tv Cross Talk RT November 20, 2013 10:29am-11:01am EST
hello and welcome to cross talk or all things considered i'm peter lavelle since the start of the arab spring there have been hopes of change and the creation of a better future so i believe this is not been the case could be a bomb to democracy by nato is breaking up and on the verge of a civil war in syria the civil war has ground down into a stalemate partition is the likely outcome it would appear the only winners are the forces backing instability. cross-talk the evolving middle east i'm joined by my guess people come ready in london he is a writer and a journalist in new york we have michael kelly he is a defense reporter for the business insider and in colombia we crossed to joseph omer he is a middle east expert currently at the university of south carolina or a german cross-talk rules in effect that means you can jump in any time one cup if i go to you first in london it's not getting a lot of media coverage in in the west but it looks like libby is falling into
another war a civil war this time on top of that we're told the pentagon wants to train about eight thousand libyans in a nato country so can you explain to me why did nato have to destroy the country and now it has to train its security forces well from american perspective the invasion that the we overthrew or could offer you was intervention light and now i think the decision to train libyans is too late too little there are simultaneous uprisings erupting all over libya and the government doesn't know whether it has to govern or suppress these uprisings so it's a it's a mess in libya ok well if i can stay with you what's the next step if there's a civil war on the on the horizon. we can. until right now i mean there are signs of a civil war already. but to what extent it will dissolve the state will dissolve it's not clear yet whether the american decision to intervene and to train the libyans what kind of an effect that will have on the ground is yet to be seen but ok it's
a little too late or maybe a little too early or josef i go to you in colombia i mean if we look right now that libya is a failed state i mean so what do you do i mean you train eight thousand troops whose loyalty is very unclear because loyalties in libya itself is very unclear and when the country is breaking up into three discrete parks right now what is eight thousand troops going to do to salvage the situation in libya. well i think that they will not do anything good and i agree with you completely and then i was very skeptical to start with about why there should have been any intervention from the outside in libya but you know i mean let's be honest about that it's easier said than done if you're not sleepy and you are outside of libya i really believe the gadhafi regime is of no use as it was gave some stability to libya at least it seems like that and what they have been in libya could have been handled in a different way but look at the rate they are now we talk about the next stage i agree with you we are in a civil war if that's what people said there is absolutely right about that the
extent of civil war is not to be measured of acetylene by the number of casualties but by the fact that there is a problem that cannot be a result politically and people kill each other and of course it started now we stance of people it will go on to andras and maybe thousand got for it awfully not but that's the way it started in syria a country that we should talk about later here i don't believe that the americans are in for anything good there in libya and if anyone asked for my advice i would tell them not to do anything but you know a bit of a don't ask for your advice or my advice that's for sure michael if i go to you i think i do have a good indicator of where this country is going and we look at the number of militias at the height of the force overthrow of gadhafi there were about fifty thousand members of militias now there are two hundred fifty thousand in the countries of watch with arms i mean what in the world is going to happen next year this is one of the most dangerous countries in the world and you talk about syria in the next part of the program i mean this is a culmination of just everything that could go has could go wrong has gone wrong
for this country and the spillover effect for the region is beginning to be felt. you know it's really an issue and it's going to continue to fracture i mean you see normal nonviolent protesters in tripoli yesterday and continuing today telling the government to do something about all of these militia men that are surrounding the city and being used for political means on all sides it looks like it's going to get worse before it gets better definitely come people but i mean i we heard that i think you started out with intervention light humanitarian intervention light i mean this is turning into something far more than that nato broke the country through its bombing and it has left no infrastructure whatsoever for the country to govern itself and it's only look at it's only amount of time before we're going to see blowback here there is just too many arms too many people with different loyalties and we have a government that can't rule the country and you know what there's a lot of oil there so i suppose that will get attention. well what
happened there were no independent institutions in libya to begin with it was a family it was a who is owned and run by gadhafi but he brought an element of stability to the country when he was removed nato had a responsibility to go in and build institutions to assist the country in rebuilding itself if you will do you think they do you think it outweighs everything you think that was ever considered because as you pointed out using your words intervention lite you know we just go in a little bit and we'll get the place will take care of itself would be a walk in the park if i can quote the vice president cheney when he talked about iraq i mean this is something that is not hard about ok and if you break it you own it don't you think not that's absolutely right and this is the this is the idea of going and doing something and feeling good about it but building nations nation building takes years and years and years and that requires treasure and blood and i didn't think any of the nato nations were interested in sending their money or their troops ok well you've been sending the expertise to rebuild
