tv [untitled] April 22, 2011 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
these. you get. a quick recap now of our top stories here on our team the nato led coalition upgrade says assault on colonel gadhafi to try and change the course of the libyan civil war which washington says is moving towards a stalemate interventions have little success so far while the human cost for the price tag skyrocket american predator drones are the latest addition to nato as libyan arsenal they have a poor reputation for killing civilians that have got to practice or.
the u.n. secretary general take a firm stance on libya saying the coalition must act only according to its mandate . currently in moscow. last russia's war on terror and the caucasus claims a high profile target after security forces kill a militant it's believed he was involved in most of the recent atrocities in that country. next peter lavelle and just crosstalk discussed whether double standards are at work in the treatment of libya by western governments compared to where the royal family remains in control despite. wealthy british style.
markets by now scandal. find out what's really happening to the global economy in the cause a report on r.g.p. . can. start. hello and welcome to crossfire and i'm peter lavelle we're told libya's gadhafi must go but the royal family of bahrain must stay this is a double standard is freedom allowed for some while others are not worthy of the same and will the west later regret its differing approaches to the arab awakening . you can still see. cross-talk different reactions towards the arab awakening i'm joined by hussein of july in pensacola he's director of americans for democracy and human rights in
bahrain and san francisco we crossed the stevens in this he's a professor of politics and international studies at the university of san francisco and in new york we have matthew schaffer he is a writer for the national review online all right gentlemen this is cross talk that means you can jump in anytime you want to before we start our discussion here let's take a look at some of the issues and reactions to the arab awakening. what is this state them off all security interests revolutionary sandstones have brought some to the streets across the arab world people were told western baghdad was in egypt and tunisia meanwhile in predominantly grain ruled by sunni minority. usually silence and this note of truth intervened some points and all of this double standard home to the us feeds and so does neighbor wayne striving toward so does in the nation it peers and acceptable as
a transponder to the interests of the west while in libya democracy is seen as a priority and backed by nato military efforts and a un mandate under the un mandate we have an obligation to protect civilians from potential atrocities and we have succeeded if that doesn't lessen news or intervention in defense of the rebels and then it must be bullied into a double standard that the credit crisis of citizens and ins for growing a political threat and also what it in countries like egypt tunisia and libya what serious second dri in back way or yemen where western military and security interests are at stake syria is just in the other example not immune to the revolution or we the inspiration's can see where it crosses a country and the u.s. state department is there are quick to condemn the violence as arab awakening can
see is what who hosts wait national interest all the rights of the people themselves that insulin shot across the artsy. ok stephen and i for go to you first hear mr obama the us president said that the united states is going to intervene or some form of intervention into libya because of the need to protect civilians and he said innocent people were targeted for killing hospitals and ambulances were attacked journalists were arrested and today is that they were doing the program here the independent wrote about bahrain one doctor an intensive care specialist. was held after she photographed weeping over a good protest. and another arrested in a feeder room while an operation on operation on a patient was going on i mean i seems like that's a very blatant double standard there and it's only going to get worse so i start out by asking what we're going to be great are different reactions to what is
fundamentally the same phenomena. i think very much so the united states has a clear double standard when it comes to human rights abuses by i want to credit christine we don't like the autocratic regimes that are considered allies we seem to be willing to give them a free pass the repression in bahrain has increased over the. past couple months it is becoming increasingly brutal police state and yet the united states stands by the monarchy the united states has refused to condemn the intervention by the neighboring family dictatorships to suppress what is at least as a legitimate a pro-democracy movement as you've seen in other arab states matthew what you think about that in new york. i think that we've heard the phrase double standard thrown around i think that what we're actually seeing is a relatively consistent set of standards applied to wildly differing circumstances
in libya there was an urgent call to action the arab league asked us to intervene. forces were moving towards benghazi and moammar gadhafi promised to raise the city and killed citizens in bahrain there are these abuses in their tragic and they're awful and they're evil there's not something that we can do we can stop a motorcade from going to a particular city because these forces are in the same city as they're both women are much. so there's just not the same urgent call for a response to say what do you think about that i mean there are different enough to have different reactions because fundamentally is the message of the united states supposedly supports democracy the right to protest in all other things that we would consider normal in in a civil society do you see that the reactions are different and are a double standard. it is a clear double standard that i think the u.s. policy toward iran short is going to fire back on the united states and it's going
