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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 30, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EST

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the rights of china apart from it is bound and the management of this. but it is a different problem from the middle east problem. i have described -- >> the middle east is the most dangerous what you think we are facing? a nuclear iran? >> and we have nuclear iran.
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the most immediate problem is to get rid of of a terror base state. >> gotcha >>. that is -- >> gotcha. >> that is isis. long-term problems also exists. the challenge is not to switch from region to region, but to understand the things we must do and separate them from the things we probably cannot do. that is a novel challenge in that magnitude for the current generation.
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>> mr. chairman, would it be possible if -- dr. schultz, give us your idea what you think our most greatest concerns are right now? >> of coarse i agree with what henry has said. let me put some additional points on it. i think we tend to underestimate the impact of the information and communication age. it changes the problem of government. people know what is going on everywhere. they can communicate with each other and organize, and they do. you have diversity everywhere. it has been a ignored or suppressed. remember the problem in iraq with maliki was yet to govern over diversity, but wanted a snap it out. he didn't understand how to
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govern over diversity. you have that problem that tends to fragment populations that make governments weaker. the problems that demand international attention are escalating. as henry said and i said, there is an attack on the state system going on. the attack on ukraine is part of it. the isis is a major part of it. a major challenger. they want a different system. i have a sense that china is drifting into a kind of severe of influence way of speaking. that is different from the state system. that is a challenge. i see nuclear weapon proliferation coming about. that is devastating.
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a nuclear weapon goes off somewhere. even my physicist friends say it is a plaything? look at the damage it did. the spread of nuclear weapons is a big threat. we were making progress, but that has been derailed. we are going the wrong way right now. i gather in washington it is very controversial. i have a friend and we started it project -- a project. there is a notion being created their you'd -- there is an ocean being created there.
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the climate is changing. there are consequences. that is happening. we need to somehow -- on a global basis. i've had the privilege of sharing that m.i.t. advisory board on their big energy initiative. i see what the guys and girls are doing. it is breathtaking. we had an m.i.t. scientist come to hoover the other day. i think he cracked the code for electricity. that is a game changer. it takes the intermittency problem out. also, we must know how vulnerable our great is. at any rate, i think these energy r&d things are beginning to get somewhere.
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that is a big threat. these three things are huge in terms of -- we need to have a strong military. a strong economy. we need the strength and purpose of our country. we started out that way. we are the most diverse country in the world. our constitution provided that. there is a wonderful book. it is clear that george washington having suffered because the continental congress gave money to pay his troops wanted a strong government. he and his colleagues saw that if they don't get the constitution ratified unless they provided a lot of roles for states and communities. our federal structure reversed. it is a structure that allows for diversity.
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it is ingenious. you could do something in alaska. you don't have to do it in san francisco or new mexico. there is a difference. differences prevailed. we had these problems. >> thanks. >> tactically, how do we handle iran? ukraine? isis? if also then this broader framework. >> i'd like to say a word you'd i like this in the biggest threat -- i like to say a word in what is the biggest that. not everything can be handled militarily it we also have a short attention span should these are long-term problems. and americans do not like multilateralism.
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it is a matter of cooperating. it will require american leadership within a system that other countries play a part in. otherwise, i agree with both henry and george has said. i think short attention spans and multilateral wheelie -- wheezy dealing with it. >> i'm sorry -- eways of dealing with it. >> i'm sorry, mr. chairman. >> thank you. it is time to think about our role and what we can realistically accomplish in the future. the longer i've been around these issues, the more less dreamy i become. dr. kissinger, i think -- thank you for your contribution to the world with that book. i think you quote bismarck. unhappy is the statesman who is
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not happy after the war as he was before. something to that affect. we have got to be careful about power and how we use it. sometimes long-term thinking could avoid short-term problems. our subcommittee deals with nuclear weapons. i'm very concerned about proliferation. dr. schultz come as you indicated, where that our allies are losing confidence. they may expand. iran will clearly likely kick off our proliferation if they achieve a weapon. you have indicated that we have moved from iran not having a nuclear weapon to iraq not --
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iran getting close to having a nuclear weapon. you expressed concern? would you expand on that? yes, dr. kissinger. >> i'm concerned, as i pointed out, the shift of the focus of the negotiations from preventing iran from having that capability of building a nuclear weapon to a negotiation in which it seeks to limit the capability in the space of one year that will create huge inspections and problems. i reserve my comment on that. i would also emphasize the issue
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of proliferation assuming one accepts the inspection as valid and takes account of the stockpile of nuclear materials that already exists. what do the other countries in the region do? can the other countries be reached conclude that america has approved the development of an enrichment capability within one year of a nuclear weapon? if they then insist on building the capability, we will live in a proliferated world in which everybody even if that agreement is -- will be very close to the
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report. i wish that this proliferated issue be carefully examined. it is a different problem from not having the capability at all to having a capability. it is within one year of building a weapon. especially that spreads to other countries in the region. they have to live with that. it will produce a substantially different word from the one that we know. >> it should be pointed out that
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yvonne made from you reached uranium is much -- a bomb made from enriched uranium is much -- you can make it unsophisticated from enriched uranium. the enrichment process is key. >> in the short term, i think i hear you saying short-term being the next several years. this could be one of the most dangerous points in our foreign policy. a danger that we don't need to
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be facing. >> i expect the administration's to overcome that problem. but i'm troubled by some of the implications of what is now publicly available of the implications of the objectives on the evolution of nuclear -- and the impact of all of this on international system for everyone is within a very short period of getting a nuclear weapon didn't know and can really fully trust the inspection system. or -- i hope that is something that carefully gets examined --
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examined before final solution is achieved. >> we tried to build a strong line between access to the technology and producing a nuclear power plan and axis to richmond tech knowledge he appeared we try to put that line in their very strongly. >> senator? >> thank you mr. chairman and witnesses for their testimony. a week from sunday we begin the seventh month of a war. the war on isil as described by the president and others in the administration. americans have -- there has been no congressional debate or vote upon this war. i think all agreed it will
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likely last for some period of time. a vastly different congress. would you agree with me that it is more likely that the nation will sustainably support a war if there is a full debate on it for congress? and if congress wreighs in -- >> my experience as an administration official if to get a much better policy and getting much better ability to execute that policy if it is discussed and this consultation between the administration and
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the congress. as i said in the testimony include me on the take off. i think the consultation will provide a better policy and a better execution. the award -- though war, talking about it, started a long time ago. this is a deep problem that goes beyond terrorism. terrorism is a tactic. the object is to change the state system. we need to understand what these people are up to. that will help us design the kind of policies that are needed. >> the president has asked in the state of union address that there be a reauthorization of the use of military force. i do agree there needs to be
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discussion of it and consultation. >> i agree with what my colleagues said. i want to read emphasize a point i made earlier. we should not let this conflict with isis slide into the pattern of -- and after a while it going to debate of withdrawal. it had not existed before.