a country now they want to training thousand troops and it's come so late it's almost it's almost a surgery to the wounds it josephs one of the issues here is we have these militias some of them are or are fanatically religious islamic groups and they are going to be exported not only are they spreading it in the country itself they're exporting it abroad and we look at mali and the connection with what's going on in syria as well i mean this is something again in the law of unintended consequences it's a death spiral when you think about it. well peter i agree with you completely i mean this intervention from the outside in libya was not sought out very carefully and there with a view to the future by those who intervened and they wanted to have a short term profits and benefits in the world profit is in place here because when you look for example at the role of say france french companies has done a lot of good to themselves since then not just in libya but in neighboring
countries and you can look also at the french intervention in mali in the context of what they're penned in libya an attempt by two different french president by the way sort of cause the end now all and all and to show that france has its own interests and policy and or dead but look i mean the real problem is and i believe take a pill or started referring to all that is that there was nothing in libya before gadhafi was brought down because gadhafi wanted libya to have nothing other than his own were jane all this business of the german area you know the popular committees and so it was all nonsense of course it was a dictatorship and they also were with the tribes those who were loyal to him as opposed to others what happens in a civil war in a lot of country like they're not dissimilar by the way toward that in lebanon in the seventy's or what's happening in syria now or in iraq is that when the regime breaks down for this or that reason mainly because of the combination of external and internal factors interventions the loyalties got down to the most rudimentary fundamental level of loyalty which is the tribal the local the sectarian and libya
is not an exception any any other a country like there thought in libya as well that will be slimy forcers there will be less or more fanatic like you have in syria and the export of these people from libya to other countries is obvious like it was from afghanistan and so on so i mean all these dangers are there peter and right now i can already only tell you look the safest prediction to do or to make about libya is it's going to gone ok michael and we need to win there to save the libyan people how do you think the people feel now what were they saved from. well i'd assume they're very conflicted because in january two thousand and eleven when those protests started it was about delayed housing units and the months later they were around the same police headquarters in tripoli just protesting the government and now there's no state institution there's no government and you find these college students back out in tripoli protesting the militias that replaced the government on the ground and have
swelled to these amazing numbers roaming territory that they have just commandeered so i think that they are very conflicted in just devastated by the situation in their country. you said they were in the early in the program and said it was too late when i mentioned the training of libyan forces by the americans what should the outside world do now when looking at libya anything because you sometimes doing something is worse i would say what nato did was far worse than what was there before it seems to me people on the ground were reflecting that on as well but i mean what should the international community do now to deal with libya other than contain it what the outside world when you say i think the responsibility to restore order in libya is falls on the shoulders of the nations which brought about a great calamity. in order to restore in order to restore order they will have to
do a lot more than train eight thousand people this is again like intervention this is again on the cheap it will require a lot more it will require it will require expertise it will require bringing people to america training them it will it will require the building of institutions that will require it will take at least a decade to restore order in libya and it will be incremental but i don't think people do you think do you think that the united states and nato can ever you know earn any kind of respect from the libyan people no i mean at the top ten years is a long time when you're in a civil war. i know there are i know there are pockets of gratitude that we have to acknowledge that but i think there was a deteriorating security situation dissolves in libya and i think in order for them to earn back that gratitude they will have to do a lot more than give speeches and training thousand people ok michael you want to jump in right before the break yeah i agree i think if the security situation is
moderately helped or fixed a lot of these protesters now they want these militias out of the capital so anything it will take a substantial effort but anything that people can help with expertise or are simply uplifting the state institutions the army that is decimated. would be great ok michael i have to jump in we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the arab middle east state with our team.
