tv [untitled] January 23, 2013 2:30am-3:00am EST
hello and welcome to cross talk where all things considered i'm people of l. is the west military intervention in mali still another example of the west's overall war against islam has there ever been one instance where an outside intervention in the name of fighting terrorism has ever produced peace stability and democracy and with the lessons of blowback ever be learned.
to cross-talk the west's assault on the muslim world i'm joined by johnson in london he is an africa expert and in philadelphia we have daniel pipes he is the historian writer and political commentator all right gentlemen cross talk rules in effect or not means you can jump in anytime you want if i can go to you first in london if we if we look back over the years here you know we've had the eight country and four years muslim country invaded assaulted whatever by western powers i mean is this a war against islam. but we would hope it's not a war against islam but there is the perception that the west has made some fundamental mistakes very much and crucially in terms of the message that's been sent around the world there's got to be a consistent approach a consistent message and somehow there's a discord between the message it sends when it's supports rebels in for example in other parts of the world in syria for example who already yes we do know supporters
. of course in mali it took chooses a completely different path and it's got a short consistent message especially when you have a. gentleman here if i can jump in here i mean there is one consistent message there muslims that's the message and western media. well this is a battle of hearts and minds and for that reason the west has failed to be able to win over there's a billion muslims out there who clearly have a voice and in this particular instance it would appear it's the west against muslim countries are of course it would appear that the the the wars that we've seen across the middle east hasn't helped afghanistan iraq has made things difficult of course in mali specifically the longer the french stay on the ground you could have the local population think that they were what stay there welcome that could itself create further problems so yes to an extent there is that notion so the west has got to do that much more in its p.r. to have to sell the reasons why it gets involved in some of these conflicts and how
we make sure that it understands the why the ramifications for the choices and decisions that it makes today which can come in and i'll talk about oh about a learning curve in a second daniel answer that same question is there a war against islam. you know there's not a war against islam peter. that's for sure because in every one of these cases we're fighting with some muslims against other muslims every single case it's never the west against the muslims it's always some muslims fighting other muslims and we're coming on the side of one party the inconsistency however is that sometimes we're fighting the islamists and other times of fighting with the islamists so for example in syria we're hoping the islamists in mali we can include france as we are fighting the islamists so there's a very inconsistent message i believe that western powers should always be against the islamists honestly fighting them but always against them and why only reason
why they are always being against the modern is the secular so ok we shouldn't be people on the ground make that choice and we because of course enjoy so our ground go ahead. well i didn't say i didn't say we should always fight them i said we should our policy if i were the policy maker in my country i would say always oppose the isthmus just as in the 1930's out of always oppose the fascists or the nineteen sixty always of oppose the communists always oppose these brutal fertile terry and thugs always oppose and whether they're wearing ties and speak nicely or whether they're violent they're always always think i'll go ahead in the line that would be my salute that it's in our head on a series of western states could react to that we have the other problem with that message is that if we're told you do allow the people on the ground which is the population at large to choose their own leaders like they did during the arab revolution in both north africa and the middle east you saw that the people chose completely different from what the the the western nations would have wished i and
some of the leaders that were chosen had an islamic angle some of the parties that were selected had a shia cause and a calling so for that reason the the decision hasn't gone in the interest of the west so allowing the people to make a decision sometime doesn't work but they were not by what i said. go ahead daniel go ahead. i didn't i didn't say that we can't allow people to make decisions i didn't say we preempted we dominate. so far as we have policies either military policies or economic or other policies we should always oppose the islamists we should not help the islamist get to power if they get to power despite its ok so be it but i can run through many countries and even places like gaza iraq syria libya egypt yemen tunisia where the west has helped the islamists i can also point to places like mali where we're fighting the islamists i'm saying that's inconsistent oh ok what should be consistent what policy should we have because it seems unclear to me i mean what about democracy that's consistent.