to hurt the american interest in the region because basically it's going to radicalize the pro-democracy movement in the country because the people in bahrain think there's a green light from the united states to saudi arabia and the government of bahrain to crack down on peaceful protesters you know you cannot support peaceful protesters in libya or egypt or any other places and then just stand up blind blind eye toward the legitimate grievances and brain i think is going to basically turned the people away from the legitimate causes and maybe radicalize them and that will hurt the american interest and behind it even if i go back you know if it gets really interesting if we look at the arab awakening starting in tunisia going all the way to today and my read of it is you know i don't see a fundamental anti-americanism element in it at all you see people striving for the right things i think we were on this program would agree for agree to is that the
more the different reactions are so stark don't you think the region is going to say and looking at the younger generation saying oh it's just the west looking to find very new man in these new countries that have thrown off all dictators that were friends of the west. and. that's unfortunate because united states has been quite fortunate for the very reason you mention that there has not been a strong anti american orientation of these pro-democracy movements at least so far as long as the united states is seen to support the bahraini regime it's really going to hurt us now i don't think you guys advocating military intervention in bahrain i mean i think i'm ambivalent about the military intervention and yet in libya but the least we can call for more forcefully for an inner impression we can sever. our strategic ties to that
autocratic regime the early stretton to weaken in the security assistance so that regime we can make it very clear that that kind of repression is illegitimate we really need to be on the right side of history here in the history is moving more and more towards democracy and as long as the united states is seen to be on the wrong side or least the wrong side in some cases is going to really hurt our image and it's going through encourage more extremist elements that may not be that interested in democracy in math if i go to you saudi arabia on the right side of history. no certainly not. but just because somebody is wrong that it's a minute that's not something that we can do to make them perfect again so i mean talking about for example you talked about how the protesters haven't sort of shown a strong anti-american element of course they haven't shown it i mean they they
want american intervention they want american help there could be anti-american elements we haven't identified yet but more importantly first of all the u.s. has strongly call for an end to the violence and to human rights abuses president obama has been totally clear about that but in terms of going farther than that you know we have the fifth fleet station in bahrain saudi arabia is very powerful america's military is already stretched some of our geo political relations are already strained i don't think there's anything we can feasibly do to oust the khalifa is what they are sods. that is actually within our power right now and so condemn them to intervene in libya to send a message but we can't go much further than that ok you say no i mean a security is always brought up in these discussions here in looking at the right side of history you give me your prognosis i mean if the crackdown continues continues in bahrain and it's seventy percent of the population is they treated as a second class citizen here the longer this goes on them how much more
disillusioned are they going to become and i'm talking about these oppressed people with the worst of people with the united states and given the scheme of history and we never know how these things are turn out and i think we've all learned out of the last few months just how safe are the fifth fleet be there if things turn radically against the royal family will be the fifth week still be welcome there. the u.s. administration not even listening to their own congress there are several members of congress yesterday issued statements and letters to the obama administration to immediately intervene and behind through diplomatic pressure. there were a few senators in the united states senate also issued such statement calling on the president and the state department to condemn the violence toward protesters i mean yes there is a general statement that we are against human rights violations but when it comes to the rain hillary clinton made it clear that the. regime strategic allies are important to our interests another way. other way the message was to the people of
iran that basically we. want the government and what that is going to do the people of ohio right now are looking for an ally they're looking toward the united states for help and what kind of help we're not advocating here military help we're basically advocating for political help to mediate into the situation to resolve it but if the united states is not helping in the states is going to. be a blind eye then they're going to look into some other ally and that would be get through iran because the majority of the human brain. and when they look into iran iran is going to play this shoe ation and it's going to be very much difficult for the united states to maintain a secure base in the country where they are ignoring the majority of the people and the legitimate grievances of the country ok stephen can i go to you real quickly before the break i want to talk about iran on now and in the second part of the program is this is opening the door to around. the pro-democracy movement is not
