tv This Week With Christiane Amanpour ABC August 7, 2011 8:00am-9:00am PDT
this week, will the nightmare an wall street kill the recovery? >> there goes my 401(k). >> stocks plunge and america's credit rating is downgraded for the first time in history and that come was a stern warning for washington to shaup up. >> voters may have chosen divided government but sure didn't vote for dysfunctional government. >> we'll ask standard & poor's how to get aaa back and the committee square offers on how to drag the parties out of their corners. then, will the damage done mean longer unemployment lines? >> the biggest concern the american people have is jobs. >> jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. >> the "roundtable" on the policy and politics required to turn this country around.
steve rattner, mastermind of the auto industry bailout. mellody hopson investment fund manager and tea party congressman jason chaffetz join george will and cokie roberts. and the deadliest day in afghanistan. 33 troops perish as taliban shoots down a helicopter. >> announcer: live from the newseum in washington, "this week with christiane amanpour" starts right now. welcome to the program. we have lots to get to today. but first, some news since your morning papers. the pentagon is starting to paint a fuller picture of what exactly happened on the deadliest attack on american forces since the start of the war in afghanistan nearly ten years ago. 30 americans and 8 afghans were killed yesterday when the taliban shot down their chinook
helicopter. among the dead are 22 elite navy s.e.a.l.s. abc's s reign correspondent martha raddatz joins me with the very latest. what about that community, the forces and their families? >> this is such a small community. there are only 300 s.e.a.l.s on s.e.a.l. team 6. the most elite of the s.e.a.l. team. that is such a small group. when you think about those families and 22 notices going out to those families. i got an e-mail from someone, i said i was so worried about that community. he said, look, this is a community that will smother one another with love. >> what do we know about the attack? any more details coming out? >> there are more detail this morning. what actually happened, this s.e.a.l. team was going in to help another team that was after taliban insurgents, apparently the taliban insurgents had been implanting ieds in the area. this s.e.a.l. team was coming in to help the others who had come
under fire. just as they were approaching the area, they got hit by what they believe was a rocket-propelled grenade. >> martha, this comes while the u.s. is pulling back surge troops, and going to be relying much more on these airborne special forces, plus a rash of assassinations in pro-american officials in kandahar. which america thought it secured. what does it say about where it is? >> this area, i went there years ago when the surge forces just started coming in and they madad a real difference. but lately, the insurgents have started to return. the taliban started to return. it is really going downhill in some areas. of course, the president doesn't talk about the war very much. i do think this drawdown will tin on pace. >> thank you very much, martha, we'll continue watching it precisely for that reason. now we turn to the other big story, the economic crisis as wall street braces for the unknown hours from now. international markets will begin
to register reaction to the first ever downgrade of america's credit rating. standard & poor's, gave the rating and white house pushing back hard. s&p marketing director john chchbers johns me now from new york. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having m m >> you must be the most disliked person in america. jean sperling, the economic at adviser put out a statement saying the magnitude of their error and the amateurism i i displayed combined with their willingness to simply change on the spot their lead rationale in their press release once the error was pointed out, was breathtaking. it smacked with an institution, starting with a conclusion and shaping any arguments to fit it. that's all about the $2 trillion mathematical accounting error. what you say to that? it's pretty blistering, isn't it? >> we've been saying the fiscal trajectory of the united states was on a bad path and political
gridlock in washington leads us to concludedehat policymakers don't have the ability to proactively put the public finances of the u.s. on a sustainable footing. we said that in april, we said that again in july. we think our message has been pretty consistent and we also think that the numbers speak for themselves. >> do you think, since you've also said that there is potentially a further down grade, it's still on a watch list, could you downgrade again list, could you downgrade again? watch. >> it's not technically on watch. we have a negative outlook that leads to a longer time frame from six months to 24 months. and if the fiscal position of the united states deteriorates further, or if the political gridlock becomes more entrenched, then that could lead to a down grade. the outlook indicates at least a 1-3 chance of a downgrade over that period. >> wow. so what is it going to take for the aaa to come back. what can america do to bring it
back and how long would that take? >> if history is a guide, it can take a lot. we've had five governments that lost their aaa that got it back. the amount of time that it took for those five range from 9 years to 18 years. so it takes a while. our concerns are centered on the political side and fiscal side. it would take a stabilization as debt as a share of the economy and eventual decline, and it would take, i think, more ability to reach consensus in washington, than what we're observing now. >> so you know there's going to be a bipartisan committee to look at cutting more and getting the debt more in line. 12 people sort of split down the middle between two houses of congress. do you have faith that is going to work? >> i think they'll deliver. if they don't deliver, you'll have sequestration mechanism that comes into play. we had the bipartisan commission, that also came up with a majority. wasn't a super majority but was