daniel go ahead i go again you. i'm not sure it is well why not in other words the islamists are people who have learned to use democratic means to gain for tarion control look at mohamed morsi he's only in office for a couple months and he's already trying to be the new furrow the islamists have learned unlike the fascists and communists who never got that far they have learned to mobilize people and to win elections find good for them it doesn't mean i have to support them doesn't mean i have to be in favor of their coming to power i want a modern middle east a modern muslim world that the muslims themselves can achieve and it's not going to be achieved through islamism this limits from is a backward looking. ideology that seeks to implement a medieval law code not the way to go forward it's a terrible idea so if they do it they do it i'm not saying that we're going to stop
i want to stop it everywhere i am so i think what this is trying to say not many really are all the time i go ahead in line to jump in i don't think i don't think it's wise to start categorizing a billion people in the in the context of which your speaker is actually speaking about i think it's wrong i think muslims have a choice they can decide for themselves the countries who are muslim dominated countries like to choose leaders that reflects what the general consensus are within those populations and sometimes if they don't fit with the the effects around the world then just tough luck and i think we've got to find a way around the well all of us to be able to work with each other they respect all of our religious divides and the problem is is that when the religion is used as a tool the it can have ramifications that extend well beyond the confines of all the communities so that's where the problem lies so daniel we should decide the quality of democracies are so i don't i don't characterize a billion people go ahead daniel respond go ahead please if i did i don't
characterize a billion people but if you were call my first point is that we're fighting. with some muslims against other muslims are plenty of muslims who don't want islam itself and we are sometimes helping them as in mali and sometimes we're working against them but i am not characterizing billion people i'm saying there are many divisions in the muslim world and i think we should help the modern secular muslims because they are the people see the world like we do we won't always win remember they won't always win but we should help them they're the people that we have a philosophical moral and practical connection to. i'm not characterizing what i'm saying that we should use our influence to help those people who are modern democratic. and the mind's. eye i agree with you that we can't impose our will and i'm not trying to impose our will but we do well in the west does impose its will it's well all of that calling influence that we should it does all of the time i also you know where it should be afghanistan is
a good one iraq is a good one yemen eccentric cetera i mean why is the use of force there. i'll go out to live in the black box into a recovery i don't know how lucky we got we got rid of go ahead first we got rid of all the horrendous regimes. ok and we support it around as well as we go back to the situation we well we do go back to the station with blow back in the iraq afghanistan and i'm also in libya most recently where the west got it wrong fundamentally thinking about not only what they were they were there with all good intentions to resolve a problem but fail to see the wider connotations of the problems that it would bring like we have in mali right now the fact that with gadhafi gone there was more likely to leak out to mali which could create instability which could and power the communities which would otherwise not have been in power in the first place so i think the west has got to look at this thing broadly on the stand what the ramifications are with the decisions to make understand the cultural implications with some of the tribal mixes and how these wars actually integrate and. however i
think there should be a road map with any one of these crises and we don't seem to have a road map that is being invented as we go along simply because the situation in ground is changing so quickly so i think long term planning better cooperation i think would be best if. east west north south across the world were to come to a consensus in terms of dealing with these problems that would help making sure we have as many stakeholders as possible dealing with the issue rather than be imposed on in terms of how the decision and the run cations on the problems are resolved any a lot of people on the ground in mosul in the muslim world think that the west uses force all too often. without looking at other options ok do you think force is used too often. well first let me concur with mr johnson saying that we need long range planning absolutely and i offered my idea for a long range plan which is always to pose the islamists then to your question are
we using the west using force too often against muslims well the point is that most of the muslim world broadly speaking especially the middle east is in turmoil there is dictatorship but why is it is turmoil when it's the origins of that within it's that imperial that's i mean that's not me origin and maybe that's a new normal deal isn't imperialism ended decades and decades ago no this one began in december two thousand and ten with a food vendor in tunisia and nothing to do with the west and then it spread and spread and spread and there are fights going on and we are weighing in on them but we didn't start them and we're not continuing them these are they're real problems you have a saddam hussein you mention iraq if we have the students on the scene he's a stalinist figure incredibly horrible dictator for his own people and like everybody and like saudi arabia yes like saudi arabia and potentially. come on i'm no fan of the saudis but they didn't they out there you know they're mild compared to saddam hussein who was. a monster
a monster. here just the worst. if i can hide something that was a danger to everyone his own people so so let me just read it over just so there are there's instability volatility extremism and we get sucked there look. you know let you finish your point i'm right sorry to have to go to a break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the west and the possible worlds state party. recently she. is a. wealthy british scientists some. time to explain the.
