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palestinian authority take control in gaza. that was agreed before this conflict broke out. that should be the basis upon which the issues are resolved, that the palestinian authority should take control in gaza. that it should start in the passages, which i think everybody is ready to agree to. that it should also extend to gaza proper. that starts with working with the u.n. and the international community on the emergency humanitarian aid that needs to go in. then, working with the international community, with u.n. monitors on all the construction material that will have to go and to reconstruct gaza.
in that way, legitimizing the palestinian authority, which has already been legitimated politically in the fatah-hamas reconciliation agreement. finally, as part of that assessment, to uphold the principle abu mazen has repeatedly advocated. one government, one law, one gun. the guns can only be in the hands of the palestinian authority. they cannot be a lebanon solution with militias and terrorist groups retaining their guns. that would be the ideal process. one in which israel should be able to accept that in the process of disarmament there is the full opening of the passages. finally, to the journalist's question. if i compare it to the end of the clinton administration, when we tried to get a comprehensive deal and failed, that led to
huge disappointment that contributed to the circumstances that caused the outbreak of the intifada. i do not see that as a comparable situation. nobody on either side seems to believe it was possible in the first place. both sides did their best to reinforce that opinion in the public. there was no sense of letdown or failure. everybody accepted it. oh well, they could not do it. more importantly than any of that, hamas did not believe it was going to work. hamas did not try to disrupt the effort. nor did hezbollah, or iran, who had always done their best to prevent the breakthrough to a peace agreement. they did not lift their fingers because they did not believe it was possible.
the dynamic that led to the outbreak of this conflict was unrelated to what we were trying to do in the peace process. that was the dynamic that finds its origins in the deposing of morsi, the rise of sisi, the suppression of the muslim brotherhood and the determination of the egyptian government under sisi to choke hamas, the bastard child of the muslim brotherhood, cut off all the titles and all the revenue to hamas, which put it in a desperate situation, leading to the reconciliation agreement with fatah, which led the israeli government to suspend negotiations.
that dynamic, independent of anything we were trying to do, came in from left field and basically upended the table. that is what then resulted in the effort in the left bank, which contributed to the explosion in gaza. >> israel is not at all sorry to see sisi and the egyptian government take that attitude, cut off the smuggling tunnels, and repeatedly declared of last over the last months that their relationship with this egyptian government on security issues in gaza is the best they have had in years. all of this begging the question of how ready are the israelis, we can talk about the egyptians, too, to loosen the closure of gaza where the pa might come in on the borders. given that this is a weak pa, even if it manages to police the border. the idea of the pa disarming
the other militias in the gaza strip seems a long way down the road. if we can envision it at all. >> that is the crux of the issue, the monopoly of forces. hamas, being extremists, there are extremists on the israeli side as well. who do not control an area, they do not have an army and engage in war against jordan. they do not constitute a second state. hamas, it is not just about when they took over the gaza strip. they have been -- what brought down the government, and association by an israeli extremist, the loss of elections they have been -- what brought down the government, and association by an israeli extremist, the loss of elections precipitated by the hamas
bombing, that is what brought it down. the refusal of arafat to do what israel is considered to be the heraldic move early on was to open fire on the major opposition groups. the one that now became the likud. ben-gurion and another young officer opened fire on it, because of the idea of a unity of guns. the lesson israelis learned, if you let them in the gaza strip, it is not going to build shelters, hospitals for civilians, it is going to build tunnels. the chance they are going to be more lenient is unrealistic. >> even if there is international monitoring, pa control, egyptian assistance. >> even today, you call it a that is not the case. a siege is an attempt to draw the population to submission.
the situation israel has in the gaza strip. israel shares blame. do not take it the wrong way. it is not a siege. it could be alleviated if there were forces israel to trust on the palestinian side. the fundamental truth that has been true from the beginning, when there is no unity of guns on the palestinian side, it is very unlikely that israel will be able to deal with the palestinian side. this is on a deeper issue. israel is the stronger power and the u.s. is a superpower. it is worth remembering that there is another side to the conflict. their role in this conflict for the last six decades has not just been of passive victims to other people's mouths. they have been agents, they have made political choice. the choice of political resistance is a choice. the abu mazen-fayad position has taken the feet.
resistance has had such a resounding doctrinal defeat in the past seven decades that the palestinian choice to go for it, because seemingly there are no other options, is a terrible choice. this does not mean that conflict -- conduct of war is unimportant. it does mean that the choice to engage in this conflict and many others, to avoid the same egyptian cease-fire that was offered, it is the same thing that was offered before the full thing happened. now, it is being taken 1400 days later in the gaza strip. this was hamas' choice. we should be discussing palestinian political choices as well. >> thanks, natan. khaled, i want to give you a chance to weigh in. would the egyptian government trust mahmoud abbas and the pa on the border?
they would like to support mahmoud abbas, do they trust the ability of the pa to guard the border. >> i'm not even convinced they would like to support mahmoud abbas. i think there's a great deal of ambivalence towards mahmoud abbas. weakness is self reinforcing and self advertising and self perpetuating. mahmoud abbas, everyone thinks he is weak because he is weak. and he is weak because everyone thinks he is weak. these are self fulfilling dynamics. mahmoud abbas came to power with two objectives. one was to unify all palestinian factions and bring them under one umbrella of the plo, which arafat had neglected to do. you have free agent groups outside the context of the plo. he had the foresight to understand this was a bad idea.
