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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  September 19, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight we begin with the story of the federal reserve and what it says about the american economic recovery. joining me, alan blinder, david leonhardt and gillian tett. >> one of the problems right now is the fed is really running low of weapons that it can use to influence the economy and essentially it's relying on words, on verbal intervention almost as much as monetary intervention and that depends on the fed having credibility and the pattern of events in the last few years, the last few months, sorry, has certainly left many people in the market saying well, can we actually trust the fed when it says something? >> rose: we conclude this evening with a conversation about syria with ehud barak,
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former prime minister, former defense minister for the state of israel. >> i think we have to understand. i told american t american leadership, high level, very high levels, probably more than half a year ago, go to the russian they hold the keys. they know the commanders of this -- the units of chemical warfare on first-name basis. they know them. some of them are married to russian women. they can talk to them. the most effective way to protect these potentially dangerous arsenal is by getting in contacts with the russians. but it should be real contact. understanding in advance that, okay, america fled iraq, the european led in libya, now a ask the russians to lead. >> rose: the federal reserve and ehud barak when we continue.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> the federal open market committee meeting decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at zero to one-fourth percent and to make no change in its forward guidance regarding the federal funds rate target.
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>> rose: federal reserve ended a two-day policy meeting with the announcement it will not retreat from the monetary stimulus program put in place of the depths of the crisis. the news came as a surprise to wall street and global markets. in june, fed chairman ben bernanke signaled the central bank would roll back its massive bond-buying campaign by the end of 2013. yesterday he warned of looming risk to the economy and had a political battle over the budget and national debt. >> the government shutdown and perhaps even more so a failure to raise the debt limit could have very serious consequences for the financial markets and for economy and the federal reserve's policy is to do whatever we can to keep the economy on course. >> rose: joining me from washington, alan blinder of princeton university is a former federal reserve vice chairman. david leonhardt is washington bureau chief of the "new york times". in 2011 he won a pulitzer prize for commentary analyzing the pressing questions facing the u.s. economy here in new york gillian tett.
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he's an assistant editor and columnist in at the "financial times." i am pleased to have them all. so i want to go around this table and in washington. were you surprised? >> i was surprised and personally i think it was a bit of a mistake in terms of the fed's credibility. it's a little bit like saying someone's going to have-to-go on a diet and then have one more slice of chocolate cake. it also underscores the degree to which they're concerned not so much about the economy but about the political outlook and the fight over the -- >> rose: budget and deficit. >> sequestration. >> rose: david leonhardt, were you surprised? >> i was. the fed has made the same mistake after performing very well in hindsight during the crisis. since the crisis the fed has continually been too optimistic about the state of the economy. and i think they wanted to avoid making that mistake again. i think chairman bernanke has been worried about that all along and i don't think that he was necessarily pushing for as
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fast a taper as some of his colleagues were and as the odds of more fiscal contraction from congress rose i think bernanke was able to win out on the argument of we don't want to be too optimistic again. in fact, you heard him use the word yesterday "overoptimistic." >> rose: alan, you know the question. >> yes, i was surprised but i think less than giplian and david. people were asking me about the runup to the meeting and i was qoding odds like 60-40 or 55-40 in favor of moving ahead on tapering so in that sense i was surprised but not very surprised. i'm -- i thought the fed was making a mistake going too soon and i was glad to see them rectify the mistake. i think when you counted up the pluses and minuses going into this the main reason to start the tapering immediately was that they had led the markets to believe that. on the other side, you have to
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fiscal crisis looming. you have mortgage rates that have gone up already a lot and could go up more. you have the economy doing mediocrely at best and the point that david made, the fed has been consistently too optimistic on its forecast and i thought they were too optimistic in june. >> they were. we know, in fact, they were too optimistic for what would start to happen over the coming months. >> rose: one of the problems right now is the fed is really running low of weapons it can use to influence the economy and essentially it's relying on words, on verbal intervention almost as much as monetary intervention and that depends on the fed having credibility. and the pattern of events in the last few months has left mr. people in the market saying can we actually trust the fed when it says something? >> rose: how significant is what he said about the so-called gridlock and sequestration and
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debt ceiling and now the threat of somehow doing something about health care, not funding health care. >> to my view it's very significant, because on the economy point of view yes as alan said the picture is mediocre. we had some data today that looks better in terms of the housing but it's not so dire, the economic outlook. to my mind it really was a potential for a market reaction to political gridlock in terms of the fiscal negotiations that was very much shaping that position. >> rose: i've had one person after another come here to this table and say the u.s. economic recovery is moving forward. it would cite housing and they would cite the reduction, obviously, but not as much people hope in unemployment and other things saying that, you know, that we're on the way back. were they simply wrong or did things change? >> no, i don't think they were wrong at all but the rest of the sentence should be "we're on the way back pitfully slowly."
