tv Today in Washington CSPAN April 23, 2011 2:00am-6:00am EDT
benefits in advocating for this. there is the plan called reach illinois that takes advantage of tax credits passed by the illinois legislature and enabled employers to provide things like downpayment assistance, homeownership counseling, to their employees at all levels, whether the low-wage workers with higher wage workers. so that h.r. can actually do a better job of attracting and retaining the talent they worked so hard to get. one critical thing is that it is a great collaboration. in players -- employers have gone back. it was generated does broader base constituency. we should not stop there.
this was one way we formed a common base. we are talking about a new and economy. do need to rethink how we come together? is this somewhere else that how are we going to come together and have this conversation. >> i think we need new and more energetic leadership. i think that these issues have carried ball around accessed to employment. this is the cornerstone. if people are not going to be able to work at jobs that provide reasonable wages, it
is the platform for change? >> they wrote this about writing it at this. the fundamental idea is that there is in your organization that is happening. it is really a regional. it reverses the players are house and it here. there banding together to try to build more power and emphasizes this. you really cannot take collective action to improve this. >> i think there can be an over
emphasis of the idea that it gets the word out in some sort of compelling way. you have to pull together. yet to focus on these other matters that are so important. the senate even talk about poor people anymore. they are fighting however they can for their interests. women are getting the short and did the state. this is how they got the civil
right movement. thatve thto convey the idea you are doing this for your own interests. when people are doing that, that is the organization that we want. this the right thing to do. i am not sure as many people would buy into that. >> we need to have the right message that we need a new low leverage behind it. >> it will make the changes that we are talking about. they talked about having this. there are leadership roles. we know how funds are allocated.
the educational system will work for folks that have been under it. it requires policy level decision makers that can impact this. >> democracy is a muscle. if you do not use it, it does not get stronger. >> any questions in the audience? could we stand up? we have another thing. the question i have is hardly move below the thing. the only do i believe that would be a disappear model, but it is there.
they are focusing on capitalization in neighborhoods that were under restores. they did that by saying there will focus on different things. even with conversation, sometimes it is fashionable. hardly moved beyond this conversation? >> thank you. part of the challenges that the cycle ebbs and flows depending on what happens. where previous speakers have said is critical. we are undergoing this that will accelerate. it is a 10 a chance for us to reclaim issues and we are discussing. i see lawmakers get up there and say we are doing this for our
children and our children's children. what if we really major that everybody in the world understands that there are a majority of callers. in this an opportunity to rethink the performance of what we have been able to provide. the graduated from high school. they are going to perform the work force of the next couple of generations. we will not be well served. it'll help us avoid those ebbs and flows. >> you have to get past the conversation. it is important to stop talking
and get out there. people need to be in the community. if you want to help poor people you have to get out there. in the prior panel, someone mentioned the importance. we need to be out there giving workers organized. they got parents more involved. it is important to get beyond the conversation. >> they talked earlier about the importance of doing this work.
we can get tractions regionally. they are working in this tent cities. they build it and other community-based organizations. the wonder how to build a pathway. how do we make sure we are better fitting all the buildings in that region? we are building the supply side and creating the pipeline for folks to come out to these communities. the systems are being deconstructs did and reformulate it the folks working on the ground. >> another way of trying to combat the ebb and flow is to
have each group individually press for their needs but also to come together with overlapping goals. maybe another issue is in. it has a lot of overlapping interests. it can help push for common goals and bring back against discussions are topics. it is important for us to realize that they have so much in common. they should band together to support each other. >> the access to appointment that you mention is clearly a key variable.
we know how robust the transportation system is. sears roebuck moved from the sears tower to a very remote campus. jobs new to other metropolitan areas. they moved to tennessee to build an automobile factory. how deep you imagine coming to grips with that kind of mobility of employment? hal to people seek employment with the resources can respond. >> we have seen the decentralization of employment.
centrifugal. i think we will see some significant pictures. there is the recognition that development is not a winning economic model anymore. maybe never was. there is a lot more to be gained from the concentrate. there can be efficiencies within the labor market. i think that linkages and employers is critical here. employers are likely to stay if they had the workers that cheney. they are finding that they are growing. this community growth. people are real change -- are
well trained. this partnership, jobs are more likely to say. in the back, we will take a. >> palin. they talk about the importance to redo the middle class. the mention the importance of community ones. i have wonderful people who are -- q graduated. the great charts was characterized by relatively low
skill manufacturing jobs. where do you see the forest of this emerging? are they going to unionize and get some of the benefits of their manufacturing? is it going to come from new technology? >> i think all workers me to be organized. so they can get higher pay and benefits. iam a believer in picking up the national infrastructure. that is the thing that forms platforms. it is a source of new a good jobs immediately. that is a platform for the new industries going forward.
when you have big initiatives, there are benefits that come along. when you are in the planning stages, it cannot really quantify what the benefits are. we know it needs to be rebuilt. the longer you wait, the more expensive it will be. we need to get started on that sort of thing right now. in a broader sense, we need to get the word out about how serious the crisis in employment is.
and how we need to pay more attention in terms of policy makers and others about how we convey to reap -- begin to reconstitute a middle-class. the basis of that is jobs going forward. >> i agree. >> amen. take take a look at the policy. they have five very specific things they discussed in depth about what we can do. they did a terrific job. i do not think we can go wrong. please join me in thanking our panelists. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
-- who participated in the can and star -- on the ken starr case. david clarke talks about home foreclosures and what they mean for large mortgage companies. tom cochran described as an anti-government sentiment on the internet is feeling a recall drive against mayors in cities across the country. it is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> now discussion with three former secretaries of state adjusting the role of american cultural values with foreign- policy. we will hear from madeleine albright. this composition is moderated by the president and ceo of the
washington institute. >> i want to recommend the chairman of the board. somebody has been a great board member. true public servant. we want to thank you. one more indulgence. our dear friend goes with you. thank you for being here. all the people of japan tonight. thank you for being here. [applause] the question we're addressing tonight is one of the oldest in our nion. which is whether our engagement in the world should be based on our values and our ideals, or whether we should mainly be sticking to our national interests. it's a question that is as old as the nation. perhaps even older. john win throp in his serman to
the colonists talked about how we should be as a shining city on a hill. and dean lloyd will is a that comes from the sermon on the mount as well. but the governor gets to plagiarize it a bit. and it's as new as barack obama explaining why we went into libya. if you look at the real list tradition, one of the clear expressions was john quincy adams, one of the underrated early presidents who said that wherever freedoms' banner is unfurled, that's where america's hearts and prayers shall be. but we don't go abroad looking for monsters to destroy. we well wish freedom around the world, but we defend it only within our borders. on the other hand, barack obama and in his noble prize speech, talked about the duty to proct and the notion that our
humanitarian impulses should guide our military engagements as it did in bosnia. so the quer we're addressing tonight, and i'll start with secretary albright is, it's easy to say that our values and our ierests always go together. and that if we act upon our values we will be acting on our interests. but the three of you know better than anybody in the room that foreign policy is difficult. decisions are dill. and sometimes there's a conflict between our values and our interests. how do you think the role f values, democracy, and freedom should play on our foreign policy? >> well, first of all i'm delighted to be in this beautiful cathedral. when i was on e chapter, we voted on that rose window. i have a very basic belief that this isn exceptional country where in fact our values ve been a motivating factor and in
fact some of the quotes that you have spoken about, america is a very special place. and we have special responsibilities. and i do believe that there are, you can divide national interest in a number of ways. obviously, the easiest is when you have been attacked or your allies have been attacked. and those are vitalational interests. but there are other values and i believe that we need to have american foreign policy has to be value-based, moral, but it cannot be more or less stick, where we go around telling everybody what to do. but i do think it is in our national interest to have a value-based foreign policy and defend countries or protect those that are in harm's way if we are able to do that. >> secretary powell, should we be promoting and using our military to help democracy in places like bahrain or beijing or saudi arabia? >> we have a sponsored military
that has the capacity to involve themselves in military intervention or in humanitarian relief operations and we have done that throughout the course of my career in the military. >> hold on a second. is that on? ok. woe. it reports that it is on now. >> but it is not out of the ordinary for t united states armed forces to participate in such activities and we are a nation of vauls, given to us by our founding fathers reflected in our doocla ration, in our constitution. but at the same time, as you noted, our founding fathers who wrote the constitution did not expect us to go all over the world inserting ourselves militarily or through power, but the expression of our
values would help the rest of the world. in my pro fession, they even included in the constitution little distinction between what the navy and the army does. it says that the constitution provides for and maintains a navy, meaning we'll protect our shores. and we raise and support armies. which means when we're invaded. so the founding fathers did not expect us to go all around the world but the founding fathers lived 230 years ago. we li today. and our values have set in motion so many things throughout the world with respect to democracy, a belief in human rights. and we have an example to the rest of the world. so as our values have become an example to the rest of the world, they also expect us to use our economic, political, diplomat, and on occasion military power to help them enjoy the benefits of a similar
value system. and we have done this in the course of our history. >> do you think we're doing it a little too much now, telling people how to behave? >> you have to be careful because i don't think it is our place nor is it anything that our founding fathers intended or the american people intended for us to go to every single country inhe world and impose a democratic system that is identical to ours. we have to deal with the world as it is. and there are many countries in the world right now that are very successful in bringing their people up out of poverty, they are very successful in providing for health care and other services. >> china. >> but let me get there. >> but in effect, i know that china is not going to get rid of its authoritarian system. they said so. they made it clear. and what they've said to me is that we don't know how to run a country of 1.3 billion people and feed 1.3 billion people
with the kind of system that you prefer. your system. so as long as we are not aggressive in what we do with the rest of the world, as long as we are doing the best we can for our people, and they brought 440 million out of poverty, we can tolerate such a system and live with such a system. but at the same time, all of us have done pointing out to the chinese that political liberalization and human rights are universal valingus, and sooner or later you're going to have to deal with the aspirations of your people and the desire of your people to be freer. in the arab spring that we've been watching now, you cannot keep the rest of the world away from the arab world. you can see it on the internet. that same political force which is at work through the intimation revolution i think will start to modify china as well. >> secretary baker, michael kinsley once defined the gap in
washington as when a leader accidentally told the truth. you did that once. >> i did. >> yeah. >> i said that it was important that we maintain secure access to the energy reserves of the persian gulf. i didn't put it in terms of oil but i put it in terms of jobs. and it was important and it still is important to america's national interests. but to say that you have to make a choice between principles and values on the one hand and national interests on the other is wrong. you do not have to make such a choice. there is sometimes conflict as you pointed out. but america's foreign policy has for the most part always, i think, been formulated and implemented both with respect to its principles and values and the national interest. the question that confronts policy makers is when do you concentrate on one, when do you
concentrate on the other? our principles and values are what's made this country great. and they are rightly central to our foreign policy. my own view is that we should always our principles and values and promote them diplomatically, plitcli, and economically. that we should be very careful militarily when we decide that we're going to go in militarily simply to promote our principles and values. and that generally speaking you need to have a national interest when you decide you are going to commit, particularly when you're going to commit our young men and women to combat. >> do we have a national interest in libya? >> no. but i think libya, frankly, is -- if there was ever an appropriate exception to that formulation i just gave you, libya is probably it because
the way 've done it is a very limited exercise. and the president was quite clear when he at least the united nations securit council was quite clear in their resolution that we're going in to protect civilians. we also stated someone stated that there was also a regime change element here, and that's going to introduce some confusion and it's birks the way, also going to put a lot of pressure on the administration to acquiesce in mission creep and because you're not going to get regime if you don't put forces on the ground. so what i say about libya, and i believe this strongly, is if -- that it's an appropriate exception to what i think ought to be the rule, and that is before you commit military forces substantially, you need to have a national intest
involved. why do i say that? i say that because i've served this three white houses, and i know that you cannot maintain the policy when the body bags start coming home if you do not have a national interest. we are a democracy and the american people are the final ooshters of what our foreign policy should or should not be. and we've been involved in wars around the world un occasion, vietnam comes to mind, maybe korea comes to mind, maybe there are others that come to mind that where the american people abandon the policy. and in our democracy, once the american people abandon the policy, you've lost the policy. >> but isn't it easier to sustain the policy when people believe it comports with our values? >> i think it is. but there are a lot of issues that have been put on the table. i have always thought that it's a false dike -- dichotomy.