2005, cairo declaration, the first intra-palestinian agreement to bring one set of political decision-making, which is essential to any nation or government. his second goal was to reach a conflict ending deal with israel. both of those were dashed. they are interconnected. yes, palestinians have agency. there have been a number of decisions that are highly questionable by both the palestinian authority and by hamas. one of which is firing rockets when you know the response that is going to come. from hamas' standpoint, they are dead either way. rather than go quietly into the night, they might as well go out with a bang. this is how i interpret their rationale. they at least were able to reassert their relevance --
cynical, terrible, yes. on the other side of the equation, if somebody is hiding behind children and they are completely reckless, you do not have to kill them. you, as israel, the most powerful military in the region, you have other options. you have many choices. anyway, put that aside. the question of disarming -- i agree with martin 100% that there has to be an opening of the blockade. if what happens next is to go back to the status quo minus 1800 people and 10,000 homes and all this displacement. not only are we going to have a humanitarian disaster, there will be a security disaster on israel's border. i have never understood how having a young, angry, hungry, frustrated population on israel's border was ever in their security interest.
much less, badly battered by bombs. sorry for the alliteration. the notion of disarming, outside of the context of the occupation, is not realistic. we have to look at incentives. there's a reason why hamas disarmed, even after so-called deterrence, they got better rockets with longer range and more of them. so, deterrence is not a deterrent if you do not address the incentive for arming. occupation and siege are those incentives. simply addressing symptoms is not going to be possible. from a conflict resolution standpoint, if hamas has to recognize israel and disarmed and go along with everything that the international community
wants, essentially, they have given israel what they want. israel is not in a position to establish a palestinian state in the homeland of judea. these are things that will be very difficult for it to do. if recognition and disarming are the standard, then we are never going to get -- there is no incentive for a palestinian actor to want to go along. arming is the counterpart to the occupation. israel has a great deal of leverage. it is only logical that palestinian actors will seek leverage. it is not a matter of choice, it is not a matter of saying we want to do this. it is a reality that when you have no other choice, people want to resort to arms.
even when it is self-defeating. >> let's stop there and take three or four more questions from the audience. we will start right here in the front row. a couple questions down front. for the sake of the camera, go ahead. >> i have so many questions, it is hard to ask one. i would like to ask about the gazan people themselves, who have suffered again so terribly. i have a son who lives in israel and lots of friends, i am aware of what the mood is in israel. clearly the gazan people, civilians have been used by hamas for their own affairs and are paying a terrible price in human suffering.
we also have seen hamas manipulating the international media to create one image coming out of gaza. you do not see images of hamas fighters except what little the israeli media is portraying. that does have an effect on world opinion of who is doing what to whom. you do not see images of hamas rockets that go awry and hit a target, not intentionally, in gaza. assuming that, god willing, that there is a cease-fire that holds and maybe goes beyond 72 hours and that there is movement to end this round of the conflict, do you have any hope that the gazan people themselves will realize that to continue their own status quo is untenable for them. that it does not allow gaza to achieve its potential, it could
be the palestinian riviera. i have seen the beaches, they are beautiful. what do you think about the gazan people demanding a change in terms of hamas running the show in gaza? >> if my next question or can be very disciplined, we can get in one more. >> this is a seven part question -- [laughter] i would love to ask ambassador indyk if he could stretch his remarks about the extent to which israel has built a stronger set of relationships around the globe. is that a function of seeing the u.s. as less important in its ability to develop
relationships? secondly -- >> i'm going to stop you at firstly. >> does that enhance the prospects for israel being successful in doing this with less american help? >> a final question here. >> i just heard a number of things that would not satisfy hamas. quick question --what question would satisfy hamas? -- concession would satisfy hamas? >> good, thank you for that short, sharp question. [laughter] >> martin, the global politics. there are contrary trends. israel has developed relationships with other major powers and yet it is facing in the wake of this operation tremendous international censure. can you balance this out. is it about american decline?
>> i do not think he used the word "decline." i would use the word withdrawal. there is an american withdrawal under way from the greater middle east. we fought two long wars in iraq and afghanistan. one a decade, one more than a decade. the american public wants to end those wars. that necessarily means that our posture of dominance in the region is shifting. when that happens, when you have a dominant force that is in effect leaving militarily, that is certainly the perception. then the powers in the region
are going to make their own calculations. and develop their own relationships. that comes on top of the air -- aftermath of the arab revolutions and the way that has caused realignment. you do see, and that broader context, and alignment of interests between the sunni monarchies led by saudi arabia and egypt, jordan, the palestinian authority, and israel. it is iran and hezbollah and assad and the muslim brotherhood and hamas. these are the common adversaries. as they see that the
united states is less engaged than it was before, it is natural that they looked to each to find ar the table way to help each other. that is the phenomenon that is going on. i do think it is not in israel's .nterests for the united states to be seen as not being able to get concessions from israel because of strong support for israel. if they undermine the perception undermineest friends, our ability to influence their belief,ies or their they will face a much more difficult situation.
they may find themselves comfortable in the embrace, even sovereign embrace of their arab neighbors. to, they mayed find themselves more and more isolated in the international community. while i think a lot of this is natural, it is important for israel [inaudible] for the united states that has crept into the language of the right wing in is a folly for israel's best interests. >> thank you. natan, weigh in on that. khaled, you had a couple of questions as well. >> i will try to be brief. -- there ishamas
not a gazan people. there is a palestinian people. it is important to try to place yourselves in the shoes of the people in gaza. as an evil see hamas terrorist organization. as one of many palestinian factions on the political landscape that espouses things, some of which they agree with, some of which they don't. the fast majority of palestinians do not subscribe to hamas' islamist ideologies. didvast majority of them not vote -- this is anecdotal -- even when hamas bought a majority, it was not because people bought into their ideology. it was simply because the other guys were failures. whenever you have an election between one guy who fails and a
new guy, they are going to vote for the new guy. that is for starters. the other aspect of it, that hamas is not any different from fatah was 30 years ago, in almost every way. would actually argue -- this goes to your question of what hamas wants. to theants an end occupation, which is what all palestinians want. i do not think that hamas is throwing rockets at israel because it is trying to destroy the state of israel. if that is their objective, they are really on the long planned of israel's distraction. make light ofo it. these are terrible things. their objective primarily is to be taken seriously internationally, and to be relevant politically among palestinians.
they have said, and martin may disagree others -- disagree, and others may disagree -- various hamas leaders, that they are willing to accept a palestinian state in the 1967 borders with east jerusalem as its capital. accept, formula that we -recognition of israel. in their view, recognition of israel was offered by the plo in exchange for [inaudible] ploer arafat recognized the -- sorry, recognized israel, but there is still a palestinian state. recognition happened 25 years ago. there have been some lessons learned. i believe that hamas is not looking to create an islamic state. they want to end the israeli occupation. there resistance is seen in that context for palestinians.