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this has been a 2% per annum growth economy for three years now. 2%! that's probably even below potential normal growth leaving you no catchup whatsoever to where they should be. starting from the position we were in three years ago we should have been growing 4%, not 2%. so people that say we're moving upward are correct, but the basic point is we fell very far down into the cellar and we're climbing the steps really slowly. >> rose: were there policy decisions that could have been made either by -- on fiscal policy or monetary policy that would enable us to grow at 4%? >> well, i'm not sure. what i'm sure so that would enable us to grow faster. because you're talking about adding 2% per annum for three years. that's a big -- that's a lot. especially when the fed is down to weak instruments, as gillian said before.
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but we could have had more on fiscal policy. we still could, by the way. at least we could have had a fiscal policy that wasn't constantly threatening us with oblivion. that would have been nice. and we could have had somewhat more expansion their monetary policy but it's true there wasn't that much more to do. >> in the wake of the deep downturn of the early '80s, in the wake of the relatively shallow downturn of the early '90s, in the wake of the recession of 2001 the government didn't come anywhere close to contracting the way it as in the last couple years. so if you instead have the kind of government growth, normal government growth along with population and the economy that you had back then, i think it's entirely plausible that we'd be at 3% growth. i agree with professor blinder that 4% would probably a stretch. there's no question that as chairman bernanke said fiscal policy has done substantially -- substantial harm to the american economy. >> i'll give you a very simple
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number on that, charlie. over these same three years that i said the j.d. pee grew 2%-- which it did-- if you take out government spending and look at g.d.p. other than government spending it grew 3%. so that tells you all we had to do -- for the government wasn't just doing harm by that we probably would have gotten 3%. >> the part that got me was to go back to alan's image of the seller. the only rope pulling us out of the celler has been the fed rope. the monetary policy rope. and fran frankly, far, far too much emphasis has been on that rope, too much strain if you like. and monetary policy can help a bit. i'm very cynical about whether frankly it can do much or in the economy. what we need to see now is some clarity on the fiscal side. and then hopefully start to see entrepreneurial spirits come through. >> rose: what would it take to see clarity on the fiscal side? >> not threatening the blow up the budget. not threatening to create a default would be a good start. >> rose: and the next question is what would it take to require that to achieve that?
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>> well, to be cynical -- >> rose: if you're not threatening how can you make them not threaten? >> to be cynical, but if the fed had actually other day and we had seen some bond market reaction that would have concentrated minds in washington. unfortunately -- >> rose: if the market was going down -- >> the market was going down, bonds were going up. that shows people about the importance of maintaining credibility. unfortunately you have essential allow politicians to be childish for a bit longer and quite damaging ways. >> rose: i just want to get those two guys in washington on the line, david and alan. that has fed damaged its credibility in a significant way >> i don't think changing its mind did more damage to its credibility than the way the fed has been wrong in the last few years. the fed is fallible, made up of human beings. i think it's fair to criticize its performance over the last few years because it's made the same mistake again and again and
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there have been people within the fed and outside the fed writing things and saying things that have been too optimistic. but having said that, i don't think that when you start to assess the situation and either say there's new information or, you know what? we think we were wrong. i don't think you should stay on the course just to protect something like credibility. >> i agree with that very much. i think probably the answer to your question is it damages credibility a little bit because a lot of market people now think the fed misled us. like they misled us deliberately. it wasn't deliberate as david just said. the picture has changed and it's not evolved quite as favorably as the fed thought. remember, chairman bernanke first poorly but then much better emphasized time and time again this is conditional on the behavior of the economy. this is not a pledge that we're going on a lockstep march towards papering we're going to
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watch how policy evolves and adjust our policy accordingly. that's just what they did. they looked at the facts and said it doesn't merit the tightening we thought it would when back in may/june >> but interestingly enough none other than janet yellen herself has pointed out that communication is central to what the fed is trying to do. >> rose: communication policy? >> communication policy. it's not just about injection of money or purchases of assets, it's about words as well. give than she's said that, given that the fed is focusing on verbal intervention now more than ever we need to have trust that when the fed says something it means it. >> rose: was it larry summers that said confidence is the greatest stimulus there is? >> absolutely.
