tv Charlie Rose PBS May 27, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to our program. tonight, the arrest of ratko mladic in serbia, we talk to former secreta of state madeleine albright, christiane amanur of abc, the former international correspondent for cnn and david rhode o the "new york times." >> the part that i think is so importt about this justice and something that i talked about a lot that we all did was that it was very important to assign personal guilt so that there would not be collective guilt. this is not the fault of all the serbian people. this was the fault of the specific people that were evil that wanted to see the bosnian muslims dead. >> and we are especially both of us pleased to be with you on this evening because this is a great day for international justice, charlie. this is a great day. it's been a great month. first we have osama bin laden, now we have ratko mladic what has been on the lam for 16
years, a conspiracy of friends, allies, family, keeping him from the juste that those victims of srebrenica and all of bosnia really needed to have their justice. and he will face his day in court now. >> he was probably getting protection from the serbian military, active duty officers, until at least 2002 and then i think they weren't looking for him very hard and it's only in the last couple years tadic has tried move forward. >> rose: we continue with georg mitchell, the former envoy to the middle east for president obama and secretary of state clinton in his first extended interview since his resignation. >> it is very important that the arab countries in the region rise recognize that israel is there to stay and their best interest lie in a peace agreemt between israel and t palestinians which will permit a regional alliance to combat the threat from iran. >> rose: the arrestf mladic
and george mitchell when we continue. who beats the odds and comes out on top. but this isn't just a hollywood storyline. it's happening every day, all across america. evertime a storefront opens. or the midnight oil is burned. or when someone chases a dream, not just a dollar. they are small business owners. so if yowanna root r a real hero, support small business. shop small. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
>> rose: we learned early this morng that europe's most want fugitive has been captured. former serbian general ratko mladic was captured in an early morning raid by serbian security forces in a village outside belgrade. mladic had spent almost 16 years in hiding. he's charged with orchestrating the biggest mass murder of civilians in europe since world war ii. tonight he sits in a serbian prison awaiting extradition to face a war crimes tribunal in the hague. the serbian president boris tadic announced mladic's arrest at a news conference. >> on behalf of the republic of serbia i announce that today we arrested ratko mladic. the extradition process the under way. this is the fult of full corporation of serbia with the hague tribunal. we have always believed in our strategy and the work of everyone involved today wez
close one chapter of our recent historyry that will bring us one step closer to full reconciliation in the region. i believe that eryeerountry st be responsible for closing their own chapters. all crimes have to be fully investigated and all war criminals must face justice. >> rose: joining now from washington, fmer secretary of state madeleine albright, she was u.s. ambassar to the uned nations durinthe bosnian war. i am pleased to have her on this program. welcome. >> great to be with you, charlie and quite a day. >> rose: quite a day. a day that you expected would come or worried might not ever happen? >> i did expect it to come because ultimately it was... justice may be slow but it does grind inexorably and this is a result of the setting up of the
war cres tribunal, the hard work of people that wanted to capture him and, frankly, drot the current serbian government, president tadic, for pursuing ratko mladic. >> rose: it has been talked about today that their desire to enter the european union had an impact. >> definitely d i think that one of the interesting parts about the tools of foreign policy is that you have sticks and carrots and the indictments of the war criminals was clearly something that was out there that hung over their heads but also the carrot of being able to come into the europeanunion. the serbian leadership at this point really does want to be a part of the european union and that inducement, really, is something that was very important and president tadic ha found that wanting to put his fate in e handsf the west and the european union was something that he thought was
very important for the serbian people. >> rose: does this close the chapter on that... on the balkan experience? >> well, i think it cses one part of it in terms of being able to both have karadzic and mall lad ditch in the hue and milosevic who was there dead and had been on trial. but the balkan story continues. it is a fascinating story of how a group of people can find some solace for some of the crimes that have been committed but also how to find democratic government and become part of the european system. in terms of my own experience with this, i was the u.n. ambassador at the time we voted to establish the war cmes tribunal. there were a lot of people who thought it might never work, there would be no judges, no indictments and that has been provenrong. also, listening all the time to what was going on in bosnia on a
dailyasis as u.n. also dorr was terrible and wanting the americans to take a position which we ultimately did and then charlie, the thing i did was to get declassified the photographs of what wagoing on in srebrenica. we had pictures that showed... had been an empty field, then a field with people,hen a field with rats as the people dippeared ani took that to the security council and i think it opened the way for us then ultimately to take action. and then i went to srebrenica afterwards and really saw there were bones sticking out of the ground and people who denied that any of that had happened and basically it was a few hundred feet from a major rd. so we knew the horrors that karadzic and mladic were perpetrating that milosevic was behind and it was personal in many ways and the important part about this justice and something