a majority that had plenty of sensibleleecommendations, and it was a pity that those weren't followed through on. >> and, again, i'm'mearing a lot of pushback not just from the united states, but around the world as well. people saying, how could america, the biggest economy, most stable, reserve currency, have its credit rating down graded. people of course saying standard and & poor's is resuming its reputation after the catastrophic record during the fiscal crisis, the mortgage situation? how do you an that? >> we have a set of criteria we apply to 126 central governments that we rate. rests on five pillar, the political side, the economy, the fiscal side, the monetary side, the external side. we have a committee that's an international committee that applies this criteria. you know, ten years ago, we lowered japan's rating, they are
the second largest economy. they also have reserve currency, but it is reserve currency. and, you know, i think most people agree with that downgrade. as time passes, people will come to see that the united states' credit standing is really not quite the same level as the ones that we rate aaa. >> all right. john chambers, thank you very much indeed for joining us. >> thank you. so a clear lack of faith in washington's political ability to make real economic progress. with me to discuss whether the parties can come together on anything, maryland governor martin o'malley who chairs thehe democratic governor's association and in alabama, senator jeff sessions. the top republican on the budget committee. gentlemen, thank you very much indeed for joining me. let me first ask you, you heard from john chambers, still categoric that this downgrade should happen. do you think it's justified and how do you think the parties are going to get together to solve this? >> i don't t tnk it's justified in terms of when you look at the math here.
they made a $2 trillion mistake. the other rating agencies did not downgrade the u.s. debt because they did not make that $2 trillion mistake. but one has to find understandable their pessimism about our inability to come together on the most important issue facing our country which is, how do we create jobs? we need a balanced approach and the extremism, the tea party obstructionism in washington. is keeping us from restoring that b bance add approach that america has always used of investing in the future, investing in job creation and also being fiscally respspsible at the same time. >> senator sessions, do you think that there can be now some sort of a wake-up call as some people suggested for both parties to really come together? i've heard people say, this is serious. we don't want to see political parties sniping at each other right now. we want leaders to be as big as the crisis that they have to tackle.
>> well, look. we do have a big, big crisis. i've been warning all year, every expert, before the budget committee has told us we're heading to fiscal crisis. we're on an unsustainable path. borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. this year the interest on our debt is 240 billion. it's projected in ten years to go to 940 billion in interest in one year. this is unsustainable. sooner or later, if we don't change, these kind of ratings will continue. when you have a democratic senate that will not produce a budget, and 830 days without a budget, a president who submitted the most irresponsible budget in history, who is continuing to talk about spending more, investing more, whose secretary of education, was demanding a 13% increase in the department of education next fiscal year, beginning october 1st, you know we're in denial. we're not understanding the threat. the president is going to have
to look the american people in the eye, a a tell them, we are on an unsustainable course. he got to do that. and if he asks us to reduce spending by 10% across the board, all these departments and agencies, congress would rally to him, you know, in a bipartisan way. >> senator -- >> if he's going to deny we have a crisis, he's not going to have bipartisan support. >> quickly, while i still have you there. the s&p talked about cutting spending, also talked about raising more revenue, talked about the bull simpson, do you think when the bipartisan committee gets stood up, there will be a chance for both sides to give on some of their sacred cows? would you on tax loophole, for instance and tax reform? >> well, raising taxes is what balanced plan means. that's plain to every american by now. the administration wants to
raise taxes. so they can -- permanently implant a larger level of spending. they've increased domestic discrereonary spending 24% in two years. this is unthinkable. >> all right. >> so we've got a problem. we've go to bring that spending wn, not increase the burden on the private sector. >> in all of that, christiane, i never once heard the distinguished senator stay the word "jobs." what we have right now are moms and dads in maryland, moms and dads in alabama, who are looking for work and of course looking for work for a long, long time. senator sessions voted for the largest deficit increases under george bush, and he, like others in his party, worship that the altar of the false god of tax cuts. we need to be about creating jobs. and there's good people in the republican party that want our country's economy to improve. that's what we need to allow space to emerge. >> so i asked senator sessionon
about tax loopholes -- >> the highest debt president bush ever had was 450 billion. $1,300 billion. >> every single time -- >> the debt already performed expert testimony is pulling down growth and posting us jobs. the gdp is hammering our economy and that's why we're not having the growth. that's why we're having the unexpected decline in growth that we've seen the first half of this year. >> all right. you've both laid out the parameters that you've heard over and over again. i want to ask you, senator sessions, do you have faith that this debt committee will be able to come to the agreements, and make the cuts, and savings, and also do what needs to be done to tackle the debt? >> christiane, i do believe that committee can function and be successful in the limited goal we've given them. what s&p is saying, it's not enough.
