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tv   The Bottom Line  Al Jazeera  December 11, 2020 8:30am-9:01am +03

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impact of climate change is already a harsh reality and dealing with climate internal migration has become one of its biggest challenges. cox's bizarre. results is there and these are the top stories advisory boards the u.s. food and drug administration is recommend the 5 coronavirus vaccine should be authorized for use the f.d.a. committee will meet again for formal approval but it's another step in the right direction toward rolling out an immunization campaign in the worst affected country and the walt medical home explains what went on behind closed doors at the meeting in silver spring maryland throughout 88 hours of testimony they heard from over and over from different what this is going through all the stats all of the slides and there were a lot of slides it wasn't that they thought the vaccine was dangerous or that it was an effect of the debate was whether or not should be given to 16 and 17 year
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olds there were some members on the panel who thought maybe it should be 18 and above so they wanted to see that guidance so it really had the hearing and it was televised and put out on the internet because they want people to have faith in this vaccine because as it stands right now even as bad as things are here 50 percent of americans say they have no intention of taking the vaccine right now. morocco has become the 4th arab nation to agree to normalize ties with israel the u.s. brokered the deal promising in exchange to recognize morocco's claim over the disputed west in soho or in region. a convicted murderer has been put to death in the u.s. state of indiana is the trump administration carries out a series of federal executions in its last weeks apart form or a planned before joe biden who opposes capital punishment is sworn in as president . prominent hong kong pro-democracy activist and media tycoon jimmy lie has been charged under a controversial security law law is already in jail after being denied bail on
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a separate charge. argentina is poised to become only the 3rd country in south america to legalize abortion as politicians prepared to decide on a bill before congress pro and anti abortion campaign misfiled rallies and where the slightest bit legislation is being debated ahead of a vote in the lower house. lebanon's caretaker prime minister has on dhea has been charged with negligence of the beirut port explosion or than $200.00 people were killed in the orcas disaster with thousands injured and many more left homeless scientists have reported a record drop in global carbon dioxide emissions this year figures from the global carbon project showed emissions down 7 percent as a result of the coronavirus lockdowns. the headlines more news on al-jazeera right after the bottom line. al-jazeera well tells the intriguing stories behind all classic songs from palestine and jordan social snapshots of different times and
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places from the british mandate to 950 children and the palestinian diaspora today musical expressions of that cultural identity and a yearning for the homeland that many of the forced from in the 1948 songs for the love of history on al-jazeera. hi i'm steve clements and i have a question with the end of the donald trump presidency is america 1st dead let's get to the bottom line. back when donald trump was campaigning for president 5 years ago millions of americans clicked into his america 1st talk when he kept talking about how the united states was getting a raw deal from the rest of the world they got it many felt like they had fought the cold war they made sacrifices and china had one but preselect joe biden in contrast is not an american 1st or he says he wants to get back to traditional
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multi-lateralism and give big hugs to the un and the world health organization the w t o and those paris climate accords but there are some critics of president trump who say he wasn't talking about america 1st at all he was talking about 1st and one of those famous critics who is neither a big believer in multilateral foreign policy nor trump 1st foreign policy is our guest today for decades john bolton has been on the world stage working for republican administrations and he was trump's national security adviser for more than a year trump tried to quash the publication of ambassador bolton's book the room where it happened a white house memoir and bester bolton thank you so much for joining us today what i want my viewers to get a sense of is the code the scaffolding the infrastructure of what john bolton american foreign policy would look like and donald trump has talked a lot about america 1st in my book you're the america 1st guy what are the key elements of that as you see it. well i think and in trump's mind he didn't really
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have a particular picture he had themes and notions that he thought would be politically popular and he followed through on some of them i mean my view of american foreign policy. in in broad principles hasn't changed in many years i would call it reaganite i would call it a belief in peace through strength i would say it rests on a very strong america that acts as a deterrence to hostile actions by others but it's an america that believes that the best way to protect american society at home and to increase liberty and prosperity yours have to have a strong international presence around the world and that goes in both directions you can't have that strong american presence without a strong domestic economy and a vibrant side and you cannot hold way from the rest of the world you cannot drift back into isolationism but by the same token you can't delegate responsibility for