that i talked about a lot that we all did was that it was very important to assign personal guilt so that there would not be collective guilt. this is not the fault of all the serbian people. this is the faultf these specific people that were evil that wanted to see the bosnian muslims dead. >> rose: in terms of him, at the time of your own intelligence about him, what was the... what drove him? was he simply thug? was he more than that? >> well, i think he definitely was a thug, but there also was something that was going on that i found deeply troubling, a sense that he and milosevic and karadzic had was that they were somehow anging the serbian people from battles in the 14th century and various times. and they wrapped their evil in some kind of a sense of nationalism and revenge and so
they definitely were thugs but they tried to kind of wrap it all in some higher calling and that, i think, was very troubling part of what was happening in the balkans, this kind of sense that the muslims and the tur were responsible for all their problems since 1349. so they were definitely thugs but there was also this nationalism which can be a very dangerous thing to have ta place. >> rose: do you think the president of serbia now will be able to uncover those who may have supported him or helped him whether they were in the military or someone else? >> i think he's gog to try. i've met president tadic. i think he felt that this all has been a stain. i think he does want to cast his lot with the europe union. i think most of t serbian people also want to be when they have a choice they want to be a part of europe. and you know what'so interesting, chlie, itas actually first president bush who said we wanted to see a eupe whole and free.
president clinton worked on that basis and i think that it was the right assessment that we thought that the people that livein the balkans wanted to be part of the region, wanted to be part of europe. and i think that will continue tootivate president tadic and his people that are around him. >> rose: just a bit of history. there was, in some people's eyes, a delay in the west coming to the aid of the people there. why did it finally come to the fact that everybody understood what was going on and began to act? >> i do think that as the facts were coming out-- and, believe me, it was unbelievably frustrating to sit in the united nations and hear a number of the facts that were coming out about at was going on in bosnia, there was the idea, frankly, that this was in europe, that maybe the europeans could take care of this themselves. there were changes in governments in europe. presidenchirac, who wanted to
do something about this, and president clinton and the national security team and the facts from srebrenica. i think they really did make a difference. what was possible, charlie, was what we've got some reports of people... somebody that had actually managed to survive srebrenica. a young man who had been under a body and they thought he was dead and sothe combination of the intelligence that we had plus his story and being able to make it more blicas very important. you talked about ambassador holbrooke, he played a very impoant le, obviously, in motivating people. we all worked together and i think it finally was something where the facts matched the horror. i went to bosnia i can't tell you how many times to talk to the people there and it was just a tragic sry, but it took a while. and it's something that we've all talked about and felt that i personally felt that we should have done something earlier.
but it took a while to really get the facts together and srebrenica was the final blow here. >> rose: where are we in this idea of when it is that nations are prepared to inve another nation's sovereignty because of crimes against humanity taking place? >> charlie, i think that we have learned a lot of lessons about this and, in fact, you know, people make arguments-- i would not be one of them-- that we did not know what was going on during world war ii. there is a new doctrine that has come out as a result of more knowledge that's called responsibility to protect. and partialedly united nations resolution on libya is based on the idea that if the international community knows about horrors that are taking place that we have a common responsibility to something about it and nato, frankly, is one of the very good instruments for having it take place. it does bump up against sovereignty. it is one of the difficult
aspects of this. but i think that we have acted rightly in libya and the other part that is a lesson out of thiss that those who are responsible for murdering their people or ordering that they be murdered ultimately justice does catch up with them. it has happened with osama bin laden, it has happened now with the... with ratko mladic and karadzic and milosevic and ultimately it is my belief it will catch up with those responsible for libya, qaddafi. and there is a movement in the prosecutor for the international criminal court has been interested in making sure that qaddafi is labeled as somebody who has committed crimes against humanity. and the united nations resolution is based on this responsibility that we have to each other. >> rose: madelei albright, thank you so much, pleasure to see you. >> very good to see you, charlie
and this is a really important day and thank you for covering it. >> rose: we continue our coverage of arrest of ratko mladic with christiane amanpour. as chief international coespondent at cnn she covered the balkans words and david rhode, journalist for the "new york times" and thor of "end game" that tells the story of the fall of srebrenica. he won a pitzer in 1996 for his reporting. i am pleased to have them both with this tab. i begin with you. >> we are especially pleased to be with you bause this is a great day for international justice, charlie. this is a great day. it's been a great month. first we have osama bin laden's now we have ratko mladic who has been on the lam for 16 years, a conspiracy of friends, allies, family keeping him from the justice that those victims of srebrenica and all of bosnia really needed to have their justice and he will face his day in court now. >> rose: tell me who he is. >> he was... in a way we were... he's a thug. this was the bosnian serb m.o.