it's only about $2 trillion, a little over, when we're going to increase our debt in the next ten years. $13 trillion. even the plan is insufficient, . if successful. >> and governor o'malley, do you have faith that the debt committee can actually tackle this? >> i do. because when you look at -- when you ask the public if they believe a balanced appppach is required, almost 50% of registered republicans agree that a balanced approach is required. millionaires and billionairs should be playing their fair share. we need to pull together and create jobs and make this great economy ours. i i lieve that we can come together around that. look. it's not a democratic or republican idea it's an historic and economic fact that a modern economy requires modern investments to create jobs. that's what we need to be about. >> governor o'malley, senator sessions thank you so much indeed for joining us. and coming up, as congress
battles the debt and president struggled with the crisis, texas governor rick perry prays for them all. the could-be white house candidate ministered to thousands of christians at a houston religiousally yesterday. the "roundtable" tackles jobs, jesus and politics next. i love that my daughter's part fish.
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this week the headline said it all. stocks nose dive. grim week. debt bomb. on the cover of "time" magazine, george washington with a black eye. now all eyes on wall street waiting for the market's response to friday's credit rating shocker. here with me to sort it all out, abc's george will, steve rattner. former counselor to the treasury secretary. cokie roberts and republican congressman jason chaffetz and from chicago, we're joined by financial adviser, mellody investments.ident of ariel let me ask you first, george, how bad is this down grade? how much will it affect if basic economy here? >> not very and not much.grade? how much will it affect if basic economy here? >> not very and not much. you called this a shocker. >> we and the rest of the world. >> standard & poor's missed the security problem right under its nose.
if you read what they said. it's a half-baked political analysis criticizing the american system of government and how it works. they are entitled to the opinion on politics, but their opinion isn't entitled to any particular respect. what did w wlearn from what they said that we didn't know already? we know that from athens and greece to sacramento, stops in rome, lisbon, madrid, springfield, illinois, an entire system is under attack and actually collapsing under the weight of its contradictions. we learned nothing from standard & poor's. >> i agree with george in the sense what they said was unremarkable, to put it mildly. and that they really, not particularly qualified to make those judgments. but i disagree that it will not have an impact. i think it's already having an impact, it's likely to have an impact, in the sense of our interest rates, which, of course, will hurt the economy even more. and it has a huge political impact. what's with this bumper sticker
material, he's the first president in history, bla, bla, bla. and george washington with a black eye. that's bumper sticker talk. so, it does -- yes, they shouldldt have done it. i was on the conference call yesterday, it was absurd, but they at the same time will have an effect. >> let me get you gentlemen -- i want to ask mellody hobson, we talked about potential effect. what did it do to individual, to the consumer, to people sitting here watching this tumble down around their ears? >> before i even get to that. i have to agree with george on this one. s&p's credibility is seriously in question here. i mean, these are the guys who gave the clean bill of health to the mortgage security that's were toxic. not to mention the fact let's just enter a basic question.s were toxic. not to mention the fact let's just enter a basic questio were toxic. not to mention the fact let's just enter a basic question. do we actually believe that america is less credit worthy than it was three years ago in the middle of the financial crisis? no one would say yes to that
question. as it relates to the individual, i think it will be marginal in terms of givebacks. i don't think we'll see a huge rate spike here. the markets may be rocky. but i think longer term, the individual will actually be okay. >> mellody, stand by a second. i hear you all, but on the other hand, you saw with my interview with senatat sessions and the governor, this kind of, sort of sticking to their points, and not being conciliatory, is precisely what s&p was talking about. do you think, steve, that this was, no matter the effect it may or may not have some sort of political wake-up call. is it necessary? >> it would be great if it's a political wake-up call. we all know the system isn't functioning now. we did get a budget deal, it was inadequate. no matter how you want to judge it. we have a massive fiscal problem. all of that is correct. whether this will serve as any kind of a trigger, i'm more
doubtful about. because as you heard from other members of the panel, s&p's credibility is not all it might be. i agree with george and mellody. i don't think the impact after perhaps volatility is all that great on the average american. i would also say that it is s really embarrassing day, whether you like s&p for america to not be aaa when places like france and uk are. when you talk to s&p, everybody indicated d t let me underscore it, the biggest issue between us and a place like the uk. put in place an austerity program. is whether we have the political will to put in place, an austerity program that puts in the long-term curve outwards and we have not done that yet. >> as we show other countries that are still aaa. i want to ask you, congressman chaffetz, people are saying what is an issue is leadership. thth are seeing this huge crisis and markets looking for safe havens and not finding leadership to match the big economic challenges ahead.