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protecting america to others if we're not capable of doing it ourselves nobody else is going to do it for us what is your northstar in that when you deal with such an unpredictable president that you were serving like donald trump. well it's a very good question because i think i don't think we succeeded very well i think. a president to be successful in the international sphere in particular has to have focus and concentration as to lay out what the objectives are that he seeks so that is support and it's clearly understand what his priorities are and then is willing to apply him self and do the work necessary to carry through on i have to say as an example that barack obama and george w. bush to take 2 very different presidents both worked hard and doing the job
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and that enabled their subordinates at the top levels and all the way down to be able to follow through whether you like the policies or not methodologically i think that they were they committed to doing the work it was necessary to to make sure that their policies could be achieved trump had none of that and it it may seem completely counter-intuitive but he didn't really fully understand and i don't think that the state understands what it means to be president that obviously makes it hard if not impossible to pursue policies affectedly and it was a constant issue for all of us even when for example i might be disagreeing with jim madison or mike on teo i don't think we had a very different view of the difficulty of a president who didn't really pay attention. thank you that one of the things that you've been very animated on over the years is iran and and very critical of the
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obama administration the j c p o a negotiating iran and now just today i mean there was a washington post piece that came out said there's 12 times the nuclear material that that could lead to iran being have the capacity to create a couple of war has i guess what i'm trying to fix is i know your views on iran and its leadership would there have been any kind of deal with that regime that you would have been satisfied were for or are there ways to take that kind of deal like i think president trump was interested in and get something that your part of the foreign policy universe could live with. well i'll just speak personally i don't see that the regime in tehran is is capable of engaging in behavior across the wide range of activity that we would need to have confidence that it would lead to a peaceful and secure middle east because it's not just the nuclear ballistic missile program senate fact leaving aside the merits or demerits of the 2015 deal
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part of the problem is the deal itself provided iran with the wherewithal to increase its terrorist activity and support for terrorist activity and its conventional military activities around the region guss increasing the threat particular due to those in the neighborhood i think that that this is this is a good example of a regime that's so fundamentally opposed to the kinds of logics that we see in are able to deal with in the war traditional adversaries that the only recourse i think ultimately for us to be safe is a different kind of regime in iran and what's striking and what i think will confront the by the administration with a real problem is that within the region itself i think that view is now more and more widely shared even by traditional allies or adversaries like israel and the gulf arab states and i think this very different strategic arrangement in the
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region is going to make it harder for the biden illustration to recreate a j c p o a 2.0 even if that's what they still want to do you know one time when president trump went to south korea i think it was his 1st trip i was up at 3 in the morning watching his speech that he was giving from a u.s. military base there and it was all very good it was you know we had reading from the teleprompter until he got to the end and he began riffing on on this space that he could have built the base cheaper or he could have built it under budget and the base wasn't really for america's security anyway. it was only for korea and with that moment you could tell that he had undermined the entire reason for going in the eyes of many of the the sort of strategic class around him which was to communicate the south korea's and that asian security was wedged into american security and i knew you were there at that moment but this this is so much a part of donald trump which i know you must not agree with which is withdrawing
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from alliances kicking a lot allies in the teeth on a lot of things i'd love to get you to that was all very clear before you became his national security advisor did you not see these things about him. well i certainly heard that and many other things that he said that i disagreed with before i went in but i believe that inevitably the weight of the responsibilities of the present so if the gravity of the issues that the president has to a deal with would would affect trump the same way they did every other american president and i turned out to be wrong about that he never realized the gravity of the issues he was dealing with and in many ways my book is the story of how i was wrong and that assessment but i also didn't really think that he was so transactional that he could look at alliances and say at the end ever every year
