tv [untitled] February 2, 2011 3:30am-4:00am EST
ocracy is indeed on march how will this change the geo political waters of the region. to discuss the future of egypt and the region i'm joined by hiring a buzz in washington he's a senior fellow at the foundation for defense of democracies in london we go to the below ramdani she is a journalist an academic who specializes in the middle east and north africa and in dubai we cross to topeka right him he's a visiting fellow at the dubai school of government and another member of our crosstalk team you know on the hunger all right folks this is cross talk that means you can jump in anytime you want now below you but on the program before i'm sure all of us have been watching very closely the pictures coming out of cairo is that democracy or as i just discussed with a. dictator that overstayed his you stay. in egypt as a client of the united states i mean we like to talk about democracy but this right
now this is just a lot of people are very angry having said that watching them there's almost like a cell of celebration going on there are very you know violence has been reported and they were expecting one million people to show up two million showed up and events are still playing out so how would you describe what's going on there i think it's quite extraordinary to see so many people determined to try and force president mubarak how and. it's been dubbed as you know they hope to gather one million people we hearing that the more people in the street and it's definitely a one a march to get rid of president mubarak as soon as possible but it seems to me that the future of the mubarak regime is not so much being decided on the streets of egypt but. certainly halt talks going on.
behind the scenes between egypt and indeed the americans and what is staggering is that we haven't heard from the obama administration a clear and unequivocal demand for mubarak to step down but rather we hearing talks about fears about more concerned about the stability of egypt and indeed the region whatever that means if it means protecting american interests but on the respect of the bill if i could just interject go right ahead i mean you can lay this at the doorstep of the u.s. but you know at the end of the day the only world leader who's been unequivocal about this is prime minister air the one of turkey the european leaders the american leaders even the latin american leaders east asian south asian leaders all have been all of been silent so i think it's a bit misleading to lay this on the doorstep of the american here but i mean i don't want to say that all that remained was a guarantee he was a client of the united states and that's probably the difference here i mean
there's a lot invested in this relationship here and i think and i want to get into it later but i mean a change in regime in egypt an expression of its people's power and it's not going to be a part of the united states is truly significant and i think all of us would agree with that and again you know i'm saying israel for one ira if i can go to you i mean you know bill a brings up a good idea i mean maybe a lot of people are being quiet about this but the country and the person that should be saying the most is the obama administration and what they have had to say is quite appalling i would say i mean considering the united states loves to talk about democracy but people on the ground are taking their own fate into their own hands after all what we've heard about democracy promotion from the united states yes washington like many other capitals were taken by surprise when they saw this revolt and how serious it was and it was the people of egypt with all that they versity ideological or religious. social classes taking this stand to
remove not only a dictator but to get rid of the critic regime so washington was taken by surprise here we have many actors that are concerned about the changes in egypt in washington there are concerns that islamists might take over the israelis are very nervous because of the peace treaty and the consequences of this the egyptian opposition and people have their own this period of a democratic and free state so all these parties need to agree on the formula for room for manage transition and i think the egyptian opposition presented principles even before they ask mubarak to step down that is a power sharing between the military and the civilians for a transition for a period of transition that could prepare the country for reform so there are too many and washington was walking on thin ice because on the one hand it cannot stand against the will of the egyptian people that surprise the administration here on
the other hand they have other allies in the region not only mubarak and that would send the wrong signal to other autocratic rulers if they don't they will need quickly i think that's a really good point i'm glad you brought up the below what is the message now and that's a really good point because i was thinking last night under speaking you know speaking for myself but whoever ends up can east go flee to any country in the arab world probably not he might end up in israel which would be the ironies of ironies here and bill i mean for the first time you know we're listening to what the egyptian people want this is really extraordinary they've always been talked about is objects is being passive indecisive lazy politically and almost let me see these pictures of two million people saying no i make a difference and i'm going to turn in my future i think washington has to start listening to votes people. absolutely and what he has to do he has to stop spreading around the narrative that they have been selling to the world and that
mubarak has been selling to the world for decades now about fears of