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>> rose: (laughs) let me -- it is possible that chairman bernanke is not sure so he will do-- to use a washington expression-- kick the can down the road and he'll be out of here in january? david? >> that strikes me as unlikely because it's actually still quite a while before he leaves. so it's january 31 and it seems more likely that will he might be willing to shift the decision by a month or two later. the idea of stretching something out for six months now strikes me as unlikely and were he doing it, it would probably be unwise. >> i agree. i believe as much as i can believe without actually getting it out of the horse's mouth. so i want to specify, ben bernanke didn't tell me this. >> rose: (laughs) all right. >> that he would really like to get this process started before he turns over the controls to his -- the process -- >> rose: the process of papering down? is that what you mean? >> yes. yes. the process of tapering down so
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he doesn't leave it to his successor to actually start it, which is the big, big deal. always when you start something that's the big deal. and i think, again, not getting this from the horse's mouth, this is not me speaking what ben bernanke told me is that he probably pushed up the schedule to start in september because he wanted to get it rolling. >> i mean, he's a man of tremendous integrity, chairman bernanke. and essentially what he's dealing with is a situation where you have a financial system and markets that are like drug addicts. they're completely addicted now the support from the fed. and the challenge the fed faces is whether to try to go cold turkey or have a grej wall weaning-off process. but whatever you do it will be painful. >> rose: meaning what? what's pretty painful? >> what's going to be painful is that right now you have investors and companies and asset managers who are essentially addicted to low rates, who are presuming there are going to be ultra low rates
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for a long time. and when you start to raise ratess you could see mortgage borrowers raising higher costs, all manner of things that in terms of having this monetary stimulus. >> rose: so no amount of money will cause you to change your habits? >> i think it's a case that people have become too used to this easy money and switching it asway going to be a price. >> rose: david? >> there's an intriguing subtext here. it's technical but i find it intriguing. but bernanke's been putting a lot of for attention on the unemployment rate for a long time as the measure of the economy and as my colleague pointed out the times today, he seems to be backing away from that and acknowledging what some critics have argued which is the unemployment separate an imperfect measure of the economy because, of course, as you know it doesn't consider people who've dropped out of the labor market to be unemployed and we've had a lot of those. so the fed seems to be casting about a little bit for now what its measure is and moving away
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from the unemployment rate. >> i think that's right. getting keep in the weeds, but once you get into those weeds i thought at the time and i still think it was a mistake to elevate one single indicator of the economy to such primacy. it's very relevant as bernanke said in his press conference yesterday. it's still extremely important. it's probably the single one number that best represents the labor market but we have no need to represent it by one number. we have a lot of data. >> rose: is it the number with the most political sensitivity? >> i think definitely. >> i come back to the communication issue the fed wanted to have a clear way to the markets rather than saying i have a hot spot and i'm going to try to balance them. there's an onus on the fed to provide these clear stacks and help people understand what it's doing. >> rose: what will central bankers around the world say when they watch this? will it affect their actions at
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all? >> well, i think certainly many emerging market countries are going to be pretty relieved. we've seen a significant rally in emerging market asset prices in the last 24 hours, particularly in stock markets. in some ways it simply continues the status quo and mark carney in england has indicated -- >> rose: head of the bank of england. >> exactly. he wants to keep interest rates low for the foreseeable future. i don't think we're going to see any of the other central banks starting to tighten any time soon. >> rose: when we look at great britain, is that an argument for austerity? >> does the chancellor of the exchequer whose reputation seems to have grown up a bit-- you know him better than i. >> i always think and i think most of us think of what's happened in great britain as an argument against austerity. i mean, they went for fiscal austerity they're shrill in a
