tv [untitled] May 22, 2011 11:30pm-12:00am EDT
what makes antarctica so special and attractive for many. parts of it is. the sun's an. expedition to the bottom of the earth. you're watching on c.n.n. here are today's top stories and to reveal the week. sprains routings says she is a big defeat in local elections as mass protests take place across the country against the government tumbling over the nation's economic crisis. as the x. international monetary fund holds dominique strauss kahn awaits trial on sex charges in new york there are fears his absence will damage negotiations or the e.u. bailout but he has some hard times with your community to. the
georgian opposition holdsworth said deronda government protests as demonstrators clashed with police on the streets of the state demanding president saakashvili steps down. as the headlines up next hour cross talk with host. we've got. the biggest issues get the human voice face to face with the news makers . can. start.
following welcome to cross talk i'm peter labelle the arab awakening is often referred to as revolutions in the arab middle east there can be no doubt something important is occurring in this region but should we be using the word revolution dictatorial regimes remain intact and foreign influences continue to prevail. it. stands. to profit off what is happening in the arab middle east today i'm joined by michael monger in durham he is a professor at duke university in new york we have a loan ben my year he's a professor at new york university and in boston across again your pipes he's an author and director of the middle east forum all right gentlemen this is cross talk and there's only one rule you can jump in anytime you want i could go to michael in durham first do you feel comfortable with this term revolutions occurring in the
arab world because they are so many different examples when go all the way from tunisia to yemen to bahrain egypt we can go on and on do you like to term revolution for anything that's going on in that region right now. one of the things political scientists debate is actually what constitutes a revolution and in a way a revolution is just a successful change of regime it needn't be violent they can be peaceful it's not clear that what's actually going on here is revolutions what we have is a lot of violence by organized military and government it's not clear that these are going to be revolutions in the in the sense that there's a regime change and the optimism that many people early on felt that these would not be just revolutions but democratic revolutions i think has not yet been borne out daniel if i go to you in boston it's very interesting here because if we can and we take the examples to two popular examples right now like tunisia and egypt
to eighty they ok you the dictator is gone but the military has taken their place and we still see the reports that came out in the last few hours that torture in remains in egypt so i mean so i well i couldn't see that it's a revolution there i mean it's just it's least that the regime change at the top is gone that's all they had right sure i just slightly i'm not going to say that it's not the military took over in february for mubarak the military has been charged and one hundred fifty two within five military leaders now. sort out of park and transfer it and we've moved from the bar to turn tower and i would emphasize regime continuity here. so tunisia and egypt i would say are put at us by the security military apparatus but in five other places you've got potential revolution in. the iman in libya and bahrain and syria and
iran so no revolution so far but there might be some to come along ben meyer new york what do you think about that i mean and should be thinking about revolution in a positive sense ok we can talk about that too will they be democratic. well what we are really witnessing today in the middle east is what i call a revolutionary changes that is revolutionary changes by definition is whether or not the status quo ante will be restored i do not believe that base status quo ante will be restored so in that says there are revolutionary changes whether the military remains in egypt or in tunisia and elsewhere the changes will have to be to have to take place and i think all of our government will no exception in one form or another i would have to introduce some kind of reform in order to meet the expectations of the hopes and aspirations of the people in that sense these are
revolutionary changes or the arab world had never experienced before and these changes are going to continue for some time to come because the wave of instability or whooshing changes is going to continue for for a while and no our country is going to follow the same pattern each country is going to i got a different kind of approach is ok michael trying to back you in durham is the military in the in the arab world a good midwife to bring stable democratic societies in your opinion and we don't have enough information xx. i would go farther than to say that the military is not a very good midwife i actually think the mock receive may not be a very good midwife the united states in urging countries to have elections before they really have the other institutions that make elections possible i think maybe making a mistake if i close my eyes and think what is it that makes the western system of government actually work what allows people self-determination it's not the ballot
box it's an independent judiciary and the rule of law so i'm worried that if we urge countries to have elections before they have any kind of institutions that are ready to do so it will be won the election undone it's interesting getting i mean how do we marriage too because people are actually people are looking for changes ok and the west i guess their kneejerk response is elections but maybe elections are not going to really start solving a lot of these problems right here and i go to you daniel on that one first i go i go further than professor longer and so not only is it will of law but it's all the other aspects of civil society it is freedom of speech freedom of movement and loyal opposition these are that's all there is very subtle concepts which we in the west which we exactly which we in the west or in a sense born with are very alien much of the world and so it's a long process of developing civil society and then topping it off with an
