tv Worlds Apart With Oksana Boyko RT June 15, 2014 6:29pm-7:01pm EDT
major attack against the current order in the middle east and so i think it is in everybody's interests united states russia and many other countries to calm the situation down and for now i think it's going to be difficult if difficult to disagree with you on that you mentioned tens of thousands of americans serving in iraq and i just want to mention that four in the half thousand americans lost their lives there but the question is what for i mean president obama takes credit for winding down these two very unpopular wars one in afghanistan and one in iraq but i want to give these in very rapid advance of isis said just the base self-congratulatory rhetoric on the part of the white house was a bit premature well i think it's very clear that president obama has wanted to extract the united states from these wars and he has done so over the course of his administration he did however try to see that there would be a residual u.s.
force in iraq that was not finally accepted by iraqi politicians there are those who say this is maliki who opposed that and perhaps maliki did oppose it but everyone else also opposed it so i don't think it was something that would have been so easy for president obama to insist on keep the u.s. forces so the result was that u.s. forces are out and now we see a country iraq very much struggling and it's struggling in the context of broader problems in the middle east namely the sunni shia problem in the middle east which is becoming a kind of region wide civil war and it is far too big for mr maliki the solve on his own ambassador you just mentioned the absence of physical force american residual force in iraq but despite the absence of american troops on the ground the united states still invest the billions of dollars to. train and equip the iraqi
army only to have them essentially abandon that post that weaponry rather than fight insurgents in mosul and i wonder if that's not the most worrying development of all because we've known about the growth of isis for quite some time but now we suddenly realize that there is absolutely no force on the ground to counter them well first of all i would agree that the investment in the iraqi army is certainly hasn't been hasn't been shown to be a good investment but i would not assume that the rapid advance of isis means that it would continue i'm not so as much concerned as some people are that somehow could take over baghdad to be the real issue is that we are heading in current circumstances we're heading to a partition of iraq an iraq that becomes partly these kurdish area partly a shia area especially in the southeast and partly
a kind of newly created sunni stand but a sunni stand if you will under very sly mustela moments that i think are a threat not only to not only to fellow sunni's but also to the region and to the world and that is why countries like russia need to stop lecturing about what happened eleven years ago and start focusing on what is happening today because i think a lot of time. just to be part of the solution here absolutely you know it's interesting that is you mansion that because president obama and i'm not going to go back eleven years i'm going to go back just let's say two months ago president obama likes to mention that one of his achievements was quote unquote decapitating the leadership and you just mentioned this soon if trav and the decapitating metaphor is really interesting here because we are indeed talking about people who. are in
the habit off chopping off have said as a way of delivering justice but if we were to stick to the president obama use of that matter for wasn't it perhaps a bit misleading because as the united states focused on chasing that one have been based since to have grown a dozen more well the problem of terrorism in the middle east is not over of the problem of radical islam is not over but certainly osama bin laden planned and executed an attack against the united states in which three thousand of our citizens were killed and president obama made a decision to go after him and to go after him personally and eliminate him by the way we did not decapitate him we simply shot him milan doesn't quoting some of those obama shots with that so this was this was this was done and i think it was clearly a good day for everybody because i think osama bin laden was dedicated to the proposition that the more people he could kill the better so that was good but what
we are dealing with now is a continued development of a very nasty form of of terrorism and it is happening in syria and it is spilled over into iraq and frankly could spill over elsewhere so i think it's very important that like minded countries and i would include russia in this calculation should try to come together and look for a solution as we go as we well i'm bored can i just interject with a little comment here isn't it interesting that you mentioned russia as a like minded country to the united states given the kind of rhetoric that we heard from washington just the you know let's say a week ago about how russia undermines the global security but rather than talking about russia i would really like to focus on this terror threat and it is specifically on ice is the group that as you know stands for baseline mixtape over iraq and syria. and that says syria bit was added to its title fairly recently in
two thousand and eleven after president obama went public calling on mr assad to step down do you see any connection between that policy stance you know calling on assad to step down on the growth of isis and other terror groups in the region no but let me explain my views on that my own personal view was asking someone to step down in the absence of a den of five a kind of political way forward is not the way i would do it i think what we need to do is a den of along with some other countries and i again i would include russia in this a way forward for how syria can be governed in the future because it's clear the kind of narrow basis on which assad was governing that is on the basis of an alawite. fellow tribesman and then a few of others was not sufficient so clearly there needs to be kind of an
