tv Panel Discussion on Foreign Affairs CSPAN August 12, 2014 2:38am-3:28am EDT
president, minister, president. seventeen resolutions. they disobeyed. who would not do that coming right from 9/11? where everyone in the united states seemed to think, you know, there are times when you better take, you better do those things that are necessary to do before tragedy rather than after and then that feeling, and that people say to me maybe we need is another 9/11. no. it will just be another month of people understanding and then we will all go back to the things that we did before. yap. >> host: bruce herschensohn, is the solution? >> guest: getting someone strong enough. a strong leader. a strong leader who understands the tradition of presidents post
world war two. by tradition, i mean all of them, republicans, democrats. two exceptions in carter and obama. president carter did abandon good friends of ours. the president of aus salvador, the president of nicaragua. the sandinistas in return. they killed 70,000 in central america. he abandoned the shot of iran and displaced ayatollah. then he abandoned taiwan, the people's a public of china. so he was the first to did this, but not to the extreme numbers and consistency of president obama. >> host: someone who has lived in southern california for most of his life, what is the effect of hollywood on public policy? >> guest: i am not so sure it
is on public policy. certainly it is in effect on policy. a lot of people and the country. there is in effect. the main thing they are able to do is get a lot of candidates. people want to see them. in terms of really changing policy, perhaps individual people with an administration, but very few. by and large it is what the president once done, and that is as it should be. with the president once done. as it should be, the people should really understand what they're voting for. if we want to change domestic policy, boy, work for congressman or someone who wants to be a senator. if you want to change policy remember what you're doing when you vote for president. that is what you're doing. he does not need to make speeches. as we have heard president obama and the number of times pleading
get all these terrific girls. of course he does. he brings or uses a millions and now we change it to a b, billions but he was a great actor, a great man and a successful man and people wanted to be as successful as him and they wanted to have the kind of grosses of their films that he could bring in. they are smart to just sort of not make a big deal out of it. wait until they get to a position where they can make changes. >> host: the last time california voted for a republican president was 1988 i believe, george h.w. bush. >> guest: yeah i think you are right. in fact you are right. that's correct. i didn't think of it in those terms. generally california really goes to the liberal and.
on most of the national offices. members of the house, members of the senate, president and vice president, it just does. even the state legislature it's a very liberal state politically. >> host: is that trend continuing? >> guest: i think so. it certainly has been until you can see it stop. it would be dangerous to think no it isn't continuing. it certainly has been. >> host: in your view was the conservative argument to make? >> guest: against back? >> host: what would be the conservative argument to put an end to california's democratic nomination? >> guest: it takes the right cast of characters. it just takes the right people. one thing that's dangerous that i think is happening with republican party right now, really dangerous is what i would
call stirring up isolationism that is coming back. they would call a libertarianism. i like libertarians when they talk about economics but by god there is a lot of isolationism, using the same excuses that were used by republicans before world war ii further isolation. we are for free trade and certainly it bombards us that we have no business being in whatever country may be mentioned at the time. oh god, wow. we are the only nation in my lifetime, maybe in anybody's lifetime, that has consistently risked their lives for the liberty of strangers and i like that about us. i like it a lot. no other people will do it.
you asked the question a while ago and i think i got on a different track or a wrong tra track. and there is a waiting line right now to take a place as leader of the world, a waiting line. it is russia and the people's republic of china and jihadist and the u.n.. even the e.u.. there are line of people who are waiting and one of them is going to take it. right now i would say putin has an inside track right now at this moment. it may be the jihadist, i don't know but we are at war and we had better realize that. we are at war against the jihadist. they declared war on us on 9/11 and killed our people and until we win we have the risk of losing.