he sort of, i think, when the war began he pushed and pushed and pushed. beyond srebrenica he carried out the siege of sarajevo. he's the first military commander to take a professional military, take its tanks, artillery and snipers and target a city ful of civilians. no one had done that befor finally in 1995 he takes srebrenica, a promise of u.n. pro thaex's completely hollow. he promises the women there that no one will be harmed there's images of him and his bodyguards giving chocolate to young children. as he's omising this his troops are forming a cordon around srebrenica and over the next ten days mlac's troops rounded up 8,000 bosnian muslim men and boys and sysmatically executed them. >> rose: how has he been able to hide for 15 years? >> it' a good question and when i wah president tadic of serbia, i feel job well done. i kept nodding as he was saying "today we've arrested this man." because they have been under a huge amount of pressure from the
international community since then to hand these people-- first radovan karadzic, who was founa few years ago, the civilian leader of and now ratko mladic-- and who knows how. hopefully we will find out but obviously his friends and allies were able to keep him hidden. they were rather brazen, if i might add. videosf him taken in restaurants at friend's weddings andootball games. he felt he could do this with immunity. >> rose: that he would be protected. >> yes! and he has been for 16 years! >> rose: you think, though, that the pressure of serbia's interest in joining the european union played road. >> i think that's the key factor yes, and the dutch who frankly behaved horribly in terms of their peacekeepers and did nothing to protect the civilians. the tch government threatened repeatedly to veto an serbian movement into the european union. that was vital. other european governments forgot the issue. they were going to just pass over the issue of mladic being
arrested. e dutch did the right thing. and the survivors from srebrenica there's a young man who's become a friend of mine, his mother, brother, and father wer executed. he went to the hague and sued the dutch government. he embarrasthem and this has become a tremendous issue in holland and i salute t dutch for making this an issue. serbia now can get into the e.u. and that economic carrot has worked and it's helped keep the balkans stable. >> rose: there is one person who would be very pleased to hear this news tonight, the late richard holbrooke. this is what he said on this program talking about mladic. here it is. >> what's not happening at the haguis equally significant. the failure to capture radovan karadzic and ratko mladic, the two most-wanted men in europe, the osama bin laden's and saddam hussein sad of europe is a mass failure. not of the dayton agreements because the dayton agreements called for their arrests-- and others-- but of the nato implementation.
as long and karadzic andladic are at large he will be actively trying to create separatism in a country as it mixes together. rose: they probably knew where he was for a while? >> yes. a couple colleagues of mine knew about this. heas probably getting pro frex the serbian military. active duty officers until 2002 and i think th weren't looking for him hard and it's only in the last couple years tadic has tried to move forward. i may be overstating this and i'm not a serb but this is a great day as well for serbia. this has hung or that that country and all serbs and held them back and i think that will allow them to move forward. there's a new generation of serbs th don't want any part of this ultra nationalism, they want to be part of europe and the world and it's a relief for them. >> rose: there's a feeling they can join the community of nations now that they have this past them. >> this has been a great source of shame. >> rose: and it's a point you made earlier. it says that the search will continue, you cannot in the end hide. osama bin laden couldn't. >> and ratko mladic can't.
milosevic eventually went. he was the first sitting head of state to be indicted >> rose: and died there. >> yes,e did. and here's the important thing, you can not this with immunity anymore. we witnessed at the end of the 20th cenry for four years the slaughter of innocents in sarajevo which had been covered by the western press when it hosted the winter olympics, if you remember, and suddenly here in europe this massacre in the age of satellite television, we were broadcasting, you were writing our friends were on radio telling the world what was going on and it took four years r the world to intervene. t you know what? they did. they established a pea. it's not perfect and you know what? they said we're going to get you you're being indicted on the worst crimes undernternational law, genocide, crimes against humanity and you will not outlast us. we get you. you cannot do this with immunity anymore. finished. >> rose: the extradition process how long will it take? when will they extradite him? >> it will be very quick.