international plan on the way forward what i'm suggesting is we need a kind of bosnia type solution and then we can figure out who can be a part of that future and who should not be well i think some people would suggest that both is almost a failed state by by now but ambassador hill if i could again go back to. isis i think you've been very diplomatic in trying not to criticize the current authorities in washington and here i heard you say in your speech earlier this year i think it was during the speech the princeton university you specifically said the secretary of state john kerry should not be hung up on the issue of removing assad from office and i think for a diplomat even a former diplomat that's quite a radical statement because essentially what here expressing here is the kremlin point of view about let's not focus on removing assad but the. rather let's focus
on establishing some sort of politico framework for taking fear into the future and my own view is that assad is probably someone who cannot play a role going forward i think he has done too many things that are completely unacceptable in the eyes of the majority of syrians not to speak of the international community but i do believe we need to focus on the political way forward rather than focus on the personalities so that is how i would proceed with it i just feel that the decision to try to exclude assad in the absence of any real political way forward was not going to get us closer to an eventual solution but bessie here i think this is a very important point that the rich should not overlook here he just said that we should not focus on personalities that's true but isn't that also a pattern in the american foreign policy to focus on personalities at the expense
of much larger structural issues you know taking out saddam hussein who was admittedly a horrible man who treated his people horribly but you know taking him out and creating all this mass. in his country you know taking a fat out and creating a power vacuum that allowed all those militia groups to you know get much stronger taking a side that some of bin ladin out and allowing al qaeda to you know open its franchises pretty much all over the region osama bin ladin was responsible for killing thousands of americans and as a consequence we hunted him down and killed him and i think that was the right policy with regard to saddam hussein he was guilty of some of the worst atrocities the world has ever seen he attacked his neighbors and his forces also attacked american forces and continue to attack americans throughout day here is that a great america and i say. let me continue now i do believe that as we look at the
problem in syria the problem in syria is beyond simply the problem of a terrible leader in the form of bashar al assad i think it's a problem of lack of political consensus on how to go forward and this is a debate that we have in the united states quite often about how to go forward in syria and by the way many of the points that you made about iraq are points that many americans make about iraq every day so we have a rather strong debate on this issue and my own view on the syria question and space specifically on the isis issue is that we need a kind of political way forward once it is a den of five what syria is going to be is it going to be a federated state is are going to be you know a state in which. senior leaders take turns is there going to be a national minorities veto of what kind of political arrangements there are then i
think we can get behind this and a den of those who might be described as rejectionists well ambassador here i'm fortunate in those debates continue but the outcome of those debates tom how it's always the same chaos and bloodshed well for the time big we have to take a very short break but when we come back to case they or should he go does the policy of regime change ever result in more good than harm that's coming up in a few moments on a well the part. the . economic down in the final. deal sang
night and the rest because i think he will be extremely. debating american foreign policy is there one any more traditionally the political left and right and clearly different positions on how washington should exert power in the world today it appears that everyone in the establishment is a hot. we will be by the enormous burden of laws rules and regulations which you know cause europe to be the squirrel tick monster it is i mean the reason that europe's going going guy you know which i was because the rules or regulations are killing and strangling business. welcome back to worlds apart to riyadh discussing the latest developments in iraq
with the former us ambassador to the country christopher hill ambassador hill just before the break we were talking about the years since distance on departure and. i saw you i read i think you say a couple of weeks ago that. iraqi president nuri al maliki has served for too long he has been too in a sack to found that he too needs to step down what will happen if nouri al maliki takes your advice and throws in the towel what will happen to iraq well first of all nuri al maliki. just came out way ahead in the lecture and we're certainly on his way to forming a coalition it's not for me to remove him or keep him it's up to the iraqi people and up to the iraqi political forces i think to some extent he's overwhelmed by this crisis. he is certainly not proving himself to be someone who is a good reconciler he's certainly not anyone who would be confused with nelson
