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tv   Prime Interest  RT  July 17, 2013 1:29pm-2:01pm EDT

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hello and welcome to crossfire all things considered i'm peter lavelle what drives american foreign policy values or merely interests washington claims it supports democracy as a universal value but makes glaring exceptions when it suits its geo political purposes and what about the neo conservative agenda is it the genetic code of pax americana. to cross-talk the neo conservatives and democracy i'm joined by my guest in washington mark jacobson he is a senior fellow at the german marshall fund and a senior advisor to the truman national security project and we also have matthew feeney he is an assistant editor at reason twenty four seven or a german cross-talk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want matthew playing go to you first in washington would you describe american foreign policy is is neoconservative. i think it be a little too simplistic to say that american foreign policy is explicitly
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neoconservative all the time but that said i do think that since the cold war we have as a nation been interfering far too much in other people's affairs but like i said i think be a little simplistic to say it's been a blanket lee neo conservative ok matt if i can stay with you would you say it doesn't matter what party is in power if you said since the cold war end of the cold war i think yeah. sure democrats and republicans have both demonstrated that they are willing to get engaged in other nations abroad. obviously the events of nine eleven highlighted the republicans as the ones that like to intervene in other countries but it is by no means just a republican trade. mark would you weigh in on that would you describe american foreign policy as neo conservative absolutely not i i think words matter phrases matter and it's very important understand neo conservatism in terms of u.s. foreign policy has to do with not only seeing the world as black and white this
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constant struggle between good and evil but also the willingness to use military force to force democratization abroad is that a good idea certainly there's an extradition is that a good idea no i think it's a it's a horrible i absolutely horrible idea and that's why the obama administration the election was an outright rejection of the neo conservative policies that guided the bush administration what i will say these comments though is that. american intervention are broad as been relatively consistent before the cold war after the cold war and during the cold war didn't all the sudden start where the u.s. started intervening abroad after nine hundred ninety. ok matthew you agree or disagree with that no choice i think i think when i think mark is right that neo conservatism has a definite definition that people like myself especially people who don't favor. intervention abroad do some and sometimes flippantly use the term when it's not the
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most appropriate but i do think that. despite the fact that american form intervention might have been rather consistent i do think that you can point to differences between different administrations i'm the obama administration has certainly not been invading countries with the same fervor that the bush administration did but the drone strikes in pakistan and our continued the continued existence of the prisons in guantanamo bay demonstrate that there are you know some consistency marc would you agree or disagree with that. because a lot of people in the world leaders of a lot of people in the world would say there's no difference between bush and obama fundamentally i think that a fundamental difference between bush and obama i mean you take a look at it and i think you take a look at let's just take actions and pocket stun versus actions in iraq i mean the bush or the the obama administration came in with two overarching goals get the troops out of iraq which was a war of choice not
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a war of necessity and frankly end the war in afghanistan in a responsible way the operations in pockets don i think are a reflection of the desire not to intervene with ground troops not to go try and force regime change and i think that's fairly consistent if you look at what's often criticized there's a large criticism of u.s. policy in egypt and syria with regards to iran and i think that's a reflection of the fact that there are many shades of gray here it's not just the neo conservative you're either with us or against us mentality. matthew yeah i i i would add that i think it's important to remember that some of the neo conservatives such as john mccain who you know was a supporter for the war in iraq is has said even in the situation that's developing in syria that he doesn't support having boots on the ground so it does obviously change depending on the situation but i think that it's important to point out that
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you know an invasion of pakistan is obviously something that i don't think the nonstarter the bush admin it's a nonstarter because no i. right no. true i mean i think even the most ardent true neoconservatives would would would agree with but that said you know i still think the impact of having violence committed by the united states on your country whether it's from drones or ground troops does have an effect on the population that we shouldn't ignore market just because the means are different the ideology is different. joe no actually i think it's very important not to confuse the use of a new type of weapon with some sort of change ideological approach i mean there is no doubt in my mind that the use of drones reflects the desire to limit potentially u.s. casualties and frankly i know there's a debate about this limit civilian casualties on the ground but that's nothing new