i think they've done this before they want to get him out of serbia, they want him into dutch hands and into holland. >> rose: they can be reunited, the two of them. >> and it looks like there will be a joint trial, karadzic, the civilian leader, and mladic, they'll probably be trd geth for both, i would assume, the siege of sarajevo and srebrenica. their two greatest crimes. >> rose: this is a pure curiosity question. who's the worst? >> i would say mladic. i'm biased, i had a personal attachment to what happened in srreni. but he was... >> rose: a personal attachment in terms of losing people? >> well, just the book i wrote about it, the survivors i met and it was just astonishing sort of the... how systematic it was. what was amazing was that after myself and others actually und some of these mass graves, h forces then went and dug up all the bodies loaded them in the back of pickup trucks and dumped them in new mass graves and they create this macabre jigsaw puzzle of body parts. this day there are hundreds if not thousands of survivors that haven't been identified
because al of these human remains are mixed together in this phetic effort to cover up... >> rose: which raise this is question. e there others to be found who supported, who hid him, who were part of a support system that he might have had >> well, president tadic has said we ll go after those people who did support and hide him. i still think th's going to bes a fascinating story because for 16 ars he has been hidden and, you know, with different leadership in serbia, different presidents and leaders and you really want to know how highp the chain of command was the authority and turning the other way to let him hide. >> rose: as president obama said about osama bin laden, he had to have had a support system. >> well, there was something, obviously. he had some kind of support system. the question is how high did it go up? probably quite high in the military. >> yes. and i'll talk about milosevic and what he knew when. that's been a big question about srrenica. did milosevic know the mass excuses were occurring because it was backhoes and trucks and fuel and ammunition to kill 8
people. >> rose: so they'll learn more about the story now? >> i think so. >> rose: thank you. >> thank you. >> rose: thank you, david. >> thank you. >> rose: george mitchell is here. he was until earlier this month president obama's special envoy to the middle east. his task was to bring israelis and palestinians backo the gotiating table. today peace process at an impasse. the arab world is experiencing unprecedented change and unrest. last week at t state department, president obama spokabout his vision for returning to talks. >> for over two years my administration has worked with the parties and international community to end this conflict, building on decades of work by previous administrations. yet expectations have gone unmet israeli settlement activity continues, palestinians have walked away from talks, the
world looks at a conflict that has grinded on and on and on and sees nothing but stalemate. indeed, there are those who argue that with all the change and uncertain any the region it is simply not possible to move forward now. i disagree. we believe the borders of israel and palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. the palestinian people must have the right to gern themselves and reach their full potential in a sovereign and contiguous state. >> rose: i am very pleased to have senator mitchell back at this table. welcome. >> thank you, charlie, good to be here. >> rose: congratulations on your yale honorary degree this week. >> thank you very much. >> rose: so tell me what happened here
>> i think it's important to establish th context in wch the president made his statement so let me make four points briefly if i can. first, the preside said that the unit states commitment to israel's security is ununshakable. and he's demonstrated that. we've provided hundreds of millions of dollars during this administration to develop an anti-missile system which is a critical important for israel's security, indeed, survival. in addition to very large other funding, we have committed to provide the joint strike fighter as it's developed, which will be the most modern and effective fighting aircraft in the world. and the cooperation at the security level is the best it's ever been. so that comtment is unshable. second, the president did not say that israel has to return to the 1967 lines. what he said tha would be the basis with mutually agreed swaps. there are two princies
contained in those three wor. fit "mutually agreed." it must be agreed by the parties. no one can forcen agreement on either party, so israel will have to consent to any borders that are the subject of an agreemen and wenowfrom our discussns with them, extensive discussns over two years,hat ey will not agree to borders that threaten their security. so that should be clear. this requires the consent of the two pties. the second point is swaps which means exchanges of territory. and that has developed over many years precisely to accommodate the reality that large israeli population centers will be incorporated into israel and the security needs dependent upon that and whatever other security needs israel needs wilbe met. third, the identical proposal,
ides cal in meaning and almost identical in the very words was made by the prime minister of israel just couple of years ago. ehud olmert was the prim minister and he made that propal as part of a broader package to the palestinians. now, no one would charge, i think, that the prime minister of israel would endanger israel's security in a proposal of his own. it indicates that this is a subject which has been much discussed, there's been a lot of talk about it on both sides and, indeed, it's a widely held view. and finally, the purpose for the prident's action in part iso prevent what would ba very negative development for israel and the united states in ptember at the united natns general assembly when the palestinians will seek unilateral recognition of a palestinian state. that would be very difficult for
