tv Sophie Co RT November 4, 2013 2:29pm-3:01pm EST
could you take three. or three. three. three. three. three blow video for your media project free media don carty dot com. hello and welcome to cross talk where all things considered i'm peter lavelle shifting sands and alliances advances and reversals outside military intervention and stalemate these are among some of the descriptions that apply to the middle east since the start of the arab spring what are we experiencing in this turbulent region the end of the colonial order that we drawing of the map or merely
instability and violence with no end in sight. to cross talk the developments in the middle east i'm joined by our son in washington he's a visiting scholar at the carnegie endowment for international peace and in london we crossed his aida leave he is a political analyst and writer i'm gentlemen cross-talk rules and i think that means you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage it if i go to you first in washington it's been a long two years in the greater middle east and then all started by calling it the arab awakening. do you like terms like that anymore does it does it have it does it resonate with you considering what's happened in so many different countries in this very volatile region. well i think the first thing to say is that i've never really considered it actually a useful term from the beginning and one of the things about the arab spring is the way people refer to it is that they sort of understood it as
a transitional process that would lead to democracy but ultimately we had no idea whether that would be the case from the very beginning so if you talk to people down on the ground in karo in tunis except for what you find is that they refer to their individual revolutions as the tunisian revolution the egyptian revolution the syrian civil war and i think that's much much better way of referring to it ok how do you how do you feel about using the term arab spring arab awakening two years on because as we just heard i mean in each individual country circumstances are different but i think one could make the claim that a lot of the there are a lot of other issues that they have in common in common particularly west a dictatorship supported by western powers i mean this is one commonality almost all of them avandia. well i mean this is absolutely true i mean we mustn't lose sight of the fact that what happened in the arab region which started off in tunisia and then rapidly spread and swept the arab region particularly going
through egypt which is one of the most and a staunch and closest ally of the united states was people actually. standing up to. dictatorship which where wholeheartedly and emphatically supported by the usa the majority of the regimes were actually true supporters and allies of the united states and the people in those countries where fed up to their back teeth and were sick and tired of this board and the unlimited unwavering support to those dictatorships by the united states we've seen it happening in tunisia and then the popular uprising a popular uprising spread to egypt and we've seen the united states that is obama taken aback and after a lot of posturing. and did that ring he withheld support to his name which
actually upset one of the other most reliable irreplaceable allies of the united states. which thought that was the ultimate betrayal of another story a lie one of the. one of the closest allies of the united states and. never actually forgave the usa for turning its back on more bartok but. in the long run a new thought that todt the support of the army so it had a safety net it had an insurance policy in both egypt and. was that was one of the major reasons that actually the obama pulled the rug from under their feet. off mubarak knowing fully well that supporting this important pivotal point where the actually win over the conflict win over the support of the people
to the army which actually took over power and diffused to relinquish power it was only after protests further. we had to run out but i don't think that talks more about indecision and the lack of strategery even understanding what's going on on the ground and how would you how would you look at how the western powers particularly the united states has dealt with events in the greater middle east over the last two years because you know we can look at each individual country in their specifics there but the bomber administration seems to be very unclear on what direction it needs to pursue because is it democracy is it security can you have both. but i think the obama administration has demonstrated that actually the overall strategy of the united states is towards the middle east is ultimately flawed it's been flawed. we saw that with nine eleven the bush administration changed its mind decided to democracy was the way forward in the region and then olmert leave that was that was roughly where the bomber administration ended up but by the end of two thousand and ten when it done the
policy planning review but now what we see is the arab spring fun when we turned all of that on its head and we've just seen susan rice released a new policy planning review that says that security comes first and ultimately i think that that's the united states say strategy in the region but security comes first not democracy at all ok so i think we've come full circle haven't we it's amazing so we have mubarak back in power under a different name ok we can i don't know what the arabic version of tunis she is but ok we've gone full circle haven't we but have the people on the ground benefited from any of this. i mean the trick is what the americans have done in going full circle they refused actually to back up the army which was what that sit with these demanded to back up hosni mubarak by actually unleashing against the people who rose up to defy mubarak but by actually allowing the muslim brotherhood to take on power and pursue misguided policies that actually convince their people that they
are after accumulating and monopolizing power and the muslim brotherhood actually being forced to shift from its teaching to islam in order to apply this. position and vehement oppositions by this these are actually pursuing more radical what harvey said if your ideal that you have fallen out of favor by the egyptian people who actually turned around and supported the army so what the americans have achieved if having the army back in power and sisi actually attempting to go and put his name forward to. the elections and actually going full circle what happened also in the. in yemen and bahrain was actually americans giving. it to tweet those two countries out there to
