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tv   [untitled]    May 20, 2011 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT

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holiday in seclusion in listening to all of it in the social scale it's all. in the region country club so the only sure thing for this piece of the first or at all sure convinced switzer still doesn't hold bill to let me go it's cold cold eager to go it's. a complex conflict one that has been going on for decades so as the u.s. acts as mediator yet again between israel and palestine will go over the border ever and with an agreement. but it's not only both that should try thing i when it comes to the border friends are starting to disagree too so as obama and netanyahu gather at the white house we'll explore how deep the relationship really runs between israel and the u.s. . the war nor in the law what it is inconvenient that is not who we are.
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but is it who we are today that was senator obama talking but is president obama's these days sixty in libya a deadline for ending the conflict is he now breaking a law. that afternoon it's friday may twentieth four pm in washington d.c. i'm lauren lester and your watching our t.v. now we've seen u.s. and israeli literate leaders give speeches in press conferences over the last two days everyone wants peace but no one wants to pay it's a reality that echoes in the chambers of the conflict between israel and palestine and what that payment will be and how to collect remains central to this great debate but what is the role of the u.s. and why decade after decade there's little progress seem to be made artie's christine presided takes a look inside the many sides of this complex conflict. it is
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a scene own too familiar in this region a protest on israel's border that leads. to violence was here it was the may fifteenth protest marking what palestinians call nakba or catastrophe the creation of the state of israel on this state in one thousand nine hundred because for israel it was a matter of security according to dan pollack co-director of the zionist organization of america i don't know what any country would do when people gather on your border and come across a violation of the law. but for palestinians it is the continuation of a seemingly endless fight for an independent palestinian state a fight in which u.s. leaders try time and time again to play a chief negotiator from president carter to reagan to george h.w. bush to president clinton george w. bush and now the obama administration he said we believe the borders of israel
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palestine should be based on the nine hundred sixty seven lines with mutually agreed swaps. so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states an unusually blunt endorsement of an end to israeli occupation of arab land by u.s. president the idea was immediately rejected by prime minister benjamin netanyahu israel argues peace cannot come at the cost of its security with continued palestinian rocket attacks but there is one thing both sides actually agree on when it comes to the u.s. role as mediator it approaches they say is all wrong american policy is built on misconceptions a wrong view of the causes of the conflict and a prescription that doesn't stand up to even the most rational scrutiny of the question is not why don't we have a solution at this point but why on earth should we expect to have a solution with this system as it is today use of money you are with the jerusalem
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project says talk is cheap in the us says it's in gage's in the process of a two state solution but is funding and supporting behavior by israel it simultaneously working against somebody bribing somebody to change their behavior doesn't work when you've spoiled them ron a recent example in november the us offered several billion dollars in military assistance to israel if it put off the construction of jewish settlements for three months the regardless award obama say is or how he sees it and he says it better have been bush but what he does is to say the costs of peace are high high cost of broady and at home pro israel many accounting for between one quarter and one third of all donations to the major political parties a concern for many including former u.s. congresswoman cynthia mckinney they want the executive branch state what they call the legislative branch pro israel campaign contributors totaled nearly twelve
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million dollars in two thousand and ten far higher than other. major donors making increasing the pressure on israel a politically daunting prospect especially elections so we're going to see more of this is a lot of good with the need to show support for the arab spring and a reconciliation between the two palestinian factions u.s. leaders need to pressure some reports. again christine for zero r.t. . now just looking back we want to give a little overview of some of the high or low points you could see them in u.s. israel relations looking back to nine hundred forty eight israel declared independence on may fourteenth the united states announced defacto recognition only minutes after the announcement what was independence for israel though the arabs called the nakba or the catastrophe now in one thousand the seven you've heard of the six day war between israel and neighboring arab states the us was neutral but
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the us saw an attack on one of its naval ships the u.s.s. liberty by an israeli air force fighter jet now despite killing thirty four crew members and a conclusion that the attack was a mistake a case of confused identity where the findings some survivors and u.s. diplomats continue to dispute the official findings they allege it was not a mistake and this remains the only maritime incident in the u.s. history where u.s. military forces were killed and it was never investigated by congress and let's go to camp david this was the site of agreements and breakdowns in negotiations back in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight picture there there were some negotiations that resulted in a deal between egypt and israel but then in two thousand this was the site where israel and palestinian leaders got together to try to negotiate a deal with then president bill clinton you see there. to end the israeli palestinian conflict and it failed settlement was not reached it was unsuccessful