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this is a revolution that began in the second world war i mean you take a look i should say is a reaction to the second world war it was no longer acceptable to go carpet bomb cities and not worry about civilian casualties so you take a look at the one nine hundred eighty s. the one nine hundred ninety s. the gulf war kosovo bosnia mia desire has been to limit casualties and to intervene in a more humanitarian way so let me add one other point that i think it's critical when you look at neo conservatism you're talking about the unilateral use of force where as i would argue the clinton administration and the obama administration have been about using force within the constraints of the international community u.n. resolutions and nato action not the unilateral type of use of force we saw during the war in iraq matthew addressed libya. sure but i think the point is well intended on the i you know libya was a nato supported intervention and mission and i don't really mind if it's united
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states doing it to other western governments i think an intervention the intervention in libya has had effects that we are going to be living with for a while especially if you consider the situation now in mali and algeria but that's saying that's a that's an understatement that's an understatement don't you think that's an understatement. and we have arms going everywhere all over the reactions i've unintended consequences on a master mind my. my i'm pointing out libya only to say that even interventions where the u.s. does not act unilaterally can have. disastrous effects that we have a difficult too difficult to plan for mark what about democracy but this is the world i would already be live in right now it if you take a look at the world we live in ice not is it's over simplifying it to say damned if you do damned if you don't but these are our complex problems that if you don't do
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anything let's just take libya and syria you don't do anything then you run the risk of a massive humanitarian a massive humanitarian disaster civil war you'll make it worse the repro you'll make your generous well you'll make it worse but you could make it better too i mean is libya itself better off or worse off than it was before i mean that's the open question but what it actually required ask libya is a commitment by the international community to deal with the consequences ok well they're certainly not doing a very good job of it. no ok so the question of will things get better with without intervention is a debate that people and i mean i would argue that intervening in syria especially right now would would really not be the right thing to do now obviously it do i don't know for certain i don't know for certain but this is a sort of a secondary question to the first. the first thing that should be considered which is i mean what what why should the united states have the role of intervening in
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these places in the first place and you know that's something that we really should be drastically reconsidering i still i'm at a loss to understand why the u.s. administration feel the need to be involved in every crisis i've developed around the world that can have really really disastrous consequences of a not ever you know i don't think ever fully considered mark and you like to address them but i don't think that's the case at all i think you actually see a a resistance to getting involved let's take a couple of them in africa for example in libya in fact the u.s. was criticized a mess to clean and in some cases abroad for not being in charge you recall the unfortunate phrase leading from behind the u.s. it will all go on europeans this is an issue for you will support you with specific needs air power for example specially surveillance and you know some intelligence assets similarly in mali i mean that was a french unilateral action that was not a nato action the u.s.
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certainly wasn't in the lead but in fact it's a more responsible use of power to say at times look we need the arab league to take the lead on things such as in libya or perhaps we need to have the african union take the lead on some other issues so i actually think this administration has been reflective of a critical eye towards selective engagement and i don't think it's reflective of u.s. foreign policy that's actively interventionist matthew do you want to address that because we still have issues like israel we still have go ahead. i mean well the. vention in mali is interesting because obviously a lot of american equipment was and american bases a foreign member correctly we used for logistics it's very hard to imagine that the french could have you know latterly done this you know in the way that they did without some sort of american support and i would also like to point out that intervention in syria if you do polls on the american public is hardly a popular policy for people to endorse but nonetheless the a bomb ministration now
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that the red line has been crossed has said you know will be sent to selected rebel so whether it's popular domestically doesn't seem to affect the obama administration. markey what before we go to the radio and i think there is there is some nuance here there's some nuance here it's important in terms of molly i think that's actually reflective of the way nato works at a way that are really i should say u.s. relationships with the europeans work very often the u.s. provide i'm going to jump in here we have to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion neal cons in democracy and state with r.t. . i.
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exactly what happened that day i don't know but a woman killed. piers later is when i got arrested for. for a crime i did not do. we have numerous cases where police officers lie about polygraph results. innocent people taking shots the police officers don't beat people anymore i mean it just doesn't happen really. in the course of interrogation why because there's been this is like meant no because the psychological techniques are more effective in obtaining confessions than physical abuse and they were off taking they could get what they wanted they can say what they wanted and there was no evidence of what they did or what they said.
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right from the scene. first trip. and i think pictures. on our reporters twitter. and instagram. to be in the know. on mom. you know.