opening the door to iran but the continued u.s. support for the regime and the ongoing repression i think very well could a muslim very upsetting as are some people in the ministration who are exaggerating the iranian influence in the pro-democracy struggle as a rationalization for continued backing of the theater let me just show you the right not to jump in here and i'll let you finish and we come back from the break and after the break we'll continue our discussion on western policy in the arab world stay with our people. can still. come to the. will of russian republic planes historic diversity economic
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welcome back to crossfire i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're talking about the arab revolutions. ok stephen go back to you in san francisco before we went to the break we were talking about the iranian angle here i mean they must be very amused watching how the united states is tripping all over itself with former allies in the region here when iran for all intensive purposes been pretty consistent if you like it or not consistent. words i was very disappointing to hear dennis ross speak at a conference i was out in fact i'd spoken at a previous panel in washington d.c. where ross who's a has an important position in the administration as a. special advisor on the greater middle east before the a bomb them straighten he
was going on and on about how iran was manipulating the. the crisis in bahrain etc etc not one word criticizing their repression and they remind me so much of the cold war when whenever any kind of leftwing pro-democracy movement challenging right when you take a shit was somehow this conspiracy that came from the civil union in cuba but you know this president can you remind us of those who make peaceful evolution impossible but violent revolution inevitable and by supporting the continued repression it very well could drive some elements of the opposition into more around tickle hands so far the move is very nationalistic not throwing in at all but this could change if the pro-democracy struggle cesar ran as their ally not the united states and the west matthew is it really just the case is that it completely
ok hussein and pensacola try to go ahead with the stephen i completely agree with stephen look the only political association that's their member were not that they were far up their leadership highly said i'm on a stated yesterday that they cannot control the streets in bahrain these you with them behave and who are seen their parents their brothers their sisters get to know this that eventually they're going to have to become. violent they eventually have to face violence with violence and that's would be that would not serve anyone especially will not serve the united states and for zimbabwe you know matthew it's interesting is it really to stories about saudi arabia and what it wants in every sense mubarak was overthrown in egypt the saudis probably feel pretty scared i mean it was a mubarak and the saudi royal family were the two pillars there and the saudis are are not going to budge i mean it seems like this marriage of tribal feudalism and
modern capitalism is really beginning to fall apart it's breaking here why doesn't the united states really make that clear to the saudis say we really going to have to you have a new kind of relationship because the current regime that you have in the in the region is untenable. i'll borrow one of our president's favorite quotes and say that arc of history is long but it bends towards justice i mean we've seen that there are calls for a little democracy in the middle east i believe that the al saud on the wrong side of history and saudi arabia will be a democracy sometime in the future but if the u.s. like takes an aggressive posture will promote alienation and backlash but i just want to go back to one thing that stephen said and say that when he said that essentially the u.s. has a sort of hypocritical response because you know we're just supporting any dictatorship that will help us now i wanted to sort of draw a parallel to the repression bellerose we're seeing certain similar things go on in belarus and we're not refusing to intervene because we like the dictator look shanker belarus we're not intervening we're not doing anything because we don't
think we simply don't have the capability so i really want to press steven and hussein know somebody are going to be less by any means of supporting the dictatorship or not to support a ship was condemned the violence we made an example of gadhafi but we just simply don't have the ability to affect all the good we would like to stephen. i'm not from everywhere intervention i'm talking about stopping just stopping the security assistance to the regime providing them with the weapons of the instruments of repression and making very clear that we're going to sever these kinds of. you know economic and strategic ties or they continue doing this kind of thing i mean we we put sanctions on syria and libya appropriately. against their against their will for a time i think. is going for bahrain is misstating the. right it's misstating that . i think that the fact is we are supporting brain. cancer that are
used against the peaceful protesters in bahrain made in the united states there are weapons sold and on. rain rain get aid from us every year equal to twenty million dollars we pay them aid any well run to run their base so saying that we're not we don't have influence or we cannot change the situation on our hands are tied i think it's inaccurate because we have a lot of say so and we have a lot of influence on the regime there because we basically for them they are in power because we are supporting them matthew one of the things i find very interesting is that the united states and many of the you could say the united states waffles from country to country and is it just because the united states wants to make sure there's an outcome that it can live with actually have an ally or new ally with a more democratic face or a new ally that will attempt to reform real or imagined i mean that's what the