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very big way. the economy has done poorly. it's not a catastrophe but it's done poorly relative to the united states which is an obvious compareor and by the way they haven't reaped any inflation benefit. it's not like okay, well we paid this price but now we've got lower inflation than the united states. by the way, why would you want that? but if you do, you don't have in the britain. >> i mean, there's a rich philosophical and economic and political debate about how large a government you want to have and? the long term we need us a stair any this country because we've promised ourselves more benefits than we can afford. but i think in the short term in the wake of a crisis i find historical evidence to be overwhelming. whether it's the 1930s, whether it's japan, whether it's england in the wake of this crisis. whether it's this country for good and for will austerity just doesn't work in the aftermath of a financial crisis. >> rose: so finally you guys all are experts in economic matters and less so in political matters
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having said that, what impact will this half v on washington. >> i suspect it's going to give politicians more leeway to essentially carry on throwing tantrums and carry on squabbling about where they go next on the fiscal side of things because there is no market pressure on them right now do the sensible thing and to force a bipartisan agreement. >> rose: on that, thank you very much, david. thank you, alan. thank you, gillian. >> pleasure. >> thank you, charlie. >> we'll be right back, stay with us. >> i think a peace process only can emerge for a dialogue between the partners ultimately, especially between us that we are already about 20 years into these negotiations. >> rose: ehud barak is here. until march he served as minister of defense and deputy prime minister of israel. he served as prime minister of israel from 1999 until 2001. he's also the most decorated soldier in israel's history. in israel, as in the united states, all eyes are on syria.
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diplomatic efforts have averted u.s. military strikes for now. it remains to be seen whether bashar al-assad will surrender his chemical weapons stockpile. some have warned that perceived lean jens toward syria could embolden iran. i'm pleased to have ehud barak at this table. welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: how are you finding not being in government? >> i was asked how i feel and why i did it. i told the joke about someone went to the doctor and asked him what's the problem? and he said my work. what are you doing? i work in a chicken farm. what are you doing there? i'm the one responsible for separating the big ones from the medium sizes and the small ones. so what's the problem? decisions! >> rose: (laughs) >> i don't want to make so many decisions. >> rose: (laughs) so you have no decisions to make. what you have for lunch and what you have for dinner. >> where do i fly next? >> rose: let's talk about serious matters.
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is there any question in israel about the reliance of the united states because of what's happened regarding syria? >> it's not just in israel. i think the american position and even the positioning around the world. ofk in israel leading up to iran it weakens dramatically those who argue that we israelis and some people at the high top offices holding these positions that we israelis do not have to worry because if something serious happens the americans will commit themselves publicly not to let iran turn nuclear, we'll leave up to the world whatever happens. and those people are weakened now and those people who say basically israel can rely on this issue only ultimately the end of the day they did apprehend. >> rose: if, in fact, israel thoughting that're was about to
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have a nuclear xasfy, capability and nuclear weapon that they can used and the missiles to fire it you don't believe you can wait for the united states to act, you would have to go ahead and act yourself. >> i think that there are those who believe you can't wait to the point you have described and that even the united states will have to act if it wants any results much earlier. we understand now that with the iranians we cannot tell them not do it it's part of exhausting all an ternive thes. but it should be done in a very effective manner bearing in mind the mistakes that have been done for better or worse in the syrian case. namely to close the doors. that the iranians a clear message. we are serious. you will have to dismantle your military problem by the next
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several months. we are not going to insult you, we are not going to humiliate you in public. we are not going to embarrass you. but you have to do it or else. if this or else cannot be projected, in a convincing manner, not in the the public arena, we have seen that setting red lines and making statements in the public arena doesn't necessarily advance the situation. but behind closed doors they should know what's expecting them than to be a willingness, readiness, operational side is perfectly prepared but the mental and political -- >> rose: well, the administration would say to you it was a threat of military forced that forced the syrians to make the promises they're now making. that's exactly what happened. >> it's part of the picture. it's not exact live what -- not exclusively what happened.
