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tv   [untitled]    December 31, 2010 9:00pm-9:30pm EST

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there you go sergeant of the israeli defense forces. during your service scorched history trying. to fly in from the kernel of the chilean armed forces participated in keeping down a military revolt. from the. sergeant of the u.s. army. trying to become an american by digging part in the. ranks and reasons differ but one thing brings them together once they disobey.
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him say stop stories the russians mock the coming of twenty eleven with celebrations taking place over two continents and all nine times. candles unpredictable weather and historic nuclear consequent with the u.s. and much much more twenty ten truly was a year for the books. also hundreds of thousands of people in europe took to the streets in twenty ten as government seized public money in a scramble to keep big business afloat from massive student demonstrations in london to police on strike in prague. to look at what to expect in the euro zone a twenty in that. island with the kremlin clocks chime at midnight so many hope
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americans and russians make that pushes country. well as the headlines up next f o well to twenty ten in a special edition of crosstalk. well . the latest in science and technology from around russia. we've got the future covered. and you can. follow in welcome to cross talk i'm peter lavelle what do you hear it was if anything two thousand and ten showed us just how fragile the world is was it a good year bad year for
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a lot in the middle. and you can. see . to talk about the year that is passing i'm joined by charlie beckett in london he's a professor at the london school of economics in new york we have steve lesser he is the editor of the op ed news and in boston we cross to jim walsh he is a research associate at the massachusetts institute of technology and another member of our crosstalk team on the hunger all right gentlemen crossed cross talk rules are not in effect for the first time. this program has a lot of debate on it and for the last program of the year i'd like to have a nice friendly chat with members panelist have been on this program before so with that in mind i'd like to go to you jim jim you've been on a couple of programs about north korea nonproliferation iran so i'm going to ask a very broad question about two thousand and ten how did the american empire do is it losing ground it's going to continue to manage for all the world's problems i
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know a lot of americans hate the term empire but most of the world think thinks of it as an empire go ahead. of course of course they do well i think this was a year where america looked a lot inwardly because we had mid-term elections congressional elections that were a major political defeat for president obama and i think that's probably the big domestic political event this year look at across the globe certainly north korea and i know we're all most affected by most recent events but still you have to chalk up the last couple of weeks the last month or so the rising tensions in north korea and even the possibility of war between south korea north korea and i think that's going to spill over into the next year in europe and i will defer to my colleague in london but you have to think that here bankruptcies of greece and problems in our law and so around the globe it's been an eventful year not a great year for the u.s. we didn't make progress on the israeli peace talks we did get the start treaty
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that's going to pass did pass and so you know some pluses and minuses but not a great year all around i would say well if i go to you steve i'm looking at domestic politics. president obama after the midterm elections some people are already calling him a lame duck president is that premature because ok we got to start agreement but he had to pay hugely for that hugely like a president has never had to pay before for arms control agreements that he in the past it's been bipartisan some differences of course but this was turned into a real test and show how much obama's going to pay to get something that actually everybody really agrees with. well charles i think actually the president's in a very good spot right now i didn't think he was going to be if you'd asked me this a month ago i didn't think he was in a very good spot but let me just let me just say that the thing that strikes me most as i look back for instance at twenty twenty ten is what it dichotomous year really has been for democrats here in america i mean you have of course. the really
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severe electoral defeat that president obama the democrats experienced just about a month and a half ago but on the other hand it was an astounding year for policy victories for the democrats i mean you know he's already mentioned the start treaty was signed you know you had health care reform that was signed don't ask don't tell was repealed which really reenergize the democratic base so i think as you look back at two thousand and ten it's really a striking contrast for the democrats almost a bi polar year you could call and i think historians are going to a lot of fun with them but i think i think the last the last couple of weeks has really added some momentum to president obama and the democrats and it's really it's really going to cause some problems for the republicans particularly that the tax compromise that was just in acted really flies in the face of some of the things that the republicans and the tea party were talking about so it really sets the stage for an interesting two thousand and eleven coming up ok charlie if i can
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go to you are two first two guys talked about states and paul and their domestic and foreign policies but let's talk about maybe the new states it's called the internet and of course i'm talking about leaks. this is really changed the way or at least confirm the way a lot of people believe politics is run in the world and making us all question about how we learn about it because i would say. traditional journalism took a major slap in the face this this year because you have other organizations that are not exactly journalistic and it's hard to define weiqi leaks i think everyone still finds it hard to define but is that real. probably the biggest story of two thousand and ten in european union and if you say yes i want i want disagree because you are an expert in media. well it's certainly in the media bubble wiki leaks was by far the most important story not just of this year but i would argue this is probably the most important development in journalism in the news media for
