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tv   Cross Talk  RT  September 13, 2017 5:29am-6:01am EDT

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speeches because there are no other takers. to claim that mainstream media has met its maker. here's what people have been saying about redacted the night was to us it actually was full on ourselves i was the only show i go out of my way to launch you know a lot of the really packs a punch at least yampa is the john oliver of hearty americans do the same we are apparently better than bluebell things but since i see people you've never heard of love redacted tonight i'm president of the world bank so take your money go write me seriously send us an e-mail. in case you're new to the game this is how it works not the economy is built around corporations corporations from washington washington control the media the media. and voters elected a businessman to run this country business equals power who must it's not business
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as usual it's business like it's never been done before. syria paradoxically. compadres and was a situation like israel and palestine is not a country where i meet a lot of people we're told. everybody. is a very serious situation and people have been much more to say. that active conflict today.
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hello and welcome to cross talk we're all things are considered i'm peter lavelle candidate donald trump ran on a campaign that not only question many foreign policy orthodoxies but also lashed out against neo conservative views of the world today the president is surrounded by men in uniform some are calling this a soft coup. cross talking trumps generals i'm joined by my guest michael o'hanlon in washington he is a senior fellow at the brookings institution also in washington we have thomas powell he's an independent economist policy analyst and author of from financial crisis to stagnation and in london we cross to patrick and he is a journalist writer and founder of the news website twenty first century wired dot
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com all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want and i always appreciate thomas let me go to you first in washington there are a lot of people that would claim and i think with good credence that the trumpet ministrations foreign policy is just a mirror with maybe with different reflections of the foreign policy that we had under george w. bush and barack obama so thomas in washington how do you see that. peter i honest in short brief yes there is a considerable continuity at this stage donald trump has now signed on for the neo con platform so that people understand what the neo con view of the world is it comes out of after the fall of the soviet union a view emerged on the right to begin with that never again would there be any power that could challenge the united states as had done the former soviet union. trump is now on board for that it's now a bipartisan consensus here it's more open amongst republicans but democrats are on
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board they sort of hide it a little bit with talk of regime change in the name of democratic advance but that's more cover than substance you see the democratic support many democrats voted for the iraq war democrats and obama and hillary clinton were responsible for regime change in libya you saw most recently when american warships fired missiles into syria immediately the democrats came on board and cheered this this goes quite there's a history in american political history it's called the doctrine of american exceptionalism and that's really where you find this doctrine itself all right let me let me let me go to let me use to close here ok let me let me go to let me go to michael in genetic change i mean let me go to michael in washington to get his take on what go my question and what you just said there michael what happened in during the campaign we heard very many different things so i mean did trump cave in. did
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he sensually was given some kind of alter made him and this is our way or no way i mean what do you think the thinking is there because i don't think in our lifetime there's been such a stark difference from a candidate to a sitting president in such a short amount of time go ahead michael in washington thank you peter i actually agree with your question and with much of what thomas. just said although i would couch it somewhat differently i think there is a lot of continuity and it is partly because of the very generals who are now in important positions that you mentioned in your introduction i think it does reflect that the united states like most powers has interests that actually are more durable and structural than political candidates sometimes like to admit and i wouldn't put it in quite the same terms as thomas i do think that president trump would like to get along with president putin for example better than obama or clinton's instincts might have been and i think trump has less of a pro democracy agenda abroad he's less interested in nation building or in
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fomenting democratic movements and of course that was a good part of the disagreement between president putin and predecessors whether that was the color revolutions in the former soviet space or some of the american actions in the broader middle east so i think trump would like to minimize that but he still finds himself in a conundrum he still got alliances in korea in the middle east and elsewhere and he still got alliances in europe and these things create pressures so i'm not against what he's doing but i would agree with your point that there's been a big change from him as a candidate to him as president less so a change from obama to trump as presidents ok patrick let me go to you i mean in a way i agree with michael and thomas but broadly for very different reasons i mean i suppose we all agree here the neo cons are back with a vengeance but i don't see why anyone should be happy about that i see thirty years of absolute utter failure and now we have the consensus that this failure is
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what will continue i don't get this here ok and all of the generals you know that the generation we have right now i mean they're all part of that ok we don't have the name specific names of that mindset is there so you know there is continuity i don't see why there anyone should be happy about it go ahead patrick in london. well if you look at the genealogy of this situation you go back to the campaign and donald trump wanted to differentiate himself from the field in the republican field and then of course with hillary clinton and one of the big knocks from the sort of conservative in the tea party wings in the united states over the last few years was obama's week with the military and generals were resigning because in protest of obama and he's weak president so tom trump took his talking point with vigor and so he position himself early signal that i will be deferring all major decisions to the so-called experts the generals as he put it and so by doing that he sort of disempowered himself very early on by by telegraphing that position which in
