tv [untitled] March 9, 2012 9:00pm-9:30pm EST
>> how do you build political constituency to reverse direction? assuming we decided, you know, as a result of this discussion to reverse direction, and how do you do that in the context where the inertia of what you're doing may be creating tensions with the parties you've identified as adversarie adversaries. >> i will leave it to whichever of you raise your hand to address it. >> by reversing direction, what do you mean? >> you have to mobilize support. you have to have expert ls to make a technical case that can
lead to political reports or accounts on capitol hill to deny budgetary support. the vietnam war was funding it. that's in general how you have to stop it. >> i don't have an answer to your question, but i have a comment that i could inform it. not only to bring down the economy, but the rest of the world along with it. reasons for it were well understood by anybody who sat down and looked at the system. of all the people who had responsibilities claimed they didn't see it coming. right now, events which are too big to fail before, are even bigger. credit default swaps are still being created.
it's not been put back in place. and let me tell you, we're going to have another collapse. the whole economy is not being addressed to political leeer ship. >> you think you want to comment? >> i would agree with michael son. that's developing a constituency. you have to get to the hill. it's like making sausages, i always think. other questions? >> yes? >> you asked for me to identify myself. my name is jackie. i'm the executive director of the legal foundation. i have two questions.
the two questions with are none of you mentioned aniry dars or potential radars in norway or scandinavia. i wonder if you have any information about that. second, if anybody wants to comment ob what they think is the significance of the fact that rasmussen, the secretary general of nato recently announced that it's likely he will cancel the joint plan nato russia summit. on the margins. on the question of missile defense. the comment is, and this is not sarcastic question, why on earth would iran launch a nuclear weapon if it had one? knowing that it would be -- that it would be completely suicidal mission? and second of all, i think it's wrong to call it missile defense.
when he unveiled the new thread, it clearly linked our defenses as shields. and that new strategic plan was not called by the same name. but all the pieces are still there. and it's operating with the same way. >> do i have any volunteers? dean, you look like you're ready to say something. zblf let me pick up on the last point you made. it's true the likelihood of iran launching a test is very low. iran can gain by threatening to do that. they can split coalitions. they can dissuade countries of joining coalitions. they may dissuade the u.s. from entering the region, if there's
some -- let's take the strait of hormuz for example. the u.s. decided te go in and they could threaten a nuclear attack against the u.s. homeland. that threat is a very potent threat. and in my mind, missile defense gives you a shield that you can rattle to neutralize the saber rattling of the threat. so it serves a political strategic purpose without anything ever being launched. the chance that any state is going to attack the united states is pretty small. they are not deterrable events. they're events that are a disaster. >> there's an important
assumption being stated that is in dispute here, which is that the defense has any real capability. and the adversary will be so stupid as to believe it does. so there's not something that you to decide about for yourself. this is going to sound brutal to you. i personally believe the way the make the united states safest from this kind of attack is to make it very clear that any country this way will look like glass parking lot when we're finished with them. we would prefer very much not to ever have to do it but if they do we're not going to be ambiguous in the reaction at all. the last thing i want to do is give somebody an idea they may execute a nuclear attack and get away without a response.
and the argument is really not in the interest of stability. we have shown it's an intelligence gathering radar. >> are radars in different places. no missile defense radars are planned. >> i was briefly on the second and third of your questions and comments. on the cushion rasmussen point, as i mentioned, the talks did not bear fruit. it led the president of russia to make a tough decision. and i think until we get them back on track. they had issues that affect everything they say on all issues. it's true elsewhere.
and on the third point, i agree completely with dean's point? but if you extrapolate further, then what is the point of any of them having weapons? we should to the be concerned. and that's the foolish -- you know, why would they do it? if we think it's fruitless, we should be agnostic or indifferent to their acquisition. clearly you're not if you're in a disarmament group i just think we have to really make decisions. not carping from the inside. and you really have the weight of responsibility on your
shoulders. part of the weight of the nation's security on your shoulders. you will become more cautious and cavalier. especially from a regime such as iran. >> speaking as a person from the inside, one of the problems -- >> how many years ago was that? how many decades ago were you in the pentagon? >> 20 years ago. more than 20 years ago. do you have a technical point to make? >> gentlemen, gentlemen. >> well, you know, i think -- i want to finish here. i think it's astonishing you were trained as an engineer and you have nothing technical to say. nothing at all. that's an interesting thing. >> that's not my job in this context. >> i want to make a statement, please, sir.
