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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 5, 2009 10:30am-11:00am EDT

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learned about as a young person. and for me to be able to come and reflect on this very difficult history, and to not only reflect on the dangers of when people's are in conflict and not acknowledging a common humanity, but also to celebrate how out of that tragedy you now have a unified europe, a germany that is a very close ally of israel, and the possibilities of reconciliation and forgiveness and hope. all those things i think are part of why this visit is very
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important to me. in terms of climate change, ultimately the world is going to need targets that it can meet. a cannot be general and vague approaches. -- it cannot be general or vague approaches. we will have to take concrete actions if we are going to deal with a potential cataclysmic disaster. and we are seeing progress in congress around energy legislation that was set up for the first time in the united states a cap and trade system. that process is moving forward in ways that i think if you have asked political experts two or three months ago would have seemed impossible. i am actually more optimistic
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than i was about america being able to take leadership on this issue. joining europe, which over the last several years has been ahead of us over this issue. as i told chancellor merkel, unless the united states and europe with our large carbon footprints, are willing to take some decisive steps it will be very difficult for us to persuade countries on a per- capita basis are still much less wealthy, like china or india, to take the steps that they will need to take in controlling carbon emissions. so we are very committed to working together and hopeful that we can arrive in copenhagen having displayed that commitment in concrete ways. >> allow me to say as to the
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visit to the concentration camp that this is deeply moving for me to see an american president, in this case president barack obama , as a visitor. he talked about his personal background as regards to the question. look at a concentration camp. it is one example of these horrible camps liberated by american troops. later on it was turned during the soviet period again. at the time when germany was divided. it again became somewhat symbolic people -- it became symbolic. people in that part of the country and not able to enjoy freedom. now we go there after germany has been reunited, after europe has been reunited. now that we also enjoy freedom and democracy as the united states, that is very moving.
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it shows you that history makes things possible if sufficient number of people police in the dream of freedom. -- if significant numbers of people believe in the dream of freedom. >> thank you. the couple of questions. what are some of the gestures of good faith you would like to see from israelis and palestinians? and regarding your visit to the camp. since the holocaust, a constant phrase in the united states is never again. many presidents have let genocides happen over and over. whether cambodia or rwanda. what does never again mean to you as a u.s. president, especially given the fact that genocide is going on right now in our four. there are accusations of genocide in short baca. -- genocide is going on right now in darfur and in sri lanka. does germany have an extra
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obligation to take action to prevent genocide in other parts of the world? >> with respect to the confidence-building measures or next steps, again, i will be bringing george mitchell back into the region. he will meet with the parties involved. i think i have said publicly and repeated in the speech some things that are going to have to be done. a lot of the tension has been given to my statement that the israelis need to stop settlement construction. i recognize that it has received a lot of attention in israel as well. keep in mind that all i have done there is reaffirming commitments that the israelis themselves have already made.
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i recognize the very difficult politics within israel of getting that done. i am very sympathetic to how hard it will be, but as israel's friend the united states has an obligation to just be honest with that friend about how important it is to achieve a two-state solution for israel's national security interests as well as ours and the palestinian's. that is an area where steps can be taken. they're not the only steps that israel can take and will need to take in order to advance movement towards peace. i mentioned some of the other issues that i discussed with prime minister netanyahu. for example, increasing freedom
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of movement within the west bank. dealing with the humanitarian crisis in the gaza and allowing reconstruction to proceed more aggressively. what has been interesting is that less attention has been focused on the insistence on my part that the palestinians and arab states have to take a very concrete actions. when it comes to the palestinians, we know what they are supposed to be doing. they have to continue to make progress on security in the west bank. they have to deal with incitement issues. there is still a tendency, even within palestinians who say they are interested in peace with israel, to engage in statements
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that in sight a hatred of israel or are not constructive to the pri's process. to his credit, president -- or are not constructed to the peace process. president abbas has made progress but not enough. we still have not seen a firm commitment from the palestinian authority that they can control some of the border areas that israel will be very concerned about if there were to being a two-state solution. there are still problems of corruption and mismanagement within the authority that has to be addressed. there will be a whole set of things having to do with the palestinians' ability to govern
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effectively. and maintain security. if they are not solved, israelis are going to have trouble moving forward. and the arab states, what i would like to see is indicators that they are willing, if israel makes tough commitments, to also make some hard choices that will allow for an opening of commerce, diplomatic exchanges between israel and its neighbors. now, all these things will take time. they will not happen immediately, but i am confident that if we stick with its, having started early, that we can make some serious progress this year. on the issue of genocide, i think never again means that the
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international community has an obligation, even when it is inconvenient, to act when genocide is occurring. on the issue of darfur, i did not simply mention in a speech yesterday before a muslim audience talking about genocide taking place within a majority muslim country, but i also raised it in discussions with president mubarak of egypt, who has strong diplomatic relations with the country of sudan. i have assigned one of my closest national security advisers, general scott, as a special envoy who has been traveling throughout the region trying to not only solve the immediate humanitarian crisis
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that exists and that was made worse when president bush here -- when president bashir kicked out the government organizations that had been providing assistance. we are working diligently to solve that problem and get assistance back on the ground. but we have also been doing -- but what we have also been doing is trying to reactivate the possibilities of a peaceful -- a peace settlement between khartoum and some of the rebels in darfur that would allow the internally displaced people from our fort to start returning to their homes. we have been very active on this issue. -- allow the internally displaced people from pardarfuro
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start returning to their homes. we have worked to make sure we have progress and the people of darfur are able to return to their homes and live in peace. >> first, experience -- part of our past experience in germany is obviously the [unintelligible] out of that comes and everlasting responsibility for the safety and security of israel. [unintelligible] of every german government. it will always be the case. as regards to genocide all over the world, we have an international responsibility that we need to shoulder. we work very closely together. all of us have made the experience along the way that is quite often takes much longer to resolve than one would like it to be and can be satisfied
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about. military intervention alone without any political framework that we put on these issues is also not always successful. we had good experience as well. this is why the european union during a summit, they established close links with the african union. i am also trying to win over african countries to shoulder their responsibility or helping them shoulder their responsibility. by providing them with the necessary equipment, but also through political discussions. i think due to the experience we have made over the years as european union members, we were able after the second world war to live together peacefully. we have an obligation not only to create peace within europe because we have been able to do that, but to actually shared with others in knowledge of how we managed to get back to happen. dignity of man is invaluable.