i'm a pragmatic ideal list but basically i think it's like a helium balloon. you need the helium t get the balloon up and the balance in order to get realism to get it moving. also, i think we have all learned, and apologize to my students, there is not always consistency in foreign policy decisions. you do have to look at it case by case, which is why having that underlying value system so that you can assess what's happening in every case i think is very important. and these decisions are very hard to make. i think tre are certain oxy morans in this. you cannot impose democracy with the military, which by the way is one of the problems with what iraq did. and it gave democracy a bad name. and i think that whai believe is that americans need to support democracy in countries
no impose it. i do think that it is different from the founding fathers because we happen to know what's going on inside every country now. and the role that media is playing in terms of the support of the american people is quite different. i think in many ways what has happened today is obviously information technology has pled a huge role in the arab spring, that is viral in many ways. but the media have played a huge role in america's reaction to it. our press has been out there. anderson cooper is one of the rebels. and i think that it is, it has created a huge desire to d something. and i do think, and i say this with some apologies. americans are the most generous people in the world with the ortest attention span. and the bottom line is, is that we are in this. the libya story is complicated. it's going to get more and more
complicated in the middle east. this is a long story. and the media -- i usually get to the media at the end not the first question. but basically they are covering it as if it were a football game, even if there were a basketball game it would be overtime. it's none of that. it is a marethon. and we are going to have to look at this in the long way with the idea that our values are very important. >> and each country is different and has to be looked at differently, in my view. but madeline is quite right. >> but i think there has been a significant change just in the last 30 years. it's not just the internet. all of us can cite experiences where we had to deal with the most terrible dess pots on the face of the earth before the cold war ended because our interest demanded it. some of the things we did in africa and other parts of the world. some of the dictators we propped up because of our interests and because of a current balance to what the soviet union was doing. but when the berlin wall went
down all that went away and i think our values moved to a higher priority. >> did that mean that we don't have an interest in supporting the rulers of saudi arabia as a counter balance to iran because they don't share our values? >> we have an interest in pporting the rulers of saudi arabia because they are not shooting their people in the streets. it's not a humanitarian crisis. and at the same time, we have to think of two things. not only where we get o energy from, but as my saudi friends will say to me every time i raise this question with them, be careful what you ask for. we have been a successful stable country for as long as you have in different forms. but we're a monarchy. if you had full, free, fair elections tomorrow, you would not like who wins. they would throw you out and us out. and the day after tomorrow, they would announce there's never going to be another election. >> we're not sure yet we're going to like who wins in
egypt. and so these are very difficult issues with each country is different. we ought to look at each one in a different way, in my view. and madeline is absolutely right. it ought not to be a choys between ide dealism and realism. that both of them form a basis for our foreign policy decisions and they should. d the point colin made about the soviet union, even though we're cooperating, or we cooperate with the soviet union in world war ii because naz germany was the worst alternative. but during the cold war we still promoted our principles and alues with the soviet union even though we didn't go to war with em to promote them. and that was a good example of what i'm talking about when i say used diplomacy, diplomat, politically and economically you emphasized your principles and values and you do so
militarily when you can in appropriate case like libya. but it's not an appropriate case to do so in bahrain. why? because we have a greater national interest at stake. and you don't sacrifice your national interest. you can still promote your principles and values. it's just not an either or. >> what i find interesting in watching what's going on in arab spring, and also in iran and also to some extent in china, i believe we're all the same. that you can't say x group of countries is never ready for democracy or doesn't care about human rights. what we're seeing is that they do. and i would say on saudi arabia, we definitely, interesting, the king is somebody who is trying to figure out how to reform a system that in many ways is very fragile, or artsrit rick in some ways. and it needs help and i think it does come in various phases. elections. not alwayshe people you want
win here either. and so the bottom line is -- ever you know, you have to be able to deal with it in the longer run with the idea that we are all the same and want to be able to make decisions about our own lives. i think it's so fascinating what is going on in the arab spring is the aspect of it. i'm chairman of the board of the national democratic institute. we have people on the ground in all these places and it's very interesting to get the reports back in terms of how the opposition people are trying to figure out how to have coalitions, how they are working with civil society, how they are moving the process forward. it's messy. >> but let me then push you on that, which is if you kne through your intelligence that the muslim brotherhood would win the elections in egypt in september, would you be in favor of pushing those elections? >> my personal view is these elections should take a little while. you can'-- the problem is this is not an american story.
we can't micromanage what's going on. but the truth is it would be better if the elections were somewhat delayed because the muslim brotherhood is more organized than other groups. but that military group that's there actually wants out and they have moved the proves further and i think it is going to make it harder. and onof the things that's interesting is trying to figure out how to help them if they're asking for help in terms of trying to create additional political parties and organizations that can compete with those that are already betterrganized. >> i think we all agree that there is historic trend taking place throughout the world. where people now that they can see what is happening in other parts the world want the same thing for their children. andhey want representative government more and more. but sometimes our values do conflict with our interests and sometimes our interests have to trump our values. and we've all faced situations like this. and i think this historic trend
really began in 1975 with the helsinki final act. signed by jerry ford, even though he was widely criticized established the borders of europe, even though they were achieved by domination on the part of the soviet union. but the soviet union signed up for that, i don't think they realized that they were taking a poison pill. and itaide all support representative government. and the people should choose the kind of government the people should have. and ten years later gorbachev came on and a few years later the iron curtain fell. and it is accelerated by television, the internet, by the information revolution. and it will continue. and i said the last couple weeks ago in abu dhabi this is something of a tsunami. it may take time. don't know when it's going to happen.
but i think what we're seeing in arab spring will eventually come to saudi arabia and these other places. it's not going to happen right now. >> there's no doubt about it. it's moving, it's coming. and it could be very, very important and beneficial in terms of presenting us with an alternative to the al qaeda philosophy that the only way to get rid of authoritaan corrupt governments is through terrorism. so it could very well be extraordinarily important from that standpoint. but you're absolutely right. >> but don't be surprised if some of these results the not serve our i want rests. >> we talked about the duty to protect, which is sort of a new concept. in some ways it arises out of the balkans which you remember quite well since i think half the girls were named madeline after that intervention. i'm going to ask the two of you a one-word question. and i'm going to cower a bit.
which is anyurism. do you want to start? >> well, let me just say that this is a story about bosnia. and i was ambassador at the united nations at the time. colin was chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. and i've got to describe this a little bit. he would come into the situation room in full uniform with medals from here to here. having been -- won the gf war and i was a mere motoral female civilian trying to figure out -- >> give me a break. come on. >> anyway. >> don't pull that card on me. come on. >> so it was interesting to be in new york because there i saw more diplomats than -- from different countrieshan any other american plote. and people would say why aren't
you doing something about bosnia and i would go to our meetings and say we have to do something. and why? and colin is the world's greatest briefer. and -- and the pentagon is really good about all kinds of things. he had a little d pointer and it was totally brilliant and we could do everything. and then he would say, but supposing that sergeant slip chick stands on a land mine, what are you going to tell his mother? why did he die for this? >> and i said colon, what are you saving this military for? >> and i responded, first i was stunned. and i wrote later in my book that i thought i would have an aneurysm when she said that. and the reason i was disturbed was that, what's the purpose of having this army if you won't use it? we had just invaded panama, we had just done the gulf war, we are still serving in places all
over the world. this army was being used. but i have strong views. and the views that i had at that time were also shared by the secretary of defense and most of the national security team. and these views essentially said before you commit that sergeant and before you commit erican troops, you have to cut a clear understanding of why they're being commited, for what purse. and it can't be we're seeing all this terrible stuff. what do you want them to do and are you prepared to invest in terms of man power and other resources what would be required to achieve the mission that you've set before the troops? and that's where we had our disagreement. and she got even with me in her memoirs. >> but i have to tell. what he said, turf explain patiently to ambassador albright that our soldiers weren't to soldiers. so after he left we actually used force and we did pretty well in bosnia. and then we all know that writing books takes a while to
get published. so i called him up and i said, patiently? and he said yeah. you didn't understand anything. then he wrote me a note. he sent me his book and he signed it with love, admiration, and sibed it patiently, colin. and i send him a note and i signed it forcefully, madeline. but i dohink it's a serious issue here and it has to do with this whole concept of responsibility to protect. i have spent a lot of time thinking about this because this is an evolution at the peace keeping operations at the u.n. and you were talking about the helsinki final act. there has been the genocide convention. and knowing what was going on. people made the argument that we didn't know what was happening during world war ii. we do know what is going on in places. and mel osevitch was ethically
cleansing putting people in concentration camps, doing teible things afpblet the question was whether some amount of american force multilaterally with nato or in some way could in fact end this. and tgs a very big and long discussion, and it is the whole issue of whether as an international community when the leader of a country is not fulfilling his responsibility in terms of protecting his people, doeshe international community have a responsibility to protect? and it is a new concept, it is now part of u.n. jargon, and we are watching it in libya. the resolution 1970 is -- 1973 is the one that ss that this is about protecting the lives of the civilians. >> are you regretful you didn't apply that in rwanda? >> absolutely. but i also think, and one of the things that -- we all three of us said that the decisions are very, very hard to make.
as far as i'm concerned there's nothing worse that people who criticize decisions that they dent don't look at the context in which the decision was made and the information that the people had at the time. it's fine to look back and say x should have --. what happened was at the time that the rwanda issue happened we did not have all the intelligence. we had just lost troops in somalia, we were in bosnia, the county was turned around in haiti and we didn't know how awful it was. i call it volume canic genocide. it happened after the plane of the hutu president was shot down and there was this explosion. but it was very hard. and i wish -- president clinton had said we wish we made the decision. i think we should have done it but we didn't. >> it's a tough issue though. the duty to protect if indeed that becomes enshrined in u.n. lore or u.n. policy, where do
you -- what are the limits? protect to what extent? do we put young americans in the ground on the ivory coast? do we put them on the ground -- what about the people of iran? what about the people of north korea? what about the people in china? where do you take this? how far do you take this and how do you keep the american people in support of a policy when the casualties start coming home? and one other conversation. i think we ran the only full-scale war that we ever got paid for by the people we were saving and tht first gulf war. but we're broke as a country. we are in bad, bad shape. and so we don't have the economic power today or situation today to go running all around the world protecting every time we divine a need to protect people to go using our military to protect them. we can't do it.
we can't do it economically, we can't do it politically. and we certainly can'to it militarily. >> it's a question of becoming a 911 line with call waiting if we don't have rules. >> it isn't all just americans. the point here is that it's a very difficult doctrine. >> and you actually teach it now. >> i teach about the american, the nional security toolbox and the bottom line is there are not a lot of tools in there. >> you've got the big important military is a tool. >> but i'm not saying that the u.s. needs to do this all by itself. i think that interestingly enough, i think what president obama was -- is trying to do in libya is to show that this is the international community. whether there is whether what happens is -- i happen to be opposed to a unid nations army. but there must be ways that certain groups of countries can have some part of their military degree gate to saving
-- where there's genocide and ethnic cleansing, not every -- >> secretary powell, what are the rules where we go in with a duty to protect? w do we draw the line? >> we have the most skilled military imaginable and an army exists to apply the force of the state against the enemy of the state. and the forces that we create for that purpose also have other thing that is they can do, and they can do it splendidly. they can do peace keeping, humanitarian assistance. you saw in the tsunami of 2005, you saw it again in japan just recently. and these are wonderful young soldiers, sailors and airmen and marines who know how to go and take care of kids, who know how to provide relief supplies to folks. so we can do it all. but we really want to know exactly what political purpose is being served or what humanitarian purpose is being served. and some sense of what it's
going to take and some sense of how do we end it. and i don't think it's unreasonable to do that. because this is a volunteer army. the american people said we don't want araft any more in the early 70s. so it is not the whole country involved. it's a volunteer group of young americans. and before we commit them here, there, everywhere else, you've got to think it through. because as jim said, these are the kids who pay the ultimate price and their families. and you can't just say my heart is breaking for something that's happening over there and it is our responsibility to go. make sure we have -- make sure that our values are intact, we know whether or not we're doing it and that it really serves some interest of ours or a humanitarian nation. >> that to be reemphasized. i would like to second what you have just said. in the waning days of the first bush administration, we undertook a humanitarian relief effort in somalia and it was a ery good one and we saved a
lot of lives. but we made it clear going in that this was not to become a nation-building mission or a mission to chase down war lords. then we lost an election. and madeline and them came in and they changed the mission and we got -- >> you -- >> the thing that happened there, you all don't want to go -- i mean, this is endless. the part that happened is we worked very hard t change it into a united nations mission, not a u.s. mission. but it got very confused. >> are you worried about mission creep in libya? >> absolutely. but let me just say colin taught me many things but i think is what's really important is when you always ask what is the exit strategy. i used to find that irritating. but the bottom line is you do need to know how something ends. but i have to say there are a number -- i would not beor using american troops
everywhere. i would also be pretty careful about for what reason we start a war. we have wars of necessity, k4 i thought afghanistan was. and i have real questions about iraq. so we will different reasons why we think we use our military. >> was iraq a mistake in retro spect? >> i think the jury is still out on that. it could very well turn out ok. it might turn out not ok. if idoesn't turn out all right it was a mistake. if it turns out ok, that's not a mistake. >> that's where >> -- >> let me tell you what wasn't a mistake. the first iq war. that was a textbook example of the way you fight aar. you go in with a limit. you have a specific purpose in mission. you get other people to pay for it. you have a clear exit strategy. you do what you said you are going to do. you get the entire nationa community behind you and get the job done. >> let's take the first gulf
war. u.n. support, congressional resolution, which was a close vote. and the mission was limited. kick the iraqi army out of kuwait. that's what we did. people were terrified. and there would be tens of thousands of casualties. tubbed out not to be the case because we put a huge military force in there. and i could say to secretary cheney, baker and president bush it will succeed. it's guaranteed. it's going to happen. and it did. and the casualties were sll. but within days people said well gee if it's so small, why did you go to bag dad? that was not the political mission. and if we had tried that, the coalition we had would have collapsed. it's hard to believe now that we had southeastern divisions and egyptian -- syrian divisions and egyptian, diffent coalitions. on somalia jim is right, we did not want to go to somalia on the very last months of the president bush's administration
but the humanitarian situation with you was so bad that we talked about it and i came in with a plan saying let's do it the right way and send 28,000 troops in there. so we sent a large force in, and within a few weeks we had stabilized the swage and we were feeding the population again. when president clinton's administration came in, madeline is right, tryried to turn it over to the u.n. but it was a flawed mission from the beginning. somalia has never en a country and certainly isn't ready to be a democracy and now it is all these years later. >> you plays of the way the first war was conducted raises the question about doubts you have. >> everybody says we tried to impose democracy. the first thing we did was get rid 06 a dictator and destroy his capacity to oppress his pele. now at that point we made some very serious mistakes. we should have imposed order on
the country and my position throughout that period is when you as has been characterized, but when you break it, you own it. and -- >> the potry barn rule. >> the potry barn got very mad. they wrote me letters, i had to apologize. i never said it. but the point is that you have to be careful. and we're watching it in libya now. when you take out a regime, you become the government. you have the responsibility to the people that you have just liberated. >> so we broke it in iraq the second time around. >> yes. and if the plan had called for the use of a much larger force, my humble opinion, to impose order on the country, which is what the iraqis thought we were going to do. and when we didn't do that the insurgency broke ut out and we didn't respond 230r years. >> secretaryumsfeld said you
were wrong in his new memoir. >> it's somewhere between deceptive and delusional. [applause] >> if i could move on. what do you really think about the book? >> i can tell you -- [laughter] >> why are we still in afghanistan? >> because the -- there is still a threat in afghanistan and you can't think of afghanistan separately from pakistan. and the real threat that could reemerge is probably located in pakistan now and you have to deal with both of them. but when we took out the taliban such as it was, a horrendous government, we were perfectly willing to tolerate for years without thinking we had to go take out the taliban, we gave the taliban several
days to reflect on all of this after 9/11 and to turn over osama bin laden. and if they had, then we would not have gone in. when they said they wouldn't, we went in. we never succeeded in putting in place a replacement government under president karzi that could demonstrate the capacity to not only control the country, take care of the people, and at the same time keep the al qaeda folks from coming back or keeping the taliban from coming back. that's what we're trying to do now. it's mixed success at the moment. general petraeus is doing a terrific job. our troops and embassy employees are doing a terrific job. but it is not clear to me that there is a sufficiently solid base within the karzai government to take this all over when we start to ll out. we start to pull out in july and he says we'll be out by
2014. we can't stathere forever. >> i'm a conservative republican. some would say not conservative enough. but i'm a conservative republican nevertheless and i have serious doubts about the mission there. not in terms of support what general petraeus is doing and everything. i was very much in favor of going in initially. we had been attacked from there and so forth. according to leona, the head of the c.i.a., there are thousands in of al qaeda in afghanistan. our interest in the stable afghanistan isn't any greater than russia, china, and india. why don't we get those countries, and say, hey, look, we all have an interest in a stable afghanistan but we're doing all the work here? and if you don't come in and
help us we're not going to stay rever. >> do you think we should get out? >> president obama has said we're going to start drawing down in jy. i support that idea. we can't have an open-ended forever commitment there with 125,000 al qaeda and 110,000 -- and as colin said, we don't have a very good partner in the government of afghanistan. he also said quite correctly the problem is not just afghanistan, it's pakistan as well. so the cobs quens of totally -- consequence of totally picking up and pulling out wou be very adverse. but we ought to start having a debate about why we're there and how long we're going to stay. now, l me take advantage of the fact that you've got a wonderful audience here to promo an op ed that i am writing tomorrow morning so it's going to be in tomorrow morning's "washington post" and henry kissinger would tell you he wrote it. but if y look at it, it's
very concise and very -- it's very -- you can tell it wasn't written by an academic. so go read it. >> what's it on? >> on the topic we're talking about here tonight. >> and we wrote it over -- >> not on afghanistan. no. it's on values andational interest. >> i think i fully agree in terms of getting some kind of a better regional solution on afghanistan. i honestly the think that what we had to respond to 9/11 and afghanistan. no question about that. i think that we took our eye off the ball and there should have been more work done in afghanistan earlier. at this stage, i think that there are from reading newspapers there are some negotiations going on with the taliban, some attempt to try to get some structure there. and i fully agree with jim is
that what i think there needs toe a regional approach to this. i've been saying that for a long time. there needs to be a group that works on this that has much more interest in it or as much interest as we do. >> we've been talking about national interests in afghanistan. and somewhat surprisingly, given the topic here, many people would s we were there for humanitarian reasons. there was a time magazine cover of the woman wgs nose cut off, at we're there to help women and whatever it may be from humanitarian horse horrors. is that still a reason to be in afghanistan? >> i think we are really there to stabilize the country. and one way to helptabilize the count vi to perform this kind of activity and demonstrate our values. and how the people can have a better life in if they move in this direction. but not strictly for humanitarian purposes because it serves our interest to make sure that it doesn't become a haven for al qaeda again or the
taliban. it may be down to 150 but they have a habit of growing. right now i think it's manageable if we can get the afghan government to start functioning like a real government and not just as a tribal chief. that's the part that is not working. and if it doesn't start to work then i think we're just going to have to pull back and go back to a counter terrorism strategy where we watch it and if al qaeda starts to reap pear we go after it. i don't think you're going to have a lot of success in getting the neighbors to take this problem from us. >> there was an internal debate within this current administration as to whether we ought to have a counter insurgent strategy or a counter terrorism strategy. the vice president biden was very much inavor of a counter terrorism strategy. i think that would have been the better way to go. use counter terrorism in everywhere in the country except the population centers.