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hindsight i would say from a leadership point of view is a big mistake and now now fast fast forward into the administration itself now the problem of what we have here is not so much about policy but it's about public perception and expectations because if you look at barack obama he took the exact same tact as donald trump marketed himself as a peace president and that got him elected and arguably that was one of his strongest in two thousand and eight so donald trump just took you know a line from obama's playbook play the exact same line and look at obama he broke every single campaign promise he put up there from closing get motu drawing down you know troops from iraq and afghanistan ok let me go to thomas i mean you like in a way we're all kind of agreeing here i mean is it did power of these institutions in the security apparatus in that and the defense department i mean they just so
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strong that they need there's no such thing that a candidate can change that cannot change the course of the ship as it were go ahead thomas. that's several factors involved and trumps about the first thing is one should be cautious about reading. too much into his statements before the election he was a you know he had no experience in washington he was running as an outsider so he could say outsider wish things without cost and actually with benefit then he becomes president and when you arrive in washington the pressures are absolutely tremendous to conform there are so many powerful interests around the president to make him conform i also think by the way that trump's inclination is neo con that's who he is he's he's a is a bit of a bully it's a neo con doctrine is aggressive and simplistic and that's going to appeal to him so it's in some ways it's a natural resting point for him now on top of that he once the democrats made
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this decision to make russia the focal point of their loss to try and explain their awful failure and sort of shift the blame to russia then that began to put more pressure on trump sure in two ways first first it began to uncover his dealings with the russians in the past both his real estate dealings where you know real estate is about the most corrupt business in there is except for garbage collection and then also it began to uncover the dealings of flynn and donald jr with the russians where i think actually the sort of the russians rather entrapped trump with the promise of some dirt on hillary clinton that probably didn't what is this what did that have to do with me on lection but what did any of that have to do with be a little you know that no example there exactly conspiracy theory go ahead go ahead please do let's not let's not let's not get into that let's not get into that question i didn't either i didn't want to do once that became yeah yeah once that
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became the focal point of the democrats. attack on trump then that opened the door for the neo-cons to put pressure on trump and then what does trump trump as a tremendous politico wonderful political intuition that people under underestimate are and on the neocon. and the democrats are coming after him so he's going to out on the neo-con but by embracing them and being even more neo con so it's in part for him it's a tactical adjustments a very interesting want to get their own way this is the way he did it's a very very he defends himself and this is the way the neocons take over the administration michael in washington. do you i think it's unprecedented we have a president that has so many former military staff generals in service and retired i mean this is that that's and that create a different mindset about looking at security and military policy when inside the white house and not the pentagon go ahead michael you know thank you peter just one
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quick point though on this neo-con issue and as you know even though i agree with much of what's being said i'm a little more sympathetic to the fact the president has wound up in these more traditional positions i probably agree with them more yet and they maybe that explains it i think when you look at the options that he had when you look at the options that he really had on afghanistan or north korea or what have you it wasn't necessarily a neo-con desire to remake the world in an american image or a more democratic image it was because he didn't see good options he didn't see other ways to break out of the mainstream thinking if we can debate whether or not to do it i don't think i could but i think it's a little different but don't you think it's neil common ideas that god is seeing these messes in the first place i mean i think that needs to be discussed as in some cases ok i keep going michael you're going to get in some cases that's true going to have it going ok but yes on the general's. one good thing about this group of generals that i know them all and i like them all they have all been through the best of the middle east of the last fifteen years they have learned first hand if they if we didn't know it before the limitations of applying military power i don't
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think any of them would say that they're happy about what the last fifteen years have brought us in the broader middle east or the sacrifice that we've had to undertake as a result of our own decisions so i think you're going to see a little bit more strategic savvy and reluctance to use force out of this group of generals and that gives me some encouragement ok gentlemen to jump in here we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion and.
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i put them all on. the reject. so when you want to be president. wanted. to be this is what. i'm interested. islamic state claims it was behind the monster terror attack by the. front so kill the priest every time
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a terrorist attack happens all these people are out there screaming so bad someone needs to do something against them and for me. why don't. you. know. that. we challenge them. welcome back to crossfire where all things are considered i'm peter we're discussing trump and his generals.