israel we have to prevent that from occurring and the president said in that statement speech that we heard excerpts from that we don't favor that action bause we think that this conflict must be resolved between the two parties. not by external parties. not the u.n., not the united states. we should help, we should support, we should assist, we can lead, but ultimately the decision must be made by israelis and by palestinians. and the way to prevent the action in the u.n. is to have an alternativ course. and that's the course that the president... >> rose: negotiation between the two parties rather than a u.n. mandate? >> that's right. >> rose: or u.n. resolution. >> that's right. understand, united nations does not have the authority to recognize states. states are recognized by other states. but a u.n. assembly resolution-- especially if passed by an
overwhelming margin, 150-5 or something like that-- would have profound effects and those states that voted for it would then obviously move toward recognition on their own. and that would, i think, be a harmful development for... very harmful for israel,or the united states and not good for the peace process. the way for the parties to get an agreement, the way for the palestinians to get a state, the way for israelis to feel secure is through a negotiated agreement that the two parties negotiate with active american assistance development. >> rose: why, then, did prime minister netanyahu come and make a frontal attack on the president's description of the '67 borders? >> i don't know the reason for that, but i do believe that it's in the process of being worked out. >>rose: it's in the process of being worked out? >> yes. the prime minister met with the president, they had a good
meeting, they expressed their views at the white house after the meeting and the two sides now, as we havein the past, are workingtogether to try to achieve a common objective. >> rose: are the israelis... clearly understand the danger of a u.n. resolution. >> yes. >> rose: so what's necessary to get the parties bk to the table? what do they have to do? what risks do they have to take? what do the palestinians have to do? and what risk do they have to take? >> well both sides have to accept the predent's statement as the basis foretting into the negotiations. that will be very difficultfor both of them. the palestinians... >> rose: with not much time. >> not much time. a matter of a few months. >> rose: and in the summer. >> as the president said, the palestinians walked away from the st talks because their demands were not met. their demand for an extension of the moratorium on new housing
construction in the settlements that had been in place for ten months was not extended as ey requested so they left the talks. we did have talks, four meetings between prime minister netanyahu and president abbas. but they didn't make much progress, the time was short, and they didn't continue. but what the palestinians have to do is come back to the talks. that's the way to get this process going. to get into negotiations. to try to reach agreement and to thrash out the differences between them. >> rose: so what do you make of the prime minister's argent about the hamas/fatah agreement? >> well, that's a very serio matter. i think the prime minister is correct that it's very difficult for israel to negotiate with a party that is committed to israel's destruction and doesn't observe what we regard as democratic principles. however, what president abbas
has for many years stood for-- non-violence and negotiation as the way to achieve the proper result-- he's the person that israel and the united states and others should be empowering to try to get him back into the talks on a basis that will permit an agreement to be reached. and under... we don't know how this hamas/fatah thing is going to develop. he says that he... >> rose: "he" being abbas? >> abbas. he going to organize it in a way that the purpose of it is to hold an election. so we say we're for democracy, israel says they're for democracy and we could not be discouraging the holding of an election. we think an election should be held and obviously we hope that abbas and the fatah party will win the election. not hamas.
sendly, during the te which... between the time the ection is fixed and the election is held there will be an interim or traitiol government. under american law if hamas is a participant in that government and they stick to their current position... >> rose: which is in their charter in part. >> in part in the charter and in part in the other positions and fail to meet what are called the quartet principles, then u.s. aid will have to be cut off. now, however, there is a provision in american law that if the ministers in the government accept the quartet principles as abbas has accepted and propounded and supported for all this time, then it's possible that aid need not be cut off. so we have to encourage the electoral process, democracy. we are for democracy, we are r elections and we are for self-governance by the people and we have to do what we can to
help abbas and the party that is committed to non-violence, that is committed to negotiation, that is committed to the quartet principles in that process. >> rose: what impact has the arab spring had on israeli/palestinian conversations. >> a very significant impact. it has create a great deal of uncertainty for the israelis, r the palestinians, indeed for evyone else including us. make no mistake about it, what is happening in the middle east now is a major turning point in the htory of that region. and given its political importance, particularly with respect to petroleum it thereforis a maj turning point in the world. we don't know how to work out... this will ke some time to unfold, it will not be quick, it will not be easy and it will not be even. it will be successes in some places, failures in others.