,ven if we don't accept that you make peace with your enemies and not with your friends. you cannot expect people to jump through all these hoops that you want them to and say, in order for you to qualify for a peace process with me, your enemy, you have to do x, y, and z. that paradigm of conflict resolution does not exist anywhere in the world. you make peace with your enemy as they are and you hope enemies don't remain enemies afterwards. i would note that even for took thed states, it 1988, 1989 for the u.s. to be willing to open its [inaudible] you say palestinian politicians and factions have learned lessons from that. i take that point. thetrikes me that israel-plo mutual recognition of 1993 is the one thing from the
that has not been from all ofrollback that experience. it seems to have a pretty significant value to both sides. hamas'we understand unwillingness to buy into that basic mutual recognition paradigm? >> a lot of people are very critical. not a palestinian right, a palestinian reality. it is not a one for one. had it been a recognition of israel's writer exist -- right -- inst in a change exchange for reciprocal rights, that is the essence of a two state solution.
then it would have been different. hamas as well as many others -- i have heard this even from fatah people who say arafat was really establishing his and the plo's relevance, that was the priority as opposed to establishing a palestinian right. let me quickly add one last point on this question. let's say we don't believe that. let's say they are lying, underhanded, deceiving individuals and we just don't trust them. expect inat you would a conflict setting. they have given these indications of willingness. yet we have an israeli government that includes members who openly oppose a two state solution who are not shy about it, and nobody says this is an or a two statece solution. how are we going to negotiate a
two state solution with a government who does not believe in a two state solution? it is not only one side that has this agreement. -- disagreement. as i said, you make peace with your enemies and not your friends. >> natan? the will tell you about [inaudible] perception ofong the u.s. withdrawal, and it is sometimes exaggerated in the region. from conversations with israelis is that it is attributed to the administration, right or wrong. it is not necessarily the perception of the u.s. there is a lot of questions of what might happen next, whoever becomes next president. it is unfortunate that so early in the second term there is already this kind of giving up. giving up is limited.
in particular to the regional conflicts that israelis see. israelis see this conflict in gaza as proxy for several regional conflicts. in this case, between the traditional sunni powers plus egypt in particular, against the muslim brotherhood. comments were popular in israel because of that perception. the israeli relations across the world, russia, china, india, each very different from the other -- is long-standing. i don't think they're necessarily a mirror. when you speak to israelis, given everything i just said, will not find a serious is really in the elite who will not also say, the number one consideration is our most others isasset, and
are extremely close alliance with the united states. they will all say it. i will say one more thing related to this. i think israelis do underestimate the cost in public opinion, even of this operation. they see leaders in the world who may be more privy to diplomacy. appreciatenk they just how bad the image was in public opinion worldwide. even interesting results inside the united states, looking at polling -- things are not as they were in the past. from the israeli or israeli-american perception, this is troubling. >> i want to thank all three of you for a frank exchange of views. reading whatrd to you have coming out in the coming weeks.
i think we have also raised a lot of broader issues about the emerging landscape in the arab world, and in the middle east, that will set the context for this next phase of arab-israeli relations. i hope you'll join us for future events as we look into those dynamics. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] >> if you missed any of this discussion, you can find it on www.c-span.org. "new york times" reporting that israelis and gazans clash. bombing and air strikes continue today after a cease-fire that ended yesterday. the 72efused to extend hour cease-fire and immediately started firing rockets into israel. they say they're are frustrated with talks between egypt and israel. as fighting resumed, it appeared to be on a lower scale compared to what has been happening over the past month. in egypt, efforts continue to
work towards a new cease-fire and to reopen talks between israel and palestinians. at the white house today, president obama talked about iraq and u.s. airstrikes there. earlier he warned that u.s. intervention would be long-term. his statement was about 25 minutes. >> the morning. over the past two days, american pilots have served in the skies over iraq. have conducted targeted air strikes against terrorist forces outside the city of irbil to prevent them from advancing on the city. so far, the strikes have successfully destroyed arms and equipment that terrorists could have used. kurdish forces on the ground continue to defend the city, and
the united states and iraqi government have stepped up our military assistance to kurdish forces as they wage their fight. second, our humanitarian effort continues to help the men, women and children stranded. have so farces conducted two successful airdrops, delivering thousands of meals and gallons of water to these desperate men, women, and children. american aircraft are positioned to strike terrorists around the mountain, to help forces in iraq break the siege, and rescue those who are trapped there. even as we deal with these immediate situations, we will continue to pursue a broader strategy in iraq. we will protect our american citizens in iraq, whether they are diplomats, civilians, or military. if these terrorists threaten our facilities or personnel, we will take action to protect our people. we will continue to provide military assistance and advice
to the iraqi government and kurdish forces as they battle these terrorists, so that the terrorists cannot establish a permanent safe haven. we will continue to work with the international community to deal with the growing humanitarian crisis in iraq. even as our attention is focused on preventing an act of genocide in helping the men and women and children on the mountain, countless iraqis have been driven or fled from their homes, including many christians. this morning and spoke with the prime minister cameron of the united kingdom and the president of france. i'm pleased that both leaders expressed their strong support for our actions and agreed to join us in providing humanitarian assistance to iraqi civilians who are suffering so much. toe again, america is proud act alongside our closest friends and allies. more broadly, the united nations in iraq is working urgently to help respond to the needs of those iraqis fleeing from areas under threat. un security council was called on the international community
to do everything it can to provide food, water, and shelter. my calls with allies and partners around the world, i will continue to urge them to join us in this humanitarian effort. finally, we continue to call on iraqis to come together and form iraqsive government that needs right now. vice president biden has been speaking to iraqi leaders. our team in baghdad is in close touch with the iraqi government. all iraqi communities are ultimately threatened by these barbaric terrorists, and all iraqi communities need to unite to defend their country. just as we are focused on the situation in the north, sunni and shia have suffered mightily at the hands of isis. once an inclusive government is in place, i am confident it will be easier to mobilize all iraqis against isis and to mobilize
greater support from our friends and allies. ultimately, only iraqis can ensure the security and stability of iraq. the united states cannot do it for them, but we can and will be partners in that effort. one final thing, as we go forward we will continue to consult with congress and coordinate closely with our allies and partners. as americans, we will continue to show gratitude to our men and women in uniform who are conducting our operations there. when called, they were ready, as they always are. they performed with distinction, as they always do. when we see them serving with such honor and compassion defending our fellow citizens and saving the lives of people they have never met, it makes us proud to be americans, as we always will be. with that, let me take a couple of questions. >> for how long a period of time to you see these airstrikes continuing for, and is your goal to contain isis or destroy it? >> i will not give a particular
wherever andause whenever u.s. personnel and facilities are threatened, it is my obligation, my responsibility as commander in chief to make sure they are protected. we are not moving our embassy anytime soon. we are not moving our consulate anytime soon. given the challenging security environment, we are going to maintain vigilance and ensure that our people are safe. our initial goal is to not only make sure americans are protected, but also to deal with this humanitarian situation. we feel confident that we can prevent isis from going up a mountain and slaughtering the people who are there.