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go back to patrick in london i had a great question i was going to ask you but i think at the end of the first segment you've got gave such an expression but i think i'll just give you the floor go ahead patrick. kind of a got a problem with this deference to the generals for instance you know you look at the resumes of all of these so-called generals war heroes or what have you the david petraeus of the world the resume is chalk full of failures scandals and otherwise international embarrassment some of the biggest foreign policy failures in u.s. history so there's nothing to celebrate their afghanistan is not a success it never made sense from the beginning and it's. still doesn't make sense now ditto with iraq you have all these sages who did the surge for instance so it's just to put any too much padding on the back of the military i think the problem
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in this discussion the real problem is the united states has no foreign policy and to say that the united states ever had any interests if you want to talk about national security interests there are none the us has corporate interests defense industry interests and the interest of israel in regards to the so-called neo conservative agenda in the middle east it's an israeli agenda israeli led agenda and this is a president who is very chummy with benjamin netanyahu and he's appointed his son in law as a middle east envoy who's property developer and a website owner and otherwise a small tycoon from manhattan i mean what is this this is a complete disaster in terms of u.s. diplomacy and foreign policy it's a problem that's. a ticking time bomb potentially diplomatically no leadership the generals or whoever the pentagon is running various aspects of u.s.
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foreign policy and meanwhile how awful washington doesn't seem to have gotten the memo that we lost in syria syria was not a civil war syria was a proxy war we spent billions of dollars we flooded the region with weapons people's heads should be on the chopping block well in the legal sense for that and no one's talking about this and blaming rove various other weird stuff we're talking about and i think a good part of media should be on the same chopping chopping block thomas let me go back to you what i'm getting kind of i want to come want to just reiterate something that i'm very concerned because it seems to me that i'm going to be objective here and figure i mean military people how they see things and then they create objectives but it's a very much narrow way of thinking about things and i worry that you know having so many generals you know surrounding the president that they will have a different way to to deal with problems and usually you know in accompli they don't have to worry about what happens next i mean these guys have any experience in that you know this is what i find very troublesome because in the military you
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have objectives not necessarily policy go ahead thomas. peter let me say a the several things we said first with got to patrick ice i so agree with the details of his description but those elements about being corporate interest is really interested fence interests national interest is always defined in terms of the dominant interest and that is the dominant interest today and that's something we in the united states need to recognise that's our debate about what should be our national interest not that now the next thing we do understand why the generals are in charge it's there's a reason for the white the white house has been chaotic and it hasn't been working and this is been a real fear for the establishment in a have a sort of a loose cannon like trump running around and this is the way that the establishment gets in there through generals who have a real sense of our mission loyalty to institution these are talented educated men and this is the way to put sort of put some walls around that loose cannon now the
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next thing is then what do does that do to us policy does it become more militaristic and that's actually quite a complicated question and i put three little parts on the table the first is you have to look at existing conflicts generals do not do a good job at cutting their losses westmoreland wanted to stay there vietnam sure that the american military is just over supplied with resources they've just like they will not cut their losses and run because we give them too much when it runs the wrong word cut the losses and leave sensibly because we give them too much resources so that's bad that's why we're staying in afghanistan that's the advice that one out with obama and that's going to continue with trump now the next part is new conflicts there i do think the military these generals do a good job they're very careful about getting into new conflicts they are they are concerned about the men and women that they command they don't want to be the cause of death they want an exit strategy they want to know that it's for a purpose so i think that at least in the past american the american military was
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reserved about get. new conflicts so i have to reservations i think that is changing for two reasons one reason is that the whole country has become more nationalistic and more neo conservative that's the dominant way of thinking of it general are drawn from our population. so i don't think that i don't think that's true i do think there is evidence there is evidence let me go to michael let me know ok i need for equal time for everyone here let me go to michael here ok ok ok one one of the one of the reasons why one of the do this program is that everyone people that have been watching this program knew that i was anyone but hillary i made that very clear and i was very skeptical about donald trump but i did like what he had to say about foreign policy you know about talking about these orthodoxies which i think need need to evolve or come to an end and i disagree with what thomas just said here i think the country is tired of these wars these senseless wasteful wars that really damage american america's image in the world i
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know i live abroad i feel it all of the time you know so you know america is that neil come on america wants to end this agenda and you know what they're getting they're getting the short end of the stick again go ahead michael. well i do agree with you peter that the neo con is not quite the right way to describe the national mood although i thought thomas's analysis was actually i agree i agree the tendencies of generals not to want to lose the dog which wars they tend to want to win and which wars they want to stay out of that was a very useful distinction which i appreciate in terms of the national mood and just to go along with your point peter if we look at the middle east and build on patrick's concern about our relationship with israel i have some concerns about our relationships under president trump with egypt and saudi arabia because i don't think he cares very much about the human rights agenda or the democracy agenda he's willing to essentially tolerate their internal policies because they are loyal allies and we know that there is some utility to not getting overly obsessed with
