andnited russia reached a broad agreement on saturday, calling for syria's arsenal of chemical weapons to be removed or destroyed by next year. it also indefinitely delayed american airstrikes. this marks the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis. george stephanopoulos tweeted out that he will ask the president this morning if there has been any real changes since then. wes sunday, september 15, will begin with your thoughts on american exceptionalism.
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president wooten took a message to america. do you believe in it? the phone lines -- also send us a tweet or you can post your comments on facebook. you can e-mail us at journal@c- this comes as the president, on september 10 in his address, americanout exceptionalism. president putin responded with times,ce in the new york taking issue with the word "exceptionalism. oh let's begin with what the president had to say. [video clip] america is not the worlds
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policeman. terrible things happen across the globe and it is beyond our means to right every wrong. when, with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death and thereby make our own children safer over the long run am a i believe we should act. that is what makes america different. that's what makes us exceptional . with humility but with resolve, let's never lose sight of that essential truth. host: vladimir putin responded in "the new york times." he said
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we are getting your thoughts on american exceptionalism, do you believe in it to? phones are lighting up already. jim in north dakota, republican, what do you think? caller: what he said is not true, all cultures is not -- all cultures are not equal. i think our country put in place that she eventually women's rights and things like that. a foundation -- eventually women's rights and things like that. it is different from a country that stone women to that -- to death. i think the best example of exceptionalism is the fact that the destination for most of the earth's people are -- it is only
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a one-way street. nobody wants to go to russia or west africa or mexico. they all want to come here. i would say we are pretty exceptional. host: is that how you define exceptionalism? caller: it may not be where we are at here but i wants to say that the way we transcended things -- we don't know perspective and america. every nation on earth was born in blood. every nation on earth practiced slavery greed we have a strange idea that we only practiced slavery pit it existed in every culture on earth. native americans practiced in the caribbean, africans practiced it for thousands of year before the arabs enslave them. the arabs let the muslims for three centuries in the mediterranean, enslave many whites. everyone is a descendent of slaves. we transcended slavery and we
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try to transcend race, which we won't be able to do. trying to do that, which is an exceptional thing about us. next, anbert is independent in tulsa, oklahoma. what do you think? caller: good morning. let me say this. exceptionalism here on this continent came by the fact that it was stolen. a whole continent that was rich in natural resources. the completed, genocide, almost total genocide that killed off all of the native inhabitants in this country. and the young man who just got to talking about slavery -- for the first time in the history slavery was predicated off of one's color. that had never happened before. wereuropeans who came here
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poor europeans looking for something they could not get in europe. all the countries in europe were owned by the king's and queens. richin america only the could own land in vote. not vote, indians could not vote, and certainly blacks could not vote. host: it sounds like you do not believe in american exceptionalism. caller: i do not. if i were robbed the richest bank account and i've celebrated for being of the labyrinth that -- a philanthropist because i have money, is that exceptionalism deco host: next caller, what are your thoughts? caller: america, our freedom, makes us -- to do whatever we want. that last guy, both of them had
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some pretty good points. -- we justcan is have our freedoms, our choice to do. that is being an american exceptionalism. we care about our fellow man. other countries don't. and we do. we try to help out that social justice -- help out but social justice is american exceptionalism. the president is a socialist. and that doesn't work. capitalism works. host: when you say we care about does that mean you support -- caller: no, the president is going after his people because they don't believe what he believes. host: that is brian in salt lake
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city, utah. on our facebook page -- and on twitter -- there'll in long beach california, independent caller -- there'll in long beach, california, independent caller. -- daryl in long beach, california, independent caller. let me move onto kathleen, saint augustine, florida. i think we are the
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greatest country in the world. many of us here are american by choice. spoke about slavery being predicated only on skin color. that is nonsense. the jews were slaves for years. there were colonies from people -- colonies of people from ireland and australia that were going to south america in chains. it was a cultural thing for many years. what made us great was the fact that our government, for years, believed you had to stand on your own two feet. think that is being taken away from us. food stamps, handouts, that is what is eroding what made us the greatest nation in the world. we told toher news, at the top about this deal
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reached between the united states and russia over chemical weapons in syria. "the miami herald" has the headline -- that is on the cover of many of the newspapers this money. internationally as well. post" -- he jerusalem secretary of state john kerry arrives in israel today with a short visit with the israeli visio -- with the israeli leader there. another headline -- and then cnn reports this
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morning -- that is the first word from china on this deal brokered between the united states and russia. this morning has this detail, inside "the washington post" --
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here is what remains unresolved --
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this is a map showing the suspected chemical weapons sites , as russia and the united states and united nations all work to get inside that country immediately and find and destroy the chemical weapons if the syrian regime agrees to it. "military times" website has the story --
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all about this deal reached between the united states and russia. back to our question for all of you, whether or not you believe in american exceptionalism. vladimirresident putin, as he all know, in his direct a message to america last week took issue with that phrase. on a in oklahoma city, republican caller. what do you think? bonnie in oklahoma city, republican caller. what do you think? caller: i think we are an exceptional country but we won't be for long if obama stays in there. , i got onelar coin out of a machine the other night, and i was looking at it
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and it says "one dollar, united states of america." it left off "in god we trust." no matter what obama says we are a christian nation and we believe in god. everythinggod out of he will lead us -- he will let us deteriorate to our own demise. host: memphis, tennessee, democratic caller. hi linda. we allow other countries and cultures to come over here and get a better life for themselves and have opportunities to work. , i remember this speech obama made about religion. he was stating that we are not just a christian nation only.
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in other words, other countries can come practice their religion, that's what makes us a great country. thank you. host: paul in hawaii. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to say that i think we are completely delusional when we think we are an exceptional country. we are anything but an exceptional country anymore. all of our else has been stripped out of the middle class. -- our wealth has been stripped off of the middle class. we are 18th in math and science. we do not take care of our people. we have some of the lowest outcomes in the industrialized world, despite spending all of the money. we have failing infrastructure -- we think we are the only people that have freedom. there are other people's -- there are other countries that have freedom. sweden, norway, france, spain, italy, greece. it's all these countries have freedom as well. we are not meeting in the world
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in anything but killing other people. that is the only place we are exceptional. we are exceptional in our spending on defense. we spend more than the next 20 nations put together. we don't necessarily have a good outcome with that either. we haven't really had good luck since world war ii, where we spent all of the money. host: paul in hawaii, independent caller. albert from chicago, what do you think? caller: he kind of storm and thunder, i could've -- kind of stole my thunder. thing about jews being enslaved because of their race, that is not the reason the egyptians started enslaving them. they started out slaving them. -- ey started out
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we have the highest murderers and the world. hasda has just as mike's -- just as much access to weapons as we do. it i don't know what is exceptional about that. i don't think we are exceptional. host: a little history about "american exceptionalism," the washington editor of "real clear politics," wrote a piece recently --
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do you believe in american exceptionalism? ralph in california, independent caller. the morning. caller: good morning. i have a few things to say. societies are in various dates of evolution. i don't think there are any that are categorically better than anyone else. we all go through -- all societies have been in primitive states. we are all just progressing. aspirations,etter equal opportunity, shared responsibility, incurring the debt incurred in the united
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states -- incur in the united states. our politics are based on money. in other words -- congress and all of our representatives are thought and pay for -- are bought and paid for. that is all i have to say. in bakersfield, california, republican caller. this is a great country and believe it or not 42 million people have been born since september 11, 2001. if people don't like living here, they should just go ahead and leave. as is a country and we need to celebrate that. host: here is a 1984 state of the union address. [video clip] collects how can we not believe the greatness of america?
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how can we not do what is right? out of all of our struggles to restore america, to revive confidence in our country, hope for our future, after all of our hard earned victories with the patient's encourage of every citizen, he cannot and must not and -- we cannot and must not and will not turn back. how can we do less? we are americans. [applause] carl sandburg said, "i see america and not the setting sun of the black night of despair. i see america in the crimson light of the rising sun, fresh from the burning creative hand of god.
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i see great days ahead for men id women, of will and vision. never felt more strongly that america's best days and democracy's best days lie ahead. we are a powerful force for good come of with faith and courage we can perform great eads and take freedoms next step. and we will. traditionrry on the of a worthy people. we will bring light where there is darkness, warmth where there is cold, medicine where there is disease, food where there is hunger, and peace where there was only bloodshed." let us be sure that those that come after will save us in our time and in our time we did everything that could be done. we finished the race, we kept them free, we kept the faith. in 1984nald reagan talking about his vision of america. we are turning to all of you.
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do you believe in american exceptionalism? taking your phone calls for 25 more minutes on this topic. first we wto letou know what is happening here on c-span today. "american history tv" will be live from birmingham, alabama for the 50th anniversary commemoration of the 16th street baptist church bombing. the attack that's white fourmacists killed african-american girls. it gained national attention and helped [no audio] lead to the passage of the civil rights act in 1964. -- helped lead to the passage of civil rights act in 1964. -- isa smart thing marking the 60th anniversary of the bombing. -- the 50th anniversary of the bombing.
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we let you know that president obama will be on this week with george seven off lists -- with george stephanopoulos. robert menendez, the democrat from new jersey, roy blunt from missouri, will also be "meet the press." to mark the five-year anniversary of the financial "meet the press" will also have treasury secretary hank paulson and former congressman arnie frank -- barney frank, supposedly talking about the dodd frank legislation. levin, have senator carl chairman of the armed services committee, corker, the ranking , and madeleine albright as well. fox news sunday, mike mccall of texas and the chairman of the home and securities -- of the homeland security committe. e.
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cummings andlijah javits.iff to and jason on newsmakers, our guest this sunday is cumbersome and ron whitman -- is congressman ron whitman. he is the armed services subcommittee chairman with oversight on the pentagon budget. newsmakers airs at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. eastern time here on c- span. ont is what is happening television today. stephanie from columbia, maryland, what are your thoughts about american exceptionalism? all i want toof say that i admire president obama. i am becoming an independent now.
