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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  January 16, 2015 1:00pm-3:01pm EST

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leadership leadership. you know, i don't know how many of you saw the article yesterday, any of you see it, he called for the entire firing of the entire executive branch of government, unheard of, including valerie jarrett because he left one person out. the one man who really determines the policy. now, we have a new congress. they were elected to stop the transformation of america, not to see how they could work with the president. this is pure nonsense. you know, we have been saying
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people describe the threat -- the threat is islam. let's make no mistake. there is no such thing as radical islam because -- i like somebody to give me a definition of moderate islam. there ain't any. i think it was -- who said it best islam is islam. there are no modifier ss. we have looked for a leader to come stand up and try to modify islam. and previously mentioned here, on new year's day, president al sissy standing before all the leading sunni clerics called for
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a refirmation of islam. monumental. he then went to celebrate christmas mass at a coptic church and pledged to rebuild all the churches. clearly, he better bring his insurance policies up to date. but this is momentum. and the administration didn't even give it the tip of the hat. absolutely no acknowledgement. so it certainly tells you where their sympathies lie. it is up to this congress they have been given the mantle we are giving them the game plan on how to proceed and prevent the transformation of this great country. thanks very much.
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>> let me just say for myself and i think perhaps for others on our tiger team the formulation that i personally prefer over characterizing all of islam as one thing or another is that it is this sharia program within islam that is the heart of the problem. because we certainly know of people who believe they're practicing their faith in a manner that is consistent with the teachings of islam that don't follow sharia. so i personally am inclined to eshoo the idea that it is all of islam, but it is sporn to say as i indicated earlier and david may wish to join in if we still got it and the sound is okay, it
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is the authorities of islam like those that were just mentioned who are insistent that sharia is islam. so fault to be found on this count, i would earth that the mirror be held up to them. with that we'll pause and further rarbzemarks by us and take any questions you may have. if you would be so kind to introduce yourselves< and the organizational affiliation you have, that may help us. if you wish to direct the question to one of us, that would be welcomed. if not, we'll just see who has the best answer. yes, sir. stand by for the mike if you would, please. >> pat span, just myself. i was wondering what what the opinion of the panel is i sigh once their donors threatened
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backed down on having the call to prayer at 1:00, amazing how that works with colleges. i'm curious, is that viewed as a -- some islamic phobic victory. how do you view that? is that a positive thing for our cause or a negative? >> claire is grabbing a mike. we'll start with you. >> thank you for the question. that refers to as you may have heard the decision earlier by duke university to allow muslim students on campus to chant the muslim call to prayer today, friday, juma prayers, from the bell tower of the chapel the christian chapel on campus at duke. and then after the outcry and special as7 statement from frank
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graham, franklin graham, and in a lot of other public opinion was negative about that. it is really important that they did not allow that to happen and here's why. when a muslim prayer the friday prayers, are said, are chanted, are spoken, on the grounds of another faith's place of worship, in this case, a christian chapel, in the mind of islam, in the doctrine and the certainly the history of islam, that claims that place that church, that temple, that synagogue, whatever it may be for islam. you may have recalled a couple of months the friday prayers were said at the national cathedral in downtown washington, d.c. clearly the leadership of that
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cathedral thought they were being open and inviting and tolerant. what that did, though, was allow islam ic islamic prayer ss -- those who have angered allah and those prayers spoken in a place like that. traditionally, this goes back for centuries, upon centuries, claims that place for islam. it didn't happen at duke and that's a good thing. >> may i make one point on this. i don't think in what we said today, we adequately addressed it. there is an addition to this violent jihad aimed at imposing upon us sharia blasphemy laws or more broadly the second class
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status come to be known popularly as dim tud. one other facet of what is afoot here notably as a prime purpose of muslim brotherhood, inside our country dating back to 1963 when they started the first front organization here, the muslim students association but also this organization the organization of islamic cooperation, is to impose through stealth or a civilization jihad as the brotherhood calls it this broader sharia agenda. my view is that this campaign, duke is just being the most recent example, the national cathedral being another to penetrate and subvert under the rubric of interfaith dialogue and bridge build inging with
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non-muslim communities of faith is part and parcel of the larger program, the admiral touched on, subverting all of our civil society institutions as well as our governing agency sies. the first series was on the court system, something that david has been instrumental in helping us understand and counter with. the piece of legislation he helped devise called american laws for american courts, to counter the effort to subvert us from within by bringing sharia into american courts as we see in britain where there are 87 sharia law that courts operating side by side.