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this goes not only for the germans, not only the europeans, but for every human being all over the world. it means we can solve problems. we as germans have made an experience that was certainly not a matter of cause. the allies extended a helping hand to us and to our neighbor france. the united kingdom and france and the united states. we need to share this experience in order to prevent further cases of tragedy occurring. we will always be at your side. thank you very much. >> thank you.
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>> president obama and german chancellor merkel anbd their joint news conference earlier today. looking ahead, the president next goes to france with stops in normandy, of which the president will mark the 65th anniversary of d-day. the president started his trip and saudi arabia before visiting cairo, where he gave an address to the muslim world. he will show you that speech this sunday at 10:30 eastern. the speech continues to generate action -- continues to generate reaction. we got some analysis this morning on "washington journal." host: let me share with the many of the editorials. they call it the cairo speech. pointing out that words are important. mr. obama was right when he urged leaders to say those words
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in public, but words are not enough. mr. obama, who has been in office less than six months, has a lot to do to fulfill this mission. guest: what the president is trying to do, he wants to turn the page with the muslim world. once to begin a new dialogue and search for common ground. -- he wants to begin a new dialogue. at the same time, as he said, everything does not change with one speech. but one of his prime objectives is to get a lot of people in different muslim communities to reevaluate their attitudes towards the united states, and create wider distance between some of these muslim communities and extremist forces. one of the ways to do that is to engage in a peace process, but he hit about seven key themes in that speech. host: let me share another editorial from the "wall street
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journa;." mr. obama missed a chance to remind his audience that no country has done more to liberate muslims from oppression in kuwait and afghanistan and iraq, where more than 50 million people were freed by -- were freed from two of the most extreme tiredness in history. this is in the this insult to mr. bush that to mrs. the cause for which four dozen americans have died. -- it diminishes the cause for which 4000 americans have died. guest: a case could be made that america has done a lot to go to war to help muslim nations that were under attack. something he could have brought that in. he was basically not trying to challenge some of the narrative out there, but to urge them towards action. but there was another mismom
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ent, but it was a remarkable speech. he was in cairo on the 30th anniversary of the israel-egypt peace treaty. it would have been useful to have made that point as well. i guess we could do a lot of second-guessing on what could have been there, but for the most part he wanted to engage the muslim communities on their terms, so he did not challenge a lot of their narratives. host: let me go to one of the premises of your book, which is available next week. guest: you can order it online now. host: you go through the history of precedence in the middle east going back to dwight eisenhower. you say he failed to realize internal rivalries and keep conflict with israel mattered more to arab leaders. you could take president eisenhower's name out of that
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and put any president that succeeded facing the same problems. guest: in that chapter we try to deal with all the issues sometimes called linkage, which is to the arab nations make decisions on a collective sense or based on their own sense of national interests? we found, more often than not, that it was national interests and inter-arab rivalry that shaped their responses. host: i want to ask you about one specific part of the president's speech when he talked about the right for israel and palestine to coexist. what did you take away from what he said? guest: what he was trying to do is engage in truth telling in many ways. in dealing with the arab states, he was trying to say israel is here to stay. the u.s.-israel relationship is solid.
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the holocaust happened. it is crazy to deny it. it is crazy to a cage in anti- semitism. arab leaders should not exploit this conflict. -- it is crazy to engage in anti-semitism. at the same time he's said things a lot of muslims wanted to hear, specifically the need for a two-state solution, they need to imagine a better future for muslim youth all over the world. that was one of his main audience, was to reach out to young muslims. to reach imagine their future. he had multiple audiences. he was trying to hit multiple things. he did not break a lot of policy ground, but i don't think that was the purpose. the purpose was to open a conversation. he clearly did that. host: charles krauthammer and said today -- he was on this program two weeks ago.