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it is the eradication of the state system. once america has engaged itself, victory is really an important objective. >> i want to thank each of you for all you have done for the country and our leadership. i wanted to follow up and ask about the nato presence in the baltics. we had one guest before the committee. he talked about putting a small number of u.s. ground combat forces in conjunction with nato as part of the contingency to ensure that there would be a
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tripwire. the force would be of a size that wouldn't be one where we are trying to send a conflict message. i want ask what you think about that and what you think we should be doing. >> i do think when we were in tf -- kiev, we met with the leadership. on nato in the baltics, i agree. i think it is important that the baltic countries are members of nato. i think it is very important to show that kind of support. the question is whether they are rotating troops or they are -- i think the u.s. is to be part of a grouping which also requires
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other countries for nato to be there. i do think that it is an important aspect of the common approach to this through nato. i also think that nato is at a stage where it has -- we were talking about organizations that had been started many years ago. our support phone nato and getting the other countries to pay up but they are obligated to do under the 2% of the gdp for activities is they are talking about the necessity of this reaction force of making nato were capable to do with the problems that are evident in the region. >> thank you. secretary schultz, i want to follow up on what you said about iran's program their icbm
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rhogam. wrote a letter to include the negotiations on the missile program. i wanted to get your thoughts about it. do you believe that their capability should be included as part of a result that is important in terms of our national security interest. >> certainly. their support for terrorism should be on the table. you get a weapon, you are going to use it. >> those two pieces are missing and are very important. i was interested to hear what you and secretary kissinger have said in terms of where concessions have been made on enrichment that make i think a
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very difficult outcome for a good result that doesn't lead to some kind of race within the middle east. >> you have to remember they are not known as drug merchants for nothing. they are good bargainers. they have crossed lines. they have outmaneuvered us in my opinion. we have to watch out. >> secretary kissinger, i want to follow-up on something you had testified before the senate relations committee. you have called attention to the disparity. i want to get your thoughts on what we have learned. russia is developing a new mobile nuclear ground launch cruise missile in direct violation of the inf treaty.
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this missile is likely in development of injuring his new starts negotiations. i want to get your thoughts on what our spots should be to the development of this cruise missile. it is not just a response of a treaty violation, but what are the interest in developing this type of cruise missile. direct -- >> direct motivation? >> yes. >> it is dead.
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there is a huge inequality in the population and a long border with the jihadi regions of the world. motivation undoubtedly is to use nuclear weapon to balance the inferiority of russian forces along many of its borders. to the extent that it is invaluable was signed agreements, the united states even if it theoretically understands the motivation cannot except the nuclear armed control treaties that are violated because opportunity develops.
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>> thank you all. >> i want to say to the witnesses, i asked you to stay longer than i originally bargained for. i apologize for that. this has been an very important hearing and love for this committee, but also for the numbers of congress and the american people. for the benefit of your many ears of experience and wisdom you have provided us with important information and guidance as to how we should conduct that only this hearing but our national security policy. we are honored by your presence. we thank you. this hearing is now adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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[protestor in background indiscernible]
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protester: war criminal.
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>> earlier today vice president joe biden spoke at the house democratic retreat in philadelphia. he urged fellow democrats to be proud of what they accomplished including infrastructure projects, job creation improvement to health care. you could see the entire comments tonight starting at 8: 05 is on c-span. c-span 2 state of the state addresses beginning with nikki haley, governor cuomo, governor ricketts, governor hickenlooper, and governor walker starting at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span 2.
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>> tomorrow on "washington journal" kenneth vogel looks at any 16 campaign spending -- 2016 campaign spending. and then jack nicas on drone use. following that dennis shaul talks the efforts to regulate the heyday loan industry. what take your calls, facebook comments, and tweets. "washington journal" here on c-span. >> here are some of our featured programs for this weekend on the c-span network. on c-span 2 book to be, -- book tv, april ryan and her coverage
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of three presidential administrations. sunday, our conversation with walter isaacson whose garden fees include ben franklin -- biographies include ben franklin and steve jobs. on saturday, the civil war. how the cowboys became symbolic of a new, unified america. and touring the house that was a headquarters of the american red cross and learn about the wife of the founder. find our complete tv schedule at that is no what you think. call us. email us. send us a tweet. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter.
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>> earlier this week, loretto lynch testified before the senate judiciary committee and her attorney general confirmation hearing. she is they nominated for the job. if confirmed, should be the first african-american woman to hold office. we will show you a portion of the confirmation hearing on sunday on c-span. >> this sunday on q&a a neuroscientist on the recent discoveries of the teenage brain. >> they don't have their lobes to reason. the cause and affect of actions are not clear to them. the frontal lobes are not as readily accessible. the connections cannot be made as weekly. also, a lot of their home loans are changing a lot in the body.
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-- hormones are changing a lot in the body. the brain has it hit a lot of this in life until the teenage years. the brain is learning to how -- how to respond to these new hormones. it is like trial and error. this contributes to the disparity of a roller coaster and of experience we watch as parents. >> on c-span's q&a. >> earlier today, president obama talk about what is being done to improve health care while treating deadly diseases through medicine. this is about 25 minutes.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states accompanied by miss simon. >> hello, everyone. have a seat. everyone look so serious. [laughter] loosen up a little bit. >> hi. my name is alana simon. i am studying computer science at harvard. when i was 12, i was diagnosed. thanks to technological advances to help scientists, i was able to identify the change in the dna that leads to this cancer. rather than try to learn about all of the cancer, i just examine a small patient group which is what allowed for such a precise discovery.
