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tv   [untitled]    December 23, 2011 6:31am-7:01am EST

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unable to readjust to peaceful life is causing some veterans to warn young people not to invest. british human rights groups fight for a no spy zone in the world's most surveilled country calling on the pope's food city council not to record what's being said inside taxis according to another city rejected a similar surveillance tactic. to stay with us if you can hear an r.t. it's next to cross talk of finding out if there are any winners from the turmoil of iraq and if a state of war promoted with the promise of democracy has become the standard of foreign policy of the united states.
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hello and welcome to cross talk i'm peter lavelle with the american occupation of iraq officially coming to a close this week it's time to take stock was the war in occupation worth it are there any winners is a rock a better place and is war now the natural state of u.s. foreign policy. to cross-talk iraq's future i'm joined by sabri in london he's an exiled iraqi academic in tel aviv we have mayor javedanfar he's a middle east analyst and lecturer at the interdisciplinary center in herts lia and in washington we cross to hillary mann leverett she is a professor of u.s. foreign policy at the american university and a former white house and state department official all right folks this is crosstalk me that means you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage
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it but first marcia is this a major milestone in american foreign policy you know i think as far as getting the troops out it is a milestone with only a few thousand troops waiting to depart from iraq by december thirty first president barack obama's address last week officially spell the end to a nearly nine year military mission the pullout fulfills one of obama's key electoral promises and winds down the war that has cost the lives of nearly four thousand five hundred go soldiers and more than six hundred thousand iraqis despite iraq's still fragile security this could be the first real low in violence after four decades of political and social turbulence this is an extraordinary achievement one made possible. by the hard work and sacrifice of the men and women who have the courage to serve and there's a lesson to learn from that a lesson about our character as a nation. but there are more lessons to learn than the one about the american f. this people on both sides of the fence have been left and bettered by the conflict and the occupation that succeeded it while many iraqis are eager at the prospect of
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autonomy others are wary of the country's continued reliance on u.s. support big cannot afford to be completely absent from iraq and therefore. agreeing to withdraw troops as but the agreement they are coming back varying civilian clothes and in fact i don't see any lessening of american influence as far as iraq is concerned. in america too the invasion has long since become a point of deep contention among politicians and the public and even president obama has gone so far as to call it the conflict has become a major aid on the u.s. treasury with a price tag said to be up to three trillion dollars and in the epic of the arab spring and the rise of islamism in the middle east political stakes of staying to have become too high for now the iraqi government has promised its people that by two thousand and seventeen the country would become one of the wealthiest oil producers in the world and the political system with power sharing does seem to
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have more legitimacy leaving a gleam of optimism so the world and especially the u.s. are now only left to hope that these fragile signs of democracy would take hold even if their military force well let's talk about milestones i'm afraid if i go to you first in london mr obama said this week now we knew this day would come and we've known that for some time but still there's something profound about the end of a war that has lasted so long is there anything profound about the end of american or official american involvement in iraq i think. i could call it the biggest blunder which is happened in the twentieth century twenty first century the problem is america is leaving and leaving iraq in tatters there's infrastructure is destroyed iraq is go to veneer of democracy but the fact it's in the hands of theocratic really politicians i think the biggest winner of this war on america living in this one of the militias which has got another connection to iran i think
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iraq has been left into a theocratic really in the future i think. kind of america has a moral responsibility to help iraq but i think it's forsake it ok hilary if i can go to you do you see any positive outcome from this at all because i mean i asked if there is any winners and i think fareed picked up on one of them i mean the united states' position in the region in the arab world is in tatters. and mr obama's calling it a profound event well i suppose it's profound in that sense. yes i mean it is but it is profound in terms of the u.s. strategic position which if you compare the u.s. strategic position in the middle east and globally today with what it was on the eve of the u.s. invasion in two thousand and three it is quite dramatic keep in mind on the eve of the u.s. invasion of iraq in two thousand and three the united states was in a very very significant powerful position in the middle east it had a constellation of states in the middle east call american clearly pro-american
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states aligned with it the states that were not aligned with the united states were contained constrained relatively weak saddam hussein's iraq was in a box the islamic republic of iran was relatively weak hamas and hezbollah had not been legitimate elect coralie in their respective arenas the consolation for the power in the middle east for the united states was very much in america's favor back in two thousand and three on the eve of the invasion today clearly that is not the case unfortunately the united states is actually on the run we have actually been kicked out of iraq it's not just that we are on our troops we have been kicked out of the country which is really a very profound development for the united states i mean if i go to you in tel aviv it's quite interesting here is that we what kind of legitimacy does the iraqi government have because we're on the one hand we have really been quite american has been quite constraining keeping troops there which they'd like to do the iraqi government saying no but they don't want them to leave completely so is that the