orchestra and by the way democracy should begin with voting for dog catcher voting for municipal councils and then building up towards voting for the head of head of government it's a long slow process and you can't jump start of a lonely in new york you want to jump in there go ahead case of britain yeah you need sensors in you know i know absolutely you know i think i think the the notion that you can introduce democratic reform that with such a speed it's a terribly mistaken one the arab world is not the prepared the united states has been pushing for democratic reform and it's not going to work unless the other institution exactly what mike it's. it is absolutely true either institutions are developed by him politically or i would say. economic development for example if you take egypt you can introduce all the political reform you want when you have fifty million people under the poverty line this is election are not going to provide with the people one people one jobs and opportunity wants to feed their people want education this is the kind of institution you have to create
concurrently as you move towards some kind of political reform but they would have to be rather gradual reform but moving fairly as explain this is the an economic development specifically sustainable development to empower the people from the bottom up do you want to jump in there i would disagree with. nomics as much two of the england developed the first democracy starting with the magna carta what eight hundred years ago they were not rich by today's standards and there are plenty of countries such as sri lanka which have a civil society without being rich in the plenty of rich countries saudi arabia the . civil society so they're really quite different than one is nicer for the other materials daniel's point is right it would mean a right and do you know my gleeson to have first but it. it may not be well here you have. economic development but the thing is that egypt may
actually have another revolution just look at the price of wheat they don't have a middle class developing a middle class is a strong counterbalance to the centralized power of government as long as so many people are dependent for their daily bread literally in egypt for of because of the price of wheat it's when it is very difficult so certainly game is right but we need it would be helpful to have some kind of independent middle class the absence of a middle class makes the development of rule of law much more difficult ok i had. you want to jump in go ahead no no. there's no question listen when you go to egypt and you see the poverty there and you talk to these people as i have and so many different occasions and they will tell you openly and clearly we do not necessarily want to avoid we are not interested as a matter of fact when you look at the further demonstration in egypt today what you see they are demanding job they want their locker to kids they want education they want health care they want housing they are there this am even are asking to re
reverse back and put their emergency laws back in place because they're scared that situation is emerging in egypt so what we're talking about here it can i mean the development from the brother i mean is basically you need to provide the people with basic means so that they can they will be able to feed their kids they'll be able to send their children to school this is what is needed i am not suggesting you have you should know either take no political reform but they said that both would have to go and in and has the united state is also running as it should and many other countries significant economic aid to egypt without which political pull or from no matter how well meant will not will not really result the egyptian problems then you want to respond go in there go ahead i take exception to your i take exception to press upon my years from relations and straight people. in effect need to be given food and jobs. that's the problem it's this mentality of
subservience and dependence what needs to develop in egypt and some of the other countries but egypt a particular country i lived for three years by the way. is a sense of entrepreneurship and independence and ironically it was hosni mubarak son come out a banker. who had experience in britain and elsewhere who was looking towards developing ships economy in this free market and the military which is now fully back in. in this in the saddle is very socialist minded and very good handed with its vast economic enterprises under its control and i suspect that we will see more of the state socialism that has been in place for sixty years and the kind of entrepreneurship it's necessary to create jobs create wealth is not going to happen in the foreseeable future mike michael thank you only you you can even write i had
had a long day i had replied. you know you're really easy you can create jobs from top to bottom what i am talking about in the main and we've tried that in morocco is sustainable development project that is you go to villages thousands of them you get a group such as five six villagers together and they decide on the kind of project they want any kind of project that's going to create jobs empower their people and that is what you are going to need in egypt where they have millions and millions of people are under the poverty like so you are not going to we're not suggesting i think it's for the government not to have economic development projects but you're going to have to start from the bottom up i sustainable development in these type of countries is essential in my view to lifting them up a in the future so that they can become. eventually you know it's all right gentlemen let me jump in here is we're going to go to a short reins after the break we'll continue our discussion of the so-called revolutions in the air for our state with our.