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we are working on developing the first dynastic test and new treatments. last year at the white house science fair, i met the president and got to discuss may research with him. it was such an honor to meet him then. it is with great honor and reduce the president to you today. [applause] -- to introduce the president to you today. [applause] >> well, thank you for that wonderful introduction. let me be clear. when i was 19, i was not doing genetic stuff. [laughter] [laughter] when i met alana last year, she tried to explain her research to
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me. to help her explain her findings, she made these giant pink chromosomes out of swim noodles. which was helpful to me. [laughter] i know what swim noodles are. [laughter] i saw how they fit together. but i could not have been more impressed with alana. she represents the incredible talent and energy and possibility of our young people. i'm so proud of her. i'm so grateful that you introduced -- she introduced me today and is doing great at harvard. those of you who are interested in investing stock in her, i'm sure she has a agent of some
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sort. [laughter] without folks who are doing outstanding work to keep americans healthy. we have america's health and human services secretary, sylvia burwell. you can give her a round of applause. [applause] >> we've got our surgeon general. [applause] stand up. our new surgeon general. we haven't had one in a while. we are happy to have him here. he looked sharp in his uniform. we have the national cancer institute. [applause] we have the singing scientists of nih here.
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[applause] and we have my science advisor who does not sing. [applause] for anyone wondering, is there a doctor in the house, we have you covered. wheels of members of congress who are here. lamarr alexander from the great state of tennessee has been one of the key supporters encouraging medical innovation. i look forward to working with him. [applause] ms. murray couldn't make it hit today, that we have on the house that congresswoman who is here. we're proud of her. [applause] last week in my state of the union address, i focused on what
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we needed to do to make sure middle class economics helps more americans get ahead in the new economy. help make families make ends meet in a constantly changing economy. offer more opportunities for people to upgrade their skills for better paying jobs in this economy. we've got to build the world's most competitive economies so that businesses create jobs here in that united states and not someplace else. the last part is what i want to focus on today. we have invited some of america's brightest minds in medicine and technology. some of ours drunkest advocates for privacy and perhaps most importantly, we have invited patients who have the most at stake in these efforts. we are here to harness what is
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most special about america. that is our spirit of innovation . our ability to dream and take risks and tinker and try to move things. as a result of that, not only improve our economy, but improve the lives of men and women and children for generations to come. together what is so exciting is we have the possibility of leading an entirely new era of medicine that make sure new jobs and new industries and new life-saving treatments for diseases are created right here in the united states. we shouldn't just celebrate innovation. we have to invest. nurture in a vase. -- nurture innovation. encourage it. nature we are challenging in
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ways that we are most productive. that is especially true when it comes to medicine. when american research develops a vaccine for polio a federally funded study help doctors discover the risk for heart disease. grants from the national science foundation and nih supported the early experiments that led to the invention of the mri. these kinds of investments don't always pay off. research by definition will sometimes lead us down blind alleys. but it will also tell us what we don't know. it helps us figure out new pathways. when things do pay off, then they create economic opportunities in ways we never could have imagined.
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dr. collins here helps lead the human genome project. one study found that every dollar we spend to map the human genome has returned $140 to our economy. the huge economic stake in us tapping into this innovation. [applause] nothing wrong with clapping about that. yeah. anyone who is watched a loved one battle with an illness particularly a life threatening illness, i suspect there is nobody here that hasn't been touched in some fashion of that experience. when everybody here understand is the most important impact these investments cannot be measured in dollars. if we had an opportunity to prevent her from work -- prevent
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hurt for more families, if we have the chance to make sure that a young person like alana who stricken at a disease before their life has really gotten going, we have a chance to make sure they are ok and cured and able to make incredible contributions to our society. we have got to go after that. that is why we are here today. something called precision medicine gives us one of the greatest opportunities for new medical breakthroughs that we have ever seen. doctors have always recognized that every patient is unique. doctors have always tried to temper the treatment and individuals.
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match a blood transfusion to a blood type unit that was one important discovery and what is matching a cancer cure to our genetic code was just as standard? what in favor of the right dose of medicine was as simple as taking our temperature? that is the promise of precision medicine. delivering the right treatments at the right time every time to the right person. for a small growing number of patients, that future is already here. eight out of 10 people with one type of leukemia so white blood cell counts return to normal the new drug targeting a specific gene. genetic testing for hiv patients helps doctors determine who will be helped by a new antiviral --
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who will experience harmful side effects. advances in technology means these break crews could be just the beginning -- breakthroughs could be just the beginning. at a cost less than $2000. where the electronics make it easy to record vital signs for your blood sugar to heart rate could electronic medical records let doctors and researchers elaborate more closely than ever before. cap for computers help us analyze data faster than ever before. if we combine all of these emerging technologies, if we focus and make sure that the connections are made, then the possibility of discovering new curious and applying medicines more efficiently and more effectively so that the success rates are higher so that there
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is less waste in the system which means more systems to help more people, possibilities are found this. the time is right to unleash a new wave of advances in this area in precision medicine just like we did with genetics 25 years ago. the really good news, this is how you know that the moment is right if there is bipartisan support for the idea. [laughter] [applause] which makes me very happy. and i was a senator back in 2005, i worked with a republican senator, richard burr, and a bill supporting precision medicine. senator bill cassidy who also
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happened to be a gastro -- recently called the medicine and incredible area of promise. that is why the budget i sent to congress on monday will include a new precision medicine initiative that brings america closer to carry diseases like cancer and diabetes and gives access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthy. let me just outlined the facets of this. you will work with the national cancer institute. we want to find the genetic factors that could lead to cancer. use that knowledge to develop effective approaches to help people beat this disease. second, we will work with fda, develop new approaches for genetic tests. the way we approve a new gene
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sequencing technology is going to be different and the way we approve a new pacemaker or a static device. we need to make sure our approach reflect the differences in technology. third, we are going to work with the national institutes of health to create a research group of one million volunteers. just like analyzing our dna teaches us more about who we are in everett before him analyzing data -- than ever before analyzing data will teach chess more than ever before. help us discover the causes and one day that cures for some of the most deadly diseases that we face. we have a big data pool of people that is buried -- varied.