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role of the u.s. military now is to maintain that there is a government in baghdad that is friendly to the united states. well the u.s. government now has very limited options in terms of what can be done in iraq it has withdrawn its forces the only thing it has now it's an embassy in iraq which actually is a massive and this is sixteen thousand people five thousand of them are private security contractors but they are their mandate is within the premise of embassies that the united states and the consulates study has in iraq america's position in iraq now that he has left has actually been diluted it doesn't carry the same way twenty comes to domestic iraqi affairs i think there are other outside players who have got the much bigger in power saudi arabia is one of them certainly iran is another major player in the turks are going to become much more involved and what
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happens in syria will have an impact also in fact one of the reasons why we see the recent skirmish domestically skirmish within iraq between prime minister nuri al maliki and his vice president. al hashimi is because of the question of syria vice president vice president vice prime minister target al hashimi is very much against the government of bashar al assad has voiced support for the opposition in syria as mr nuri al maliki is against it he has voices support for bashar al assad and he's very much in terms of supporting bashar al assad standing with iran so there are other players new players and existing players who've got a much bigger if i can tell you rocky of america position is quite dial it's very interesting franco to you i mean everything we just heard we do everything we just heard is that there are mobile there more than one rocks it sounds like to me go ahead. yes i'm sorry what i wanted to know and i think is
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extremely important from my colleague in tel aviv is the united states one of the most important impacts of what happened in iraq of the u.s. invasion as the united states has ignited sectarian tension and conflict in the middle east which is having profound effects ripple effects throughout the region i think syria is a critical piece here so is saudi arabia of course iran is the one positive thing as is as the united states withdraws even though we had a very bloody to day today in baghdad in iraq as the united states withdraws the one positive potential peace here is the united states will have less of an ability to actually use iraq as a battleground for this sectarian tensions that we've been igniting in the region that's the one potential positive but it would require from here in washington and of course there's not that much hope of it but it would require from here in washington for us to recalculate our position in the region instead of setting the different states and sectarian interests against one another we should be bringing
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them together in a way similar to what we did in europe awhile ago with the organization for security and cooperation in europe where we actually bring various states various sectarian interests to the table where respect their legitimate national security concerns and have them working cooperated fully rather than pitting them against one another but if i go to far you know i think we've already done that i think the u.s. and its allies have already done that they've actually created three iraq right now they don't look like they're going to stay in one sovereign state for much longer we see the divisions grow more and more and more and the outside players that have been mentioned on this program are very much interested in doing that and on top of that is that the u.s. will have no ally left in iraq is things go along what do you think about that will agree with you i mean do would be for him to washington as well you you see. now is the kurds in the north they are in very peculiar situation because they want from the united states and notion of having an independent state well this will really.
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turkey and iran and other countries in the region you see the problem in iraq now as as i said is the biggest blunder blunder because there was a kind of. equilibrium in the region which has been done by the. for about four hundred years the united states really broken the political equivalent so now iraq has been this integrated into three parts and i think it will be very difficult very difficult to persuade for example the shia part of the iraqi society who have got strong links to iran to relinquish part of the wealth and power in this southern and middle part of iraq so i think. after the american left iraq withdrawal from iraq we could see straight away in two days not in maliki has started a kind of like dictatorship he kicked out his partners from government and i think
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we are descending down a kind of at least for the duration between the three parts of iraq ok if i go back to you i mean it's very interesting to me is that as as the departure of the u.s. officially leaves we see all of these events unfolding very quickly i mean is there really any kind of democracy in on iraq or is it just been a fiction for americans who feel that they've done something right. to be honest with you i think until until the americans were there the rock is it seems to me that there is to choose sions have some kind of a backup that they could build institutions and if it all went wrong they could count on u.s. security presence in iraq to help them and i think now that the u.s. military has left that has been the dealt a psychological blow those institutions still exist but they don't feel as confident as before because they feel that they have lost that support ok i'm going to jump in here we're going to get our short break we're going to short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on iraq state park.