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i think the -- hindsight 2020 but it's hard not to see that setting the red lines is not the best strategy and probably later on kind of trying to go to the congress under the situation where there's no technical or legal need to do it is something that you will have to consider once again and ultimately finding yourself in an unplanned situation of negotiation. it's not a perfect way to deal with it and the syrians especially or with the russians to a certain extent will find ways to dilute the kind of clarity that was there when kerry said okay, twler in seven days, give us within six months we'll destroy it all. and from a syrian point of view it's a great, great achievement.
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basically it's a victory for the next half year. i think that assad cannot remain in power the. the fact that you don't have a simple way to execute it now doesn't mean that you have to lose sight of what is the nature of what he had done or went through and what should be the consequences. he cannot -- there is no place on earth for legitimacy of -- keep legitimate rule by a guy who ordered the killing of 100 of his own people and using chemical warfare against his people. >> rose: there is no doubt in your mind that the regime and the president ordered the chemical weapons attack that took place on august 21. >> i have no doubt that the regime or the public gets a little bit out of what have they planned exactly but you cannot control the use of chemical
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weapons -- >> rose: it probably got out of what -- you're saying they probably did more than they planned? >> yeah, probably -- it's enough that there was some inversion in the atmosphere or somewhat different direction of wind and we end up with much wider scale -- >> rose: more destructive than they wanted. >> rose: >> including their own people. i listened to the interview with him and you wonder how he can show that some of his soldiers -- some mistake. some of his soldiers. but you know, you made the great journalist achievement by interviewing him but i'm afraid that in the mind of ordinary citizens who sees it people do not understand he's a clever guy. he knows what he's doing his father was very clever. he's not going to fall into any trap that you can prepare by any question but the end of the story is that he's lying in your face about any issues from
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hezbollah just working on the border to he's against mass killing, he never did it. he did this and more than half a dozen adults, small size cases in the past. we do not use explicit with the public all the information because it will -- the only thing that it will tell him how we know and he will immediately announce -- >> rose: so you're saying the united states government cannot present the evidence because he wants to know how you got it? >> and he will say immediately that it's fabricated. it's not about -- we are confident inform the americans. the president is confident, the leaders of the u.k. and france and germany are all confident that it was done by assad's regime and i think if he gets away with it and keeps reigning over syria, there's no meaning for any world order under
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certain rules. it's a stronger commendation to any third world dictator to get nuclear weapons or chemical weapons and be ready to use chemical weapons at least against the public in a ruthless manner in order to become a cheap -- at his disposal for protecting him. that's unbearable by any community of nations. >> rose: if you were military leader in charge of an attack against syria because of the chemical weapons how would you do it? >> well, it's -- now it's technically quite complicated. i do not say that there is a simple way to do it. but i say that we should not lose the objective. >> rose: the objective should be in your judgment if you have a military strike -- >> i think it should be to topple him. >> rose: but if you topple him there is the fear-- as you well
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know-- that the al qaeda and al qaeda affiliated groups might very welcome to power or getting access toe chemical weapons. >> i don't underestimate the complications. i think some mistakes have been done northbound the past. i think the whole thing had to be approached a year ago through the humanitarian aspect of killing his own beam conventional weapons and a huge multimillion refugees. there should be an action taken in order to secure certain no-fly zones, very limited, along the turkish border and the jordanian border: it should all be about humanitarian issues and about the mass killing of people. and he should be -- assad should be already cornered or t or blow go to the hague whether -- >> rose: but you can't do it. certainly at the united nations because the russians and the chinese have a veto so you can't
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do that. >> you can't do it through the united nations security council, but it doesn't mean that you can't do it. it's not -- sometimes it's simpler to deal with a small kind of developing challenge like syria when it's still small rather than let it complicate -- now it's more complicated. if complication of dealing with chemical warfare is that some of them weren't protected, some of them are close to syrian population and some of them could be air reed out. >> rose: and some may be sitting on rockets. >> some of them might be already on rockets, a lot of them. it's complicated operation. cannot easily be accomplished by
