tv [untitled] May 23, 2011 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT
flash usa also check out our you tube page you tube dot com slash r t america want to thank you so much for watching and christine for that i'll have a great night's. sure is that so much of an oldish musician to find the mark of the arab awakening his optimism for a jewish revolutions in the arab middle east there can be no doubt something in court is of such. a timer in here broadcasting live from washington d.c. coming up today on the big picture.
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free cretaceous free comes for free arrangement for free is free. free. download free broadcast live video for your media project for free media or gogarty dot com . you can. follow and welcome to cross talk on peter lavelle 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.
can. you crossed out 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 ear is a professor at new york university and in boston across the daniel 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 to go to michael in durham first do you feel comfortable with this term revolutions occurring in the arab world because there are so many different examples where you go all the way from tunisia to yemen to bahrain egypt we can go on and on do you like the 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 is 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 again you'll find out to you in boston it's very interesting here because if we can and we take the examples to two popular examples right now tunisia and egypt eighty they ok you're 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 thanks i well i couldn't see that is a revolution there i mean it just reached its east that the regime a change at the top is gone that's all they had right sure i just slightly matter
which is that it's not the military took over in february for mubarak the military has been in charge and one hundred fifty two women five military leaders now. sort out of park and from far away than we were from mubarak and i would emphasize regime continuity here. so tunisia and egypt i would say are quoted to us by the security military apparatus but in five other places you've got a potential revolution in the iman in libya and bahrain and syria and iran so no revolution so far but there might be a son 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 who will be democratic. well what we are really witnessing today in the middle east what i call our
revolutionary changes that is revolutionary changes by definition is whether or not the status quo ante will be restored i do not believe that this 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 that have to take place and i think all our government will no exception in one form or no 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 of the arab world have 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 he can just go to
govern this one kind of approaches ok michael trying to back you and i mean good is the military in the arab world a good midwife to bring stable democratic societies in your opinion and we don't have enough information yet. i would go farther than to say that the military is not a very good midwife i actually think them ocracy 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 a lections 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 one election done it's interesting daniel i mean how do we marriage the two because people are actually people are looking for changes ok
and the west while i guess there 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 and these are that's all there is very subtle concepts which we in the west which we exactly which we in the west are in a sense born with or very alien much of the world and so it's a long process of developing civil society and then topping it off with modesty and by the way democracy should begin with voting for dog catcher voting for missile 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 it alone the a new york you want to jump in there's no head case of britain yeah you need sensors in you know i know i've seen lately 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 and the arab world is not appropriate the united states has been pushing program across the reform and is not going to work unless the other institution exactly what my cause. that is absolutely true either institutions are developed in particular 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 probert eli these elections are not going to provide with 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 toward some kind of political reform but there will have to be rather gradual reform but moving fairly as explained this is the on economic development specifically sustainable development to empower the people from the bottom up do you want to jump in there i would disagree with richard knox as much two of the
england developed the first remark as the starting of the magna carta what eight hundred years ago and 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 and the party of rich countries saudi arabia the . civil society so they're really quite different one is not a surfer the other materials daniel's point is right it would mean our own isolation and do you know mind legal 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 over the price of wheat if they don't have a middle class developing the 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 instability very difficult so certainly dangerous right but we need
it would be 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 ahead 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 been 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 jobs they want their opportunities they want education they want healthcare they want housing they are there this happen even are asking to to re reverse back and put their emergency laws back in place because there's chaotic situation is emerging in egypt so what we're talking about here economic 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 say that both will have to go and in it has the united states is offering as it should and many other countries significant economic aid to egypt without which political fold or form no matter how how well meant will not will not really result the egyptian problems daniel you want to respond go in there go ahead i take exception to your i take exception to preserve. formulations the state the people. in effect need to be given food and jobs. that's the problem is this mentality of subservience and dependence what needs to develop from egypt and some of the other countries but egypt a particular country looking for three years by the way. is a sense of entrepreneurship and independence and ironically it was hosni mubarak's son. a banker. who had experience in britain and elsewhere who
was looking towards developing egypt's economy in this free market and the military which is now fully back in. and in the saddle. is very socialist minded a very good handed with its vast economic enterprises under its control and i suspect. we will see more of the state socialism that's been in place for sixty years and the kind of entrepreneurship that's necessary to create jobs and create wealth is not going to happen in the foreseeable future it might michael thank only you you can go ahead go ahead along go ahead and fight you know you really easy can create jobs somebody stop about and 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 cities going to just together and they decide on the kind of
project they want any kind of project that's going to create jobs empower the people and that is what you're going to need in egypt where they have millions and millions of people are under the poverty die so you are not going to that 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 said state of development in these type of countries is a seychelle in my view to lifting them up in the future so that they can become. eventually you know sell 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 on the so-called revolutions in the air for stay with our. wealthy british style.