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pro human rights proto. prosy agenda that's where neo conservative thinking can go too far but i'm concerned that trump is actually falling back on a pure realist approach to the world and in regard to saudi arabia and egypt i don't much like it so i think there's a lot of nuance here as to what's driving and what his world view is i would again i would not describe it as neo con i would describe it as more realist ok patrick what's wrong with that realist foreign policy we haven't tried it for a while we what's wrong with that ok and i am and i'm going to say you know that you we should have concerns about human rights and the software issues as well that they should be completely dismissed but a realist foreign policy identifies your real interest in that and then you can pursue how to protect them go ahead patrick. there's nothing wrong with a realist foreign policy any reasonable sane person would agree with that but unfortunately those people who inhabit the beltway are not reasonable and on the on
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the whole not sane or relationship and or policy with saudi arabia has nothing to do with human rights never has never will saudi arabia is the great client for our military defense contractors bumper year great arms sales by one of the greatest arms sellers in history barrack obama continuing with trump is doing the same thing with the signaling the north to south korea to open up the sort of the spending modules there so this reality is continuity as change and so look at our defense budget up twenty percent so six hundred billion to seven hundred billion that is what matters in united states in terms of foreign policy is how much money is being spent on defense russia's defense budget what is it eighty billion you know we just upped our defense budget by more than the totality of the russian defense budget and there's you know still pushing these conspiracy theories in washington the rush is somehow a global threat to you know hedge of money of the world order and so forth so it's
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kind of ridiculous to even suggest. yes that human rights plays any part in any of this it hasn't it didn't in libya they lied all the way to get the un resolution in libya based on fraudulent claims of human rights violations by susan rice and many others they did the same thing in syria by spinning up a whole program of lies about barack obama and assad's assad butchering his own people and all this other stuff and moderate rebels and so all these people in washington who profit off this whether they're in think tanks whether they work for the defense industry whether a lobbyist for the defense industry or whether the congressman's are senators cashing checks from those interest industries those are the people that are keep pushing this unrealistic. goals centering on real estate we're already you are rapidly running out of time thomas and i go back to you in washington i have a quick theory for you to analyze here the democrats in the media don't want to see trump accomplish anything and then in the terms of foreign policy. sway
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him into more of a neo con position and that will alienate his base that essentially neuters him on both sides what do you think. that's too broad for me to have an opinion i've had it's clear that they should not just t.v. they shouldn't i want our interview is easy because he'd be ok i'm sorry it's t.v. i'm not you i'm just not used to that. they obviously they shouldn't want trump to succeed the more the more successful he is the less successful they will be that i think the democrats are but behind this. in cahoots with this neo con agenda they've bought into it i am very apprehensive about this democracy test that michael was talking about democracy is just such a difficult flower to make flourish it needs a history of preparation and we have to we have to draw back from that because it then becomes cover cover that smells good for neo-con engagement with the world so
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i'm going to unleash that can only it only smells good in washington ok because people like that smell ok and then it gets detached from reality here one minute michael in washington the same question might smite my little theory they're made for television go ahead my friend one minute. well my hope peter is that president will be able to develop this relationship with russia that i think he clearly wants which does distinguish him from his predecessors or at least the end of their terms and i think distinguishes him from neo cons he wants to be a little bit more pragmatic i've just finished a book beyond nato proposing a neutral zone in eastern europe that i would hope president trump and i will but i will be your book and i will buy your book ok because we're getting a little bit closer to that idea that i read to you a little bit closer over the years yes bishop go ahead. and that at all thank you and that's the kind of idea that i'd like to see people be able to consider and get
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beyond some of the histrionics and disagreements of past years we've got to find a way for the world's two great nuclear superpowers to repair their relationship and i agree with that basic sentiment so i hope that all the other issues are don't you know forever contaminate any opportunity we've run out of time here and remarkably we ended on a realist note many thanks to my guests in washington and in london and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t.c. you next time and remember. those bridges for a single purpose. of. training very young. the months of intensive school.
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reps. and they save lives. compadres and was a situation like israel and palestine is not a country where i meet a lot of people without hope although everybody agrees. is a very serious situation people have been much more than in any other active conflict today. here's what people have been saying about redacted in the us a full on author of the only show i go out of my way to talk to you know what it is
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they're really packed up. yap is the john oliver of r.t. america is doing the same we are apparently better than booth at a sea of people you've never heard of love redacted tonight was the president of the world bank though a particle private seriously send us an e-mail credit as one of the basic instruments to drive an economy but it can also lead to tragedy i did i took a lying down just i came to god and meant that the text i came and it was fire not . many lives have been broken believe excessive to the banks got you into trouble. big bankers got big. money the banks but i just didn't think of. the last morning through the back under don't buy creditors people see no future bad face for how you know you become ill you turn to job your relationship breaks down you become a casualty is debt
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a lifelong trap or is there a way out both are surely going to bed or no would be right to ditch a bill for. a few more. north korea. those sanctions are nothing compared to what the world. project. which is. the road to. the stories of those.


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