which will betep, complicated logistically, is how do we give safe passage for people down from the mountain, and where can we ultimately relocate them so that they are safe. that is the kind coordination we need to do internationally. i was pleased to get the cooperation of both prime minister cameron and president aland -- hollande in addressing , but there isneed a broader set of questions that our experts are now engaged in with the united nations, and our allies and partners, and that is how we potentially create a safe corridor or some other mechanism so these people can move. that may take some time. our estimates of how many people are up there -- they are in the thousands, and moving them is not simple in the scanner security environment.
just to give people a sense of mostimetable, the important timetable i'm focused on right now is the iraqi government getting formed and finalized. in the absence of an iraqi government, it is very hard to get a unified effort by iraqis against isis. we can conduct airstrikes, but ultimately there will not be an american military solution to this problem. there is going to have to be an iraqi solution that america and other countries and allies support. that cannot happen effectively until you have a legitimate iraqi government. right now we have a president, we have a speaker. what we don't have yet is a prime minister and a cabinet that is formed that can go ahead and move forward, and start
reaching out to all the various groups and factions inside of toq, and can give confidence populations in the sunni areas that isis is not the only game in town. us to taken allows those iraqi security forces that are able and functional, and they understand who they are reporting to and what they are fighting for and what the chain of command is, and it provides a structure in which better cooperation takes place between the kurdish region and baghdad. we are going to be pushing very hard to encourage the iraqis to get their government together. until we do that, it is going to be hard to get the unity of to notthat allows us just play defense, but also engage in some offense. >> the united states fought a long wars in afghanistan and
iraq with uncertain outcomes. how do you assure the american people that we are not getting dragged into another war in iraq , and how do you underestimate -- is there isis any talk of international partners as far as military action to prevent the spread of isis? have been veryi clear that we will not have u.s. combat troops in iraq again. we are going to maintain that, because we should have learned a lesson from our long and immensely costly incursion in iraq. our military is so effective that we can keep a lid on .roblems
it can only last if the people in these countries are able to arrive at the kinds of political accommodation and compromise that any civilized society requires. it would be a big mistake for us to think that we can go him and -- go in and tamp everything down again and restart without some fundamental shift in attitudes among the various iraq factions. that is why it is so important to have a responsible government on the ground that we can help and partner with that has the capacity to get alliances in the region. once that is in place, we end up being one of many countries that can work together to deal with a broader crisis.
what were your other questions? >> did we underestimate? >> i think there is no doubt that their movement over the last several months has been more rapid and the intelligence -- than the intelligence estimates and expectations of policymakers both in and out of iraq. part of that is not a full appreciation to the degree to which the security forces when they are far away from baghdad do not have the incentive or the capacity to hold the ground against an aggressive adversary. that is one more reason why the government formation is so important.
there has to be an understanding of who it is the security forces are reporting to and what they are fighting for. there has to be some investment by sunnis in pushing back against isis. we are already seeing a degree to which those territories alienate populations because of the brutality with which they operate. in order to ensure that sunni populations reject outright these kinds of incursions, they have to feel like they are invested in a broader national government.
right now they don't feel that. the upshot is what we've seen over the last several months indicates the weaknesses in the iraqi government. what we have also seen is a wake-up call for a lot of iraqis inside of baghdad. we're going to have to rethink how we do business if we're going to hold the country together. hopefully, that change in attitude supplemented by improved security efforts in which we can assist and help, that can make a difference. >> [inaudible] you just described the complications for the iraqi government. is it possible that what you
have described would take years and not months? >> i don't think we're going to solve this problem in weeks. i think this is going to take some time. in order to mount an offensive, iraqi security forces, they are going to have to revamp and get resupplied and have a clear strategy. that is all going to be dependent on a government that the people and the military have confidence in. we can help of all of those efforts. part of what we are able to do is reserve a space for them to do the hard work that is necessary. if they do that, the one thing that has changed is many of the sunnis in the region who have
been generally suspicious or wary of the iraqi government are more likely to join in in the fight against isis. that can be extremely helpful. this is going to be a long-term project. part of what we have seen is a minority population in iraq as well as a majority population in syria has felt dissatisfied and attached and alienated from their respective governments. that has been a right territory -- ripe territory for extremists to operate in. rebuilding governance in those
areas and legitimacy for stable and moderate governing is going to take some time. there are some immediate concerns that we have to worry about. we have to make sure that isil is not engaging in actions that could cripple a country permanently. there is key infrastructure inside iraq that we have to be concerned about. my team has been vigilant even before they went into modal about foreign fighters gathering in syria and iraq that might launch attacks against western targets. there is a counterterrorism element. we are already preparing and working diligently for a long time now. there is going to be a military
element protecting our people. the long-term campaign of changing that environment so that the millions of sunnis who live in these areas feel connected to an well served by a national government. -- to and well-served by a national government. that is a long-term process. that is something that the united states cannot do. only the iraqi people can. we can't do it for them. the u.s. military cannot do it for them. this comes back to the earlier question about military involvement. the nature of this problem is not one that the military can solve. we can assist. our military can play an important role in bolstering efforts of an iraqi partner as
they make the right steps to keep their country together. we can't do it for them. last question. >> do you anticipate asking congress for some -- additional funds? >> currently, we are currently operating within budget constraints that we already have. we will have to evaluate what happens over time. we have a lot of assets in the region. we anticipate when we make our budgets that there may be things that come up that requires us to engage. right now at least, we are ok. if and when we need additional dollars to make sure that american personnel and facilities are protected, we will make that request.
