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tv   Cross Talk  RT  September 11, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm EDT

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indeed you. know. hello and welcome to crossfire where all things considered i'm peter lavelle stumbling in syria there can be no doubt the obama administration would very much like to strike syria and strike a hard problem is if you actually buy into the administration's so-called common
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sense reasoning surrounding assad's alleged use of chemical weapons what is the administration's real aim and has it painted itself into a red line corner. to cross-talk the continuing crisis in syria i'm joined by flynt leverett in washington he is a professor of international affairs at penn state university and co-author of going to tour around why the united states must come to terms with the islamic republic of iran also in washington we have ivan eland he is a senior fellow and director of the center on peace and liberty at the independent institute and in tel aviv we cross to mayor javedanfar he is a middle east expert right gentlemen cross-talk rules and effective means you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage it for and if i go to you first the syrians have agreed in some way or another that they would allow international supervision of their chemical weapons ok a form of disarmament but in fact isn't it that mr obama himself has been disarmed
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. i think so the administration was clearly getting desperate that is it is already lost almost all international support for its proposed strikes on syria i think there was a very real chance that certainly the house was going to vote against the administration and i think the senate was getting close enough where it was even think of all that that someone who opposed the resolution could could carry out filibusters so the congressional option was was drawing up for mr obama and now i think russian foreign minister sergei lavrov has very artfully taken advantage of the administration's largely self generated difficulties put this diplomatic proposal on the table playing off of you know an offhand remark by secretary of state john kerry and he's really put the administration in
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a position where if it if it doesn't appear to be working in some seriousness with russia to try and make this proposal work you know the ministration is really completely checkmated in syria as it is if this diplomatic proposal does get some traction and details are able to be worked out that lets some version of it move forward i think the critical achievement here from a russian perspective from many of the perspective of many other players other critical achievement here is you've got an administration that was operating more and more outside the bounds of international law you've actually now potentially got them bound into a legal international framework for dealing with the syrian conflict and i think back could have a lot of implications on the ground and diplomatically moving forward manner in tel
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aviv let's go to you let's say there is an agreement without stop obama under some circumstances still do attack syria and if that is the case would you do you think it's a good idea. well with everything the devil's in the details peter we need to know what's in the in the deal in terms of what sort of inspections will be subjected to how can we be sure that syria is going to tell the truth because before the syrian government has lied despite being a member signatory of the nonproliferation treaty it was developing a plutonium plant. which according to the washington post was borne by these radio force in two thousand and seven and after that the syrians are not call. the i.a.e.a. to fully understand what was going on at that plant and there's also they also have a research reactor near damascus and there they found traces of uranium which
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work as well as a result of let's take let's take you to chemical weapons yellow a little state with a chemical weapons here i mean if this doable in your opinion. it is doable as long as there is guarantee that syria is going to give up all of its weapons of mass destruction there is stringent inspection by the i.a.e.a. and also if if this passes as a resolution in the united nations as a chapter seven type resolution which means that if syria doesn't comply then there could be military consequences in that case i would actually say that that would be a victory for president obama and not him being checkmated ok what do you think about this is it looks like obama has painted himself into a corner. well i think he's been proven incompetent in the crisis i actually i think this russian proposal. because i really think he wanted to do this he made the same mistake that kennedy did in the cuban missile crisis and gave a very bellicose speech and then later on they said well these missiles in cuba are
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not really alter the strategic landscape but i have to do something about it kennedy said because i made this bellicose. each and i think the same thing happened with obama here he made this red line speech and then he had to do something and then he decided he wanted to let the congress bail him out one way or the other and of course. you know he hoped to get approval of some some sort for this i think because this presidency the effectiveness of this presidency is on the line then of course the vote doesn't look very good because the congressman went and the senators went home and got an earful from their from their constituents almost this this strike on syria is very very low popularity in the united states and it's very dangerous and i think obama knows this it's very dangerous to start a war when the american people or any in any democracy to support it because if you have to do more and i think in this case we probably would have to do more against
