tv [untitled] April 29, 2011 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT
discuss what may be called a counter revolution in the arab world i'm joined by nineteen she hardy in london he's an associate fellow i kept house also in london we have gilbert ashqar he is a writer and professor at the university of london and in washington we go to lawrence korb he's a senior fellow at the center for american progress all right gentlemen this is cross that means you can jump in anytime you want first and i to go to goldberg in london are we seeing different paradigms being developed in the arab spring moves forward the arab awakening as some people call it we have the tunisia maybe egypt model where we have something maybe approaching a revolution a real revolution and changing the guard there and then maybe the bahrain model backed up by the saudi arabia they wrote the script there and maybe reluctantly with american supporting two different paradigms we have right now dictators that fall and dictators that are really clamping down well i would call that because you have very different situations actually even. egypt and tunisia the situation.
different countries. i mean if you mean the countries where the. succeeded the overthrowing the paper and countries where the fight this thing going on yes indeed you have. basically only two countries where this has been successful and. if i could stay with you. is because of maybe tunisia and egypt what is the learning curve for. some of the autocrats in the arab middle east i mean we look at syria we look at yemen and they are what lessons if they learned when they look at tunisia when they look at egypt. that's the problem here is you have really different situations that there is in a country like tunisia for instance. the ruling clique was more like a kind of. you know imposing its records even on on the political and
economic elite that existed before before ben ali came to power in eighty seven. and that also explains the relative ease in this in which he was ousted from from power and that the army just abandoned him whereas in in egypt already the situation was different because mubarak is a product of the army and the army is the backbone of power and the army is still in power i mean what you have in the in egypt is clearly the army ruling i mean it's not behind the scenes it's very very officially so. soon countries like libya or syria or the ruling families in the gulf countries and you could use the same for me off ruling family for libya and syria actually. i mean you have. these elites if one could call them like they're being i mean only the state. you can hardly hardly see see them leaving the scene
you know and leaving behind something very optimistic about the future is going to be potentially has more violence my dream what do you think about that i mean if we have assad and people like this have they learned from the. mistakes would save their fellow good caterers in the region. well i agree with what you've said of course but the other side of this coin is that what's happening in all these countries is one single phenomenon caused by the fall of an idea the idea that a family a dictator a. sort of a dynasty can rule a country using security services and the army and basically. raising any political life and the country.
that's redundant and that's what's causing all of that to collapse one after one after the other so so what's different is the circumstances but but the phenomena is more or less the same and in fact before we lied which they ruled was the same because they have shown the west's. that they are irreplaceable indispensable that they provide stability that beyond is chaos. it's unimaginable what would happen beyond them and that's what makes makes them. makes it difficult. to imagine life after that and that's why for example. those that are clinging to washington i thought are more in washington and london and paris than in thirty eight self the next generation is that we've seen regarding russia. and the last three four days i. approve this i mean do. they
show that there is support for person is ringin power. if you can even from israel ok ok i was going to say larry i mean i mean i really like time that it was a second ago i mean these regimes are indispensable this is a message they're selling and you know in the united states looking at saudi arabia i mean it is it is sad to see it's not really you know it's not happy with what is happening it's on it's unfortunate what's happening in bahrain but it's not going to do anything more to saudi arabia because it's afraid of saudi arabia's reaction because the united states just has gotten so used to working with dictators that are due there will. well i think you have a couple issues here and i think i agree that you know these people like barclays who authoritarian rulers do try and play up what will happen after them we know that in the final conversation between president obama and then president mubarak
about whether he should step down he kept repeating the word muslim brotherhood muslim brotherhood muslim brotherhood despite that i think then the next day then obama came out and said no it's time to step aside i think some of the other rulers have learned. i think the the president of yemen doesn't want to end up like mubarak being on trial so he cut a deal that says ok i'll leave but you know no prosecution no for me and even in syria they did try it in the emergency emergency law but i think when it comes to whether x. turtle powers like you know europe the united states should get involved that becomes a different situation it's one thing to talk rhetorical it's another thing to do what we've done for example in libya and you're quite right in terms of saudi arabia will we will try and get the regime to modernize to you know share power will try to do the same thing in bahrain where we're not going to have very little was out because well i will try. these are going to be
a difference between rhetoric and you know the actual law the actual law of policy i mean when you say really you know you look at this very very important right now to go ahead you're jumping ahead to describe the rhetoric i'm following you destruction of the thank you so much more rhetoric is much more powerful than sixteen's bombing through tripoli rhetoric means that i may be international community does not support these rulers anymore and so these these regimes will then crumble they are very fragile and people are hesitant to come forward. and. abandon ship because they think that united states support bashar assad and support the saudis and support it's a very good point frank united states the right of states is three really important and the rhetoric we're seeing and the rhetoric that you think is equivalent to