>> host: finally bruce herschensohn we talked about the mideast that the president recently diverted into saudi arabia on his trip to europe and stay you want to talk about the middle east situation as far as israel and saudi arabia and some of those other countries to tie it into obama's -- "obama's globe." >> guest: i would love to do that. saudi arabia could have been our covert and overt friend of the coalition that would include the united states and israel and any number of sunni gulf states because they despise what's going on in iraq. they are not really pleased with iran and that she is anyway that they despise it and they don't want iraq to get the bomb. if they do, they will get the bomb and you can count on that and i can understand that. and so what is going on is the speech president obama gave on israel in which he started by saying the border should be based on the 1967 lines, do you recall that?
he said that as with the border should be based on between israel and palestine talking about palestine as though it's a nation. do you realize what he is saying? he is saying before you win the war in israel it would be like saying to david cameron saying to us, we want to go back to the 1775 lines. i hope you understand. yes, of course that is what we should do. we would be right now sitting in southern california. we would be sitting in northern mexico if we went back to the lines preceding the u.s. mexican war. too bad but that's how borders come about, by winners and losers. generally that's how they come about unless there are some geographical entity, mountains or rivers or whatever. they won a war.
they won a war they sure did not want to have. do we have the time for me to tell you one quick incidence? is called an occupation and people say obama, president obama uses that word all the time about an occupation. they are occupiers. how can any people be occupied when they never had the land to begin with and they didn't. it sounds to most people as does the 67 war was over west bank and gaza. it wasn't over either one of them. at that time jordan had already seized and taken the west bank and called it the west bank. that is how it got its name from jordan's invasion and seizure and in 1949. each authority had gaza. before that, the british have them. before the british, turkey have them. before turkey it was the crusades and before the crusades
it was back in biblical times and i don't know what happened before that. but they never had it so how can someone be occupying their land? what do you mean their lands? there is no such thing as their lands. palestine was always considered an area like we say scandinavia. there is no country called scandinavia but there are a number of countries we consider to be in it. palestine, that was considered as jewish as it was arab. it was when i was a kid. it was considered, that's all. one thing happened in that war that i think is worth knowing about. israel is very concerned that it was going to be, that it was going to be two fronts. it was going to be the western front which was egypt. nasser was sending his tanks across the sinai. they sealed up the bank in the south in syria in the north but they thought they could win a
two-front war. they didn't think they could win a three front war against jordan in the east. so the prime minister at the time, prime minister eshkol talked to our ambassador and he said we can't talk to hussein because we don't have diplomatic relations. could we use your offices or maybe the ambassador to jordan's offices, the u.s. ambassador to guarantee, israel guarantees he won't take anything that jordan considers its territory including their west bank. you can refer to the term west bank which no one would refer to as judaizing maria but anyway we won't even go in there if you could do that. this guy, our ambassador did what a good ambassador does, contacted the secretary of state and the secretary's day contacted president johnson. he wasn't going to have an investor do it. he was going to sing eugene
rossdale to talk to king hussein. he talked him and he israel guarantees it won't touch one territory if you just sit on their hands. israel guarantees it. he said president johnson wanted me to tell you that the united states guarantees it that israel won't do it. at that time in history king hussein was not as strong as he was in later life. he became a very strong guy. he was weak and he went to his other arab leaders including nasser president the president of egypt and they said nothing doing. i am sure they are more articulate than i am. they didn't say nothing doing man but they said no. the war started. israel attacked egypt and syria, just like that. they didn't touch jordan that
like us on facebook or follow us on twitter. >> next a discussion on the conflict in ukraine. it was part of this year's 2014 freedom fest conference in las vegas. it is 45 minutes. you are probably wondering what i have done wrong to be dragged before congress 75 times to testify. never been indicted. it is a great pleasure to be here with you today, ladies and gentlemen. our topic today is hot spots around the world.
i gave a talk on ukraine last year and that was before it heated up. mark thought it would be a good idea to look around the world and see what happens. we have no better panelist than the group today. we have gentlemen who have immense experience working in american areas of the world and i think you will enjoy what they have to say. to my far, far right is david keene and david is now the opinion editor of the washington times and oversees all of the editorials and washington times is in the process of expanding. they are doing a national digital edition. i suggest that you all subscribe because that makes it easy for
you to get my weekly column also, plus all of the others. it is great newspaper and it is growing unlike most other newspapers in the world. david is a good part of this change. you may remember david for many years was chairman of the american conservative union. and also president of the national rifle association -- i know a lot of you would be opposed to that. but he has done great things all his life and been in and out of government and had positions guiding presidents. and to the far right is herman pirchner. he has been the long-term president of american foreign policy council and they do great work looking at all of the hot spots around the world and trying to anticipate what is
going to happen long before it does. you could sort of say they are different than the obama administration buzz because they look ahead. and herman doesn't have to pick up the newspaper surprised on what happens is because he and his staff have been there, done a great job anticipating it. he was out on the ukraine-russia difficulties not too long ago and they turned out a great publication and i suggest those of you with a few extra dollars may want to join the american foreign policy council. i expect all of you here are interested in foreign policy. it is low oversight and investigations overhead operation but they do great work on foreign policy.
