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tv   [untitled]    November 28, 2012 9:30pm-10:00pm EST

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folks. like. me. play. play. play.
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play. play. we welcome the crosstalk i'm revolutionary or a dictator in the making president mohammed morsi is presidential decrees granting him wide powers as we open the debate about the nature and pace a political change in egypt his supporters see him cleaning house of the old regime loyalists morrissey's opponents claim the muslim brotherhood is showing its autocratic impulses players can. still play. to cross-talk egypt's president i'm joined by while escobar in cairo he is a blogger and a journalist in beirut we have franklin lamb he is director of the americans concern for middle east peace and in washington we cross to ivan eland he is a senior fellow and director of the center on peace and liberty at the independent institute for. german crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime
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you want while in cairo i'd like to go to you first of the president has been widely criticized for his decree expanding his power but others would say it was necessary that political shock therapy is necessary for egypt to move forward to transform how to react to that i don't think dictatorship is ever necessary to move forward as we've seen in the past the military has done the same thing and it's given a granted itself powers and we've seen what they've done with these powers they've killed a lot of egyptians fellow texans and they have not lived up to their mandate so in light of that i can i cannot accept that being a dictator is a way to democracy and a man who is accepted to to give himself dictatorial powers temporarily will give himself dictatorial powers permanently especially in light of right now the constitute the constituent assembly being immune to any judiciary oversight and that itself shows that he is willing to protect his his powers and the parliament
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to come who he expects to be mostly of the muslim brotherhood i i would expect franklin but the president was elected democratically elected and he has a mandate for change so go ahead frank well that's right and i think it's an overstatement to conclude all quickly. i think used to be revolution the reason he had to act is that the judicial council was going to overturn and block the constitution and prevent it from being finalized and i frankly believe what he says these measures were this is thirty they were temporary i think people are going to by and large get behind you beyond this i think the white house is going to give them a little space it's not pretty but i dispute the idea that always in history temporary powers become permanent powers i agree but that's what i. i've been in
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fifty two ever since in egypt and of course that's what happened in the. nazi germany kept temporary kept. racing every four years the weimar constitution or postponing it there is danger but i think that his instincts have been demonstrated and i think that his the support that he has. we don't have a lot to worry about of course he's going to be watched yeah he made a mistake he took a chainsaw when he just needed a scalpel to adjust things but he's paying a price politically he's learning and i think from the demonstrations today there are the people are understanding i mean they're out there but not in the numbers that were expected so i think i give him on a couple weeks so let's see what happens ok i don't think it's a power grab i mean yeah everyone uses the term power grab i don't where do you come out on this because i guess the litmus test is the first the next elections ok when they have a constitution shouldn't criticism be muted at this point well i think we have to.
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be enamored with democracy sometimes democracy brings. bad leaders to power like adolf hitler so we i think we need minority rights and liberties in addition and constraints on. power such as the u.s. has in the checks and balances system but as far as a power grab be i probably was trying to grab power i think he attempted to you know get rid of the generals with the scion i incident which he which he successfully did and i think this was he was taking advantage of to try to get as much power as he could i think overstepped and i'm a little scared that you know this could this could be an attempt by the by him in his party to to run roughshod over egypt but i think the united states primarily should stay out of this because the egyptians are giving him ample pushback on this they've got people on the streets. they've got protests they've
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got a judicial strike etc so the egyptians democracy is working so far i people in the united states try to grab power all the time and i i started disagree because usually even in the united states where we do have a democracy temporary measures often become permanent and i not always but often and i think it has to be watched i think they have to watch it themselves the u.s. and other countries should stay out of this and just let events take their course in egypt i think the egyptian people so far are doing fine and constraining this power grab well what do you think about that i mean she was grazed he was praised when he when he reigned in the army that's the first time in six decades since the king that you haven't had military control he got a lot of accolades from that and now people some people are jumping on him but i think he needs a little more time but it's a great it's a very serious when you co-opt judicial review manger wipe out the judiciary and