president obama. or market action and going to the street and shooting people themselves in syria when when they go with the united nation they're giving the regime life to kill ok gilbert i want to go to get in line here i think this is you guys have gotten to where i really want to get in this program i mean there is this obvious double standard here well once again i already had. i think everyone is extremely optimistic first of all of believing that all the regimes will collapse. and secondly there are three torrie is more powerful than than weapons and all that well i think. if you had all the rhetorical in libya use in libya the station in libya would have been stabilized under his rule long ago actually. and not really stream your pianistic about the scenario in syria. so it's not it's not that easy because precisely as i said there's
a basic difference between countries like egypt and tunisia and countries like libya and syria all the ruling families in the gulf. all the state actually if ever you can imagine anything you know stopping them from crushing the most bloody man or the mass uprising. broad split in the purpose and something leading to some forms of civil war as we have seen in libya and could happen in syria actually if the movement could carry on so i wouldn't be. this is the most the scream this is this is this scream regime wants you to believe beyond it's chaos that if the if you can what's not is not it's six thirty and civil war. on the right is not wanting it is only going to larry i want to go to larry but i mean if if if if we if we buy that then we get
this boiling pot and then we get chaos anyway i mean it's always once it started this process has started you're really not going to be able to turn it off we're going to be in syria and iran does the right to stay you'll see you know why this was so good only areas first is going to larry going to marry. ok the united states wants assad to go the question is that there's no way that they can do it in and a cost effective manner in terms of intervening because on like egypt the military and the police support assad and similarly in terms of the rhetoric they would like be the saudis and the bar. what how do we know i mean for gosh sakes i mean when we went into libya the reason that that we know that we did it is the arab league asked us to go away and so we did not want to have a situation where the united states particularly you did not see them as they were going to do it you should have been the willing to let me finish ok let me finish i don't interrupt you ok let's look ok now let me finish air let me finish here you
know let me make my point ok well let me finish i don't interrupt through when you're speaking ok i'm just saying that the united states does know there's no way in which the west can interfere in syria without making the situation worse on the ground rhetorical you they are saying they've condemned what assad is doing but in terms of the ability to do something it's not like libya where you had the rebels had taken control larry and we're jumping right here we have to go to a break after that break we'll continue our discussion on the arab spring stay with arkie. can. stay.
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kitchen. stewards. welcome back to cross talk i'm peter lobo to remind you we're talking about the revolutions in the arab world. q. ok gilbert i think about the u.n. line and i very much appreciate the differentiations that you showed us in the beginning of the program i think you're spot on there and but at the same time there is a universal value that is. preached by the west particularly the united states is the value of democracy now should not just be
a blanket application that everyone should have the right to democratic values and to a civil society where they can participate in that is a single message and is it being applied very specifically in the region right now because i think the people in bahrain feel that way. no of course you're exactly putting your finger were were should be i mean this is sheer hypocrisy that we are we are seeing when we deal with the west as you know holder of values and inspired by such values in its approach to the political situation in the region first of all we shouldn't forget. the west quite a long time before they you know. play it as if they were on the side of of popular uprisings and democracy for they have been you know maintaining close relations was all sort of despotic regimes in the region for decades and
decades and even when the movement started the first reaction of paris for instance was to offer ben ali in tunisia a picnic will help for the repression of the rest of the rebellion there and it's only after that when the really the uprising reached very big proportions that they failed ashamed and embarrassed and the same could go for washington and when you go to to egypt they start very long then to almost a lame man and all that and if we go beyond that also we were speaking of interventions in in libya and syria. if people are speaking about that this is because these are two regimes which are not completely friendly to the west even though they're fearful for the last few years have been a close call a breaker of the west and recently the former head of the cia actually was explaining how good you know what contributed to the cia's and united states
so-called war on terror has been so but when you look precisely at the gulf cooperation council countries where in bahrain where saudi troops are plus other gulf troops intervened well we didn't hear much protest. or a threat so full of intervention on the side of washington or do if you will and i just came here and we would let me let me jump in here and not have to do so you let's. go have a look at mr obama had to say about and this is really about so eurabia he said my poll numbers go up and down depending on the latest crisis and right now gas prices are weighing heavily on people that's all about saudi arabia what do you think larry that's all about saudi arabia is that all about us it is truly and i saw it in the united states you know as an energy policy they're not going to have the freedom that they would like to deal with such a great look this is not just the middle east you know what happened to the tiananmen square back in nineteen eighty nine you know thousands of people were
killed but yet the world deals with you know with with china look what happened you know look what's happened in russia in terms of things that have happened so the idea that somehow or another the united states with or without its allies is going to make the world democratic you know larry larry let me say in a different way than just let me let me say in a different way why can't obama just say look folks beat this regime in saudi arabia they're not very nice people they live centuries in the past but you know what we just have to deal with these guys they're thugs but it's price can't why can't we be transparent and i can be a translator saudi ok little caden i'm not even going to shout easily say that you know you're making it you're making it much more coherent than it is i think about president obama basically does not have a strategy president obama was doing exactly the opposite of what president bush was doing thinking that you know the mirror image of bush would give him broker