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i wanted to make this point, anytime we see people learning about and pushing back against this effort, very skillfully, very seditiously to penetrate and subvert us from within. they say in their own strategic plan, their mission in america is to destroy western civilization from within, by our hands, and the hands of the believer s believers. david, did you want to add anything to this point? >> am i on? >> you're on and clear. >> is that there is -- subtlety -- and that is
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underlying -- >> david the sound is just terrible, i'm sorry to say. we'll -- we could read your lips but not very well. so i think we'll just let it go at that. anybody else on the panel who wanted to add anything? if not, to next question. >> we heard a lot of terms jihad and terrorist and islam. and i'm sure -- >> and sharia. >> and sharia. i want to know, to defeat the enemy you have to know you're going to be. what do we call the enemy specifically. and the second quick question is there is a lot of talk about terror cells and i wonder if you can could address that, thank you. >> mike would you like to take that? >> for me you have to find
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where your allies will go along with something you can all agree on. in in case you have senior islamic leaders who finally are calling this enemyiesnb jihadists. we can can beat around the bush, but we're not going to -- >> terrorist is a tactic. and if it is jihad they're about, calling them that rather than are terror cells is to clarify and enable you to do something about it. bring the mike closer. >> islam is a religion of peace. that would be a great first step. it is a political movement
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masquerading as a religion. and until you come to grips with that, you're not going to defeat the enemy. >> there has been a lot of attacks recently by lone wolves. better known as known wolves. the bottom line is it doesn't matter what flag they fly. it is not like al qaeda is handing out union cards. if they fly the bag flag of jihad, they're bad guys. they're all working for the same thing. let's quit retending they have popped up out of nowhere. >> emphasis they are working towards the same thing being basically two prime goals the imposition of parra worldwide
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and the creation of some kindñr of governing entity best known by the sunni term caliphate to rule the world according to sharia. whether it is question or the islamic state or the al nusra front or islamiyah or the muss lick brotherhood. that's the shared purpose and that's what makes this a toxic threat and must be addressed. >> most of the speakers spoke about political correctness as the problem.
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i know it is a broad question. is there anything that can be done about political correctness? >> we get to vote every four years, that's helpful. that's a political> the one thing is make our military leadership live up to the oath of office. that's a good first step. we didn't really touch on it. the economic melt downthat kevin talked about was the perfect storm to implement the unilateral disarmament and that's what's going on. how we're going to handle future disputes through negotiations
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they forgot one important element. the only thing that works is a strongpmission. re know if they don't confirm, we're going to hammer mxfl pqk[;q l them. the social engineering, undercutting morale and the win to win. this has to change. i'll stop there. >> thank you. claire? >> best way to counterplektselor political correct notice is to counter it. by using the proper lack by
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identifying the sources, is to use terms like violent skrimists, and insked say ingtead saying these are islamic jihadis. all of us can help defeat and counterpolitical correctness. >> can i mention something, i have a radio program that we do as a product for the policy late night. and i had the privilege of interviewing today for today's program neil monroe, highly regarded jaurnlist. wise the national journalists today for the dill yea caller. "i was interviewing him about a piece he had written earlier this week about the white house press operations stated
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determination to prevebt reporters from covering stories in ray way that might give offense to well, the jihadics. it was such a palpable am of what we might try to dress up as political correctness. josh ernst tried to dress it up further by saying he doing it for the troops so ato protect them against the yee haudjihadists. in the wake of what happened in the past seven or eight days. this isn't political correctness. this is not multicultural is it? this is not being densive is to diversity. in the eyes of the enemy, this
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is subsubmission. submission means specifically to sharia ble if heglass ma if i. and under the meteorologist that o($)qñ9-,u%8xq animating the energy or submit to indefinitely under horrific circumstances. we cannot let them think we're submitting because sharia tells them the appropriate response to that is to redouble the effort to make us feel subdued. that's koran it language for more jihad, more horrors. the question of whether we political this political
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correctness is to see if we persist in a self-destructive course of action that will result in for of us being killed more of us bheeg subdueeing subed. >> i think what i would like to do for the audience is just ask everybody to bring it back to the basics. in this environment when we have so many things to decide upon for the future of our nation, we need to remember our constitution was not found ed on accident. we need to remember when christopher column becauses with commissioned to sale rest, it was after 781 years of struggles to rid it of jihadist.