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welcome back to cross talk we're all things are considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing neo cons and democracy. mark if i go back to you in washington or new cons really interested in democracy or is it just a cover oh i think neo cons are interested in democracy but i think they're guided by a sort of misunderstanding that you can force people to be free you take a look at the cold war for example it was more important to have revolutions democratic revolutions come from within it something that can't be forced from the outside because democracy in the end is about more than going through the process of voting it's about concepts in an understanding of the responsibilities. of
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being for a free society and that can't be imposed from the outside so how do you feel about the coup in egypt. well it depends if you want to use the word coup or not oh my god this is the mind telling me it was a military interesting and i can't believe people are still saying this come on mark it was a military coup a military took over. i have no issue with the fact that the military took over that that's factually what i'm saying is if the united the united states is in an awkward position where it wants to help try and keep egypt on a positive path. she does have the ability why is that washington right responsibility one. the people voted who else is willing to put the money into the development and governance programs i look at the us taxpayer i would be thrilled if the rest of the world wants to pick up the tab and help the egyptian civil
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society help the egyptian rule of law programs maybe we should just leave them not alone i don't see anyone maybe you should just leave them alone. if you want to just leave them alone into chaos and not help out i mean only what who weaker national mood is and they supported nobody we created a lot of this chaos here matthew wayne no i don't think that it's the role of the us government to entrust ability in egypt i also think as a american taxpayer as well i don't like the idea of you know taking money from poor people here and sending it to rich people abroad i think if people want to donate to the stability of each of them they can be more than welcome to do so but you know i'm someone who believes that the government should be limited in its roles and i don't think foreign aid is one of those at all and you would also like to point out when it comes to egypt america's positions been a little confused i mean maybe mark has a different opinion but i can see we seem to be ok with the mists and the military
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and with barak it just seems very confused and i wish there was some sort of if we're going to have foreign aid that there was some sort of you know conditional attachments to it. mark there are conditional attachment there are conditional attachments to foreign aid and let me parse my own statement i am very a big supporter of foreign aid and we forget that it's you know only about one and a half percent of the u.s. budget where people think it's as massive twenty five percent absolutely incorrect but yeah but israel is a very religious congregations and reforms are you a very rich country who gets a lot of money from the united states why. i think what you have to look at are where those programs are and are important where they're having an impact whether you are a rich country that needs help with security assistance and i would argue that if you take a look at joint projects between israel and united states let's look at iron dome for example what a very positive thing not just for israel but frankly for the rest of the world to be able to stop terrorist rockets from killing civilians that's
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a good thing no matter which country maybe they should just end the apartheid system there you wouldn't have to worry about i think go ahead matthew. now i'm just curious if mark thinks that the israeli economy would be able to support its defense systems like iron dome without american involvement tomorrow and want to secure iraq well i think they're on the right path i mean you to take a look at all the innovation in the startup industries in israel is that the wonderful book startup nation that's been written by it i think you're seeing it is really economy that is growing at a significant rate in there there will be a point where they can do things like this but with all i would argue with all heavy r. and d. research development programs it's useful for countries to share those start up costs. you know i think you're dealing with a very peculiar security situation you have arab nations and you have terrorist groups that are calling for the utter destruction of the people and
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frankly more of the international community should be out there saying this is unacceptable if we're glad to be old saying that will be illegal these are the ones we think a little time calling for the destruction of the country matthew go ahead. look i i absolutely don't believe and i do condemn people who call for the destruction of israel and i think you know there are plenty of you know politicians in the west that do defend israel's right to exist my only point here is that it's there is a certain irony that we seem to be giving aid to israel with. and iron dome and things like this but then we also giving aid to countries i mean sometimes military aid to countries that among some of the warring countries that mark has mentioned and i think there's a little bit of a moral contradiction here much like saudi arabia mark ok not necessarily the beacon of democracy there. well i'm going to agree with matthew on something i
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think there are some serious challenges predating this administration i would say going back to the cold war with regards to. how we deal out security assistance i mean this country and frankly the world is going to suffer as a result of the support that many countries have given some of these dictatorial regimes and frankly i think we should be spending our before and may foreign aid money on developing the civil society in these countries so that we can foster those internal transitions i spoke about that's easier said than done but i am in agreement that we have to reshape our security assistance and i think it ministrations doing a decent job of this but we have to reshape the security assistance in order to support overall efforts promoting democracy abroad ok i mention. just to you like to address that ok when the most autocratic regimes in the world now my my my position is that we shouldn't be doing saudi arabia. much assistance at all