having the muslim brotherhood coming to power it's up to the egyptian people to decide for themselves who they want to see coming to power whether it's the muslim brotherhood or indeed other candidates of which there are many waiting to play a crucial role in the future of the country the muslim brotherhood narrative is a black and white narrative it's a very linear one and it doesn't the egyptian people do not buy it at all they want to be able to they want to be respected as individuals and indeed make individual choices for themselves. it's very interesting as i mean the muslim brotherhood has been brought up here and it's been actually been run brought up late in the game as it were is events unfold i mean they were very very quiet here and then they make a statement that they're willing to work with the with whatever authorities would on the other opposition groups remain to be seen if they want to these opposition groups want to work with them but at the same time i mean it's really people that
are driving this year i mean it's even remarkable if you look at
social movements there's no there's no head right now there's no one person or party it's really you know in the first step to get rid of this guy and make a society coalesce into what it needs you know to find whatever parties are ideologies or groups that are already out there muslim brotherhood has played a very small role in this so far. well for the last you know twenty or so years the only opposition that was emerging was from within the mosques kind of in a way a little bit of an untouched area from the state but what you saw happen in tunis was the emergence of this new opposition which was this wide you know social media driven diffuse youth population that wasn't politically islamist that wasn't necessarily organized contesting the state and i think the muslim brotherhood saw that and saw that it was a more legitimate force in the eyes of the international community and try to stay a little bit out of it in the first few days in egypt i think now with kind of the
movement graining gaining momentum you need a little bit more of an organization to the opposition someone that the international community can look to someone that the regime or the military can negotiate with in terms of reaching a perhaps a national unity or transitional government and that's why i think you see the muslim brotherhood now stepping in to say ok we're going to help organize we're going to support mohamed el baradei or up poor organizational forces behind the opposition and i think think that's the dynamic you're seeing now. and that kind of a dead letter i mean on the bill is absolutely right it's black and white narrative about the muslim brotherhood i mean maybe there are forces which i hope that's happened because they'll say no we won't speak to those people ok as usual it's outsiders to determine who are legitimate political characters and who are not i mean do you see do you fear that happening. i think. this is up to egyptians to decide who should end the political game and who should not enter those who don't want to speak to the muslim brotherhood then they should
speak to their natural allies if they are let's say a liberal and they don't want to speak to the muslim brotherhood they can speak to egyptian liberals but egyptian liberals have to find a compromise with the islamists all political forces also there is. a consensus in egypt that post mubarak egypt will not have a president with as many power. or. or all egyptian presidents decrees of the power of the president so i think the new system that will emerge will have more power sharing among the political forces a stronger parliament a stronger government and with a head of state that's more neutral and with less power so that's why i don't have a lot of fears of one group or hijacking egyptian society we have all colors in the political spectrum the muslim brotherhood yes it's the best organized the position but it's not the majority the majority are still in on this i really believe very.
go ahead it's not the most organized group i would contest that it's there are many many divisions within the muslim brotherhood and it's not a monolithic bloc as you would like to present it i agree i agree i don't they have different shades they don't even agree on the single platform they have their reform or they have their conservative they have to put their house in order some wants to work within the democratic system there is another revision so i agree with you but compared to the other opposition forces i meant to say that they were the best organized industry it's usually traditionally but i agree with you that it's not the one voice one shade it's many shades and color and they still have to do a lot of for it to reach a consensus among themselves on how they're going to work within this political system so i absolutely agree with you. a tough economy and again i think we're still kind of. moving around the bush era mean it's been the way to the muslim
brotherhood has been demonized in western media and by western governments i mean could they possibly play a role that the would be the west would actually recognize. i mean i think you get a zero in the us has already jumped the gun and is threatening just i mean is threatening the world kind of with this on a scenario that the muslim brotherhood will represent the second wave of an islamist revolution i was not very important point after a short break we'll continue our discussion on egypt today with our team. and. the more people we killed a happier our officers were it got to be like
a game like young people to see who could chill the most people and the different ways you could prove me keep peace killed or be like you know here's a few brought back some of the years you know where we had the most years they would get the most fierce you change you should be reduced overnight human children in five men around the circle open up on full automatic whether i'm sixty. shooting them or a bus or some people in front of. most of the going to. be soon which brightened. movements from fans to pressure.