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i have read president putin's article and i agree with him. i will tell you why, i was not born in this country. i am a naturalized american. and myorn in poland country was then attacked why hitler. -- attacked by hitler. i was growing up when not to use were strong. sees -- when na zis were strong. enslaved to slave -- to all the slavic people to serve the germans and exterminate those who he believed were inferior. he was a great our return -- a great orator. , they a good speaker listened to him, they were inspired.
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he was emotional. sometimes i think americans talk the same way. they go everywhere because they think they know how to bring order and how to bring democracy and everything that is good in those countries. they should not do that, i don't agree with that. other than that i love america. i have a good life here. but this is what i wanted to say. i think it is dangerous that -- dangerous and arrogant to say that we are exceptional. that is exactly what the not sees were saying -- what the nazis were saying. an e-mail --
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warren in canada, are you an american citizen or a canadian? caller: i'm canadian. host: what you think about this? ,aller: the caller from hawaii i think he nailed it. he still a bit of my thunder as well. there was another caller that spoke about -- i think about the people in europe. there was only a one-way
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passage, and that was the united states, that was not true. there are lots of immigrants in this country that come from a wide for i.t. of nations throughout the world -- variety of nations throughout the world. the last caller, who was raised i think there is a good portion of the american population where their personal identity seems to be tied up in being a citizen in the united states rather than accepting that but that there is more to the world. in siller comes to mind. comes to mind. view what to the canadians ? mostr: i believe that -- of us have someone we know in
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the united states, friend or relative or what have you. i think americans are friendly people by and large. the caller talked about the levels of violence and so on and so forth. we are on the same continent and our rate is significantly lower. they do this annually but i remember from a couple of years ago there was a study of the most attractive cities to live and in the world, major cities. the first one in the united states was san francisco, and it rated 26th in the world. i think that says something. i feel for americans, i think at -- you haveve been bit off more than you can chew. but you have helped out a lot of people. host: we appreciate the phone
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call. we will go next to robert in tuscaloosa, alabama. good morning. caller: the president said this presidents called -- since -- you were some good people here but no country has killed as many people as the government of this country in the last 20 or 30 years. it is exceptionally good for those having a good time but bad for those that have a bedtime. -- have a bad time. i am african american. we are the only people who they took their name, their culture, their religion, and we are the only people who don't know where he came from exactly. ow where they came
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from. some of the smartest people on earth and those are the ones we now call african- americans. you can call everything else a child of god. another american exceptionality, with the europeans came here the murder the people who were here. everybody came from somewhere up up we were brought from someplace. john mccain is expected to respond to russian president vladimir putin. according to a letter that he sent to the website, senator an op-will be supplying ed early next week by wednesday at the latest. this is the letter that was sent to the online publication.
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look for that from senator john mccain, responding to russian president vladimir putin. abouter news we talk tomorrow marking the five year anniversary of the financial crisis. ,"is is from "press display appearing in --
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front page of "the detroit free press" -- as many of you know, raging waters in colorado, here is the "denver post" -- and then "the richmond times dispatch" has a story about their governor --
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those are some of the other headlines this morning for you in the papers across the country. we are getting your thoughts for 10 more minutes about american exceptionalism, whether or not you believe in it. regina in ashland, virginia, independent caller. good morning. i believe that america is exceptional but not perfect. afford that people that opportunities from birth can have an advantage. you have those americans who work very hard to get where they are at, get success. what upsets me the most about america, and i was born here, i believe we take care of other countries really before we take care of our own people. that is my only pet peeve with america. as a government program that
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they offer to the poor, that is fine. so much money is being sent to other countries. i hate that we going to other countries and try to help them. we are losing our young men and these people that really don't care and don't want us there. that is the most hurting thing. america is a great place. toove that we can afford come here and have a great life. we need to do that for our own people. host: do you have criticism of president obama and his efforts to help americans? caller: being that i am african american, i was excited about the example we set collecting an african-american president.
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-- we set electing an african- american president. some of the things i don't agree with. to me, george w. bush would have attacked syria. the first time i voted i voted for george bush. i was a kid in high school and we were all for protecting our country. back, that is the upsetting part. i think we just need to take care of us. we have a crisis with children that are hungry, food jobs for kids that are hungry. what is the christian thing about country? -- christian thing for our country to do? likeids are struggling, every other child in every other country. we should be first. host: joe in virginia,
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republican caller. before mee lady call is pretty much i agree with what hundred percent. with 100%. whether you are a republican, democrat, independent, be careful about what -- careful about putting ronald reagan on a test so -- on a pedestal. he used his political connections to sack somebody in california, a president of colleges. that is what people like him do. us on the phone now is jennifer jacob, she's a political reporter for "the des moines register. go why will the vice president be in iowa? what is happening?
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guest: there is a lot of chatter that he is interested in in 2016. there are some democrats who think it is not about joe biden running for president, it is possible he is trying to set his son up for a future race. host: he will be in iowa, why today? guest: we have a popular democratic senator here. this will be his 36th year, it is a very high profile event that is nationally televised. it attracts many people that has presidential aspirations. people jump to the conclusion that you interested in running for president when you show up. host: is it necessary to go to the harkin steak fry? we asked senator harkin that. he loves hiawatha -- he loves
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-- iowa.ted and he loves steak. there are democrats who think otherwise. host: what are you hearing about his son? guest: one activist told me that if joe biden were to run some day, and they are not saying in 2016, everyone has their eye on hillary clinton for 2016, but if joe biden were to run in the n were to if bo bide run in the future he would be so popular in iowa. host: is hillary clinton going to be there? guest: she will not. we have not seen her since she found out she is not in iowa caucuses in january 2008. we hope she will come here on her book to her.
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otherwise he had not seen her at all. why wouldn't she come if she is contemplating a run? some would say it would be too early. we are three years out for the general election. it is too early to get into the race in general. they do not want people to get burned out on her. it would be better for her to keep increasing speculation and then make an announcement much later. what other democratic figures are going to be there today? guest: we have an interesting pair from texas, these identical twins, the castro brothers. they're celebrating their 39th birthday tomorrow, after the steak fry. julian castro, the mayor of senate tokyo texas -- of san antonio, texas.
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brothers are considered up and coming democrats and i know people are excited to see them. host: when people tune in to watch the harkin steak fry, what will they see? guest: they will see a stage with the u.s. flag. it sounds let the speeches start at 2:20 iowa time. castro and others speaking. host: thank you for your time. guest: you're welcome. host: we will have coverage on c-span of the harkin steak fry beginning at 3 p.m. eastern time, 2 p.m. in iowa. that is part of our road to the white house for 2016. are going tot, we keep this conversation going about the latest in syria, as well as the agenda for capitol hill.
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we will have two columnists joining us tomorrow armstrong williams and eleanor clift. daryl kimgball. we will be right back. ♪ >> i have never seen a coffin
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that small. it was awful. it was just awful. said, -- what you need to know is that the naysayers would say that church was bombed, those girls were in that coffin because we went to jail. we upset them. they tried to tell us how mean- spirited, how awful people did it. these are blacks. the hurricane taking responsibility and looking into the face of those parents -- here is luther king taking responsibility and looking into the face of those parents. it is just so hard for all of us. i remember that. i really do.
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i will tell you what gave me hope in the midst of the darkness, it was the first time i have seen whites in my church. >> commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 16th street baptist church bombing, including a panel discussion with condoleezza rice, or marks from eric holder, and your calls throughout the day. live today starting at 11 a.m. span3's american history tv. monday night, our series on first ladies continues. >> she was a woman of first. she was a woman of combination. this symbolizes all of that. this is helen taft's inaugural down. down --ot euro gown.ural she became the first first lady to donate her gown to the
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smithsonian institution. she established the tradition that first ladies would donate their inaugural gown to the collection. every first lady after has donated to the smithsonian institution. >> meet helen taft, wife of the president howard taft. monday at nine eastern on c-span and c-span three. >> "washington journal" continues. host: and we're back, eleanor clift joins us now along with armstrong williams. thank you both for being here. ,et's begin with the news russia and the united states come to some sort of deal over what is next in syria. armstrong williams, let me begin with you. what do you make of this? guest: obviously our president drew a line in the sand,
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certainly put america's credibility and strength at stake. obviously members of congress needed to do something to save face for the united states and -- vladimir putin is the man who provided arms to the syrian government area he makes a fortune out of doing so. no question that he and assad our allies. the man who benefits most financially is the man who brokers the deal. is he brokering the deal based on principle? no, he is doing it based on his interest in -- his interests. in the end, this deal is not enforceable as of yet. the united states still has the
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option because one of the things they did not take off the table is still going to syria. the other option is continuing to say so against syria. guess what, the rebels would make it. they felt this was a death blow to them. i hundred thousand people were killed. where is the victory? it is in politics. >> du support a military strike in syria? guest: absolutely not. there is no strategic interest of ours in syria. ,e should learn from iraq libya, and afghanistan. that is why the majority of americans, like myself, the human to lay -- vehemently cannot support syria. eleanor?
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guest: we have a strategic interest in the middle east, that is obvious. we have had a messy week of diplomacy. the whole idea of diplomacy is everybody gets to win. i think it is a good thing that vladimir putin is back on the world stage and has a real interest in negotiating a settlement in syria. two weeks ago, most americans were not talking about chemical weapons in syria. now we all know that they were used and used very brutally to gas children. the president made a humanitarian appeal, backed up by the threat of force, which got putin and presumably assad to the negotiating table when two weeks ago assad was on the charlie rose show not even admitting that he had chemical weapons. at the very least you have to call this a victory.
