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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 17, 2009 9:00am-9:30am EDT

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caller: it could be allowed. but it would not destroy the state of this -- of israel. so the palestinians need to get that idea. israel has to give up settlements. they have to give up the west bank. the people have to be removed, hopefully peacefully and with government funds. leave the pictures alone. people come in and moved in, the
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palestinians move then so they could have a state. host: what do you think? guest: it makes some sense. but as to right of return, many of viewers are not aware of the official position on the arab side is that even if there is a two-state solution, any arabic speaking person who claims that any one of their ancestors ever lived where israel is now, has the right to move their with their entire extended family. obviously that would involve five, 10 20 million arab immigrants into israel. perhaps people planning to go there temporarily in order to overwhelm the israeli state. and so the so-called right of return is hanging on to the ugly
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dream of the destruction of israel. as to settlements, there are -- i need to point out that israel give up all of its settlements in gaza. the response was not, thank you and let's talk about the west bank. the response was that where those settlements were, there are rockets being shot into southern israel by people who are saying to give up is zero. i do think there are some settlements that will eventually be in israel as part of a peace deal. there needs to be some modest changes on the border, some that might even favor the palestinians. at the same time, there are outlining settlements that if there was real peace, israel would shut down. israel -- collapse settlements
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and will move the people in the settlements from gaza. they are willing for peace to confront their own people and remove settlements. host: our guest has been brad sherman from california, and chairman on one of the house committees. we appreciate your time. we will take a short time out and talk more about the elections in iran. our guest will be from penn state and formally with the national security council. and more of your calls. we will be back.
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>> i have no clue. >> advertising for products. >> public money, i am sure. >> my taxes? >> america's cable companies created c-span as a public service. no government mandate, no government money. >> "washington journal" continues. >> our next guest is from penn state, a senior fellow and formally with the national security council. you wrote a piece this week about the run in elections and you make it short and sweet in the headline. you're right, up and did a job one. get over it. guest: i think what we were trying to say was there was a very fought -- a fast rush to
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judgment and the results that were stated friday night, saturday showing a decisive victory cannot possibly be plausible. it had to be the result of fraud. we did not see real evidence but on the table to demonstrate widespread fraud. we think there are a lot of reasons that the result was plausible, that ought to do the job would have won. i think western analysts underestimated his base of support to start with. the one poll done by an independent polling organization across all of iran showed up when did the job with at least a 20-point lead over mr. mousavi. if you look at the way the debates were perceived, this is
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the first time iran has had that. i think mr. ahmadinejad's performance in those debates served him very well, particularly in comparison with mr. mousavi. there are some complaints about economic conditions in iran. in returning to the paul, it would suggest that -- in returning to the poll, most iranians do not hold up when the judge responsible for those economic conditions. and i would say mr. mousavi in the course of his campaign allied himself with a number of prominent figures, perhaps most notably with profs and johnny -- with a popular figure and known as a deeply corrupt figure. mr. ahmadinejad was able to do an effective job in hanging him
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around his neck. it was him that ahmadinejad been so handily the first time he won the presidency, in 2005. in that final round, the percentage of the vote he won was essentially the same percentage that he won against mr. mousavi this year. host: let me remind viewers of the out of -- of the telephone numbers. republicans, 202 737-0002. democrats, 202 737-0001 is your number. independence, 202 628-0205. our guest is flynt leverett, international affairs fellow at penn state. he also was a senior analyst at the cia in focusing at the -- on the middle east. when exactly did you leave?
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>> of guest: i left because of t had become fundamental disagreements i had in the direction that policy was going. host: based on what you just said, and as we look at the photos of the protests, what is driving all of this? guest: i think mr. altman did judd -- mr. ahmadinejad is very polarizing figure, as we would say about some figures in american politics, you either love him or hate him. you were not neutral about him. i think he probably did win the election. he still has his operate -- his opposition very polarized against him. a good part of that opposition believes that mousavi either one the election or the should of
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been a second round, a runoff between mousavi and ahmadinejad. you're saying the frustration. you see that in the street protests we have witnessed in tehran. it is also worth noting that mr. altman did jot can mobilize large crowds -- mr. ahmadinejad ought can mobilize large crowds where mousavi support would be stronger than elsewhere in the country. but he can mobilize support outside teheran, as well. host: you see no evidence of foul play in the election. what is driving this part of the story, the fact that the religious leaders agree to a partial recount of the ballots. guest: i think the supreme leader is trying to manage the situation in a way that will
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keep equilibrium in the system and restore calm on the streets. so he has assigned responsibility for looking into the allegations that mr. mousavi has formally made in a leader to the supreme leader. he has respond -- he has assigned that responsibility to is guardian council. the guardian council said they are prepared to do at least a partial recount of ballots, apparently in specific areas where there are concerns about how the counting was done. host: let's get to calls for our guests, flynt leverett. caller: hello. i read everything that you and your wife right and have learned so much from both of you. i appreciate everything you do.