also saying, look, let's face it. the tea party successfully used default as a weapon, publicly bringing us to the brink of catastrophe before pulling back, plus politicians showing a willingness to gamble with the nation's economy. is there an overstepping of the boundaries and how can one trust politicians to pull it back? >> i think we're exemplifying the idea that washington, d.c. doesn't understand that we havav a debt crisis. this wasn't about the debt ceiling, it's the fact we have a debt crisis. argue backckn 2007 if we continue to be the world's economic and military super power, we have to change the way we do business. it's about fiscal discipline, accountability and strong tional defense. i wasn't the only one who got here because we espoused those principles. in many ways we vilify those that are pointing out what those of us in the heartland already know, we're spending too much money. >> and debt is established as a conversation. people know you have a debt crisis and you have to deal with
it. the question is, and you, i think. i don't know whether you want to say this, you called the congressman an economic terrorist. >> not the congressman personally, i said those essentially, tried to hold up. and bring the u.s. to the brink of default without being reasonable in their compromise. the president was willing to go more than halfway. willing to go 75% of the way in a package that has both revenues, let me finish, and spending cuts that achieve the $4 trillion grand bargain and would have averted this down grade and put us on a better path for fiscal responsibility. but do you have one group of people who are saying no tax increases, never, no how. when in fact the tax decreases under president bush partly got us in this problem. if you take today's $1.5 trillion deficit, a trillion of it is from excess spending. 400 billion from the bush tax cuts. >> the standard & poor's report, which, again, i would
like to disassociate myself from, bubut it does say that on of the reasons that they think that the fiscal house will not be in order is because they think the bush tax cuts will stay in forever and that they think the intransigents of the republicans is one of the reasons they have downgraded the credit rating. >> all of the people comparing the tea party to suicide bombers, one of whom is steve here -- >> i don't think you did that. >> i can read you the transcript from the morning show. >> i understand -- anyway. >> anyway, what you do know, that 95 house democrats voted against raising the debt ceiling compared to 66 house republicans. you do know 26 democratic senators voted against raising the debt ceiling? >> what does this mean for cutting the big things like entitlements and deals with that type of thing? both sides have to --
>> that is the point. both sides have to be willing to come to the table and do things they don't want to do, for their to be a compromise. that's what happens in divided government. what didn't happen before was that willingness. >> but you and the tea party don't like compromise, right? >> we have done compromise. remember, it was the tea party that really spurned. i was the primary sponsor of cut, cap and balance. >> did you think that will have any -- >> cut, cap and balance was not a compromise. >> yes, it was. it was praising of the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion. what is wrong in this country, we aren't willing to have a discussion about a balanced budget amendment. what we said, cut, cap and balance, we want to send this to the state. balanced budget amendment. we sent it over to harryryeid, they tabled it. they didn't have the discussion. >> this group of people in new york is actually talking about more government. rather than less government. congressman. in fact, the reason they like france and great britain, is because their parliamentary systems, where the majority gets what it wants no matter what,
and the problem that we have here is the constitution of the united states of america, which actually does require people to come together from different perspective, whether it's divided government or not. we have divided branches of government under any circumstance. >> i want to bring in mellody again in chicago. i want to put out some poll numbers, because i want to ask but jobs. look, right now, it looks like the congress is at historic lows in terms of approval. there are something like 82% of people who disapprove, 14% who approve. what are people saying, not just about a downgrade in the debt ceiling crisis but what affects them, jobs. do they have faith, this congress, this presidency can deal with the very real issue of jobs? >> first of all, i have to say i don't think the average person is thinking about the u.s. downgrade. i want to be vary specific about. that. the average person is thinking about their own wallet, their own bank account.e average pers
about their own wallet, their own bank account. the average person is thinking about jobs. if they don't have a job. they desperately want one. jobs is number one, for the administration and both parties. if that isn't front and center, i do believe it is, nothing else matters, sovereign issues don't matter. what's going on in europe, middle east, what have you, everything is local as that old saying goes, and in this case, it's local in terms of their own pocketbook. can i just say one thing about this? look, we agree jobs is very, very important. at least important, more important. but the thing that bothers me restraint, i'm in favor of dealing with the budget. not in favor of a balanced budget amendment. we can debate that separately. but what senator sessions say, that cutting the budget deficit. reducing spending will create jobs is fundamentally wrong. it's the right fiscal policy not the right jobs policy.