do a counter insurgency strategy in the population strategies. >> so a smaller military footprint. >> yeah. and more pdators and more counter terrorism in the vast reaches of the country. but try to do counter insurgency in the main cities. but we sti have the problem of a partner. we still have the problem with respect to the government of afghanistan. and we still have the problem that we are on the -- we are pulling the entire arall by ourselves. >> let me get back to the question of values and the role they play. when you teach this, when there's a duty to protect or there's a genocide or a humanitarian reason to go in, what rules do you apply when you say should we do it? should we not do it? i mean, is it what's doable, whether you -- you gave one rule earlier, it's good to have international consensus. >> i think first of all this is a new concept that's very hard to apply. and it's really runs into the
issue of sovereignty. no country wants to have some other country come in there and telling it what to do. and we were talking about this earlier. is that let's say that something you know a lot about is new orleans was a mezz. there were people living under bridges and in conventio centers and dying et cetera. supposing somebody had said, well, the united states government isn't taking care of its peopleroperly, the chinese and a french, and the came over and said we're taking care of this. so it's very difficult. and the question is under which circumstances. -- or we wanted to go into burma after the cyclone and their military people didn't want it. so i think it's an uncooked process at the momen we are watching it evolve. but there is something about watching people being slaughted or having a leader like gaddafi saying they're all rats and i'm going to kill them without doing something about
it. and so i think the rules of the game are trying to be fig yurd out at the moment. clearly if it's ethnic cleansing and genocide, we thought it was wth using our military to do it. but it is very hard. i don't have any specific answers but it is part of the thing the national community is working on. and on the women issue a statement that i make readily is how women are treated in a society is an indication of how the rest of society s being treated. women are the prakeet in the coal mine. so whazz going on in afghanistan was not just about women but about the way people are treated there. >> i think madeline is -- has hit the central point. you have to look at each one of these as an individual case. why didn't we go into darfur sf and sudan? people were dying. i declared it a genocide when i was secretary of state. but i also knew that it was
such a difficult mission, not something that the united states would be able to do to send in tens upon tens of thousands of soldiers to sit there in the desert and keep it calm. it wasn't going to happen. so each one has to be looked at separately. let me raise the issue of the media which we started to talk about at the beginning. you have to be aware of something, clause described it this way. beware of the vividness of the transhnt impression. and our media these days race to the sound of the latest crisis and as soon as it stops being a profit center they move to the next crisis. and so cote d'voir a few months ago was the crisis due jur and they were all there and suddenly they went to tunice and they didn't even do a i pit stop they went to egypt and now they're in libya and now they're back to the budget
battle he in the united states. >> should we send our military in the budget battle? >> the only place that we might be able to get something done. >> but the fact of the matter is, you have got to be very careful about how you deal with the vividness of the images that come in and flood into our homes every night. and if the cameras go to away and they manage to solve it by themselves. so beware the vividness and the way it is highlighted in our media. >> we used to talk on the security council of the cnn effect. that is when the secity council began to pay attention. >> and that's the problem facing the administration today. and in every white house there's a tendency because white houses are genally run by politicians, there's a tenden to get out in front of the last story.
so u you feel like you have to react to what the last story was and sometimes you take action without taking it through. >> but that's -- >> but without knowing what the unintended consequences are sometimes, without having a clear and specific goal. before you have the support of the american people. and all the other problems that you need to sort through before u decide particularly that you're going to use the military. >> there's something a little more subtle than what you called the cnn effect that you sort of raised, which is what i would call the anderson cooper effect, which is a humanitarian impulse, whether it's the new orleans convention center or benghazi where we have to act on moral impulses because there is a lot more vividness of the pictures of possible slauthers or possible genocide. >> we're compassionate people. and when wsee these images they hurt us deeply and we want to see if we can solve it
cause we're a problem solving people but you don't seeny cameras in the congo. you don't see cameras in other parts of the world where horrible things are happening. so you have to consider all of these. but don't be overwhelmed by the vividness of te moment. and as jim said, increasingly i have seen it in administration after administration in the last 10 or 20 years, they're chasing the news cycle. and they can't avoid it. because if the white house spokesman doesn't say something about ab issue or if the president doesn't suddenly appear, they get hammered beginning at 5:00 every evening. my solution is go back to the test pattern. bring it back. >> at 11:00. >> we all used to live very happily with walter cron cite from 6:00 to 6:30, then we had a nice evening full of situation comedies. and 11 at night, the test
patterns came up, the planes flew up, they played the national anthem and we went to bed. started at 5:00. >> that's all very nice but it's not scoming back and i think we have to figure how to absorb the information and we can't beolitical. but there has been taken advantage of it where somebody would say without mentioning names, a political person would say why en't you doing something about libya? and the minute the president did something, why are you doing something about libya? and so you're damned -- sorry. if you do or you don't. but i think that we have to figure out how to deawith the information. just the way that the people in arab spring have to figure out how to deal with all the -- does the new technology of the internet and social network bend the ark of history towards
democracy inevitably? >> yes. >> absolutely. >> absolutely. it does. it's a given. >> but somehow we've got to find a way to not reflexively in a knee-jerk way react to every 24 hou news cycle. that puts a big burden but they've got to be up to it because one of these times we're going to react, we're going to find ourselves in a humongous war. we're going to have tons of casualties and the american people are going to have a different view about whether we ought to engage in these things. i mean, it's quite unfair to the people that we send over there who put their lives at risk when we haven't really thought it through. we haven't thought through who is it we're supporting. we don't know. we don't know who we're supporting in libya. i said it, i think it's an acceptable exception to my rule
that you ought to have a national interest before you use the military. but we don't know who we're supporting there. we don't know what the unintended consequence of this are going to be. what about the rebels commiting atrocities on civilians who happen to be loyal to gadhafi 1234 what are we going to do about that? what about the support of the american people in terms of congress? we don't have congressional support. i think it was the right thing to do. we are humanitarian impulse tell us it was the right thing to do. but you've got to look at all of these things and have a really clear-eyed view of where it's taking you. >> i think the problem is you don't have the time. i mean, we've all been involved in decision makg processes. and part of the problem is the issues are happening at warped speed, too. so when -- i was upset in kosovo where somebody in congress said, well, not enough muslims have been killed yet. and then somebody said similar things about what was going on
now. not enough people have died for us to show that we have to do something about it. so there's that problem. the other problem is that our decision making process is fascinating but it's complicated. we've all -- the way that the whole thing is set up, president obama was accused of taking t mh time to think over what he was going to do in afghanistan. so there is that kind of pressure all the time. you don't have the time to answer all these questions. i know when we were all in office you try. i think each of us tried in our own way to get the people do not sit in their offices trying 20 make bad decisions. they're really trying to get all the information that they can and still deal with the time pressure of some lunatic dictator saying he's going to kill everybody. >> but at the same time, and i think the example you just used is an appropoe one. president obama took the time and he did not allow himself to get pushed into it too quily
by the constant media dru beat or the drum beat from some people on capitol hill. and so i think we sort of have to encourage our political leaders to take the time you need to make a sound decision and to sometimes push back against all these forces. >> he not only took the time. he was wise enough to say we're going to do it with substantial limitation ons our involvementer we're going to protect civilians. it's going to be strictly air. and then we're going to hand it off to nato. let me see if there are any particular questions. it's hard for me to see but feel free to raise your hand. and we might even find a microphone. i think there's a piece of paper waving. there must be a hand connected to it. yes. the microphone is coming up the aisle, i think. . .
i still remain somewhat hopeful and semi-optimistic because i think that the incentive for peace on the part of the palestinian people and the israeli people is so great that ultimately, we will find a way to get the. what has happened in the region in terms of the so-called arab spraying has struck a certain degree -- arab spring has struck a fever in the hearts of the israelis. we do not know how this will turn out. mubarak was -- worked for 20 years to achieve a peace between arabs and israelis. egypt has a cold peace with israel, but a piece. he said his soldiers to fight
alongside americans and the first gulf what we did burst gulf war and he was very cooperative in the war on turk. -- on the war on the terror of. >> i am not sure that we have man debt -- manned up enough to push for peace. we need to encourage the parties to get to the table, to come up with some progress on this problem that has been out there forever. that is what i mean by it. our diplomacy has failed thus. i am not sure that we have been as hands-on as we ought to be. i am not criticizing administration's. most administrations wait until their second term to engaged. president obama engaged early in his first term and that is quite
praiseworthy, in my view. president george h. w. bush engaged in his first term and go maybe you should wait until the second term to get with it, but once president clinton got with it, he really got with it and he came very close. he put some stuff on the table at camp david that will be the ultimate solution to the problem. >> it is really regrettable because we have a huge national interest in peace between arabs and israelis. we have both that dead and we need to push both. >> -- we have both and we need to push both. >> i will never forget the last day of president clinton's administration. he collapsed at that point. did come as close as were not able to seize the day, so to
speak. the burden fell on the palestinian side we came en -- we came in with a very uneasy view about all of this. i started to engage, but the president w holding back because of the failures of the past. in my time of the engagement, the frustraon levels went up. i could not move the process along. >> do you agree that the administration did not engage in the first term? >> regrets in yet does not do any good one way or another. id did not get any better in a second term because the issues were just not ready to be resolved. nobody has ever got close as president clinton.
condi tried very hard in the second term. i finally had to give up. i kept breaking him out of this would say toand i him, you will be out again. listen, you cannot just keep making statements. i need you to make a statement and then make it happen. you need to talk about no more terrorism and and you have to make it happen. you are in general, a general. he was basically a political leader, he was not a statement. we could not get to anything moving. >> i think what they are saying ultimately, we cannot make decisions for them. we came very close. you cannot force them to do it. we all spend time with arafat. he liked being a victi
>> y took him to your farm. >> i certainly did. >> she kissed him. >> oh, m god. >> i invented the art of diplomatic kissing. you would not do that. [applause] >> you are absolutely right. >> [inaudible] y libya and not the condo? -- why libya and not the congo? >> anderson cooper. >> the this conflict has gone on for an extended period it and it really is not on page one any
more. the u.n. has peacekeepers in there and it is seen as a u.n. issue and " the u.n. peacekeeping operation has exploded in the last 20 years. it has been over and over and we have seen these problems. we did it in el salvador and haiti and it was there and it did not get the kind of attention and d did not strike, the way with the highest. >> -- the way to libya has. >> this is the democracy aspect or the protest aspect was wire rope. there was the virus effect of not standing up when there is a crazy dictator there . there are other different problems derek. i think people are looking at what happened and there was a
mess suit -- and there was a message. >> the crazy dictator was being visited by every president, prime minister, and secretary of state in europe and europe -- in europe. >> gaddafi. >> that is a really good question. what about the ivory coast? >> you actually had four rules. we only did the doable. you do not try to do things -- " i never tried to do t undoable. but you did not treat away from difficult conditions. up a mission that is difficult, we will not involved with. it is in -- is important to have a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve. the libyan mission was fine to begin with. it is not clear to me that there
was a slaughter impending, although the president did not want to take that chance. the no-fly zone turned into a no-tank zone and as a practical matter, we have entered this conflict on this side of the belligerents. we did not know who they are or what they are and we do not know what they stand for. we do not know what we would get to trade >> if the dollar drifted what secretary bak said and started killing -- but we then have to attack the belligerents? >> that is a question. >> do we have a duty to protect in that event? that is the point that i am trying to make about unintended consequences. you really need to think them through. the next thing is arming the rebels. that is the next step.
