tv [untitled] April 11, 2011 3:30pm-4:00pm EDT
returning as they hear a. question more. in the. this is r.t. from moscow thanks for being with us one story coverage tonight a blast in the. capital tonight in the metro and the president alexander lukashenko has confirmed that eleven people have died in that explosion earlier on it happened on the escalator during rush hour at least one hundred twenty six people have been injured it is unclear whether people were from the blast or from the collapse of the. dozens of already been taken to local hospitals
for treatment president dmitri medvedev has offered help to the government to help with the investigation we are getting a line through now more developments on this story we've heard now the. prosecutor is confirming that tonight's blast was a terrorist attack just to reconfirm. the head prosecutor confirming this news just coming through that the cause of tonight's explosion was a terrorist attack we'll be following that of course for you throughout the coming hours here. and also more. hungry for the. we've got. the biggest issues get a human voice face to face with the news makers.
welcome across. opening the door to terror the al qaeda franchise has been largely out. absent from the arab awakening in north africa people appear to be embracing democracy and not radical islam however this may change the military intervention in libya and the violence in yemen could be an opportunity for al qaida. to. start. discussing al qaeda in the arab world today i'm joined by an old abbas like he's in washington he's a senior political scientist at the rand corporation also in washington we have graham rami he is a human and civil rights program director at the muslim american society freedom and in austin we go to derrick roe he is a political director at the brave new foundation in another member of our cross
talking on the hunger or i guarantee in austin you got up the earliest for this program so i'm going to go you first. is that we've thanks you know during the day we look at the. transformation of the arab world the him the embrace of democracy and getting rid of these vicious dictators have been around for for decades the dictators and some of people on the right wing of said be careful al qaeda is out there to take advantage of it but we've seen successful growing successes in the arab middle east but now we have the intervention in libya and we're hearing al qaeda again do you feel that there is a strong enough evidence to believe that al qaeda is trying to infiltrate itself into the ranks of this civil war is what's happening right now in libya we haven't heard a lot about al qaeda lately and also we while we get the word from the cia there's a flicker of activity how do you reflect on that. well i'll why i think al qaeda is always looking for ways to insinuate itself into situations where there's chaos or
a lack of law and order like we're seeing in afghanistan right now we're hearing that even though we've had thousands and thousands of more u.s. troops into there somehow we still have al qaeda cells popping up and that that really shows i think the brokenness of the u.s. strategy there for on one hand but i do think that there's always the danger that when there's these areas of instability like this that al qaeda tries to insinuate itself but our i think you should always take with a grain of salt sometimes the united states intelligence communities you know off the record pronouncements that al qaeda is insinuating itself into a situation because they're kind of the bogeyman that we've set up when we want to intervene subway and you know if i go if i go to you in washington it was that cache of documents became a cache of documents in two thousand and seven and it was revealed in iraq that a number of volunteers to be suicide bombers came from libya from eastern libya now again is this going is this just the bogeyman coming out in a and this is just to try to convince people for or against intervention because
again they'd be. pure coincidence that a lot of these people came from eastern libya apparently our new ally in the region as this civil war goes on what do you think about that is how true is it. well there used to a a group in in libya the libyan islamic fighting group and this was. one of the many groups in north africa that had some degree of association with al qaeda and what happened is that they get their feet government was successful in essentially crushing this group most of the of the leaders in jail and the ones that survived migrated to other places so far. of conflict so this is this is why you find libyans for example in high positions with the al qaeda core in pakistan afghanistan area is because of the defeat of the levy and