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so those are those are a few of some of the main points we just wanted to point out to give a little bit of context for our discussion now. and joining me is someone who knows very very well the ins and outs of diplomacy and foreign policy he has been a longtime person who has worked in this field for the united states he is chad's freeman the former ambassador to saudi arabia among other titles ambassador thanks so much for being with us so i want to start with the latest news you know we've seen over the last two days we saw president obama come out yesterday in a very very public speech very watch saying that peace between israel and palestine needed to be a two state solution going back to the one nine hundred sixty seven borders and then today you saw israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu sitting right next to president obama say absolutely not the one nine hundred sixty seven borders will never fly that makes israel indefensible i mean this is obviously not a simple thing to get past a question for you is the u.s. involvement in brokering a deal between the two the two factions is there
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a point is this futile. well we're involved one way or another because of course we subsidize israel heavily with tax dollars. with weaponry. to conduct its occupation of these territories so even if we don't try to we are there. i think the cost of the conflict has become so. generating instability terrorism moral dilemmas for for us as well as the people in the region. it's become the key to our whole policy in our whole position in the middle east and we really don't have a choice we've got to do what we can so with president obama coming out saying what he did. doesn't matter what he said because as you mentioned money talks the united states has given more aid to israel than any other foreign country just one hundred
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eighty five i think it's three billion dollars a year is the annual average that seems to say the united states will support israel and does no matter what's said publicly is that the case well that's been a problem because israel suffers from a moral hazard it doesn't have to weigh the consequences for itself in the long term when it makes a decision in the present in the shorter so it has made a whole series of decisions including putting all these settlements into what. is left of palestinian territory. and thereby making it almost physically impossible to have a two state solution the alternative to a two state solution is some sort of a party that is second class citizenship and israel proper for its population and no rights whatsoever for palestinians under occupation that's not acceptable to anybody it is seems acceptable to some people that are complicit in the united
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states and also they see it very differently. and israel and i want to point to that you know you say the moral hazard and you mentioned some of these consequences but you know on the flip side you see the israeli prime minister saying no way you know obama the united states leaders are not living in reality they don't understand our reality israel needs to be able to defend itself and it can't with what they're calling for they don't see it as more of that when you say that well actually what he said was areas in what he called. which is the occupied territories the settlements in there would be indefensible but of course there are a defensible they were illegal from the beginning nobody in the world outside israel accepts them and so that's really the whole issue so basically what he's saying is what the charter says which is that the palestinians cannot have an independent state they can have something if they want to call it a state even resembles an indian reservation they can do that but this is not
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a new position for mr netanyahu i would say also not a new position for american presidents to talk about. sixty seven borders really the whole the whole talking point of this is that this is the first president to it publicly said that. george w. bush said this. richard nixon said it in nine hundred seventy three. resolution two forty two which the united states voted for at the united nations so it is nothing new at all so it's not news it's news only because there's been a kind of. conspiracy of silence we went from saying that the settlement process settlements were illegal and saying that they were an obstacle to peace saying that they were something that had to be negotiated. legally. you know that was all
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happening last year around this. time and it was also when the apac conference was going on the pro israel lobby the powerful probably israel lobby is going on again now and i remember back then people that were delegates were at that conference saying they expected an apology over the public statements of the u.s. on settlements by secretary of state hillary clinton who spoke and they were all saying you know obama he may be a one term president do you think that what's going on now politically for obama has put him in a dubious position well i think it's probably complicated his relationship with some important donors in the american jewish community but i don't think it means he can't be reelected i think it's just the complication the more amazing thing to me is that here is a foreign prime minister coming to the united states. going to speak to the congress deliberately. to undercut the statement that you know the president was
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going to be making. organizing meeting in washington against the president the united states and that's really rather unusual what i mean organizing a meeting against the president i mean a pact meeting the president speaking at it that's the point isn't it. talk about why it matters it matters a great deal because of the power of that particular lobbying group in american politics they have the capacity the others are not alone in this to basically produce a stalemate capitol hill and this of course is part of the problem. israeli leaders don't feel any obligation to listen to the president whoever he or she may be in the future because they're always confident that they can go to capitol hill and have the president ruled by congress. that's the problem conducting foreign policy
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where. impulse where because we do there are figures that support the power of the pro israel lobby if you look at money you know they spent for example eleven point nine million dollars in two thousand and ten on candidates and when you look at other ideologically driven. groups and i mean they pale in comparison low to mid single digit numbers for things like guns rights human rights other foreign policy . you know factions so aside from the money where do we really see signs that influence i know that you have a personal story that you were very public about at a time when you were being looked at as the to chair the national intelligence for the administration. well i think that. particularly. rules largely by fear that is to say there's a lot on record for example financing opponents and elections.