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when the marines landed at tripoli, against not pifrts, against jautists. the discovery of this nation by column because was in a way it caused by the same movement. we think about that and our constitution, how it with founded. if we root ourselves with the love of that dock umt and the flag that fapd stands for it, we'll figure out how to defeat the enemy. the one behind me in this room was deployed with me on ever deployment. i only unfold it in combat
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environments. over platts that saddam once han been hanned and i learned something in the last year, the fight is here. like frank said, civilization jihad is here. that's why that flag is unfurl ed ed. i would ask that everybody in the room take the opportunity to pledge allegiance to the flag in the home and remember we're here in defense constitution. >> we may close with that, that gesture. i think it is a good idea. i do want to make sure0b÷ ómha;ñnfhá┐.e,ñ aren't any other questions. yes, sir. >> michael goldstein.
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30 year navy retirees and now the nuclear energy space. although the amply fide call to prayer is not going to occur, the prayer service still is. anyway, i'm going to want to talk to kevin about this off line at some point. it is american technology that hasn't been developed, just will create enough process heat to turn our tremendous coal fields into liquid transportation fields gasoline and diesel, enough to satiate world demand and make middle east oil irrelevant irrelevant. i think that's very important for the team. >> thank you very much. you're talking about thorium. molten salt reactors.
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yes, ma'am. stand by. >> jacqueline rose. i heard the same thing this morning and i believe they said that they would amplify it but not from the big tower at a certain volume where the whole region heard it. it would be amplified at a lower volume within the quadrangle et cetera by mechanical means where people around that area would hear it. >> yes that is true, but the important thing is the physical occupation of the christian chapel for those prayers will not happen. >> whether in this instance or not, you can take it to the bank, that unless people of other faiths understand that what they're being duped by is a
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deliberate strategy of subversion from within is this notion that bridge building and their participation in it is a sort of ecumenicalism and defense of first amendment, specifically religious freedom rights, is actually a cynical act on the part of those -- that they're interacting with. we're reminded of a passage from one of the most influential jihadist ideologues in modern times. his book milestones is required reading. they often find it on the battlefield, i believe, as a guide ans. one thing he says about bridge building is the chasm between islam and the unbelievers is so vast that no bridge can be built to span it, except for the purpose of bringing the unbeliever to islam. in other words, this is a one
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way bridge fobs. every pastor every chaplin every priest every rabbi what have you, who is being subjected to this kind of well i think come hither why don't we say is actually being victimized. i want to close this by bringing to the podium as a special and totally unexpected pleasure a man that i've come to know -- i got to give you one accolade. the man fighting to come to the microphone is the former commandant the 29th, of the united states marine corps, a center for the center of security policy. one of the greatest americans i've ever had the privilege of knowing and perfect cap stone to this.
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may i just say -- i was going to keep going. general. >> i want to give my personal thanks to the potential and to really the entire group for a tremendous idea, a tremendous effort. we have to win this one. all of the people here that talk to us stress directly and indirectly the need for a total government effort. all the elements of national power and influence, be it economic societal political technology, military, whatever, all of it has to be pulled together in a super interagency human effort for this to work. as ace pointed out, clearly we must have a congress on our side. we must have an administration that understands what is going on and must have a judiciary
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capability that understands it as well. this is going to be a mammoth undertaking and mammoth educational undertaking. we're all americans. and for all of those in the free world, that aspire to remain free. you got to make this not just u.s., president reagan had nato and he also had other treaty alliances and organizations and so on. it has got to be a free world effort. and it does not have to hinge only on democracy. that's just a part of r we don't want to go to areas and promote democracy when that's not the issue. the issue is for us to survive
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as a nation, to continue to lead the free world in a totality of elements of national capability. i think our intelligence community has been wounded severe by by the attack of snowden. we need to restore that and wee need to restore that very, very quickly. the men and women who make up the intelligence community are super people. you can take them to the bank. we need to enforce that. we're neo fights and we're losing the information war idea now. what professor wilder said and other, we got to redane what we
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had with voice of europe and freedom and freedom and america. how do we educate the american people and the free world as we know it? let's look at younger people. they learn by different means. we need an education program second to none. we have to be very clear and how we define certain things. i think radical gee hautists is the right approach there. the koran has been interpreted and reinterpreted several times and many similarities.