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i doubt there's going to be a nether chemical strike in the very near future. sure there is going to be lots of talking, that is what diplomacy is. i think this is a positive thing and it may open the door to a broader settlement of the civil war. forcelet me add a third to this, kathleen parker writes in "the washington post" this morning -- eleanor clift? guest: she is gifted with words
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but i do not see the president paralyzed. i see has a good outcome here. he basically put the use of chemical weapons on hold and is on a path to potential destruction of them. renton, it was not always a clear line of the last week. a still has the potential of military strike in his back pocket. i doubt he is going to go back to congress and ask. as syrians do start taking potshots at the inspector or to launch these weapons again. -- or to launch these weapons again i think the potential of a military strike by our president is possible. i would be careful about calling the president a week. -- calling the president weak. he got osama bin laden. we all have to write columns and come up with a thesis but i would not put much stock in hers. guest: it is very difficult for us who a line and affiliate
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ourselves with political labels, whether it was bush in the white house and you can see no wrong in it. sometimes you have to rise above political leanings and look at things for what they are. america has been seriously diminished on this issue. she's right, it is better to be feared. what message does this send to elon and others in the middle east create the president promised to support the rubble regime in egypt. -- the rebel regime in egypt. this is very consistent. believe on at strike in syria militarily. if that is what the president wants to do, like it or not, that is what -- that is his concern. it shows america has strength.
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that is leadership. there is no lack of leadership in the white house. people are watching it unfold. it is very embarrassing and very troublesome. host: let me go back to your thoughts on resident vladimir putin cost peace in the op-ed last week in "the new york times." what do you think of that? guest: i happen to agree with newton. vladimir putin. it is not about america spreading its military right. american exceptionalism is about democracy and our rule of law and how we separate ourselves from everyone else. i don't think got only listens to the united states. our interest in syria is not a
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moral one, it is not a principal one. laden, weed osama bin sort of supported -- we put these monsters in power to do our bidding and when they no longer do our bidding we take them out. many of the situations we create around the world. until we build our credibility, whether it is consistent or one million people dying in rwanda, whether it was osama in iraq with the kurds when saddam hussein threatened chemical weapons, america has to be consistent. people are starting to see holes in our armor. means leadership never changing your mind. -- leadership does not mean never changing your mind.
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i think this president has showed that he is capable of adapting on the world stage. i am glad president putin is back in this position because assad is his ally. if there is going to be a deal he has to be involved. i would even wonder if it is time to bring in the iranians, because we have a problem with them. people should be talking. it is not a question of losing faith. the situation turned out to be pretty good. chemical ovens are now being put on hold, we are on a path to potentially destroying them, and we are opening the door to negotiations that could lead to a settlement in the syrian conflict. -- is notry is not it in a position to pick winners or we have the phrase /"xceptionalism
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this was a humanitarian situation that brought the president in an the first place. numeric and people are very wary about getting involved, even in a humanitarian situation. the president has discovered that. which is why when this piece option open, he took it. to refuse it and still go ahead and order strikes simply because he said he was going to, that makes no sense. host: there's a piece of want to share with all of you from "the washington post" --
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what do you think about this? guest: i agree with him. look at the sovereigns we have taken out. saddam hussein in iraq, darcy in the brea -- darcy in libya. america cannot run around the world playing god that we in no .nows what is best it is a interest president, especially when it is about america's strategic interests, about what is best for america. you jeopardize the lives of innocent americans and others around the world when you do this. supporting these rebels that were led by al qaeda -- it is
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inconceivable. you are going to convince us that you are going to get in there with al qaeda and hezbollah. if the president had supported the al qaeda-led rebels it was only a matter of time that we were in war. guest: that is your interpretation and i think a few minutes ago you said the rebels were left naked. which is it? ifst: listen, i don't care has the law and al qaeda kill each other. people.l innocent host: but don't let them use chemical weapons. guest: people are dying, what is the difference?
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wire we so hung up on chemical weapons? we should be against this genocide. 100 89 countries signed the chemical weapons convention and now syria is joining. death is death by a master server -- death by a mas extermination device -- guest: there's is so much we just don't know. guest: we will know when the united nations report comes out tomorrow. we should also point out that is acting out of his own country's self interest but he is dressing it up. is involved in this effort but he is acting because he does not want loose chemical weapons in syria because they could get
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chechnyarrorists in and they could float around the caucuses of russia. that's a problem for him. he wants a stable syria, he wants assad to be in charge. he does not want syria overrun rebels that are infiltrated by al qaeda. we don't want that either so there is a commonality of self- interest. host: let me give you some headlines on this topic.
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from this article, the rebels warn this is emboldening assad. montrose, virginia, democratic caller, go ahead. you, i was going to jump on armstrong williams for what he was saying but i can waylay that because he was put in his place. we have a serious problem in this country. what example would going to war for people in school?
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congress begs to get involved with this decision of going into syria. they wrote president obama letters asking him to confer with them first. when you've got a president -- if resident must be flexible. he cannot draw a single line and not change his mind and all thao syria. they wrote president obama letters asking him to confer with them first. when you've got a president -- if resident must be flexible. he cannot draw a single line and not change his mind and all that -- and not change his mind and all that. host: i think we got your point. guest: listen, missing --hat we are maybe we are not -- is that, yes, putin was able to negotiate the chemical weapons. was aboutthe outrage that 100,000 people died. it does not change anything. assad was still emboldened to do what he wants to do and the rebels are more vulnerable now and he will continue to do what he is doing with genocide and he will not be punished and for now, the chemical weapons has no teeth. the president has not taken up the
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the president does not have the backbone to strike militarily in syria. it will never happen because of the polls. this is the first time in five years that i camera call where the left, the right, and the center have come together to agree on a single issue. i say more power to the american we have donee what the situation, we have awakened a sleeping giant and the american people have said no way and the leadership is listening. host: philadelphia, independent caller -- i think both guests have good thoughts. i agree with the last color that i was going to jump on mr. williams because he brought up some great points. is not week, in my opinion. as a leader of the most powerful military in the world, you have to take the time to make the decision and not just invade other countries. he did something that is not
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unprecedented but he asked the congress about going to war and that is something to be commended. does that make him week? i think that makes him stronger in his allies in process. we have a moral responsibility in this country not to police the world but act if we have the capability to save lives. there is inconsistent enforcement there but i don't think it is worth noting that we are saving lives. with everything the caller just said. the fact that we cannot act in every instance is not mean we should not act when we can. armstrong is right when he said there was norman's resistance to military intervention. when the british parliament rejected prime minister cameron's call for authority to join with the u.s. in waging a potential military strike,
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that's what really turned the president around and that's when he realized he needed to go to congress. armstrong is right when politicians are all hypocrites and they spin everything in their direction. one of the colors made the point that they were screaming and they want their voices to be heard in writing the president letters that when it was a chance for their voices to be heard, they ran for the hills. they saw that the american public is very wary of any kind of intervention. they feel like to and misled specifically about iraq but to a certain extent about afghanistan, two. there is a great deal of mistrust. any leader operating in this environment has to take that into account. host: we will keep talking about syria and the politics and the policy of it with their two columnists. another topice alli want to brn to discuss and that's the federal reserve chairman. here is a story in "the new york times."
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guest: larry summers is a brilliant man, controversial, broken a lot of china along the way. elizabeth warren, who is very popular to progressives, clashed -- sheem when she was had her time in the white house. host: she has not said how she will vote. guest: right, i heard that larry summers reached out to her and he sees her as critical. even if you don't like him, the president gets to pick the fed chairman. are democrats going to be the ones to block this? that seems difficult. the president has not made his decision yet but there are a lot
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of signs that suggest he would like to in-state larry summers as fed chairman. he will be taking on members of his own party if he does that but it is hard for me to think that they would block him. you already have three democrats on the record saying they will vote against larry summers. it is true that he tried to set up a meeting with senator warren and scheduling conflicts did not allow that to happen. you know what that tells you. the presidential has a right to nominate the person they feel is most qualified and best to lead. no one can question the former harvard president's bona fice.
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he is uniquely qualified -- brilliant, understands the issues, whether he is controversial or not -- that is not a reason to deny them that position. we all can criticize him but it is the president's decision and if it's his decision, he should be confirmed. part ofr. summers was the same environment that created the problems that led to the meltdown. there are some policy issues involved here. but you can learn from this. guest: let's give him the chance and he will have to make that argument. from theve years out beginning of the collapse. not a lot has changed. a lot of people in positions of power have made sure that a lot has not change. there is more that needs to be done. host: this is the question that president obama will get this week on television.
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what a change from when lehman brothers collapse. senator john corner -- cornman have said that he would not vote for mr. summers. that's where things stand at the president nominates larry summers to become the next federal reserve chairman. you noted this but five years ago,tomorrow, five years tomorrow marks the fifth year anniversary of the financial crisis. piece inn has a "washington post." guest: yes, but there are some
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piece incases trickling along . it takes a long time, evidently, to build this kind of evidence. i agree, when people wanted to see justice in the months and that you're after the initial meltdown, we are five years later and somebody goes off to jail, it will barely register. on that same page, there is a documentary that was made by somebody who funded it by the money he made from short selling. host:it takes a it's in the buss "the washington post." guest: we still look at the winners and the losers in society. it is the top one percent and wall street and those figures that came out last week that basically said we are in a second yielded age were most of the wealth of the last that kate goes to the top 10%. i think that will fuel the democratic primary in 2016.
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i'm sure it's something that president obama can't be very proud of. he tried around the margins. that was one of the goals of -- ofto try to equalize obamacare to try to equalize but he will not be happy with these figures if he leaves office with the inequality between the rich and the poor that is greater than when he came into office. guest: there is such a thing that we call regulation and "the washington post." oversight. there is the securities and exchange commission. we have institutions in place opposed to regulate these huge companies. what is unfortunate is that these companies and wall street spent so much money with these politicians. often times, people within these illegal are aware of tactics and choose to look the other way and documents have shown this. hate thegin to
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intersection between wall street and politics. this is just the tip of the iceberg. it's like the wild, wild west -- they can do whatever they want and once they get caught, they will pay $100 million which is no money. it's not even a slap on the wrist. it's not an admonishment. anybody on the republican side argue this? guest: it is all of them together. that's why the system is so corrupt and out of control and people continue to lose faith. where we make changes in this country is through politics and it will be a vibrant issue among democrats and it will be interesting to see if republicans figure out a way to take hold of it as well. host: wichita, kansas, republican caller, hi, bill.