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we can start seeing connections and patterns and correlations that helps us refine exactly what it is we're trying to do. finally, we're going to make sure protecting patient privacy is built into our efforts from day one. i'm proud we have so many advocates with us today. it won't be an afterthought. they'll help us design this initiative from the ground up. picture we harness new technologies and opportunities in a responsible way. -- make sure we harness new technologies and opportunities in a responsible way. in order to realize the potential and asking more hospitals and researchers and privacy experts to join us in this effort. i'm asking on spinners and nonprofits to help us create tools -- onto bernards -- en
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trepreneurs and nonprofits to help us create tools. analyze health data so they can make the best decisions for themselves and for their families. this has the stability of not only helping us find cures, it also help us create a genuine health care system as opposed to just a disease care system. our of what we want to do is allow each of us to have sufficient information about our particular quirks. [laughter] that we can make better life decisions. that is one of the most promising aspects. it sure we have a system that focuses on prevention and keeping healthy and not just on curing diseases after they happen.
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medical breakthroughs take time. this area precision edison will not -- of precision medicine won't be different. the dawn of the new era has arrived. it we start today and seize this moment and the focus and energy and resources, there's no telling how many lives we could change. every single one of those lives matter. bill elder was one of michelle's guests. where is bill? stand up. [applause] good-looking young guy. [laughter] about 20 years ago, bill was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. it turns out bill is one of 4%
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of patients whose disease is caused by a particular mutation in one gene. a few years ago, the fda fast tracked a new drug that targets specifically that mutation. one night in 2012, bill tried it. just a few hours later, he woke up knowing something was different. he realized he had never been able to breathe out of his nose before. think about that. he is now 27. when he was born, 27 was a medium age of survival for a cystic fibrosis patient here today he is in his third year of medical school. [applause] for the first time in his life,
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i truly believe i will live long enough to be a grandfather. one day bill will be able to tell his grandchildren about how he used the miracle of his own life to not only serve as an example, but also an inspiration and ultimately a pathway for his own career to help save the lives of other people. that is the spirit of hope and resilience and community that has always carried america forward. we may disagree sometimes, but we do share a common vision for our future. you want an economy powered by the world best innovations. best ideas. extend the promise of opportunity to everyone willing to work for.
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we want to have a nation in which the accidents and circumstances of our birth are not determining our fate. if we born with a particular disease or a particular genetic makeup that makes us more vulnerable to something, that is not our destiny. that is not our faith. we can we make it. that is who we are as americans. that is the power of scientific discovery. we want bill's generation and those after to inherit that gift that anyone can imagine. not just a chance to live a long and happy, healthy life, but also the chance to remake that world continuously in ways that
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provide great promise for future generations. i'm very excited about this. i hope you are too. god bless you. god bless the united states. let's get to work. this is dna for those of you unfamiliar with it. [applause] >> early today vice president joe biden's woke at a house democratic retreat in philadelphia -- spoke at a house democratic retreat in philadelphia.
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you can see the entire comments tonight starting at 8:05 on c-span. on c-span 2 state of the state addresses from governors around the country. beginning with governor haley governor cuomo, governor ricketts governor hickenlooper, and governor walker. tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span 2. tomorrow on "washington journal" kenneth vogel looks at 2016 campaign strategies. jack nicas discusses the latest on grown use after a -- drone use after one crashed on the white house lawn.
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we will take your phone calls this book comments, and tweets. "washington journal" starting at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> here is some of our featured programs for this weekend on the c-span network. on c-span 2 book tv, white house correspondent april ryan on her more than 25 years in journalism and coverage of three presidential administrations. sunday, walter isaacson whose biographies include ben franklin and steve jobs. on american history tv, the civil war. how the cowboys became symbolic of a newly unified america. sunday evening touring the
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house that was headquarters of the american red cross and learn about the life of its founder. let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. call us. e-mail us. send as a tweet. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. >> earlier this week loretto lynch testified before the senate judiciary committee at her attorney general confirmation hearing. being nominated for the job -- if confirmed, should be the first african-american woman told office. we'll show you a portion on sunday at 10:30 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> earlier today that wilson
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center held an event on the situation in yemen and what it means for future relations with the middle east. we will hear from panelists. this is about >> good afternoon and welcome to the wilson center. i in that jane harman, the president and ceo. >>i visited yemen a few years back and met with leaders of opposition parties. certainly many of us have wanted yemen to turn out right. to date we will seat what people a lot more informed than i think about this. i want to express my specific gratitude that mohammed albaugh
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al-basha is here. and to recognize cabinet supporters in the audience. you remember our embassy in yemen has closed, so i hope it will open again soon in a region increasingly cover might by terror. yemen's partnership with us has been vital to combating terrorist extremists. we hosted the president here in 2012 when the outlook was so much brighter. the u.s.-yemeni relationship with strong. sectarian conflict has done serious harm, and it is fair to worry now that civil war could make yemen the gulf's own syria. the great concern is that iran's leaders intend to wield
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power against hezbollah. they will tell you it is a more public edit story. it is essential that yemen does not become a casualty of conflict. the fight between shiites and sunnis is exactly the narrative that ice is used to recruit -- isis uses to recuit. without a solution for strife and insecurity extremists could hatch in yemen the dangerous collaborations they started designing in syria. imagine if they were able to connect with foreign fighters holding clean western passports. and inclusive political solution is vital. that is what we have soft four
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years. we have seen in syria that terrorist groups do not arise in a vacuum. security depends on respect for all communities. this is a first and foremost a yemeni crisis. the west does not have all the answers, certainly not. or even a counter narrative that is adequate to persuade some kid in the boonies of yemen to not strap on a suicide vest. too many yemenis have never had contact with the u.s., except via drone. without dictating solutions, the u.s. should provide the support yemenis need for the solution they choose themselves. that is how to win the argument and peace. we are thrilled with the panel we have assembled to bring the challenge. i would like to introduce our moderator, robert worth, who will introduce the other panelists.
