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tv   Cross Talk  RT  September 16, 2013 2:29am-3:01am EDT

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hello and welcome to crossfire all things are considered on peter lavelle syria and the neighborhood as washington stumbles its way through the syrian crisis there are those who see this horrific conflict as a perfect opportunity to topple assad then to move on to turn around at the same time iran in the u.s. are said to engage in direct talks for the first time in thirty years so what's ahead more complex for the start of pragmatism and compromise. to cross out the or an angle to the syrian crisis i'm joined by mohammad marandi in turn he is a professor at the university of tehran and in washington we cross to eunice he is
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the president of the baltimore chapter of muslim community usa originally cross-talk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage it professor marandi in turn i know you follow western media very carefully and you know when i read the neo-cons in the new york times and all the other organs there and there's always that here and there like all my goodness this is the opportunity we've been waiting for for a long time three for one assad to hezbollah and iran but unfortunately for mr obama he hit a brick wall how do you look at how do you when you read that kind of narrative what's your reaction. yes i think when we hear people in washington say that a strike on syria sends a message to tehran not only is it immoral but also it shows that indeed tehran is very much in their calculations and the united states wants to weaken
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iran through striking the syrian people. but i think that really what happened is quite darker said obama has not only isolated himself internationally and destroyed whatever was left of his public diplomacy capabilities as a result of coming to power with a slogan of change but also in addition to its leading himself. across the world he has isolated himself in the united states as well not only is the u.s. public opinion deeply against the war but also the senate and congress they have been forced to think twice about endorsing aggression against the syrian people and i think that weakens his position significantly while on the other hand the iranian position has been strengthened right now. just over the last few days we see that the iranian president has met both the russian president as well as the chinese
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president and the relations have warmed as a result of american actions and also the recent iranian election with a high turnout and. a high degree of. support for the president both by the electorate and also his rivals puts iran in a very commanding position right now but he what do you reflect upon that because you know even white house officials say it sends a message shoots around i thought we were trying to save the people of syria i mean do you find that disturbing because that's the only that's their fallback position it looks like to me exactly peter not just me but the tens of millions of members of arm of the muslim community the global arm of the muslim community or position on this issue has been very clear for a number of years which is no war no force we need to work with diplomacy the world is a very complicated place and we have a spiritual leader who has written letters to these countries and we have been very
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vocal and very clear about it that these you need lateral wars we marginalize united nations they are to no one's benefit not to america's benefit and not to syria or iran's benefit you know we are killing those people that are already dying of hunger and disease and they need our help you know they need. assistance not our bombs for some or anything about to enter and i'm really a cynic i sed i still do truly believe that iran is the end game here but at the same time the irony of ironies we're going to have a meeting between the leaders of some leadership meeting between the united states and around so what's in play here is this just fake diplomacy we tried our best type thing because the obama still he says he can strike syria anytime he wants he doesn't need congress. yes well i'm not sure if there will be any direct talks between iran and the united states at this stage because american actions in syria
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the threats of made things more difficult and of course there are also the american sanctions on the iranian central bank the united states has been trying to make ordinary people in iran suffer by placing an effective embargo on the iranian central bank medicine in in this country has become much more expensive some medicines are almost impossible to import or when they are imported the price has gone up dramatically so as a result many ill children and especially cancer patients and women have died so there is a great deal of anger directed towards the united states right now any run but i think the important thing really is that recent events have shown that the united states is not really as strong as it. presents itself to be obama it was clear was looking for a way out of this situation and he should be very thankful to the russian president
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for providing him with a way out. it was clear that no one was going to accept any strike on syria the united states has already played a very immoral role in syria in the sense that it's been breaking international law along with dictatorships like saudi arabia qatar it's been funding al qaeda you know it's extraordinary that al qaeda today is being supported whereas nine eleven has just passed and all these wars on afghanistan and iraq and all the misery that the people of this region have gone through were all in the name of the war on terror and the war on al qaeda so this sort of hypocrisy on behalf of the united states and during the obama administration really shows people that there is no real difference between obama and bush and i think that that. really we can as the united states in its confrontation with iran claim if i go to you in washington if we do go down this diplomacy route for syria iran has to be involved now can the