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about humans and. this is why you should care only on the. welcome back to cross talk we're all things considered i'm peter lavelle two minds who were discussing the evolving arab middle east. ok josephite we're going to switch gears here want to talk about syria right now the the series. national coalition has dropped its demand that assad must go how significant is that for you because for most of the if not all of the major opposition groups having assad go it's always been their key point to the
point of just being abstinent in dealing with the peace plan that the russians and the americans of it least tried to at least russia has pushed very hard for you see an evolution joseph in this situation in syria when it comes to the opposition or is this this national coalition which is so we relevant now because of the rise of the fundamentalists there would not i don't think that it is really significant the s.n.c. the syrian national coalition is not important never been reported by the way the forces on the ground are the ones which matter and the situation in syria is not getting better it's getting worse all the time i mean just in the last forty eight seventy two hour there were all kinds of clashes and losses to both sides one of the big labor leaders was killed there was a huge explosion that killed many syrian soldiers in a suburb of damascus you had asked us so you can see that all this is bringing up and continuing and quite frankly this peace conference if it ever happens will not succeed nothing can. can change the situation right now the civil war in syria is
going to continue and they know it reminds me and i am in all of that and if i can say so i mean i was monitoring the lebanese equation and the syrian from reuniting seventy's and eighty's and all that was the third geneva conference about lebanon other was the second geneva conference about lebanon and i think came out of it because in a situation like that where the forces supposed to each other you know it's like a fundamental kalash for survival between differing forces has to be some kind of decision on the ground in order to lead to a political decision and right now i don't think that that is going to be any real decision on the ground it's kind of if we both turn from football you know it's a draw and these they're all can go on for quite some time and so long as that they're out there. i don't see any real possibility for a an important significant political breakthrough whether it is in the geneva or any other place whether it is a russian or american plane but i would make one point about the russians here and if i may quote myself because on the twenty eighth of january of twenty thirteen i
wrote its appeal that russia should play a positive role about the chemical weapons and they did and i'm very happy about the reason that they make that point theories that medically ministration should have been in touch with the russians long time ago in order to facilitate some kind of political arrangement when it might have been working right now i believe there is no real incentive for anyone to do something dramatic because bashar assad looks like he is winning but a lot of population may claim that look we if we could throw out sixty or seventy percent of the ground they're not exactly so it's kind of fit the role and right now i'm not really optimistic about all the people it's very interesting what would joseph just said because maybe assad can't win the civil war but it looks like he's making a lot more gains in the opposition as a matter of fact the more and more you read about what's going on with the rebels they're turning on themselves more and more often assad may never get all of syria back when he's got a good chunk of it and he might be quite satisfied with what he has because you
know i mean when your opposition is in a circular firing squad don't interrupt them just let them keep firing you know they're killing each other and assad is just watching from the sidelines and he's making significant gains in aleppo today just recently one of the major rebel leaders. was killed he's making gains and the opposition which has been making significant just demands of assad that he should step down or he should make concessions it's actually the opposition that has been making concessions first they said that they will not go to the peace talks in geneva now they say they will and their condition for that is assad should open up humanitarian corridors which he is so now they're using now the opposition which is ridden internally fractured is now depending upon its patron. and saudi arabia to attack assad's allies for instance in lebanon today bombing syria has pointed the finger at saudi arabia . america wants iran out of the peace negotiations but really the country that has
this war that is the core the cause of the instability is saudi arabia and it's absurd that saudi arabia is our ally in this region and that's the irony of ironies michael it's interesting that we met saudi arabia has been mentioned because we had secretary kerry say that the united states and saudi arabia agree on the ultimate goal he doesn't like to say exactly what the ultimate goal is anymore because i think washington's been a little bit red faced about assad must go because it's not going to happen but we do see two different trajectories here we have the american one which seems very blurry to me and saudi arabia is just going to do whatever it damn well pleases and it's going to continue fueling the war irrespective of the suffering of the people of syria or the impact on the region because it's only looking at iran well it is true that since august twenty third the gassing of. the americans chose not to intervene or even provide military support to the rebels anymore and really the