that will come before boats on the grounds. will we do that? i do not know. there will be a lot of pressure to do that, because he said gaddafi must go. even though that is not the un resolution. i am against mission creep. i do not think it would be a smart thing for us to do. what other countries arm the rebels. >> i really do think -- there was no evidence, you have the man that has already shot thousands of people saying that he is going to shoot everybody. were we going to wait until everybody in the streets of tripoli was dead? i think the president did the right spain. what is very -- i think the president did the right frame it.
do you not do nothing because you cannot do everything? >> i think it is an answer. >> thats why it is acceptable exception to what i stated at the beginning of the program. when you are talng about the military, you really need to have some sort of nexus with a national interest if you want to keep the american people would be. >> the preston described it in terms of libya between egypt and tunisia, countries that have been very important u.s.. maybe it has to do with the oil and the passage to the mediterranean and refugees coming into europe. i can argue this case. there was a reason to do what. is more complicated than it was intended initially. >> the president said he did not wa to take the chance. he did not want to wake up the next day and find this slaughter had taken place.
the actual evidence were limited. i am not sure that an objective analysis was made of tt. he was not going to go in and killed 750,000 people in benghazi. it was not going to happen in tripoli parade that is neither here nor there. the president made the judgment and it played out while initially. it is not clear to me how this resolves itself. >> he has the advantage of being a foot taller than most people. is that you? >> it was not, but i have requested. you say that perhaps there was not time, but would we be in better shape if there had been an authorization by congress to conduct what is now happening in
libya? >> the question and the broader question is why don't get congress to authorize these stains? should there have been a congressional authorization for libya and should we have the power to declare war restored? >> we had a congressional authorization for the first gulf war. we were a republican administration with a democratic majority in both the house and the senate. they were very much against us doing what we did. was only -- it was only will we got the rest of the world that we were able to get to congress. 52 to 47 in the senate. should you do this in every case?
my view is no, the president has the foreign policy power to do what president obama has done. where he has limited its ended is a limited exercise by way of definition. i do not think you have to go, but i would say to you that if you undertake military action without the support of the american people, the way you get the support of the american people is to get congress to authorize it. if you undertake it, you will be under greater pressure to succeed than you would otherwise be. >> there was a senate resolutionhat supported a no- fly zone. obviously, it would be better, but it is a matter of time. >> the second gulf war had a resolution that was much stronger than the first gulf war. i think there is something wrong
in our system. the war powers act that was put in place 30 years ago really is not working. very often, congress does not want to touch these trade they did not have hands on responsibilities. a recent study was done by warren cistopher and jim bakker and the two of them put forth some very solid proposals as to how we should square the circle of the supports. it has not been followein a consistent matter for the last 40 years. >> it was not -- are report did not say that the executive had to get the consent of the congress and go but it called for enhancedonsultation in every day practice of foreign- policy with the relevant committees on the hill and the president. we presented it to president elect obama in december of 2008.
they looked at it and they studied it and as a matter of fact, i think they implemented some of the steps that were in our reports. they have not formally adopted the report. it is a good report and recommended to you. >> a final thoughts on the role of values, democracy, being at the heart of what we are and do as a nation? >> their right essential to our foreign policy, they will remain so and they should remain so. but this is not an either/or situation. you should not ever feel that you should have to choose between principles and values and the national interest. always, we should support principles and values. we should do so militarily in
certain instances and circumstances where we think it is important to do so. i think libya is an appropriate exception. the fact that he was weak and we do have some intest there, although not a major national interest. it is done an either/or situation. once you put combat troops in a situation, you better have a national interest or you will lose the policy to public opinion. >> i cannot imagine having an american foreign policy that did not have values. look at the other way. at the pearly operated on policy, i did not think he would have the support of the american people. i think each of the issues is very keep -- if i listen to all of us, it is very clear that these are verimportant -- very hard decisions being made by people love the best interest of
america at heart. that is what you do when you have these kinds of jobs. the purpose is to help protect america. the question is, under what circumstances are we better off? when countries are able to exercise their rights democratically, where people are not being slaughtered, where people he -- or human rights work, we're better off not go i looked at it the other way. >> nobody would disagree with that. we have seen how our values have worked over the last 30 o40 years at. it helped bring an end to the cold war. our values help destroy the iron curtain. our values helped change central and eastern europe into democracies that allanted to join nato and the european union. we have seen it in our own hemisphere. we went to countries that are being run by dictators and all kinds, almost all are fully
democratic with the exception of cuba them camp -- cuba and. we have seen this movement that has historically come into our direction, the values of democracy and freedom and economic freedom and individual human rights. or we all agreed that value is our an essential underpinning of american foreign policy and diplomacy. but you not -- but you cannot just take values alone. what the american people ultimately support. the one issue we have not talked about is religion. it is interesting that in recent years religion has played a public discourse more and more of a role in influencing what our diplomacy should be or what our values should be.
i guess we have to be very careful here. god is not mentioned in the constitutionnywhere. there is only one reference to an almighty and it says in the year of our lord. our founding fathers were very careful about this as well. nobody ever said better than the lincoln at the second inaugural. we both read the same bible. both paris cannot be entered. up there it is a divide profit of there that makes the ultimate judgment. -- there is a divine profit up there that makes the ultimate judgment. >> you wrote a bk called "the mighty and the almighty." i think we all came from a generation of foreign policy people would say, this problem
is complicated enough, let's not bring god and religion intuit. but the bottom line is that it happens. but we were at camp david, there was a lot of discussion about what was in the bible. god had given that piece of land, both of them thought, to them, and you have to be knowledgeable about what role religion is playing in these countries. i think it is a mistake. we have to the separation of church and state, but our diplomats understand more about the religious basis of a variety of problems. i would not have religious people at the negotiating table, but they certainly could help in avoiding some of the problems in the first place. >> a final words? >> tolerance. the best word to end with.
underwa underway. >> this is a very interesting time to have this conference and we started planning several months ago and it's been quite fascinating to see the great evolution of what's happened in the arab world -- what began on december 17th last year with the tunisian street vendor unleashing a spark that set off a very contagious revolution throughout the world and we've compared of the revolution of 1848. regardless of that analogy and whether it's true or not, it's certainly a time of great change in the region. in fact, you don't have to look much further than the recent issue of foreign affairs magazine, which said the cover of the foreign affairs magazine basically says the new arab revolt which starts with -- which starts its series of articles with these questions. what just happened? why no one saw it coming. what it means? and what comes next?
so this is really, you know, these type of questions are really why we're here gathered today to try to make sense of it all. it's not -- there's no decisive conclusion to what's happening. but we're delighted to have the insight who spent time studied the region for quite a long time and always at jamestown you will find a conference that will have a lot of diversity and views and issues and opinions. today we'll be examining north africa and the developments in egypt, libya and algeria. in the afternoon discussion we'll be focusing on the developments in the gulf which included iran's reaction to the developments in the middle east and its impact on domestic and foreign policy as well as its impact on iranian ties to the gulf cooperation council. and last but not least, the last panel of the day will deal with the crisis in yemen which will address different very important questions that's a very important country that has repercussions in the arabian peninsula.
as many of you there will be many different personalities and names that we mentioned. i would like to put a plug for the jamestown publication militant leadership monitor. copies of it will be found in each of your folders. we'd encourage you to take out a copy and look at it and if you can, subscribe and also i'd like to thank c-span for its live coverage for today's event. if you -- for those viewing our conference today live, you can learn more information about jamestown at www.jamestown.org and last but not least i want one further comment that bruce riedel who is here today former general michael v. hayden former director of the cia are two new members on the board. we're delighted to have their participation and involvement with jamestown's activities as activities in the developments of the foundation continue to grow and we hope to have them involved in future conferences. so i'm going to turn the floor over to the moderator for
today's discussion who is michael ryan, senior fellow of the jamestown foundation. >> thank you. and good morning, everyone. welcome again. i've learned from sitting where you are right now for years that the most important duty of a moderator is to be modest and not say very much and i'm going to try to do very much because the two gentlemen i have on my left have a lot to say and i want to give them the maximum amount of time to do that. so i'm not going to in my introductions repeat everything that you can find in your package about their background. they both have tremendous background and tremendous authority when they speak about the topic today. i've followed them for years in my own life, and i continue to do so today. one thing i will mention that isn't in bruce riedel's little write-up here in your folder is his latest book "the deadly embrace: pakistan, american and the future of the global jihad"
which i would highly recommend you can get in a kindle edition and other diagnoses. without further ado, bruce, would you like to begin? >>thank you, ron. thank you, mike, for those very kind introductions. i want to thank the jamestown foundation for inviting me. i want to plug the militant leadership monitor publication. i highly recommend it. one of the best publications for following terrorism available anywhere in the world today. i also want to say it's a great pleasure to be here with gary sick, one of the most foremost experts on the middle east and on american policy in the middle east. and as we think about how to
deal with the winter of arab discontent and the spring of arab revolutions is seminal works on the iranian revolution and americans' response to it are well worth taking another look at. we have seen remarkable events in the last 100 days in the arab world. first in tunisia, then in egypt, now libya, yemen, bahrain, syria and i could go on and on. there is a full day's worth of discussions here. i'm going to focus, though, on the impact of egypt, on events in egypt and on what they mean for american foreign policy. i should begin by saying a word about the title. stability is, of course, is the "s" word to egyptian revolutionaries. stability has been the code word for repression, for dictatorship for the last 30 years in egypt.
they are quite right in saying that. but we also have an interest in trying to see how the change will impact on stability. so with apologies to the egyptian revolutionaries, i think we should proceed forward. there are many ways to explain what is happening in the arab world today. one is, of course, demography. its enormous youth bulge, demanding jobs, demanding more than jobs. demanding the opportunity for a lifetime. the slogans in tahir jobs, we want jobs, we want to get married. very poignant about how prospects in enjoying life in egypt have become so dim for so many. 60% of the arab world is under the age of 30. the median age is 26. but it's not just demographics and it's not just about jobs.
i think the revolt in the arab world is even more about something more fundamental. it's a revolt against the police state system, which has dominated arab politics for a half century if not more. the state to use its arabic name, ruled every arab country from morocco to amman. some with a gentler hand than others but all with the state. it is a state within a state. a state in which the inner state is accountable to only one person, to one man, the boss, whether it was a king, a prime minister, a monarch or whatever gadhafi chose to call himself at the moment. the system was beyond the rule of law, totally unaccountable. anyone could be arrested,
imprisoned. missing, killed without any redress. this system had grown over the years to massive size. the minister applies 1.5 million people of employees in a country of 80 million people and that's not counting the millions of informants working for the police state. in syria, there are at least 6 secret polices, all of them spying on each other as well as spying on the syrian people. various arab countries built elaborate guards to go with their mukhabarat states. the guard that guarded against each other in order to keep the rise in power.
the development of the mukhabarat state and the military dispute was an early destroyer. and it led to the creation of the guards and to the creation of police states. the cold war was a further driver. inter-arab politics became a driver. and 9/11 became an enormous driver for the increase in the size of the mukhabarat states. and the united states, after 9/11 was an enthusiastic supporter of the rise and development and enrichment and deepening of the mukhabarat state, ironically exactly at the same moment that we began talking about democracy in the middle east. some of the mukhabarat states are what they call hard mukhabarat states. saddam's iraq, syria, gadhafi's libya, some are soft mukhabarat states, king abdullah's jordan, the gulf states. but they all share the same
feature of unaccountability. now the arabs collectively are demanding their freedom. the end of the mukhabarat state system. they want the rule of law. they want accountability. and egypt is very much in the forefront of this. egypt will be the leader as it has always been in the arab world. that is more true today than ever. if the revolution had stopped in tunis in january, we wouldn't be here. it was the egyptian revolution that led to the spring of arab revolutions. the drama of tahir square, a televised revolution that you could watch around the world was one of the reasons giving egypt its special prominence today. but much more fundamental is egypt's role as the critical arab state.