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about twenty years now i think this is an extraordinary challenge to people in power but it's also as you've hinted out there it's a real challenge to journalists in mainstream journalism and it is because it operates outside the rules it's difficult to get a hold of if you're a regulator or if you're a fellow journalist it tries to operate outside of normal jurisdiction so that people can leak to it so that it can become a platform to disclose extraordinary stories and extraordinary amounts of data and that's the difference that we can leaks isn't just telling us about specific scandals it's telling us about how power operates and that is a real challenge now i don't think the wiki leaks story is by any means come to maturity as you said it's very difficult to define what it is that's because it's changed and it started off as a simple website which documents could come to now it's much more proactive it has
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an agenda but interestingly it's also working now with other mainstream news organizations around the world and so it's changing the very nature of journalism of course he doesn't like that. we keep it exactly it's putting stuff out there and you can argue about it being irresponsible but it's certainly putting out stuff that they don't want us to know so in a sense i think that everybody mainstream media the mainstream politicians but also business we are all now living in a glass room everything is at least potentially going to be exposed doesn't mean it were. just that potential makes everyone a lot more nervous i think jim if i'm going to you about speak about being nervous i mean they keep dripping out leaking out i mean i mean hillary clinton must be having a migraine every time something drips leaks because a lot is coming about how she's running the state department running obama's
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foreign policy but you know jim at the same time even though it's red face gate or cable gate it confirms a lot of things that we knew if you were paying attention if you really were paying attention. i agree peter absolutely i think the number of actual surprises is rather limited and you know in my world in the academic world you get to look at a lot of these documents but only about twenty years later so the great thing about this for scholars you're getting them in real time but a lot of this is what you would expect and you know you don't want to ever watch a sausage being made you just want to eat it after the fact and that's what you're seeing you're seeing the deals that are made the gossip you know and for people who are new to this it's hard to tell how much weight to assign to any given comment not everything and ambassador says is true and it's just opinion or feelings expressed at the time but you know i don't there has been some damage done but i think in the main it's been a positive thing it has led to some embarrassments but i don't think it's going to
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i don't think governments canel sort of changed the way they do business a lot of people predicted well now there won't be anything written down if you want a government bureaucracy that has thousands or millions of people employed you have to write stuff down you have to use a computer to send it so you know the business will have to go on as usual which means we will continue to get documents in the future steve you know if we began looking at this all week he leaks phenomenon here and looking at the documents that have come out about america's wars in iraq and afghanistan do you think this is going to influence how an obama quote unquote gets america out officially out of these conflicts here because the people that are against these wars and they're growing in numbers are leapt upon these documents and saying see our the strategy isn't working see we should be doing something else even the decision makers themselves don't believe in this agenda i mean is that going to help or hurt obama . in the future but i mean anyone is how he looks at afghanistan days this year
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ends. it certainly is going to make things more difficult i agree with so much of what jim just said but the one thing that i do disagree with is. that wiki leaks i think is i think he indicated that he thought it was more of a positive thing that a negative thing i think i would have agreed with him when he talked about when when when he leaks was talking about the specific video that was shot from the helicopter that was supposedly firing on civilians i agree with protections for whistle blowers and things like that but i think when you talk about just one damed comments from diplomats on meetings with foreign leaders and things like that. i'm just just so you know i'm very much in favor of protection of the institution of diplomacy and making sure that diplomats feel completely comfortable in going about their daily business and i think and i think it is going to make things to more difficult for obama in terms of prosecuting the war in afghanistan and maybe that's not such a bad thing but i think that if if wiki leaks had come find itself to sort of the
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whistleblower role and making sure that the things that it released were the really things that people needed to pay attention about pay attention to i think i would have a lot less of a problem with it i taken some heat for some of the things that i've said about wiki leaks with this latest release but i think. you know and the other gentleman point it's not it's not something that's in control by anybody and i think that makes a lot of people uncomfortable but i think it's not so much my objection to that my objection is you know the institution of diplomacy really is something that protects us protects us from more wars breaking out it's something that really should be protected and i think that's something that we're going to examine going forward jonathan get a real if you real quickly before we go to the break. weekly leaks is it demands transparency but do you see leaks itself as being transparent. no i think one of the big criticisms of it is that it is rather secretive about how it operates perhaps necessarily so because it's trying to protect its sources but i think the
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point we shouldn't just be thinking of wiki leaks here they're going to be imitated they're already imitated right around the world of this kind of website but also the whole nature of information and communication and john is a means changing and so increasingly we're going to have to get used to are all the more leaky world and you why the tighten up or you try and be a little bit more transparent ok but gentlemen i'm going to go to a break and after that break we'll continue our discussion on two thousand town stay with our. team. i.