one of the things that president obama, i believe, was squarely correct on was the fus on egypt. egypt is the largest country, that has longest national history. >> rose: the largest army. >> the largest army. arguably the greatest influence. so what happens there will have a very important... >> rose: what kind of state emerges. and what their attitude is to... >> we'll have a... could have a decisive effect in the region. >> there's no way it can be as good as a relationship with mubarak in terms of israel >> that's right. that's why the israelis were shaken up, the palestinians were shaken up, par paradoxically, although they disagree on a lot, they both were in agreement on their closeness to mubarak, their reliance upon him for difference reasons. and a then egyptian government. so they have botheen shake bin the departure of mubarak and the
revents in the region. charlie, it's human nature when you confront turbulence, when you're not certain of w it gointo turn out, your natural reaction is to hunker down, to wait and see what happens. what's the english phrase? wait until the dust settles. let's wait until the dust settles until we decide what to do. the problem is that the pressures on the other side could lead to bad results so we can't afford to wait two, four, six years to see how this shakes out and how the dust settles. we should be moving forward i guess fromively toward getting the parties back to negotiations. >> rose: prime minister netanyahu correctlyas said the issue for him is israeli security. >> yes. >> rose: how can that security be guaranteed so that it will satisfy the israeli government and the israeli public? >> well, the most effective argument i believe is that
israel's self-interest is in the establishment of a palestinian state peaceful, democratic, non-militarized as the palestinians themselves have already agreed it would be. with enforceable security. now rael's a vibrant democracy you hear every opinion there. and there are many in th country who n't believe that. who think that they're better off without a palestinian state. here's the aument i've made to the prime minister in the past. it seems to me there are three facts that argue in favor o doing this to enhance their curity. the first is demography. right now in that space between the jordan river and the mediterranean sea the number of jews is slightly higher than the number of arabs.
if you count israeli arabs, palestinians in the west bank and palestinians in gaza. but the trends are very clear. in a relatively short time the number of arabs will outnumber the number of jews. so a single entity israel would have to choose between a democratic state or what defense minister brach said, an apartheid state. so separation is better to preserve the jewish nature of the israeli state and e united states president obama said it, i've said it, secretary clinton has said it, we favor a jewish state of israel. you get the second point it's technology. until very recently the greatest thre was people crsing the border, armies cssing the border. in 1448 several arab countri invaded in an effort to you ve?
out the new young state of israel. and suicide bombers the threat now is through the advancement of technology of rockets. hezbollah has 30,000 rockets on israel's northern border. hamas has a smaller number and a less affected but both are upgrading and charlie if there's one thing certain in human history it is the improvement and dissemination of the weapons of war the human capacity to kill other humans is an extraordinary development in the 20th and now the 21th century and that's what makes all of this so very difficult. that's why the united states earlier this year under president obama provided to israel the figure is $205 million to develop their iron dome anti-missile system because that's where the real threat li. the wall that was built, the barrier provided temporary
spite from suicide bombersut it doesn't affect rkets. i lived in berlin where there was a wall. i was in northern ireland there where there was a wall and now i've been in the middle east where there is a wall and i can tell you walls provide temporary relief but they don't solve the underlying problem and in this case it is rocketry. so i think it's in their interest to do that and the thd factor is the increasing isolation of israel in the international community which is a verynegative and dangerous development. in february of this year over 100 countries supported a resolution. in the security council 14 out of 15 voted for it. the united states was the only country that opposed it and we vetoed it and the president has made clear we will oppose the effort in september after the
general assembly. but that isolation is very bad for us. >> rose: what is the threat to our national interest? the inbat to play a positive role in helping bring together palestinians and israelis and the creation o a palestinian state that provides the necessary security for israel? >> you can make two arguen'tings one is value-based, one is specifically interest-based. interest-based. this region is one in which a majority of the proven oil reserves... or a large portion of the proven oil reserves in the world exist. and our economy runs on petroleum. our economies to wm we export things run on petroleum and a massive conflict disrupting the flow of oil to the world would
have very severe negative consequences for our economy and for those countries with whom we trade and if you think gas at $3.75 a gallon or $4 a gallon is bad-- which it is very bad, just imagine what would happen if there were a conflict that disrupted supply from one, two, or three of the really major suppliers, the saudis, the iranians, others inhe region. so that's a very serious matter of our practical interest, assuring a continuing supply of oil and if a conflict breaks out in the middle east, you can't tell what will happen. it's unpredictable. just look now. one man, a 30-year-old man in tunisia, was upset because he was hassled by the police for a bribe. he said himself to fire and the middle east. >> rose: but he was was what some people argue today they say look at the arab spring, it's
not about israelis and palestinian force united states, it's about a search for dignity, freedom, capacity. to live a life you see in the media happening in other places. that's what the arab spring was about. it wasn't aut israeli palestinian. >> and it's not about the americans. it's about human dignity for the people involved. a chance to get a decent job. a chance to be treated fairly and equally. the very principles that we in this country take so much for granted they want and deserve and we should be encouraged by that and we should be encouraging that and that's the way to solve what i think are the other problems. we believe in democracy because as churchill once said, it's the worst possible form of government except for anything else that human begs have tried.