>> i'm sorry. >> i don't want to be interrupted. >> yeah, please interrupt me, i would love to have the exchange with you. states get nuclear weapons because -- >> yeah. looks like we are. that's good. states get nuclear weapons because they want to protect themselves. that's a big motivation. china -- >> not the only motivation. >> that's true. we can go through it at hundreds of levels. or an irresponsible government official pushing lines that other people state for them. you're not willing to make a clear same.
you were part of a report that made the claim. i can show that the last two experms were attempts to rig the experiment. the states got to know about them. states want to keep us off their backs. after the golf war of '91, there was a prominent indian general. i remember talking about him. he said if you want to keep the united states off your back, have a nuclear weapon. why shouldn't the iranians? >> they may well have. i have to apologize. there's really only time for one more question. and it better be a good one, and it better be brief. do i have any takers?
professor in physics. >> raymond john long at uc berkeley. i just wanted to mention that there is a report from the research counsel. i don't know when it will be out. but it's supposed to be imminent and in the next few weeks. and i thought as an outside reviewer that it does a very good job of going into considerable detail of what anyone from the outside has to admit is a complicated context. nontechnical but equally important matters of concepts of operations, employments and many other factors. that report does not go into political issues, the economics,
and so on and so much. but i really dmend this to you when it comes on. it will be available as a pdf. and i just thought since at least one of the panels was a coauthor, perhaps they're shy about mention iing it. a large expert group was put together. and i think it will contribute by clarifying the concepts and issues without necessarily resolving the issues to the satisfaction of anyone, let alone everyone in the room. >> it's a report coming out from the national research counsel on ballistic missile defense. and i believe it's still being vetted. >> i want to thank you for a fine comment which breaks my ground rules that all q&a starts
with questions. this is a highly complex subject. politically, sociologically, international public. we're very fortunate in having three people willing to inform us, and discuss matters between them. on an issue that i'm certain will be front and center of the american political situations for the next decade. at least we got to a good start today in trying to understand what these issues are and will be. the fact that the three panelists didn't get the surprise, no one at all. i want to thank the three of you for a very fine job ch [ applause ] and i want to thank you all.
i thank you very much for coming. >> if it wasn't important, it wouldn't be worth fighting about. coming up, we continue a look at nuclear weapons. next former u.s. representative jane harmon on iran's nuclear threat. after that, a look at the national nuclear safety administration. the agency responsible for securing nuclear weapons and materials. later william secretary, former
secretary of state george schultz. imposed by nuclear weapons. ernest hemingway is a great writer. not many people know of his work as a spy during world war ii. saying, hey, you know, we'll take your catch and your fresh food. while i wait for them to come outside and then they're going to fire hand grenades down the hatches. then the other members are going to machine gun them. >> military and intelligence historian nicholas reynolds on hemingway, the spy. sunday night at 8:30 t. part of american history tv this weekend on c-span tv.
>> thyme weiner details their history and j. edgar hoover's fight against terrorists. >> hoover stands alone. he's like the washington monument. he stands alone like a statue encased as one of the most powerful men who ever served in washington, 20th century. there is no one like him. and a great deal of what with know or think we know about jay edgar hoover is myth and legend. >> tim weiner, sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's q&a. the american-israel public affairs committee held the
annual policy conference in washington last week. speakers included liz cheney and former u.s. representative, jane harmon. this runs about 35 minutes. >> thank you. good morning, everybody. my name is david, i'm the founding editor of the times of israel. [ applause ] . thank you. this morning we're going to take a tour and explore the many challenges that face the united states and israel. here with us is the former deputy of state, liz cheney. [ applause ] also joining us is middle east analyst from israel's channel 2 news, international fellow of the washington institute and
last but not least, former member of congress, jane harmon. [ applause ] now let's jump in with the most difficult and complicated issue, iran. in the last fewweeks, we've seen terrorist acts with ties to iran occur in georgia, thailand, jane, i know you've last seen iran as a global problem, not just a problem for israel. talk a little about that. >> i would love to. thank you for so much support and love over 17 years in the and especially in 2009. when i was the victim of acampal never forget, lee rosenberg and
others meeting with me to tell me jane, we have your back. it really meant a lot. and the one plea to all of you is you visit congressional office in the next few days and push for an agenda that i fully share. that you urge them to stay bipartisan on the state of israel. israel loses if we make her a political football in the campaign. now about iran, you are right. i've long worried about iran. i'm a jewish grandmother and soon to be a jewish great grandmother. i come by this honestly. iran is not only a threat to israel that we all understand and get, and the clock is ticking, but iran has shown over the years that it is capable through hezbollah to attack this hemisphere. the attacks in the '90s were the largest massacre since the holocaust.
