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tv   The Mc Laughlin Group  PBS  November 7, 2015 12:30pm-1:01pm PST

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>> from washington, "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over three decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. john: issue one -- meet me in singapore. at a swanky singapore hotel named the shangri-la, the leaders of china and taiwan will meet this weekend for the first time in 66 years. when the two nations split, it was late 1949. mao tse-tungs communists
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defeated a nationalist army, forcing that army to take refuge in taiwan. well, time heals all wounds. today, chinas president xi jinping and taiwans president ma ying-jeou have become friends. but even if their meeting goes well at the shangri-la and analysts expect it will things could later derail. here's why. is popularesident ma with china, but taiwan will hold a presidential election in january and polls suggest the less-friendly-to-china opposition candidate, tsai ing-wen, will win. in turn, analysts fear relations between china and taiwan may deteriorate, perhaps even leading to conflict. china has long warned it might use force if politically taiwan moves too far away from mainland china. and that's where the united
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states comes in, because we are committed to the defense not of mainland china but of taiwan. question, is a new crisis brewing in the taiwan strait? pat: first, we're not committed to go to war on behalf of taiwan. the treaty was abrogated in 1979 by jimmy carter when he recognized china as the country that represents both taiwan and china. but the party that is meeting with xi jinping down in singapore is the clan of chiang kai-shek which represents the chinese who fled to the island n 1949 and it's strongly chinese. the indigenous taiwanese are supportive of this party. it's fearful of too close a connection to mainland china although diplomatically and
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financially they're getting closer and closer. you're not going to get a calculation of -- declaration of independence by taiwan because that is a red line for mainland china. john: will they use the meeting to try and intimidate taiwan? eleanor: i think the meeting is highly symbolic and it is china's attempt to bolster the party currently this control in taiwan that. party is likely to use in january and the opposition party is running on a campaign to declare taiwanese independence but they've been in power before and they dance around this everyone recognizes, they don't really want china to make good on its threats to invade if taiwan does declare independence and the u.s. has a clear stake here in taiwan not being too provocative. so this is a delicate dance by all the parties involved and it's way too early to be
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declaring that these two parts of china are going to come to any kind of collision. john: is there a risk beyond what eleanor is talking about? tom: i disagree with pat in the sense that i think that jimmy carter's statement -- what we've seen since then, especially with clinton in 1996 with the position of the seventh fleet purke china -- hey, you better work one way. i think that's important. i think the chinese are going to struggle in terms of convincing the taiwanese people to vote a certain way but i think taiwan does not want to provoke a military incident with china. i think the outcome would be pretty grim. we do need to take a stand. we also need to take a tougher stance about credibility with the u.s. navy in the pacific region. john: is there a risk xi jinping
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can annex taiwan and get away with it as puten did with crimea? clarence: the history are different and the sense that taiwan is part of china is so strong and it's to everyone's boetsch to at least maintain the status quo. i don't think there's a real threat of that happening. the main thing is china is trying very hard to woo taiwan like it does other countries with lots of economic benefits. china is already so tied in with the u.s. economy, it would be to their detriment to -- point of view i was in china -- john: let me advance a point. the u.s. currently holds $9 billion in taiwan's foreign security. clarence: that's right. china, has more than that of american dealt. we're all interdependent economically. pat: i was in china with richard
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nixon and henry kessinger helped arrive at this. both parties believe that taiwan is a party -- part of china. we do not argue with that. taiwan is not recognized by anybody. it's not in the united nations. 225 million people or something like that. do i believe that if the chinese attempted a military attack on taiwan, the united states would move but we have no treaty now to do that because of jimmy carter. eleanor: the taiwanese government is operating on this sort of fantasy that they are the legitimate leader of china and ones -- once that commonnist -- is over, they will return to beijing. maybe they'll test the proposition in january but i think --
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pat: they may not declare independence. eleanor: i agree with that. john: if beijing invades day won will president obama go to aiwan's defense or will they blink? you've already answered the question. point of view xi jinping would be an utter disaster for mainland china if they fired missiles at taiwan or sought to invade taiwan. all of asia would be opposed and i think the united states would move militarily. eleanor: that's the nightmare scenario but i don't believe we'll get to that. clarence: we're a long way to the crisis phase. it's similar to the monroe doctrine in a way. we recognize that this is within china's sphere of influence. we get concerned if they go too far and appear to be threatening military action.