right now that is not our primary concern. >> you have any second thoughts about owing all ground troops out of iraq? -- pulling all ground troops out of iraq? does it give you pause about doing the same thing in afghanistan? >> what i find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps coming up as if this was my decision. under the previous administration we had turned over the country to a sovereign and democratically elected iraqi government. in order for us to maintain troops in iraq, we needed the invitation of the iraqi
government and we need assurances that our personnel would be immune from prosecution if they were protecting themselves and got into a firefight with iraqis. they would not be hauled before an iraqi judicial system. the government based on its political considerations because they were tired of the u.s. occupation they declined to provide us those assurances. on that basis we left. we offer to leave additional troops. when you hear people say the regret not leaving more troops, that presupposes that i would've overridden a sovereign government that we had turned the keys over to.
you are democratic and sovereign except if i decide that is good for you to keep 10,000 or 25,000 marines in your country. you have a choice. that would've run contrary to the argument we were making about turning over the country back to iraqis. that was not made not just by me but the previous administration. the reason that we did not have more forces in iraq was because the iraqis did not want u.s. troops there. politically they could not pass the kinds of laws it would be required to protect our troops. if the government behaved the way it did over the last five or six years where it failed to pass legislation that would have reincorporated sunnis and given
them a sense of ownership, if it had targeted certain sunni leaders and alienated some of the sunni tribes that we had brought back in during the awakening that helped us turn the tide in 2006, the country would not be holding together either. we would just have a bunch of troops on the ground. however many troops we had, we would now have to be reinforcing. i would have to be protecting them and we would have a much bigger job. we would end up having to go up again in terms of the number of ground troops to make sure that those forces were not vulnerable. that analysis is bogus. it is wrong.
it gets frequently peddled around here. going forward with respect to afghanistan, we are leaving. the lesson for afghanistan is not the fact that we have got a force that will be capable of training and supporting afghan security efforts. the real effort is if actions in a country after a long. -- factions in a country after a long period of civil war do not find a way to come up with a political accommodation, if they take positions and their attitude is i want 100% of what i want and the other side gets nothing, then the center does not hold. the good news is in part thanks to the excellent work of john kerry and others, we are now seeing two candidates in the
>> the associated press is reporting from iraq that thousands of iraqi minorities are fleeing to syria. the u.s. has been airlifting emergency aid to thousands of people. the yazidis are seeking refuge incurred -- refuge. the associated press in ukraine reports that a rebel leader of a city in eastern ukraine is surrounded by ukrainian troops and his forces are willing to accept a cease-fire. russia has been calling repeatedly for a humanitarian mission into eastern ukraine. ukrainian government and western countries say that could be a pretext for russia to send in forces. president does, spoke with angela merkel. the white house says the two leaders agreed any russian intervention in ukraine, even under humanitarian hospices without formal consent from the
ukrainian government, is unacceptable and could provoke additional consequences. that from a conversation between president obama and german chancellor angela merkel. talked aboutice ukraine at a forum posted recently by the aspen institute. here are some of her remarks. think it is the most series east-west crisis since the end of the cold war, in large part because it has been a longtime since a big power in europe annexed part of its neighbor. when great powers start behaving badly, it gets really dangerous. the malaysian airplane that was shot down was shot down because of the sophistication of the equipment. 30,000 feet is a long way up to catch a civilian aircraft. when great powers start behaving badly, it gets really dangerous. in europegreat power behaving badly. vladimir putin never accepted the outcome of the end of the cold war. ofhas said that the collapse
the soviet union was the greatest tragedy of the 20th century. that is something when you consider that the russians lost probably as many as 30 million people in world war ii. and then he said something that is particularly dangerous. that is that the reason it was a great tragedy is because 25 million russians were orphaned outside of the soviet union in other countries. poland, ukraine. i remember sitting with him at 2008, in his last talks with the nato-russia council. he said something that everybody said, did we hear that right. he said, ukraine is a made up state. i can't remember going to deceive vladimir putin and in one of my last encounters with him, having him say, you know us. you know that russia has only been great when it was ruled by strongmen like alexander the great, alexander the second,
peter the great. i remember thinking, and then is vladimir the great supposed to be in that line? i was too polite to ask him as secretary of state. dangerous perfect storm between a leader who is unreconciled to the post-cold to order in europe, willing use a combination of economic pressure, military force, intimidation to get his way to and anundo that order, international community that seems at times uncertain how to respond. will have more from former secretary of state condoleezza rice, as well as madeleine albright and robert gates tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. watch that here on c-span. online discussion about privacy held by the congressional internet caucus advisory committee. after the european court of justice's ruling in may that internet search engines must
consider requests for people to have information about then deleted off the internet, known as the right to be forgotten. some of the implications for u.s. internet users. >> good afternoon. welcome to this briefing of the advisory committee to the congressional and senate thank you for joining us today. we're here to assess the european union's right to be forgotten. my name is michael. i will be standing in for our executive director today. before we get started, i would like to take time to thank the cochairs of the congressional internet caucus for hosting this briefing in conjunction with the advisory committee and this entire series of briefings of the advisory committee, namely [inaudible]
leahy, andrick senator john soon. this series is a great platform to debate and discuss internet policy issues. privacy experts and regulators have been discussing the so-called right to be forgotten for several years now. in may, the european court of justice reached a decision that many say found the right to be forgotten within the existing european data protection directive. asked engines can now be to remove links to certain websites from their search results. we have a distinguished panel here to tell us what this all means for us as internet users, and for the internet as a whole. i would like to introduce our panelists very quickly. our first panelist is a senior policy advisor with internet use, an ngo focused on strengthening local news coverage worldwide. generallso the former counsel to the parent organization of wikipedia, which
will be interesting and relevant here. next, emma from the center of democracy and technology. she is the director of cdt's progress in free expression. our next panelist is the director of security policy and global privacy officer of intel. a columnistelist is with yahoo! tech. many of us have followed his writing for several years in washington on tech issues. policy counsel with the future of privacy forum. we are very fortunate that we have a distinguished journalist here today. take uslike to have rob off with a nice, plain english summary of the european court of justice decision, and give us context of what is going on in europe. then we can dive into the public
policy implications. first, a little disclaimer. i write for yahoo! tech on a freelance context. most often i found with companies -- [indiscernible] by reading marissa mayer's tweets. as a red the supreme court ruling, it walks down a few steps in isolation. acts asure that google a data processor. they don't just take this data and show it without editing. is not algorithmically pure operation were no humans attend to it. you decide it has a legal presence in the eu. it does business. they found long ago that citizens have the right to have incorrect data removed. therefore the court decided that if you are not a public figure, which they do not define too
well, you have the right to petition a search engine to have or irrelevant search results removed, not shown in response to queries for your name. since then, a few things have happened. a whole lot of people have taken google up on this result. other search engines are also covered by this. google told the e.u. they have received about requests for 91,000 links not be shown in response to name searches. 53% of those requests were granted. 32% they said they could not help you. not all requests have been on the up and up. convicted of the same crimes as an adult. it seems like a strange request for journalists to make.