from stunts on t.v. . and. welcome back across town you know to mind you were speaking about the prospects for egypt and the region. but first let's see whom russians blame for middle east instability one of the arab world's longest and most entrenched leaders and a stopped choice over the past week the world has seen a popular movement phase doll egypt what will come after president mubarak is open to question the public opinion agency about us and ask russians who's responsible for middle east instability twenty percent cited the united states fourteen percent
blame islamic fundamentalists eight percent believe it's israel and six percent see western countries at fault with the rest all around the region what does the future hold for. the bill i think it's really quite interesting isn't it we've all kind of hinted it's either been direct or indirect in this program everybody's surprised about a democratizing arab world why you know it is if you know you know we've been told repeatedly that it's not possible they have to be helped to they have to go through these stages a straw man you know all of this we've been fed in dictatorships in in pursuit of american foreign policy and for american foreign policy interests now that is very much in danger i mean we have another leader because be on the lamb very very quickly where that person goes we don't know but that has to send a signal to the other dictators there the americans will protect this guy this guy it looks like everybody's lost their own protection as it were and and
a lot of people an expression of the israelis are are mystified now because the united states would create a geopolitical order in the region that served its interests israel's interests in the united states' interests a lot of those bets are off now or maybe off. yes it's quite staggering actually to see that the obama administration is quite nervous to see a dictator go because there's much at stake in the region obviously they are concerned about the militaristic relationship with egypt they're concerned about. israel's security the safety of their border with gaza for example and. they're very nervous and the egyptians are very upset to see that the americans are keeping very close tabs on the situation as it unfolds on the ground they see the thirty year old relationship thirty years our relationship between egypt mubarak and the u.s.
. very damaging as far as the their relationship with other countries in the region is concerned and let's not forget that they're very angry about the financial aid given by the u.s. to the egyptians because it goes into security matters and who and the egyptians are the first to suffer from it let's not forget that the crackdown that we've seen over the last few days. with police forces resorting to tear gas but also rubber bullets and live ammunition while all these weapons all the as you were provided by the american the americans. you know really hit the nail on the head there i mean americans are nervous to see a vicious dictator leave that's a pretty sad state of affairs because other dictators in the greater middle east are are are are are are of no are really no different in this matter they be i would even go as far as say strong opinion the u.s. is very comfortable with these kind of dictators because they're very pliant and
now with the street on fire as it were. used we have at home and we're nervous about it americans are nervous about it that's pretty prophetic. i think it's a sad state of affairs because i mean the u.s. i think is skewed his foreign policy to slowly revolver the middle east are not solely but predominantly around the issue of israel i think if you're dealing israel which some of the new foreign policy establishment like j. street new america foundation are trying to do that actually a democratic egypt is not so misaligned with u.s. interests and i think that's something that other people in the media and foreign part in the foreign policy community need to push at the same time i need to emphasize this both the pro-american and anti american regimes in the middle east or anti democratic syria and iran are by no means pro us but they're still anti-democratic so i think we just need to keep that in mind so we don't lose the nuances of the situation in the region hiring it that you know but nonetheless i mean it's i mean you can you can you can dislike hamas or hezbollah and things like
that but by by international definitions they do practice democracy the people voted for them ok maybe there needs to be new elections but nonetheless i mean again you know to go back to my original point here is it's quite pathetic that the u.s. is worried about losing its dictator friends because it will find its geopolitical position in the region. at risk in many ways because they're afraid of people's power it looks like to me again prophetic. i think the end to remind the arab citizen in general and the only look not only americans but westerners in general they only looked at the arab citizen as being during the cold war a potential communist and during after the cold war as a potential islamists but never as a human being or who has broken out here to the universal principles of. human right and for them addicted to go so it's a discovery to see that not all egyptians and tunisians are islamists that in fact
they want democracy that they want a new order so it came as a as a surprise for them to change this policy is it was very difficult because these dictators used the card of the islamist in order to get support from the west and that's one of the debates that are going on here in washington who are we going to support after mubarak and it was it is very difficult to convey the message that it's not a matter of who it's what type of system what what are the checks and balances we are not removing one rule or to replace it with one other we want to change of systems and this is what happened in tunisia and that's why the tunisian youth were in front of the prime minister's office for days and days and weeks asking for a change of regime so this new reality take some time here too in washington i mean to absorb and to understand because they never took seriously the population in the region many arab liberals were saying days limits are not the