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john: who's monroe? clarence: james monroe. president of the united states. john: where is he in the sequence of presidents after washington? ill -- eleanor: he knows. pat: washington, adams, jefferson, madison, monroe, adams, jackson. john: issue two -- peace from vienna? >> what makes it real this time, unlike every previous meeting, every stakeholder was represented there in terms of all the countries who are supporting one side or another in this conflict. john: peace talks to resolve the 4 1/2-year syrian civil war are underway in vienna, austria. the urgency is clear -- most estimates suggest that at least 100,000 civilians have been killed in that war thus far. mr. assad met with mr. putin in moscow not long ago to discuss
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the syrian civil war and russias military assistance to assads regime. and get this -- on wednesday, russian foreign minister sergei lavrov met with u.n. special envoy staffan de mistura to discuss how to initiate talks between mr. assads government and the rebels fighting his regime. but even if hope is on the horizon, big problems remain. namely, boiling tensions between two other nations at the summit -- saudi arabia and iran. thus far, the saudi and iranian foreign ministers have used the vienna talks to blame each other for syrias problems. question. what change has president obama made in his demands regarding syria to give momentum to these talks? eleanor? eleanor: some months ago he indicated that the u.s. would
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accept a trarpe stay for assad. they weren't demanding that he get out immediately and then about 10 days ago the president basically upped the ante with a military intervention saying that the u.s. would be sending in special ops, a couple of thousand soldiers, i believe. i think the idea of getting more muscle behind the military intervention in syria on both the u.s. and russian part is so they have kind of equal leverage at the talks and this is the first time, as secretary kerry pointed out, you have saudi arabia and iran sitting down. an opposition leader from syria, not a particularly credible one. everybody is represented. they all have different interests but there is one common thread, they all want to defeat isis. the possibility exists they could come out with some sort of a plan. right now there are no good
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options. it's all bad news. the human tragedy spilling out of syria is horror risk. john: president obama's new position is that assad can stay for now and possibly longer. the u.s. position that we will accept assad's regime if that is the only way to tend war. pat: we don't have a choice. john: number two, it is now clear that russia is determined to salvage the assad regime and wipe out the syrian opposition if necessary. is that true or false? pat: let me say, john, with the russians -- assad is not going to go because the russians have 4,000 troops in there. the iranians are behind assad. they have skin in the game. we sent 50 guys into syria, are you kidding? the russians and iranians are not committed to assad indefinitely.
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they are committed to basically alcat control of that particularly part of syria, between 20% and 50% assad now holds because they don't want to use their ally there. the russians don't want to lose their base there. the americans are relying on 1 thourt -- part of isis -- the kurds. as the kurds exceed the turks, the alliance gets more and more uniformed. tom: the problem we have -- yes, we sent 50 people in there. that is not a symbol of american pow but a symbol of american disinterest. the rush and iranians know this. they hold the cards. the iranians tried to kill aad in washington, d.c. in 2011 so he has a personal grudge. also, the saudis are deeply concerned about the iranians and russians killing all of the moderate rebels, allowing isis -- the final point is the kurds
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are useful because they have territorial interests in the north so relying on them wholly is a problem. but we will see -- clarence: concerned about the loosened we've also their position in so far as allowing us to use their bases, which is a powerful step. all sides are united in opposition against isis. pat: the saudis and gulf arabs were helping initially, as were the turks, helping isis allowing these people to go in there. the guys who are going to win this battle are the guys who are putting the troops in and doing the fighting. i think this war is going to legend itself to a military -- offensive putin has said he will be amenable that assad eventually stepping down. ok, at least they're talking.