that is where we stand. would anyone like to add to or amplify his summary? >> i think that is an excellent description. there is one important factor we need to consider in addition, which is that the court actually was not creating the processing of personal data standard and that it had to be adequate and relevant and not excessive. instead that provision existed in the legislation they were specifically being asked to interpret. that clear language existed since the mid-90's. this court was referred questions from the spanish high court and asked can you give us your interpretation under the
european law how certain issues should be interpreted? they came back with a narrow determination based on the fact they were given of the clear language within that erected. that does not mean that clear language does not have substantial and profound public policy, particularly in the area of free expression. we have to separate what the court was trying to do versus what do policymakers need to do now that we have recognized that some of this language has existed since the mid 90's. >> i can add to that mme see if i can do it quickly. it's true the court's interpretation of the privacy directive is not outrageous. there are few outrageous act specs about it. the difficulty is the underlying directive of language is quite
broad. the reason it is broad -- it was not followed by the european court of justice. the directive was written in the pre-google era. what the eu thought they were doing was creating a privacy framework in which the major entities being regulated were essentially private databases, the european equivalents of -- plus maybe a reaction to the national security states, like east germany that made a fetish of monitoring citizens. what you have instead is the internet revolution, which suddenly empowered everybody to seek information in new ways and
to create information in new ways. that is what google and other search engines and the explosion of web and blog content and social media have been about. that is the amends marketization of the ability to, in the language of 1948 so universal declaration of human rights -- the right not nearly -- not merely to express your opinion but in that language to impart information, which is something we all have the power to do now. i'll just refit -- briefly touch upon this. general, it he
advised the court, the european court of justice, to go the other way just because the world had changed in a fundamental way thanks to search engines and other innovations. in a waynt away it did that penalizes google is something we may discuss here. >> just two underscore what he is talking about, i think it is important to look at the question the court was answering in talking about this particular set of personal information. they considered the newspaper that had urgently written the article that contained the information about him and their posting online. it said this information was still lawfully posted by the newspaper online. they did not say this was information that should be taken
down. i think that is the right outcome. i was glad to see them do that. going the next up and saying a search engine might have an obligation not to link that information, the court concluded it could be the case that there true, publicly posted information that is lawfully posted online and yet still might be unlawful to link to that. that is a real change in how we think about information available on the public web. that is not something we had to consider before thinking of different ways to structure information online. i think that is one of the big motivators thinking about why unsettlingon is so to so many people who care about keeping a free and open web. this is calling into question some basic underpinnings of the web, the idea that you can link to information and if it is lawfully posted it is lawful to link and access. >> this is an important thing to keep in mind. i know couple of commenters got lost on this. we are not talking about what
google does. this is not about ad tracking or behavioral profiling. this is stuff other people put on the web even if it advantages -- even if it vanishes from google's index altogether. >> i guess i wanted to add that i feel like it is -- this decision kicks off a conversation that will be continuing. even though the ecj is the highest court in europe and this is effectively like a supreme court decision, the european parliament is already engaged in conversations about a new data protection regulation which could clarify and expand on this. we need to understand that this directive is from the 90's. it is from before the internet came into bloom. if these laws are not necessarily out-of-state of date they are being strained. there is an opportunity if policymakers are truly outraged
by this decision to engage them in conversation and to sort of clarify what this right to be forgotten or what the data protection principles we want to see happen will be put into the new regulation. it is still an ongoing process in europe. >> i just want to add one thing. if you read through the opinion, which is a long opinion, one of the things that becomes clear is if the court is wrestling with what is it a search engine actually does, is a search engine just an information media -- intermediary that provides links to content? or is it doing something more for an individual that is doing a search query? is it making its own determination of relevance? is it telling you what it thinks is most relevant for the information to come back as a result of that search by going out and not only using their technology to scan
webpages over the entire internet but to also then sell advertising and pair that advertising to the search term and to the results. i think if the advertising feature of google had not been involved, the case would have likely come out differently since that was a major reason the court had cited there was an establishment over the provision of the search results. in thist is saying individual instance where google came back with search results with 16-year-old data about tax lien for real estate, they are saying you did a bad job of determining results that were relevant. that creates also is of -- all sorts of implications. it makes a little bit of sense why they are trying to apply it here. it creates a concern about who
is in the best position to decide who is doing the best job on the response to a search query. >> i agree. the justice was wrestling with an issue of what google does. it was a terrible wrestling outcome for the european court of justice. it is hard to find an intellectually coherent argument that distinguishes what google does as an advertising base revenue generator and what the newspapers, at least in this case, that were spared from the ruling. newspapers try to target advertising to readers. thatst to follow up on point. let's talk about the implications of this in terms of companies that the data on the internet. not just search engines. but also internet users. why this is anto
concern or maybe why the concern is overstated. >> i think this goes back to the points you are making about relevance. one of the big questions that comes up in search engines is how transparent can they be about the fact that they are changing the list of search results that they otherwise would have provided because a third party has requested they take out a link. i think one of the complicated questions that the court was sort of wrestling with in the opinion -- this is not just a question about the relationship between the data subject and the search engine. there are at least two other parties involved in this -- in providing a search query. there are users who say they want to find information about this term. then there are the content hosts, the people who have posted the article and information.