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he is a public policy scholar with the centers middle east program. he is also work with beirut bureau chief for the new york times, and can shooting writer for the new york times magazine. you probably saw him on the page last week, with his article about yemeni dangers to the u.s.. he will guide us through a thoughtful conversation on the region today. i want to recognize the fearless leader of our middle east program. i want to thank him for bringing us both the scholars and the program over so many years that have educated so many of us. please welcome robert worth. [applause] >> thank you jane. four people that have been writing and thinking about this for years, it is a strange thing to be at a panel in d.c. about
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it. i retire in 2007 a trial of a yemeni journalist who was on trial for supporting the c huutis.even talking about them got you in trouble . now they potentially run the country. the past few months, we have seen a lot about them in the news. they have been gaining strength for years. they overran the capital forcing their rivals to flee, including ali musen, a key military leader who had been an important part of the war.
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then in the fall, we saw more violence with al qaeda in yemen. terrible bombings in the south and the capital. there was the attack on charlie hebdo in paris and in the. peninsula. -- arabian peninsula. at least one of those brothers were trained in yemen. then we had clashes where the huthis press came out, calling their bklluff. all kinds of questions arise that i hope we can address today. i will mention a few of them. what exactly is the iranian
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role? what stood the united states do, and what can it do? the diplomatic options are limited. do the huthis intend to control the entire nation? what is the huthi political and social agenda? some of their spokesman call them liberals or revolutionaries in the 2000 $.11. there ir leadership is much more conservative. what would it mean given the fragmented state of the south? the question arises, candyn the huthis manage the southern issue at all? we have peter salisbury, who is a journalist based in yemen for reuters, al jazeera, and foreign
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policy. he is done a lot on the finances of yemen and the huthis and the iranian role. we have a professor from towson university. he has worked on yemen for many years. and muhammad al basha from the yemeni embassy here in washington dc who has a lifetime of experience to draw on. we will start with peter. >> first of all, thank you very much for having me here this afternoon. most people who watch yemen will tell you that it is a very complex country. it is very complicated. what i will try to do in the next 10 minutes is make it more, located. [laughter] i will talk about how we have gone over the the past year into the national dialogue conference which coincided with
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the anniversary of the international dialogue, how do we move from this euphoric moment a year ago to the point where we have no president, no prime minister, no government, and no real understanding of who holds power in yemen? it has a lot to do with two separate, yet intertwined issues. coalition building and of negotiation and in yemen. when we look at yemen, we tend to see i lawless state. we saw actors who are incapable of acting outside of some interest. while that is brutally correct there are rules within yemen. there are rules of procedure and operation. what we have to do is hold enough power with other people who i may not ideologically aligned with, but where we have common goals or photos.
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-- or foes. what we have seen in the ring mocoming months if the coalition of different forces with different aims. people from the northwest of yemen. people who have always held the balance of power in the yemeni state. those are the huthis, who we have heard a great deal but know very little. then we have the former president and the hard-core around him in the general people's congress. then we have tribal groups and smaller armed groups in yemen who, for a long time have held tribal areas loosely affiliated to coalition forces or conservative tribal islamists.
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we talk about too often as islamic. it is more complex than that. for those of you who know yemen we are talking about the first armored division. he was seen as someone connected to the muslim brotherhood. he came out in support of the revolution, as did humans main sunni islamist political party. as did the tribal confederation led by them until recently. they have been seen as converts. that is a vast over simple occaersimplification. they were unhappy how they were treated by the tribal coalition and the islamists.
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they talk about the treatment of various groups. then there were people who see it as a force not for good, but that is the country. you have people who are opposed to this group because of historical reasons, so the huthis have reengineered their narrative. once upon a time, they talked about how the southern regime try to oppress and crushed them. since the revolution in 2011 what we have seen is the emergence of a new narrative. it is quite telling of this coalition, they start talking about how a coalition of conservative forces, the islamist tribes, were really the guys who led the fight against us in 2004 and 2010. there is some truth to that, but
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not the entire story. what we have seen as the two groups come together to get rid of these guys. and secondly to try to alter the the outcomes of the national dialogue to create an outcome more amenable to their interests. what we saw over the past year is the huthis first gaining control over an area. by the time they reached s anaa, they built things up from the grassroots.
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they were in a very strong bargaining position. the issue comes to the second point i made, which is people pulling back and working out a deal for themselves. when you reach the outskirts of snaasanaar, the idea was they would bring themselves into politics. instead, fighting brought out and we saw the huthis working to make sure that this it fits this coalition of conservative forces. that they no longer pose a threat to them in the long return. they were so successful that they ended up taking over sanaa. what we have seen since then is than being in a strong bargaining position and not needing to pay attention to the
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outcomes of this national dialogue conference, this 10 month a series of peace talks held in yemen and ended over a year ago. that was the first time the hut his had participated in national teletext, and they had lots of sick confessions because of it/ -- lots of concessions because of it. they were not in a bargaining position to push back. based started complaining. they started complaining loudly about his decision to move towards a federal government. what we have seen over the past year is that building up to a point where there is no opposing force as long as they are in this coalition with the various tribes allied to him or have decided they want to get rid of this conservative lock. that brings us where we are today.
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we are in an interesting position where they are overreaching, where coalition of forces is in such a position of relative strength in that there is no other force that can counter them. they can do more or less what they like. they are getting too excited but also making pretty bad means. when we talk about what happened last week, it is described as a coup. i urge you that is a slow-burng coup. each time they get to a new point, they realize they can go a little bit further. what we saw last week was overreach on part of the huthis, but also a split that allows them to be the most visible element of the state.