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you're going to total up your assets and your liabilities and you know if i just sent 31st they're not exactly equal maybe the alliance is over i strongly believe that the u.s. allies across the board can do more to participate do more in terms of spending another effort to to pull their weight and our alliance structure that the nato allies agreed to spend 2 percent of gross domestic product on the fence by 2024 many of them are close to it and aren't going to make it i think that's a real problem and i think it hurts in the domestic american circles when we can say our allies really are sharing their fair share of the bird but i see this as a problem in having a weakening effect on the alliance which i would like to see stronger as trump in this totally transactional way of his i think would would not shed a tear if nato disappeared if he told forces out of south career japan and just generally reduced america's presence in the world now thank goodness we're not
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going to find out whether my fears are correct here he did lose the election that is to me as clear as can be and we will have i been ministration which which doesn't make me happy either but at least we're not going to risk further damage to the alliance structures around the world that we have because it trumps. look i know you're not a fan of joe biden but i mean when you wrote your book and you had the tussle with the administration i think i tweeted something along the way i said you know john bolton may in fact be the reason why dollar trump loses eventually you have a lot of followers you once thought about running for president you have a lot of people that follow your brand of foreign policy and national security and so you know when you lose by a little everything is the reason do you think you in part contributed to president trump's defeat sure why not take credit for it and see how it could hurt i may not i did i did write the book in part for for people to read and make up their minds when you. when you have the opportunity to serve as i did and see the problems that
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attracted ministration creates if you don't tell your contemporaries i think you're doing it disservice but i did write the book just because it has my opinions or judgments and i really wrote it to try and be as factual as accurate as i could for others to read it and draw their own few clues and it'll be there for the historians too but but mostly it's for american citizens to say this really what we want in a presidency. ok if i if i had one school of foreign policy thought that i sort of thought that i was part of it's a kind of nix only and realist school i believe in talking to troubling difficult thugs around the world because they're important and they help govern things but donald trump took it too you know as you called it you know being buddies with autocrats being buddies with kim jong un vladimir putin even with our trouble with china it was easing ping in this and i guess you know as you got to know him with one line in the book that really surprised me is that you said you never asked
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donald trump what he thought about vladimir putin because you were almost afraid of what he might say so i guess my question is what do you think in your time spent with president trump you know explains why he has so much distain for almost all democratic leaders except perhaps abbay and japan but that he really runs towards and once to be counted amongst these autocrats. well you know there are a lot of series on that i'm not a shrink myself i'll leave leave those theories to the others i think he's drawn to the autocrats because in the trump world they look like when are. you know they're not constantly harassed by aids and allies and their options aren't limited they sort of do what they want to do if you're glad i'm here to and you know like somebody there are ways to deal with them and in russia as there are in china whereas democratic leaders are inherently more restrained or constrained i guess
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would be a better way to say it and trap obviously wishes he were not constrained that's why what we've gone through since the election has been so trying for many obvious that he just does not understand that the interest of donald trump do not overcome the constitution and these other technicalities so i think it says he wants to be a winner that's clear you don't want to be a loser he sees the autocrats as being more in the category of winners you know which is which is generally true right up in time until the time they're overthrown by popular revolutions which many of these countries no doubt you see that president trump is out that joe biden will be coming in president trump doesn't seem to be giving up yet but i guess in the aftermath of this i know you have a super pac you've supported a lot of members for both the house and the senate if i may they they range from you know sort of moderate dealmakers pragmatist to hardliners on various issues in
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the party are you going to try to come back into the republican party to restore health to it bring it back into you know what john bolton at least thinks it ought to be or are you going to step away from this until donald trump as far away. well i'm afraid he's never going to go far away i think that's part of the problem for the republican party what i've tried to do or the years is focus on. republicans who believe in a strong american foreign policy had been less concerned about their views on domestic issues but i think now it's very clear that the republican party needs to have a real conversation about what it wants to be in the post try bear now part of our problem is we can't seem to get to the post trump area but i will certainly do what i can to attempt to move that along might my preference really is to go back to a reagan i do you know it's a belief in a essentially a free society domestically as free as we can make it. liberating the people for