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better than not talking. john: quickly, eleanor, if you're so bright, what is going on with the russian airliner that went down over the sinai on saturday. was it destroyed by a bomb? eleanor: i think all the indications initially were that this airline has a terrible safety record, that the plane itself had had a hit on its tail. people are now saying they saw a flash in the sky. that could be a fuel tank or a bomb. there's an investigation. i think the russians really don't want to say that this could be terrorism. nobody has confirmed it. maybe we'll learn more in an investigation. but germany has had suspended flights to that part of the world. john: general page? where are you on this? clarence: i agree with my colleagues. including president obama -- john: am i a colleague? do i count in that?
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clarence: that's a leaded question. you're the beloved leader. president obama said evidence parts to a bomb. one thing putin is really worried about is terrorism in his own country and, you know, it is a big concern with isis and it would be a big embarrassment -- john: ok, ok. pat: given what he did, if they find out it's a bomb there will be retaliation by the russians. john: the real star of this program, issue three -- michelle and qatar. my cell: we give them the education they need it just doesn't transform their lives but their country's too.
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john: john: michelle obama called for better education for girls. stating that 62 million around the world are not in school and that gender gaps remain significant in social and economic spheres. the first lady also spoke about the dangers girls fails in places like nigeria and pakistan, where islamic extremists have kidnapped or attacked school after age girls. later, on a light note, she also took comedian conan o'brien with her to meet with military personnel stagsed in qatar. question is michelle becoming a more activist first lady? eleanor, yet again, you. eleanor: i think she's been out front on all these issues. it reminds me of when hillary clinton went to beijing and said women's rights are human rights
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and human rights are women's rights. miss o bob: is -- mrs. obama is butting town be -- down her marker as a champion for girls around the world. she's not prepping a run for herself for the white house. this is a pure idea lolling cal commitment. john: when have we heard this kind of speech making before. shall i tell you? clarence: besides this first lady, you mean? tell us, john. john: laura bush. clarence: laura bush, ok. john: starting with a radio address in 2001 on the oppression of afghan women. laura bush continues to be solved -- involved with her afghan women's project at the bush insurance institute. she has remained active on the issue as a former first lady. peter o.: i think what she said there basically was right.
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she didn't say it in saudi arabia but qatar. as for afghanistan, i hate to say it but mr. obama, we've pulled out of there. the taliban on the move and lord help those girls and women if that thing goes down to the taliban because for all our lectures and the rest of it, the muslim world by and large does not agree on the kind of quality for women that we do here in the united states. there are 1.5 billion people -- tom: that's why i think michelle obama making that speech was much better than bring back our girls with a sad face. this was michelle obama doing something important and passionate. i give her credit going for qatar. the problem i would say is that we have to say michelle obama on one side and liberals are celebrating that. she should also celebrate the fact we're
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standing our ground. i would hope we'd have more troops in afghanistan. pat: wre going to send armies in to protect women's right throughout the muslim world? tom: we have soldiers who are training them to take over. eleanor: actually, there are a lot of girls going to school in afghanistan. they're going to have to sustain some changes. they're not going to go back to the 12th century. tom: places like kandahar in the south -- john: i find it odd we haven't seen that much of -- right until this. clarence: i don't find it odd but i find it significant. she was a lot of places that the media don't cover but she also picks and chooses where she goes very carefully. she doesn't go everywhere that the president goes. i think this is indicative of what eleanor was talking about
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earlier. this shows how important this issue is to her and i think we could see her become more involved internationally after the obama presidency and the save or girls episode i think was a kind of a turning point, taking a high position on women's rights around the world. eleanor: in tokyo and japan she was talking about women's rights. japan is a country that is struggling to bring more women in because they need them in the work forest and so education -- work force and so education ask what changed her life. he's a very convincing prozzle tieser on behalf of girls and women. tom: i don't get criticism from michelle obama doing this. eleanor: i don't know what right wing sites you're tuned into but that's the only place you're going to find criticism. john: issue four -- keystone