more jews did there. so we better take this seriously. and if iran gets a nuclear weapon, the arms race that will ensue and the destabilization. not only of the region, but of the world, i think means that iran and a few other countries like pakistan are countries we need to worry about. it's in our national interest to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. >> let's elaborate a little bit on that. what would a nuclear capable iran mean for groups like hezbollah? >> well, certainly, david, there's no greater threat that anyone faces. israel or the united states, than a terrorist armed with a nuclear weapon. and when you think about that iran is one of the worst state sponsors of terror today, and their sponsorship of the groups of hamas and hezbollah tells us
not only do you love the risk that they will transfer the itself, transfer in a dirty bomb, but also the potential for nuclear blackmail. when you think of people who say we can contain the nuclear armed iran, you hear people say we contain the soviet union. but when you're thinking about a terrorist interested in doing anybody anything possible that person is much more likely to use a nuclear weapon than the soviet union ever would have been. the danger is much greater. i want to make one other point on the issue. when you hear the news discussions about the united states intelligence says "x" and israeli intelligence say "y", don't forget it's abysmal.
we completely missed. the indian tests. the israelis understood far better than we did the status of saddam's nuclear program. and just back in 2007 it was not until the israelis came to the united states with photos of the nuclear plant that the north koreans were building in the zir syrian desert that we understood there was a nuclear facility there. so putting the security of the united states, the state of israel, in the hands of american intelligence ability to predict the status of the nuclear program is a very dangerous path to go down. >> thanks, liz. thank you. can you paint a picture for us? how far does iran's influence reach? and what does it mean for
israel's security? i think they are trying to be a big brother for the middle east. they believe they are very close, hanging in there just beniece the threshold will give a boost to their aspirations. there are three things that the iranians are engaged in. number one is trying to save president assad of zir dwra after the massacres. this is the formation of the ax through syria. number two, they are making absolutely concentrated effort in order to prevent thet
sunni state in the region n the middle east. from becoming relations of rivalry instead of relations of some corporation. and the iranians are trying to take over the countries in the middle east. that the sunni-shiite divide is reachable. it was the leader of iran who was the translator. and they are making enormous effort, saying to the muslim brothers, hey, your concept of islamic state is not that different from our concept. thank you. let me come back to you and talk
about sanctions. but the nuclear program continues. so are sanctions having an impact? and what more can be done? >> i think it's clear that the sanctions are having an impact on the economy of iran. there's none onat this nuclear taking. and it's important to remember here. it often is the case that they need to obtain a level of sophistication that other countries have obtained. they need to put the your yan yum on a missile. they node to test it in a way that we've seen other nations do.
it's critically important we understand where the red line should be. iran cannot be allowed to become capable of doing those things.t whether or not to pursue a nuclear weapon needs to explain why then are they willing to stomach the economic pain of the sapgss, and why are they turning them away repeatedly from the sites that the international community wants to see? let me ask you, should that be a red line for the united states? twa dangers does it pose before it becomes an iran that has a nuclear weapon? about to break out to a nuclear weapon? >> i iran already does pose considerable dangers. i do, however, disagree about the assessment of our
intelligence capability. this is something i'm very close to, and after our initiale inll. and we do much better. iran is one of the toughest targets. but u think israel agrees with us that iran is at least a year away from having a testable weapon and two years away from from being able to put it on a missile. then comes the question, what do you do in the meantime? and this is a tough issue. obviously israel is struggling with it, and so are we. i was heartened to to see the interview he had in the atlantic magazine where he mad clear that he is not bluffing. and that containment is not an option. containment must not be an option. we all agree on that.
it is very important to think about the changes in the neighborhood as we think about how to stop iran. and so my suggestion, with respect to sanction first, they'll fully kick in this summer. even the iranians have admitted that they are biting. they've been devalued by 57%. the transportation banking and pepper chemical industries have been devastated inside iran. there are no spare parts in factories. the gdp is zip. and the iranians according to polls are blaming their own government, which is fighting with each other, rather than us. russia canceled the s-300 sale to iran.