>> can we talk about perhaps an engine? obviously we talked about politics of all of this including the politics of jobs. what about the structural issues? how does one really kick start an economy, and actually get people out on to the payrolls again? the s.e.c., for instance, is doing some big on-shoring in terms of call center, 100,000 new call center jobs they proposed. one of the president's jobs council members getting more engineers educated and into the american economy. >> okay, so where do we go? >> it's not clear what will work. it's pretty clear what will not work. >> okay, where do we go? >> it's not clear what will work. it's pretty clear what won't work. we had a stimulus. there's 2 million more people unemployed when the stimulus was past. we have 1 million on food stamps. we've wagered this economy. it didn't work. >> right now the unemployment numbers very much boosted by
state and local governments laying off people because they no longer have stimulus to pay them with. that is a problem. >> mellody. >> one of the things people talk about is corporate incentive. right now, no one wants to give any corporations extra help. there are corporate incentives out there to move the job story. one giving corporations the ability to repatriate this money they have all over the world without a huge amount of taxation. if you tie that to spending that helps this country. i heard a great idea from casey who talked about the 99ers. people getting 99 weebs of unemployment insurance. give the corpses a sponsorship for those 99ers. tell them, we'll give you a voucher for 99 weeks of compensation with the hopes that
you bring tease people on full time. not to mention how it affects the people's psychology that they get up and go to work every day. talk about affecting sentiment in this country. >> we're not one good tax increase away from prosperity. that's not the way we grow with the economy and grow jobs. we need stability. we need predictability. if you look at regulation, health care, e.p.a., in my state of utah, energy is huge. that's where the best jobs are. they don't have an energy polili in this country. there's lots of things to do to grow jobs, stability is part of it. >> stability and predictability went out the window over the debt ceiling debate. that's one of the reasons we're in the mess we're in now. >> there's no question, loss of confidence in the government is affecting behaviobehavior. look at consumer confidence numbers they are down. look at business activity, it's down. all of that is absolutely true. the second thing i believe is true are the steps taken by president bush and by president obama to save the economy did help. it's counter factual. but i would argue that things
would be a lot worse but for what we did. lalaly, i do think that the solution is a series of probably small bore kind of approaches like some of what you heard. >> let's quickly turn to politics and who may or may not jump into the race. governor of texas and his the religious preaching yesterday. >> i sincerely pray that our willingness, to stand in the public square, to acknowledge the god who made us, will inspire ototrs, to open their minds, and their hearts to his love. >> george, where does this put him in the presidential states? you think he's still going to jump in. >> i do, when he jumps in, he'll campaign on theme of texas exceptional ism. it's one of three states that had more jobs that than it had before the recession. 37% of all jobs created in this country since the recovery
began, were created in texas. >> what do you think of his move there in houston? do you think that was wise for a presidential candidate? >> at this stage in the nominating process, very. >> do you -- >> is he a candidate you'll get behind? >> people getting closer god and praying is a good thing. i happen t tthink mitt romney is most formidable. would be the best person at this job. he understands the economy, capital formation and jobs. that's why i support mitt romney. >> there will be a lototore conversation in the green room. the "roundtable" continue there at abcnews.com/thisweek and still to come the united states gradually dials upment pressure on syria as bashar al assad's crackdown on dissent grows increasingly brutal. my interview with robert ford just before he headed back to the heart of the conflict. stay with us. with robert ford.