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caller: back to the syrian thing -- notfelong republican, did vote for the president, sentiment e-mail. i backed him 100%. he made a little mistake. it's --d have retell it he should have retaliated earlier than now. the point we are all missing is that we want -- do we want our grandchildren, great- grandchildren would they are in middle school and high school studying history and they look and wed we all look back let that guy over there slaughter all of these people? needs to sitbody back, -- do weok really want this?
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we know it will keep going on. know, this is the une argument from the inspectors in iraq, weapons of mass destruction. there was the argument of whether the weapons were there and that it is no different when we sent the inspectors in. yes, it's an atrocity but does --rica have to always be even though we are a superpower and rich in resources -- do we always have to step up and sacrifice the most in these conflicts? why cannot there be an arab solution? why can't europe and other places do more? i think america has done enough in terms of showing its resolve and its role in making sure that the world given safe and we don't rise to these rogue states. at some point, america cannot
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continually be the leader in this. our economy is collapsing, we look at wages, unemployment, we have some serious problems in our economy. we are about to face a debt ceiling in a couple of weeks and americans are saying yes, we have come passion and field that around the world but we cannot he distracted with any more money in syria or any more political capital. we want you to focus the nation on the crisis as we have at home. guest: it's not either or/or. will go that this money to fix america's problems. we should be able to pay attention to our international interest as well as our domestic issues. guest: we have no dog in the fight in syria. that's not our fight. let the community step in for a change. guest: the french went into bali and other countries are doing things. we act in concert with nato and
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i would dispute the fact that the rest of the world is not doing anything. we still happen to be the richest, most powerful and we have the military -- you can put everyone else is together and it would not match us. it stopped with syria and we are going t the diplomacy route. when you backup your threats and promises promises with military strength, it tends to focus people's attention. host: our viewers are weighing in on twitter -- amy in georgia, caller: democratic caller, welcome to the conversation. good morning, thank goodness you are there.
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-- mr. williams, i'm sorry, finally a war that you are not four. --for. you are one of the head cheerleaders of the bush administration. there supporting mr. cheney 100% and now we have a thatdent who has evidence an atrocity is taking place and we have seen this with children foaming from the mouth and we have somebody taking us to war on very little evidence. incrediblyng duplicitous. i admitted i supported iraq. you learn, you grow, un door. i don't think we have an appetite for war and conflict. i think we are so weary of it
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that americans just want to step back. if there is a diplomatic solution, yes, but i don't think another life should be sacrificed from the conflict in syria. let someone taken -- step in but not the united states. host: another to eat -- -- another tweet -- the president is expected to cite fiscal progress tomorrow when he marks the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis. he is expected to say to the republicans that they should not oppose raising the nation's debt limit. don't threaten to close down the government and a budget fight
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and don't push to delay health care or starve it of money because he is going to say that we are making financial progress on those actions would diminish the progress we have made. guest: i find it interesting that the president must -- that has the unions as his harshest critics. he is trying to keep them in line. obama, when he was a united states senator, he said it was almost tomorrow to -- almost him are all to vote to increase the debt ceiling for you cannot about the debt ceiling unless you talk about cutting. america continues to spend more than it brings in. talk about a debt ceiling without talking about cuts -- america has this debt. there is no fiscal responsibility. there is no fiscal discipline and we keep having the same
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conversation and the bureaucracy continues to grow out of control. guest: it does not stop. guest: america is bankrupt. guest: america is not bankrupt. we are and i pretty sound financial footing. we just don't want the congress to undermine the progress that anothermade and invite downgrading in the u.s. rating in a fight over the debt ceiling. allowbt sailing is not to congress to spend more money, it is to pay the bills for the deaths that have already been racked up. for the president to refuse to negotiate which is what he is doing, and speaker john boehner is struggling because he has 42 tea party members of his caucus that would rather take down the whole government then make a deal. he will have to work with democrats to some sort of resolution. host: miami, florida,
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independent caller -- caller: good morning, i have a comment. i watched the program on channel to every week and i had wire -- i admire your work so much,eleanor. you are a voice of reason and i wish there were more people like you. keep up the good work and if you ever run for president, you have my vote. [laughter] we'll move on to michael in new york, democratic caller. caller: good morning. comment is for mr. armstrong williams. stole my thunder because it is true. would go. armstrong back and listen to the things he said when george bush was in office about weapons of mass distraction. did you hear armstrong
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williams responding to that a couple of times? he said he learned from his support of the president at that time. yes, but he also said what's the difference between weapons of mass destruction and bullets? that tells me that in washington, dc, there is a lot of uneducated dummies. that's all i have to say. [laughter] death is death and people are dying so i stand firm with that. host: armstrong williams, radio talk show host and columnist and eleanor swift. eric in michigan, independent caller. caller: hi, i was concerned about our moral authority. interveney were to during our civil war, we might still have slavery.
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are being butchered every day in the united states in abortion clinics and, at the same time, we are going to implode financially. where do we have a right to say to the world that you cannot do what you are doing because we have the moral authority? guest: i think we have the moral authority to act when we can when such atrocities are committed against innocent people. is odorless and colorless and you can launch an attack and kill many hundreds of thousands of people and they won't know what is happening. the potential there is horrifying. chemical weapons are rather easy to compile. it is almost like cooking meth in your kitchen. it is not like nuclear weapons which are harder to obtain and put together. the fact that 98% of the world's
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people in the countries that have signed the chemical weapons convention see this as a orange. it cannot be allowed to use without penalty. the president has acted and we seem to be on a path now to potentially destroy these weapons. i don't see how anybody can say that is a bad thing. host: let's go back to domestic issues with the affordable care act. this is "the new york times."
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guest: it's unfortunate when you try to portray this as republicans being uncaring about the government and want to shut down the government. theneed to focus on inefficiencies and problems with obamacare. thees are soaring and president said your premiums would not increase. that is just not true. procedures and the issues with physicians and then you have the insurance companies who helped them write the law. this law is not written for the benefit of americans but for these insurance companies. they get to decide what percentage you can have and what they will pay for. guest: they are already doing that. that is not new. guest: it is anti-america, antigovernment without focusing on significant victory.
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who is it a victory for? guest: the republicans call themselves antigovernment. they say smaller government is better. they don't want government- delivered health care when in fact, this to the insurance companies in place. it just was restraint on them. they cannot send more money on marketing or discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. preventive tests will be free so there is lots of good things in this legislation. it has been passed by both houses and signed by the president and affirmed by the supreme court. the fact that republican officials around the country are still working reminds me of the era of school desegregation when you had brown versus board of education passed and public accommodations bills being passed and local and state officials worked to undermine it. i think it is quite shameful. not offeredans have anything to replace obamacare should they overturn it which
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will not happen. if there is problems, as you cite, why don't they just fix them? no major law like medicare or medicaid or even social security passed cleanly and there were no problems. congress came back repeatedly to amend those laws and fix them and that is appropriate. i think obamacare is here to stay and for the millions of people who did not have health care or can now change jobs without fear of the -- of losing their healthcare, four children born with diseases where they hit a lifetime cap when they are two years old -- are no more lifetime caps. there are so many positive things. it brings us up to par with the rest of the developed world. we are the only developed country that does not offer health care to its people. it's a right, not a privilege. guest: the majority of americans are against it. guest: the majority of americans
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have heard unrelenting rounds of rhetoric about obamacare. guest: they decided for themselves. guest: at the same time, they are experiencing the benefits of the law and don't tied to what the president has done. i think the white house is done a terrible job in informing the american people about this law. they should have done it along the way. president clinton has gotten into the act recently to give us a series of speeches where he tries to explain what is happening. it is a complicated change. but it is positive. you will be able to shop online for health care. your premiums will not go up. a lot of the initial results are that they are not going up. this is something that we
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can't manipulate them on because they live it everyday day and they realize it is worse than before. americans are very intelligent on this. i understand why the majority of americans don't support this. guest: where do you get your healthcare? it is easy to pontificate of your healthcare is guest: getting provided. i provide my healthcare for all my employees. . that is called being responsible . i think most americans are like me, employers who will do the same. care works very. we did not need obamacare. guest: this debate will continue on capitol hill between the white house and congress when they return next week along with syria, the economy, the debt ceiling and the continuing resolution. host: i want to thank both of you for debating this morning and talking to our viewers. thank you both area and we appreciate your time this morning. coming next, we will turn our attention to the mechanics and potential complications of
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turning over chemical weapons to the united nations. head of the arms control association will join us for that conversation and later, an international law expert on how war crimes are prosecuted. we will be right back. ♪ >> c-span student cam video competition is underway and is open to all middle and high school students and we are doubling the. 5-7 minute documentary on the most important issue congress should consider in 2014 and entries should include c-span c- span video and show varying points of are due byents and we view and
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january 20, 2014. visit student >> c-span, we bring public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, briefings and conferences and offering complete apple to gavel coverage of the u.s. house. it is a public service of private industry. c-span was created by the cable tv industry 34 years ago and funded your local cable or satellite provider and now you can watch us in hd. >> yes, the world is changing. no, we cannot control every are dueevent but america remaie one indispensable nation and world affairs and as long as i am president, i intend to keep it that way. [applause] >> when the resident is talking indispensablee nation, what he does not want us to talk about or americans to contemplate is that we don't know how to win wars. we have, by virtually any measure, the best military in the world. we certainly spend more on our military than the rest of the world put together.
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but we don't know how to win wars. it seems to me that there should be a serious national conversation as to why that is the case. where does the fault lie? is it our politicians are too stupid? are the generals inapt? is it the size of the force? my belief is is it the fact that by its very nature, war is unpredictable? to go to war is to roll the dice. you might win and you might not. >> more with retired army colonel andrew bacevich tonight at 8:00. " washington journal" continues. back with the executive director to talk about the chemical arsenal and syria and the news coming out yesterday of talks between u.s. and russia where they reached a
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deal on dismantling syria's to michael arms and the plan is to dispose of the arsenal by 2014 and delay a military strike rate let me show our viewers the language of this deal. this is from "the new york times ." what do you make of that? guest: this is a big breakthrough and a number of different ways. one week ago, we were looking at the possibility of u.s. military syria'sto degrade sizable chemical arsenal. now we are talking about a nonmilitary means to do even more which is to account for, verify, and eventually eliminate this stockpile which is about the fourth largest in the world.