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he concludes by saying president obama says he came to egypt to tell the truth, but he uttered not a word of that. instead, among the lofty sentiments he issued but one concrete declaration of new american policy. the united states does not accept the legitimacy of continued israeli settlements. thus reinforcing the myth that palestinian misery is the fault of israel and the settlements. he concludes by saying desk, blaming israel and picking a fight over growth will only introduce the arab states to do like abbas, to wait for america to deliver israel on a platter, which makes the obama strategy and not just dishonorable but self-defeating. guest: he makes a number of points there. he is right that the settlement issue has not been the be all and end all. israel pulled out of eight -- got 8000 settlers out of gaza.
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and the issue was just settlements, it would have been solved. there have been many moments of compromise. if there is a criticism of the speech, it is that he did not challenge this muslem narrative on a variety of points, including those times that were available to end this conflict. but you want to look forward. in looking forward, you want to craft a two-state solution that gives dignity for both sides. israel has a lot of legitimate concerns for security, but you have to have all people put something on the table. one of the most valuable things the president said was the need for arab states to get engaged. don't just say we have a peace initiative in 2002 that was back loaded. he called a new beginning, but
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at the same time he said they have to do something now. that is why he went to saudi arabia, to say i will call on israel to do tough things, but you have to do tough things, too. every steps the israelis take to the palestinians' needs to be matched by arab states taking the steps to israel to integrate israel into the middle east. there has to be a parallel between these ideas. host: some of the editorials, many different papers. obama gives a bush speech. here is part of what the president said yesterday with regard to those territories and recognizing israel's right to exist alongside the palestinian people. >> now is the time for palestinians to focus on what they can build. the palestinian authority must develop its capacity to govern with institutions that serve the needs of its people.
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hamas does have support among some palestinians. but they also have to recognize they have responsibilities to play a role in filling palestinian aspirations, to unify the palestinian people. hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements cannot recognize israel's right to exist. -- recognize israel's right to exist. israelis must it knowledge -- their right to exist cannot be denied, and neither can palestine's. the u.s. does not accept the legitimacy of continued israeli settlements. [applause] this construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve
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peace. it is time for these settlements to stop. [applause] host: just part of the president's speech yesterday in cairo. victor is on the democrats' line from missouri. caller: good morning. i want to say i am really proud of my president. i think he is -- he has extended an olive branch and has done something that is long overdue, and using force first combat use -- instead of using force first he used diplomacy, and understanding and compassion of all peoples. since we are a nation of several religions, a in a christian, but you believe what you want to believe because we have the right to believe. he wants to express that in a democracy. i think that christians, we can
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know this, to honor him. he is a christian, and i am so fed up with hearing about my fellow christians saying that he is a muslim. he is not a muslim, he is a christian. host: 8 comment? guest: i think the president needs to be commended for the fact that he is trying to reach out and really tried to get many of these muslim communities across the world to reassess their relationship with the united states and to draw greater distance to extremism. i think you can only commend him for that. he did say some tough things to both sides, but for reaching out and trying to transcend these old divides, and trying to focus attention on the young muslims. if president obama cannot make a dent in public opinion in these
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muslim communities, i don't know what american president could. i salute him for making the effort. host: some of the headlines from canada. if we choose to be bound by the past we will never move forward. also photographing the president as he traveled through the pyramids in egypt. here in washington, the headline obama calls for a fresh start with muslims, and photographs from israel and india. and friendly "new york post," hamas loves watch obama woo in muslims. good morning from the caller: independent line thanks for c- span. -- good morning from the collar. caller: calling mr. obama a christian when conservative christians in this country will never have common ground on his beliefs on abortion, homosexual unions, and putting that agenda
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into our schools. and on a comprehensive sexual education, promoting premarital sex. host: how would you take those domestic issues and it what it means for us? caller: he was finding common ground with the muslims. the muslims agree with conservative christians on this issue is, on abortion and homosexual activity. so we are not going to find common ground on that because he does not reflect christian beliefs in our own country that conservative christians agree with. i also wanted to ask, there was a traditional blog that said he was mixing? witte fiction. there were only 2.3 million muslims in america, where obama said there are 7 million. also, mr. obama claiming that islam promotes tolerance and dignity when non-muslims living
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in islamic nations are subjected to oppression. host: i will not go to the point about the number in the u.s. but i will share with the top five muslim nations. there are -- indonesia, pakistan, bangladesh, india and turkey. guest: the point the caller makes is interesting about in the arab world they have a tendency to see america as threatening because it is very secular. europeans tend to think we are very religious, but they see america as being disruptive partly because of its secularism. and there are different attitudes. but i think the president was right to extend a hand. if you do not try to extend a hand it becomes a self- fulfilling prophecy. you have a much more polarized environment. given his life story, he


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