>> rose: when this president came to office one of his earliest appointments was you showing and indicating i've chose an serious person who helped bring peace to northern ireland and ireland and i'm choosing a man with talent. you're iolved and off you went to the middle east. it's now two years later. did yofail? >> i failed to get a peace agreement from the israelis and palestinians, but so has anyone else who's ever tried. since israel was createde've had 10 presidents and 19 secretaries of state, there have been many israeli prime ministers and everybody has tried to do it and no one has succeeded. well in that sense you can say, yes, we've failed to get a peace agreement and the consequence is a serious one. on the other hand, we did make significant progress. first we did get the parties together, albeit for a very
brief period of time. charlie, recall if you will the circumstances on the day the president announced my appointment. the gaza conflict had just ended. the hostility between the two parties was extremely high. the mistrust, the hatred, even. israel was in the middle of an election campaign. we didn't know who the government would be at that time. the election wasn't held until february the government didn't take power until the first of april and wasn't ready to tal to us until may. the palestinians have been through aurbulent time. anher thing we've done is to dramatically improve the condition of the palestinians in the west bank. the united states with a lot of assistance has engaged in the training of palestinian secury forces. theye now done a very effective job.
the israelis have reduced a number of checkpoints in other barriers to movement and trade. >> you mean what salaam fayyad has done and... >> salaam fayyad is a true outstanding leader who i think for the first time has today the palestinian people we're in a tough spot and it's up to us. not relying solely upon criticism of others but saying we've got to do this... >> to show we can be a par gaining partner. >> we can be a state, we can govern ourselves. >> here's the argument that you kn well. it appeared that you made settlements a pre-condition and that was a wrong choice and a wrong decision by you and the president. we never made settlements a pre-condition. we did not make it as clear we could have that it was not a pre-condition. >> rose: how could you fail?
you've been in politics a long time. barack obama's one of the most gifted communicators in politics. i failed to make it sdpler >> yes. we did not make it clear that it was not a pre-coition. wanted the israelis to halt settlement activity as every american president has proposed in the past 40 years. >> rose: saying it's not constructed to finding a peace... >> that's exactly right. the criticism ranged from it's illegal to not helpful. but that has been american policy for over 40 years. so our policy was completely consistent with the policy of every prior president. what we did not do... >> rose: but you emphasize it too much. >> we did not sufficiently emphasize that it was not a precondition. we wanted the parties to go back to talks. we wanted this to happen. it became a pre-condition which i feel was the wrong policy for the palestinians to adopt but nonetheless they did it and they said, well, it's because you
americans proposed it. >> did we not make it clear enough? you're saying clearly we did? clrly the prident did the way he emphasized mutual agreement, security. >> i think the president made it crystal clear in his speech last thursdaynd his appearance at aipac a couple days later. in fact, he repeated the same thing and explanled it. >> and i explained it through your good offices and others. i it this it is now clear to everyone that the president did not insist that israel go back to the '67 lines but that he said it would be with mutually agreed swaps as i explained earlier. >> do we need a comprehensive proposal for what ought to be from the united states? >> i think the president has chosen the correct course of the
united states at this time. i think depending on the circumstances that develop there will be a comprehensive united states position in some fashion and i emphaze the "in some fashion." charlie, i personally drafted with two colleagues the former prime minister of finland and the former canadian chief of the general staff in-ye-old the peace agreement that was reached to bring that conflict to an end. but when we presented it i today the parties every word in here was spoken or written by you. this is your agreement. the way the middl east conflict is going to be end is by an agreemenin which the united states plays an active and substantive role. but an agreement that will be
owned by, be the property of and be the result of negotiation by israelis and palestinians. we can help, we can assist, we can facilitate, we can encourage we can lead. but you're never going get a peace agreement if you start out and say "he's the whole amican plan and you guys have to take this every word, every comma, every semi colon. that's not the way to do it. the way to do it is get into negotiations, have them negotiate and we make bridging or other proposals at crucial times that represent a comprehensive american plan and details in a manner that the parties themselves can feel rightly and justifiably that they reached an agreement, this is their agreent, this is their peace. because remember when that agreemt is reached we're coming back to the u.s. and