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syria than just once one set of strikes then the then the the people are not there for you and i think he'll realize is that now that's been brought home to him and i think the russian plan is a good one and i think everybody out of step back and take it and thankful it's been proposed flint but it still doesn't stop of obama striking syria at a future date ok because this is you know this is compartmentalized this is about chemical weapons ok one hundred thousand people have already died ok and that's not because of chemical weapons i think ivan is right that obama is reluctant to do this he just put himself in a situation where where it's the best of his available vailable options i think that the devil is going to be in the details and i expect that as the security council takes this. various other parties take this up that mr lavrov is is going to you know pay a lot of attention to the details and i think his goal is going to be to use the
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negotiation of this agreement basically to get the united states to make as much of a commitment as as he can extract. act that if this deal is implemented if syria really does put its chemical weapons stocks under international supervision that the united states is not going to strike and if indeed united states won't agree to that then it makes it very clear that the real agenda driving obama's policy in syria all along is not really chemical weapons and just not even really humanitarian considerations it's other considerations and so the administration will either be put in a position where it signs up to that and says basically ok if we can address this chemical weapons issue the united states is not going to be using military force essentially to take sides in the syrian civil war and if he doesn't do it then the
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united states can't take yes for an answer america so i think it's very interesting is it to the united states said that assad must go not too long ago and now we may sit down at the table and negotiate the chemical weapons deal kind of interesting isn't it. i think you know it's. who you have to deal with so i think you know regime change is not an option for anybody in this at this point i don't think anybody can topple assad except the syrian people but i think what happens here is that we have to ask the question why did this offer by president putin which i think is very smart came about it was because america threatened to attack assad if it wasn't for the threat to attack assad he would not have become willing and volunteer to give up with his weapons of mass destruction and i think there's another factor here which goes i think in my opinion is very important there was a report recently in the german newspaper that the recent chemical attack was
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conducted by syrian forces with assad's consent i think the fact that now he's willing to part with it also shows also perhaps not sure that perhaps gives credibility to the theory that he's not in charge of all of the syrian regime's chemical weapons and they're starting to becoming a danger to him because some of his soldiers are using it without his permission and he wants to be rid of it so i think for now it really you know this if the russian deal is a good deal if it allows the international community to know for sure that assad is not going to have any chemical weapons left within a specified period of time i think we could have what we don't have very often is that a win win situation for which i think it's very interesting and i go to. russia as we go to iran here but. assad doesn't need chemical weapons to win this conflict because recently it looks like he's been winning that's a civil war and well let me go to yvonne on that because when you're using him he
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doesn't need chemical weapons. i don't think he does and i think that's probably one of the reasons that he's rolling to get rid of. the you know there may only have been a defensive battlefield weapon. you know i suppose he could use them in. as a last ditch if you were going down but it's you know he realizes that the u.s. gets going attacking him he could considerably degrade his forces and the united states probably would do that as long as we're going to take the heat for for attacking and they're going to try to degrade his forces as much as they can because i think they still would like to to for the rebels to when i'm not sure why because i think the rebels are as bad as assad in many respects at least portions of the rebels and i think you're going to you're going to have a civil war after assad goes in anyway so i have i agree with flynt i think the russians are probably going to try to get as much. as they can to let obama off the hook and one of those things would be a pledge to maybe even behind the scenes i don't know but to not attack syria at
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all or even to not provide much military assistance to him but we'll have to see how the negotiations work out but i'd personally support that because i don't want the u.s. to be involved in this all right gentlemen we go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on syrian state with our team. i would rather as questions to people in positions of power instead of speaking on
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their behalf and that's why you can find my show larry king now right here on our t.v. question or. led mission in three liquid intake should three per store charges priests arrangements three per three listeria types three legs three blond hair splitting videos for your media projects a free media dog r t dot com. at the the pledge was a player hard to take out a letter to get along here is
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markets. come to. find out what's really happening to the global economy with mike's concert for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune into a report. welcome back to cross talk we're all things are considered i'm peter lavelle we're discussing the war in syria. ok fine people into the break you want to jump in there i'd like to interject here i mean we heard win win situation here that's very rare in diplomacy and conflict these days but is it