it is at the geographic center of the arab world and it has been at the cultural center of the arab world. and the university has been the religious and cultural center arab world for years. it's demographic weight in the world gives it more prominence of the world. for 30 years its prominence was ceded of the mubarak government. to take egypt off the center stage, that, i think, is coming to an end as well. and, of course, egypt is important for another reason. it is at the very center of the global islamic jihad. egypt has produced many of the key ideological figures of the global islamic jihad. today egypt's revolution confronts numerous challenges. before we look at those
challenges, though, it's worth pausing for a minute just to think about the last 100 days. with less than 1,000 people killed, egypt has been transformed from a country with a dictatorship of 30 years to a country where the dictator is now under hospital arrest and his sons are under formal arrest. if someone had stood at this platform, january 1st of 2011, and told you that would be the case by april, 2011, you would have thought he was from mars. he would have been from mars. but that is what egypt has already accomplished. so as we look at the challenges ahead, we should not diminish the extent of what the egyptian people have already done. i think they face three or four major challenges ahead. challenge number one is to
manage the transition to new political institutions and to new political process. they have to build an entirely new political culture, something which they have very little familiarity with. to help do this, though, egypt is also in a unique position because it's had a revolution this year and it's also had a military coup at the same time. one way to think about it is that one foot in egypt is on the gas and the other foot is on the brake. and this shows in egypt's political development now -- we see a certain herky jerky movement. that -- while disparaging and discomforting to a certain extent, is also good for the long term because there's ballast in this system as well as momentum to change. it's clearly an uneasy partnership. the army is not enthusiastic
about being the instrument of change. field marshall must be the most surprised person in the entire world. think of where he was in january and think where he is today and think of where he is taking his country. but to give him credit, so far, he seems to be doing a fairly decent job. so far compared to other revolutions egypt is surprisingly smooth. it's bumpy, there's no question. there's a lot of suspicion. there's a lot of dissent. there's some disorder but on the whole i would argue this is a surprisingly smooth transition so far. egypt is on track to hold elections this fall. some think it's too soon. the egyptian people have had their voice heard. they want it. egypt is also deep into the process of dismantlingly the
mukhabarat state. ripping apart police headquarters, searching through documents, arresting former members of the mukhabarat state. even omar suleiman, egypt's spymaster for the last 25 years is now being questioned by egyptian courts. it's a remarkable effort at trying to change the system. now, in the near term, this is obviously good news for bad people. tearing down prisons, letting prisoners go, dismantling the security apparatus is a boon for al-qaeda and others. arresting field counter terrorists like omar suleiman is a boon for al-qaeda. it's no wonder al-qaeda's ideologues wrote that he has, quote, great expectations for
the future. but i think one shouldn't be overwhelmed by focusing on the immediate. yes, this is a setback for counterterrorism. yes, this is an opportunity for al-qaeda to meddle but in the long run, and obviously not too far off, developing a security force that is responsible, that is accountable and which obeys the rules and laws of the country is a long-term threat to al-qaeda and i'll come back to that in a minute. the second challenge egypt faces is managing the inclusion of islamists in the political process. egypt has the oldest and best organized islamist party in the arab world, the muslim brotherhood. many are fearful of what the muslim brotherhood intends to do in the future. some have suggested the muslim brotherhood is playing a very careful game of not really
contesting the first election in order to secure the last election, the second time around. that may be the case. but i think it's far from clear that that is the case. the egyptian muslim brotherhood i would argue to you is a much smarter political party than that. it is one of the smartest political parties in the islamic order. it is careful to not overreach. it is careful to signal it does not intend to overreach. it has been careful to work with the army behind the scenes. it is despised by al-qaeda for all these reasons. al-qaeda is terrified at the prospect the muslim brotherhood could play an effective and central role in governing egypt. the muslim brotherhood itself is not monolithic. it's clear divisions between young and old are beginning to
rise. its successful conclusion in egyptian politics in a nonviolent way offers remarkable hope for the future of the arab world. the third challenge egypt face is, of course, the revival of its economy and expansion of its economy. i am not an economist. and i don't pretend to be able to understand how egypt's economy can expand dramatically. there are innumerable challenges facing the egyptian leadership today. trying to get jobs for all those who wants them will be a herculean task. the near-term task is much simpler. trying to get torque back. 1 out of 7 jobs in egypt is in the tourism market. and tourism market today is shattered. one of the reasons it's shattered is the united states
travel warning. when united states says don't travel somewhere, most people don't pay a lot of attention. insurance agents pay a lot of attention. they don't want to be caught in that situation. we need to early on revoke travel warning on egypt and encourage the return of tourism. egypt's problems couldn't come at a worst time. there's a lot of loose talk about a marshal plan for egypt and the arab world. well, i got bad news for you. we're black -- broke. there are no marshall plan. there is one with you there isn't going to be any dollars behind it. united states and arab is in the midst of a global fiscal downturn. the tea party is not going to endorse spending billions in egypt. the challenge, therefore, is going to have to be in the realm
of trade, not aid. and that challenge more than anything else will have to be done in europe not any place else. europeans need to see the trade enhancement with egypt and the rest of north africa as the area where they can really do the most to help. the fourth challenge egypt faces its difficult foreign policy environment. first, look at egypt's arab neighbors, libya, sudan and palestine. all three are broken states right now. libya is in the midst of a civil war with foreign intervention. halfhearted foreign intervention. this civil war currently looks like it could go on for the indefinite future. sudan is a country literally breaking apart. after trying to be held together over the last 100 years, egypt,
of course, was one of the most prominent supporters of the unified sudan. now it sees that dream is gone. and palestine is also divided. we wanted the two-state solution. we ended up with a three-state solution, hamas, gaza, fatah and the west bank and israel, of course. egypt now has on one border to the west a rebellion about which many of us know very little. and on the other side, a jihadist mini state in gaza. egypt sympathies are clearly with gaza. second, egypt also confronts the problem of revolutions. egypt's old friends are changing dramatically. egypt's old enemies may be changing as well.
third, of course, egypt has to deal with a very nervous east partner. a senior israeli diplomat said to me just a few weeks ago, we liked being the only democracy in the middle east. we understood where everyone else played. we could predict what mubarak's egypt would do. we can't predict what egypt is going to do today. israel is fearful of the unknown, fearful of unpredictability. it already faces tense situations with hamas and hezbollah. the prospects of another war in the middle east this summer are always there. and now israel faces the prospect that palestine will be admitted to the united nations this september. and many israelis predict, i think, wrongly -- many israelis predict a third fa-at that tima will come from that.
a challenging agenda but israel is clearly preoccupied primarily with its own domestic problems. the best case outcome is not impossible by any means. i think there is a reasonable possibility egypt will produce a new elected government this fall. my bet is egyptians will choose musa to be their new president. what passes for polling in egypt tends to support that argument. i think the muslim brotherhood will play by the rules, will be part of the system. i think the army will with some enthusiasm give up the reins of power while it continues to hold on to many of its perks. we will begin the transition to the post-mukhabarat state. it will be enormously difficult. changing culture and ethos of a security system is very, very,
very hard to do. it won't happen overnight but i think there is reason for confidence that it will happen. even in this best case scenario, of course, there will be difficulties, there will be bumps. if i'm right, and moussa wins, we may have the spectacle of his inauguration being played with the pop single, i love moussa and i hate israel. it will make managing the ties even harder. an awful lot can go wrong. i'd be the first to admit that. revolutions tend to devour their own, bonapartism is always a danger. another war with israel between hamas and hezbollah could make the situation very difficult. there is, of course, the potential that al-qaeda and other jihadist extremists will
try to play in these troubled waters. but there's also much potential for good here. a more vigorous egypt than mubarak's could assist in moving forward a real middle eastern peace process that could help stabilize libya. that could help resolve the problem of gaza. it would be an example of reform and change working in the arab and islamic world. above all, it would be a symbol that twitter, not terror, is the way to transform the arab world. twitter, not terror transformed tahir square and that is extremely bad news for osama bin laden and al-qaeda. the challenge for the united states and egypt is to keep
calm. don't overreact to change. don't overreact to the unpredictable. but do it with a low american footprint. we don't need to have hundreds of thousands of -- hundreds or thousands of american aid workers suddenly depending on egypt. we don't need to hijack this revolution. we need to support it and help it. of course, the one thing we could do more than any other to help egypt's new government is to move forward on the middle east peace process ourselves. secretary of state clinton promised such a move at the last brookings u.s.-islamic world forum just a week ago. i hope the administration will live up to that. arab moderates have for years asked us to do more on this front as the single thing that we could do to help them more than any other.
if you don't believe me, read king abdullah's new book "the last best chance for peace." let me just take two or three minutes to talk about one other revolution and that's the one that's brewing now in syria. syria may not be the hardest of the hard mukhabarat states but it's certainly pretty close. and change in syria, i think, is now beyond the tipping point. the demonstrations in homes this week demonstrate that the sunni center of the country is now demanding fundamental change. there is talk of political compromise. i don't see how you can have political compromise with the mukhabarat state in syria. it is all-or-nothing. it is also a very, very brittle regime at the end of the day. because it's a regime that fundamentally depends on the
support of about 13% of the population. and a few other supporters. it is a regime that has worked because it instills fears like any other mukhabarat instill fear. we all know that when it did that in hamma in 1982. once that fear is broken, as it seems to be breaking now, fractures in syrian society are likely to come to the top. this will have enormous effects upon all of the levat, libya, iraq, turkey, and jordan. the biggest loser, if syria dissolves into full scale civil war is iran and hezbollah. the second biggest loser is everyone else as we try to manage what happens there. but let's not cry for the asats.
they deeply deserve to be sent to the home for retired dictators. the sooner the better. if egypt is the revolution will show how reform can succeed in a peaceful way, i'm fearful that syria is the revolution that will show even more than libya how it can be done with violence. but at the end of the day, the spring of arab revolutions is not something controlled in washington, not even on massachusetts avenue. it's going to be dealt by the arab peoples who have now decided it is time for the end of the mukhabarat state. thank you very much. [applause] >> i'd like to hold the questions until both speakers have finished and we'll have a free for all at that point. without any further ado, i would
like to go to our speakers and you'll be speaking from your place so gary sick, please. >> i'm too old to stand up that long. [laughter] >> i was very interested to hear bruce's talk. and i'm glad that he's an optimist. i basically am too. but with some caveats and i think he had many caveats of his own. i've, you know, watched some revolutions take place, even very closely watched some of them take place. and, you know, revolutions -- well, as one of my old colleagues have said, revolutions revolve 360 degrees. and that is, in fact, i think, what we're going to see in some of these cases. and certainly what happened in the iranian revolution which set out to get rid of the shah and has now created a new one.
and is behaving almost exactly the same way that the shah's government did after all of this time. the events starting early this year, starting in december, really are unique. and, of course, they were way overdue in the arab world. i mean, there should have been changes going on for years but there weren't. and as a result when the dam broke, it really broke and now we're seeing a flood of activity that is really bewildering. i think to find any kind of a parallel to the events that are going on right now, you certainly -- i would go back, for instance, to 1967 and the six-day war, which if you recall, actually the six-day war humiliated the arab leaders. israel won very quickly and very
decisively. it also not humiliated but invalidated the whole idea of arab nationalism which had been the retailing cry and all of a sudden, it was seen that these arab nationalists and these leaders like nasr were incapable of defending their own people, defending their own land. and most of them got kicked out. in fact, if you go back and look, most of these dictators who are present in the middle east or were present in the middle east until very recently actually followed along after the six-day war. they all came in at a different time after the war was over; got rid of the previous rulers and they stayed and stayed and stayed. the other thing that happened, of course, was that with arab nationalism gone, as a rallying cry, what do you look to? well, you look to islam.
and the islamic, you know, movement, the islamic renaissance really began during that time, too. and that is, you know -- so it basically islamism replaced secularism. and arab nationalism which were perceived to have failed. the dictators that came and stayed for that long period of time are now sort of dropping one after the other. and i don't think we're at all clear as to what is going to take its place. what the reaction is, but just as we might not have predicted that the six-day war would lead to the rise of the mukhabarat state in a form that it had ever been before and the rise to islamism i think we are not very good or we have no reason -- we should be very modest about our predictions about where things go from here.
another place, of course, that you could look back to if you wanted to see the tectonic plates moving -- shifting in the middle east is basically back to 1916 and all the borders that were there. actually, in both of these cases if you look back in 1916 and the advent of the colonial period and then look at 1967 and the transfer -- or the shift in power that went on at that time, i guess the key thing is that neither of these worked out all that well. and that we should be aware of the fact that just because something is changing doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to improve. but as i say, i do come down on the side that bruce took which is basically that we have a real prospects here of something that is different than it has been before. that could be very positive. and that's worth working for.
in looking at this mess, basically, looking at a set of circumstances of chaotic situation in which we really can't tell what happens next or where it's going to go, it sometimes is helpful to keep your eye on sort of fundamentals. what can we look at? what kinds of things can we expect to see? what are some of the -- either the assumptions or the like likelihoods that we face, since everybody loves list, i made a list of the things we ought to watch out for or keep our eye on along the way. i, however, am short in imagination so you're always supposed to have a 10-point list, you know, starting with no. 10 and down to number one which is the most important of the bunch. i only came up with 9. and so i apologize for that, but
i figured in a crowd as smart and with this much background maybe somebody can suggest to me which one i'm overlooked and add to that and i could have a 10-point list like everybody else. so i'm going to give you my 9-point list and nothing else will tend to give you something else to think about and plenty of targets to shoot at if you want to shoot back. number 9, we have to start from the top and work down, and one that we don't talk about right now but which i think is actually worth keeping your eye on, and that is the iraqi oil situation. that basically iraq has the prospect of actually doubling its production by the end of this decade. it's almost certainly going to pass iran as the second largest oil producer in opec. and according to what we're reading, if you can believe it from the geologists and others,
iraq has unexplored resources in the oil reserves that are on the neighborhood of saudi arabia. i mean, really massive. and those haven't really been tapped. and the reason they haven't been tapped is because saddam was busy carrying out wars and there were other -- and they were -- and kept iraq under sanctions almost indefinitely. and they couldn't do the exploration. they couldn't do the drilling. they couldn't do all the things that were necessary to develop those fields. if, in fact, the present government is able to maintain enough stability to actually carry out all of those tasks, iraq could become a bigger player than it has been in a very, very long time. this is not going to happen overnight. iraq isn't going to turn into a 10 million barrel a day producer by -- you know, in 10 years or
anything like that. but it might in time. and it might turn into a, you know, 4, 4.5 million barrel a day producer by the end of this decade. and that's not bad given where things are and given the fact that it's one of the few places in the world where massive oil reserves still exist that are unexplored. that it seems to me is going to make iraq a very interesting country to watch in the near future. there's all the political side that goes with that, too and that, i think, is important to watch. but they're going to have negotiating leverage that not every country has. and that will give them resources to do things if they can work out their -- it will give them an incentive to work out some of their internal problems so that they can proceed to develop what could be really the golden goose. okay, this is slow but it's
important. item 8, i agree completely with bruce that islamism and particularly osama bin laden took a huge hit in this current set of events. no matter how hard you look on al-jazeera english which i hope one of these cable companies will pick up hopefully in new york. there's place you can watch them on computer and i would much rather watch it on the television set if that were available, but one of the things that was true of that and i think many of us even given the fact that they didn't have a cable channel of their own spent a lot of time watching it. i think there is one -- you can watch it here in washington, can't you? which is you're privileged in a way. but the one thing that you didn't see on those videos coming out of those different
places are people carrying signs saying "islam is the solution" or "hooray for osama bin laden." that was completely absent. no hint of that whatsoever. truly there are islamist parties. there's a major one in turkey and there's a major one in egypt. and they're going to try to make a comeback. clearly they're going to try to play. i would argue that in the past, much of the success of the islamist parties was due to the fact that they owned a certain amount of political space, i.e., the mosque that wasn't available to anybody else. there was no political space for anybody else to operate in these states that were police fund. so the islamists had the place to themselves because they had a space that they more or less
controlled and they could use that to actually organize and think about politics and the like. something that wasn't available. so they actually thrived on some respects on a repressive environment. the harder you made it for everybody else, the more advantage they had to some degree. and you don't want to overestimate that but it was necessarily true. if these revolutions go anything like what they appear to be doing and that is to open up a lot of political space that other people can come in, the islamists have a bit of a head start. they've been there a little bit earlier. they've been organizing and so forth. but the other parties are going to catch up. i've joked that the -- what we need in a situation like this in states that have been repressed for a very, very long time where no politics was permitted at all
is you needed freeze-dried politicians. [inaudible] >> i hit the wrong key. you need freeze-dried politicians and freeze-dried political parties that you could just sprinkle a little water on them, and boom, they pop up and could begin functioning as normal. that doesn't happen as normal. politics, parties develop over time and that has not been permitted. i do think, however, they'll make up for lost time very quickly. and the islamist parties, like the muslim brotherhood, if they do even -- whether they like it or not, they'll probably at least at the beginning have to play by the rules. and those rules are not as helpful to them as the past was. that they could -- they could be the only game in town. in effect, if you wanted to be against the regime, that is where you had to go. so at least these parties will now have to compete on a more level playing field and i think that's something that they
probably are just beginning to realize what that really means as far as their activities are concerned. item 7, syria and iran. bruce talked about this and i think he was absolutely right, again, it's really interesting to note that iran has trumpeted, you know, all of the uprisings and all of the countries of the middle east, all of one arab leader after another, enemies in many cases of iran, the iranian media is not permitted to say a word about what's going on in syria. they're not only not trumpeting it but they don't want you to know about it, and they really don't want to think about it because this is in a way and i don't think we have to tell this crowd why that's important.