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united states that down at the same negotiating table with other countries in the region with russia also and sit down and try to negotiate an end to the civil war because i know the around side would be willing to do that but does the united states have the political maturity to do that i mean that's one way to end this conflict if washington does want to see the suffering of the syrian people and we should and we must peter because this is the first time or at least after a long time that i believe that there is not a clenched fist on the other side president rouhani has very clearly made his intentions clear i believe that the world is a global willage and it does not do any harm to the credibility of the united states you know this question is brought up all the time that if we don't hit syria some credibility will be affected and i believe we need to understand that our credibility is also affected when tens of thousands of these children die of not
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getting their medicines because of the sanctions when we stand by on the sidelines for two years and let one hundred thousand people die in syria and i think our credibility is also affected when we just put united nations on the side and we believe that you know we can go in into any country without any direct national security threat and there are a lot of people united states who are saying that today so i believe it's very important for us to sit with all these people on the table it does not make us small it is not a sign or symbol of weakness it is a sign of maturity and if you go back to president barack obama's two thousand and eleven address that he made to the state department he made it very clear himself that those policies of national interest do not work anymore and we need to work with other nations so now is the time when he's under pressure from all sides and i'm really anxious to see which way he goes and by the way i would not call him. i would not call him a coward i believe you know that's also risky because when to leaders take strong positions if he goes to the negotiating table
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a lot of people now will say well you know way out any way he's trying to save face we're just making his job difficult by doing that i think we should give him credit if he goes down that road as i'm already trying to read your mind if you like to react as well. here as i was going to say that well first of all on the iranian side never had any clenched fists the united the iranians have said been saying from the start they deny the states has to change its attitude towards the country instead of constantly threatening iran with military strikes like it's been doing with syria and said of sanctioning ordinary iranians which it's been doing for years instead of supporting extremists in the region and invading country after country of the united states behaves in a reasonable and rational manner the iranians have always been willing for rapprochement so this is no nothing mr marandi show here you know i have to correct you i mean iran's supposed to be a rational actor right you're the crazy people right that's what i've heard for
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thirty years i mean american that's what i've heard so maybe you need to correct me here and let me go to the restroom or any friends there and let me just go ahead just just two points one is that actually the response to this is his in something i want to state about what your previous guest was saying and that is that the united states in syria has not been on the sidelines actually it has a great deal of blood on its hands it's very interesting when you hear western commentators speak about the government and the crimes that they have committed whereas the united states has been supporting hard eating in head cutting. barbarians for over two and a half years now the united states is a willing to confront iran and support al qaida which carried out according to the united states. are cities in in the united states and in new york itself so you know which is the irrational to here is it the united states that ten twelve
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years ago was fighting against al qaeda and it's now allowing al qaeda to thrive or is it iran. for him you want to quickly respond to that before we go to the break. wish there to know how much more and he was on piers morgan when i watched iran's president ahmadinejad i largely agree with you mohamed but i think our words have consequences i listened to that interview for one hour and you did a better job in the past two minutes than that person did in one hour i think this is the job of the leaders today to come out and use the kind of language that brings us to table not the kind of language that only is going to inflame the situation further because you are you you have a great opportunity here and i think we're probably saying the same thing but there is some blame to be put on both sides that we when we try to act tough or people suffer all right gentlemen i'm going to jump in here we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on syria and
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the rest stay with our. i have been negotiating in being a participant in the w two zero since nine hundred ninety seven and over all these years i have never seen a moment a moment to motor year a moment when three dimensions were not theirs. the pigs look it was terrible they come up very hard to make outlooks once again the among the floodlight that never
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had sex with the perfect hair plugs let's look up the law. suits. lists the first subluxation lists of the the people. dramas the chance to be ignored to the. stories others refused
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to notice and. so since changing the world lights never. grow. old pictures of today's lives a long long distance from around the globe. promptly. to the. welcome back to cross out we're all things are considered i'm peter a level three mind you we're discussing syria and iran. ok i'm home from go back to you in turn it was about ten days ago benjamin netanyahu the israeli prime minister told c.b.s.