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just the use of a high -- high precision munitions. inform a way if i have to tell you honestly to get assad -- military action of his chemical warfare is more complicated than to throw iran five years or ten years in their nuclear military problem. because in the last several years the americans developed a very fine -- very high operational capabilities that makes the challenge, operational challenge, not political challenge but operational challenge of pushing iran, much more attainable than in the past. >> rose: america has developed weaponry that name idea of destroying some of the iranian facilities much easier because
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of new developments in their capability. yes? >> to an extent. i don't want dive into the details but both israel when we say that we are determined not to let the iranians turn nuclear and all options are on the table, we mean it. and america, the you told my colleagues that when we are talking about surgical operations we talk about scalpels. when -- >> rose: surgical meaning the israelis talk about scalpels? >> when israelis are talking about surgical operations against iran, we talk about scalpels and you americans talk about chisel and ten-pound hammer to execute the surgical operation. so in the recent several years the americans developed scalpels which are extremely fine. the president has capabilities. in a way capabilities make him
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more operationally prepared to destroy the iranian nuclear program without any way for them to respond except for attacking israel. >> rose: but it is also said you don't have the same capability the united states does and therefore you can't do it as well as the united states can do it if they wanted to do it? >> it's not a secret that the united states has more operational capabilities than israel. >> rose: right. >> but i see that you know the iranians now see of these dialogues with the united states they feel their weakness, probably they can get some mileage. >> rose: from sanctions? >> yes. and the other someone that they feel that somehow the readyness to deal with them has to do with the fact that they are kind of -- they're sophisticated and
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very clever. that's what they have done along the last several years. >> rose: so what do you make of what rouhani is saying when he has an interview with ann curry of nbc and he says we don't do not want nuclear capability, we would never do that. what what's your response when you see here him say that? >> i'm -- i prefer to be skeptical. >> rose: well, that's the responsibility of leadership to be kept cal. >> i'm skeptical but i will be happy to be -- >> rose: but do you think it's a possibility that perhaps -- >> you can never say that something is -- it's not physically impossible but it's very clear that what they have done until now is developing that you don't need these experiments, you don't need more than 10,000 centrifuges, you don't
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need such amounts of medium enriched uranium. >> rose: they built more capacity than they will ever need for peaceful use. >> not just that. the experiments with -- that's something you don't need for anything. but that developed a kind of you don't need it for x-ray, you don't need it for anything else but in order produce nuclear weapons. they already have the plans how to develop not two devices the that di industry toed hiroshima and nagasaki but weapons that could be within some sphere by ground-to-ground missile which is they developed. so probably under the situation it's better for them play a gambit, they're not big players. >> rose: that don't play
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checkers, they play chess? >> yes. and for them probably they see the possibility. i personally don't believe the president is weak. i had certain opportunities -- >> rose: which president? >> president obama. i don't think he's weak. it's not out of weakness. i saw more than once in him a nucleus of a resolution and strength and determination. it's about him thinking for some reason that it could single-handedly go on an extremely complicated situation and be able to decide the end. and the illusion that leaders are falling into it, i no for my own experience ott another scale you are not afraid of anything, you are ready to do whatever it takes but you missed the point
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that reality is more complicated and there are more players that are pushing more or pulling more ropes. america's lost more than prestige here. credibility is extremely important and i don't recommend to do some stupid thing just in order to protect visibility but it's important to keep it and there are losses but they could be corrected and i don't see that the president cannot make their decisions. so on syria on a way that is not yet clear, i don't know whan will happen we have been the negotiations between -- and whan will follow, will it succeed? will it be followed by diplomatic dialogue? >> rose: so it's not a possibility that perhaps because of this deal with kerry and lavrov they can create a deal that will mean that assad will
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give up all the chemical weapons he had. >> rose: probably. >> rose: >> you think it's possibly to have that deal and have that result? >> i think it's very low probability but it's not -- and even as assad told you he wants to see political dialogue and the representatives, is i don't think that will happen. it's more probably that the prestige of assad will fall as he keeps killing his people. it seems that, you know, the most probable development is somehow continuation of this chaos and probably syria. >> chaos, very bad. victory for assad, very bad.