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there will be a lot of difficult steps along the way but what i think is remarkable is that it's just the united states are suing this but france and russia , syria's main patron. assad may try to delay or obfuscate but i think it's now in his interest to cooperate with russia being part of this package and to move through this very accelerated schedule faster .han most chemical weapons host: it is immediate and unfettered access? guest: within one week, he has to write a complete accounting of all his chemical weapons. the precursor agents, the production sites, etc. he should be able to do that. he has very tight control over these weapons and should be able to deliver that. that will be the first test. following that, the inspectors
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from the organization for the robison of chemical weapons which implements the chemical weapons convention need to move in and go to these sites and verify the declaration which means they need to eyeball the stockpiles. that the to make sure syrian declaration is accurate. they will be aided by u.s. and russian intelligence which is pretty good. in of the interesting things this agreement is it says the u.s. and russia have agreed and have a common understanding of the extent of the syrian arsenal. there were reports yesterday that united states and russia, during the negotiations, called the syrians to get more information about the stockpile. the situation in iraq in 1991 after the first gulf war, the united states and russia and the organization for the convention of chemical weapons should have a good idea of what they are looking for and it should help make the accounting
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easier and the destruction faster. host: when it says immediate, does that mean as soon as this is signed the inspectors go in and who are these inspectors? guest: the first thing the agreement says is that the united states and russia will take this plan to the executive council of the chemical weapons convention. that treaty organization i expect will meet quickly this week. they will approve this britt i don't think there will be any trouble with that. simultaneously, the u.s. and russia will take this plan to the un security council where the council will adopt a resolution that parallels this agreement. even before then, the u.s. and tosia are expecting assad
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comply with these schedules. immediate and unfettered means immediate and unfettered if assad - it is not in assad's interest to delay the inspectors. last thursday, heimmediate and s immediate and unfettered if assad - it is not in assad's interest to delay the inspectors. last thursday, he said we will join the chemical weapons convention. yesterday, there prime minister actually welcomes this agreement. he knows that if there is a resistance, the united states still reserved -- still has reserved the right to use military force even over russia's objections. hangs overes assad's head. it is not just the united states but also russia. the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons has been working for over 15 years to verify the destruction of the world's chemical. they have a lot of experience. inspectorsver 100 but they have a lot of other tough job to do. they do regular inspections of chemical/industrial facilities
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around the world and overseeing the continuing destruction of the remaining russian and u.s. stockpiles. they continue to work in libya. this will tax their resources and their teams. they will need additional financial assistance to make this happen. they will need additional inspectors that they will call upon. i think they are scrambling right now to pull this together at the organizational headquarters in the hague. host: how can they do this when there will be no cease-fire to the civil war in syria? guest: that's one thing that makes this unprecedented. or have been situations where the country's chemical weapons arsenal has been quickly accounted for, inspected, destroyed but not during wartime. that theo remember syrian government has been keeping tight control over their
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1100 tons or so of chemical weapons. these are the most prized military possessions. these are very likely in the best controlled areas of government territory. assureould be able to the syrian government the security of the inspectors and the work of the inspectors. are not in the contested areas outside damascus. these weapons are in the well controlled areas. getting in there could be a problem the ones they are there at the sides, they should be able to do their job. host: how did syria get the stockpile of chemical weapons? doesn't help the inspectors inspectors knowing where they came from to get rid of them? guest: part of their job is to look into the history of syria's chemical weapons program. for about 20 years, syria has been developing this arsenal. --accelerated after the iran
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iraq war in the 1980s when saddam hussein was using chemical weapons in that war with regularity. syria so the international reaction than which was very weak. the united states and other countries did not protest nearly all, so syriaat started building up at stockpile. the problem with chemical weapons is the chemicals that are used to make the deadly poison gases are really common chemicals. there are all sorts of industrial uses. acquirelatively easy to the chemicals and the production facilities for normal industrial purposes. to know howelpful they put this program together and more important to know where they have been producing these chemicals so that once the chemical weapons are destroyed,
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they cannot continue to produce new weapons. host: this is from "the new york times" -- speaker little about this. different types of equipment and chemicals and weapons and delivery systems the inspectors need to look for. bemical weapons have to prepared before they are used. instance, thefor precursor chemicals are sent to a site near where the syrian government what might want to use them. they are mixed into the actual munition,and then the upon detonation, combines the chemicals producing the seron
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and the munitions job is to liquid so itn can be dispersed. one of the difficulties of making chemical weapons and using them is the dispersal method. things theyf the will have to pay attention to. the precursor chemicals, the mixing equipment, the delivery systems, and the actual munitions itself. lot morere is a questions on this but i want to get our viewers involved. eric guestll is taking your questions about chemical weapons. under this deal was brokered yesterday between u.s. and russia, dismantling amoco weapons. a democratic caller, you are first. caller: you are -- good morning. i was hoping you could address
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something that is in the news all the time especially on fox news about the contention that these are the weapons that were missing from iraq. there is a political motive for people to believe that. i will be as fast as i can. i get into discussions with people about this, it seems they are oblivious to certain facts. the iraq survey group was put together by the bush team. there are other reports by the senate select committee on intelligence which all basically say that that did not happen. they say it's impossible and the reason that they know that iraq had not been making chemical weapons for quite some years before we went in is because after we went in, and we had total control of the country, they were not just looking for weapons. they to every manufacturing facility. there would be millions of
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documents, most of which is not in control of the government, that would need to be destroyed, purchase orders and records of equipment. whether they are dual use, it does not matter, they know what they are looking for in if they realize it was impossible for him to be making them and if he was not making them, there was nothing to send to syria. the people who believe this have to believe that saddam hussein sent weapons into syria by land. the only real arab ally in the region, his worst enemy that went to war against them in kuwait, the whole concept is ridiculous. idea: i agree that the that saddam hussein's chemical weapons were moved to syria is not a realistic there he. -- theory. happens --us what
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what needs to happen here. after the first gulf war ended in 1991, saddam hussein was ordered by the 30 council -- by the security council to go into iraq and look at all of the facilities, the sites, and begin the process of destroying his chemical weapons. they did a much better job than we realized during the course of the 1990s. there were questions about whether the program had ended or 2002 that led to the suspicions that he had wmd programs by the bush administration. those inspectors worked very well. they were working in a different environment in the sense that it was a post-war environment. saddam hussein's weapons were scattered all over. he probably did not have a good idea of where his own chemical weapons stockpiles were.
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some of them had been detonated in the course of the war. thatexperience tells us the inspectors can do their job and can be very effective even in a much more chaotic situation than we have in syria where these weapons are tightly held a the assad regime. virginia,iamsburg, independent caller. caller: hi there -- believey voice -- i this is a chess game and we are losing. absolutely ridiculous to think that we can go in there and find all the chemical weapons and not have something go wrong. the un people were shot at before. obama has shown no credible leadership at all. when i heard his speech tuesday night, i was aghast at how ambiguous he was. we have given syria plenty of time to rearrange anything.
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who in their right mind would want to go in there and inspect these weapons when david kay, who was the head of arms control in iraq, said this would be an extremely difficult job. someone else said a concrete holding is going to have to be built next to every chemical storage place that they find because these are so dangerous. host: that rings up the question of how do you get rid of crap -- get rid of chemical weapons guest: the inspectors have a tough job but it is possible and we have experience. what is clear here is that we have a better idea of what assad has been we had with iraq 20 years ago. we believe that there are about
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three or four dozen chemical weapons related sites. the weapons are going to be in various forms. the to distraction methods you mentioned are described in " the washington post" story. some of them can be used on-site if the chemical weapons are centralized. some of them can be used like these bang boxes for actual munitions on a small scale. one of the interesting things about the u.s.-russian plan is that they say they believe the best method for destroying serious chemical weapons may be to move them to the coast of syria where they can then be removed out of the country and destroyed in russia. they may be looking at some different methods other than building an incinerator next to a syrian chemical weapons site which is an extremely tough thing to do in the middle of a war. host: you are talking about what they refer to as the slow, safe,
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and costly way to dismantle chemical weapons. guest: right, the united states has taken about her years to oftroy our 28 -- 29 tons chemical weapons and russia has taken about 15 years to try to destroy its 40,000 tons. syria has about 1000 tons. we cannot take 30 or 15 years, it has to be done more quickly. some of that can be done on- site. in a safe manner if these bang moved in but some may have to be centralized and moved out of syria to do the final destruction. that theo remember objective that president obama laid out in august is being achieved and more. what he wanted to do by threatening the limited military strike was to determine aside
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from using chemical weapons again and to d grade his ability to use chemical weapons. inspectorsn these under u.s. and russian security council authority, we are denying him access to these weapons. he cannot use these weapons again and we are doing more. we are eliminating the most dangerous type of weapon in this dangerous civil war which is a big security gain given that once the war ends, we have to worry about what happens to these weapons. host: more from the u.s.-russia plan -- this is what the two sides have agreed to on dates for action. are these goals realistic?