back away. actually was a good having a lot of traffic here at once i want to talk about today will be in a secular ok to kind of echo words i had to say which i think is really very interesting here is that it looks like under the guise of democracy or security whatever flavor you prefer again it's rejigging the middle east the united states still maintains a hedge of monica role this is what their ultimate goal is they don't really. care about the coloration of the regime as long as it plays into a security arrangement washington can feel comfortable with and let's not forget tel aviv and riyadh. yeah i think that's true i think ultimately the security that having a hedge money over the region so the stability whether that comes through democracy or through with or tearing regimes is ultimately the end game plan because the united states has too many interests in the region to allow it to fundamentally opposed to those interests so when the united states acts it always does with the
view of you know what what how can how does this inform our counterterrorism policy how does its inform our counter-proliferation policy how does this inform our energy policy it's this police of issues that comes to the fore with the united states there's and ultimately there's a massive conflict of interest problem that the united states has to deal with when it formulates its middle east policy or as if i can stay with you i guess been ghazi is where everything collides isn't it with the assassination of an american ambassador by a country that was liberated by nato. yeah i think that's true i mean the issue of the security situation in libya as it stands right now is fundamentally problematic what you have is al qaeda in the maghreb and various other terrorist organizations who are actually able to free flow throughout the region because of a lack of security a border security and what it does is it adds a whole level of new strategic importance so if you look at the way in which the
united states has tried to deal with the region it was all positive about democracy up until the benghazi attacks and the and obviously the summertime use attacks in tunisia the embassy engine is here and it's at that point the united states really steps back and says actually we're going to downgrade our presence in the region and we're going to start to look towards making sure that the stability in these interests are secured rather than promoting democracy throughout the realize. they've got actually i think they have decided to stay in the region they've got to you in london they've decided to stay in the region just more low profile through militaries working with dictatorships where they feel very comfortable work working with dictatorships we have decades of experience working with dictatorships like in saudi arabia it works for washington and actually if you look at what happened on the ground if you look at what happened on the ground they are teaching their people that a lesson who those people who dared to rise up and defy their dictators where supported by that america are not now facing two options if you want to stay
beneath the security and the limited economy progress then the have to stick with their dictators if you turn against those dictators stand up to them challenging them and defy them then what you going to get is insecurity in state more prominence and more and more. a great role for the al qaeda and a greater influence and prowess and also influence for. the gen so that people are going to pick states. and security but if we look at what happened in benghazi it was actually the relentless intervention by the americans was this relentless intervention which stripped the popular uprising of its legitimacy and deprived it and did i did its authenticity we see an american ten and also nato air force
into an air force which was specifically backing up the rebels with tended to do it their own of their own force which followed the qaddafi to set and to benny what the weather was absolutely ok no you don't have to jump in here gentlemen gentlemen i have to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on events in the middle east state with our team. liz
a. one hundred twenty three days. through two hundred cities of russia. really fourteen thousand people or sixty thousand coming. in a record setting trip. their. numbers. olympic torch relay. on our. welcome back to cross talk where all things considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you that we're discussing the turbulent middle east.
on seven to go back to you in washington it was mentioned earlier in the program about saudi arabia and we see a possible reset some kind of reset with washington or all saudi arabia going on its own that could be just all bluster nonetheless saudi arabia is a power broker right now we saw with egypt and we're seeing it with syria was the talk about syria in a second but you know is this the kind of country that is going to be the beacon of american democracy for the region saudi arabia really. well i think. the the u.s. saudi relationship has always been built on security it always has been built on security since its founding and i think you know ultimately the relationship between security energy come to come together what this means is the u.s. saudi relationship is not a point of divorce there's a lot of tensions the saudis have for being far more vocal than they usually are disagreeing with the united states you know you could fighting for
a position on the u.n. security council and then turning down the position is a clear demonstration effect of how saudi arabia is upset but these two powers on a point of divorce atoll and i think that yes there are problems that the united states has dealing with a regime of this sort but let's not forget the relationships that the united states has throughout the region and various areas where it has been pushing so for example tunisia has been a successful looks to be a successful version of transition of nonviolent transition in the united states does seem to at least be backing that unity regime. as it steps forward with this transition process and it's the same with the european union as well we're. going to talk about iraq afghanistan libya i my goodness i mean tony. jones in going to jump in what we could see in tunisia is it exactly exactly pete.