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he wanted them to look at the draft and pass it so it could be pushed to referendum. thehuthis were led to believe this and think provisions for six regional federal states, something they opposed deeply. they decided to of duct the chief of staff. -- abduct. in return, they sent the presidential guard onto the streets of sanaa to reclaim the city and the huthis retaliated. the rest is left to conjecture because the huthis are not the only people in sanaa. yemen is deeply conflicted, and
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information is hard to come by. you of an issue of two different groups. and the huthis feeling that they had to step in. you have these two groups where neither wants to be seen as being behind the other, egging each other on to go little bit further. now that hadi has resigned, they wanted a weak president in place. they wanted someone they could dictate terms to. they wanted a position where it is possible to silence. right now, we have two conversations. one is about a presidential council which i believe is being negotiated by the u.n. with areas political parties. we also have this question of the existing constitution in yemen.
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which means that the speaker of the house becomes interim president if hadi is removed. then we have the huthis who are pushing for their own military council. the interests are diverging. for are likely to see in the coming months, is a new position. people trying to work out their relative strength to each other and strike a bargain internally. that is where we are left at today. >> thank you peter. charles? >> i want to do huthi a bit more with the huthi. who are they, where they came from. one, the huthi is a changing organization. it is not the same thing as it was when it began. it is also not itself sure what
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it is at this point. some of the confusion comes within the huthi movement. it began as a college student group. a revival in the late 1980's and early 1990's. they were contracting" is coming from saudi arabia and the government. at some point coming from a political party formed after unity. he got involved and he is the one who militarized the group. in yemen, everyone is militarized, but he said we need to take a more defensive position. he is also the one that provoked the president. came up with the chant "death to america, death to israel!" that chant is not meant to be
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anti-american. [laughter] it was meant to put a thorn in the side of the president swept the time of the u.s. invasion of iraq was defending the u.s. embassy, was defending his relationship with the war on terror. the thorn was to say. we are authentically yemeni. we do not serve foreign interests. we are not the holding to the hobby in souwahabi in saudi arabia. there is another dynamic any movement. now the movement is dealing with tribal and military relations out of the north. they are successful largely because the yemeni military is split and fight each other as they are fighting the huthi.
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this gains them lots of credibility within yemen as a force that can stand up to the regime. everyone upset with the regime, the huthi began to create a coalition of those rejecting the main components of the regime. that gained lots of support. a lot of people who were rejecting huthi rule right now, supported them back in the regime. the slaaleh regime had problems in the north. he could not bring them into the coalition. could not incorporate them politically. there are two large areas of human outside of the coalition
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network. they are putting pressure on it, then the final straw is the regime splits in two. then we have the arab spring. the national dialogue, which is internationally backed by the gulf states, but also the u.n. and united states, it is basically holding the saleh regime together. it brings it back together again. through the mechanism of national title, brings the southerners in. it brings the huthis into the dialogue. that is the transition. from 2012-2014./
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saleh fully participated. the transitional government failed. it failed largely because competition that was going on underneath. the power blocs underneath were fighting each other rather than governing. you had saleh and his supporters. government basically don't happen. if you ask the yemenis if the government is gone. they say it has been gone since 2011. people ask is the yemeni state going to fail? and they say, how would you know
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it. >>people had at little interest in the national dialogue, they felt it was irrelevant. the security situation was very bad. there was a lot of assessment of resentment against the whole process. they took an aggressive stance. they said this interim government is going to fail. we are going to step in. and shape it directly. this is the point where the question of its relationship with iran comes in. this is one place were the iranians have had impact funding. in order to build militias in yemen, you have to pay people. yemen is a poor country. is not coming from taxes. it is not enough to find that kind of a movement.
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that is the big movement that the iranians have had. they take the hadith place there, no one paid attention to it. get rid of them, good. it is a key place of his supporters in the military. apparently they moved into snaaanaa. when they take sanaa, they portray themselves as revolutionaries. they say we are revolutionaries, we are a continuation of the 2011 revolution.
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we are here to implement the national dialogue. we are here to make sure it happens, that the outcomes are enforced. they set up committees that were going into all of the ministries and overseeing them. they went in and incorporated into the police forces incorporated themselves into the military. they very much need the national state. this is what i call schizophrenic behavior. this is the learning process they are going through. they want to have all of the guns in the north. the guns in the north were turned against them. they are very insecure. they want to be the biggest gun in the north. they are now. they have taken all the guns. they have hold missile divisions in sanaa now. they have all the guns now. what they did not realize or
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did not seem to have in mind is that they also have to govern. in yemen, there is this assertion of power. when the went in and blew up all of the islac party headquarters. in 1984 islac blew up all the hecklers in the south. now it is payback. that is how human works. -- yemen works. this is the way they understood power. they were going to blow up their opponents houses. but they forgot about the state. the state is important in yemen. it is important because the state rings all of yemen's diverse components together. at this point, the huthi have totally alienated everybody. they came in trying to the state when they are actually undermining the state.
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they are doing things by force rather than by process. they have alienated the entire southern and eastern area. they have stepped back. right now, they are going to try and incorporate themselves into a broader state. the key thing i am looking for is not what is happening in sanaa, the what is happening in the east. islac and tribal forces of the east have amassed their forces. the saudi's have said that is a redline and half-mast. forces- -- have massed their forces. if that comes to blows we are looking at it takes civil war. they stopped the flow of oil. will that be negotiated settlement or a military one?
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if it is a military one, the huthi will win the initial battle, but will lose the war. thanks charles. >> hello. good morning. i'm fumbling to speak after peter and professor charles. difficult times. we are at a point where i had a first meeting with bobby about the huthis. we were scratching our heads was this the next hezbollah in yemen? i will be very short in my speech. i will let the audience to more of the talking. i will give you updates of what is happening right now. yesterday, at the end or talks --
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hosting a talk with various political players. it seems we are heading towards a presidential council. with all the players on the presidential council. there is a problem with the number of representatives in the council. the timeframe, how long would this council stay in power what are the priorities for the council, is it going to go through the parliament or by political consensus? it seems there are a lot of divisions to the point where i walked into the building, i was informed that the gpc pulled out of the meeting. they pulled out because they want to make sure this process goes through parliament. article 115 means that the president's resignation will be accepted. it has not been officially
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accepted legally speaking, so he is still the head of state. he is not on activist duty, but still technically the president. his two deputies will be the mentors in chief, and within 90 days we will hold elections. a lot of people were personally targeted. the southerners feel that the huthi movement was looking down on them, not respecting them. they have historical problems with the huthis. it seems at this point that they are moving along with the huthi regarding a presidential
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council. but the situation is fluid and changing every day. this is not about sunnis in yemen. this is a political crisis with resolutions hopefully. i talked to everyone in the discussions today. they all talked about problems, but reassured me they are moving towards political revolution. no one wants to pick up the guns and fight. professor charles says they know that the huthi can win short-term battles, but in the end no one is going to win. my consistent advice is to look at the picture of yemen not as a single group but to manage and dominate the country. if you use force, it is not sustainable. why did we end up in this place? i think peter and professor charles mentioned a lot of points. i want to quickly do some highlights. in 2011, former government started acting as opposition.