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how much could this cost? guest: i think they are accelerated but they are realistic. as i said before, the syrians can provide their declaration soon. they have tight control over their weapons. getting the inspectors in within a month is going to depend on the opcw getting its team together and making logistics work. what will become harder is getting the equipment in in the month of november to begin the destruction process. date ishe mid=-2014 probably notional but the idea is that they want to move as replicas -- as rapidly as possible. the don't want to use conventional chemical weapons schedule which was designed for a different situation when you are not in war time and don't have the threat of chemical weapons having over you. -- hanging over you. host: let's let our viewers know about the group --
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it was signed by 180 nine countries. anda, egypt, north korea others signed the convention but did not ratify it. guest: the united states has a contingency fund for weapons demilitarization of various kinds are it we have that available, ready to use. has a budget available for these kinds of actions. there may be some additional financing that is necessary depending on what the
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destruction plan eventually becomes. there is the possibility that there may need to be a donor conference to put that together. i think the bulk of this work should be possible for less than $100 million. the united states and russia should be able to do that with existing funds and authorities. host: that is the slow and safeway and there are references in the papers to the quick and dirty way. this is the front page of "the new york times." tost: that's not how we need
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do it nor that is not how it should be done here. much of that happened before the chemical weapons convention was created. today, those kinds of technics are not allowed by the chemical weapons convention. the united states and russia and syria are not supposed to be doing that. thatermore, i don't think is even realistic given that these chemical weapons are in areas where there are sizable within military facilities. i think they will pursue rapid but much safer methods of destruction. host: here is a twett - guest: this is a first step. many people have pointed out that this does not solve the broader conflict. this does not deny the assad regime the other weapons of war
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that are killing civilians on the ground. him one of the most dangerous weapons systems. it is his ultimate trump card against the rebels. weapons onmical august 21 and we will find out more tomorrow when the un inspectors report comes out. in order to dislodge rebels from heas around damascus, that could not dislodge with air attacks and heavy artillery -- when he was really desperate, these chemical weapons have a role or he thought so. now they don't have any utility for him in the sense that we will know that he has used them. he is now committed to eliminating them. this is a step towards, i think, reducing his potential to create more carnage. in the end, we need to use this momentum from this agreement between u.s. and russia to move
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toward the geneva peace conference to to find a political settlement to this war that can only be settled through a political agreement. host: ohio, republican caller -- caller: you kind of answered my question on the cost. more than the chemical part of it, i am concerned about the christians that are being massacred and killed. who is doing that? is it the rebels that are killing them? that was touted as a democracy movement, we got rid of mubarak and got morsi who took out christians and murdered them and we got rid of qaddafi, got benghazi. the president watched our boys being shut down and murdered where there could have been a deployment of troops. they just let them dangle in the wind and then the president had enough nerve the next day to get
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on his airplane and go out to last vegas for a campaign stop. i am sick of these undeclared wars. my faith is love, faith, charity. their tenets are to conquer by the sword. if we are going to get into a war, we can annihilate these countries if that's what they want. if they want to bring it to us, we can annihilate them. i don't want to go to another conflict. if they want to war, they will -- we will give it to them. host: military strikes to get rid of chemical weapons versus inspectors going in with the different ways of getting rid of chemical weapons as detailed in "the washington post, go to different methods -- guest: this is definitely the better approach. without firing a shot from the
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united states, we may very well, within the next 9-12 months, have eliminated the fourth largest chemical weapons stockpile. i would consider that to be a that would have been brought about by the fact that president obama raise this issue after august 21. he said his red line had been crossed. he pursued the military strike option which then forced the hand of the russians and the syrians to adopt this plan which has been in circulation quietly for over a year. says to be a tremendous victory. the caller raised the dilemma about this conflict which is that it's a terrible conflict. it's a religious conflict. there are atrocities being committed by both sides, civilians caught in the middle, and sometimes, in my view, the
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united states simply cannot solve every one of these problems. when we have an opportunity to reduce the damage and prevent further civilian harm, particularly by the use of chemical weapons, we have a toponsibility to act and act the greatest extent we can with this is an important effort, it is going to be an international host: host: go sheesh and to settle the score. -- to settle this war. host: how easy is it to make these chemicals? chemical weapons a relatively easier to produce the nuclear weapons, certainly.
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these stockpiles have to be carefully managed, they require --cialized operation specialized preparation. this cannot be done by anybody on the ground. the delivery systems are very sophisticated. is all of these reasons, it one reason why many of us highly doubted that rebels could ever have conducted the august 21 attacks. when it comes to the inspection process of the next few weeks there will be problems. there'll be access issues. it is an assad's political and military issue in -- lyrical and military interests to cooperate. if he does not cooperate he knows that these cruise missile strikes could come and that he could be losing the support of the russians read -- of the
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russians. i think it is possible to do it in this time frame. seven countries have declared women's under the chemical weapons convention. two other countries around egypt are suspected to have stockpiles that there is no public information. here other countries to have declared chemical weapons. destroyed 33,000 tons of their stockpile pit united states is expected to have 3100 tons of chemical weapons and america having destroyed a little over 28,000 tons. serious here is not declared that they are estimated at 1100 tons. robert from california, independent color. caller: hello.
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what infrastructures are going to be used? from my knowledge to the last time we used inspectors was during the cold war when we russia. then -- useuse them them since then. case of iraq our intelligence was very poor. said --oing to embed embed inspectors with the rebels? guest: the chemical weapons arsenal of syria are in the government controlled areas. there is no need to embed the with a regular rebel forces. militaryng to be the
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of the syrian government is going to be insuring the safety of the inspectors. have been differing statements from some of the different rebel commanders about thethey are going to greet inspectors if they were to pass to rebel controlled territory. we have been talking about some of the equipment that is to be used. there are two basic methods for chemical weapons destruction. there is incineration, which does require a fairly large you cannot use incineration for all types of agents and chemical weapons. hydrolysis, where the chemical agents are mixed with water and chemically neutralized. mobile bangre are boxes, which are enclosed steel canisters that can be moved to where the chemical weapons are,
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this is particularly useful for actual chemical artillery shells or warheads. weaponually destroy the through a contained explosion. that cannot be done for the large volume bulk agents. is an interesting line in the u.s. russia agreement that alludes to the possibility that move out the large quantities of chemical agents out of the country for destruction elsewhere, probably in russia. happenedbe what sometime in 2014 when they get to that point. hello. i wanted to ask you -- first i want to know why the word "genocide" has not been
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utilized. i don't know who has a stomach for war and how anyone can have the stomach for when hundred thousand people dead in our so- called civilized world. i feel that rather than just addressing the chemical thing, even though that is as far as we are getting now, i don't know why this wasn't handled the way the bosnian system ration -- the bosnian situation was where we just went in. my second question, with regards to the chemicals, and he has admitted to having the chemicals , why shouldn't he be turned over to the world court? you raise good questions about the depth and scale of the carnage in syria.
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one of the things i point out is that the use of chemical weapons is not only prohibited by the 1925 geneva protocol, which was developed after the widespread use of chemical weapons in world war i, but it is also deemed to be a war crime under the wrong statute of the international criminal court, which is the more recent international treaty. judged to be responsible for the august 21 attacks, i would argue that he should be prosecuted by the international criminal court. war crimes have been committed. other war crimes have been committed in this war in terms of deliberate attacks on civilians by government and perhaps by rebel forces. there are other war crimes that
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could be investigated. coming up next, we are going to be talking with ruth wed crimes. war we will go to angus in greensboro, north carolina. i want to make a comment and then i'm going to ask a question. president obama has expressed the nation and congress that the red line was chemicals, chemical weapons. now he has come to the table to stop the chemical weapons, why is all this other conversation the war in the whole
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situation is deviated from the he is now able to stop the use of chemical weapons but the opposite people that don't love him or like him or don't even want them around are saying , here's killing his people -- he is killing his people. the government should just be on chemical weapons. that was the redline. why is all this other information still being part of the conversation? host: why you think? -- why do you think? you look at the opposition against obama, everything and anything he does -- times"n "the new york this morning -- guest: the agreement u.s. and
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russia struck yesterday does not itself say that pete chapter seven of you when security council is approved. resolution we are likely going to see circulated and approved this coming week will probably not specifically authorize chapter seven action. but it's at the security council will continuously monitor assad's compliance with this agreement and if there is a flagrant violation. i would expect united states, france, the be even russia, -- maybe even russia will put forward a security council. they could authorize action under chapter seven. president obama has said that regardless of what this agreement says, chapter seven authority, united states reserves the right to use military force to compel assad
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to comply. the united states and russia are not going to agree about this. the main objective of russia has been to prevent a u.s. military intervention in this conflict. so far they have succeeded. the u.s. objective has been to deny assad the ability to use chemical weapons. the united states is succeeding. we may again come into conflict with russia if assad does not comply. this morningned that china has weighed in on this proposed deal, saying they like what they see so far. guest: that is a good sign for the security council discussion coming up this week. france is also expressed its support. going to seee not the paralysis of the security council over the last several months. mike murphy on twitter wants to know who'll provide the private security? given that syria is
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signing a cwc under the offices of the chemical weapons convention, it is the responsibility of the country to provide security for the inspectors to it is the assad's government responsibility -- for the inspectors. it is the assad government responsibility. will they want their own security with of them? i'm not sure, that is not typical. this is an atypical situation. the agreement outlines that the inspector shall be given unfettered access by assad regime. it also means security at the sites. james in indiana, independent caller. welcome to the conversation. good morning.
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i would like to know who is going to withstand the cost of destroying these chemical weapons? states has ated contingency fund for situations which we can help eliminate a dangerous weapon stockpile. this was done in libya, it is being done in libya. i think the state department fund will be utilized. also the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons has a budget that is provided by the u.s. and other donor nations . that is going to be called upon. this operation, depending on how long it goes, should not be more expensive than those funds can provide. there could be a need for additional contributions to countries that want support -- that want to support these activities.
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i think it will be a jointly funded project, overseen by the opcw, as both the united states and russia. both sides agree there is for perspective -- for perspective --four production sites. a tweet -- and that is probably good . the inspectors are going to want -- russia's going to want to have access and for specters to do their jobs. most of the independent assessments of syria's chemical weapons sites were done before the war. , this is believed that
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frome basis of reporting u.s. intelligence forces, there may be as many as three or four dozen sites. precursor chemical storage sites, weapons delivery sites -- it is more complicated than it would have been before the war. assad has probably moved around his actual chemical munitions in order to use them. we have to remember that he has been working to maintain the people of his territory. website, can go to the you can follow them on twitter, @armscontrolnow. wedgwood next ruth
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will be joining us. we will be right back. >> judges are like umpires. they don't make the rules, they apply them. the role of the umpire and judge is critical, to make sure everybody plays by the rules. but it is a limited role. nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the autumn pie or -- to see the umpire. the judges did sit there and see whether the statute was within the strike zone or outside the strike zone. that the job of the justice was relatively mechanical.