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constitution. -- confusion. the long-delayed, highly controversial keystone xl pipeline is back in the news. this week, in a formal request to the u.s. government, the pipelines owners -- the transcanada corporation requested that a u.s. state department review of the pipeline be delayed. analysts believe transcanada sought a delay so that keystone xl's future was left to a future republican president rather than the current one but they rejected transcanada's request. on friday, president obama rejected a key item on grounds of climate change. the keystone xl pipeline issue
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is very dead possibly. does this mean no more oil from canada? tom: no. but i think a couple of things come from this president obama has said he's open to different sources of energy. this proves that isn't true. he's waited this long and all the delays, another election, he's gotten rid of it. number one, the green energy jobs require massive government subsidies and number two, there are thousands of jobs that will with lost from this that would give money to american families. eleanor: it means no dirty tar sand oil from canada. we get lots of other oil from canada. but this is a big moment for the environmental community. it's like drawing a line between the fossil fuels of the past and moving into the future. i think this helps obama and carries legacy as environmental stewards, if you will and it's also helped by the fact that oil
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is at rock-bolt lows. this doesn't make financial sense to extract that dirty oil from canada. -- sand oil is dirty oil. it requires a lot of water to clean it. pat: the new man in canada is sort of an environment list as well. john: trudeau. pat: they might shim it to the west coast and send it to the chinese. the pipeline which was supposed to come through nebraska and to the gulf coast can be refined and shipped out. but there's no doubt that the fact that the price is down, the tracking has slowed down, the investment has slowed down but you wait for that thing to go up 75 a barrel, it will all -- eleanor: save it for justin trudeau as well. clarence: right now the fact
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that organized labor hasn't made more noise. john: they've done quite well. i have statistics. one million barrels of oil move by train in the u.s. every day. that's more than 350 million barrels a year. clarence: so who needs a pipeline? tom: liberals always talk about the jobs, jobs, jobs. but actually, there are jobs -- look at the jobs that this could create. yes, it would be -- eleanor: oh, that's -- tom: but it is about 4,000 construction jobs. eleanor: 40. 404-0 jobs. tom: that's not true. 3.2 billion -- john: eleanor is not off the hook yet because the opposition to keystone xl is not merited but motivated by ideology.
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ideologiesists environmentism. eleanor: now there are lots of other targets again. if you want to call it radicalism, go ahead but the climate movement has been energized and that's good for us and all of the planet. pat: ant argument 's ice sheet has been expanding at tens of billions of ice a career and that's going to be a -- a year and that's going to be a real blow to your whole argument. the whole climate change argument is going to be undercut by what's happening in ant argument . they're finding that that gigantic ice sheet is expanding. john: that's the latest thing, a metting sheet? pat: no, it's getting larger.
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eleanor: climate change is not a hoax. pat: barack obama came into office saying he was going to take us out of war. when he leaves office we'll be at war in several countries. failed foreign policy. eleanor: my prediction is governor christie and governor bush are talking compellingly about their personal experiences with addiction on the campaign trail. next question for them, how will they translate they compassion they feel from members of their family and friends into 34rick policy? tom: it will turn out the atlantic city state's sinai affiliate will be responsible for the bombing. the irish rns will retall -- russians will retaliate. clarence: the district of columbia lost an important gun control case in the heller
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decision before the supreme court. they're going to do -- go at it again. i'm not going to predict whether the court will rule in their favor. john: what prediction are you give something clarence: that it's going to make it to the supreme court again. and not just d.c. john: i predict christmas sales will be respectable. holiday sales gaining by 4% over next year. $630 billion in purchase and with that good news. bye-bye.
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good evening and welcome to "newsroom" i'm thuy vu. on tonight's show, discipline in schools, sequoias under stress and san francisco house battle. san francisco voters rejected proposition f. airbnb spent more than $8 million to defeat the measure. was the vote against prop f a vote in favor of airbnb. to answer that question here is kqed reporter marisa lagos. was this a protest vote? >> this is a case of money mattering in


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