and doug bandow is to my right. i have known him from the reagan administration and he is a senior fellow at the cato institute and he is one of the worlds most prolific authors dealing with foreign policyment we will do a general section rather than us specializing because we all have experience in various parts of the world and a lot overlaps. as we were speaking earlier, one characteristic is the world has gotten smaller and that is true because the plane ride from tehran to north korea is short. so the question is is that the middle east, asia or wherever? we will start off with david keene because he is my boss
sometimes. i would like to begin. >> i have one my line before that. david is going to set the stage of the great global struggle that is going on among the political forces and then we will get into more specifics. david? >> thank you, richard. i would like to begin with great self-promotion to suggest you need to subscribe to the washington times because bandow writes as well. the pages are open to pirchner as well. so it seems to be a no-brainer for the audience. actually, it is, i think, important that we are meeting on these subjects today because the american people are confused as to what the stance of the united
states ought to be in terms of foreign policy and our place in the world. they have gone through a period in which our foreign policy is dominated by folks that think perhaps the world could be remade in the american image without much relationship or und understanding of different cultures and the like. one can argue in the middle east, we are struggling with the shadow of the great war and celebrating hundred years of its beginning. i guess celebration is the wrong word. i remember kernel house, the advisor to woodrow wilson, said he had a busy day because they spent that morning redrew -- redrawing the map of the world -- but finished by noon
and had a great lunch. that is the attitude that dominates some folks in the foreign policy area today. and we pay the cost with blood and money. on the other hand, those in reaction to that are saying that the united states cannot be involved at all. and that the best policy for the united states is the policy we pursued in the early days of the republic which was to trade and stay away. even then they dealt with pirates when they interfered for our perceived rights to trade in other parts of the world. so there was never complete separation from trading. the question the american people are struggling with is what are the interest of the united states that ought to be protected. that knows to some extent to the question of whether you are, for
example in the middle east as we did in an earlier age with the communist period, are we facing existential threats or threats regardless? or is it another threat? do we have an obligation to export democracy to the world and try to remake the world in our way. if we should do that would it work? can we afford to withdraw from the world and ignore the problems developing? i like to point out that of modern presidents the two presidents who lost fewer people than any other in foreign wars were ronald reagan and dwight
eisenhower. both known as people you could only push so far. so the bases of the reagan policy was if you were strong enough you don't have to go to war. people know what the limits are and don't go far. you may remember reagan's comments and he said it is about time we teach the people there is new management over here. the problem the american people face is what do we do now with the management we have and how do we proceed. as always in the face of foreign policy questions and defense policy questions that is linked to specific problems, their sources and their meaning for us. and i think that is why these topics, these hot spots if you
will, are so important to discuss today. >> thank you very much. i will stay up here. >> would you? >> herman, picked up with david left off. >> thanks for your comments, dave. i want to pick up on one question you raise and that was the question of islamism versus communism. i have to say in many ways the problem of islamist is going to be more difficult than the problem of communism. communism promise utopia and
when it wasn't happening and it was scene by the sons and daughters running the countries this idea of creating paradise on earth went away and then the fear went and china eevolved an the soviet union collapse. imagi imagi imagi imagine laden going to allah. the idea that you may go to paradise by killing innocents is a problem of terrorist and other problems associated with islamicism exist. you are dealing a
multi-theological war and it is war we have little way. how you can be involved in theo logical discussions about islam if you are not a muslim. american foreign policy council publi publi publius a work on islamic movements worldwide. the hard cover is 1150 pages but there is an online edition. in the course of looking at the great depth of this islamic problem. you understand what a long standing struggle it is going to be to deal with islamist and islamism in the many forms that exist worldwide. i want to switch to ukraine
briefly. that is the title of the panel. ukraine is playing out in the following fashion. you soon will have two cities in the eastern part of ukraine that will be surrounded by forces loyal to the ukrainian government. in the cities will be a couple thousands rebels that are largely taking orders from moscow and russian intelligence. maybe there will be a negotiated settlement where they leave and go into the russia. maybe there will be a fight. if there is a fight, the militants from pro-russian forces are likely to try to make it as bloody as possible by positioning themselves in hospitals, old age homes and so
forth. they will do that with the hope that things become so disruptive that putin will move in russian forces. if he choses to do that, the ukraine army has no capability of standing with them. they believe probably be in kiev in 2-3 days. that will be the foreshadowing of tense relationships between russia and the west. it will be the beginning of what will be a long guerilla war in ukraine. ukraine has history of that. anti-communist forces fought many years against soviet forces. and there are tens of thousands of ukrainians with arms that will harass the russian army if it sits there.