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that was the metaphor that came across there. when justice kagan was yestioned, he said, well, we don't want the justices to be the focus. we want the law to be the focus. but when the justices make a decision, the law is not always as clear as a ball coming down to the specter. there is, very frequently, some degree of judgment that is involved in determining whether a statute is constitutional or not. , part of booktv this weekend. later, from the nation's capital, look for our live coverage of the national book festival. watch full day coverage on saturday the 21st and sunday the 22nd. month, book tv's
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online book club is reading "this town." facebook andon twitter. >> i've never seen a coffin that small. it was aweful. just aweful. , --what you need to know -- people who were naysayers said -- were naysayers the people were upset. they try to tell us. how mean- to tell us spirited and awful people to be. these were blacks saying that. you hear dr. king taking responsibility, and he looked into the faces of those parents and said, "life is the hardest steel -- hardest deal."
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it was so hard for all of us. i remember that, i really do. i will tell you what gave me hope in the midst of the darkness. it was the first time i have seen what my church. the 50thorating anniversary of the 16th street baptist church bombing, including a panel discussion with condoleezza rice, remarks from eric holder, and your remarks throughout the day. live today, starting at 11 a.m. eastern on american history tv. >> "washington journal" continues. ruth we want to welcome wedgwood, who is an international law and diplomacy fed -- the clumsy professor at john hopkins school of international studies. -- and diplomacy professor at john hopkins school of international diplomacy.
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russia has a permanent seat on the un security council. therefore, any ability to stand wart a war times cut -- crimes tribunal was blocked by russian veto. the only way to possibly happen is if russia has enough pressure that they finally were willing to retreat to an abstention of the security council. famous international committal court, it was created in 1998. syria has an joint. it would be subject to it by virtue of follow-through choice. host: they would have to join in order to be charged by the icc e guest: -- icc? guest: the security council can actually vote for an icc referral. but you have to overcome the russian possibly tell.
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host: what is the international criminal court? guest: it was an attempt to generalize with the succession of ad hoc court. stood a ad hoc tribunal to the security council resolution. it was famous for the worker, richard goldstone, still going on in its last legs. dissuadept was to people from community quark crimes by threatening them with it prosecution. it does not work and the war itself. we have a rwanda war times tribunal. it has had a long career. ofhas shown a little bit specificity rather than bias. host: still going on the e
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guest: -- on? guest: in its last legs. the thought was to have a permanent criminal court. there were negotiations and the un's body called geneva. and then inucts 1998 there was a treaty conference in rome am a which is why this is called a rough patch of the setup of the criminal court. we haven't joined because we have timely concerns about whether there are rules in -- rules of engagement that would be accepted by our allies. at the same time, i think over time there has been a and we are more helpful to the icc than anyone had originally anticipated. syria and the united
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states have not joined yet? those who enters pay having to use armed force do not join. host: who has not joined? guest: china, russia, indonesia, afghanistan. host: how does the work -- how does the icc work? guest: if your country has or if the acts were performed in a country that has joined, for example if u.s. troops are operating in a foreign country that joined the icc, it would be potential liability. the icc could open an end this dictation paid the first in many cases they looked at were in africa. africans finally complained about it some a particularly the portion of the statue that allows the head of state to be indicted.
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so far -- host: what countries have been brought before the icc were cases have been brought before you don't have all of them been referrals from the security council? guest: i don't think there is a security council referral that i can -- maybe libya, excuse me, sudan. that was a security council referral. generally they have been countries that that was a good idea -- it requires a long sighted view. the real challenge of the icc has been, apart from politics am a very slow getting work done. it has been challenging for the war crimes tribunal.
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the defendants die, the judge died, the lawyers die. learning how to try a case, getting get out, as much as you need for a conviction no truth convictions keep it aimed at a conviction. oft: she is a professor international law and diplomacy at john hopkins school of advanced international studies. she is going to take your .uestions on war crimes is it possible for president assad to face one jacob also just the process of the international court and war tribunals. background --f the pentagon advisory board, you are abc member of the u.n. human rights committee, serving two terms there. calls,we get the phone how does a war tribunal work?
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different so many than any of the prosecutor's office. you have to have a case you're interested in, you have to gather proof, which in a war zone is very difficult, and that has been one of the challenges of the icc. this is an ongoing dispute in syria. it will be very difficult to gather evidence in a real-time thad -- real-time fashion. there has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. there is more tolerance in an international court for hearsay. often, if you are trying to prove illicit use of chemical expert, you can get testimony about the residents -- itin areas in areas shouldn't be hard to prove
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these. and he delivered attack on civilians is by itself a war crime. you don't have to prove chemical weapons. if you deliberately lost a munition into a civilian residential area with no excuse of somebody firing from an apartment house back at you, that would suffice as a war crime. host: paul is up first from pennsylvania, republican collar. thank you for taking my call. i know getting him charged with a war crime is next to impossible because of the fact of trying to get into syria would putting boots on the ground. are going towe deal with this thing is a one- on-one situation. i will leave it at that. it is just not going to happen because we have some much trouble with the other ones. i know this is not a problem for you or your young lady, the
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previous guests made it sound impossible to destroy these items. host: if i could agree with the viewer, one of my concerns was in the 90s, i was friends with the head of the weapons commission looking for weapons of mass destruction's that saddam had hidden. it was difficult to find things and cooperate. saddam concealed his records and his weapons. if the search for wmds in this particular conflict becomes the real focus of u.s. policy, it may divert us from the more important vocation of tried and to the war. chemicals are terrible,
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strangely enough syria did sign into the geneva protocol 1968, perhaps not anticipating the situation. there is a basis in logical after them. i worry that you can kill as many people with conventional munitions as you can with chemical weapons. it becomes an excuse for doing nothing else in the situation. host: in dependent caller from florida. caller: i think we are missing the central point, which is that the weapons of mass destruction, actually a has, is form of -- we are asked to believe that israel has 200 nuclear weapons. where's the balance of power going to be? i'll take my answer off air. guest: israel is said to have a nuclear bomb or three for
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deterrence purposes. it it hasn't used them. the said that the nature of chemical weapons. wmds are more discreet in their geography of usage. there have been many countries that have used them from time to time. wmds chargethe against syria as affecting anything that has to do with nuclear weapons within the region as a whole. i am hopeful that we can have a productive is really -- israeli- palestinian peace process. i don't think the two issues are going to be politically connected. host: david from ashland, massachusetts -- caller: i am amazed at all of the discussions we have had,
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particularly on your program. nobody has suggested that this deal between russia and the thatd states and syria, the initial step should be they should sign the geneva accord pledging not use chemical weapons. this would seem to be a item of good faith on the part of syria that would encourage us that they are serious about disarming the chemical weapons. host: the small good news -- guest: the small good news is they have already done it in 1968. was 60 years late in coming but they did sign it. they are bound to the idea that you cannot use chemicals. the last dispute about whether it only applies to international lawyers -- international wars or internal wars, i think it is safe to say that war has migrated domestic civil war.
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i want to let our viewers know that the thing next to you is a very sick book. it is volume one. , new laws on the books are there when it comes to humanitarian crisis? on the booksaws are there when it comes to humanitarian crisis? guest: it is kind of a restatement of the law. predominant is a practice they would be more inclined to say it has become customary law. the 1968 --gn signed the 1928 geneva protocol. use of chemical warfare is impermissible. we are not very good at trying war crimes as we discovered post-9/11.
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i think this case, with rent is consequences for civilians, there will be a lot of international political support. iscaution to the white house that the should not be the sole focus of u.s. tension. the real issue is how to work on a political settlement in syria. it won't record lebanon, carry over into iraq, where sunni shiite discord could come into any, and not to use this as excuse for doing nothing. host: referring to our earlier conversation, the rebels are guilty as well without the use of chemical weapons. how does the icc deal with that and a civil war? it is not illegal to rebel. it is either permitted or --bidden international law.
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neither permitted or forbidden by international law. revolutions happen. rebellion,fact of the american revolution, french revolution, you are allowed to rebel. you just cannot use illegal methods of warfare in doing so. internationally the law is in different --s in indifferent. host: people are fleeing cities that are largely christian. if it proves that there is evidence to show that they used ,orce against christian areas does the icc go after rebel groups or go after the larger if they had a
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referral the cotuit panoply of crimes. -- they could do a panoply of crimes. the yugoslav tribunal never had the guts to call it genocide. really focuses not on the legitimacy of the government or the rebels but the techniques they use, that they must restrain themselves. they neutralize the outcome of the war but they cannot i did by illicit means. there is a debate of having a crime of aggression, but that is not operative yet. you would have to decide who in a fight between two countries starts it. made muchsn't progress in defining aggression. they talk about the kind of asked the cabbie asked of aggression, like bombardment orientation. windhaven't talked about
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force is permissible in self- defense or anticipatory self- defense or humanitarian intervention. the court is focused on the wrong ways of making war. host: our guest is ruth lawwood, and international professor. james in canton, new hampshire. caller: hi. i am happy to be up to make a comment. -- happy to be able to make a comment. it sounds like powerful nations from these international laws or agreements -- i wonder how this is not anything but essentially the ability to selectively attack smaller nations or groups
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that have breached these laws while at the same time the people that are really in in this world are able to accept themselves and perhaps use these for political means. host: what is the use of icc of major military power is opted out? brits opted in, the french opted in. i guess if you are talking about the unexpected, countries do not anticipate what is going to happen to them 15 years later. some countries join up and -- some countries are wondering if they should try to leave. i think having the courts help set a norm. has -- it gives
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critics of the regime a powerful way to attack the leaders or rebels, to say that he is --pletely off and interested an unadjusted in the rules of human decency. -- uninterested in the rules of human decency. russia and china might decide that he is becoming an embarrassment, he's calling attention to some of the thuggery of putin. he is not a nice guy around -- nice guy to have around. if he is sufficiently embarrassing -- it is too bad elbow is retired. dodge,t napoleon out of put him somewhere where he is no longer in operation. russian special russia
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fighting in embarrassing, they're trying to persuade him to step down. -- fter russia i was running the council on u.n. program.ons very charming and very smart. he occasionally makes witticism that is not consistent with foreign policy. laparoscopy -- lavaroth, i-- new am not familiar with. putin's qualities have rubbed off on him. he calculates well. i am worried that russia in general has chosen to take a spoiler role. i would be pleasantly surprised if sir j -- if sergei try to
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counsel provision against that. he is worldly and he knows the sensibility of the people of new york and the u.n.. whether he has ambitions with down, iputin to step don't know how to tell you that. that -- this is about putin protecting the sovereignty of other countries from the united states. like mother russia's history of invading eastern europe. he is an ex-kgb guy who rose to power. i would have a hard time taking it seriously. russia has a chance to to flex the mediterranean with warships but have no particular reason to be there. it is about them holding us
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hostage. it is about russia tried to domesticate john kerry and barack obama. putin'st about vladimir specter of sovereignty and independence of other countries. diplomatically, how do you respond? how to stay united states respond? this is called cupped elation. you have to persuade russia, whether or not it acknowledges it publicly. this is harmful to them. it is harmful economically. when assad leaves, which will happen sooner or later, the successor regime could be unfriendly to moscow if moscow has bet wrong. i think saudi money plays a role in here too. we are not out of the recession yet. sources of financing are something that russia is not completely exempt from.