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a win win for everyone i'm looking at other players like iran saudi arabia israel turkey win win for everybody go ahead for lent. not quite and i think one of the things that's really telling is that sense. floated first floated his proposal yesterday and it began to get more and more. traction at least at least for the time being the syrian opposition has has gone ballistic over this the syrian bill and the syrian opposition thinks this is like the worst possible thing that could happen for them and i think that they're they're right to think that because if this deal that mr lavrov has proposed if it moves forward he has asada will have to put his chemical weapons under international control but he doesn't need chemical weapons in order to defeat the opposition on the battlefield he's been doing very well at that over the over the last few months and it
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basically puts the united states in a position where even though obama said more than two years ago that i must go and that he has no legitimacy the united states is going to have to deal with him and i think that mr lavrov and others will use this as a lever to try and get people to the table for a geneva two conference but one in which the united states is going to have to drop its very foolish condition that it has to go at the beginning of any process if there's going to be a political process moving forward it is going to be a political process that engages the syrian government with bashar assad as its head i think is bad for the opposition i think it's bad for some of the opposition supporters like the saudis. i think business is you know very positive for russia very positive for china it's boosting their influence within the security council and internationally i think it's also basically positive for iran because iran as
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a result of its own histories the victim of chemical weapons just going. he has a lot of sensitivities on this on this issue and i think this is this is positive for russia china and iran it's positive for bashar a lot it's bad for the syrian opposition and it's bad for actors like saudi arabia that have invested so much in the opposition where do you think they're going to give up you're going to listen to obama or go parting of ways because the saudis don't give up easily go ahead. you see the flint the desire for us to go it's not just the president obama desire it's the desire of a significant portion of the syrian people also and this is not something that president obama invented and of course is not up to one but why would the fact that he comes from the fact that he's saying it is because there are people who are
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syrian and they live in syria want him to go there of course those who want him to stay you can't deny that but there are people within syria who want to go and they have every right to demand that after what he's done perhaps you would have wanted him to go if he had done to your family what assad has done to hundreds of thousands of innocent civilian people that way forward here is that there has to be a solution found where the massacre has to stop whatever we like it this is a jew political struggle in this region there's of course are other sites there is the genuine syrian opposition there's al qaeda there of course outside players which we all know who they are and we have to find a way as soon as possible to stop this massacre now our side winning recently yes he has made a number of recent tactical victories he's had on the battlefield but i don't see bashar assad winning look at him where you look at where he's been in the last two years he's basically now known in the region as one of the one of the biggest. one
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of the most one of the biggest criminals in this region in terms of killing muslim people and killing soon so there's a look at where he. but there is no sure there's no shortage of criminals in the region there have been on today ok i wouldn't call that a victory not know what he turning into its nature that it's turning into a victory i go to a who's killed at one hundred five and let me go to you because name one iraqi leader who has killed one hundred thousand people peter please name do you need why it's a number so important to you ok as flynn pointed out there is legitimacy because i began this is a good one and why yes it is not a sign of ours has to decide on who is to reveal or syria why do outside clouds how to determine that it should be outside trying to learn more than a no tolerance to do that ok honey don't you know i'm dead ok you mentioned that you don't have to toss it over me the entire time this is ours to be a debate i've been no but you haven't quite had to i mean this is the thing ok you
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know assad is winning and this is why i keep asking the question because if we take care of the chemical weapons. and he's going to stay with us we're going to have to eat their words and they're still going to want to go after him. i just think that probably what's what's going to happen is that the civil war is going to last a while and it's good it's good that the outside powers a russia and the u.s. are trying to are now negotiating i think this may lead to further negotiations but ultimately i think the syrians have to decide this and the outside powers can mediate their them doing this but you know you might have a long term solution i think i don't think assad no matter how many tactical victories it gets he has military isn't strong enough to retake the entire country so i think you're going to have like a patchwork of going to have the kurds in the extreme northeast you're going to have the rebels in the north and east and then you're going to have assad controlling the corridor from damascus on up to the coast and so you might have to