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the legislature has been formed yet so yeah it looks like a pharaoh but i hope it's going to be temporary and he'll come through as as as obama has confidence in him you heard saw that interview where obama said he really enjoyed talking to of those five or six times on gaza he said he found that the guy spoke and thought like an engineer while he was trained by an engineer and there's nothing wrong with that so i think i think the americans as our colleague said from washington they will stay out of this unless it really turns south which i don't think it's going to do and i think it is maybe a little of both to suggest that actually in spite of this so-called power assumption he may come out stronger he may come out stronger because when the constitution is adopted and when there's a legislature and these policies of the. temporary measures evaporate then i think
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you will stand with even the higher stature that he got out of gaza ok what do you think about this because he was elected to change the country he's making bold moves right now and he does have a lot of support. right the general the general rhetoric back a morsi is always a little more time a little more time and that is let's consider that. since last year the brotherhood they've had powers and they've been in parliament and we've seen how they've reacted to every single crisis and nothing about what they're doing is revolutionary they have the power to issue legislation and instead they use that to to praise the army who have killed people and they've supported the army more says speeches themselves speak out that he is willing to protect the police the police is brutal as brutal as ever but right now they're still using excessive force with protesters and that hasn't been at first so he is currently targeting the general
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public prosecutor so in my opinion that that is just a takeover and a power grab the fact that there is no puppet a popular mass popular support equal except from the twenty's right from the muslim brotherhood. supporters themselves the numbers what we've seen as well is that morsi does not rule the entire egypt he calls in the guidance office to give him his mandate i don't think anything is revolutionary about this power grab particularly in light of the muslim brotherhood ideology which which sees egypt as a strictly islamic nation and does not really account for all the other forces there is no power sharing to indicate that there is going to be any cleaner process and so therefore it for me it's a takeover why has there been no police reform if there really is an intention to clean up house then the police is the first thing you're reform because people went
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out against the police brutality and i haven't seen any any measures taken on the contrary one of the one of the muslim brotherhood members some of that again has strictly said has admitted that they were using shotguns to do to attack protesters at the same time he championed deal the the prime minister has has made it obvious that from power we are now. who are responsible for a lot of murders will not be brought to trial so in light of that i think you and i cannot interpret it as a revolutionary move i can only interpret it as a power grab ok even if an island and i mean it's seems very interesting to me is that you know ok we have the muslim brotherhood has the presidency ok and we have an assembly that's not really empowered so it but the rest of it is just mubarak's egypt still in place this is probably the reason for this quote unquote power grab yeah yeah i mean i think certainly there are institutional left overs and but
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i think you can and you can justify the initial him getting rid of the military sure he was elected but i think id you know you do have to watch leaders that they do we don't go down a wrong road i don't think necessarily we've gone down a wrong road yet because i think as i say the egyptians are pushing back and i think you know any country you have people who want power power people just love power and you have to have checks and balances in one way or another whether it's the street or institutions i don't think egypt is quite there on the institutions yet but of course they're in transition we can't expect perfection and i think we do have to deal with the with the leader that was elected and certainly the united states and other countries can watch and. coax a bit but it's a slippery slope i think the united states has done far too much intervention in the middle east and egypt is a very important country but i think the problem is best left to the egyptians and
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i think that's what's happening here so it could work out fine or it could go the other way we don't know what i'm going to franklin and then happened should be and i gem show and. solution to the problem franklin you when you want to say something when we go to the break go ahead well just. don't happen very fast he needs more time in his defense and his advisors tend to agree the world cup will do so. is that how do you not acted there wouldn't be a constitution and then no legislature so what was he to do it was sure to be defeated by the same barred clique that is the judicial council he was gentleman i'm going to jump in here and jump in we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on egypt state r.t. . if you.
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want. it was not the military. contract with the unit of the huge contract.
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it was not the operation to secure and rebuild the devastated country caliber company taxpayers for its contract work in iraq. it was the campaign for making billions of dollars for a reasonable. forty. one billion dollars first sale. profiteers.