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although they were still in the government. then you have the traditional opposition powers. they continue to act as an opposition. nobody was really -- it was confusing. people were acting like they were opposition. i said no, you are the decision-maker now. you are the "them" now. the second problem is mistrust everyone distrusts the other side. of the strong loyalty to their clan and party. i think that was unfortunately do to the weak identity to the stage of the country that people looked at things this way. they will always be loyal to their clan more than anything else. my criticism of them is the
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federalism issue. that should have been discussed from day one, not at the last phase. being a devil's advocate, people say advocacy was such a difficult topic. the silent majority is not sure what to do. traditionally they looked forward to speak about the elections. at this point in 2013 if they run elections they would have dominated the parliament. at this point, we don't know who would dominate the elections. two months ago, perhaps the huthis would have dominated. but people are just frustrated with the parties at this point.
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what troubled me is that we are not looking at the bigger picture. the bigger picture is that yemen is heading towards economic crisis. a serious fiscal crisis has already begun. i would say it is hard to to find yemen as a failed or dysfunctional state. it is a yemeni state. that is how it is, that is how it works. the soldiers are not being able to get money.public servants stopped going to work. i was surprised that a lot of my colleagues even under gunfire went to work and continue to offer basic services. it shows the resilience here of the people. the huthis at this point dominate the scene in most of the northern provinces
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especially in the capital. the big challenge is a matter in the traditional areas in the central regions. they have strong popular support, but it came to the point where they thought never mind. we will not be aligned with them. groups tried to seize of the a battalion. this is what you should do. violence capture properties, and it will work. it will be the status quo and everyone in the national community will play along. in the long-term, what i fear is that the huthis are not able to form a political consensus in managing the transition.
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they will not be strong supporters of any huthi- dominated government. they made a statement supporting president hadi and rejecting any possibility of residential council. the core of the huthi arguments the peace and national participation agreement, the international committee sees a as a agreement between the president and the huthis. with the huthis no longer in the picture, the pnp will no longer be as important. it is something we can rally people around. each faction focuses on a certain initiative or agreement that would serve them the best. i think national dialogue is something we should work on.
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economic crisis and a less three quarters, we lost $600 million. that is 60% of the government revenue which comes from oil. out of the $7 billion promised to yemen, we only have absorbed less than 38%. there is still money there. people are not going to invest in this situation. a regional did let described this to me -- i see a building that is collapsing, and you are telling me to invest in it. my sense is telling me i will not invest, let it collapsed and then rebuild. my counterargument is that yes, but if the building collapses there are neighbors around, and when it goes down it will dmaamage the neighbors too.
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it is not in a vacuum. the tribes are managing the securities of their areas. we may have other militants like isis infiltrate the country. other counter insurgencies may form. it is a disturbing and chaotic solution. the last point is what will be the future of the u.s.-yemeni relationship in a huthi dominated government? so far, everyone is panicking and freaking out with the recent reports and analysis. i was advise journalists not to
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freak out. we will have a good idea of what will happen. today the huthis guardstarted expanded national congress. it brought different factions under one umbrella and is trying to find -- this congress is pressuring all the political players. come up with a solution, otherwise we are going to step in. thank you. >> thank you to all three of youf. a lot of great detail here. i want to backup and asked the panelists to discuss further. then we will have time for questions from the audience. one thing i would like to press
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further is, who are the huthis really are, what do they want? muhammad al basha, you mentioned it is not a sectarian problem. and yet, it is clearly an issue. is partly, as i understand it, a caste problems. they were kind of a aristocratic pre-1962 yemen. the imam's were derived from that caste. the huthis have made a new ideological soup out of it with elements of hezbollah, all caps of accusations that i think are mostly not true, but certainly some people have converted to
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sheiism. they are clearly pragmatic in some ways. that is a good thing. it shows they are willing to negotiate. why are they against the six region federalism plan? i am interesting in knowing more how they make decisions and what their longer term goals for gehman are -- yemen are. before i press you guys on that, the second question. what are the u.s. options in this context? they seem to me to be awfully limited. we have the potential as you were saying, for a serious civil war in yemen.
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we have conservative forces who are seriously opposed to what the huthis are doing in the country. the saudi's seen inflexible at this point. who is going to bridge this gap? does the u.s. have the diplomatic dexterity to do that? so first question first. maybe i can ask peter, because you up written about this question on how they make decisions. >> the important thing to remember with the cooties as they stand currently, the leader of the movement was not the guy that was initially seen as the big man among the huthis. he was a young man with his older brother died. his eventual ascension to leadership -- another local tribal leader who
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was not part of the family took over day-to-day management of the group. he did not do very well in the next two wars. it was not until the end of the second war that he was put in place. he was a quiet young guy. very scholarly, very religious but not with the charisma of his brother. we see him as a personality appearing on tv developing into someone is a good public speaker, makes coherent sense of the last 2-3 years. we have in terms of him as someone taking over his brother's reign. he is a decent field commander and a smart guy who can bring people around him. you look at the people around him, a court in her circle of whom we know very little. they are generally limited to people in sanaa who have not gone with the huthis.