syria and iran have been allied for a period of time after the iranian revolution and syria is the channel by which iran maintains contact with hezbollah and lebanon as well as the group inside syria itself. and the various -- the various groups like islamic jihad and others who that -- that's where they go to meet is in damascus. if damascus, no matter what happens, if this changes away from a sort of
and that's got to be a huge concern. so in that sense i think iran has not been the winner in this process. and that's my point 6 is that iran really despite its claims has been the big loser in the arab spring. again, if you look at the signs, iran didn't play a role in any of these. nobody was waving signs saying we want to be like iran. we want to have mahmoud ahmadinejad as our leader. that we like their economic
system. that we think it's the way to run a government, really, no sign of it. and, you know, iran can stand up and make all the statements that it likes about the fact that these are all modeled after the iranian revolution, but there was no sign of it in actuality. and iran was not a model for any of them. moreover, these uprisings really provided a reverse model for iran, and i think have actually inspired the green movement in iran which was certainly declining more rapidly and has given them new heart. that doesn't mean they're suddenly going to kick out the ayatollahs and take over, but i think they've seen that they shouldn't give up too easily because, in fact, things can happen that they didn't dream about and i think that's important and also iran right
now is probably more divided than i have ever seen it since the revolution. fighting is going on internally. this most recent situation where the mahmoud ahmadinejad, the president basically fired the minister of intelligence and then the supreme leader says, no, no he has to stay in his job and he couldn't make up his mind and he finally went back and it turned out if you look carefully at what was being said, mahmoud ahmadinejad wasn't talking about the ministry of intelligence. he was talking about the intelligence organization. he was actually getting ready to start his own intelligence organization under the presidency rather than having it being dominated by the supreme leader and the revolutionary guards. that rivalry pretty much out in the open is pretty new. we have not seen a lot of that and we're seeing more and more
of it all the time. i have really serious problem with mahmoud ahmadinejad. i really, you know, publicly announced -- you know, he comes and gives this dog and pony show every year at the u.n. and a bunch of academics like me get invited to go and have dinner with him and sit around and talk. and last year i said, enough. i've been to three or four of these and the performance has been pretty bad and as much as i appreciate the good iranian food, i really was not -- i was not going to go back the next time. and needless to say, i haven't had an invitation since that time. and a lot of this had to do with the crackdown after 2009 and the election and the way he behaved and so forth. but that being said, the guy is fascinating in his own way. the kind of politics he's playing of getting ready of the
subsidies in iran -- that was a really gutsy move. and nobody in the past -- anybody else who tried it got their hands burned very, very quickly. and thus far he has succeeded where everybody else failed. he tried to start his own foreign ministry. he got slapped down and he did it on the side and he's got his own advisors. he's creating a separate government. and -- or trying to create a separate government. and the guy just won't quit. he just keeps at it all the time. and his good buddy mashied he's obviously grooming for something and i'm not sure what it is, is playing a bigger role. and these guys are -- they're not intimidated easily. and they won't back down. and so it's fascinating to watch. so iran has this fractured environment in which things are
going on, which again i wouldn't have predicted either. so i think in the next few years, it's very possible that we'll see some really significant political changes, but i have no idea what those are going to be. but it's hard to imagine this system with a lousy economy and all of these fractures that run all the way through it will continue to exist just as it is in this continuing state. we'll have to wait and see. the revolts in the rest of the middle east have not made it easier for them to do what they were doing before. item 5 is egypt. and again, i have no qualms, in fact, i agree with bruce and his analysis. the key thing to me is egypt had been in the past a regional leader. it was an agenda-setter. it was the country that actually
was responsible for determining the direction and the speed of politics in the region. and in the last -- at least the last decade and a half, that just hasn't been true. i mean, mubarak was sort of a walking corpse and he was really only interested in maintaining his own power. he wasn't doing anything imaginative. egypt just didn't exist in the foreign policy realm. i suspect that they're going to exist now. i'm not sure what they are going to be saying but it's probably -- well, it's not going to be the same thing that we've taken for granted. the u.s. and israel in particular have taken for granted over the years. any egyptian government going to take the kind of pressure and opposition that it takes to maintain that wall on the southern end of gaza to prevent people from coming in. is the egyptian government really ready to do that, to cooperate with israel on, to
keep gaza. without talking about, you know, giving up egypt's -- the -- you know, the things that egypt agreed to do, its commitments to the peace process -- even without -- even if they accept those completely, and i think they're very likely to accept those and continue those, there are going to be certain policies that you just won't be able to take for granted now and i think israel and the united states has been taking israel for granted for a very long time and we're not going to have them to take for granted. if, in fact, egypt does emerge again and begins playing a major role in the middle east, we're going to have that old triangle of the three ancient states, egypt, turkey and iran sort of defining the outlines of the middle east, and that's a fascinating thing. and that doesn't mean that they'll all get along with each other or that they will form a
phalanx or axis but i really do think it's possible that those three countries will be, in fact, the agenda-setters for the future and then there is the wildcard of iraq as i mentioned earlier because of its, you know, potential growth in power but that will be slower in coming along. my fourth point relates to saudi arabia. in a way the saudis have adopted in the course of this series of events an entirely new policy, at least for them, as a sort of serial interventionist. they are now suddenly intervening everywhere. they intervened in yemen and now they've sent troops over to bahrain and they may go back into yemen again. and they're being very much -- their elbows are much sharper than they used to be and we're not accustomed to see the saudis
behave that way and they have taken the gulf cooperation council into a kind of monarchial protection shoat it reminds me very much of the brezhnev doctrine for those of you who are old enough to remember. basically any country -- any country that adopted socialism was not prepared to go backwards. once you got there, you couldn't return to a different shape or form. in a way, the dcc is doing the same thing. or saudi arabia is trying to enforce the same thing that any monarch -- any sunni monarch that exists in the gulf is not permitted to revert to any other form. and as a result, saudi arabia, i think, is trying to define the gulf as a safe place for monarchs and despots to some degree. and it's interesting to see saudi arabia playing that game openly. and i'll get to the point of why i think that's going on.
but my third point and i'm supposedly increasing in the importance of these as they go along but anybody could argue about any of these. united states, today the united states -- you know, when i was a young naval officer, which i was once upon a time, my first real tour was in the persian gulf. and in bahrain. and at the time that i was there, the u.s. military had two destroyers that occasionally came in and out of the region. and we had a flagship that couldn't fight its way out of a paper bag with a -- with an admiral who rode it around and we made port stop to remind people that there was a united states of america and don't forget that we actually exist. that's changed a bit. and today we have the largest
military footprint of any country in the region. we are dominant in their economy and their diplomacy and everything that's going on. and we have a string, if nothing else, just look at the string of bases. we have, i think, 30 or more bases up and down the gulf starting in iraq and running down. some of them really enormous. i don't know how many of you have been to alludade but this is right outside of doha and nobody wants to talk about it and they try to keep it quiet but my god it's the biggest air base i've ever seen. it's really miles and miles of airplanes parked and actually fighting two wars from there. my question is, on things to watch, we have very carefully -- nobody has asked how much that's costing us. and what's it buying for us? and that's -- that's been a subject that has been taboo sort of in washington.
you just don't ask that question. i think that's not going to be taboo in the near future as the two wars wind down and i think they will one way or the other, iraq and afghanistan, we're going to have to ask what -- do we really need all of those facilities that we have now? in the indefinite future and are we prepared to pay for them and maintain and also the political costs that goes with it. i think for any of us who are thinking somewhat longer term, it is not a good idea to start with the assumption that the u.s. presence never changes. i think we're likely to see some changes and i think those changes are likely to be headed down rather than up. how much security do you actually need to make sure that these oil-rich monarchs keep selling their oil? not very much actually. i remember the iran/iraq war when there was actually a tanker
war going on. people were shooting at the tankers going through. what happened? we had a glut of oil. the price of oil was low. the insurance rates went up and it didn't make a bit of difference and people just came and kept taking the oil. well, it doesn't look so bad in retrospect and it does mean that that market is pretty robust. it is not going to just fade and go away because somebody, you know, sneezes. so i think that this is something that people are going to start thinking about. my number two point and one that i will not talk about is israel-palestine. i think it's going through a transformation and i already made the point that i think that israel and the u.s. are no longer going to be able to pay -- just make certain assumptions or take certain things for granted. i think we don't realize how many things we've taken for granted from a political point
of view in that part of the world and we've just assumed that will just go on forever. and it's not going to go on forever and we don't know necessarily where it's going to go but our diplomacy and our ability to think about this is going to be challenged in the very near future starting now and going on for really the indefinite future. this is not something that will be over in the next six months. the changes that are going on are going to be with us for a very long time and at the end of that, at the end of it in the sense of a short period or a long period, the assumptions are going to be very different than they used to be in the past. my final point, number one, is that the sectarian card is being played. ..
>> basically the saudis have indicated quite clearly that if you just scratch any shia a little bit, define and iranian sitting there underneath waiting. there it is. and so basically, she means iran means subversion. so anything that is shia is unacceptable. you know, there's not really much evidence that the iranians had much to do even with the business, let alone any of the other things that have gone on in the world. but if we are, if we decide to look out all of these events, and certainly the events in the gulf through a purely sectarian lens, we're going to come out in a different place.
and it's not so much that our intelligence leads us to say that's when it came from, but let's face it. if we are all accusing iran and doing all these terrible things, they may decide if they're being accused of it anyway they might as well go ahead and do it. i think at the possibly of a self-fulfilling prophecy here is that when we might not want to see. also, since it is so useful to have a universal enemy, you organize your foreign policy and security policy around one enemy, iran makes really this, it's terrific for the. so the sectarian card plays out that way into the sense that we can explain everything by what iran does, and if we are just tough on iran will take care of all of our other problems, that's wrong. but it's a very seductive idea because it is simple, straightforward, and has a lot of political support in this country and elsewhere and with some of our friends and allies.
i think i've got other things i get a, particularly on the sectarian side because i think this really is one of the big problems that we do have to face, but i think i've used up my time so i'll stop there and see if anything comes up in the discussion period. [applause] >> actually, i think we could listen to you for a long time and be quite happy with it. it's fascinating. i want to thank our two panels. i want to open it up for questions. there's enough food for thought for a year, or two in these two presentations. i'd like to ask the first question of both panelists, and that is something in the spirit i think of gary six-point that things just don't stay the same your assumptions change. and one of the things that we've kind of grown to respect, to
understand i guess is china and their activity in the middle east. but could both of you say a word about how you see china moving as it gets more muscular in terms of its military and it continues to need the resources of the region, and it will need even more, and that if you talked to any egyptians they're concerned about agricultural projects in sudan. they're concerned about this, concerned about that. but i suppose just in the sake of order, either of you can go first, but bruce, you spoke first, can you address it? >> i'm afraid i'm not a china expert. what i know about china is mostly about ordering on the menu. [laughter] what i would say is simply this, the counterrevolutionaries whom kerry has i think correctly
identified as the saudis have already made it clear that they are looking towards china. the prince, the famous saudi ambassador to the u.s. literally seems to fallen off the face of the globe for much of the last two or three years, reappeared last month going to beijing and to islamabad looking for support. in beijing he wasn't offering sweetheart financial deals and investment deals in the kingdom. and looking for chinese political support for the brezhnev doctrine as transfixed so nightly put it, that saudi arabia intends to impose on the gulf. and pakistan he was looking basically for mercenaries to be used to suppress revolution in the arabian peninsula.
and i think he was able to find that those would be available for the right price. plus 10% off the top. for the president of pakistan. [inaudible] >> so if prince bandar's travels are any indication that the chinese will be a player, they were probably be a player on the side of the counterrevolutionaries. but i think the chinese also have the same fundamental policy dilemma that the united states has, and that is we want to play both sides of the revolution in the middle east and in the arab world. we want to be on the side of history when it succeeds in egypt, because egypt is very important. but we also need to be on the side of the counterrevolution because, after all, we do want to fill up our tanks and go home after this event today, and we know we need the saudis.