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news that iran is building intercontinental ballistic missiles that could strike the united states in a matter of years. i think you know where i'm going here i mean talk about this dynamic because you know when it comes to iran people israel has a big hearing be it in the lobby in the united states there's a big hearing is that in america's national interest definitely not i mean the united states is basically because of israel. pursuing policies that are totally against the national interests of the united states the united states out of spite because of its hostility towards iran has allied itself with al qaeda it has al indirectly at least with saudi arabia the place where the al qaeda like ideology stems from with talent dictatorships like that it is allied itself with the worst worst regimes in the world and it is behaving and it is supporting these
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groups just like it was supporting. the contra rebels in nicaragua in the past it's supporting regime groups in regimes that are against western interests against regional interests against the interests of the whole world but it's doing it basically out of hostility towards islam. could be running because israel is pushing it to do so but one of the interesting things right now is that despite obama's attempt to get support from congress and the senate and apacs full support all support it was failing to do so and i think that's a major defeat for a pack as well so i'm not saying that a pax influence in the united states is waning but i think it is significant but obviously it's in the interests of the united states to behave more rationally towards iran both the previous administration and iran and the current administration have always been willing to deal with the united states to move
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towards rapprochement but the united states really has been unwilling to do so so far and with regards to syria the iranians are very suspicious about the united states and its claims that the syrian government was behind the tax base sickly because of its own history with the united states the united states in the one nine hundred eighty supported saddam hussein helped to me to use chemical weapons against the iranians and the iraqis and then according to wiki leaks documents the united states was telling its diplomats to blame iran for the chemical attacks in other words to blame the victim so the iranians are highly suspicious about the united states with regards to what's going on now in syria because the united states was involved in mass murder in iran and they were supporting saddam and trying to blame the victim for him if i go to you in washington you've been living in the united states for a long time how do you perceive when you hear this and iranian rhetoric in the media and it's nonstop it's twenty four seven it's an echo chamber how do you
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respond to that. this is again you know we americans we love to simplify complicated issues and one liners this is yet another example of a simplification as all muslims after nine eleven all of us were declared suspects it's it's the same old mentality of it all black men are suspicious i think the country is moving away from that peter we were just talking about national interests a minute ago i think we americans have learned we understand now that we have not served our national interest but these endless wars of the past twelve years we wanted to eliminate other guy that was our national interest when we went into afghanistan eleven or twelve years ago guess what today we're trying to fight al qaeda and syria that's like a doctor who's trying to resect the tumor in the big toe and twelve years later the same tumor is in the neck that's what has happened you know we are trying to eliminate the national interest we wanted to protect the oil supply today the oil supply is in jeopardy our national interest to was to keep weapons of mass
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destruction at bay and have better control over those weapons and today we all are afraid that militants may get their hands on those weapons of mass destruction so i think it's very clear that the policy of national interest is not working and that is why the arm of the muslim community stands very clearly that it's when we when we teach what we teach our children in schools here peter we teach them liberty and justice for all there is no word interest in the in the pledge of allegiance so i believe the american values and that's why i keep repeating that that we need to go back to our own values which are absolutely around justice and equality for all but the past twelve years the world has not received such and what that has done peter it has depleted our trust the moment i say a national interest the signal i'm sending you cannot trust me because whenever there's a fork in the road i'm going to look after for my own interest the world does not need to hear that anymore and that is the reason we had. you look at palestine or
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bucket stan the trust of u.s. government as a neutral broker is less than ten percent how do you have influence at a part of the world where ninety percent or more people don't trust you as a neutral arbiter i. say really care because i think the us doesn't really care because it will just bomb those people it doesn't like i'm sorry for being so glib your professor marandi so yesterday you had a stab sorry that's all we are. ten years on we can ask people for you know thousands and thousands of miles in the middle east. go ahead professor marandi i think it goes back far more i think it's not just the last ten years i mean. i think corporal manning. through has helped us to recognise that this goes back a long way and just regarding chemical weapons i mean agent orange in vietnam depleted uranium in iraq supporting saddam hussein in chemical weapons in the one nine
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hundred eighty s. during israel's to use white phosphorus on palestinians the you know this is this goes back a long time it's can it's a consistent pattern. that comes from the united states and president after president has condoned crimes against humanity for decades now in the united states but i'm hoping that this is changing because americans are becoming more aware of the situation despite the fact that the western media has been trying very hard to justify an attack on syria but you see that american public opinion is almost completely against it in this is this is really good news i think again it's difficult to be certain that there's going to be a big change in the united states but i think it makes it much more difficult for the president the u.s. president and politicians in the united states to convince americans to for them to attack another country or to carry out further aggression in the years