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have some sort of a decentralized or partition or something like that you know that may have been a solution that should have been implemented in iraq but it wasn't and i think you know the problem that you have with these ethno sectarian societies is that one group tries to take over the government and use it to oppress the other groups and so i don't see any difference from assad whether it's assad doing that or it's an al qaeda linked opposition if they take power so i think you know you may have to have we may have had to see syria carved up because it's just such a mess what do you think about that because that's really the next step to get through the next step what happens after that it's very interesting what we just heard. yeah i've been saying for more than two years virtually since this conflict started that in the end the only way out of this is
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a negotiated political settlement that silla tainted by various outside parties that has influence on protagonists inside syria but the goal is a negotiated political settlement which would involve some kind of power sharing or rain. between. the assad government and elements of the opposition you know roughly along the lines of what happened in lebannon you could even say in some ways roughly along the lines of what happened in iraq if bench really and this is this is got to be the goal one of the major barriers to getting there so far has been this utterly foolish statement that obama made in august two thousand and eleven that assad has to go and you know that is carried over into all of the discussions about a geneva conference where russia china others say look given the course of the syrian political process syrians decide that assad should go that's fine but we
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can't stipulate that at the beginning and the united states has been has been really quite obstinate about that i think that one of the real potential benefits of what mr lavrov has done we'll have to see how it plays out but one potential benefit is that i think it could increase the chances that you get into a geneva process aimed at this kind of new political arrangement in syria but with the united states is basically going to have to drop this this foolish precondition that assad's departure has to be stipulated at the get go and the opposition is going to have to sit at the table and actually negotiate their way and tell of even if you think you need to go ahead go ahead jump in first go ahead. yeah i just said i second that up to a point i think that you know this statement that assad has to go as it was a very bad one i agree with that and i think that you know they're going to the
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syrians are going to have to reach some agreement on on what they're what they're doing but and if if we take what happened after world war one when the united states insisted woodrow wilson insisted that the kaiser be deposed look what took its place hitler i think we have to be careful about what we ask for and not so. although for the long term solution i'm not so enamored with the power sharing because i think that still creates a lot of tension in the groups still vie for power for that central government and they there's still that incentive to grab the central government's apparatus and use it to the oppress the others and i think that's happened in iraq and i also think it didn't work in zimbabwe when they had a power sharing agreement i almost think decentralization is the only way to go in tel aviv what a weak syrian the future is good for the region is not good for the neighborhood.
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to be honest with you really depends i mean at the end of the day it's something for the syrian people to decide if at the end of the they decide to have to carve up their country that's up to them but i think you know we are unfortunately long way away even from a from a solution like that because the syrian opposition even if they can't get their act together we see when there are negotiations they keep fighting with each other there's a lot of in-fighting between them but at the end of the day if that's what they want i think yes that could be a solution if that's something that's going to stop all this killing but didn't really depends who's going to rule them i think you know. in the sunni if there's going to be for example a sunni state who's going to rule that part of syria the kurds if they're going to have their own state which i hope they will how is turkey going to react to that and of course when the alawite have their own state what kind of a relationship is that going to have with lebanon who is next door neighbor you know we're looking at a rubik's cube here that has to be everything all the sides have to march and
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unfortunately we are even far away from that from such as the one which could bring some kind of a stability to the syrian synonymous with unintended consequences many thanks to my guest today in washington and in tel aviv and thanks to our viewers for watching us here are to see you next time and remember. these. well. science technology innovation all the least of melanin still around russia we've got the future covered. and.
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i would rather ask questions to people in positions of power instead of speaking on their behalf and that's why you can find my show larry king now right here on r.t. question. i know c.n.n. a mess n.b.c. and fox news have taken some not slightly but the fact is i admire their commitment to cover all sides of the story just in case one of them happens to be accurate. that was funny but it's closer to the truth and might think.
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it's because when full attention and the mainstream media works side by side the joke is actually on here. and our teen years we have a different thread. because the news of the world just is not this funny i'm not laughing dammit i'm not going. to get a sense of the jokes i will hand out to make that happen. led mission and three per cretaceous three per cent store charges three per rangelands three per street the stereotypes three list the old free blond hair splitting video for your media
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