good. luck. i mean very little. there are twelve cities in the united states in which half of the people with hiv aids lives with. over sixty two percent. i diagnosed with aids this is a problem that frankly is substantially preventable it was like the big elephant in the room and nobody wanted to talk about there were really good public health campaigns that people were really focused on this problem you certainly should be able to a lot less a lot less human suffering. welcome
back to cross all things are considered i'm peter lavelle talking about the west assault on the muslim world. i daniel i know you have to run really soon and i want you to finish the point that you made in the first part of the program please do. thank you. there is volatility of extremism in the muslim world there's violence there's insurrection and outside powers are getting sucked in or want to come in and it's not just western powers there's a theory now in france among several harboring politicians that qatar is behind the the islamist rebellion in mali qatar not
a western power a muslim well isn't that a way to translate that isn't that really if i do qatar but that's that's an appendage of the west qatar don't you think that they're pretty much on the same page qatar confuse me its hundred percent muslim country that has islamist goals that is sympathetic to islam is a no it's not part of the worst of all it's it's it's part of saudi arabia if you can put it that way with and with an islamist agenda so what one has is suddenly what has muslim powers like turkey and qatar and saudi arabia and iran but a very holy day with a lot of clout in washington all right i want to i want to go back to washington now and we're also joined now by kelli the host in washington she's a journalist at antiwar dot com kelli thank you very much for joining us in this segment of the program i don't know much how much you heard of it the first part but you know when we talked about blowback and we talked about is there a learning curve with these interventions in mali is in the headlines right now what are your thoughts on that. well i would say
a learning curve yes the most apparent example of that is what happened in libya where there was an intervention by the united states there wasn't planning for what would happen afterwards as in iraq. and what we saw is the weapons bleeding out of libya into the hands of al qaeda which who are responsible for what is happening in mali wailea which is right now creating and other intervention of the west in africa so yes i do believe that there is a learning curve and i think a lot of it's based on a there is no planning after after action planning for these interventions and b. the short sightedness in which we are not investing in diplomacy and instead of instead we're investing in drones and boots on the ground in africa right now i
mean what do you think about that i mean it looks like preemption all over again i don't see much learning curve since two thousand and three maybe i'm wrong yes they have to be much learning curve but what has changed from the mentally has been you know what a little change has been the jihadist movement which was also changes being fundamentalism and on of course the rest is history so i think it's very much about how do we do with these groups clearly it's to do with ideology mindset is to do with a way of life they believe that they're there to. protection from god the there to do their job we don't fit in with the with ideology so there's a there's a conflict going to this is going to take a little i jump in here to be totally lose daniel pipes are we seeing now daniel are we seeing. a three point zero. we are seeing that of evolution of a car yes it is no longer based in afghanistan and where is the rest on their
independent franchises which are working from the bottom up and they are finding new recruits and they're finding the money and they are in business and so the notion that the execution of some of them long close to two years ago meant the end of a car that was completely well it's still there and others like it are still there if you look at mali there are three islamist movements that are contending for control of northern mali not just al qaida so it's very much in business of those who is who saw it as over the hill i think we're fundamentally wrong in their judgment you know kelly i can't think of a country and i'm thinking the united states they can get more enemies more quickly with its poor actions in the arab world i mean it's extraordinary. they get sick maybe they can do well but as always easily. well yeah and i think it going to just going back to the question about learning curve and i think that you know i sort of . had had a misinterpretation your question but i don't think that we're seeing
a alqaeda three point zero ok what we're seeing is blowback here and you talked about that a little bit in the last segment that we're at what we're looking at al qaeda movements or offshoots in northern africa right now that were pretty innocuous up until now you know they have local local issues local rivalries local skirmishes and what happens is that we start getting involved like in libya and we create a whole landslide. reactions in which we have we have weapons that are better out there and all of a sudden these al qaeda movements which were a major threat to united states or western interests before all of a sudden become a threat because they're all of a sudden infused with weapons and a cause and then we continue to give them a cause when we start to intervene intervening in places like mali and when the french get involved and then when we start you know we continue our drone attacks