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we want to bring in of them over to our side. we had to be careful how we approached that. i think we need to learn more about other countries and other people, other cultures. my favorite example of that i was privileged to be a joint chief of"]sstaff. and year they would order us to go around and steam around haiti. every year some phi beta kappa would announce we're going to drop leaflets. i would say that's a great idea but what if they couldn't read. we don't know what we're talking about here in a lot of areas. we're not the most brilliant people in the world. if i want to thank the panel.
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i think you're on the right track. somehow you failed to mention how we're going to -- how we're going to take advantage of the world's greatest media. they're a big part of this. somehow, they got to get open board. they got to quit making heroes out of these people. the war is not against terrorism. how do we teach the mesh people that the war is not against terrorism. it has been around for a long, long time. it is in the bible. it is going to be there. that's not the issue. thanks for writing this to our attention. >> i can't thank you enough for being here and arresting to the importance of this and for hoping -- i hope you will help us bring it to the attention of a great many other people. in closing, let me just say my own personal view of this is
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that radical jihad is confusing. it is a pretty radical program for sure but jihad is jihad as you heard others talk about here. and we have to prevent it from being waged against us. we encourage everyone to go to secure you can download right now for free 94 pages of our secure freedom strategy. it is meant to be a contriwq%=9 to a debate we believe is wrong overdue will start getting serious now about what has to be done to secure freedom. i would like to ask you to join us in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge aleenslegiance to the flack of the united states of america.
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and to the republic for which it indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> thank you very much for being here. god less you aall.
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and as this discussion comes to a close, if if you missed it, it is available in the c-span video library shortly. you can watch it at check the video library. the blair house across from the bhouz is flying the british flag today. this instagram picture by jonathan carl. blair house is a guest house used by dignitaries using the white house. and david cameron met with president obama about the war on terror. got a picture for you tweeted out by mark knoller this was before the meeting of the two world leader the white house. this news conference continuingeing right now. you can see it on c-span. that will also air tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span if you
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missed any of it today. president bahama heads to capitol hill often tuesday. we'll have live coverage of the speech but our coverage begins at 8 eastern as we hear perfect ray qshuck. republicans have tapped jone yes ernst to give the address. she's first woman to represent iowa in congress. here are some of our featured programs for this weekend on the c-span networks. saturday night at 10:00, on afterwards, brett stevens argues our enemies and competitors are taking advantage of the situation abroad created by the u.s. as it focuses on doemestic concerns. and steve raise real on his
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latest novel. and at 8:00, george mason university joran turneri] on the early mormons and their attempt to create a new xi . and sunday at 4:00, the forced desegregation of the all white school. let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. wall us atcall us like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. the c-span cities tour take book tv and american history tv on the road traveling to u.s. cities to rern about their
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history and literary life. we partnered with come kat for i visit to wheeling, west virginia. >> i wrote these books, there are two volumes. the reason why i thought it was important to collect the histories is that wheeling transformed into a industrial city in the latter past of the 18th century and it is kind of uncommon in that west virginia it grew a lot of immigrants from other parts of europe in terms of job and opportunity. that generation is pretty much fon. i thought it was important to get their stories. it is an important part of our history. most people tent to focus on the frontier history. those periods that are
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important. of equal importance is the industrial period and immigration that wheeling had. wheeling starts as an outpost and frontier. that river was the western extent of united states in the 1770s. the first project funded by the federal dwoft for road production was the national road from cumberland maryland, to wheeling, and that will give this community which about that time is 15 years old. the real spurt it needs for growth. over the next 20 25 years wheeling will almost triple. >> watch all of our events from
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wheeling saturday at noon eastern on book tv and 2:00. a poll released by the brookings institution shows that 70% of americans believed isis is the biggest challenge facing the u.s. and the middle gwmq9ñ susan glaser and e.j. dieneionne took part in the discussion of how americans can view the fight with isis. ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. thank you all for braving the arctic blast to join us this afternoon for this event which