here run off what happened in egypt whether misname up brotherhood it's called another and we've seen actually the same forces which are the secular forces the x. . day dictatorship support is gathering got up and actually opposing and standing steadfastly determined to topple the party or the government which is led by party so what we're witnessing in tunisia is what have. and in egypt but going back to what happened with the idea of the i don't i just don't understand agree that you can see what what this it would these have done that is invade and occupy another country which is the home of the fifth we could have taken place without the full consent of the americans and what we've actually seen any emend this is backed up by the americans come up with their own initiative which ostensibly is called the gulf cooperate cult cooperation council initiative which
is. the initiative to replace one dictator that is easy to end in a place and by another dictator which is a staunch ally. that is to protect its own backyard garden and the invasion of about rain and the occupation against the overwhelming majority of the people who stood up to that rainy dictatorship which is by the way the first family where the prime minister has been there as long as one america has been there is still supported emphatically and have it by ok as i said. earlier and i mean let me let ours react react to that that was a mouthful there go ahead us. well i think that ultimately if we if you look at what's going on you if you take a short term analysis and look at the events as they're happening on the ground you can pick a lot of things that look as if these transitions are. undergoing a trauma but actually you know there are more positive steps there's constitutions
being negotiated there's national dialogue being undertaken these are all positive things they are new things in the region and ultimately they point towards a more democratic transition for the region let's not forget that the arab spring is a crisis moment in national politics it is the moment in which you can't put the genie back in the bottle because the people on the ground in those countries where the right now in for example in egypt there is a nationalist swing towards general sisi but do we really think that sisi is going to be able to install. become an author terry and without the people rising up again i don't think i don't think that's going to happen i don't think it's possible i think we need to get past the fact that the united states and the european union are intervening in the region in whatever way and start looking down on the ground where civil society movements political movements are beginning to rise out of that because. we didn't see illusions what we see is a return to. from a western perspective hang on guys from a western perspective people vote the wrong way sometimes you know what i mean
they're not all jeffersonian ok go ahead because democracy is a tricky thing you can vote for things people of the west don't like like i do believe that the change which is taking place is actually inside saudi arabia now saudi arabia have backed up and emphatically supported the radical regime as the bastion of dictatorship but in doing that what has been laid bare to its own people they have discovered that this is not what it has but rate itself or depicted this for decades that it is they've got the end the indisputable protector of sunni islam because they have thrown its weight its throne its support behind dictatorship and it has been spearheading at the forefront of actually supporting dictatorship which are against the sunni people who rose up in egypt and tunisia which have exposed this to these. people and that's why we see that it is going out
of their way now to try to stand up and form an a sectarian war in syria and also. ok i want to talk about syria in a second because i did not talk about syria in a second here are you going to go if you're going to go back to arms and watching i mean we've this is a very interesting point do you think that the western powers understands the significance of the different the sunni shia divide because again you know you can have western powers interested in security how they define it but you know riyadh looks at things in a very different way they have a very different perspective and it is have to do with their religious faith what is them in that case and it's something that is actively exports will talk about syria in a second i mean is that a collision there that cannot be resolved. i think the only what we need to say is that the saudi regime is actually in trouble the saudi regime isn't going to have the sort of money that it has now to stop. stop a populist uprising taking place so i think that means that what we need to do with
ease keep an eye a close eye on what's happening in saudi politics there is still a popular movement going on there now to go directly to your question i think that no i don't think the divisions and understanding of the different types of islam of fully understood in washington but i think it's something that over the last ten years is becoming better understood i think the way it's seen here is you know saudi arabia and iran have tensions with each other and there's a global sort of a global a regional game going on ok let's change gears and talk about syria here and again you know we it's move on to syria how would you how does syria fit in to what's been happening in the greater middle east last two years in exception or is something very different than some people would say that it is this is a block to western influence a penetration into the middle east finally it is a game changer of one sort or another do you agree or disagree with that yeah what
i think is a major point that we need to be acutely aware of is that this is the regime when he lies heavy on the one harvey sellafield religious establishments that is that there were hard getting at here still there was how the ideology and it is one of the main points of deception which i think the bait and deceptive myth has been under rubble now and it's falling apart that this and these have discovered that they are trying to stir up a sectarian war in both iraq and syria in order to demonstrate that they do this in the people that it is in gauged in a in an existential engaged in combating and confronting an extension threat from that she has namely from iran in order to stave off an internal uprising and in banks. it's far easier for them to pull the rug from under the feet of those people who are standing up to this regime and that's why we've seen this odious throw this help or to behind what is what they perceive as
a sunni movement in syria but in doing so according that is to the new york times and according to even. that of iraq all the funding the majority of the funding arming logistical support and even paying salaries which have been exposed by the guardians have went to propping up shoring up and adding influence to just have to know why they actually have created which according to our bill back to back that is part and parcel of merely an extension for the. uk that's why they play the game into all major all in reviving and ultimately each of an aging and al qaeda in iraq and that's why we've seen that tremendous influence and promise of iraq which have you don't attack on a daily basis against a lot of iranian kates of living let me go let me go on about is money in iraq in syria is this in america's interest in western powers interest to get involved in
such a conflict because it's an existential conflict between saudi arabia and iran why don't we just kind of stand back from this one because we're getting sucked in or trying to get sucked in into syria people criticize obama but i think he was smart to take putin's idea and back off because western outside influences are not going to resolve this issue in syria and this is why i'm asking because it is it again. i think you have to sort of understand it is multiple levels what the diplomatic route if we can get the geneva two process on the way that is a positive step in the right direction and therefore you know where western intervention should come is the level of diplomacy we have to get these people around the table to solve this problem this is the greatest humanitarian crisis that we. now face going back to your question about whether syria is exceptional or not i think what you need to understand is why syria and in fact libya turned out to be violent revolutions in the way that they were and thirty's has to do with the
nature of the state the state the y. in which the security operators of those two countries was tied to the regimes itself meant that ultimately if the regime way and the security apparatus of those countries went as well so when when asked people to fire upon civilians and protest a peaceful protest as they will do it in tunisia and egypt that was not the care i generally wanted to jump in here with me and more time many thanks to my guests today in washington and in london and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.g.p. see you next time and remember. the
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