islamic fighting group in in libya and now what happened in libya is very very before this latest crisis is very very interesting because the they got their free government enter into. into discussions with the recently there are leaders of alevi and islamic fighting group and somehow the leadership of the group went through a process of assessing the examining their ideology and they ended up we now seeing violence and as a result of these a number of them were let out of prison so basically i would tell you that the not have a strong presence in libya when the revolve against gaddafi develop this is what i don't think that there is a great danger or the extremist groups will take over the elderly and so again on
the delivery interesting but it's very interesting irrespective of the numbers here i mean in it in an archive is always changing and find you know him if i go to you in washington i mean it's it's kind of an interesting irony right here i mean maybe formal i'll kind of it be there are calls to arm these rebels i mean it. there is a great of historical irony there isn't there i mean these people that were. sworn to destroy western influence and their allies in the region or could be armed by the united states and nato it's a i mean it's kind of like the dean of possibly if it works out. well that's a possibility i think we have to understand that al qaeda is not a political organization in the conventional sense of the word it's not structured around an ideology it's really a terrorist group. whose primary purpose is to create situations that destroy human life and that insinuate themselves and political situations that will ultimately lead in some attack perhaps on the united states of america or other
western countries the sense that i have right now is that civil society in libya and the civil society that emerges from the civil war is going to have to be very vigilant and also very much aware of the fact that tolerating that kind of violent extremism is not a benefit to either the evolution of democracy in libya or to live in coexistence with the rest of the world so my sense is further that those of us who really reject violence and reject violence as a means of moving the arab world forward and specifically libya forward will ultimately have to be not only aware of that potential danger but also build up civil society to the point where. those kinds of attitudes and those kinds of extremist ideologies are not are not tolerated or supported ok if i if i go back to . it's very interesting and we look at the. how the intervention is
changing the kind of the discourse that is going on here i mean only a few weeks ago we were talking about the great rise of democracy now more of the focus is on civil war is an opening for al qaeda to say look i mean the the americans are nato allies they're going to protect some of their dictator friends are going to let some of them go it's a lot more ambiguous than this narrative it's the freedom of nations in north africa they can take advantage of that. it is and they took another pay that could the first speaker remains oh. it is always looking for opportunities to take advantage of chaos let me mention one thing i see a great deal of ofa similarity between what is happening in libya today and what happened in boston the in the mid ninety's because usually called the during the the war in bosnia the muslims
were beleaguered and they turned to for assistance you know iranians were the main support of the response of the it was in muslims in the early stages of the war there was a danger of infiltration by extremist elements there was a whole but again fighting in bosnia on the site of the muslims both out of mujahideen this were extremists. many of them were affiliated with al qaida so so you have these this situation in bosnia in the mid one nine hundred ninety s. who were it look as the fixed limits elements were going to gain great influence and they did know what the united states and its associates partners and allies did in bosnia they gaze with the boston for the nation comprising both the muslim and croatian sites and they put in place a program to train and equip the armed forces of the boston for the nation so there
was this direct engagement and what that did is it provided the united states with the lead british that it needed to drive out the influence over there any and very easily very interesting i've heard this comparison to like what a jerk and i asked to hear the comparison between bosnia and intervention involved in intervention here in libya the difference is they can graphic is still a very powerful figure he does have resources to hit back and i mean here back at the west of bosnia. didn't in that situation there it wasn't going to get more it was going to corrupt the entire region over much further in this case it's still there ok maybe khadafi didn't get rid of all of those nasty weapons ok maybe there's a few hanging around still so the comparison is not very good in that sense how do you feel about that i mean you know if this intervention is giving a message that you know it looks could be critical for many people in the region.