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ok. well come across from time to mind you were talking about the egyptian president. and. one of if i go back to you in cairo you're obviously on the ground but i've been given a lot of reports that a lot of the president's supporters are jubilant about this because finally he can push forward an agenda yes his supporters are doable and but consider in what way they were asked to go down and protest in support of morsi is decrees before they even knew what they were and and so they were happy about them before he even said
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them so therefore i don't think that this is a real reflection of how people feel the fact that they would go out and celebrate what they don't know is an indication that they're being moved and ordered around through a giant organization like the muslim brotherhood now the fact is on the street you go out a winner and everyone go well call or not they called it off they were not only worth their mother a brotherhood rally there one talent they said already tried to sway one others are i'm talking about today that's inaccurate they went out on the on the day before they think today's rally has been called off ok yes right because they are on the cooperation with the other israeli has always called on a long. ok they went out on the only thing we're looking for the decrease which is important ok i can go ahead this is right i'm sorry but this is very very well just just to say that i think that we've got to give the egyptian people credit they had a revolution after six decades of dictatorship everything's not going to be perfect
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i'm sure a lot of those cops out there born in jail it's going to take some time but the fact is the excitement and the historic aspect is of people are speaking out now they're probably got they're feeling more and able to demonstrate and to have a moderately free press and to confront and that's the big difference so in a sense i think it is revolutionary and we've got to give credit to the the governmental institutions and the social institution which have a glorious a strong history in egypt they haven't disappeared so i think this to said i think it's healthy i think the focus is on him i think it's going to learn a lot and the people will and i i think right now we can't condemn the bad power grab maybe but i think it's difficult to make their lives i think a little bit justices are that isn't the next way back to cairo it's going to have its fair time let's go back to cairo. yes let's not distort the facts they went out
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on thursday before the decree to celebrate today's protests were called off but on thursday before the decree they were celebrating and they didn't know what they were celebrating and the fact of the matter not as everybody knows her as franklin has ignored the majority of people on the street i've been out on the street we've gone through marches in places that have been anti revolutionary and they are very upset about the muslim brotherhood and shubra people are asking are you a when are from the people this is a very dangerous sign and the president morsi should not ignore it at all and what i see right now is that he is ignoring all the different powers that tell him stop this is not what we want to be ok these are normal people we're not talking about. who by the way he's using his brain in ministries to form his government. you know i very i still read there are injuries as a way that any one of the muslim brotherhood supporters are on board with this
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power frankly do you want to reply to that go ahead well well just that i accept a lot of people have questions about the muslim brotherhood you know for their past and their broken promises that they weren't going to run for the legislature and they weren't going to run a presidential campaign and they're and they're very well organized they've got money and organization that no other party has had so they've got power they can turn people out on thursday they can tell them not to come today but i concede what you say i spent a lot of time in the universe is in the last week talked to a lot of people a lot of people don't like the muslim brotherhood because they're afraid and their fear is based on ignorance of what's going to happen remember history red china everyone was terrified by god you got an economy going and now there anybody is friend so the question is will the economic which is a big problem and what that morsi been working on also depended on the prosperity of egypt as someone who's there would not agree that any ology even has
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a way of melding and mellowing if there's economic progress and i think that's why a lot of this fear. bother of the brotherhood is based on lack of information which is reasonable sense of secretive organization ok ivan. do you consider it important that you know the current president of egypt i mean he saw how his predecessor was overthrown ok i mean he knows the crowds can come out and make political change i think is part of his calculation. well i think he did overstep i mean i think i agree that he is probably trying to say this constitutional assembly which has been nixed once before and the parliament he tried to reopen that in the judiciary next to him and i will force the judiciary is a holdover from the mubarak era so nobody's completely clean here but i think he probably did overstep and try to get power but i don't say that the system is