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something that will end up with (inaudible) i don't know. probably certain alawite official and some sunni country and kurdish -- >> rose: a big sunni presence. >> kurdish federation. >> rose: but you don't seem to worry about how many al qaeda and how many al nusras and how many al qaeda affiliated terrorists are pouring into syria. it doesn't seem to bother you. >> i'm worried. in fact, i'm not just worried, i talked about this this at a very high level that they told me look, we warn you when you entered into libya that that you don't know that they were waiting for qaddafi to fall and now you you see, now we tell you -- >> rose: that's what they said to you? >> now we tell you and convey to everyone to jerusalem it's true
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there are some responsible people within the opposition but there is also al nusra so and you don't know at what point they will take over. who will root them out once they take over in fact i should tell you about the russians. i think that putin showed a kind of down to earth judgment, a kind of strategic clarity and consistency. he is determined to make sure that what happened to mubarak would not happen to his client. and he see there is's a lesson in it and basically there's no symmetry between their provisions of weapons to a government which is the end of the u.n. and our professional weapons. and he even said that you know you israelis and other people
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not to bring 300 to iran or to damascus and we do not get orders from anyone but as you can see they're not yet there but you can see that a murder deployed an extremely sophisticated (inaudible) in turkey and in jordan. i think we have to understand. i told americans, american leadership, very high levels will probably more than half a year ago, go to -- they know the commanders of these this unit of chemical warfare on first name basis. they know them. some of them are married to russian women. they can talk to them. the most effective way to protect these potentially dangerous arsenal is by getting
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into contact with the russians. but it should be a real contact. understanding is in advance that okay, america led in iraq, the european led in libya, now a ask the russians to lead in syria. and accept only until advance that tlel have a role in post-assad syria that they might not accept the idea that assad will not come to the table. they behaved phenomenon until now -- if i had to judge putin, his interest, he wants a different attitude toward what he's seen and he has the interest (inaudible), they have naval interest, they've invested the family in 40 years the capital of technology, of prestige, of whatever. and they have other issues like missile defense.
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another deploying of radars and missile batterys that it's not against them but really against iraq. and if we would take them as equals and deal on the basis of no drop of -- not try to dictate but the you increase dramatically chancess of solving problems in the middle east and you become much stronger if you come to a point where you have to act physically even without asking the congress you have to act physically without getting the u.n. security council if you do it the right way. >> rose: sounds interesting to me. so suppose someone says to you based on everything you said about putin, you can't trust him. you would then say it's not a question of trust, it's a question of national interest. he's acting in his interest, we have to act in our interest. it's in our interest to speak to him and let him -- as you said, without arrogance, without some
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sense that you're part of a regime. >> i think that the whole thing -- you cannot trust him as american but you can trust him as a russian president that has his interested and it's quite (inaudible) with what he's saying behind closed doors and he behaved in a more responsible manner than people try to describe him. in many areas. and that's -- that i believe's part of the problem that i think the americans are full of good intentions. sy saw what the president saw for a long time. they are sincere, they are intelligent and their carry the right set of moral values but the translation into action on the ground needs certain kinds of understanding of nuances that
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you know, they are not yet there. >> rose: you are saying that in -- that putin understands that if he takes care of assad that the arab world will say, look, putin took claire of his client, the united states did not take care of mubarak and that will make people within the middle east look more to russia? >> yeah. i don't see immediately but there is clearly -- for you it's not just putin it's really for the chinese. >> rose: the chinese are watching or something what are you saying? >> i say the chinese -- the chinese are watching their own area and the issue, whether you can rely on america, is a major issue in the next decade for all testimony other areas around the pacific rim. inevitably it will get a similar baht bea yot i can relationship
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with china based on currency, trade, whatever. but they keep turning into the vital interests of naval which is your areas. those areas have to ask themselves can we allow the united states. i believe it's weakened. their confidence has been weakened. it's so about america in a kind of contradiction. (inaudible) for decades in order to have stability, room for energy. >> rose: commerce and everything. >> whatever. and predictability. now when the only real challenge is important for this dictator, namely that his people stands against him it ends up that overnight testimony support evaporates because you cannot be against the people according to your values. the russians and it had chinese are free from these constraints