coverage. welcome back to prosecute i'll remind you we're talking about changes in the arab middle east. can. michael if i can go to change gears here let's look at geopolitics how much is the west really interested really seeing all these changes here and i think we we did a good job in the first part of the program is that it's pretty hard to define depending on what's going on to me depending on what area we're looking at civil society democracy reform the military is really very very varied right now but let's look at the region from the outside looking in how much does the united states for example want to see the military in tunisia and in egypt stay in power
more or less as they are they will honor agreements with for israel and they still have a good ally they that's what they want they don't they don't never really shown to be have any interest with the people on the ground they just want to country a leader they can count on. but the problem is that there's no such thing as the united states when it comes to foreign policy what there is is an administration and i honestly don't know what this administration wants a lot of the democracy activists in egypt were frankly much more happy with george w. bush because there was a consistent push they didn't agree with everything he did they did agree with iraq but there was a consistent push in favor of saying no we're in favor of self-determination by the people of these countries the obama administration appears to just want to be on the side of whoever is winning we've recently as recently as january president biden was singing the praises of the libyan regime and now it turns out no no libya is no good and it's always been bad so we just want to be on the side that's
winning and i think people see through that the united states needs to choose some kind of consistent policy and articulate it and recognize that this takes place in the context of our only actual ally in the region which is israel being have having to work together ok. mayor you were nodding your head and we should talk about bahrain as well go ahead in new york go ahead in new york. you know what what i think i think mike is some extent is correct but i think the united states'. position are to be and it is at least a this what obama has been articulated three three central point one some reform will have to take place to that no violence should be used against peaceful demonstrators and three that the united states will reward those countries that follow the first two rules but we have to also remember the united states does not have the same interest in every single country for example if you take the gulf
states the united states is going to have to take entirely different approach because of our interest because our concern about about iran hence our policy and relation with it with black rain is somewhat different so we are much easier going with bahrain than we doing so say for in libya or in syria at this point that is we have to distinguish here between american national interests in various arab countries and is no question about it that our conduct and our reaction to each country is depending on the level of interest in each of these countries and their i wonder one other point i want to mention when it comes for example to the gulf regardless of the baron has a majority of shiite the majority of population in the gulf is sunni and they are terrified for example of what iran is up to has the united states doesn't have a choice but to support the current regime that's right they've got so we have to distinguish between american interests the interests of the local government and it's and they're very happy just to try to draw any kind of a template and say all arab states are going to follow the same result that's not
going to happen ok daniel you want to jump in there i could see that you want to go ahead you had great head first like i'd like to correct which you sort of introducing it united states has not had a consistent plans for years professor monger pointed out under george w. bush there was a dramatic break in two thousand and three saying for sixty years we've worked with the current now we're not going to stability used to be our goal now is marcus. it's a dramatic break but by two thousand and six or so given up on that so many bombers continue their killing up and we're back more or less true that was pretty fast but we had a very dramatic interlude for three years second point because there was some always appreciate with its very change i mean you could say a change in policy did anything change on the ground mubarak was there rich new skills to do still there and wait there were. to give you one example hamas one in passing authority. many many effects in iraq here in the us a lot of markers
a lot about because the american was not him and democracy brought the people we don't want to although you don't want a second point of view that i'm not so sure i don't want. most westerners not on most muslims don't want. but the. second point is that i don't know if we have to have a consistent policy i mean inferior wants to be this have a policy that works everywhere but i think will be very hard to thread this. through various different countries i think it's somewhat controversial to any of the no no in between as well it's a very interesting point so the u.s. should just say in the in the european union should stay in nato should just say we're just there for a national interest and nothing more we're not going to we're not to talk about democracy when i talk about models here or there no i mean i mean exactly why we get the you marcus night we likewise when we get to the park you see all the time and i think why go ahead go ahead in new york where oh well you know you know this let's let's let's call a spade a spade the united states and the e.u.