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totally broken and i think we it's barely been revised here and i think we have to see how it plays out certainly people as i say in many countries people try to overstep by grabbing power and you have to have some check on them whether it's the streets or the judiciary or something and of course checks and balances are a good thing whether they're informal or formal i think they're more informal in egypt because they don't have their institutions are in a state of flux so we have to wait and see and i certainly think this man has been elected which is of course more than mubarak and the rest of the rulers before him were so he does have some popular legitimacy that through the parliament was three fourths islamised and the united states or the west might not like that but that's what they have to work with and i think they should work with them because that's what egypt has elected well you know we can take virtue from the city here will this help the opposition organize better yeah i think that this is exactly what is
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happening right now that the opposition is uniting because it's such a blatant power grab that no one accepts and that they need to stick together even the supporters of the former regime are joining protests and they are people who have never been out there to protest and have condemned all protesting and to hear these people are joined by all the revolutionary forces and i would have to disagree with with the idea that everyone opposing morsi is afraid of the muslim brotherhood because so many people have given him their votes and the fact of the matter is. that these same people who have given him their votes are disenchanted because they do not believe in the value that you can achieve a democracy by a complete dictatorship especially that morsi and the muslim brotherhood's were in power and we've seen nothing to mcdonagh craddick at all to to give us hope that this is what they'll do you know frankly i think it's very ancient to stay with the same thing i think this is
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a godsend for the opposition to get themselves organized ok they complain complain complain now we have an opportunity absolutely and that's democratic and allison probably so possible and tell this presidential election but again i would say you know he made a mistake he knows he made a mistake and his people know that two of his cabinet members resign i understand what the maybe coming back as i mentioned earlier the guy used a chainsaw to do something when he should have used a scalpel let's give him the benefit of well we don't have to give the benefit of the doubt but give him let's before we you know make a final judgment let's see what he does in the next year because now i beg your pardon next week because now he seems to even be a little bit remorseful here yasser alley his spokesman has been trying to qualify it and parse it and say look his temporary temporary time let's find out you know
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was not a lot we can do. about it in the short term. go ahead while go ahead you want to jump in there clear whether it was revolution or yes i want to jump in there and ask franklin here he said two opposite things if first he said it was revolutionary then he said it was a mistake which one is it and if it is a mistake he should worse that mistake it's all those that give him a chance to a very little mistake rather than use it so therefore i don't think it was too much i would doubt there are a lot of other ways to take a clumsy it was clumsy what he did it was a mistake and that is what's revolutionary about it is the whole thing that we're experiencing in egypt and here's the leadership and the support of the people taking to the streets that's revolutionary that's even democratic but i didn't mean to say you know to present a contradiction i i think the and i take your point on that but he did he made a he did it poorly i wouldn't concede that it was necessarily
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a mistake because to defend the revolution he needed a constitution the people deserve that that's what they voted for that's what they wanted to hear a square for they also wanted you know a more active government they wanted a functioning parliament and this was the only way he saw that it could be done he was elected there are some really make a judgment he did it in a clumsy way he's backtracked a little bit but now let's see what happens and it and let him give him a time to follow through on this and straighten it out i think you well i mean why do you think this bodes for the arab spring and democratization of the region. well i think that what you're seeing is the push back on the leader who in my view i have a very cynical view of politicians in any country that they always want more power and so i think you need checks and i think you're seeing that so i think perhaps these revolutions may eventually. reach a compromise that's what's happening in egypt i don't think the thing is going down
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you know necessarily going down the toilet here i think it could very well be saved by the people and there may reach a harmony of where they constrain the president and make him live within the law and constitutional arrangements will have to see but certainly right now because there is no parliament and there's no constitution we see that the check is the people and that of course has to be institutionalized somewhere but all is not whilst here i don't think well good last word how is democracy in egypt today twenty seconds. people people have. the power to make it a democracy but i would go out on a limb and say that president morsi is the counter revolution and you can read through that because to do it to somebody the draft they put out more freedoms are being taken away from us and this is not the revolution we asked ok on there not just a little we're going to have time thank you very much others many thanks to my guest
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today in beirut cairo and in washington and thanks to our viewers for watching us here r.t. see you next time and remember cross talk groups. and if you. still. want to. get are sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else you hear or see some other part of it and realize everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm sorry welcome to the big picture.
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yes thank you and. thank.
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