waffling is all about because united states is can say in principle we're going to move forward in this direction and we're going to support protestors and democracy why can't we do that because we won't because we're looking after our interests first and foremost right. i think yes we are looking after our interests are also looking after geo political stability i mean if you want to talk about death repression horrible things i mean those things are as likely or more likely to result from war than they are from every passive regime so i mean war you just need to massively destabilize the middle east make the al assad feel so threatened that they had to act out when i mean it is a dying ruling foundling that could it you know cause a lot more death and destruction and repression and a short term basis then maintaining geo political stability and promoting democracy with soft power what do you think about that stephen i mean i think that was a pretty. even first go ahead i mean are you i mean. we're talking about
soft power we're talking about using the leverage the enormous leverage the united states has on countries like bahrain in terms of security assistance and and economic relationship and that kind of thing but the thing is is that you know you put a you put a lid on a boiling pot that's where the danger comes from that's where the explosion happens that it's i see no no contradiction between america's security interest and supporting democracy in that part of the world because democracies are much more stable in the long term then they tailor ship so when you have dictatorships now that's when you get the much highly much greater likelihood of war instability and the like so i there's no contradiction and we really do need even putting aside the moral and legal questions for our own national security interest
we need to support democracy and stop supporting dictatorships are you saying you want to jump in there. yes look all over is advising obama on. policy toward iran or the persian gulf countries i think is doing a big disservice because the policy toward iran i mean and rather we're somehow supporting big ship and bahrain or and g.c.c. countries serve our interests i think is going to backfire is going to hurt american interests and it's going to cause these cause these nations these people to turn into someone else that probably will not be an ally to us probably was going to hurt our existence and in that region so it's in the best interest of the obama administration and the united states of america to find new allies in these movements because these are genes these are autocratic regimes the ruling these countries for over two hundred years not going to sustain in their current status matthew look like you were going there for a second to hand go ahead. yeah i mean so steven hussein have both clarified that
what they want to stop i mean first of all this plan to still be a double standard relative to what we're doing in libya so that's the talking point here. but more importantly i mean i'm not sure exactly is going on inside the administration what i would guess though is is sort of the abomination is sort of holding those cards things are bad in bahrain they're bad in saudi arabia but they could get a lot worse and so maybe that obama administration wants to maintain the ability to exercise that soft power in the future and i hate once again to be sort of the like the cynical skunk here but i mean democratic movements haven't worked out for the u.s. or for liberalism in iran in one thousand nine hundred nine in the gaza strip for example so i'm not sure i do think it's kind of naive to say democracy always furthers the liberalism and u.s. interests particularly in the middle east see even go right ahead though those are those are those just told various analogies hamas won elections in
actions and palestine as a reaction to the israeli occupation and to the corruption and autocratic rule of thought so. similarly around the the the mullahs the reactionaries and of hijacking that revolution in part because the u.s. backed the shah for so many years he was able to crush in marginalize the more democratic and moderate elements of the revolution so the ayatollah is rooted able to fill in the political vacuum and you know the longer we support the bahraini regime the more likely could end up in that scenario but the difference in bahrain for one thing about raney's don't traditionally follow ayatollah don't you find in iran doesn't do much follow more the more quietest you know. the toll those people be like society and those and in that tradition so again i don't think it's anything that. the idea of bahrain has somehow you know turn into this you know
fundamentalist islamist. state i think that there's a real ignorance of bahraini politics i should quickly add there are divisions within the administration on this issue i know for a fact because it's been a real battle in fact about where well u.s. policy should be in bahrain and thus far the more hawkish elements secretary of state clinton's are going to defense a gates have ended up winning but i think this could change the american people as we did in terms of u.s. support for el salvador and u.s. support for indonesia there in the heart of the repression in those countries doing enough people raise enough of a fuss and this is reflected in capitol hill i think there is a chance of changing u.s. policy so i really really i so i really think there's a there's a hope in this administration for more and the right and the right you know i'm afraid we have to gentlemen to hear from people would run out of time many thanks to my leslie san francisco new york and pensacola and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t. see you next time and remember cross talk will.