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tv   [untitled]    February 14, 2011 3:30pm-3:59pm EST

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but you have to live a. real life story. dot com. this is our t. top stories now. project modeling a trip to the red planet it's part of an experiment that studying the one day make this journey a reality. it's an isolation of the project. western european. failure and a potential threat to security but. instead a criticism moot point is integration and to what extent should immerse themselves in the local culture. in the u.s.
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applauding the country's journey to democracy some political experts warn it could be a recipe for disaster. regime was largely funded. many egyptians are looking for independence from foreign influence. in the meantime cross-talk guests will be discussing what happens next in egypt that's coming your way in just a few moments live here on r.t. . hungry for the full story we've gone to. the biggest issues get a human voice things to face with the news makers. and you can. follow and welcome to cross dot com peter lavelle the egyptian revolt has succeeded
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but what about the revolution the dreaded dictator has now left the scene now the hard work begins to build a new democratic polity with needs to happen in outside of egypt for this to happen . ok can. you discuss egypt's path i'm joined by john king of the on the in washington he's a writer an analyst in dubai we have to write heem he's a visiting fellow at the dubai school of government and in seattle we cross to ramsey by rude he is the editor in chief of the palestine chronicle and another member of our crosstalk team on the hunger or a gentleman this is cross talk you've all been around before and you know the rules so obama z. in seattle if i can go to you first as we sit down all of us the constitution in egypt has been suspended parliament has been dissolved a referendum will be held we don't know presumably before elections in six months
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time is egypt its government its military government and its protesters can they do that in six months because the reason i ask this question is that for all of my life it least we've been told that arab people can't rule themselves they need a dictator they need a strong man so we have a country that has an awesome task ahead of it how do you think it's going to play out. you know it's of course is not going to be easy peter but considering the fact that the egyptian people have thrown such overthrown an entrenched and rooted roots of the corrupt and oppressive regime in the matter eighteen days i think they are more than capable of holding fair and democratic and transparent elections in the matter of six months i think it's very much possible that the challenge here is whether. the list over of the regime in egypt and i am sure that there are still
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many of them out there trying to manage this crisis and preserve whatever they can preserve from their old status and outside forces particularly in the west particularly in washington and to live and elsewhere in the arab area will allow them to in fact. express and carry out a truly democratic experience i think these are the main the challenges that egyptians i am sure are very much aware of john if i can go to you right now the president is the military in egypt at least maybe their forces in washington are probably relieved by this and in tel aviv and we'll talk about the israeli angle later but the military is in charge and the u.s. has had such a cozy relationship with the military i mean is there is that one one thing that the americans can be happy about because at least they know a lot of these generals i mean they've been working hand in hand together for thirty years plus egypt is the second highest recipient of aid from the americans so i mean they only know all the names all the faces don't. now i agree with to the
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egyptian people really have demonstrated to the world and themselves a remarkable resiliency a remarkable belief and representative government and they've been an inspiration really to themselves into the world so i'm heartened by what we've seen and i think moving forward we all ought to be heartened you know president kennedy went to the role in wall in one thousand nine hundred sixty one and said lehner we are all the winners i think today we're all egyptians and so the question moving forward is how can the international community how can the west how can the united states assist the egyptian people to make the transition toward a more democratic government so i'm not worried about outside intervention quite the opposite the egyptian people the government the egyptian military need an awful lot of technical expertise and wherewithal to help build the type of liberal democratic institutions the rule of law a representative government that will allow them to have an enduring stable long lasting successful democracy well i don't know if
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a lot of egyptians would feel that way and i don't think a lot of people in the arab middle east would feel that way i'd like to quote something from the new york times around about what was going on in washington to quote the white house in the state department were already discussing setting aside new funds to bolster the rise of secular political parties topeka if i can go to you i mean why doesn't the united states just maybe that after thirty years leave egypt alone and i think that there's a lot of at that same attitude is echoed through the air middle east is a time of the right there when i say that i don't think on that one first i'll go back to you ok don't go ahead because ok why is the does this does the middle east need more intervention or does it need less intervention from the outside. no i mean i think i think quite obviously it needs less intervention at the same time the u.s. is involved is still giving one point five billion dollars of aid to the egyptian military is still involved in countries around the region particularly in the gulf
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and i don't think that it sees itself extricating itself or that even the overthrow of mubarak has necessarily meant the end of u.s. intervention at the same time the next one or two years will be a telltale sign and the direction of american foreign policy if obama seeks to replicate the past thirty years and try and pick and choose a gyptian leaders i think quite honestly it's going to backfire right now the egyptian people are not anti us they're not against the united states in general but if the u.s. pursues intervention as policy not only is the outcome going to be i think the opposite of what they pursue but they're going to have a heavily anti-american sentiment we dominate the region ok john if i go to you and i to quote something you say you'd like to see michette the quote here also in the new york times quote mr obama promised whatever assistance is necessary to pursue a credible transition to democracy what why should the united states to find what a credible transition is to democracy in egypt considering the american record of backing up dictators until the very last second ok what kind of credibility if your