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was like we. just. see. if it is cut. if you.
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eliminate. such. hunger for the full story we've got it first hand the biggest issues get a human voice face to face with the news makers on our t.v. . sets.
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welcome back to crossfire computor live on tree mind you we are recapping two thousand and ten. before let's see what russians thought most about this year two thousand and ten is quickly coming to an end this year ripley with major events on the political and economical scene has seriously tainted the world the russian public opinion research center conducted a survey and ask citizens what threatens them in today's world inflation tops the list the with fifty six percent fifty three percent are worried about alcoholism
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unemployment ranked third gonna ring four to six percent these figures have decreased over the year so that the outcomes of two thousand and ten could be called positive with most people expecting even a better life in two thousand and eleven. ok i talk about people's power but first to jim about the people's republic of china at the very end of this year we saw negotiations between the chinese officials and the e.u. about and i'll say what it is there's to be a lot of different ways of describing it but if china is helping to bail out the european union from all of its debts ok so i ask you in two thousand and ten would it be fair to say this is the year china stood up and started saying we are listening but you have to start listening to us now. i think that's a fair assessment peter you know we have been talking about the rise of china for decades and decades and i think finally we're actually starting to see it part of
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that is a function of the fact that china came out of the world recession the economic crash in better shape than europe in the u.s. the u.s. continues to have sluggish growth and europe obviously continues to have problems particular countries in the e.u. facing bankruptcy so china came out ahead in a position of comparative advantage they were had high growth rates anyway they finally. rose to the number two economy in the world and they are taking on a more sort of foreign policy than they have in the past at the same time you know they're learning there are constraints on being a big power and i think north korea is an example of that there are they have to walk a line with north korea north korea is its own independent state and if they want to do stuff it's going to do stuff and so it's also learning about the limits of economic and political power and it still faces internal issues how to balance all the millionaires in the cities with hundreds of millions of poor people in the countryside and lastly the issue here is people power this year we witnessed sort
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of internet surges of nationalism of chinese on the internet taking positions maybe stronger than the position of the government and then the government having to respond to that and sort of navigate that so lots of developments in china this year you know steve it's interesting is we saw. the man of the year where the forbes magazine the most powerful people and for the first time we have the chinese leader on top of this to obama second and i know a lot of people say that as a result a kneejerk response to the midterm elections and fair enough but i mean there is something to that now and maybe not speaking as a do you as a democrat but as an american is there a sense do you think in america america is is beginning to realize that it is just can't stop its foot anymore that it really has to start learning about you know the all of us on this program are keenly aware of world events but the average american still very much looks inward do you see that changing somehow or is this tea party
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movement just going to keep hijacking america down a dead end. yeah i mean i was i sort of want to want to do what you say and respond to this sort of as a marriage as an american but there really is two schools of thought here in america i think i think the republicans still have this american exceptionalism and we're still the super bowl were the world's sole superpower thought and i think democrats are a little bit more i would say pragmatic and i think they recognize that it's not a unique you know polar world anymore you have the ascendancy of china you have the ascendancy of the e.u. even though there are suffering to some extent right now. and i think that you know as you know the democrats who are in power now realize that they can't go on their own and they can't do things on their own and they're reaching out i think a little bit more to russia for instance we had in november the first us russian joint military operation i think since since the second world war in afghanistan with the drug trade but i think i think among democrats there certainly is that recognition that we're not the world's superpower sole superpower anymore
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definitely you know charlie it's interesting i mean again it's kind of a repetition of the first avenue way are you talking about states in their power but i mean the we talked about the rise of china but really been talking about the rise of the internet the internet too but again two thousand and ten is is some kind of benchmark at least the way i see it is because we have really non-governmental institutions that can make a really big difference and it was brought up earlier in this program the differences here is that we keep leaks and other groups like you mentioned before they have an agenda and how do you think that this year made power stand up and listen not just be out of embarrassment ok because as it was also mentioned here governments can tighten up or they can become more transparent and that's not a very good choice is it because tightening up it doesn't change behavior exactly and i'm going to talk to lots of people. in china and what they described to me