majority give us a chance why did you support democracy in eastern europe and not in our part of the world we know that with the islamist arm of the nobody listened and nobody cared to listen to day with tunisia and egypt they are reassessing this situation but they did not think of this scenario that's why when you say they are unhappy to see a dictator leave because they didn't. they never imagined that one day it would be regular people who take today because. democracy is running a democracy it's really quite again pathetic here i'd like to ask all three on the panel and i to go to bill first i mean again let's clarify here because i think this is i don't want to get c.n.n. and ask here just because there are democratic movements going on and it needs to be developing and when the countries that we're talking about expression egypt it doesn't necessarily mean they're going to be lovey dovey liberal regimes are going to be one to get in bed with the americans again considering what the americans and their allies have done to them for decades i mean we could have
a democratic society that is democratic but it doesn't necessarily have to be pro western and i think the western world isn't ready for that. absolutely and that's why we've seen various western leaders prompting the egyptian you know telling them what's good for them historically we know that the whole point of uprising is or revolutions or massive demonstrations on that scale is to get rid of the extremist elements and for now the most extreme element in egyptian society is mubarak and that's why the egyptian people are trying to get rid of him and i trust societies to become more moderate once you get rid of you know. deaths pot basically and that's their main preoccupation getting rid of eighty two year old despot who's been ruling the country with an iron fist for thirty years and has
done nothing to genuinely implement social economic and indeed political reforms and we should trust the people to decide for themselves there are many people out there who are ready to play a part in the future of the country there are many shades of people and i don't think we should be scared of seeing any of them taking part trophy what do you think about that i mean because we we we could we're going to see hopefully we're going to see more development of democratic trends in these countries and hopefully will be a signal for other countries their spots that they've got to either change or get out and hopefully more the latter than the former because other people can make things happen but i mean again we know the u.s. is going to have to be pretty shaken here i mean i keep thinking of one nine hundred seventy nine ok when. the soviet foreign minister said the united states has a gaping hole in its foreign policy and i think that's the case here in the geopolitical situation could change even with democratic elements and it doesn't necessarily have to be a you know a call for
a war against israel i think that's an exaggeration that we hear in the media as well go ahead. yeah i mean i think honestly if the u.s. doesn't involve us foreign policy doesn't approach the air arab world in the middle east with the same lens that it is to eastern europe or that it was viewing some of the uprisings in kyrgyzstan or even iran if it doesn't involve us foreign policy it's going to get left behind they're going to lose the region and i think that's the wake up call that needs to have come to the obama administration this is in the end not just about universal declaration of human rights it's about the u.s. national interest and right now what the obama administration is saying is acting against its own national interest again though if the entire international community would treat the middle east with condescending eyes including china including other countries no one wants to see the middle east democratic they are all afraid. you know and believes.
no nobody believes that that we can have a democratic middle east and or a democratic southern military but in terms of interest the southern mediterranean countries in particular are extremely linked to western europe with there are trade exchange there is of the immigration. culture. many of these countries where all could buy buy buy buy friends or buy the united kingdom and they continue these relations and also these countries have all the political systems and institutions even if they are not democratic but they have a tradition of a modern state within a modern state their spirit is modern so i don't think that there will be a conflict a big conflict of interests and it's much better to have a conflict of interest between two democracies than to have it between a dictatorship and a democracy democracy is don't go to war with one another and this is a very important point and i think in his point regarding israel the relations will
be probably cooler but nobody wants to go to war egyptians are not ready to go to war against iran and this is going to have to jump in here we'll see how events develop in egypt and in the region many thanks mike yesterday in washington london and in dubai and thanks to our viewers for watching us here r.t. see you next time and remember crosstalk. well. new the latest in science and technology from around russia.
the. market why not. find out what's really happening to the global economy cars report on are. just some presidents to use to power as hundreds of thousands of volunteers stay on the streets until he gets to meet one spirit a few moments for an update. so they say you have six foster children or a cure for. human rights activists accuse its social services of money making scams after a russian woman living in sweden claims her daughters were taken from her by the country's authorities. also tainted to iran fear mongering grows in the u.s. as the mainstream media they are increasingly demonizing iran often without having grounds for the early game against the islamic republic. and brant oil prices
one hundred two dollars per barrel as turmoil in egypt continues to disrupt deliveries through the suez canal we have more analysis in business in twenty minutes. what you want to live from moscow i'm marina josh welcome to the program egypt's president hosni mubarak has announced he won't seek re-election in september a vote after more than a week of violent protests across the country urging him to step down but the u.s. president has cold for him to begin transition immediately a shift in rather it towards a leader back for nearly thirty years off party's policy here has more from egypt. men walking that is how the thousands of demonstrators on the streets of cairo are describing president mubarak's last attempt to cling to power but just how did is
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