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there was a very famous instance of. election. they have defeated defeated. earlier. john chafee chafee. in rhode island so the fear always failed that indicates that it's not the power that was for one. that was the one. and they. punish a. politician. it's very intimidating. so we don't really have much of a debate about issues connected with israel. there was a farmer a pack official who wants. to take a cocktail and ten minutes thirty five. what was your
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personal. oh i was asked to chair the national intelligence council when except for about five weeks. i guess just because. the. government for. thirty years and because i have. not concealed the. do there was immediately. basically by blocking the right wing israeli lobby apac did. assisted. up on capitol hill and basically it became clear that right go forward in the position. anything that the national intelligence council produced would immediately. contaminated attacks on
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a personal nature so i couldn't do what i was being hired to do which is to improve the rather poor credibility of u.s. intelligence so i was. the credibility of u.s. intelligence i'm not the holder said they were going to have to have you on for but i do want to get to something you said you said that you are very outspoken views on israel that are very different from the majority of elected officials and high ranking officials publicly are these views are held by more people privately than we would expect or if the view of congress really. i think there are there are people who do fully believe what they say there are an awful lot of people who are afraid to say what they think because they're intimidated i think frankly the country policy and israel for that matter all suffer from the kind of hypocrisy. and deceit. the discussion of
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whether it's related to israel where they be better served with honestly what do you think the cost is to the national security for the united states which is involved in three wars with arab countries and we've heard some military officials come out and say that israel played a role and then backpedaled they don't really know why but but what is there a toll on the u.s. national security yes i think probably in many respects we're paying a price it's not just the wars that you mentioned which are related to which are started by terrorism in the case of afghanistan that was the argument with iraq at one point. but then the terrorism is clearly related. both said to israel and our relationship with it wasn't the only factor but it was a factor and so we've gotten involved in worth three trillion dollars and.
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beyond that i think probably the failure of the united states to deal effectively with the israel palestine issue and the double standards that we have in surely. which we heard yesterday in the president's speech by the way. the president made a very strong case that we should not tolerate civilians being bludgeoned. by their rulers. we made a strong case earlier that we needed. over libya but we do nothing when the israelis do all these things the palestinians bomb gaza. staters. just a few days ago. who were around armed. and we say nothing so i think the cost of all the pretty high in terms of our credibility and prestige
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internationally and that's not important because if people don't believe us if they don't trust us they won't follow us when we need to do. we often do all right we're going to leave it there for now but it was a real honor to have you thank you so much for sharing your experience and your insight we'll have to have you on again to talk about intelligence a little bit more in-depth i want to thank you so much for weighing on this issue that was chaz freeman the former ambassador to saudi arabia now it is day sixty speaking of military intervention of the u.s. intervention in libya it's a deadline to get out or get approval from congress by law yet no loud noise for anyone to enforce the law and a few calls from congress seem to be falling on deaf ears so what does this mean for the rule of law in the united states and the rules of u.s. engagement in war i'll take a look at this. fifty eight. fifty nine.
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sixty i said at the outset that this was going to be a matter of days and weeks. and days have turned to months and in libya the battle rages on in washington time has run out. in this rhetoric is running up against a real growth block thing here you said you don't think their power thank you is a war powers are the war powers act a resolution that says sixty days marks the deadline for an american president pull u.s. forces from hostilities or get congress's approval for a formal declaration of war yet neither appear to be happening and according to the president publicly time seems to be the enemy only for someone else now working against gadhafi. he does not have control over his country but it's unclear who or what has control over this one the law or the will of the president the.