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their own creative activities whatever they may be a very strong america internationally to make sure that we're not threatened by others and also to remember that reagan was optimistic and forward looking he believed in the morning in america he believed in the shining city on the hill he did not talk about american carnage the way donald trump does now look at it today isn't isn't going to it isn't going to triumph over heart reality but i think we know the kinds of policies that the party believes and and i think that the point that that can't be stressed enough is that for conservatives that i know we got involved in politics because of its philosophy in policy we didn't get involved in it because of personalities personalities shouldn't define the republican party anymore than they should find the democratic party it should be about ideas and that's the kind of party that we need fundamental when i read your book it sounds
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like where the media was too when i when i read your book you sound like a little some of the democrats on all of them because there are some some democrats who see the world close along the way you do and i'm just one. during you know are is that just john bolton you know permanent republican or do you see some merit in some of the criticisms and observations that the media was bringing to this and also to certain to be some democrats who are now coming into office well i think some of the criticisms of trump from the democrats and the media were correct in terms of methodology style approach and that sort of thing. and what what i was trying to do and in the passages and in the book that i think you're referring to is explain that you can actually be a conservative and not be donald trump in fact i would say being a conservative almost by definition means you're not donald trump and i think many
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in the media didn't see that many in the democratic party didn't see it they simply criticize trucks for everything and in fact in many cases where they had a grain of truth in the criticism it got exaggerated to the point that it was impossible to find common ground so i found that irritating because on the inside what i was trying to do is persuade the president toward policies that i would consider more typically republican mainstream and then these attacks would come in and among many other things that would divert donald trump's attention that they would certainly succeed. you had a very powerful end of the book that i was surprised by and hadn't hadn't heard largely discussed in the press or a lot of criticism of you for not stepping up to voluntarily testify if you will both in the impeachment process in the house and you're following. the legal processes with with charles compliment and what where that came out but people said why not why not stand up and do this and what you wrote is something which i found
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interesting you said look that you already saw the writing on the wall that the way that the legal challenge on trump had been narrowly defined was one where you knew he was going to come out was hardly worth playing but that there were larger issues about trump and selling out essentially america's interests in a much larger context that may have been high crimes and just mean high crimes and may have been impeachable. did i get that right were you basically saying had they gone bigger you would have been there and probably supported. i don't think they saw it through what they were trying to do and i think by the time you know what i resigned on september the 10th 2019 i did get my life back together people from the national security council were coming in dismantling the skiff in my basement but the impeachment effort was well underway and i thought it was doomed to failure it was too narrow it was pursued in a partisan way and i felt that the senate that that there were simply no chance
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a book of a senate conviction now that might not and then a possible in any circumstances but here was the basic mistake that day pietschmann advocates made they thought as nancy pelosi famously said trump will be impeached forever ok true but he was also acquitted forever by the sat does that in your mind say that he's going to be limited strained to turn by the impeachment process in a 2nd term or would he have been emboldened and enable the answer is clearly the latter and in that sense the impeachment effort achieves a result exactly the opposite of what the impeachment advocates favored and the whole thing was so misbegotten in my mind that i just didn't see it as ultimately has been productive i also thought it was important to tell the full story which is what i tried to do in the book although i could could have written much more people need to see it whole and obviously end pietschmann and congress. testimony is is
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going to be very inadequate to accomplish that so i understand why people feel the way they do i just don't think they fully appreciate the bigger picture at least that's the point i was trying to make of interest that after an 18 year now long afghanistan war after a period where clearly a lot of americans are exhausted of that kind of conflict you think have you we thought any of this you think that those kinds of wars are that we're still on the course and need to have them to have that conflict with iran to get. moved on to have a kind of conflict a to move in north korea because those both came out in your book as well you said we can't shirk that responsibility and there are ways to go in and i just i think that's also part of the john bolton package. well i think the who are in afghanistan is very different from the threats of proliferation posed by north korea and iran and the point i've always tried to make in the proliferation context