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and if you. still. want. well going into the future her new year's wishes on technology update next generation place is made from super strong older lightweight building materials to help with a host of nuclear isotopes a cleaner planet seems to be a revolutionary way to get rid of our growing landfills and a long list of known russian innovators. leave the church.
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leave. leave leave. believe. the american. lol you want the american all the time you know what else remind you we're talking about iraq's prospects. plug in a few. pls. ok hilary i'd like to go back to you in washington what's the learning curve here i mean usually this program we have
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a lot of debate it looks like we're all agreeing with each other right here but i guess it's hard to take the case that it was a success in iraq ok but what about the learning curve here because now we have syria on the radar i mean is there anybody in washington that's realized you can't be bowing countries to reform ok you have to have a different approach and i would like to say maybe later in the program. every region of the world has to police itself because outside interference in the greater middle east over the last half century has just been mitigated disaster. i mean i think quite the contrary not only is there no learning curve here that that that it's been a disaster but in fact i think the upcoming presidential election here in the united states will put to put the debate even further afield further further furthermore in terms of u.s. primacy in the world particularly if newt gingrich is the republican nominee for the presidency he has already put president obama on notice that the president and it's a question of whether or not president obama believes in american exceptionalism
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this idea of u.s. primacy and particularly u.s. primacy in the middle east is something deeply embedded in u.s. strategic culture and has been so for many decades during the cold war the united states was more successful in having a policy in the middle east because it was constrained by the soviet union what we've seen since since the end of the cold war in one thousand nine hundred ninety one is the united states has tried to continue to monic impulses its desire for us primacy in the middle east with and without any constraint that is the major problem but it is something that is deeply embedded in u.s. strategic culture and in fact not only do i not see. any real possibility on the horizon for the united states to pare that back and to actually look at the world more in a balance of power scenario but i think particularly with the presidential election coming up in the united states we will see the issue of u.s. primacy affirmed and reaffirmed and potentially drive the united states to yet
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another conflict in the middle east and if i go to the point. can i please of please go there is there's a one thing on life to want to just sit in washington republicans of no one and i don't think that her description. the u.s. policy at the moment is quite accurate we don't see president obama invading countries just because of his or will we saw he became involved to. prove the intervention of the of libya was approved by the united nations it wasn't a unilateral move by the united states and i have to say that if the international community and i emphasize the word international community and the u.n. approved the use of force against bashar assad's forces in syria who are causing mass occurs it would be a mistake for america not to participate and i don't think anybody in the middle east will forgive the united states of america if you we're not going to help when the israelis is really fairly or three you know if that's what the u.n.
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wants to go ahead but i'm not quite sure of your rights the concern about human rights whether it's in libya whether it's in syria or whether it was in iraq is always a fake leaf for u.s. primacy and for the u.s. to intervene whether it's libya where they don't agree syria or if we're going to run into one situation right a fair fight if i go back to london the little girl going to london because you guys are going down the track exactly where you want to go hillary was saying you know during the cold war the united states had a constraint it had the soviet union is a new soviet union for the united states in the greater middle east iran. well that's a reality that it's let me go to london first. so the question of the saying is if we become the new soviet union for the united states and the region i mean its enemy ok it has to find an enemy. has been for a long time yeah iran has been for a long time is like the enemy of the united states but the problem is iran has
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collaborated with the united states and with britain and in invading iraq and it's collaborated heavily with the united states and britain have got to stand. in and saw the problem is our iranian position is really peculiar we don't know whether it's for example in public it's been very much a us policy but in private it's been collaborating with the united states in iraq collaborating in afghanistan so i think. they have only to blame themselves for a. mistake in politics and the region i think iran has been heavily involved in iraq has been heavily involved and i think this is counter-protests productive i think it should really take lessons from what's happened to iraq and i think the iraqi people has really if you go to the streets of baghdad goes through something like this everybody there is really weary of the intervention and the american intervention i think any intervention and the internal affairs of countries is wrong as it is stated by the united nations the
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whole community what's happened in iraq was a unilateral intervention by america and britain and the us was that was completely wrong on false pretenses and information hillary how optimistic are you are about the u.n. role in this here because i'm looking at ok first there was a un resolution to go into iraq and now the there is we have syria and there is a lot of cajoling back and forth but you first see that the nato could be seen to be used as the air force of some kind of opposition in syria i mean repeat the libyan example which seems rather doubtful right now what's another scenario here. it seems doubtful but i can. and see a scenario where you could see somewhat of a coalition of the like minded you know seen this another scene in other arenas the united states can work with turkey with jordan with saudi arabia with gulf arabs to put together a coalition of the like minded the issue is that for the united states the united states is focused and has been historically on trying to defeat competitors to u.s. power so the focus with iraq and the regional players in the middle east is now we