larry things so president bush was isolating the dictators refusing to going he was engaging with them president bush was talking about that all creates the values he went to cairo and apologized for democracy. reassured to dictators that he will not impose any value on them but he understands he understands their specificities and all that so had he caught hold of the motivation budgets in washington and. so i was basically engaged in a real moving towards real lives and working with the dictators for stability we really admire our state because it's backfired on him because it was the wrong timing. for the that's base that's basically what it is it's not or it's not it's lack of vision lack of strategy hesitation he took him two weeks to
make up and i i mean even so on every one of those who are saying you know grade girls are just. jumping. grade you're going no i'm not jumping in but ok come on to say what those who say that bush had to say that. you know bugger all the paper ships in the region well he exhibited very mild pressure on mubarak to to to get you know more more space in the elections in two thousand and five and all he could do any changes. next year to anyone. yes yes exactly a natural connection here sure sure nobody has illustrations are not unique or is he so old he saw what happened no no no he continued you know birkenhead but. when it comes to the saudi kingdom you know the misty had extremely good relations with the dynasty including george w. bush. and that's the key point here this is the most undemocratic state in the
region the most logical way to say wait a second can't compare them or syria to saudi arabia in terms of all come on although i don't. so you can compare of. course no it's not a democracy because i can read only as you hear your. own i mean the people here live a consideration later when you have a really really come on. this is this is a right i mean either you don't know these countries or i was saying the most undemocratic state on earth is the saudi kingdom the best friend of the united states of america but in terms of the quality of life for the people there like it was amazing and your desire really is in syria. and i have to jump in here i have to jump in here if i want to change had all the oil of the saudi kingdom of course the people would have
a better quality of life in syria i mean this is nothing. you know and the fact actually if you look at the real figures of the saudi kingdom the fact that you have poverty in the saudi kingdom the spiders are huge always wealth a lot of the kind of regime that you have there all right you know and this is what i mean by any standard if you think the women standard which also has been used by western countries and by its states as a pretext in iraq or afghanistan or anything like that well what about the saudi kingdom which is one of the most appalling situation for women is the most appalling after the taliban have vanished on earth and when you compare the iran to the saudi kingdom you're on the then suddenly look as if you cannot proceed ok gentlemen i want to jump in here i want to change gears here and let him i want to go to you what about the question of iran because this is you know everyone be it what a great card in washington is to play the around card ok how threatening it is to the region and everything like that and the saudi family hates around ok now they're playing their cards right now here is is just opening the door to the
iranians because it certainly looks like it in many ways we could really change the regime around depending on how things the region around putting on how things go ahead. listen any question you are past three months ago is not about it anymore. the region is changing you have a systemic change when it when the whole system is collapsing and all its components are collapsing so it's it's no longer the sunni's versus the ship or iran versus the versus saudi arabia or or or if it's like fundamentalism all even i think even the palestine question is going to be seen in a completely different way than your generation sees these things and this is there because of their of their parents it's my dad and my grandfather think it's a twentieth it's so twentieth century it's redundant they want to move on so so one has to i just do new ideas new and it's very difficult it's very difficult to
understand what's happening it's very difficult to adjust to it and that's why the policymakers are making so many mistakes and the mistakes aren't they sleeping themselves into casualties on the other you bring on location and even you know you bring up a very good point you didn't use the word i used to be in the program gilbert didn't like our used is only used in a different way a new paradigm what is the new paradigm is coming into play gilbert if i go to you maybe i'll use the word the right way to start. ok with the new paradigm i can't see any new again i mean because you have very situation what you have in common is this shock wave this uprising this is a people which covered the whole region which was facilitated this time but of course modern means of communication the fact that people can now see what is happening almost in real time and that played a tremendous role in the events and of course this combined with the common
language in the arab countries explains how the uprising spread so first to get all the arab countries because they had income and so many factors. of you know the worst possible indicators when it comes to development when it comes to unemployment when it comes to inflation when it comes to you know all these considerations and one example of that i want to jump in here i want to give i want to see everybody this particular gene i want to be fair to everyone larry i'm going to give you the last word i'm going to ask you question is the united states finally on the right side of history and. well i think they're getting closer but you know you look at each case each case individually and you can't and this idea that you can have a doctor in a one size fits all is simply not true there's a big difference between each of these countries what the people want the way you know the way the world is treat the people and everything so to say well because it happened in libya and happened in syria you know it's really not true and if you
take a look at egypt the real question in my mind goes egypt become turkey or is it become pakistan because as was pointed out earlier the military is going to have. to jump in here ok many thanks to my guests today in london and in washington and thanks to our viewers for watching us here darkie see you next time and remember crosstalk. wolf. bringing you the latest in science jim signals from the ground flushed.
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