in yemen attacks in pakistan so it's sort of like this and endless cycle of violence in which smaller al qaeda offshoots are now given not not not more than they're given a cause but they're also given weapons and affiliations with other groups that they may have not had before what are you thinking about is the learning curve we're going to react to it can only do so good. well i tend to agree that we are in a learning mode but the ramifications it means that the likely to be a war it means that more people are likely to lose their lives we're talking about displacement of people we're talking about governments being run by quangos you're talking about a coup d'etat so what you have a failed states you have a first created of those doubts who's created those failed states ok because i think the the whole imperialist agenda of the last century is still very much in play here look at mali that's not a natural state it was invented by the french well yes it was caught off yes during
the colonial era it was literally carved up on a piece of paper yet its neighboring countries where put aside into a different other groups ignoring tribal and cultural differences that's the nucleus of the problem is it means that the border regions are very porous it means that of course the the rest is history in terms of how tribal tribes move across borders and and when you have conflict in one particular countries its effects are not and then you have a region that can explode to implode and of course in this particular instance mali being so close to europe it means that the problem is closer to home rather than far away as it was in afghanistan in iraq kelly what do you think about that because it seems to me that there's so many other issues in play here we have ethnic strife we have religious religious strife and then a lot of people say it's about resources as well but it's very easy in western media to say well they're they're muslims and they're bad and these words are warranted. i mean i daresay that there are plenty of people even in
washington who didn't who couldn't find mali on a map a few months ago and it's not even it's funny but it's not so funny but it's becoming harder for people like myself who are writing about foreign policy issues to keep up with the number of very quiet under the radar interventions going on in north africa and if i could just maybe take it out to a metal level for a second you know i did a story a few months ago about this very issue when i saw that mali was coming on the radar and that general ham who is the general of africa was started talking about the possibilities of a sort of an intervention in mali and i dug a little deeper and you know there's been some good reporting but not a lot of mainstreet our reporting on you know we're involved united states is involved in about fifty four countries on the continent of africa right now and that includes boots on the ground training. outposts drone bases.
joint training exercises all throughout africa that you know most people don't even realize so we're getting involved in training one side against the other in places like uganda chad mauritania the congo south africa. and it goes on and on and we are it's inevitable that the united states is going to be choosing sides funding people that maybe six months to six years down the road turn out to be. the bad guy and then we have to turn around and get involved on the other side which inevitably includes military action so we are creating little fires all over. africa and i don't think that you knighted states taxpayer is fully aware
of this and would fully be on board with the idea that our ever dwindling resources are going to pay for all of these. incursions there were relationships partnerships in africa that turned out to be sour like in places like libya or mali ok let me let me go to you and. kelly does that it sounds like the united states and its western allies are just control freaks when it comes to africa. well to an extent africa is very much young in its democracy it's only fifty years at best or fifty two or fifty three years since colonialization so it's evolving and changing and what we do have is we governance there's no doubt about that we have poor leadership we have a population that sometimes become dissatisfied they seem disconnected with with the ruling elite there's too much poverty inequality that in itself translates back
into the issue about resources to what extent do we stop fighting for land use of water not to mention minerals so and of course the west sort of takes advantage of these frailties and problems that africa has us as a whole moving forward and then it uses it sometimes to its advantage either choosing the wrong leaders or choosing leaders that only stay for short term and then the problem some multiplied ten twenty fold when those leaders change or move away or there's a coup d'etat and then with well it would be voting in what you're saying that the continent doesn't need outside interventions all right folks have run out of time many thanks to my guests today in london in washington and in philadelphia and thanks to our viewers for watching us here r.t. see you next time and remember cross top. this is.
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