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is i don't think america should allow its innocent civilian populations be held hostage by rogue regimes that pursue ideologies and are governed by personalities that don't don't follow our logic that they are governed by their own logic to be sure just doesn't happen to be ours and to leave our civilians in the civilians or our allies held at risk by regimes like that i find unacceptable at every american president recent history has said it's unacceptable for iran and north korea to get nuclear weapons and yet with north korea we're on the verge of it and iran is itself close to do they really think it's unacceptable or not and so what i've said really is nothing different than what the bush $43.00 administration policy on preemption in certain circumstances was and i think that's something that would the
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nuclear proliferator need to understand that that's a consequence they could face that is a sort of pressure that could affect their behavior in very dramatic way. let me just ask in conclusion ambassador with the bite administration coming in what do you fear will be their biggest mistakes that you would warn them as a friend as someone who cares about the nation these are the biggest landmines that you could run into. as you give them counsel and hopefully you know hopefully you're all talking together somewhere. don't count on it look out there there are a lot of things i could say let me just say one i think china is the ex essential threat for the united states and the west as a whole in the 21st century i don't necessarily pain it as a cold war to note it has aspects of the cold war but it also has aspects of 19th century our politics china's obviously pursuing
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a domestic society very different from ours but its behavior in the political military and economic sphere is international is hostile if not illiterate i think we have been late to catch up to what china is doing i think the coronavirus actually has educated a lot of american soul out of your chance to do the kind of society the regime in beijing runs and the kind of threat that that poses to the rest not us we see in public opinion surveys attitudes hardening against china in both the u.s. and europe and i think that by that ministration really needs to think through across the board not just on terrorist issues or or cyber security issues or conventional military issues across the board how are you going to deal with china because the chinese to their credit are master strategist they think in long periods comprehensively whole of government and and we can respond in
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bits and pieces with which is what we're doing now with some success and i think in the right direction in many cases but we have not thought through the big picture the way the chinese have it so before the incoming bided ministration takes too many decisions that are hard to reverse i think they need to think through the bigger picture i think we would welcome a discussion of that congress this is nothing but the trumpet ministration ever had the capability of doing it and i think if we don't do it now we may be hard pressed to do it in the future. well ambassador john bolton author of the room where it happened i could talk with you for hours i don't know if you would like that but we can do this one other time thank you so much for joining us today fascinating to discuss war and peace with you both thanks again for having so what's the bottom line there is a big fight in washington over how to position america in the world and what its
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objective should be and how to pursue them some like my guest today are skeptical of global deals and institutions and others like many coming into the new bite administration believe america's goals are enhanced by those global deals more importantly right now is the fact that there is a big trust deficit in the united states it's dependability and its actual capacity to deliver to allies that's why it's important to understand that biden's goals may be worthy for the u.s. in the world but it's john bolton's more cynical assessment that may be closer to what actually unfolds in the years ahead and that's the bottom line. he uses performance aat to draw attention to the critique or the controversial issues facing chinese. one on one east makes china.
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on al-jazeera. 'd held for over 3 years in an egyptian prison cell deny the right to a fair trial no charges have been brought against al-jazeera correspondent must move to saying this crime journalist. to demand more neutral links and voice solidarity with all t.v. journalist sign the petition. 3 percent. from mother to daughter an ancient craft kept alive by a bustling matriarch. from start to finish. all traditions intertwined with new designs making this family's place unique in tunisia has a rich tapestry. a thread on a. plain
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important role ringback. i'm convinced of the top stories on al-jazeera a panel of health experts in the u.s. has recommended the emergency approval of the pfizer biotech coronavirus vaccine group advising the food and drug administration office some hope for an end to the pandemic this killed more people in the us than anywhere else in the world and as particle one explains the next step is formal approval to start an immunization campaign. that bided the continuation of the go through it was at times a little hard to understand but that may have been the point to let the thousands of people watching the f.d.a. meeting know that they did their homework.


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