base is this is a full on as joe said is a full on military conflict and so when you have iran and russia backing assad and has world forces inside syria fighting for assad shia militias trained in iran fighting for assad the saudi arabia sees this as. just as serious a conflict as iran does and so they're going to provide military backing other countries are going to military backing to counter that and so even in preventing assistance to it has been it has been. saudi arabia has been traveling to hardy's into syria a long time before. into the picture saudi arabia has suppressed the operating in bahrain it has funded the muslim brigades who today launched the strike the bomb attack on the iranian embassy have also launched attacks on israel seems to be rain
around has been on the ground in syria what. anyone would realize if you were a russian weapons or who's been nonstop showing there are so. many more interesting out of countries and interested in going into iraq are you ok gentlemen gentlemen let me jump in here gentlemen let me go jumping in ok here talking over each other ok joseph but what we just heard there talking over each other is this is turned into a proxy war it's very patently clear here these jihadi that are being funneled in through saudi arabia with turkey's help amazing they're going to really regret this one day if not already been funneling all these people foreign nationals into a civil war that everyone wanted to call a revolution and now it's just a proxy war which is taking the lives a lot of people that do not like these foreigners in their country this is i'm glad you mentioned lebanon earlier because this is what it's going to get down to in my opinion a partition go ahead joseph. you know that i mean i'm kind of find myself in
a kind of funny situation as and it's rarely to intervene between the event in saudi arabia to decide who started what fair doesn't matter anymore look it's this so she was as they call it the sunnis and the she's and led and lebanon and syria have become there are enough of this world where that it was planted by the saudis or the iranians doesn't matter that we just measured my little fact that maybe not everybody knows that one of the main forces to fight the logical inspiration for the airlie wabi movement way big is the famous me are always the one we issued the famous. many of. us ago so the saudis said that the legal situation here which is very obvious was they don't want to see the syrian regime. connection in the data but the fact of the matter is that. to all conflict connected there is a syrian civil war that the vast majority of the syrian people the sunni population they don't want our side that are not going to like him in the future but there is also a proxy war as i said before this so she was it was said by you michel before you
know that are she volunteers or so from yemen even let alone from iraq and all of that of course because bella and the saudis are sending their own people and you know of course it's going to on everybody else it's going to spread it's already spread in three bullets now in beirut it will go on maybe other places that's not good news but this is something which is out because look it started by the syrian people they didn't want bashar al assad the alawite were aided by the sunnis this really sorry to buy the alibi i mean i'm simplifying something which may be too complicated but that's the true story of the third story is that there was and still is just this is not in for a new kind of it started. it started as a limited but it started as a limited but genuine people's uprising and it was appropriated very early on by outside powers turkey saudi arabia and qatar qatar as a back step so turkey turkey is almost regretting its role because it's now it now
has to deal with militants on its borders saudi arabia is funding them continuing to arm them it things it has a free it has a license to destroy syria and it's it's it's it's conduct is truly deplorable and it's astonishing that no one in the west has said that saudi arabia should get out of the syrian conflict. ok michael in new york how do you feel about that because you know we don't daily i must say compared with the good i think we don't have the big debate because the only debate between us would be when did it become not just to see a lot about the same extent of what i had he was the oh look it's only connected but this is that make that he's always been like that because you know really but this it was thought that connect that so you know one cannot deny the fact that he felt the foot foremost that was the war it's now all of so in the extent of the problem and these. proteins are good and i think if he had a great experience he's going to go through the pretty side. of the plate here
let's go to michael he won't cause michael in new york we're going to michael going to jump in. i mean right the reality is you can't put the blame going on how this started when people jumped in i mean you have backers on both sides and people that will benefactors on both sides but today that bombing in beirut that was claimed by an ok to fill you in lebanon they said in their message that they will continue attacks until hezbollah and iran leave syria i mean that right there shows you how complicated this is and messy it is right now it's not a matter of a blame game because that is the conflict that is that is the reality on the ground is that you have all these interconnected things and they're they're interconnected within a military conflict a sectarian military conflict that can there's no end in sight really all right gentlemen we've run out of time fascinating discussion many thanks to my guests in london new york and columbia and thanks to our viewers for watching us here darkie see you next time and remember.
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trying to scope and iran nuclear deal the israeli prime minister is in moscow and his last minute bid to do you read an agreement as the world powers kick off the new round of talks. nato has european ambitions the blocks putting massive military drills in the u. to maintain cooperation after the afghan mission finishes despite fears it will badly hit europe's pockets. and russia the majority of greenpeace activists detained for storming an oil rig nineteen people have been released so far seven of them today.