mandela and so i think he does have some problems but putting that aside what we have today is a very serious threat to iraq's territorial integrity indeed to its to its sovereignty and my view from here in the united states is the united states needs to be heavily involved diplomatically and perhaps as well helping the iraqi forces because these i.c.'s people you know they are not interested in just iraq they are interested in the rest of us as well and so i think we as a civilization if you will need to be prepared to deal with organizations such as isis it's an interesting idea i wonder how much support that would have among the american public i gather that the appetite for the american involvement would be extremely limited and probably for good reasons if i could concentrate on almost like a bit longer i heard many western commentators. blame for base whole crisis
saying that he failed to build a functioning democracy in iraq that he disenfranchised many sunnis but i wonder if it's really fair to put all the blame on. whether he's efficient or not he was handed the country in a very a very poor state and the united states was a very very big player in this whole quagmire trying to dislodge the governments in both iraq and in syria i wonder what will it take for the united states to every. that even for good reasons like democracy or freedom regime change is rarely a good idea i think rarely a good idea is probably a good way to put it and by the way i would agree with a lot of your comments about maliki i think you've made them better than his government has made them in fact the criticism of maliki for not having enough sunni outreach that may be true but i think one can apportion some of the criticism
on the sunni's who have made it very clear they're not interested in living under a shia prime minister that has a prime minister represent shia political power and so i think it's a very fundamental problem in iraq and so i don't i think it's a problem much deeper than maliki's behavior and whether he has kept or not kept various promises so i think he has a problem in how he's handled himself but also a problem in how the sunni's have handled themselves and as for regime change my own view is it ought to be rare but i think there are some cases where that is the only way to go and so i think. you know if you look around the world clearly serbia is a much better place today for the fact that slobodan milosevic is long gone so there are a lot of cases where the are right i think the regime change in iraq well i think saddam hussein represented a minority sunni interests after all the sunni arabs are only some twenty two
percent of iraq and yet he tried to run the country as a sunni minority government you talk about not doing outreach the only outreach he did was to go out and kill the as many shia as he could so clearly he cannot be part of iraq's future and i don't think it was such a terrible day when he lost power i think the problem has been trying to rebuild the country and trying to get the communities to work together and that is a long term proposition well ambassador hill you are below it. to be one of the bass negotiators the state department ever have so i'm sure you know it better than most of us that in geopolitics the choice is not between the good and the baths the choice is usually between the bad and the worth and i'm sure you have plenty of misgivings about saddam hussein or even bashar assad but wouldn't you still prefer . bashar al assad or let's say even saddam hussein being in charge of baghdad or
the mask is rather than the man by the name of a blue box or daddy who is they had if isis and troops are now moving towards the capital of iraq why is there american foreign policy always based on the best case scenario why do you always disregard the worst possible outcome well first of all i agree with you that al baghdadi is a terrible outcome and i think it's important for us not to make him the outcome and while certainly there's room for discussion on this issue as we discussed earlier about whether bashir al assad whether the first policy point should have been that he should he should go i understand the point you're making but i'm much more interested in what we're going to be doing going forward because i think we have an enormous challenge and whether we come to an agreement or disagreement on something that took place three years ago is not going to help us get through that
challenge or worse yet something that took place eleven years ago is not going to help us get through this challenge my point is i think all like minded countries the united states and yes i would include russia in this as well needs to kind of get together and work on what syria should be in the future and how iraq how we can all help iraq overcome these sectoral enmities that i think it is fair to say have been going on for some one thousand years so raw. other than litigate the past let's see how we can go forward and what are workable arrangements for compassion are here we are not. getting the past here i'm sure you're aware of the current state of the relationship between russia gate in the panel i'm talking to you about the of the current situation in our own neighborhood the crisis over ukraine and the kind of animosity that have exposed between russia and the united states and