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experience that it's. going to come in is going to go ahead right the united states is in trying to define what a credible democratic outcome is in egypt you've missed stated the issue what we are trying to do is. paper article dreams of being the president of the united states i am not i'm not this is not my interpretation it is the president of the united states we really don't have to go ahead i wouldn't worry about whether the obama administration or president obama is going to be too interventionist that's the wrong question in fact quite the opposite president obama went to west point in two thousand and nine and he told the west point cadets he told the united states he told the world the country i'm most interested in building in building is my own so. he really would prefer not to deal with the rest of the world he really would prefer not to deal with egypt at all but the reality is as you mentioned we work very closely with the egyptian military where we work very closely with some egyptian civil society elements united states is a world leader whether we care to admit that it or not so the reality is the united
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states is going to have influence we do have influence and in egypt the question is how can we exercise that influence to help the egyptian people themselves make the transition to democracy the military is the key institution here we've had egyptian generals egyptian officers train in the u.s. attend some of our military academies for at least the past two decades we're very close relations with them one reason this crisis didn't turn out badly and didn't become a bloodbath in all candor was because of those close relationships with it that we have with the u.s. military they're in control right now we need to work very closely with them to develop the sort of institutions and processes that will allow the egyptian people to move toward liberal democracy if i go to you in seattle here i mean we you know i am sure i am sure peter that if you. if you ask most egyptians they would say to john and to such and such discourses thanks but no thanks you have done enough damage for thirty years and even prior to one hundred of our being in power the
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u.s. has interfered all in the wrong way in egypt the their main focus was to prop up the elites in order for them to maintain egypt's neutrality in the arab israeli conflict they have succeeded in doing so they wanted to appease and please the military and also sidelined the military as well and they have succeeded in doing so although the egyptians are fairly mind you meant something it seems to me in please actually finish go ahead. let me just finish let me finish at this point the egyptian people they are very much aware of what their rights are john i'm not sure if you have been watching an. listening to what egyptians are saying we really humble all of us and how articulate and how fully aware of their civil and political rights i don't think they need the us at this point i don't think they need anybody at this point but themselves they don't need questionable foreign
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aid going to certain characters and certain n.g.o.s that perhaps will try to once again reintroduce american influence in egypt they want to see civil society that's structured by the will and the wishes and the determination of the egyptian people and i think the united states has a very historical as to opportunity right now to either a go back to the exact same way that they have been behaving in the middle east and try to interfere and co-opt the egyptian revolution or be do not interfere and allow the egyptians to build their future and build their present them on their own or a genuine require real quickly because we're going to move egypt or we go there are a very disappointed that the obama administration was not more active in supporting them if you listen to the protesters on the ground there was deep seated discontent with the obama administration and the fact that obama had not voiced his support overtly and directly for the egyptian people. the united you surprised when five billion in by the way want to cut off billions in economic aid the answer would be
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no so it's really a red herring this question about whether the united states is involved we're involved that's a reality we have to deal with that the question is how do we shape that involvement so that we you know john literally no solutions i do wonder how we have nobody is trying to undermine their leadership positions nobody is trying to undermine the leadership of the united states and the fact that they have their own interests every country has a right to have interests and to defend those interests but what the united states have been doing in egypt is not defending interests as in any other it has been foreign intervention they have this stabilized egypt they have called after the egyptians they have neutralized egypt egypt has not been allowed to be a sovereign country for three days. kates and this has got to end the egyptian people are making it very clear that we are reclaiming our own sovereignty the fact that the us is a is a regional power is an international power that doesn't change anything i want to go so i want to go to the region and the people want to go to the region before we after the break before we go to the break what do you what do you how do you
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reflect upon the debate that we've been having here i mean egypt have the resources itself i mean because outside forces it's for me after thirty years more than thirty years of bad experience we should try plan b. now go ahead. you know what this is a group huge challenge facing the egyptian people the odds are stacked against them it's not clear yet that the military is going to see to all the protesters demanding haven't talked about the emergence of the emergency law all the countries around the region are rooting against them in terms of the government so i think having a discussion as much as it is fun to have about obama and the u.s. is a red herring there are a lot of challenges facing egypt domestically let's talk about that let's talk about how to support the egyptians from abroad on what they are trying to do i think having a reflected discussion the last thirty years of obama is not going to make democracy if i may jump in here after a short break we'll continue our discussion on egypt's future stay with our.