kick. start. the fight. welcome back to crossfire thank you all about remind you we're talking about changes in the arab middle east. and you can see. michael if i can go to you it's change gears here let's look at geopolitics how much is the west really interested really saying all these changes here and i think we get a good job in the first part of the program as it is pretty hard to define depending on what's going on to be 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 and tunisia and. in egypt stay in power more or less as they are they they will honor agreements like with for israel and they
still have a good ally maybe that's what they want they don't they didn't 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 you did they didn't 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 yes 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 i.o.i. in the region which is israel. being happy having to work together ok. my or you were not in your hair and we should talk about bahrain as well go ahead in new york go ahead in new york. you know what i think i think mike is to some extent is correct but i think the united states'. position are to be and it is at least as this what obama has been articulated three three centuries point one some reform will have to take place to that no violence should be used against peaceful demonstrators and see 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 state the united states is going to have to take an entirely different approach
because of our interest because our concern about about iran hence our policy and relation with it with back rain it's somewhat different so we are much easier going with bacharan than we doing so save 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 there's 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 there i was one other point i want to mention when it comes for example to the gulf and regardless of the factors behind 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 the united states doesn't have a choice but to support the current regime throughout the got so we have to distinguish between american interests the interests of the local government and it's and they're very tough 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 can trigger that you want to you had great head first like i'd like to correct which roots are introducing a united states has not had a consistent problems for years professor monger pointed out under george w. bush there was a dramatic break and truth answer for you saying for sixty years we've worked with the tyrants now we're not going to stability used to be our goal down some markers . it's a dramatic break for the two thousand and six or so given up on the survey bombers continue their giving up and we're back more or less i would go it's pretty two thousand and three we had a very dramatic control for three years second point it was there was some ways are easy to do it's very changed i mean you could say a change in policy did anything change on the ground mubarak was still there rich you still stood you still there and wait there were. to give you one example hamas won in the past and authority and for many many effects in iraq here in the us is not democracy a lot about history that was no head and democracy brought the people we don't want
to although you don't want a second choice you know i'm not so sure i don't want. most westerners not want most muslims. but the. second point is i don't know if we have to have a consistent policy i mean in theory yes most of us 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 know if you really should look at it it's a very interesting point so the u.s. should just say in the in the european union should say 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 could talk about models here for you know what i mean is exactly why we can't be here marcus night we likewise when we get back high-pockets the only time i think i go ahead go ahead in new york i had 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 a 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 with a 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 state also differ in connection with their neighbors very as i said before you cannot deal with bahrain in the same manner as you dealt with libya because of iran and because of our naval bases there and so and so we're going to have to zero difference hazari of north korea kind of policies ok michael i want to go to you because my only bitter smell 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 lot of the nations in. as i said like the gulf and so you cannot really separate the united states cannot go totally against the interests of the gulf north can go focus only on its own or ok my daughter and i want to go to my god i have to find that i like listening to our how do you how do you mean original how do they get married how do you marry that you what's the formula. i can see that 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 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 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 a term during the soviet era friendly tyrants. i guess a self explanatory we have now will probably tyrants again and i'm not a lot of either i sure wish everyone were going to grab it but i think it is in our interests and if there are interests there for 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 i have some of them i have iranian takeovers and so forth so i'm ok with with different
policies in different countries caught apocryphally called a consistency but that's the reality of making foreign policy especially for a great power ok you want to see we've seen the result jimmy. jimmy carter it in some ways brought us the the islamic revolution in iran that's very interesting let's go back if you agree it was democratic. a lot of people say if you go to new york well you know. and then it then is absolutely right on this point that is we going to we cannot help or knows nor should we have necessarily the same exact policy to toward every single country that is not going to happen again because of the reason i mentioned earlier what we need to do how are we adhere to two or three principles that is we should be supporting reforms as a general rule we should be insisting on the nonuse of violence against peaceful demonstrators and we should also say that we will be rewarding those nations those countries that are going to follow that to these two principles consistencies in
that regard is absolutely necessary president obama articulated that in a very strong go my goal my goal if you want to stick use a stick use it if i may just you have to use a stick some time when they're going to adhere to as we have done 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 tour requirements then we've got to have to use a stick if it becomes necessary and i think somehow we had some time too late in using this nick as we are doing say sales per example with syria michael franco to you what about these are military these humanitarian interventions is this setting an example good example of what can happen if if tyrants don't go reforms don't happen because you know there syria on the on the agenda there and this is sending messages to the entire region that if you can come out but does that make does that fix things or 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 admit some cases if there were a dictator so that the principle of nonviolence the principle of moving toward self-determination having us reward 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 for this is you daniel the last word here let me end. let me end on a humorous note answer malcolm recently noted no sandals times because you've got nothing to worry about if obama frightens 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. so it's
a strange it's actually true that when. u.s. president is what's up what's out there means you're ok all right gentlemen thank you very much many thanks my guest today in durham boston and in new york and thanks to our viewers for watching us here on our t.v. see you next time and remember cross talk. today violence is once again flared up.
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