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what observation is the mainstream media is kind of humorous, they're giving more coverage to the iranian protests then they covered we protested the 2000 selection of our president. more coverage than they gave to the invasion protest here in the u.s. prior to the invasion of iraq. that is an interesting observation. host: what do you think that is the case? guest: i wonder about that. this the mainstream media go through with the agenda? i know lieberman push for the diplomacy act which provides funding for who knows what kind of activities on the ground in iraq. i wanted to ask, we keep hearing the same people -- we have
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heard people and even rep sherman pushing this that iran is developing the ability to create a nuclear weapon when they have signed the non- proliferation treaty. what proof is there to back up these claims that they are after a nuclear weapon? guest: it is a very good question. it ties into the question about ñithe mainstream media. i think many in the media would say that sent the run-up to the invasion of iraq in 2003, during 2002 when these issues were being debated and discussed in the united states, the mainstream media did not do the job it should have done to ask the hard questions about the case of the war being built
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against saddam hussein in favor of an invasion. the hard questions. other people had a responsibility to ask those hard questions also did not ask them. but people would recognize that is an episode where perhaps they did not do their job as well as they should. i hope that this time around, if there is an increase in tensions in antagonism between the nine states and iran, i think from an american perspective, -- between the united states and iran, it would be damaging to u.s. interests. if this is an increase in tension, if there does seem to be an increased risk of a military confrontation, that the media and people in think tanks,
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that all of us will do a better job this time of asking the hard questions and do that much more carefully than we did in 2002. host: frankie is on the line from the louisiana. caller: hello. it is nice to see if we have someone who was in the cia that was a good guy. there are good and bad in all of these agencies. i'm glad to see you have come across with a conscience. if you could expand on the media control project mockingbird, the cia's taking over and it has been documented that there are agents in all major media outlets. there is also evidence to show
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these tweeters coming now with demonstrations going on were actually agents either of israel were against and operatives to show what was going on. host: where are you reading that? caller: let me get to that. host: you said there was evidence. caller: i just read it yesterday. i have it here somewhere in my computer. i think are read it on the coalition of the obvious. it is on the internet. host: thank you. guest: sorry to disappoint. i do not know about project mockingbird. i do not know if this is a project mockingbird.
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i served in the cia. i never witnessed anything that i would describe as an attempt by the cia to infiltrate media organizations in the united states and unaware of that. i cannot comment on that particular idea. host: there are other aspects to that idea. you see this headline, "i ran cracks down on internet use," a lot of the video -- "iran cracks down on internet use." it gets to the whole twitter part of the story. but media specifically. if the notion is that iran is keeping the foreign media from reporting the story, what does that mean to you? guest: this is clearly a regime in its electoral process that is
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not fully democratic by western standards. it is a regime of political order in which state-controlled media dominates to a large control the information flow to iranians. it is -- it is becoming harder for the iranian government and other governments around the world to control that information flow to their people given all of these new technologies, the internet, facebook, twitter. it is becoming much harder for governments to control the flow of information and clearly, this is becoming a more important factor in iranian politics. host: let's hear from los angeles. caller: good morning. i am happy to be on with the judgment you have on this
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morning as opposed to the congress person that you have on prior. it seems to me that's -- even when we approached the topic of dealing with the influx of the israelis and the government over the foreign policy of the united states, we got to qualify the statements as though we are doing something blasphemous if we critique this bizarre relationship that has on do influence over the american politician, media, and a whole 9 yards. the american people are beginning to see this is something dead is totally out of whack, and it is high time that we start standing back and asking ours2uju$ese questions. what is going on here?