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are. we are going to get. back on track. will have a rally will sell lots of beer will. they will wear uniforms that will damage the black family but very little damage in the wife. and they are the key to our
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problems are all right. to keep. the. welcome back to talk i'm curious about the true mind you were talking about the prospects for egypt's. economy. but first let's see what russians think about the mass demonstrations in north africa that president mubarak has gone but what's next have to days of widespread
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protests and violence leave there was toppled mubarak's resignation has been greeted by demonstrators and welcomed by international leaders the public opinion foundation ask questions what were the reasons of and to government demonstration. in egypt and tunisia twenty four percent said citizens are not satisfied with government policy thirty eight percent believe it's because of poverty and unemployment ten percent think people were driven to despair and eight percent cited long serving leaders of us the peoples of tunisia and egypt had many reasons to protest peter. ok let's let's spread it out gentlemen let's look at the region regional implications of the the egyptian revolt as i call it i don't know if it's a revolution yet maybe in a month or so or three months of all sit down here we'll talk about that but let's talk about the revolt and fear it's a revolution believe you know let's let's be cautious here i think kofi kidd hit
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the nail on the head there's a lot of forces against this there's this process going on now because the areas where we don't. feel turned out well and so we're allowed them to do this before expression leave the country that you and i both come from ok so tofik let's go to this i mean when the military has said that it's going to on our international obligations ok which is a code word for everybody that's the peace treaty ok with israel and probably for the moment it's probably not a bad idea but because egypt has to look internally first but the muslim brotherhood has made it very clear that they want the entire population to vote on this they want the public opinion on this and ok john i'll back you up one hundred percent it will be a revolution if the people of egypt are listened to and they have an influence in their foreign policy what's the what's the balancing act they have to do right now because egypt needs to get its own internal house in order before it can start
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making a lot of moves on the international stage to start actually meeting in real i mean weight in the middle east because it's been denied been denied that very least thirty years go ahead yeah i mean i think you know look the next seven months or so will be instrumental until the september presidential elections and the focus should be on building domestic institutions that the army made a statement today about certain actions going to take it did not mention the emergency law the prime minister ahmed shafik appointed by hosni mubarak is still in place after the events that occurred in tunisia the demonstrators kept on demonstrating until the new military appointed government in effect ceded to the protesters demands. so i don't think this fight is over yet i think that we're going to see a few turf wars over the next few weeks some pitched battles maybe some more demonstrations and i would advise anybody in egypt that is looking to change their foreign policy perhaps views of israel to really wait i don't think now is the time
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i think it's going to be problematic if they if they do and that's why you saw the military come out with a statement saying we're going to respect previous treaties look a year from now we'll sit back to the different situation but i think the next seven or eight months is about domestic policies john jump in go ahead so if you're proving my point though the egyptian military has been understandably cautious and slow on the dime in terms of moving the transition to a democracy that underscores the reason the united states and the international community writ large needs to retain an active involvement and an active interest in what happens in egypt if we leave egypt to its own devices. because there's a very there's if you. can interject mistake just for i could interject for one second this is very big just going into excellence and there's a difference between there's a difference between involvement and support the americans should be vociferously supporting democracy and democratic forces in the country by espousing those principles and those people when they travel abroad but in terms of direct
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intervention and getting involved this is not about the american ok we're going to go to. somebody they have their causes we should support them. i thought i heard some oriental list discourse a few seconds ago mean for goodness sake i mean. that's exactly what i find i find this very troubling peter just the idea that i'm not sure you want to. finish i am sorry i. here is they have to be left to their own devices for many many years they haven't been left to their own devices and look what is the outcome of this oppression dictatorship support. batton financed by the united states government whether you like this or not john this is the reality of it and you have got to put up with the fact that when the people were live to their own devices they brought real tangible change in their lives now as tofik said you can either support that
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movement that has been lived by the people or try to manage that move movement and try to impose your own will on the egyptians because you simply don't think that they are responsible enough to be left to their own devices. john well here i think we're splitting hairs here let me backtrack you're talking about intervention or involving versus support i think that's almost a distinction without a difference in terms of support some of the greatest support for the egyptian revolutionaries for the young people for the young google executive by his own admission by his own acknowledgement were outside forces facebook the internet that empowered people that empowered the media empower the free media to spotlight egypt so we want to keep egypt in the spotlight let me also talk about the united states and our involvement because there's been a lot of misinformation just communicate about that i would be the first to acknowledge that the united states has not always been as steadfast in support of democratic liberal democratic principles as all of us would like having said that there was a terrorist attack here in washington d.c. and up in new york city on september eleventh two thousand and one some of those