have this specific interest in the middle is no question about it they also now we have going revolutions or uprisings throughout the region demanding certain changes certain reported political reforms better a better way better way of better life better education so that this is that doesn't mean that we cannot reconcile between our national interests and the interests of the. with the general public in this region there must be a formula but what i'm saying it's not a simple formula and it's not applicable equally to every single arab nation because our interests differ and the interests of these arab states also differ in connection with their neighbors heard i said before you can not deal with bahrain in the same manner as you dealt with libya because of iran and because of our naval bases there and so we're going to have to do a difference hazari of north korea kind of policies ok michael i want to go to you beginning right on with a different angle is the the for the far more that the formula is dictated by the
our national interest as well while considering the interests of the of the nations in. as i said like the gulf so you cannot really separate the united said cannot go totally against the interests of the gulf no it can't go focus and only on it's on yours ok am i going to have i want you to michael and i have to have their liabilities are you how do you marriage suit how do they get married how do you marry the two what's the formula. i can see it it's quite right to say that we're not going to have the same policy for every country there are cultural differences there's a bottom many differences what i guess i'm looking for is some consistent principle of a way of saying this is what the united states is trying to accomplish the problem that i see and i guess you could call it hypocrisy or contradiction is that we have seen the results of this with jimmy carter jimmy carter's foreign policy mostly consisted of scolding countries that he thought didn't live up to the standards that the united states actually really didn't support itself because there were
a bunch of puppet regimes around the world that we supported to try to prevent the countries from going communist now we scored countries for not having elections but we also propped up the gears dictators in the hopes that they will not become an islamic democracies well the who we have to have some more consistent principle it seems to me then you want to jump in there which would be your formula i'm not sure i coined the term during the soviet era friendly tyrants. or cases of explanatory we have now will probably tyrants again and i'm not a lot of either i sure wish everyone were going to but i think it is in our interests and a very interest of the a stability and that they move slowly and carefully towards as we talked about earlier towards democracy and not rush things and not have revolution and not have islamists and not have iranian takeovers and so forth so i'm ok with with different
policies and different countries caught apocrypha called inconsistency but that's the reality of making foreign policy especially for a power ok if you want to see we've seen the result jimmy. jimmy carter it has brought us to the islamic revolution in iran that's very interesting let's go back if you're a it was democratic. a lot of people say if you go to new york. and examine the idea is absolutely right on this point that is we going to we cannot therefore not nor should we have necessarily the same exact policy toward every single country that is not going to happen again because of the reason that i measured earlier what we need to do however we adhere to two or three principles that is we should be supporting reforms as as a general rule we should be insisting that the nine use of violence against peaceful demonstrators and we should also say that we will be rewarding those nations that countries that are going to follow the two of these two principles
consistencies in that regard is absolutely necessary president obama urged articulated that in a very sorry go my goal michael is not use a stick or use a stick use it if i may just try you have to use a stick some time when they're going to adhere to as we have done with it with it with libya as we go into we need to do now in syria and elsewhere that is when the when these government do not adhere to due to two basic initial two requirements then we've got to have to use a stick if it becomes necessary and i think some time we had some time too late in using the stick as we are doing say it's a core example with syria michael going to go to you what about these are military these humanitarian interventions is this setting an example good example of what can happen if if kyron stone go reforms don't happen because you know there syria on the on the agenda there and this is sending messages through the entire region that if you can come out but does that make that fix things to make things better.
well what it seems to have happened in libya is were we there's going to be a long term stalemate and the people are worse off than they would be if there were stability and if there were. maybe even missed some cases if there were a good dictator so that the principle of nonviolence the principle of moving toward self-determination having us rewards those i understand i'm skeptical that we know enough about which side to support we may end up supporting a group that ends up if they win will just become an islamic dictatorship ok danny let me give you the last word on this group this is the last we're going to have daniel let me end. let me end on a humorous note answer malcolm recently noted nonessentials times but you've got nothing to worry about a foot on the threatens you as in iran or. syria you've got a lot to worry about if he doesn't say a word as in the case of libya or that lot so it's
a strange it's actually true that when. u.s. president because that's what's out there means you're ok all right gentlemen thank you very much many thanks my guest today in boston and in new york and thanks to our viewers for watching us here on our t.v. see you next time and remember crosstalk. in some cases she's available in hotels for a story. ambassador. hotel patroclus hotel patris schools hotel. and see. if you visit.