they're going to live there. >> rose: is iran a factor here? >> yes, a huge factor. a very negative factor. playing a disruptive role as best they can. >> rose: what do they do? >> well, of course, iran finances... >> rose: hamas and hezbollah. >> well, much more hezbollah than hamas. >> rose: who finances hamas? >> they get financing from other arab states, from other wealthy people andome fromran as well. they're financed by a varie of.... >> rose: turkey said to me in a conversation in ankara about four weeks ago, "we don't consider hamas a terrorist organization. >> that's right. they do not. >> rose: can other countries play a role here? can turkey play a role? >> yes. turkey can play a role. turkey played a significant role in trying to encourage syria and
israel negotiations in 2008. and made significant advance which is unfortunately were disrupted and ended when the gaza operation began in 2008 and weave encouraged turkey to be involved more now. right now, of course, there's no prospect of any movement on syria given what is occurring in that country but we think turkey can play a significant role and we think one of the real issues... i mentioned earlier the increasing international isolation of israel which is very harm to feel israel and very bad for us, turkey's a good example. two two years ago turkey and israel had goods relations. economic, military and otheise. that's deteriorated sharply now in part due to this conflict. >> rose: in part because of the flotilla? >> the flotillaand some personality clash. it's not good for either country. ey'rboth friends of th united states. itould be much better for both
of them if they were able to repair their relations. >> rose: o a... at this table this week i had an a very strong supporter of israel saying i think this is the most perilous moment for israel outside of conflict since the state of israel was created. >> it's a very serious tim i don't feel i'm a sufficiently knowledgeable historian to judge it against every event? the past but as i said earlier, those three factors-- demographics, technology that is the improvement in rockets and their dissemination and the isolation of israel do make this in my judgment a very serious and perilous time and what president obama is trying to do-- and i think the right way with the right kind of leadership is to head off a train wreck at the united
nations in september because that will only deepen the crisis from israel's standpoint. >> he can only do that if he can get the parties to talk to each other >> well, that's one way. itay not be the only way. you can... the pestinians may be persuaded not to proceed. the other is to persuade enoh countrie particularly the major europn countries, that they should not be supporting this effort. that they should be supportg others. so you try to do it in as many ways as possible but it all has one objective and that is making it more like they we can get a peace agreement, a meaningful, sustainable peace, than these other actions would ultimately provide. >> rose: so now you have worked back and forth, traveling more than you ever wanted to. >> right. it's a long trip. 14 hours over. >> rose: missing your young children. so you'll just practice law or will you continue to have some
kind of... well, i hope the continue to be active and speak out and do everything i can to be helpful. i believe very strongly that the interest of the people of israel and the palestinian people would far be better served by a peace agreementthat provided a sovereign,independent palestinian state and a much more secure israel and i think that the critical factors that i discussed earlier all can be met if we can do that and i also believe-- and this is a very important part of it, charlie, and i want to stress this, it is no just peace with the palestinians. it is very important that the arab countries in the region recognize that israel is there to stay and their best interests
lie in the peace agreement between israel and the palestinians which will permit a regional alliance to combat the threat from iran and when i talk to arab leaders-- and i've talked to all of them, the heads of every arab state almost all of them are deeply concerned about the threat from iran. they're also very concerned about the israeli palestinian thing but they recognize their best interests lie in a resolution of this conflict so that they can be a regional approach t dealing with the iranian threat to them. and i think that's a very significant part of the president's policy. to take in the three levels, israel-palestine, israel nasa with its neighbors in the region and dealing with a threat from iran in a much more unified and coherent way. >> rose: thank you for coming.
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