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is that they've got a similar chinese. early you've got the chinese government being more oppressive perhaps than it has been for many years in its response to freedom of expression in response to journalists and yet at the same time you've got this burgeoning force of the internet with so many hundreds of millions of people online and it makes it very difficult you cannot control all those people i thought was fascinating that mark zuckerberg is now facebook is now making overtures to the chinese equivalent of facebook in an attempt to link up there because you see the challenge to governments maybe in those social networks rather than the of or the political bloggers and the wiki leaks and so on they will get the big scandals or they'll try to but they're the ones you can identify there's a deeper cultural change going on in places like china as they become richer as they become more individualistic and so you start to see
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a lot of the protests or the the grumbling and the criticisms happening through the social networks where people frankly have had enough of corruption they want to enjoy the fruits of this economic growth so that's where i would look at in places like china look at the social networks don't necessarily look at the overtly political websites you know it's interesting if i go to germany it is said you think there's a growing sense that of of people being able to act and to. influence their governments. through these social networks when we think of. you know facebook and things like that i mean we're moving into a different direction to make governments feel more you know they have to be more responsible to their electorate because you know i'll show my cards here i mean these tea party people i mean it's very very favorite to to go corporations but with these when you have these social networks they can start putting more pressure on because people can get more information
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a lot of it is very biased do you think that's going to change how people think about politics or even foreign policy. well i think it will i think it already has . you know one of the things here is that you can't really tell who is going to benefit from this that there will be change it's unclear in what direction what the consequences will be and in addition peter let me point out sort of the security side of all this we've talked about you know putting political pressure on people or being opening up and being more democratic and there's another side to you know one of the wiki leaks consequences one of the things we saw unfold was a sort of big cyber war between pursuit presumably governments who were attacking that site and then sort of this informal network of hackers who were responding to the attack setting up alternatives attacking on their own so there is a sort of whole other dimension to this that is beyond simply conversing or sharing information and actually engaging in authentic if that is so strategically often sort of behavior another aspect of this rise of the internet and technology we had
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the virus that was implanted in the iranian nuclear facility to damage that and to achieve a security goal so in addition to the political implications this is going to have security implications as well ok steve you know if if i go back to topic you know a whole lot about us that's the midterm elections and again we have how people can work the internet the social networks and the republicans did a damn good job ok they were able to get the word out they were able to rebranded bush republican party no one i think i predicted they could do that so quickly ok and in contrast the when obama was running for president he mastered all of these social networks the internet he got a lot of money and for my going using those tools but the republicans they bested him at the midterms i mean do the democrats need to catch up on that because you know it's just really quite remarkable how much money they were able to raise and
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it will have to keep in mind our viewers that you know that a new law came into effect where that you don't have to declare your donations but nonetheless republicans really get a good job. it's amazing if you look at the difference charles between two thousand and eight and two thousand and ten in two thousand and eight you literally had one of the republican candidates saying that they basically don't use the internet john mccain and by the time two thousand and ten came around all the sudden the republicans had made up all of this ground and showed that you know they've really come up to speed on the use of twitter and facebook and all these other emerging technologies i went to a forum actually in two thousand and ten in june where both republican and democratic strategists unveiled some of the tools that they had for the internet it was really astounding republicans have this have this tool that they've developed where they can instantly tell their followers when a democratic candidate is going to be on the radio or on t.v. so that they can all call in and try to disrupt his appearance and things like that
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so you know in two thousand and eight we were fond of saying in the in the democratic party that we essentially own the net we essentially own the political exploitation of the internet so to speak but you really can't say that anymore republicans have really ever really turned that around ok charlie and i to give you the last word because every everything on this program leads to charlie ok what was the single most important achievement of new media in two thousand and ten in your opinion well i'm afraid it probably was a pretty was wiki leaks. it split the world in terms of what they thought about it what was strange about we hear leaks is that it wasn't a particularly high tech phenomenon there were lots of service involved in running around the world trying to escape jurisdictions but the actual leak of information is rather old fashioned that somebody who's in an office who gets information onto a disk and takes it out in a kind of brown and.


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