and example saudi arabia it's like i said earlier it's not it's not the same narrative all the way through go ahead i think there's a real ambiguity here there's not clear lines between good guys and bad guys in our media life or trade here in the united states like you mentioned earlier the top of the program the region in which the united states is backing armed forces inside libya is a region that is sent numerous people to fight americans in iraq and afghanistan and there are actually members of the libyan resistance movement that if admitted they have actually been in iraq in afghanistan fighting against the americans and these are the same folks that we're trying to arm with with expensive united states weapons and and trying to back with airstrikes but you know back to the topic of a kind of first second we had mentioned that they want to take advantage of chaos i mean it isn't a brand crisis right now like there's these democratic uprisings in egypt and other places have really kind of shown how how impotent their. ideology is in speaking for the aspirations of the people across the muslim world and it's
a real threat to them when people without weapons stand up and try to take control of their own destiny rather than going through al-qaeda is broken ideology but you're right that the overall point that you're making here is that there's some real moral ambiguity here and for the united states to charge him like we're defending quote unquote freedom fighters versus an evil dictator there's no no real indication that that's how it's going to come out watch. me but i'm a fine go to you i mean again if you just get a real quickly before we go to the break here is america helping or hurting its image with this and in intervention into libya. i think it's doing both actually and that is the irony i do agree with the the assessment that there is moral ambiguity there is no very clear game plan or exit strategy that we can discern on the part of the reality on that point there gentlemen in their job here we're going to want short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on
and. say. welcome back to cross talk i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're talking about al qaeda in the arab world. but first let's see what russians think about this organization that is. with democracy in the air many in the arab world now have hope and expectations of change to the people's pope were appears to have marginalized radical fundamentalists in other groups though only then yemen this may not be the case and
there is growing evidence that al qaeda is on the move in both countries the public opinion foundation asked russians what is the target of al qaeda thirty nine percent of the respondents say it's the entire non muslim world and another thirty two percent say al qaeda is actions targeted only against some particular countries it remains to be seen if civil war and foreign military intervention will play into the hands of al qaeda and other groups. right and how inane washington i'm going to you know we were talking this brand issue that kind of house it's a really big problem as pointed out earlier part of the program but they are resilient and it isn't going to go away i mean expansionary we see events unfolding in yemen which again we'll see a lot of from event people on the ground seeing western hypocrisy there they will go in and take out one person but not another ok but this is where al qaeda does
have some traction in some sense ok now again rebranding how do they what is the what is an effective strategy for them to rebrand if they can embrace democracy but they can still point out the hypocrisy of the west well i think. out of awakening as you call it and different sponsor of the west police police awakening those police and some very very serious challenges to tell you that i think ok that would have been afraid that if the west had supported the troops because i would tell you that one of the themes from the very beginning. they were struggling against the west because it was western support that can. the states as they call them up were state governments in place that was the whole theory of al-qaeda that they had to strike against the west in order to weaken western support the freeze up was they play games that if the west were forced to
we throw in support they would fall with the democrats. we are seeing. the most of the session process that we have seen in key countries like egypt. in tunisia libya of course returning to an armed conflict you know i'll tell you this argument is we can't because if they see these. masses pricing against against dictatorship and so far there is no indication that these are islamist rebel lucian's their democratic revolutions as far as we can see them are human and this aspire were if they see their west super being the process it makes it very hard for them to blame the west for the ills of the arab world the muslim world i should say so it is a pretty difficult problem for them and i don't see. very good opening
for. itself in a way that would be convincing to the muslim population of the middle east well they're kind of actually i mean that's a very interesting point here but i suppose maybe we're all getting ahead of ourselves too because we have to see where this democratic process is going to go in the region it's still very very early days i mean anyone that's going to say it's democracies failed in the in the in north africa is it is just really it's a street premature we haven't seen where it's going to go to the events in tunisia are still being played out and in egypt and unfortunately the middle is this awful civil war being played out in libya how much you can it you think can induce if these events in libya depending on how long it can take will slow down the democratic process because you know even the countries on both sides libya and tunisia to start getting worried if this is going to grow and we see al qaeda using potentially using libya's a base because of the chaos that's going to worry a lot of people it's going to be hard liners new people and security hardliners to get a few involved in again. well i think there are
a couple points i'd like to make to that first is that to the earlier point you were asking the previous guest about what's the opportunity for al qaeda here what the worst thing that could happen is that in the united states conduct of the war we screw up and there are a lot of civilian casualties right like how we conduct our support of these rebels if it goes badly that's probably our best opportunity in the region and that's unfortunate and related to that is how the rebels conduct themselves and how the revolutionaries conduct themselves if they retake power or in the areas where they have power if if we're seen to be backing a regime that's going on a spree of revenge killings or unjust imprisonment and there's been some indications of that with that with the revolutionaries then that really hurts us in those areas and we're seen as propping up a corrupt regime the same we were seen as propping up a corrupt regime in afghanistan now as far as the instability goes you know one of the excuses the united states used to get into this situation was that if we left