this means american foreign policy, and i would suggest chinese foreign policy and european foreign policy, has to play an inconsistent game. many would say american foreign policy is good in playing an inconsistent game, but that's usually unintentionally. [laughter] it's a lot harder to do it intentionally, and i think for the problem the obama administration has right now, i'm sympathetic to this problem come is it knows it has to play both sides of the game here. and it knows that's a very difficult policy to articulate, because it looks like your inconsistent and it looks like you are not putting your values ahead of your interests. but that's precisely what we, and i suspect every other player, will have to do. >> also not a china expert. let me make one quick comparison. i mentioned what the u.s. footprint looked like in the
gulf, back as late as the mid '70s. i guess not much. we really had almost nothing there. during that period of time we were free riding on the british. they were in charge. they were doing the politics. they were doing the security work, and we were riding along on the back and we were quite comfortable with it. when i was on that flag ship sailing around the persian gulf, we came into our home port in bahrain and tied up to a doctor owned by the british. we were there guests during the time we were there. i would argue -- and we really had no desire -- we had a really good deal, and we had no great desire to go in and do all of this ourselves. that was forced on us. the iranian revolution in particular made us do that but we did everything we could. after the revolution and we lost, you know, the shah of the
persian gulf, we looked around for ways to solve that problem and came up with twin pillar policy which is basically to let iran and saudi arabia to the placing for us so we didn't have to go do it are so. we did everything we could to avoid getting involved in that process here but in the end we couldn't do it. at some point it came along and they wanted us to come income and we did with a vengeance. so this is all fairly new. i would say that the chinese are in very much the same situation right now, that they are free riders. they enjoy the fact that we provide security for their lines of commute nation. what's not to like about that? and do they want to come in and compete with his head for head in the persian gulf? i find it very hard to believe that they are -- even if given the opportunity, they would want to do that. so basically circumstances may force him into those situations,
but i don't think they are out looking for blood and will have to worry about them come in and taking our jobs away from us. >> open up for questions. [inaudible] much of the oil that you're speaking about in iraq is in the north, particularly in the near term. and i don't see the kurds who are actually the ones at the moment controlling how it's being accessed, have any intention of sharing it with a full government in iraq, not to mention what else is happening in turkey and iran. so that's at least a candidate. i think it's a good candidate actually. >> and has things to watch, iraq all into one bag, but obviously that's probably not fair to do
that. there's more to it than that. let me just say a word about how iraq and iran got to the point that they are in right now. some of you will remember 9/11, and what happened afterwards. the united states went directly into afghanistan and scattered the taliban, removing iran's worst enemy to the east. and then before that was over we turned around and marched up the valley to baghdad and got rid of iran's worst enemy to the less, saddam hussein. they we presided over the installation of a shia government which had not, there have not been any such thing literally for centuries in baghdad. and then we discovered that iran was more powerful than they were before. and this was a gift from us, and i that iranians say we really appreciate, we're not quite sure why you did this, but anyway, we
are glad. we do appreciate what you did for us. and believe me, there is a part of the middle east, and particularly in the gulf, and one of our problems right now with the saudis is that, well, i want to ask a very senior american official, he was ranting about how iran was up to all these terrible things and how their power was going and they were in, you know, inserting themselves elsewhere. and i said fine, i agree with you but i said, didn't we have something to do with that? that created a set of circumstances. and he stopped for a second and said well, we didn't mean to. [laughter] >> yeah, right. and that's very likely true. but the saudis don't believe it. they do not think that this was just a fit of absentmindedness on our part. they have always suspected that we're going to go back and do a deal with iran the way we did with the shah. and they're very suspicious
about that whole process. so we have created this set of circumstances, and that, of course, is what complicates if you talk about the goodies situation, that complicates things very much because you've got another player that is involved in the process. and i personally, we were on this wonderful trip a few years, a year and half ago i guess, two years ago, when we had a chance to talk to the iraqi ayatollahs and discovered that they were not to be enthusiastic about iran. and these were shia leaders, religious leaders and their who really didn't want anything to do with that form of government, or anything like it. which left me feeling that the iranians will exercise some influence in iraq, but it's not going to be a calling and they are not going to take it over. and particularly if we are right about the fact that iraq begins
to develop much larger oil resources than, say, iran has. i think iran has got its work cut out for to keep up with that. they will find it difficult to deal with iraq during that period. they would have something to say in terms of, or maybe even make the situation worse because their relations with the kurds are good. it's a political conundrum, but i agree, that's an interesting point. >> next down the aisle. >> quick question regarding the next few years. if syria, egypt and other countries in the middle east do begin to transition to stable political sort of democracies, what are the implications for saudi arabia, in terms of will it be vulnerable to the long-term political effects of the arab spring? and then what are the
implications of u.s. foreign policy moving forward over the next five to 10 years? >> well, we're going to have a problem. first of all, your original assumption or a surgeon that -- assertion that he's turned into democracy on the way may or may not be the case. in fact, we know that things could go very wrong and that things can happen that you didn't anticipate. so, you know, a friend of mine said the other day, you know, be careful that the ever spring doesn't turn into an airport or. i think that's something worth really keeping in mind. but if, in fact, democracy is the new guide word in the arab world as it has been accepted not because we impose it on them but because they come to the idea themselves in the sense of finding more political space,
more openness. indeed, i think if you look at the we saudi arabia is behaving right now, a lot of it is just sheer peak. they are really angry that their old buddy, mubarak, is gone. we didn't go in and rescue him. it isn't quite clear how we would have rescued him, but they think we should at least pay the higher price along the way before he collapsed. and you've got the situation in bahrain and the situation in syria, that they have certain relations there. so they have a whole set, as does everybody else, a whole set of new political circumstances to have to contend with. and i don't think they know what they're going to do, and i don't think we know what we are going to do. this is -- it's very difficult. that's what i focused on sort of long-term things, things we really should look at, to think
about them after the end of the day when you have gone through this list, what do you aim at? what is your objective at the end of -- what would you like the movies to look like 15 years from now? and then said that as a kind of model or target and then organize your diplomacy and your military and other things to try to facilitate coming to that kind of a conclusion. if anybody has that target defined, even in the own it, please let me know. i really am interested in this, and i think that this is the kind of thing that we need to think about and it's a kind of think the saudis -- the saudis need to think about but i don't think that any answers. basically they are behaving, they are saying hold back the tide, turn it around, make a go the other way. and in the short term with the kind of money that they have got and the kind of support that they will have from various places, they can probably
succeed. but there is going to be a panel i think on saudi this afternoon, which i'm sure can't answer all of these questions better than the two of us up here. >> yes, the lady right here. >> hello, mr. sick. i have a question about the list over there. why do you omit turkey from the list? or do you think it cannot have, like, the impact the regional impact over middle east? are a country, like what you think about turkey's power? >> i guess it's probably because i'm not a turkey specialist, and i know a little bit about the gulf and although less about the rest of the arab middle east. i know relatively little about turkey. and i see turkey as an outside
player, although i did point out that try and go where you have the egypt, turkey, iran could assert itself as a very important factor in the interplay between these three. but it's an extremely good point. and i was personally really disappointed when the obama administration rejected the intermediary help that turkey was offering to us on the whole nuclear thing. i really think that was an error on our part, and it's one that we'll end up paying for. i do think that turkey can play a role, and why don't you go ahead? >> i agree with all the. i would just add one point. i suspect that when we look back five years from now and try to figure out why this happened in 2011, in addition to the factors of demography and the mukhabarat state, maybe the example of turkey. turkey returned to the middle
east in 2009, 2010. most dramatically with the flotilla. and i think that that was a wakeup call for many in the arab world that you could have democracy with islamists in a government, and you could play a role on the world stage, and you could have a thriving, booming economy and islamist country. and i can't prove this, but i have a suspicion that there was a bit of turkey in the going on in much of the arab world. there is pretty good polling that shows that turkey's leadership was far more popular in the arab world in the last year than any arab leader. and i think that says something about the impact, the turkish example, may have had. we will know better when the dust is settled. that's my suspicion.
>> about turkey's leadership, like the indy going on in the middle east, i was in syria in 2010, and everybody was talking about the turkish prime minister, the syrian people and how they love the turkish prime mister. i live in iraq. people in turkish side were talking about our prime minister and the whole construction, 70% of the construction is going on by the turkish firms. and right now, as far as i know there's disagreement that turkey had initiated between iran, iraq, syria and turkey, that's like totally an opposite way to the agreement. and the new forum wants to be
graded with jordan, syria, turkey and iraq again. i think its impact in the middle east, it's impact that wants to have in the middle east should be something to be observed. thank you. >> i think actually you've given me another contender for my point that is missing out of my list. >> more questions? yes. >> i want to offer a counter narrative and asked for comment on that. sorry. okay. i just want to offer a counter decade and ask for your response on the. both on syria and egypt your many very fine of service of the syrian scene has said that while there are certain sizable protest, and you may be right, we may have reached a tipping point there, there's a sizable
portion of the syrian population that while they may hate the regime and see them for the thugs that they are, they feel that the alternative would be chaos and the kind of sectarian and ethnic breakdown that iraq experience, and that is worse than anything they are experiencing under the present regime. this will be a stabilizing factor pushing back against, going over the tipping point. i'm wondering if you'd comment on that. and also, many people feel the situation in egypt is not going well at all. you had said that they seem to be dismantled the security state, but the military is still very much in control. the process of this so-called transition is lacking tremendously lacking in transparency. security bodies are being dismantled, but didn't seem to be put together under a different name. many people were unhappy that the elections were not postponed to give other parties longer time. there's a sense this thing is
not going well at all in egypt, and i'm wondering if you can respond to those sentiments. and then quick question. many people -- [laughter] >> sorry. prospect for tunisia which many think is probably the best, the best hope for process. >> i will take a stab. you know, in the middle east you can almost always see whether the glass is half full or half and he did in it's easy to argue the case is half empty. i really think that's a lack in perspective. that is looking to close day today. i think if you step back just a little bit and look at the six-month perspective, this is remarkably fast, remarkably nonviolent, remarkably orderly process. as i said, it's a military coup and a revolutionary simultaneously. and that helps to explain part of the herky-jerky nature of
this. my take on field marshall tantawi as the military, they don't want to run egypt. they have accepted that there is profound change. they want to protect the equities of the egyptian officer corps, which is understandable, as long as they feel those equities are reasonably protected i think they are prepared to let the process of democratization go forward. now, clearly dismantling the mukhabarat state is not just a matter of opening the prisons. it's a matter of changing the culture of how the security services work, and that is an enormous challenge. they may not succeed, but they have at least taken it on. on syria you are probably right. there is a huge fear of chaos. i thought i made it clear that i share that fear of chaos. the syrian state is very
brittle. he impose order on it in the most ruthless draconian way, and people are happy for the peace that he brought. but i don't think it is a sustainable system. and once the martyrs began to arrive, and they are, it will be harder and harder to turn back the clock to where we were in january. the problem the regime faces now is that there is no way to have political compromise, because once you begin to interject accountability into the system, then there has to be accountability. and the regime is accountable for mass murder, not once but several times. in egypt you could make the case that hosni mubarak was a
relatively light handed dictator. i wouldn't make it to very many egyptians right now. they would get me off the stage. but in comparison, this was a fairly soft mukhabarat state. it's all comparisons. my guess, and it is just a guess, as we passed the tipping point in syria, but we will see. it may be kicked down the road six months, but i think we are past the point of no return for arab revolution reaching to damascus. >> i will just say one word, and that is i think it's not a dichotomous choice. it's not between liberal democracy on one hand and mukhabarat state on the other. if anything, it seems to me that these revolts, uprisings, are creating new political space.
and in many cases that space has not been explored for the last 40 years. and we don't really know what they will do with that, but there will be new players, people that were not accustomed to seeing. for instance, and how we may be there for a while. but new people are going to emerge if they are given space and grooms to do that. and that is, that's unpredictable. and it could go a variety of giveaways. you could go right back to another dictatorship. that's happened before. or you could not. or you could find something in between weather is more accountability. and i think that's what they're playing with. to me, although it's very, very competent and difficult, and we are not always equipped to deal with it. back to the extent that we can have a role in this process, that should be our role, to try to moderate that process so that the amount of political space is
left open as much as possible, to let things take their course, not to close it down. >> i take it we're going to leave tunisia for this afternoon, and i believe we have now come to the end of this panel. i want to thank the audience, thank the speakers. it was great. thank you very much. >> next, a forum with the lawyers participated in the president clinton, kenneth starr case. at 7:00 a.m., your calls and comments on "washington journal." now, a look at the presidency of bill clinton and the investigations by counsel kenneth starr. .peakers include greg craig you also hear from ken gormley,
author of the new book "the death of american virtue." the panel begins with an introduction by someone. this is an hour and 35 minutes. >> it is my pleasure to welcome you to the georgetown law center. when he was the justice department appointed regulatory council. there are a lot of books out on this. in american history, but i think we can be assured there is none
exhaustiven ken's treatment. all laws that were involved would write to the index. i think all of us go in because it is extraordinary work. i will buy to introduce to you the moderator of this panel, john harris. john was the reporter who covered many of these events. he is the author of the critically acclaimed book "survivor." he is the founder and editor of political magazine. i cannot think of a better person to grill are participants about the events. >> ok, thank you. welcome to everyone here. welcome to the people watching on c-span. i hope we will have a lively and robust discussion. we do have to start with a
disclosure. all of us up here on this panel were part of the deep fraternity of people and we felt like we run at ground zero. graves zero of an enormous story -- ground zero of an enormous story. we must be a little bit sensitive. we do not want to feel like we're grandpa simpson or something like that. as the book shows, there is quite a lot of indoor and relevance to some of these controversies that were all consuming at the time in the 1990's and may now seem quite remote given everything that has happened to this country and to this world since then. if you dig a little deeper, there is an enormous amount of topicality of a contemporary
relevance. i am hoping that we will get a chance to explore this in a vigorous way to the. -- today. our panelists have very different perspectives. maybe we will find some surprising convergence an agreement after all these years. but i would like to see some vigorous back and forth. as the afternoon continues, we hope to hear from you in the audience with your questions. i would like to introduce several people who are not going to need a lot of introduction. we will start down that this end, robert fiske is remembered as the first whitewater independent counsel before there was ken starr. he was appointed to his job. your special counsel, right?