when you get to this point the consequences are unpredictable. and i have probably eaten up my opening time. >> we'll get back to that more. first doug is going to talk about the middle east aspect or whatever he wants. >> i like that idea; whatever i want. we live in a world that was created by the bosnia terrorist that triggered world war one and many of the countries we are talking about were created by the conflict. the are a number of hot spots but for the most part they don't directly threaten the united states. we came out the world war ii with opponents of nuclear
weapons and trained school children to get under dex desks. when collin powell commented he was running out of enemies but neither came close to stalin in terms of the horror they can impose. we are looking at a world of chronic conflicts as opposed to accute and they will be us in a number of ways. if you look around the world, there is a world full of messes out there. we see the israeli-palestinian peace process for the 400th time. you look at egypt and you get to
chee chose between a dictatorship or a muslim brotherhood. we look at syria which is driven by a civil war where there is a government no one likes and the other side includes folks that one around crucifying christians and the people they don't like and shooting school children if they are thought to be blasphemy. iraq we see is falling apart. and one of the main forces against the government we supported are the opposition in syria. so it is this odd situation of opposing the government in syria that is fighting the bad guy but in favor of the government in iraq that is fighting the same bad guys assuming our friends in washington get this straight which is a lot of competence. there is a negotiating process
going on and a little hope it will turn out positive. i am not holding by breath and no one wants iran to have nuclear weapons but launching attacks on them should be avoided. the north koreans are busy and now mad because the new movie the interviewer is out there in which two actors want to assa i assassinate their president. china has sharp elbows in the south china see. the vietnamese want us around now. getting to ukraine and the cold
war in a sense is being re-created. it is a difficult situation. but the reality is no one in europe want to go to war with ukraine. which means the russians have the capability to do what they want and i expected putin is bound. the ukrainians don't like it if they have subjegated and putin grabbed the only area are russian population. you bring in 60% or more ukrainians that is not going to be stable. and moldova with same situation. the good news is the united states can standback and assess each carefully. there is no reason we have to jump into all of them or some of
them. it will vary how we want to get involved. the world today gives us more options than what was termed as the evil empire. luckily there is no evil empire today. we stand alone and have options we didn't have during the cold war. >> to pick up on all of that, one of our colleagues at the cato institute was a man who was putin's economic advisor. putin was moving toward denat n denationalization and than reversed the course and renationalized the oil
companies and andre and putin seized --
ceased getting along -- and now he is here at the cato institute and much happier. but he returned from ukraine recently, he does go back and forth to russia some, too. so far he has been okay. we do worry about him. but his view is that putin wants to re-create the russian empire. not the ussr but the russian empire. and many of you have probably forgotten the russian empire -- what year did it actually have the greatest land mass? anybody here remember? 1867. then they sold alaska to us. and then it shrunk after that. it dominated eastern europe and
what we look at as the sans and
everything today. andre's view is putin is going to nibble around the edges like in georgia, crimea and the main part of ukraine now. i would like to get the views from the fellow panelist on this view. david? >> i think that is correct. you cannot fault a leader of a country for acting in his country's self-interest. you can be upset because it may clash with your interest but you cannot fault them for doing that really. if he is out-maneuvering you he maybe better at it than you but isn't necessarily evil. i think, and this is without excusing anything he did, but
what happened is two things. both sides look at from the eyes of the old cold war ignoring the fact countries don't have permanent friends but permanent interest. secondly, we are in the world in which policymakers don't know a lot about history. we spent millions in ukraine promoting the idea that ukraine should be moving toward nato. ignoring the fact putin won't find giving up the warm water port. in crimea the fact they want buffered states because they fear invasion from the west. we will just turn this into one of our countries. not realizing the russians wants to keep ukraine as part of their orbit about a hundred times more
