tv [untitled] April 11, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
and we will bring that to you at eight pm just ran out of time and got kind of more in depth in some of our discussions than we had hoped thanks so much for watching for more of the stories we covered go to our t. dot com slash usa or check out our youtube page at youtube dot com slash r t america i'm christine for al and we will be back at eight o'clock. closure is that so much of an older you should be sitting on the market opening the door to the all qaeda franchise has been largely absent the arab awakening oh ok and. if you.
live. download the official play cation enjoy i phone the i pod touch from the i choose i'm still. life on the go. video on demand keys mind. an r.s.s. feeds now in the palm of your live. mission. common. place in. the sun. hello and welcome to cross talk i'm peter lavelle opening the door to tear the all kind of
franchise has been largely 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 and plug. in. slim discussed al qaeda in the arab world today i'm joined by i know that abbas he's in washington he's a senior political scientist at the. rand corporation also in washington we have got em romney he is a human and civil rights program director at the muslim american society freedom and in austin we go together a crow he is a political director at the brave new foundation and another member of our cross talking on the hunger or i derrick in austin you got up early as 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 the 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 all sudden we we get word from the cia there's a flicker of activity how do you reflect on that. well i'll 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 shoved 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 community you know off the record pronouncements that i was insinuating itself into a situation because they're kind of the bogeyman that we've set up when we want to intervene somewhere and how 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 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 libya the libyan islamic fighting group and this was.
one of the many groups in north africa that they had some degree of association with i would tell you that what happened is of the gaddafi 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 of. 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 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 the libyan islamic fighting group and somehow their leadership of the group went through a process of assessing the examining their ideology and they ended up really 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 that extremist groups will take over the world really interesting on that it's very interesting libya but it's very interesting irrespective of the numbers here i mean and it in and all kind is always changing it's like you know him if i know you in washington i mean it's it's kind of an interesting irony right here i mean maybe formal al-qaeda biti there are calls to arm these rebels i mean it. there is a great out 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 mujahideen and 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 libyan 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 societies to the point where. those kinds of attitudes and those kinds of extremist ideologies are not are not tolerated or supported ok if i go back. to you it's very interesting and we feel 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 could tell you that could the first speaker main show oh. this is always looking for opportunities to take advantage of chaos let me mention one thing i do see a great deal of of a similarity between what is happening in libya today and what happened in boston the air in the mid ninety's because usually call during the the war in bosnia the bosnian muslims were beleaguered. day thirty two for assistance you know iranians were the main supporters of the of it was in muslims in the early stages of the war there was a danger of infiltration by extremist elements there was a whole brigade fighting in bosnia on the site of the muslims out of mujahideen
these were extremists. many of them were affiliated with al qaida so so you have these the situation in bosnia in the mid one nine hundred ninety s. were it look as if extremist elements were going to gain great influence and they did know what the united states and its associates partners and allies in bosnia peace they engage with the boston for the nation comprising both the a muslim and croatian sites and they put in place a program to train and equip the other 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 leverage that it needed to drive out the influence over there any and i'm very much i was very interesting i've not heard this comparison intellectual to derek and i asked to hear the comparison between bosnia intervention in bosnia and
intervention here in libya but difference is they can da faecal is still a very powerful figure he he does have resources to get back and i mean here back at the west of boston. didn't in that situation there it wasn't to get more it was going to corrupt the entire region and go much further in this case it's still there ok maybe could offer you didn't get rid of all of those nasty weapons ok maybe there's a few hanging around still so they compare comparison is not very good in that sense how do you feel about that i mean you know this intervention is giving a message that you know it looks to be critical for many people in the region. sample 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 portrayed here in the united states like you mentioned earlier at 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 try to back with airstrikes but you know back to the topic about kind of for a second we had mentioned that they want to take advantage of chaos i mean al qaeda is in a brand a 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 in 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 the watch. but i'm a fine go you and me again and we 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 mad 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 i'm going to jump in here we've got one short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on state. can see.
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her. mother can see. the subtle. welcome back to crossfire computer lavelle to remind you we're talking about al-qaeda in the arab world the scene to keep the story the same. but first let's see what russians think about this organization. with democracy in the air many in the arab world now have hope and expectations of change to the people's power appears to have marginalized radical fundamentalists in other groups though only ben 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 two percent 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 peter right and hill in in washington if i go to you and we were talking about this brand issue that kind of has 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 expression we see events unfolding in yemen which again you see a lot of 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 did it what is that what is an effective strategy for them to rebranding 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 spawns of the west police police awakening those presents some very very serious challenges to i would tell you that. i think ok that would have benefit that if the west had supported the troops because i would tell you the one thing i would tell you the themes from the very beginning. they were struggling against the west because it was western war the care. it was states as they call them up with governments in place that was the whole theory. they had to strike against the west in order to weaken western support of these up with state play games that if the west were forced to we throw in support they would fall with the democrats who say shit on the we are seeing. the most of
the session process that we have seen in key congolese like egypt. in tunisia libya of course returning to an armed conflict you know i would carry this argument is we can't because if they see these. masses by seeing against i guess the paper sheep and so far there is no indication that these are islamist rebels who shows their democratic revolutions as far as we can see them there are human use a spy work if they see the west super being that they will proudly say should 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 operating for. itself in a way that would be convincing to the muslim population of the middle east well if i go back to you 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 to 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 a democracy is failed in the in the in or in north africa is it is just really it's a street premature we haven't seen where it's going to go to be the events in tunisia are still being played out in egypt and unfortunately in the middle is this awful civil war being played out in libya how much it 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 living in 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 the hardliners in the people the security hardliners are going to fuel him boldly 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 to 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 and message what am i going to is the united states empowering al qaeda by action and through the law of unintended consequences by exactly its 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 to regain momentum in the 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 make this demonstration effect but the united states jumps in there and being humanitarian and he's very 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 notice 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 khadafi forces to pull back and ultimately to relinquish power and ultimately for gadhafi to go in exile and 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 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 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 in a society that is highly stratified and it has a high concentration of wealth in the hands of
a very few people i understand that 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 you know if i go to you 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 it 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 it creates 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 intensity before this would go either way before people say look you know embracing this always democratic idea is 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 lucia on that is going on in the north and other parts of the arab world today that is not what people are saying that people in the other countries want democracy i mean that's that's that's a sense that you get from looking at the egyptian media for example no one except you see in the west of money relating the market or seem to establish some sort of control over the arab world i think the danger is the opposite then you're that if they're not at the station feels they are world will go back to the type of.
the genes that it has had for the last fifty years and in fact there are representatives representative from this of this games the fact that there aren't police dunseath to the needs of the population that has generated their valley police on the extremists on the produce al qaeda so if you look at the long term picture and not just what's happening today in leave yemen other places you see that there is the source or the coalition are. eliminated the arab world needs to go through the same type of the market i think they will do shit on the lot in america east asia and eastern europe have gone through originally to give you a lot of what you want you want you are not in your handwriting. sure 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 support of the united states
militarily for fact. is that we're not sure about yet i think if he dares our web site down which i have to give you more time but it is a very interesting point many thanks my guest today in washington and austin and thanks for viewers for watching us here arky see you next time and remember cross talk rules. to see.
chosen from among many. he was given a clear cut mission. a mission he successfully accomplished. became the first several encounters. of the soviet union one of the best known persons in the world. all his thoughts were focused on someone. who he ever thinks that his life's work would cost him his life . one happened in those few seconds. and what city could see silda barrels still.