troops flattened the city of hama an epicenter of the protest movement. having banned the international press, syrian state media ended the week by showing these image, a devastated hama. empty streets strewn with rubble, burned building, humum a devastated hama. empty streets strewn with rubble, burned building, human rights activists say 300 people were killed in the last week alone. men, women and children. for decade, syria traded on its strategic position in the middle east, next door to israel, it's a key player in any peace negotiation. it's iran's only ally in the region and supporter of extremist groups like hezbollah and hama. assad is trying to avoid this fate. >> hosni al mubarak was on trial this week, he stepped down after protests he allowed to be televised around the world. not so assad, a self-styled
reformer, he refuses to hear his people, or international condemnation. his brutal crackdown is happening behind closed doors. the foreign press is banned and the world depends on brave syrian civilians, using cell phones and social media to get word of their plight out. into this, has stepped an unlikely champion. the u.s. ambassador to syria, robert ford. last month he travelled to hama and was surrounded by flowers, olive branchs and people yelling that the americans have come. his pointed moral support naturally infuriated the syrian government which immediately set its thugs upon the u.s. embassy in demaamascus. ford told me he had to get marine guards to shoot the intruders before the marines pulled them off. but then assad stepped up his crackdown on hama, sending in
tanks, cutting off water and electricity and shooting people apparently at random. bodice s sply left in the streets or buried in backyards by terrified residents. these syrian tv pictures by the end of the week claimed the rebellion in the city has been crushed. but residents say that now, a humanitarian crisis is under way, with growing shortages of food and medical supplies? and this morning, news that assad's forces crumbling another syrian town. the best response the world has come up with so far is the united nation's statement condemning the violence. and, the u.s. trying to ratchet up sanctions. america's ambassador to syria, robert ford, has been sent back there, having been flown back here for urgent confrontation. i met him at the state department just before he left. >> do they consider you an emmy of the state in syria? >> they are angry with my trip to hama. they were very angry about that.
i don't particularly care, because we have to show our solidarity with peaceful protesters, i would do it again tomorrow if i have to. i'm going to keep moving around the country. i can't stop. >> do you fear that given hama was the site of tens of thousand of deaths by the regime. were you worried that is happening now? and that is happening now? >> literally, dozens of people have been killed in the last week. i'm personally very nervous about the fate of some of the people i met. i fear they are either now under arrest or maybe dead. >> reporter: the violence continues despite u.s. sanctions and statement by the u.n. this week. so i asked the ambassador, will assad really feel pressure from these moves? how much leverage, though, does the united states have? it doesn't have many industries there. unlike egypt, you don't have military to military or security cooperation. >> first of all, there is just the power, the reputation of the united states, when i visited
hama. that was a statement and it got international attention that the american ambassador would go there. that's leverage. in addition, because we have targeted specific individuals, and worked with partners, especially in europe, we are seeing some of those individuals, and other people who fear being named on the sanctions list, coming to us and saying, maybe i need to rethink what i have been doing. >> well, let me ask you about that strategy. you are clearly bypassing the syrian government, you're using social media, facebook. you're not speaking to state television. you and your spokes people used very harsh, undiplomatic language to condemn the violence. what is your strategy? >> i call that frank talk. >> what is your strategy? >> my whole purpose in being in syria, is to be able to communicate, not only with the syrian government but with the syrian people more generally. i will be very frank, again, the syrian television operated by the state.