and really focusing in on the relationship between the data subject and google, i think there was not as much consideration of those other two interests were you really start to see the free expression issues raised. the court is actually constrained by the data protection directive itself and not thinking of the user providing the search term as an entity to consider in this case. when an individual is actually using a search engine to find information, they have some basic idea about what they expect the search engine to return. they think they are going to return information that the search engine has decided is relevant. if that decision will get affected by a third-party being able to say, you might think this is the most important thing
about me, but i disagree then , you start shifting. the search engine acts as a information retrieval system for one user. that is not something that i think is expected. you go to their linkedin profile or some other website. that is where you go if you want to find out what they think the most important thing about them is. if you are looking for a not personal assessment about what is relevant, then you are going to a search engine. >> i think that is an excellent comment. i think there are aspects of that where everyone believes the sky is just cloudy in europe and we don't have a potential storm here in the u.s. if you look at the recent report that came out of the federal trade commission, they are concerned about exactly the same thing. they talked quite a bit about concerns around people search
databases for 40 years and what the privacy implications of those are for individuals. the concept that all information that you have either provided or others have said about you is now available and accessible at any time by anyone in the world. it remarkably changes the relationship between the individual and the collective democratic society. we need to understand what does it mean to have all of that information available? the european directive was aimed at there should be some limits to that. i think we have done the same thing. they have borrowed some concepts we have originated in the 1970's, particularly around the fair credit reporting act but many other areas where we set -- said here are some individual
pieces of information that we inc. actually shouldn't be accessible after a certain amount of time. we think it should be aged out after seven years. there is a lot of other areas where we would also say, here is the convictions of minors. we are going to expunge that after a certain period of time because we don't think that should be used anymore. how are we going to wrestle with this with the technology of where we are heading. that is an important policy issue. >> he knows we disagree about how to compare this to the fair credit reporting act. the credit agencies gather data privately and distribute it to subscribers. it is not primarily an advertising-based into tape. -- into tea. they don't share with everybody. what the search engines do is they are not even producing this
data. primarily they are providing index of links that they try to steer towards relevant results for individual searchers. their model really is advertising. even if you find it was worthwhile to age out old financial records because you spent seven years with a clean record, and i think that is a fine idea and support it, the fact is that wasn't aged out of the original information in this case in the european court of justice. the newspaper content is still there. if you look up the right to be forgotten in wikipedia or a search engine, you will eventually lead to references of this case, which will lead you to the data about the guy who was seeking to have the data removed. you will find that the newspaper was excluded from the decision.
you will find the news of the nam newspaper. you can actually go to the newspaper, look in their search box, still find the same content. that is not like equifax removing old data from your credit report. it makes no sense except possibly it makes political sense in the sense that the european justice may have found it more politically acceptable. it is controversial. i am not asserting this is true. but they may have found it easier to penalize google rather than penalize google plus the newspapers. it would have at least been an intellectually consistent decision, even though i would have been unhappy if the newspapers had been censored. >> let me pull out a couple of contradictions. one is this whole exemption for newsgathering purposes. in the e.u., a lot of newspapers think that google news is competition, they want google to pay a tax for
reproducing excerpts of their stories. google does not have ads on it. should that be an exemption from this ruling? the other thing is this whole definition of public figures and the right to know, makes a letter lot of good points about this. it is a lot of work. how do you know if someone is a public person question work you have to do research. you will have to assemble a large database about what they have all done and what they might do later on. >> i haven't done a great job of winning you over yet. i will keep trying. first i would say google news isn't implicated in the facts. the court would have been going out and making their own policy determinations. i think if you are looking at the language of the directive
and you are looking at how does this side with the overall concept of free expression, in europe, they have been wrestling this for a long time. along with the directive they actually have the european convention on human rights, which has two different articles. article eight covers privacy and article 10 covers free expression. there are a number of cases that wrestle with how do we optimize for both of these values? how do we optimize for providing a personal life while also providing for free expression? those cases articulate a set of criteria. it could be used to make that determination. a number of cases come down on the side of free expression. one of the things that is interesting to me, if you look at a case like axel springer or
east germany as a great case to look at. google actually went to the european court of human rights. that is instead of the european court of justice. they filed this saying their human right of being able to provide the information and they are being restrained, where would that court come out in balancing all of these different rights. i actually think that if they are looking at 16-year-old financial data and given the criteria that they have articulated, one of the m being is it a comp tradition to a debate of general interest -- a contribution to the date of general interest? that is a fairly controversial statement that there is a good basis for it. >> i think there is a lot of unknown implications in this case. i agree with david. it was a narrow decision that opens up a lot of different questions.
we can spend the next hour debating that. we are all about advancing practical business practices around data privacy. our initial impulse was this will be complicated. it is now the law. i think we should discuss how we will implement this and what we can do moving forward. i think it is obvious, certainly from a european perspective, we need more tools to manage our management online. reputation management has already bubbled up. we need more of that. i think google does a decent job try to muddle through the implications of this decision. i think it behooves entrepreneurs in the united states to figure out new tools. let's be blunt. europeans are skeptical of american approaches to privacy. they are sort of hostile to what google does. we need to figure out ways to address those concerns.