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democrat, republican, media. you name it. they seem to always carry and perpetuate if the israeli is hostile towards iraq, we are hostile towards iraq. if there hostile towards iran, we are hostile towards iran. guest: look, to the extent you think that's the concerns of the pro-israel community in the united states have too much influence over american foreign policy, i would say two things about that. first of all, apac, çóother pars of the probe is real movement in the united states, they are not doing anything illegal or anything unconstitutional. quite the contrary. they mobilized to petition the government.
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i disagree with many of these specific policies and ideas that apac and other parts recommend for u.s. foreign policy. i think there are bad ideas in terms of u.s. interests. but i think that is the way to take on those ideas and that agenda, but arguing on the substance what is wrong with these ideas, what does it cost u.s. interests and u.s. strategic positions over time to follow those ideas, and to lay out an alternative course which will serve u.s. interests better. i would argue it will serve because of israel, security in the region better. i think that is the way to pursuit that argument. do it on the basis of ideas and substance.
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host: back to the iran in elections specifically. there is much about the president's response to all this. obama reaction stirs debate, says this headline. some say he should so more support for protesters. this is from yesterday. >> i have said before that i have deep concerns about the election. and i think the world has deep concerns about the election. you have seen in iran some initial reaction from the supreme leader that indicates she understands the iranian people have deep concerns about the election. it is not productive given the history of u.s.-iranian relations to be seen as meddling, the u.s. president
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meddling in iranian elections. what i will repeat and what to say yes today is that what i see the violence directed at peaceful protesters, when i say peaceful dissent being suppressed, wherever it takes place, it is of concern to me and to the american people. host: flynt leverett, some are writing that the phrase deep concern is not enough. this is "the washington times." then you go to "the philadelphia inquirer." "u.s. cannot back the protest." guest: i think the president is trying to walk a line. i cannot improve on one
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characterization. it is as if the dress makes you look really fat but i am not going to comment on that. he is in fact commenting on the elections. at the same time, he says it is not going to be helpful for the u.s. to be seen asñi intervening in caribbean politics, particularly given theñi history -- the iranian politics. in some ways it is the worst thing you can do for those on the streets to have theñi u.s. endorsed them, to embrace them. then is easy for others to say that they are working as tools for the united states. i think the united states has a serious, strategic agenda to work through with iran. that is not going to be served by having us get involved in an
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internal political controversy and to try to take sides one way or the other. we do not know enough to do that as the government. we do not have the leaders to influence things on the ground. the potential for counterproductive blow back is extremely high. i think we should not be intervening in this. this is an iranian matter. is up to iranians to pick their leaders. we should be prepared -- this is the get over it part of our title -- we should be prepared to pursue our strategic agenda with iran with the government that is in place. host: conn, independent line. larry. thank you for calling. guestcaller: i cannot believe wt
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i'm hearing. the united states -- you being a former cia agent -- do you know the united states goes into these places. it is a division. especially when they are about to hold elections. you can see with hezbollah and hamas. one woman got killed. it goes on and on and on. it seems to me -- i also wanted -- now that we're talking about -- even c-span. they got away with saying israel a few times. you cannot say israel and jew together in the same sentence or you get hung up on. they go out of the way to conduct these things. everything is intertwined. whoever has an agenda --.
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-- it goes up to the top office. it spills into the cia and everywhere. they go on these missions. we're build on a global capitalism system. it is going to keep happening. what obama does is called double he doesn't so nonchalantly. host: any thoughts? guest: not really. to the extent you're saying that the pro-israel community in the united states is pushing a set of policy ideas for an agenda that is not good for u.s. interests. there is much in that agenda i would disagree with. it does not serve u.s. interests well. i don't think it's accurate or helpful to talk about that in terms of conspiracy or some kind
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of illegitimate collusion among different people. it is a set of ideas that has a lot of influence in our policy debates. but we should take those ideas on as bad ideas. and then advanced what we think are better ideas. host: chicago. caller: my question this why should we care about the iranian problem over there if they did not say anything when bush won twice and there were a lot of questions about if he won a legally. i feel like nobody in the whole world even cared about it.
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so i think we should step out of it and let it go on, move on and try to work with the new president. that is my own comment. i do not know if you are going to say anything about it. guest: i do not think there is any good beckham come from u.s. efforts to intervene -- there is any good that can come from u.s. efforts to intervene in any way. i do not think we can do any good for ourselves or anybody else trying to do that. i think it's counterproductive from that and there are reminders of the longer-term strategic policy. host: let's say we get past that part of the story. guest: i think u.s.

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