than we wanted to get it. and as a result we added to the problem. earlier, and this always goes to one of the reasons for the breakdown of the russian u.s. approach if you will will. you remember the baltic crisis in which the united states decided that self-determination required an independent kosovo which was serbia. the rushes who have always considered the southern slavic people to be their protector. they were protectors of the slavics. and they were outraged we would allow a part of a nation state that wasn't a nation to exercise self-determination and breakoff. if you listen to the russians they have saying we have the
right to do what you did in the baltics because we have russians living there and you said they should not live along slavs. from a legal and historical standpoint this whole thing is muddled in part because of putin's ambitions whether they are regarded as legitimate or not and in part because we helped muddle things up and encouraged or at least forced him to act on those ambitions in ukraine. am i wrong about that, herman? >> i agree with what you said in the baltics. they were discredited when nato was used offensively in the balt baltics because their argument against the hard liners was no need to fear the west. nato is strictly a defensive organization. but let's go back to ukraine and
other parts of the former soviet union putin has designed on. in 2011, russia passed the expansion of the con federation and that was the law used to annex crimea. it sin line with the thinking of the nationalist about the creation of a greater slavic state. that idea was put forth many years ago and others have picked it up. you have a man now who was formally russia's ambassador to nato and now the deputy prime minister. he is russia's nationalist number one. we wrote 15 years ago no matter how unrealistic it is today we must come out like germany after
40 years. russia has had long-term designs on the territoryies. ukrainians remember the 2 million people killed by the force famine the -- in the 1930's. >> more than that. >> and the empty homes were filled by russians that came from other parts of russia. if you go as far in russia as to the pacific island you will find many people with ukrainian names. ...
>> this is not a global competition. he cares about border security. you do it again to us in ukraine, and there's an elected leader there who is pro-our side. you overthrow him, organize a street revolution, you want them to sign up with you, talk about nato. i think he is ambitious and opportunistic and also prudent. so while perhaps he might like to have a russia that looks like russia in 1860 or something, my guess is he realizes he won't get it. one problem on ukraine it's two
countries. so, the question of what he wants, how much he'll take, a lot of opportunistic. you get crimea and now you play the game ask see what comes out. and you cause ukraine trouble. the new leadership recognize its neats stability and better pay attention toous because five years from now they can play this game again. nato is off the table. so, i think he is dangerous but dangerous in a very confined way. >> well, i think i am a little more skeptic about mr. putin than maybe all of you. i chaired the bulgarian transition teamin' 1990 to 1993 and had been an adviser to the first noncommunist prime minister in russia.
right at the beginning of this year, i -- even though i was an economic columnist, i write about energy, and i had done several articles how europe was captive to russia's oil and gas. most of russia's experts are oil and gas, most gordon to western europe, and particularly the southern western europe countries are almost totally hostage to gas coming through ukraine. from my old contacts, i had received a message about how certain members of the bulgarian parliament, the green party, and even the turkish party, were receiving payments to vote against fracking in bulgaria. northern bulgaria is loaded width oil and gas, contiguous to
romania. bulgaria should be an oil and gas exporter, should not be totally dependent on russian gas. this reminded me very much of the old days that some of us -- i think all of us here knew the -- had been participant inside one way or another in the cold war, and much of this became familiar. at the time i got this information can i was fir -- first trying to get the western european press to run with it and include the bigger newspapers, and i had the contacts, and people were somewhat aware but people didn't want to go there. and what you have is sort of willing hostages in western europe. and finally, i did the column for the "washington times" and since that time, the last two months, a lot of columns now, the economist magazine and
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