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terrorist candidly came from egypt and so the united states has had to make compromises and one of those does not mean that honestly with. anything or nothing to do it all right. that makes this i think i think what we saw with the with the revolt again sorry let me let me just interject here i think with this revolt is that the whole discourse that moved body in here were are great protectors is just pure rubbish right now the way to fight al qaida the way to fight terrorism is support democracy that that's what we should be doing ok with going i mean let's. be honest. let's be honest i'm sorry peter could i just say on us about al qaeda the number two and al qaeda is i mean there's a lottery i mean it's the lottery is from egypt he emerged from the regime of mubarak exactly his oppression his exclusion in the political space led to the creation of more extremist elements i mean and i'm very happy that if you want to
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play on the under mubarak's watch not under the watch of the muslim brotherhood very ok that i just want to make i don't even think nine eleven has anything to get or somebody's going to do and you just don't want the egyptian people don't even think of the. democracy no i mean it's always been the boogie man it's going to be the muslim brotherhood it's going to be al-qaeda it's going to be nine eleven all of these are the great excuses never to put to back the people in the arab world that's what it's been like can we stop that he does for you if you run so you can go to the other who candidly or washington has been overall and the other discourse in washington is just rubbish other has been around this over the last decade go ahead ramsey. you know there is going to be a lot of talk about talking about the muslim brotherhood peter and it's a really worrisome unfortunately in american media and in american political discourse the difference to any islamic movement muslim politics whenever it's part of a discussion. all our bearded men all don't want the the great
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satan to be defeated in the middle east and so forth and so on there we need to kind of revisit this subject because they have they got it all wrong and the jemaah islamiyah is different from from al qaida is different from the muslim brotherhood the muslim brotherhood have been around for since nineteen twenty eight. in one thousand nine hundred sixty or announced violence they have been trying their best under the most extreme of circumstances to be a civil society type of organization the are very much institutionalized and they have been suppressed and oppressed by hosni mubarak really under the gun under the with the support of the united states and other powers so this has got to change the muslim brotherhood has got to become a mainstream organization a political movement like every other more you know this is a very interesting we need to see it's very interesting in the upcoming elections
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the only large organization in egypt today that could actually help pull that off is the muslim brotherhood and that would be quite remarkable and they were i believe considering what they've said for the last ten years at least that they would support a democratic process they would john with what if that were to happen you think they let you do the brownshirts over at fox really is going to leave you know exactly how a democratic process in egypt my unfold that underscores the need for free and fair elections i agree i think that the concern here in the western especially in washington about the muslim brotherhood has been overstated having said that let's not glorify the muslim brotherhood no one is going to divide no one is good and when the acts of violence no one is an. and they have a very sordid and shady history so let's not glorify them i'm open to perhaps always losing was the last resort of a human is just a shade and i just. had to if you. just interject for one second look at the muslim brother i'm not going to sit here and glorify the muslim brotherhood they don't have as much of
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a sordid history i think as john is pointing out over the last forty years much less sordid than the regimes that have been in egypt but at the same time i trust the egyptian people in free and fair elections to hold the muslim brotherhood to account if they don't deliver if they read their provinces you know the beauty of a democracy is they get voted out so at the end of the day they are also that with us we have to work for america the brotherhood there is a concern a legitimate concern that revolutions go awry we saw that happen candidly with the russian revolution when it was hijacked in one nine hundred seventeen we saw in one nine hundred seventy nine in toronto so there's a legitimate concern about where revolution is headed force and so again it underscores the need for influential outside forces to help support the liberal democratic elements within egypt so that the revolution is not hijacked and it doesn't go around saying i want to go to you and give you the last word we got about forty seconds here but let's face it well that's going to. hijack what it's saying it's pretend it's one year from now what kind of demonstration can egypt and its people be in inspiration for the rest of the arab world speed of one year or
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two what's your prediction they have already been a great inspiration peter and i know that they are going to continue to be to follow this path of change and progress they have already inspired arabs who where and i think this is going to continue we are going to see a real democracy in egypt i have no doubt about it i believe in the egyptian people the ability to guard and guide the revolution until it translates to a real democracy in compassing inclusive democracy that. really is essentially just ending this program on a positive note because it rarely the people that they were many thanks to my guest today and watched in dubai and in seattle and thanks to our viewers. for watching us here at r.t. see you next time and remember cross talk the us. is still.
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