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they have to be persuaded that they will lose on other full panorama of interests. host: a viewer in michigan wants to get your thoughts -- it sounds great on paper to join the icc. toders might be subject prosecution by the court and there is often a backlash. there are statement be made in the icc. they have some judges that are not lawyers. they're not very good at trying cases just as fast. i do have issues about exculpatory evidence grade i think there is a lot to prove. i would like to see them have to know that the
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difficulties of prosecuting wars. all of the people in the case of kenya conducting elections -- i am not surprised to have some backlash when they actually have a case that has teeth. i doubt kenya will leave. at any event, the court's position would be if you are a member during the time when the events took place, then you are subject to their jurisdiction. host: that is our topic for all of you, the international criminal court and war tribunal as we talk about potential war crimes being charged in -- charged against president bashar al-assad. going to your questions and comments, we have 20 minutes left. the phone lines -- we touched on this a little bit but who tries these cases at the icc? guest: they have a group of
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judges that are elected by the assembly state department, who are the countries that signed the statute. we don't have much say in that from washington because we did not join the statute. you probably don't want us to join because if we did join people would think you are our stocky horse. the gift -- it may be a gift rather than a burden. we are able to help the court in a case-by-case way with issues of intelligence, sources of logistics. yugoslavia was an independent assistance in investigating the massive court for the end of the war. they wanted to have perimeter security so the yugoslavian tribunal investigators go in -- investigators going in would not be set upon by a mob.
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there are a lot of things we can be that we can do to be helpful. host: -- we can do to be helpful. host: do we give money? guest: we have satellites other countries don't have. have intelligence capabilities other countries don't have. it is quiet, step-by-step, a little bit of don't tread on me. it has been a surprisingly harmonious relationship. host: robert in baton rouge louisiana, independent collar. -- independent collar. -- independent caller. i was surprised saddam hussein and gadhafi did not go to a host country with a fellow dictator leader, giving them sanctuary. if the international war tribunal is used so inconsistently, does that make it a determined in the real world and almost ceremonial?
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i do wish we could reinvent st. helena. others.tty thieves and it seems out of the way and harmless. it would be nice to have a place have a beachould and kabbalah and good food and just leave town. that is what happened in haiti oftentimes. often times you can find a country willing to take them, whether it is africa or latin they would indeed be harmless from a distance. there is no reason not to do that. one worries with money and followers that even extra pain and flu -- a dictator could be that extra territorially a dictator --
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extra territorially a dictator can still be influential. -- an optometrist is making sure you have the same kind of wrong list -- wrong -- the right kind of long-distance lenses. his wife is a brick. -- a britt. it is unseemly to have a guy in power who is -- he makes a mock of liberal education. it is clear the brutality and system is not a matter of how educated you are. host: does he walk away from his hold on that country echo guest: -- hold on that country? guest: i don't know how this ends.
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a caretaker government could bring influential people into powers of government. lostamily has long since any claims to legitimacy. they cannot remain. they have too much blood on their hands. host: minnesota, independent,. -- independent caller. caller: i was wondering with the percentage rate of success on prosecuting these people that go to the international court. i have another question. people told me that henry [indiscernible] if that is true, why isn't he there now? host: the major problem with
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trying cases is knowing where to quit. trial of mama so, where it would have been very important to yugoslavia to have a guilty verdict, a lolly gated around -- it's lolly gagged around. i was first tried cases told, you have two hours to put on your proof. don't make trials and to prove commissions because something always happens. at would be my real tradecraft in syria's tradecraft suggestion predict not have a commission in parallel, fine. dr. kissinger was being skelly wagged by my older friend, chris hitchens, over the events in
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chile. chris, before he died, recanted some of his accusations. i think there are competitions in every change of regime. the war crimes trials really should be reserved for the most serious, systematic times of abuses and not issues of judgment and physical situations. there is no outstanding war on henry kissinger. host: here is an e-mail -- guest: again, i am not read into how -- into who is delivering
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who. perhaps not illegal to deliver weapons tool rebels -- weapons to rebels. icc was an issue before the involving the contra. if you tell the rebels what to do, go here, go there, shoot this, should that, you are essentially operating their joystick. then you can be held liable. if use of the applied materiality away government or rebels -- if you simply supply material to the government or rebels -- host: a caller from indiana, go ahead. caller: saying what arises to judgment is serious and abuse, ic forms of think we can start on our own history with the american indians. or is about 50 million
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systematically store mandated -- there is about 50 million systematically exterminated. dioxin and-- sprayed agent or change -- and agent orange over vietnam. the vietnam government claims 5 million deaths. we turned right around and use depleted uranium on the battlefield in iraq, warning our soldiers not go near tank wreckage with children playing all over it. we ended up with gulf war syndrome. host: let's take those two points. indians, set,n point, matt. i totally agree under our own standards present day that what ,e did was almost genocidal using biological warfare. we were in a land grabbing mode and we were not -- even though
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it was george washington's era we were not particularly careful about the morals of what we did. one of the reasons the american revolution fought -- revolution was fought was the brits wanted to make a provocation against the indians. reasons we've rebelled was to get that land. the methods we used on the charities and others were not defensible. -- on the cherokees and others were not defensible. the uranium tipped weapons, i might rip that i might disagree in that they are much better than armor piercing -- i might disagree that they are much better than others in armor piercing. the reason given for agent , it is a fair point to
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say that when we use weapons we should be confident on the long- term effect of the population and it may not be just immediate casualties but the long-term genetic and at the it -- epidemiological effect. host: a message saying -- brooklyn, massachusetts, welcome to the conversation. caller: it is a war crime to drop wife -- drop white phosphorus yet the israelis seem to do this with immunity. why is this? host: i think you may be referring to the incident in , theythere was phosphorus were phosphorus shells you can use to create a thick black smoke to obscure the atmosphere so people cannot target back at
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you. that was an incident that was examined in the goldstone report . the israelis responded with their own report. the israelis decided that they would in fact limit the use of that kind of weapon in urban areas proved it was part of the tragedy of fighting in gaza. any kind of weapon has terrible collateral effect. they try to give timely combatant and buy some weapons twice. i think there were lessons learned from that. these visits would be the first to say. -- the israelis would be the first to say. host: how are war crimes defined? guest: death in war is one of the inevitable side effects when trying to disable the other party's forces.
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killing somebody, if he is a combatant, is not a war crime. the other sad fact is when you aim projectile somewhere it that has a scatter pattern will take in other target. the u.s. now actually has an encyclopedia of target selection, trying to figure out what targets and would armor meant would minimize the collateral damage. collateral damage does not feel collateral to people who kills. it feels really we'll did -- it feels really real. moral actor in a war, you have to be as concerned about collateral damage as you do other damage. the problem often is the other side wants to make use of civilian coverage, easier to -- lookom a crowd, a
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sites use it as a gambit. -- both sides use it as a gambit. host: on twitter -- i will have to refer you in the case of iraq there was an argument, one that that saddam never complied with the conditions of the cease-fire, that he give up his weapons of mass destruction. when he finally kicked the inspectors out there was a great andte about what to do where the private un security council resolution can still be provided for the use of force. he made a case in point. he was a god that made it hardly ever to business school. ofis the same nomenclature the emts that of wmds to protect himself.
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-- of wmds to protect himself. there has been terrible chaos in iraq. i take the colors point that there is a recent caution of intervention. it rarely ends well. u.s. -- a twitter follower says -- let us squeeze in one more call. for beingank you someone who answers questions directly, it is such a pleasure. my question is what is the source or moral determinants for the two -- for the decisions of the international court? is there one thing that they bade on? this is obviously and this is not a question of the way you explain murder.
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to boil down want war to two axioms, thou shalt never deliberately attack a civilian, and number two when you attack a military target or military person, thou shalt try to minimize collateral damage. agreements, we98 have a group is to protect our military agents and military folk. jukes deployed all over the world, more than any other country. -- troops to put all over the world, more than any other country. doinge folks in africa training, we used to have folks in europe to deter the russians. we have particular equities, which are -- particular equities where they are concerned. host: thank you for your time this morning.
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that is a for today's washington journal. we will be back tomorrow morning could a look at tomorrow's show, we will begin with the congressional debate -- the congressional agenda and the debates happening in washington is congress returns. and then looking at the affordable care act with jenny gold. and tomorrow's focus is health exchanges. and then lastly, in our final hour, our weekly series on your money. you will take a look at the $2 billion spent for united nations peacekeeping force. thank you for watching today, enjoy the rest of sunday.


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