you know i think some russian officials would find it extremely difficult just discarding all of that you know just glad let's move on for the sake of iraq but speaking about how to deal with this current problem on the hands of it being advance of isis for obvious reasons washington has very little appetite for launching a military operation there but some observers including your own successor as the u.s. ambassador to iraq james jeffrey suggested that the united states could lead from behind and encourage other regional players in particular turkey to use its military muscle there what do you think about this idea well i think turkey is probably studying this issue very closely because turkey knows this is going on of their borders and if this situation is allowed to get worse it will be more instability on its border so i would not be surprised if turkey is looking at a number of options my own view is that as you implied a few minutes ago the u.s. people are not interested in u.s. ground troops back in iraq but i think there are other things short of ground
troops that we could do to help the iraqis but one of the big problems that iraq has had over the years is that it's sunni arab neighbors have never come to accept shia power in iraq and i think the sunni arab neighbors need to understand that iraq is going to be ruled by majority rule and majority in the context of the current political of dennehy means shia rule i must say here we just mentioned turkey and obviously it's are going to much more prominent politico. no role in this whole syrian crisis but. it's also a big gulf states that i think have been punching above their weight and a lot of people including in al maliki's own circle are blaming the saudis and the qataris for funding be the sunni extremists now the united states is finding it difficult to you know cut russia china and iran and other actors down to size but i
wonder what about these turkish and saudi regional ambitions do you think they could be kept in check because you know those countries seem to be. very emboldened by the developments in syria and they may have become a problem in an in and of itself i agree with you that this is a growing problem but i think it argues for a kind of growing diplomatic effort on our part clearly we're in good communication with the turks we don't always agree on what turkey is doing but i think we we have a pretty good understanding with the turks on how to proceed but i am a little concerned about developments in the u.s. saudi relationship and i'm particularly concerned about saudi arabia's tendency to try to support some of these elements in syria who are elements that i don't think are conducive to an eventual solution in syria needs to be needs to be ruled by a kind of consensus model involving you know respect for the various communities
it's not going to be easy to put it together but it certainly cannot just be done on the basis of the sunni sunni majority as well ambassador hill it's interesting what you said about the. understanding with turkey because prime minister there on that would probably disagree with you because he has been accusing. western powers of conspiracy against his own government over the last couple of months but i would like to ask you one final question and it may be a bit self-serving bear with me but. it was a story recently in the foreign policy magazine suggesting that both the administration and the intelligence community in the united states were sort of caught flat footed by this rabid a fanciful by isis and here in moscow what surprises me is that americans are really surprised i mean it's gotten to a point when russians are really hating to be proven right all over again i mean as far as the ramifications of american foreign policy are concerned do you think the
the russians the chinese and others have a reason to tell americans once again we told you so you know you can say i told you so as much as you want this is the right idea of the wife a lot but i'm not sure it really helps i'm not sure it really helps and i think rather than i told you so or rather than talking about things eleven years ago i think you'd be much more important to kind of deal with the current crisis and to come up with some specific solutions that can get us forward my own view on syria is there has been an adequate international diplomacy on this they've talked about provisional elections they've never talked about what syria should look like in the future i think it is time that the international community had a good look at what are possible political arrangements for syria and certainly i would look for some at some of the other countries in the region in the past you
saw in egypt that would be very active on trying to calm these problems down today that is not possible so i think there are issues where the international community the united states and i would include russia in this need to step up on these problems in the middle east and be working together on finding political solution well and i think we can all agree on that one quick remark from me and that would be the last one for this show is that over the last couple of months the united states has pretty much done ever. i think to exclude russia from the international community to say it's interesting that you are all of a sudden calling on russia to call parade but unfortunately for the time being we have to leave it there i really appreciate your being on the show and to our viewers please keep the conversation going on our twitter you tube and facebook pages and i hope to syria again same place same time here on worlds apart.
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so picture of today's. oldies from around the globe. to the. rioters lash out at the russian embassy in kiev with police doing nothing to stop the mass radicals ukraine's top diplomat there to rallying the crowds by swearing at russia's president of. ukraine is less than ten hours to go to pat least half. switching to a pre-payment system as another round of last minute talks wraps up in kiev without an agreement. the u.s. sends an aircraft carrier group to the persian gulf as iraq's government struggles to deter jihadi fighters threatening to advance on baghdad after seizing control of several major cities in the country's north.