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to come because. well if i can stay with you one way to solve the syrian crisis is through diplomacy i'm a strong believer in diplomacy after everything has been done and iran is a key player here again obama has boxed himself into a corner and he needs iran's help he needs russia's help we've already seen that kenya ran be a help to the united states in solving the crisis in syria and well can the americans will the people in washington ever change their mind about iran i mean it's almost it defies nearly and they defy stupidity right now go ahead well ministration after administration any iran have been trying to find a way forward to change the relationship with the united states during the rafsanjani administration the iranians allowed conoco into the country then the u.s. slap sanctions against iran during the. ministration. the iranians
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were sympathetic to the united states after september the eleventh and in afghanistan they both had in an interest in fighting extremism then iran was called the axis of evil during. the nature of administration the united states the iranians agreed to talks with the united states in iraq again the united states simply increased sanctions against the country and now as soon as president rouhani comes to power the united states implements even further sanctions are on the eve of his inauguration which is extraordinary it shows that the united states simply does not have goodwill how is the iranian government. going to convince it be convinced that the united states can sit down and talk with the united states when the united states behaves in such an irrational and hostile way and on the other hand the united states at this stage has isolated itself. are improving relations thanks to obama with the. washington's with the chinese with
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the indians with brics countries and other non-western countries and even in europe we see countries buried dissatisfied with american behavior for example in the case of. both both in britain for example parliament rejected war which i think came as a surprise to all of us who you know with the former prime minister in england supporting the war and being an american political and italy for example and germany being opposed to any aggression by the united states so the world is changing and obama really needs to change is his relationship with iran otherwise the only allies he has left is saudi arabia israel an apartheid state and the al qaeda like groups in syria and the war and others in libya as well the united states has destroyed and the europeans have destroyed libya for him that doesn't sound like the kind of crowd i want to hang out with. well i think it's
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a little bit more complicated than that of course talked about the military industrial complex in the usa and as mohamed said there is a growing awareness against that in the country everybody saying we're becoming war weary but that's that's not to say it's all the there is still something very special about united states and i am a very loyal american i'll have to stand up for that because still you see in two thousand and six more people came legally to america then the rest of the world i wonder how many of them were rescued reduction of american wars i really would like to know the answer to. ok professor marandi let me give you can see that i mean you know there is. an important point has been raised here and in fact the russian president gave a appropriate response to this idea that's constantly put forward by american officials and obama itself and that's american exceptionalism the idea that the
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united states is somehow exceptional and different from other countries. is i think very dangerous the united states is a country like any other country and it can do great evil as it has in the past and it is doing as we speak i miss i myself am a victim of chemical weapons i survived for any i'm sorry to have turned around and you are not very happy here in seymour personal point many thanks indeed to my guests into round and in washington and thanks to our viewers for watching us here r.t. see you next time and remember crossed our. do we speak your language anything might be will not advance. news programs and
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documentaries and spanish what matters to you breaking news a little tentative angles keep these stories. for you here. to try to alter the spanish find out more visit i to our. i know c.n.n. m s n b c 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 close and for the truth and might think. it's because one whole attention and the mainstream media works side by side with you is actually on we're. going to have.
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at our teen years we have a different brain. because the news of the world just is not this funny i'm not laughing dammit i'm not god. i've. got a sense of the jokes that will hand out to me that i've got to. on their way to antarctica the crew of the i can to make sure that face many challenges. here you have to look out for yourself crashing on to rocks trapped in pack ice in extreme conditions anything can happen and always comes up with surprises you have to keep your eyes open because if there's always something going wrong the ship carries huge reserves of water food fuel as well as helicopters and people able to survive extreme conditions they're ready for anything even an apocalypse she's really an incredible ship calling all antarctica stations this is
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academic and field of radio check please respond. with economic ups and downs in the final column on the london deal and the rest of the life a few will be every week on. her own. it was a. very hard to make out. once again on a plan that never had sex with the. number. one
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block. of. flats. if . the people.
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the u.n. security council is due to debate a resolution to. syria the u.s. military remains position ready to strike at washington's discretion. meanwhile the civil war shows no signs of. one of the companies a syrian on a daily operation in the. damascus. revelation courtesy of edward snowden it is the national security agency has been. mentioned transactions with foreign and domestic.

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