tv [untitled] April 22, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
he was staying home because they can forty medications a day he can't afford his medical bills he can't afford prescriptions he can't pay his mortgage well because you zero and now it's up the wall that he thinks is government has accused him of being in service it's just too much stress and too much drama to bring into this this great bill this important bill has finally been tested that would deal with this crap well i'm so sorry that you have to deal with that now i thank you for your heroism in part telling us about this that was jim writer director of political affairs for the field at the nine eleven first responder and that can do it for now for more on the stories we cover go to r.t. dot com flash usa kevin are you tube channel you tube dot com slash r p america follow me on twitter at lauren lyster a lot of show is up next and thirty minutes away by adam birth of the man and i'll see you back here for more news at eight. sure is that so much of an elder abuse because it is on the mark when we're told to
say. hello and welcome to crossfire i'm peter lavelle we're told libby is khadafi must go but the royal family of bahrain must stay is this a double standard is freedom allowed for some well others are not worthy of the same and will the west later regret its differing approaches to the arab awakening the some. sleep. across part different reactions towards the arab awakening i'm joined by hussein in pensacola he's the director of americans for democracy and human rights in bahrain
in san francisco we cross to stephen's enos he's a professor of politics and international studies at the university of san francisco and in new york we have matthew shaffer he is a writer for the national review online all right gentlemen this is crossfire 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 in reactions to the arab awakening. what is this state democracy all security interests revolutionary sandstones have brought silence through the streets across the arab world people sponsored so-called western value caterers in egypt and tunisia meanwhile in predominantly seen backplane ruled by a sunni minority people have been sluggishly silenced and the saudi truth intervenes some point of this double standard home to the us feeds leave and so does neighbor grain striving toward so to them a nation you piers and acceptable as
a transponder interests of the west while in libya democracy is seen as a priority and that by never really for ever and the un mandate under the un mandate we have obligation to protect civilians from potential atrocities and we have succeeded in that thus the military intervention in defiance of the rebels manifest a great lead and double standard democratic rights of citizens and for greater political freedoms are supported in countries like egypt tunisia and libya but serious second dri in bakri or yemen where western military and security interests are at stake syria is just in the other example. not so new to the revolutionary demonstrations when seen in the country and the u.s. state department is there a quick to condemn the violence as the arab awakening can see as more weight
national interests all the rights of the people themselves that it's for cross are . ok stephen i'd like to go to you first hear mr obama the u.s. 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 or work are good for killing hospitals and ambulances were attacked journalists were arrested and today is the day we're doing the program here the independent wrote about bahrain one doctor in intensive care specialist. was held after she photographed weeping over a good protester and another arrested and they feed her room while an operation on an 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 started 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 autocratic regimes or we don't like 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 is refusing 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 where you think about that in new york. i think that we've heard the phrase double standard thrown around i think what we're actually seeing is a relatively consistent set of standards applied to widely differing circumstances
in libya there was an urgent call to action the arab league asked us to intervene forces were moving towards benghazi and more market off a promise to raise the city and killed citizens in bahrain there are these abuses in their tragic and there are four 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 cities they're both in the nama. 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 and all other things that we would consider normal in a in a civil society do you see that the reactions are different and they are a double standard. it is a clear there will a standard i think the u.s. policy toward iran is short sided it's 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 is 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 a blind blind eye toward the legitimate grievances and i think is going to basically turn the people away from the legitimate causes and maybe radicalize them and that will hurt the american interest and by having you know it's even if i go back here i think it's really interesting we look at the arab awakening starting in tunisia going all the way to today. my read of it is you know i don't see a fundamental american islam 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 but the more
the different reactions are so stark don't you think the region is going to say in looking at the younger generation saying it's just the west looking to find their new man in these new countries that have thrown off all dictators that were friends of the west. it'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 anybody is advocating military intervention in bahrain and i'm ambivalent about the military intervention and yet in libya but the least we can call for more forcefully for an inner the repression we can sever. our cities or ties so to that autocratic regime the early stretton
to weaken in the security assistance to that regime we can make it very clear that that kind of repression is illegitimate and we really need to be on the right side of history here and 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 it's going to really hurt our image and it's going to encourage more extremist elements that may not be that interested in democracy it imagine if i'm going to use 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 so there could be anti-american elements we haven't identified yet but more importantly first of all the u.s. has strongly called for an end to the violence and 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 geopolitical relations are already strained i don't think there's anything we can feasibly do to oust the khalifi is what they are sods. that is actually within our power right now 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 security is always brought up in these discussions here in looking at the right side of history you give it give it me give me your prognosis i mean if the crackdown continues continues in bahrain and it's seventy percent of the population that 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 west typically with united states and given the scheme of history and we never know how these things are turned out and i think we've all learned out of the last few months just how safe the fifth fleet be there if things turn radically against the royal family will be the fifth weeks they'll 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 brain hillary clinton made it clear that the al khalifa regime strategic allies are important to our interests another way. other way the message was to the
people of iran that basically we. are all the government and what that is going to do to people about her right now looking for an ally they're looking toward the united states for help and what kind of hope we're not advocating here military help basically advocating for political help to mediate into the situation to resolve it but if the united states is not helping the states is going to. turn the blind eye then they're going to look into some other ally and that will be guess who iran because the majority of the people in bahrain are shiite 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 hey 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 for democracy movement is not
opening a door go to iran but the continued u.s. support for the regime in 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 d.v.d. let me jump to the right time 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 r.t. . if. you want to.