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president and i see the war began with. nor really has there been much discussion of the war powers act nor does it seem there will be when pressed by the majority of congress not with leaders of the senate foreign relations committee saying there are no plans for action and top lawmakers like john mccain saying quote he's never recognized the constitutionality of the war powers act nor has any president which is only sort of true according to legal and political experts every president has expressed some concerns about its constitutionality but interestingly not a single president has questioned the sixty day rule hathaway's says if obama does this would set a new precedent for combat by a president who campaigned on ending u.s. wars and abiding by constitutional law. still when it comes to work powers there's enough blame to go around absolutely congress doesn't take it seriously and
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president seven taking it seriously and u.s. navy oh it's going to take it seriously meanwhile u.s. drones fly over libya dropping bombs and the laws governing this type of mission seem to have flown out the window to it makes a joke of the whole idea of having laws that you can still go out and give it a full speeches as the president seems to be doing talk about peace and justice and principles. as the clock strikes be seen in the libyan intervention and the bill hits a reported three quarters of a billion dollars in the u.s. is third war with no congressional oversight or end in sight time is working against the rhetoric and the rule of law in theory in reality in the nation's capital though no alarm appear. to be going on lauren lyster our team washington d.c. . for my outfit and joining me now for more ivan eland senior fellow at the independent
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institute with some analysis here so i've been it's been sixty days of work powers act gives a deadline i haven't heard the president running to congress asking for any kind of approval or declaration of war or sense that the nato mission is ending is this breaking a law yes it's illegal and unconstitutional and it's not the first president to do to have done it but it's clearly a move in the direction of more executive power and more executive your soup ation of the. you know congressional war making power which is clearly in our in the united states the constitution the founders spent a lot of time on this that the original convention is probably the most important issue they've addressed and it's very important to the republic and they want to make sure that executive branch or because they had an expert had experience of the kings of europe taking their countries to war and all the costs falling on the.
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average person in blood and treasure so they put the requirement then the most important requirement of the constitution is declaring war and we don't do that and so yeah so why doesn't anyone care is my next question i mean congress you have a few members you have six republican senators that sent a letter to obama saying you're breaking the law we have a few other outspoken members of congress but you have really no push from congressional leadership to enforce this well this is going to occurring since one nine hundred fifty when harry truman was the first president to run a large under cleared war and so people have sort of gotten used to it that's one problem the second problem is if you're congress man or woman you know you don't want to be tagged with responsibility for the success or failure of this if there's that is about as taking responsibility yes why do you think that what's what's your evidence that well because people want to take credit if it goes well the praise the president or if it goes well badly they can criticize him but if you have
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a vote on a declaration of war anything sort of authorization for that they have to go on record as either opposing it or supporting it and therefore you know they can get blamed by their constituents one way or the other so just like the president take responsibility and we'll you know we'll be kidded serves on the side and say he did a great job or he didn't do a good job yet and you know the constitution of course has always been important it is what this country was founded upon but it's seen this renewed resurgence where you always say lawmakers quoting from that you see the tea party of worshipping and i mean there is a renewed obsession with the constitution so is this. kind of a sign that that matters less than politics well i think you do see some of the tea party years like rand paul rand paul worrying about this but more tea party should get involved in this because there were involved in tax and stuff but this is a much more important issue for the republican we've. i'm way off the deep end
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towards you know executive rule and that's not a good thing for a republic and a couple things on that you know you mentioned that other presidents have have not followed the war powers resolution but from what i understand the only president that broke the sixty day rule was bill clinton during kosovo but even then he still went to congress for funding so he did it at least go to congress is this a new precedent yes that is i mean the president that harry truman said the war powers wasn't wasn't in force and it came after vietnam when they got disgusted with lyndon johnson and nixon so yes clinton did that's exactly what happened but i think obama is in new territory since he's not going to get funding special funding approved like bill clinton did so he's weld so he's gone farther than clinton and of course george bush for all his failings he did get congressional authorization for afghanistan and iraq and he was the champion of executive power but obama has
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really gone further in this case than bush ever won a couple things on that why is he getting a free pass i don't feel like we're seeing that much about it or criticism and what does this say about a president that campaigned on a not getting involved militarily when you were attacked and in u.s. wars and following the law i mean he had a sound bite that we played at the beginning of this show where he said that we will be ruled by law we will no longer violate the constitutional law that's not who we are as a country but it seems to be who he is as a president if this is an example where he's a constitutional law professor and he made the statement that you shouldn't we should be going to war unless congress it approves it unless we're attacked the country is attacked which of the constitution said and the war powers act also says that so there's no excuse for him doing this and he knows better and it's just a case of he was in the opposition before when george bush was president and conducting wars now he's that he was the anti-war president but now he has one more war than george bush. he continued both of bush's wars and it has now started
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a third one so there's really no excuse for this at all and just bigger picture when you look at a country that is involved in three wars spends more money on defense than any other country has fourteen trillion dollars in debt with lawmakers unable to come to any consensus on how to tackle that where does this put the country on a trajectory on i mean does this put us in a place where we can just perpetually be at war because it seems that there's one after another of these laws when it comes to declaring war getting money for war getting approval for war that are either not enforced or disregarded made bill so that they don't matter well this is what the founders worried about the u.s. becoming an empire which we have become an empire in the post world war two era and i think we could go the way of the soviet union the way or the roman empire where the british and french empires. you know after world war two they just couldn't and many.


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