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are moved we are really focused targeted front and center on the wrong on as the next great competitor to us power and therefore needs to be defeated just like iraq needed to be defeated remember there were no weapons of mass destruction in iraq there were were no ties between saddam hussein and al qaeda all of that was a fig leaf because we needed to defeat this potential major arab power that is now focused on iran and you will see the battleground for that a proxy conflict to get out here on going through baghdad going through damascus going through anyplace else of the united states needs it to go so that we can corner contain and eventually defeat iranian power that has been the focus for for for for us. for for the for us strategy in the region i go back to tel aviv i mean everything that hillary had to say is very logical but you know every single step of the way of the last half century the united states seems to have got it wrong in the greater middle east i mean so if we take we put iran in the target place right
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now i mean what what is the post this time because we keep getting it wrong. peter i don't think the u.s. has got it wrong every instance they've got it wrong in some instances in the arab spring the united states has done very well i think in the case of specially egypt well. i say rather late in the last i mean when he was going out there and shooting his own people i think the united states has done very well in supporting democracy in tunisia this is been very very positive this is done a lot to improve america's image in terms of iran we are looking at the united states who is doing very well now compared to five years ago with regards to iran the united states' position has been boosted by his dual track of diplomacy and sanctions united states position has been boosted by the position of saudi arabia which is now supporting the united states against iran and also ukrainian mistakes
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we saw the attack against the british embassy in tehran that was a gift to anybody who wants to isolate the iranian government so president obama. i think you know. really what excuse me this program's about the end of america fishel american occupation of iraq when you say that the iranians are the net winner of america's failure in iraq. now and the run is the net winner ok here we go back to london let me put this all the way you had there were a go ahead to the day that the majority the majority of sunni sunni arabs sunni arabs polled think that iran is trying to get a nuclear weapon i mean even greater majority of sunni arabs sunni arabs polled think that would be a good thing for the middle east that is a dramatic indication of how and where are you sure. you're going to.
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go to london go ahead. no i don't think i think this is totally wrong i mean i would like iran to have a do you think i don't think so. i mean. i was under a lot of islamic movements who are new to iran and all will for the end because the iranians have they have a nuclear power in the region and it's only heiress agreements are against iran fact every time the sunni arab governments are against iran but what iran has effectively done it is it has galvanized equivalences of sunni arabs across the middle east and has years now it has entire life. erica and i thank you very radical years old if you if i might come into it i think your information is probably a year or two years old the information now on the arab students that iran is really a threat to the most other countries i think iran has gone out of this war as a signatory by the main reason the main reason i don't think you haters like i don't know where do you get used data data come to the street as an islamist
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movements ask everybody even those people who are close to iran even hamas is being now very critical of the iranian position on the on the arab gulf and the arab countries so i'm coming back to the question i think iran has been the greatest one out from this. one hegemony on iraq has been great united states is very weak politically and militarily in the region especially in iraq i'm talking and iran has been very strong so i think as i said from the beginning this is the biggest american plunder blunder in the twenty first century. going to give you the last word in the program what should the united states do the region in light of its official withdrawal from iraq. united states needs to stop igniting sectarian conflict throughout the region and stop hitting two different axes against one another right now the united states has developed an axis a washington riyadh tell of the ramallah axis against attack prime baghdad. beirut potentially damascus even maybe. because of my in the middle east we have to
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be we know together and instead of dividing the sectarian divide or break it together ok mind you we had twenty seconds go ahead in tel aviv. i think what we see in iraq was caused by the united states of course it opened up a pandora's box but the hatred between unfortunately has existed for many centuries it existed even before. you saw me on this program i want to thank my guests today in tel aviv london and in washington thanks to our viewers for watching if you are to see you next time remember. if you. want.
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rio's. touched by. paintings on display for. you.
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killed in syria's capital in the first suicide bombing. this comes. down to business. media. running high in iraq after a new bombing atrocity killed dozens of people only. u.s. troops pulled out the death count continuing to rise among civilians and security personnel. your every move could be recorded human rights activists.


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