operated by the dictatorship is not credible and tells all kind of lies. we are looking for ways to reach out to the syrian public through social media, through things like facebook and by going out and about in the country. >> so you're going to keep tweaking them. keep waving sort of the red flag in front of the bull, anywhere you can? >> it's important to wear witness to what the syrian government is doing. in that kind of environment, where the international press, international television, can't move around freely, it is really important for diplomats to be able to move around, to understand what the syrian government is doing on the ground. the syrian government does not tell the truth. they said there were armed gangs in hama. the only weapon i saw was a sling shot. it's important to bear witness,
and it's important to relay a message of suppopo. >> you want change on ground. do you want assad out? >> we have said he has lost his legitimacy. but in the end, cristiane, it doesn't really matter much what we say or what the international community says, as what the syrian people say, and what the syrian people do. >> it seems obvious what the syrian people want. they want democratic transition and want the fall of this regime. the president of the united states, barack obama, called on a longtime u.s. ally, hosni mubarak to leave. he's not doing that t not such an ally and somebody committing much for violence. should the president of the united states say it's time for bashar al assad to step down? >> you're absolutely right that bashar al assad is using a great deal more violence than used in egypt. we've said, and we have been very clear on this. we do not view bashar al assad as indispensnsle. we do not view his continuation in power as important to american interests. we view him and his government
as a source of instability and source of violence in syria. i think our views are very clear. the president has said, his government will be left in the past. the meaning is clear, christiane. >> many americans watching this unfolding, say, well, look, the united states joined a coalition of a no-fly zone, military intervention in libya, for instance. there's no such thing on the horizon as syria. can you explain that? >> the libyan situation is very different from what we had in syria. but probably the first and foremost thing in my discussion, moving around the country and talking to people, even in hama where there is this atrocity going on righthtow. even in hama. when i talk to people, about what do you think the americans should do, the international community, they were very clear, christiane, they did not want american military intervention. i want to underline that. they did not want american military intervention.
>> what is the united states going to do to ratchet up the pressure to try to influence what's happening there? >> well, we are going to try to ratcheheup the pressure. the violence with the syrian government is inflicting on syrian protesters from our point of view is grotesque. it's not from our point of view, but the point of view of the entire international community. we are looking at additional unilateral measures, but also measures that we can work with partners, to get the syrian government to stop shooting protesters, to release political prisoners and to stop these arrest campaign. >> ambassador, thank you very much for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> you can hear more what ambassador ford had to say about american's attempts to ramp up that pressure on syria online at abcnews.com this week. and up next, gloria steinem, the cracks in the political glass
ceiling. of sarah palin and michele e age bachmann. stay with us. selected to go w top secret project. it was a challenge that nobody had undertaken before. and we didn't know whether we could do it. when kennedy announced we're going to go to the moon, that was a thrilling proposition. they said, if you could start a computer over from scratch, what would you do? i thought, wow, this could really change things. if you have time for a story, i'll tell you why.
gloria steinem began her career as a journalist. relegated as many women were to writing fluffy features. in 1963, steinem began to take on "playboy" and that's when everything changed. she tells a story in her new documentary "gloria in her own words." watch this clip. >> i did this bunny assignment. >> my name is hugh heffner, i'm editor-publisher of "playboy" magazine. >> i worked as a "playboy" bunny in order to write an expose what the working conditions were. >> i started with personal investment of $600. in eight years i built an empire of 20 million. >> it was being presented as a
glamourous place. it was not the glamourous place that hugh heffner was trying t sell it as. >> you were a bunny girl for a while, an undercover bunny girl? >> yeah. to write a story, i changed my name and -- i thought i would get through, you know, a few auditions and write about the auditions but theyere so desperate for people, it went on and on and on and i ended up working on and off for about a month. >> i read the ads that you would get $300 a week and it was a wonderful job. i was hired but i had to go through h e training course which is at your own expense. >> reverse. there you go. >> okay, now real high, there you go. >> it was horrible. there was nothing fun about it. >> gloria steinem joins me now. thank you for being with us. >> no, thank you. >> that clip, has it dogged you
or your career, or were you the dogged investigative reporter? >> i thought i was the dogged investigative reporter. i was really glad the working conditions changed somewhat. you no longer needed to have internal exam and venereal disease test to be a waitress. excuse me? that's what they were telling these -- right. i'm glad, basically, about it. but it was a professional error of gigantic proportions, because i was just beginning to be assigned serious pieces and suddenly, i was a bunny, and now, you know, it's followed me all these years, and i am always confronted with a kind of moral dilemma. should i stop people who introduce me as an ex-bunny, and say, but i was doing it as a journalist? no, because i kind of deserted those women who were having such a hard time. so i go through this indecision. >> it was sort of a launch of your activism and feminism.