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and you have to find a way to solve this contradiction, to be on a same time supportive including times of need not when they don't need it but when they really need you and find a way to negotiate chinese and the russians as the only real powers together with germany and the only real powers that don't believe in the g-8. g-8 is made only for real players to find a way. because at the time the germans are handcuffed by the election. america seems to be confused and putin seems to be knowing where he's going to go and the chinese even more sophisticated. it's like wrestling or juggling and they are not trying to educate everyone. they are not trying to correct
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the world they are just doing it. so we have a major act. how to act realpolitik when not losing our eye contact with the value that brought america to be what it is and brought israel to what it is. >> rose: it's not simple. it's a very difficult thing to do. so what should the united states do now? where we are, what's been said, what's been done. you have to play out, acai supl, with the russians. >> now you have to play this game with lavrov, never lose site of the depriving him of chemical weapons but be ready to see itdom a demand (inaudible) because it will become a joke
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>>. >> rose: it xwnt too limitd? you believe it can be an action that would leave anymore power? >> no, i see that the long term objective even if not publicized it should be -- it cannot be made the legitimate sfpl phenomenon a country of 206 million. it's impossible. >> rose: it's easy to say but the question that always comes is up what comes after assad. >> i'm not trying to -- noble he cannot be in power because it means there is no world order. the price that we play with iran and other dictators is unbearable. putin togethering with the russians always be ready to follow on and to change his behavior. i don't think we have to talk so much. you have to talk less but behind
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closed doors to talk very direct with the russians. very direct with others like the iranians and they see an opportunity to correct what happened in iran. this whole debate about congress came, i proposed to some american friends to contemplate the idea of bringing to the congress a resolution with two parts. one with regard to syria and a tentative principled one in regards to thern will deprive the alliance from the early warning that comes with discussion here with the kind of this two layers of decision, complete one about attacking syria and a tentative one that also has the president under certain situations to
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contemplate iran without having this debate would bring more support to the the decision but it seems that something totally front the iranians, to the russians, to the syrians about the nature. either it's part of weakness or it's part of strength because if you leave a situation as it is now the iranians can expect even the f negotiations will then fail they will have several weeks of preparing debate in the congress. when they see that debate they will come on their own initiative and say we see that the meshs are crazy. they're going to drag the whole world into some unnecessary war we are generous enough to stop the centrifuges for six months. maybe until you would be deep into the midterm elections they're so fist skated i would not give them the luxury of having -- knowing that some procedure will impose the
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american president to go into public debate before he takes action against him if he decides at any point that it's needed. >> rose: good to see you, thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> rose: ehud barak, thank you. be back in a moment. >> we are sheep. we do every stupid thing he asks. it was a 2,000 pound rampaging animal spraying bull not? all over spain, that's what made me run. you made me stand in front of it. >> come on, guys, group shot. the. >> rose: tomorrow night, billy crystal. why write this? >> i approached the 65th birthday with a lot of trepidation. this one got to me. this one got to me. >> rose: because? >> it's a big number. 50 was big 40, was -- but they all became something. my 40s became "city slickers." my 50s became "sundays." when i became a grandfather it
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became "parental guidance." this one is a little -- you know because i got my social security stuff and i got my medicare stuff and it all good too real. >> rose: this is when society says you're supposed to retire. >> exactly. and i just feel like i'm just getting going and i thought i'd go out on the road and do standup which i haven't done in oolong time. and i started writing stuff that i thought was really funny about what gravity was doing to my body and -- >> rose: (laughs) >> it's not kind. it's not kind. >> rose: and they became more like essays and that became the book. >> rose: and did it bring back memorys? what does it do to write and think and go back and share things that you might have forgotten about? >> you know what it's a great thing, charlie? it gave me a discipline i didn't have before stars writing. what i worked on the script as far as a producer and writer i'd been in the room with other people. this was getting to the computer everyday for a set amount of time, whatever happened,
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happened. if i had something, great, if i didn't i wouldn't go. and i loved it and it brought back so many stories and so many memories that when it was done i felt like, okay, i've had a really good life. and that's what the book's about. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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democracynow.org 09/19/13 09/19/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! it is not an epidemic. this is genocide in america. we are killing each other. we're not going to have a future. don't wait until they hit your household. >> as the nation mourns the 12 victims of monday's mass shooting at the washington navy yard, gun control advocates call on lawmakers to take steps to stop the killings.

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