>> i think the count -- i think the title was the same. >> it was appointed by janet reno to investigate the whitewater controversy, which was a controversy about a land deal in arkansas. his main credential, the key one was that he was the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. next is greg craig, former white house counsel. he drafted to leave his job in the state department and come
help shepherd his defense in number monica lewinsky affair and the impeachment that followed. he had a critical vantage point of one of the lawyers that represented president clinton. gill davis was the attorney who filed the lawsuit that became clinton v. jones. it marked with the whitewater inquiry in ways that surprised everybody at the time. it eventually became one in the same case. a very prominent washington attorney and became a lawyer for monica lewinsky. he helped to negotiate her immunity deal that was critical to the case. one of the important prosecutors
in the opposite is down here at the end, saw was some burk. he was deputy independent counsel under can start. he was a principal prosecutor in the investigation. one of the lawyers to question president clinton and his grand jury testimony. we were going to have somebody with a critical perspective to offer, the former director of the secret service during the clinton administration, who gave some past and up -- fascinating testimony to our author here for the book. he had a number of revelations. he is under the weather and could not make it. let's have a round of applause for these panelists. [applause] >> we are all junkies for the story. the burden is on us and on new
as the author of this well- received book. if you have been holding back, and now is the time to go and buy that book. i assume that is available on amazon.com. the burden is on us to explain to people why this story matters. i would ask you to start off with some introductory thoughts as to how old did you research the 10-year research? did it fundamentally changed our understanding of what the showdown, what it was about? how did that change our understanding and what do you think is the long-term effect of that monumental 1990's clash? how has that changed our
politics? >> john -- >> d.o. agree with the "washington journal -- do you agree with the washington -- >> that bird was a typo. every once in awhile, that happens. one of the biggest challenges in writing a book like this, because it deals with very recent and very painful political history, was simply to get the people to talk. you can certainly appreciate that, john. since they are among friends, i will tell you the story of my first meeting with president clinton. i had spent five years just trying to get him to give me 50 minutes to pitch this idea that the was going to cooperate. i finally got a call in september of 2004.
he was in pittsburgh for a book signing. he had just signed a thousand pot -- copies of his book. it was just the two of us and a table and president clinton came in famished after signing all of these books and looked around. he was on some kind of diet at the time and he was picking for the chicken salad. he got a big plate of french fries and he said, let steve some fries. we went over and we sat and talked and spend an hour and he agreed to cooperate and agreed to sit down for some interviews. i was ecstatic and i went back and i was dancing around my desk. today's letter, and my research assistants said, did you hear about president clinton?
he is having quadruple heart bypass surgery. i said, the french fries, i've killed president clinton. it was nothing short of a miracle when i got a call from his lawyer about a week after he was released to begin returning to activities to go have our first interview session it was a remarkable project from beginning to end. but you never know when a project like this is going to implode and you are shut off. i intentionally approached as my first interview wee ken starr. and there was a reason for that. because that book came out right as the monica lewinsky incident was exploding in the media, i became a talking head and all
the special prosecutor stopped. there was not a lot of us around to talk about it. i was writing cop ads for "the new york times." most of what i wrote a would be viewed as pro-clinton. i did not think it was an impeachable offense. -- offense. but i never criticized test star personally. i have great respect for him. i did not reveal him as a right- wing conspiracy or with horns coming out of his head. if carol massar -- ken starr -- i want to write this neutral account that would stand up 100 years from now. you cannot do that if you cannot talk to one side.
i was ready to scrap the project if he did not agree. fortunately, he did. this was right as he was leaving the office of independent counsel. he was extremely cooperative in wide-ranging interviews, as were his deputies. i also spent a lot of time in arkansas. i drove around hot springs with one of bill clinton's mother's best friend to see where he had grown up. i talk to lost -- i talked to a lot of advisers who had known the clintons since the earliest political days. but i also went to texas to interview people who had grown up with ken starr.
what was so interesting to me is how much these two men had in common, which you would normally not think. it was they were two sides of the same coin parade they were born within a month of each other within a couple of hundred miles from each other. i saw the house where he grew up. he lived in a little house that had been an army barracks that was dragged out and planted in a cow pasture that is where his father made his living. these were to self-made man u.n. risen to the very pinnacle of their respective professions and very young ages that is why this was so tragic when you see the collision and the train wreck. i always say, you could not has
made this story up in your wildest imagination if you had set out to write the craziest piece of fiction. i said to some of the folks during his television interviews, i will not name the tv stations, they were concerned about how thick the book was. some of the harry potter books are longer than this. i really do give a lot of credit to both president clinton and ken starr. this was a very painful subject for both of them. they both knew that someone had to write this story. they did understand -- i made it very clear that this would not be an account or a bad the other side are treated the other side as evil incarnate. and yet they still cooperated. it was only because of their
willingness to cooperate and the trust of so many people, friends, family, people here on this stage, who did sit down and share their recollections of this very difficult periods in our history that i was able to tell this incredible story and preserve it for history. in many ways, i just let them tell the story, which made it even more interesting for me. it is a special honor for me to be here for this particular gathering, and i appreciate the professor for putting this together because this is the first time this group or a group like it has gone to gather to talk about these events. i really do believe it is meaningful. >> get a quick summary of your title. >> when i am talking about the
death of american virtue, i am talking about a notion of public virtue. the real concerns here is that both sides lost their way and both sides forgot how important it is to exercise restraint when you were trying to exercise power responsibly, and that was the point of the overwrought title. >> i am fascinated by what if questions. critical moments in the plots. if the ball and just bounced a little differently, how would history have unfolded? i did these events never come into light, never been investigation -- investigated. other scenarios for president clinton would have been forced from office. that is among the things i will
pursue. you were the subject of a lot of what if questions. bill clinton believes that if you had stayed in your position as the first white water prosecutor, this would of baalbeck and wrapped up -- this would have all been wrapped up in a fair way. some people take it back further than that. even you should not has been appointed. the initial facts in whitewater never justified the appointment of a special counsel. it was president clinton himself who called for an independent counsel, saying that this was needed in order to get to the bottom of the controversy. he believed that it would be a way of getting this off the national agenda as a way of
removing the destruction of whitewater. that turned out to be a miscalculation on his part. let me ask you, should whitewater ever have been investigated in the first place? >> you have to go back to what was going on in 1993. there were public allegations about impropriety in connection to loans. more important, but there were public allegations by a municipal judge in little rock the claimed that when he was president of a company called capital management, president clinton came to him and asked him to take out a loan for
capital management from the small business administration representing but capital management needed the money to run its business when the money was going to be used by president and mrs. clinton to help pay back their loan. if that was true, that would have been a federal crime, a false statement to a government agency. most civil felt there was a factual basis for janet reno to ask for -- to appoint an independent counsel. while the initial the cry for the appointment of an independent counsel came from republican senators, there were also several democratic senators who enjoyed and the request that there be an independent counsel. president clinton asked for the
appointment of an independent counsel. the original point was very justified. >> people this think that ken starr was an irresponsible prosecutor, or lost his sense of proportion, if a professional prosecutor like robert fiske was in there, this would never have been pursued. the more think of this case from a controversy about real-estate and political influence to investigation of what president clinton did or did not do and whether he testified truthfully about monica lewinsky. would you have stopped this case from morphing from a real- estate case to a sex case? >> that is an easy question.
>> we started in january of 1994 . by august, we had a team of experienced federal prosecutors. we were moving at full speed and ready to proceed with every indictment that subsequently came down later. i do feel that when i was replaced, there was predicted slowed things that -- it slows things down. ken wanted to bring in his own people and it's time for them to become familiar with what it's been going on. we had been able to move very expeditiously making decisions
and i think we would have moved the investigation faster if we would have been able to finish its. whether we would have been finished with it completely by the time monica lewinsky came up, i cannot say. we would have moved more quickly. i n not an imposition -- i am not in a position to answer the second question. i did not burst speculated what i would or would not have done. i've tried to point out in support of ken starr, that there was some misperception -- misconception that the investigation was about the president having sex with somebody. the basis was there was an obstruction of justice element of it that was similar to an
obstruction of justice issue that he was already looking at at the time. i believe that is the way he testified it. i have never tried to put myself in that position because it is very difficult to do that unless you were there at the time. >> i was hoping the 151st time would be the charm. u.s. said, -- you had said, in the critical months of this controversy, what has happened by that time? president clinton has given the grand jury testimony. he went on to the public and gave a speech that was briefly contract. the main thrust of the speech
was defiant and angry and that caused a political backlash. the there was a very fragile moment there. you could envision the circumstances were that fragile moment would have forced president clinton to leave office by resignation. you were a few votes away from a serious democratic backlash. >> i did traded a statement that i had in my conversations 34 days after i started working or the lawyers had been on talk shows and had not done well. tom daschle had written a letter to the president, saying, get rid of the lawyers. i talked to kent conrad and said, you are about three days away from getting a delegation of senate democrats asking him to resign.
>> ok. did you agree or disagree? >> when i arrived at the white house in september, things were not jolly. you identified to us as members of a fraternity that were close to ground zero. >> i was using that in a gender neutral way. a corps of people who had been living this and arguing about ince. the years sens tell us about what you saw when you arrived at the white house. >> there were two worth eight -- there were two or three things i recall. many of the people on the senior staff had recently bought their
grand jury transcripts to review and correct. when i went around to introduce myself and talk to them, they were giving me readings from their testimony. there was also a feeling of betrayal by the president to the members of the senior staff, so there was not a great attitude toward the future. >> they personally felt they had been misled? >> that is correct. >> by the time the admitted to it, the country had long since body was true. >> i did not put them on a polygraph. i think there was sadness in the white house. >> the case of clinton vs. jones
had not gone as far as it did. in the summer of 1997, you and the president lawyer had worked out a deal to settle at the paula jones case for the full amount. along with a statement by president clinton that she had done nothing wrong in the hotel in little rock or the alleged sexual advance was taken place. dealnd bennett's cut the and the president agreed to it. at the last moment, the deal falls apart. explain what happens.
>> it would has been a good victory for her and the restoration of what she said was in her interest and that was her reputation that she wanted to enjoy. there would have been more money for her, frankly, than what was eventually on the table. the lawyers did cut our fees way down to persuade her. she was influenced by her husband, who wanted to play the tough guy, and a woman in california the became a spokesperson for her and influence ter that maybe she should make more money out of this.
as far as my colleague and dieie thought that once a litigant's gives up, and pays the amount of money on the table and more than that, something that we could not have received without an agreement, and that is a statement by the president that redeemed reputation. once there was on the tape -- once that was on the table, there was nothing further to fight about and so we return from the case. there were trying very hard to persuade her -- >> did you ever get paid? >> yes. ultimately, there was might put on the table by -- during the course of the succeeding lawyers. frankly, i think the judge was
perturbed a bet that the case had not settled. she made eight comments -- she made a comment that there was a reasonable attorney's fees available or should be if there was money on the table. we did get a fairly sizable amount of that. the other lawyers that we should get about $25,000. we did not think that was appropriate so we maneuvered to get a larger fee, and we did. but i always regretted that she did not take that settlements. you ask what the consequences were, we would never have heard of monica lewinsky. we would never have seen and impeachments. i did not know whether politically what what happens with respect to the politics of
it, but i do think that if you look at a biblical analogy. clinton begat paula jones. jones begat monica lewinsky. monica lewinsky begat im impeachments. it is not provable, but every place that he went, he said, i will restore dignity to the office of the presidency. as close of an election that was, it made the difference. there were other things that made some differences also, but that was the underlying. fame he never had to say anything more. i do not think people were very anxious to see the people leave office. frankly, i was not too terribly
anxious to have that happen. it was either about sex or perjury. there was another middle ground that nobody took, and that was proportionality. should the president has been mph and found guilty? that is an interesting question that nobody debated. i think our politics would have been different. the impeachment would not have occurred. it would have been more helpful to have had a decision that says something about to we are as a people in that we all worship our political freedoms. equal justice before the law,
that paula jones was not below the law, and president clinton was not above it. with the interest of all been considered. it would have been better had she taken that deal at the time. >> bill clinton believes that her case was about politics from start to finish. what have you concluded about that? were the people who were pushing her not to take the settlement offer, with a motivated by politics or something else? >> at the time, there was money at issue. at the beginning of the case, and for some time, the delays in getting this case over with
changed her view. it changed mine, too. i thought she was entitled to get some remuneration. initially, she did not want to bring this case. this was 1991, she told her friends and family about what happened, and they said, you need to say something. she said, discussed is my ultimate boss, police guarding the door, i will lose my job, i may lose my boyfriend's, nobody will believe me because it is hemmed and me. -- him and me. the only thing she did was registered to vote and she voted for the republican
candidate in that state'. a lot of people said, why did she delayed? >> it is clear. she did not want to bring a suit when it was put in her face and when she had to say yes or no, she got her back up >> if i could jump in. i interviewed robert, the editor of the spectator magazine. he said it was a mistake that the ever published it in the article that said a woman had gone up to this hotel room. they have a policy against using names. if that had not been there, none of this would have happened. >> it was not the first warrior. her first lawyer was a family
friend. there is an exclusion -- an expression of this person that manages it. somebody is on all five sunday shows in one day. it qualifies as the fur. he was the first person ever to do it. it is so much easier these days. he is the first person who ever did it. the general consensus is that he did not necessarily serve her interest law by allowing this to become such a public spectacle. some people wonder if he did it intentionally or not. he did manage to keeper in the game long been a weapon is not an agreement.
it perhaps later for making a premature deal. what if he had been contacted on the very first day? >> let me say something. he is the finest trial lawyers that i have ever known. i do not mean to pump you up any higher than you should be. there is no one that comes close. >> you are getting in legal trouble. what would have been different? what would you have done? you came in several months later, right? >> we came in. we read the co-counsel assisted by a lady. we came in after some time.
the family was getting concerned that the case was not per pressing to a point where they were comfortable. what would i have done the first day? i think we would not have given any interviews to everybody. we were told that the counsel's office had decided that monaco was in double -- wasn't -- that monica l. was in jeopardy. we heard that. we both fell there was to be a child. we would have somebody named bill clinton saying that he did not have sex with that woman. that is a pretty good witness. we negotiated a disposition by
gaper total community. that is what she is wanted -- that is what she wanted. >> was there a scenario where they said to have at it? but we did not use those words with ken starr. i do not know if you were there. >> i was. >> you were. he said he would prosecute like one of his associates. we simply cannot plead guilty to anything. we left. we said the same thing. >> i do not remember that meeting. >> i remember you came in and
said we were man enough. you were. >> we had nothing to do what transpired. we came in the case. >> what if you had been able to strike a deal right at the beginning in january? how would that have been different? do you think he would actually would have done that? >> i was persuaded that their people on the staff that wanted her prosecuted. the probably blow. >> it is a question that has
been talked but many times. the consensuses is that we are by entering the statement. it was not significantly different. there is a historical thing. it is standard operating procedure. when someone wants to enter into a guilty plea, there is a proper section. ginsberg did not understand the significance of that. he wanted to strike an agreement of some kind without bringing her in for an in person proper.
before i came to the office, hubbell had been allowed to strike a deal without the offer. i have to say i was one of the ones that insisted that no deal could be stuck with out a proper. if we had done that, i think there is a much better chance that president obama would not be able to survive. he was able to get by. with respect to the second question, i do not believe that ken starr would have prosecuted monica.
by that time, the decision making was that it would not do that. grex it brings us to something that he hit in the book. it removes a up to the nitty gritty. the allow people to take a much more zealous approach. that is at odds with the difficult democratic pork trail -- portrayal. give us a picture of how he that critical of the senate? career as a prosecutor. office