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and look i think even if you believe that foreign aid is something worthwhile doing and that the government does have a role in doing this then surely there's got to be some sort of moral line that is drawn and that you would hope that saudi arabia would not be able to meet the pretty basic criterion of civil society and human rights but i don't know if mark agrees on market. i mean it's very consciously think that's exactly the type of. that's there are contradictions and no doubt but that's where i think conditionality has to come into play and frankly i think it would be worth reviewing whether it's in academia in congress or in the administration how we provide aid to some of these countries and what conditions are put on these countries so that they improve their human rights record so that they improve the way they deal with their own civil society but i would argue for example the u.s. department of state has funded the middle east north africa trust to promote this
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type of democracy so i don't think that the administration is acting deliberately in contradiction i think what we have are many nations out there particularly in the gulf that are not as supportive of their peoples as they should be and this is going to be a problem this is going to create more problems for those ruling powers that it is for the rest of us the arab spring is just one indication of that came matthew go ahead i mean here we have the saudis exporting jihadism in syria and that's an ally of the united states and i obviously don't condone that sort of behavior at all but i'm interested in the you know the i agree with what that has to be a review of this sort of stuff and i'm not sure how it could be potentially implemented but i think you know the military aid should really be what we focus on cutting back and i think you know like i said before let's grant i don't agree but let's grant that foreign aid is worthwhile doing and it's
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a good thing for governments to do even maybe we should you know focus on the things that. deadly things like infrastructure and these sorts of things the idea that we're still going to be sending f. sixteen jets to egypt regardless of who's in charge is to me seems a little insane and i agree with mark that it should absolutely be reviewed mark what you think about that because in the case of egypt the united states was born supporting civil society or at least liberal elements of it and the military it's the us to involved in a country like egypt it's contradictory. i don't work at all so i think in the middle of all of them a country like egypt i think your comments earlier reflect how complicated it is you spoke about saudi arabia supporting jihadi is the challenge is that a lot of these people who are in saudi sorry in syria egypt or i know happened in the regime egypt had an election that's the difference between the two isn't it and the u.s. policy is not trying to tell the egyptians what to do it's you know this is this
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whole argument over well how do you respond to a coup well look the egyptian military and the egyptian people are sorting this out i mean for me the most important metric was the appointment of interim civilian authority within days of this taking place had the military taken control and not appointed an interim authority i may have i would probably have a much different view but given the situation i mean you can't have it both ways you can't not be involved you should be an electricity side you should respect the elections right but i think the administration's been clear that you need to there are appropriate ways of doing and it hasn't because when you call it a view to mine and it doesn't call it a coup they won't call it a coup because that puts certain conditions or actually results in a breach of some of the conditions and frankly that's not needed gyptian people's
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best interest right now ok i wonder who knows what the best interests are going to egyptian people are going to head jump in thirty seconds last word matthew go ahead but no i was just. no i was just going to say look whatever you think about the situation in egypt you know they might be sorting it out but the huge amount of violence going on and i was i was no fan of morsi by any means but you know i still think it's too early to say if it was the right thing to do but whether this will be successful or not but i i agree with i mean i just think what it what it well so you can call it other than a coup when the military forcibly removed the government i don't know but that's all right gentlemen we have run out of time coal thank you very much fascinating discussion many thanks indeed to my guests in washington and thanks to our viewers for watching us here darkie see you next time and remember cross talk.
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list. they all told him the language of what our lovely react to situations i have read the reports. for the no i will leave them to stay current a comment on your latter point completely. secure a car is on the docket. you know no more weasel or. when you made a direct question he prepared for a change when you find you should be ready for a. pretty speech and slid down to freedom to cast. wealthy british science it's time to. market. find out what's really happening to the global
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economy cause a report. live from moscow and. dejected edward snowden could stay in russia for a wall now a lawyer involved in the case says an intense u.s. means the will so close plans could now include russian citizenship. a british police agency is sued for compiling lists and feeding data into nato as a man has lost six relatives pushes for its owed up to its fate has. images of western weapons in the hands of militias of law and sparking fears the u.s. government can't control. and scaring the scots the british government goes on the p.r. offensive telling scottish voters their independence could cost them a heap of problems ranging from low.


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