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these guys are pretty religious. everyone outside of that later is much more pragmatic about. the coalition of forces we've seen taking over northwest yemen have been this odd mixture of people ideologically on the huthi side/ / they are tribal guys, so they feel like they can work with them. what i have been told by a number of different people from inside sanna, is the second they start screwing up and associating we with this group i am going to walk away. the huthis will be left with a small core group. you have this young guy who is been very isolated from the outside world, even more so now. gets his information from his field commanders, not all of
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them ideologically on page with him. is a very disjointed movement. looks like they have moved on a day-to-day basis. they make policy on the hoof. >> if you could briefly address that and we are running out of time so we need to take some questions. >> i described the huthi strategy as "why not?" it is very simple and not comforted. this is why the huthi is a young, evolving movement. we asked students of policy when trying to put them in formulas, they do not fit in. this is something new and raw. put it this way -- a lot of people are having a hard time working with public committees. that is because when you look at
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yemen's population, 26 million the popular committees are formed mainly from these young kids. who, for six years, were under the barrage of artillery and tribal government horses attacking them -- forces attacking them. he says this is the monster you created. these are the people would had never seen the inside of a school or university. the people of yemen, the international community, forgot about that huthis for so long. they cap evolving and the claim became a center point.
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is like the pope. a figurehead that people rallied around. this is what we have today, a struggle between the two main factions of the movement. the armed military wing of the movement, then the political people that you can work with. it seems that the military side of the movement is emanating -- dominating. the saudi's are very sympathetic, but with good reason. this is a very sensitive topic for them. at the end of the day, we need to not pretend that the huthis are a problem that will vaporize and disappear. we have to learn how to work
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with them. >> i have to ask you to be brief, charles. >> let me make a few points. the aristocracy you were talking about, they do not all support the huthis. it is not a sectarian thing. it goes through evolution. a few things they have done is not traditional practice. what they are doing is establishing their dominance. they show by celebrating that. is evolving. >> questions? >>go ahead. >> my question is to your last point about the role of iran and
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when the huthis convert to shiism could you address the role of iran in this? he converted to santeria, this is what everybody said. for the first time in yemen's history, they celebrate this time of year. could you talk about iran, and is this going to be a proxy war? >> a couple of points about that. the iranians want influence in yemen, and they don't care who it is. they will deal with communists student activists. you could just raise your hand and get a ticket to tehran.
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is not the shiism that is the determinant thing. when the huthi conflict first broke out, they said that they symbopathize with their oppressed brothers. it is much and indigenous practice. it is not replicating shiism. my quick take is that huthis will do what they want, and their key objective is security. they were under the gun in the north, and they will make sure they have the guns for the future.
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if the iranians say no, they would say yes. it is the huthi agenda. >> we have talked about iran, we have not talked about saudi arabia. a country where there is no money essentially in financing whatever fighting takes place. saudi arabia is important. can you tell us more about that? >> without saudi support, the economy will collapse. >> let me add one more thing. in 1962, after the revolution, the saudi's were backing these guys, not the huthis. it is not a sectarian issue. when the huthi took sanaa the
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huthis asked for an audience. they will deal. they want to make sure yet is not a vulnerability. it is a security risk for them. they will deal with the huthi is the huthi will deal with them. it is do we have proper time to give respect to our brothers? then we will come later. that is with the saudi's did not want. now they have built up there forces backing islac. they may support the southerners in a secessionist movement. they are moving in all the ways that the huthis do not want them to move. they are doing it to open a bargain, to make sure the huthi know they are not the only game in town.
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is why the eastern desert conflict is key. i suspect that the eastern desert tribes are not going to have the final word. saudi arabia has a big word in the way that that is settled. the way that the oil is settled. that is where the huthi and saudi arabia will begin to train horses. >> the message i was given leaving yemen in december was clear. the saudi's were looking for the huthis taking over, and they said why should we give them money? they need to pay a political price for what they have done. the saudi position was that we will not give any money to yemen. they had given $4 billion to the country since 2012, and it is still broke. their position is, let it happen. we can pay the price of a collapsing yemeni economy
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because the huthis will pay the political price for that collapse. >> do we have one more? >> a question for the overflow. for muhammad al basha. to what extent is are the members of the southern movement., how are increased calls for actions being addressed? >> when the huthis came into the capital, the group is still segmented. their defense actions are still competing. they do not have a unified voice. one of the things that made the huthis and effective movement is hierarchy, discipline, and goals. i think this other movement is reacting more than actually reacting on a plan.
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there are daily events where there is clashing. theeverybody is now behind the barrier of security and defending themselves. we are seeing the country evolving into one group that is pro-huthi, one is anti-huthi, one is against all of them. >> recognize that most of the military officials are loyal to hadi.
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he became a hero by resigning. he has now got nothing and anti-huthi forces. they see him as a traitor. >> we have time for one more question. >> i'm a former diplomat of the yemeni and the city. we have a key issue here. a minority want to demonize the country. they want to impose their agenda and their private interest on the population. we were close to solving the yemeni problem through dialogue.
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nobody has answered your questions. why they don't want federalism, why the huthis do not want federalism? >> they are not against the federal state. they are for the federal state. how the divisions are made is the key issue. that was not result at the national dialogue. the big issue was the southerners. they wanted to divide in the two former states. the north said that would lead to succession. because nobody could agree on it, a committee was appointed. they made it up. the regions were designed to one, divide them, and two the huthi huthi movement was weakened
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by it. they were cut off to the red sea. what they wanted was the ability to amend the draft and control the committee who has the power to amend it. >> it is also a usable bugging tool with them for iraq. one think we have seen since they took over snaaanaa is a constant outreach. by addressing federalism, they are also trying to create a position where they can bargain and say, you get your one region . >> they are sending a clear message to the international community.
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>> i think that puts an end to it. thank you so much for coming. [applause] >> mitt romney announcing he will not run for president in what is extreme. remarks by joe biden add them aquatic leaders at their retreat in philadelphia. >> 20 12 republican presidential nominee mitt romney announced that after giving it considerable thought, he will not be running for president in 2016. the former massachusetts governor announced his decision in a conference call with supporters. several of his past donors and a federal staffer in iowa have already decided to support jed bush.