i think one way to do that is give users more tools. a distinctly american approach and something our organization is interested in is the right to reply. that is something that is easy enough to implement and it has worked in other various legal regimes we have in this country. we all have things on the internet we probably would like to get rid of or have forgotten about. i always think about the fact that i have a bad review on ebay from 1999. i also have a response that tries to give my explanation for why someone gave me a bad review. internet companies need to think about better ways to do that for users. >> i have this entrepreneurial idea that i want to bounce off of you. i am a lawyer interested in free expression and privacy rights. what i want to do is start an online database that will be advertising funded. it will be of the european court
decision. i'm not going to add a lot of content to it but i certainly will try to optimize the results for anyone who queries my database. do i get to operate in europe? what do you think? later.s be -- let's be clear. >> there is public interest. who wins a case in the european court of justice suddenly is subject to another discussion about the fact they won the case. lawyer, it isis still the case that his lien comes up. he is now famous for having beaten google. that is pretty good for a lawyer. he lucked out. flex to follow-up on that if we grant people
have a right to obscure information no longer relevant, are we just playing a game of that up guacamole -- data whackamole? how exactly do we get to that point? >> i think that is a fantastic point. in this conversation you are starting to see if separated into three categories. the strict legal analysis of what happened. the policy implications that people now realize for what the language is in the directive. the third category is how we would operationalize this in an effective way? how would other search engines and data brokers and entities implement this? i have an advanced an idea that should continue to have discussion, what if the search engines came together and got approval from the u.s. and other places that it was ok to come together and said we don't want to be in the
situation of having to make all of these decisions about what is excessive, what is relevant. we want there to be a centralized body that has the right participation that can make the right determination. you can tell us what we should do. we will do that if we are immunized from liability from following that direction. i like to call it a centralized obscurity center. i think that there are ideas like that we should start talking about. i believe if we continue to think in an environment where everything you say, everything people say about you things that you do, , where you have been is accessible by everyone. and forever. i worry about what other free expression implications of that?
how much did this that -- how much does that obscure expression? students are concerned about taking controversial opinions and ideas in class because of how that may be represented and what they're saying about them later. i worry about what that means. >> we don't quite know the results. >> you are arguing for the nsa? >> what i am doing is saying that -- i'm not saying this is necessarily the model everyone needs to follow. in the american model what we , have done in privacy law, and this is not about suppressing public information but suppressing information that was understood to be private, we have defined a set of wrongs that are civilly actionable and have to do things that have to do with things like misappropriating your name or
misrepresenting you, even with a true statement. publication of embarrassing photos or facts. we have these kinds of ports under american law. if you say that this is the substantive thing that we are trying to fix you have a body of law law -- i think the procedures get easy for search engines. even wikipedia. it is easier to try to implement. the difficulty in the european directive what will be difficult in the next directive is that they are using language like relevant. no two of us necessarily agrees in this room about what is relevant and what might be relevant in a query about one person might not be relevant in a query about another person. it is very subjective. because the rule of law requires
predictability, clear understanding of what the results should be, clear understanding of the obligations, the issue has to be, how do we get that clarity? i don't think the european directive will get us there. i don't think procedural agreements among service providers or social media is going to get us there. i think we have to agree on the offenses we are trying to stop. we haven't got that agreement yet. >> one interesting case playing out in the u.s. involves what is called mugshots sites. arrest records are public data in most cases. it these sites index them. you can search and see who is there. they can charge you to have your results removed, except it never actually works. a really good site started covering this a while ago.
they were trying to shame google into doing something about it. google eventually decided this violates the webmaster guidelines. we don't highly value sites that scrape copy content at no actual value. they hopefully get kicked off the first page in search results. there were no laws involved. should there be some? data notpublic use of to inform, but to rip off people. >> the mugshots database is one of the best examples of looking at how what difficult kind of societal and policy implications we are talking about here, with information being accessible online. there was a new york times article about mugshots databases and the conclusion was this reporter called up google and let them know things were happening. suddenly the results were off the front page.
that is one way to go about getting information suppressed. of it seems like a generally pretty good thing. it is also terrifying. it is a way information can get manipulated without having a broader public conversation of showed mugshot databases be online. there are reasons we do want to have the ability to see who is getting arrested what , is happening in a particular locality. who ends up having a mugshots taken of them. there are other times he with obvious privacy interests and potential for a mugshots for a crime that someone was never even charged with. it could really impact someone's ability to get a job and otherwise participate in public life. these are difficult questions that we do not generally have come to a conclusion about. rather than go with the intermediary, which seems the
easiest place to stick a band-aid on the problem and move along, rather than saying make the search engine change results and that will fix the problem, i don't think it addresses the fundamental tension. >> i completely agree on this. one of the things we can note from this is once again the court did not create this new right. it interpreted the existing law and google has been working to try to comply with that law for a long time. they have been doing these processes. this brings out that the different search engines and data brokers are trying to figure this out and they are incredibly important issues for discussion about what information or people will be able to get access to and what gets obscured as these tools become the way we largely get information. i completely agree. what we need to do is break this down.
instead of saying there is a court that created a new right to be forgotten we have to say there are some really important issues around privacy and free expression. we need to have some detailed conversation about how we want to make these decisions optimized for both values in society. >> one of the things most of us agree on is these processes when implemented by google needed to be really transparent. we need to be just as transparent in how google is responding to the right to be forgotten demands as they would like to be with regard to responding to search warrants or subpoenas for user information. we think search engines have increasingly been setting standards of very positive behavior of trying to disclose the facts that governments are demanding certain things of them, including their home governments.
it is very useful to know. one of the things we have seen in the debate about the right to be forgotten is some european regulators say it is so unfair that google is disclosing the fact that they were being blocked. they are increasingly. i just read an article that my former employer, wikipedia, is resized that it was responsive to the demands to have links removed. i think transparency is the only way to make sure that whatever policy we build around the right to be forgotten or privacy interests or any interest, those have to be maximally transparent. if we don't do that the culture , is one where stuff is forgotten. we don't know why, we don't know when, we just know it disappears. i would like to come away from this panel with the right to remember.
>> that is a good call for organizations to put together more guidance and guidelines. google is trying to muddle through this decision. i think they need a lot of help. it would behoove us to do that here in the united states. not just to comply with european law but also offer american consumers and users more insight into what is going on. i don't want to start lumping in other terms. data brokers have come up in the conversation. there really is a need for more transparency. this case shows how the individual e.u. citizen and in some respects american citizens, individual citizens do not know what is going on here. they do not understand how the internet works, how these search engines are getting their data. how all this information that is public about us, how and when it gets onto the internet.
we and organizations of business need to do a better job being transparent across the board as to what is going on. >> let's look forward a look at from building on this conversation. we have talked about difficulties with implementation. i think we have all agreed standards in europe could be more clear and made more easy to implement. we better off if europe actually specifies the right to be forgotten in their protection regulation and takes what the european court of justice did and make it more specific, so we have more specific standards? also, how do you see this playing out, a similar debate playing out in the united states. we had a huge debate over the free-speech invocations of