come to the. russian republic clint's historic diversity week economic diversification drilling industry pushes for tomorrow's petrochemical products traditionally decency focuses on one pilot rooms and the government security. by going online to understand and still sort of russian innovation on technology update we've got the future covered. ok charlie here broadcasting live from washington d.c. coming up today on the big picture.
and. welcome back to crossfire computer lavelle remind you we're talking about the arab revolutions led. to. ok stephen go back to 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 intents and purposes been pretty consistent if you like it or not consistent. it's very disappointing to hear generous
ross speak at a conference i was fact i'd spoken in a previous panel in washington d.c. where ross who. has an important position in the administration as a. special advisor on the greater middle east before the about ministration 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 left wing pro-democracy movement challenging right when you tater sure was somehow this conspiracy that came from the survey union in cuba but you know this president kennedy reminded us of those who make peaceful evolution impossible violent revolution inevitable and that 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 for raining at all but this could change if the pro-democracy struggle caesar ran as they are now why not the united states and the west matthew is it really just the case is they completely ok hussein and pensacola justin go ahead with this steven i completely agree with stephen look the only political association that's that a member were not attacked they were filed their leadership ali said i'm on the yesterday that they cannot control the street in bahrain these you with in the hand who are seen that their parents their brothers their sisters they deny less that eventually they 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 would not serve the united states' interest in bahrain you know matthew it's interesting is that really this story's about saudi arabia and what it wants and
ever since mubarak was overthrown in egypt the saudis probably feel pretty scared i mean it because it was a mubarak in the in the saudi royal family with 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've really got to happen you have a new kind of relationship because the current regime that you have in the in the in the region is untenable. i'll borrow one of our president's favorite quotes and said the 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 alsace on the wrong side of history and saudi arabia will be a democracy sometime in the future but if the us like takes an aggressive posture will promote alienation and backlash but i just want to go back to one thing to stephen said to 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 out i want to just sort of draw a parallel to the repression in belarus we're seeing certain similar things go on of melrose and we're not refusing to intervene because we like the dictator look at shanker and belarus we're not intervening we're not doing anything because we don't we simply don't have the capability so i really want to press stephen and hussein were on board you know somebody are just going to be less like any means supporting the jewish paper ship or not to support the taylor ship and to condemn the violence we've made an example of qaddafi but we just simply don't have the ability to affect all the good we would like to steven. i'm not intervention i'm talking about stopping just stopping these 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 because your teacher 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. this thing for bargaining is misstating the same principle i think it's a missed thing that i think that the fact is we are supporting but i mean the guy is the cast of the used against the peaceful protesters in bahrain made in the united states there are weapons sold to go have been on. buttering get aid for. every year equal to twenty million dollars we pay them and he will run to run their base so saying that we're not we don't have influence or we can change the situation on our hands are tied i think it's an accurate because we have a lot of say so and we have a lot of influence on the regime there because we basically for this they are in power because we are supporting them matthew one of the things i find very
interesting is 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 on new ally with a more democratic face or a new and 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 are 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 crisis regime so i mean war you do something massively destabilize the middle east make the al assad feel so threatened that they had to act out well and i mean it is
a dying ruling foundling that could you know cause a lot more death and destruction and repression on 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 with. stephen first go ahead i mean our yard. 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 than dictatorship so when you have the feeder ships that's
when you get the much highly much greater likelihood of war and instability and the like so i there's there's no contradiction in this and we really do need for even putting aside the moral and legal questions for our own national security interest we need to support democracy and stop supporting dictatorships you say you want to jump in there. yes look who over is advising obama on. policy toward iran or the persian gulf countries i think is doing a big disservice because the policy toward what i mean and rather was somehow supporting dicked is the ship and brain order and d.c. countries serve our interests i think is going to backfire is going to hurt american interests it's going to cause these rich because 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 that been ruling these countries for over two hundred years not going to sustain in their current status matthew look like you are going there for a second i had go ahead. yeah i mean steven hussein have both clarified that that what they want to soften i mean first of all as pointed out still be a double standard relative for doing 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 nirvana iteration 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 the 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 eighty nine in the gaza strip
for example so i'm not sure i i just think it's kind of naive to say democracy always furthers liberalism and u.s. interests particularly in the middle east even go right ahead though those are those are those are toast various analogies hamas won elections in introductions and palestine as a reaction to the israeli occupation and to the corruption and autocratic rule of fatah. similarly ran 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 was rooted able to fill in the political vacuum and you know the longer we support the bahraini regime the more likely could end up with that scenario but the difference in bahrain for one thing of all raney's don't traditionally follow ayatollah like you
find in iran doesn't do much more the more quietest you know. it's all those people who likes astonied and those and in that tradition so again i don't think it's anything that. the idea of bahrain is somehow only i'm sure in into this you know fundamentalist islam this. state i think there's a real ignorance of bahraini politics i should quickly add that there are divisions within the administration on this issue i know for a fact because there's been a real battle in fact about where what u.s. policy should be in bahrain and thus far the more hawkish elements secretary of state clinton started defense of gates. winning but i think this can change the american people as we did in terms of u.s. support for el salvador and u.s. support for indonesia during the high the repression in those countries i think 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 all right john i'm afraid we have to hear from people would run out of time many thanks to my guests the san francisco new york and pensacola and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t. see you next time and remember a prostitute little. sister .
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