we know what you were campaigning for along with many many women of that time. fast-forward now so many years later. where are women in terms of not just econonoc opportunity but, let's say, politics in the political show? >> uh-huh. well, as you know, we're number 70. 7-0, among the countries of the world in terms of representation of women in our national legislature. we have 17 senators, we have 17% of congress. >> 76 women in the house of representatives. >> right. but american exceptionalism i think conceals to women the fact, we're always told how lucky we are, that we are way, way down the list in political representation, and child care, health care, equal pay -- you know, by almost any measure, we're way down the list. >> when will, do you think, in
your lifetime, this ultimate glass ceiling be shattered? do you remember hillary clinton talking about the 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling after the primaries? when will it shatter? >> i really thought it was too soon. i thought hillary clinton was an ideal candidate, but i didn't, myself, believe she could win. i just think it's too soon. >> how can it be too soon, what do you mean by that or any women for that matter? >> we are still raised far more by women than by men. we associate female power with childhood. and some people, especially men, feel regressed when -- the last time they saw a powerful woman, they were 8. >> their mother. >> yeah. let me ask you -- >> it's going to take quite a long time but it will happen. it will definitely happen. >> what do you make of the fact that so many current crop of female writing stars are actually conservative women. people like michele bachmann,
now a candidate for president. nikki haley, the governor of south carolina and on and on? >> well, this is not a new phenomenon. if you have a big political movement, you have people who look like you, who behave like them, who sort of sell it out, more or less. those women are all elected by some women, question, but by an electorate, their votes come more from men than women. democratic women, not because -- it's because of the issues. >> people say, are you saying women, feminists are okay if they're democrats and if they're republicans -- >> no. the republican party used to be more feminist than the democratic party. it has become so extremist and so takenenver by people who used to be democrats. a lot like jesse helms and so on. so it now finds itself in position of having, in its
platform, issues which are not supported by majority of women, indeed are opposed by most. so, they, you know, as soon as hillary clinton won, so many vote, i said there's going to be a republican female vice president, because, you know, they are not -- they don't seem to understand, it's not about biology, it's about issues. >> what about the struggle -- i looked at the hbo documentary and saw that encounter you had with larry king on cnn and a woman called in and said may gloria steinem rot in hell. do you still find a hostility to the principle, to the activism? >> no, not really, very rare. were you surprised by that then? >> yes, i was surprised the that then. then there was somebody assisting the call to make sure they had a controversial caller, i discovered later. >> a lot of people who get
through. >> no, no. there are -- the point is, to be able to choose, to have the power to make a choice. >> right. >> and the reason that social justice movements win, is because they support choice, not one point of view. the reason that the current republican issue, and so on, especially on reproductive freedom lose, is because they are forbidding one point of view. they say you have to behave like us. >> gloria steinem, thank you for being with us. and her documentary "gloria steinem in her own words" on hbo and we'll be back with the "sunday funnies." we'll be back with the sund"sunday funnies." burning energy for our country, ecades of r drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources within self contained well systems and using state of the art monitoring technologies, rigorous practices help ensure our operations are safe and clean for our communities and the environment
we are america's natural gas. and now, the "sunday funnies." >> man, it's been a tough time for the economy, but this week, president obama declared that, quote, things will get better. and then he opened his eyes and blew out the candles on his birthday cake. >> incompletely inappropriate for the presidenento turn a year older when the nation is in crisis. it's not the first time obama
has pulled this stunt. i have learned that barack obama had selfishly celebrated a birthday during every crisis in the last 50 years. >> t ts is crazy, several foxnews hosts criticized spongebob squarepants for pushing a, quote, global warming agenda. yeah. then things got really ugly when they demanded to see dora the explorer's immigration papers. >> we'll be right back. er's immigration papers. >> we'll be right back.
♪ and we remember all of those who died in war this week. the pentagon has yet to release the identities of the machines who were killed yesterday in the single deadliest attack in the war in afghanistan, but we learned the names of 17 soldiers and marines who were killed the days before. we'll be right back. [ man ] behind every business is a "what if."
what if we designed an electric motorcycle? what if we turned trash into surfboards? whatever your what if is, the new sprint biz 360 has custom solutions to make it happen, including mobile payment processing, instant hot spots, and 4g devices like the motorola photon. so let's all keep asking the big what ifs. sprint business specialists can help you find the answers. sprint. america's favorite 4g network. trouble hearing on the phone? visit sprintrelay.com. that's our program this week. be sure to watch "world news" with david muir for all of the latest. and for all of us here, thanknk for watching. we'll see you next week.