if we let this situation get out of control then the instability there would affect what's going on in egypt and around the region but what i think that analysis fails to take into account is that what's going on in libya is in a large part a result of the instability around it with the democratic uprisings in the countries nearby and you had that enthusiasm reach the libyan street and they decided in some areas that it was their turn for an uprising and in some cases it's gone much worse than it has in the places in egypt and in the region but you know to the larger point you brought up about western hypocrisy the other opportunity for what's going on in bahrain quite frankly i mean there's a there's a very serious crackdown on people who want reform and that's been tacitly supported by the united states by a lack of condemnation there so i mean there are a lot of traps here for the united states if we're not careful to get boxed into a situation where we actually empower al qaeda as. ideology
a message what am i going to say as the united states empowering all kind of by action and through the law of unintended consequences why exactly it's intervention there because a lot of people would say it least in the in the inside the beltway they'll say look this is our opportunity regain momentum in north africa because well the americans in the western capitals have been pretty red faced all their buddies are leaving power one way or another and they probably will continue to with this demonstration effect but the united states jumps in there and being humanitarian and has derek pointed out and these types of situations you inevitably kill civilians americans are very good at killing civilians in afghanistan and on the pakistani border ok there's no reason we believe it's not going to happen continue to happen in libya. well i think inevitably it happens all the time in war and it does create a very real question about the motives for the intervention i mean just yesterday we heard the american secretary of state state that the only way the bombing is
going to stop is for the gadhafi forces to pull back and ultimately to relinquish power and ultimately for a coffee to go in exile that's not humanitarian intervention that's regime change the other question that really is very pressing is what is the real character of the so-called revolution going on right now is that a real democratic revolution or is it simply hatred of gadhafi being replaced by possibly something that is non-democratic and not necessarily friendly to the west so i think that the nature of military intervention in a complex situation is such that we really don't know how it's going to turn out and how it's going to play out so i would say that the best strategy is to do what's necessary to protect the life but to let the political dynamics of the situation sort themselves out and to be ready to support civil society in its reconstruction and mind you the the real growth of extremism happens primarily
because people have no real options in terms of food clothing and shelter and a society that is highly stratified and it has a high concentration of wealth in the hands of very few people i understand and that is very much the situation in libya so the question becomes can we can the world in the muslim world in the muslim american world support a transition that is really democratic and support those elements in civil society in libya that want to see reconstruction without an ongoing armed conflict i think that is the question and that's what's in front of us and we'll find out here in washington it's interesting i mean we all agree here that democracy is not the favorite card al qaeda likes to play its rejects with democracy but is derek pointed out is that you know if this goes on. for a long enough though you know you could have extremist groups saying look what democracy does these people want democracy it carries up countries or create civil wars and you still have western intervention the west is still calling the shots here so is it really just a matter of time in intensity before this would go either way before people say
look you're embracing this always democratic ideas it's the west trying to manipulate what's who's going to be in power and if this goes on longer and longer you know we're supporting people we really don't know very well. you know it's very interesting that you know there is a great deal of criticism of the west in the in the arab world in the arab media for its interventions i have never i have not heard the argument made in the context of the democratic liberal luzhin on that is going on in the in north africa and other parts of the arab world today that is not what people are saying that people in the arab countries want the market to see i mean that's that's that's a sense that you get from looking at the egyptian media for example no one he said you see in the west of money pilate thing they're not going to see to establish some sort of control over the arab world i think the danger is the opposite that
then europe is that if they're not at the station feels the arab world will go back to the type of autocratic regimes that it has had for the last fifty years and is in fact there on representatives represent that if there's both these games the fact that their bank responses to the needs of the population there has generated the valley cohesion and the extremists on the produce aisle qaeda so if you look at the long term picture and not just what's happening today in leave yemen or other places you see that there is if the sources of the legal issues are less eliminated the arab world needs to go through the same type of the market i think it will lucia on the left in the east asia and eastern europe have gone through i generally give you what you want you want you were nodding your head your right hand. yeah yeah i want to be clear that i don't think that the united states'
support of democratization is at all of threat to the united states or in dangers our image around the world what i think is the danger is the for support of the united states militarily for for. actions that we're not sure about yet i think if you dare say what i said i'm sorry i have a few more time but it is a very interesting point many thanks my guess a day in washington and austin and thanks to our viewers for watching us here are t. see you next time and remember cross talk rules. and you can. download the official anti up location giovanni phone the i pod touch from the i ching sampson. the jaunty life on the go.