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has been months in the preparation. on what americans think about the fight against isis. for those of you whom i don't x ,5n'doi u3o fó[u1px know, my name is tamara wittes, i direct the center for middle east policy here at the brookings institution and one of the things we do in the center for middle east policy is we host our project on u.s. relations with the islamic world and that project is the organizer of today's event. the united states finds itself now just four months into what we are calling the anti-isis struggle. one in which our leaders acknowledge will probably take years to play out. and along with the attention of the horrific violence that this movement has wreaked on syrians,
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iraqis and others questions of momentum seem to dominate a lot of the media coverage around this new campaign. has the united states and the coalition halted the isis advance? is the military retaking territory? are the kurds holding kobani and it's these momentum questions that seem to occupy so much attention at least here in the united states, but a lot of the questions that i hear amongst our coalition partners and out in the middle east have more to do with the u.s. commitment to this struggle. after a hard decade of war with iraq having just ended the longest u.s. combat operation
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ever in afghanistan, the question i keep hearing is whether americans have the stomach for another war of indeterminate length and scope against an ill-defined enemy that can shift to new battlefields as we saw yesterday to horrific effect. it's important as we evaluate this question of american commitment to ask ourselves how do americans understand this threat? and then to think about how this struggle might play out not only on the battlefields of iraq and syria, but here in washington as congress reconvenes to contemplate potentially authorizing for the long term military force against isis.
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what exactly are americans willing to do on behalf of the struggle and for how long? and it's to try to get answers to these question that we've convened today and it's to get answers that shibley telhami together with his colleagues at the university of maryland and elsewhere, put together a wonderful public opinion poll that went out into the field last fall and the results of which we are launching today. now the first part of that poll we launched here at the beginning of december and that was focused on american public opinion about the israeli-palestinian conflict and american efforts to resolve it. the second part of that poll is what we are revealing today, what americans think about the fight against isis and i am truly thrilled that shibley is here to offer the findings to
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you and that he is here to discuss the significance of the poll findings by two wonderful colleagues. shibley, of course, is not only a non-resident senior fellow of longstanding here at the brookings institution, but also the anwar sadat professor for peace and development at the university of maryland. he is joined today by susan glasser, the editor of politico who, of course, was also the founding editor of politico magazine, editor in chief of foreign policy and before that a highly decorated journalist at the washington post and of roll call and along with susan commenting on today's poll findings we have our friend and lbcl6 colleague e.j. dion of the governing studies program here at brookings, also, of course, a columnist at "the washington
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post" and a professor on the democracy of culture, such a wonderful title, at georgetown university, my alma mater. shibley will be out to present the findings of the poll and we'll bring in susan and e.j. for a panel discussion. i want to highlight, before we start, a couple of things. first off, as an additional collaboration between shibley and politico today, just now hasnb gone live, susan's paper, an article that shibley wrote based on the poll findings and are americans ready to go to war against isil and that is on the politico website right now and i commend it to all of you. the other thing i would like to !u note is for all of you who are interested in joining a conversation about the poll on twitter today during the event
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and following please tweet using the #isispoll. with that i would like to invite shibley up to the podium. thanks very much. [ applause ] >> thanks so much tamara, and thank you all for coming on this cold day. let me just say a couple of things by way of introduction about the poll and then i'll go right to the results. this was sponsored by the sadat chair at the university of maryland in cooperation with the program for public consultation. it was done in mid-november and it was two parts as tamara said. first, it was on the israel-palestine issue and the second was on isil in syria which we will review today. there are a number of people w3 that helped with it. please read their names. i'm not going to mention all of
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the names, but they were at the university of maryland at brookings and at the program for public consultation. also, we have a sample of 1,008 and an online survey provided by jfk the methodology, and you can find it online for those of you interested in the aspect of it. it was plus or minus 3.4%, but let me go directly into sort of what drove the questions, first of all. what is it that we're trying to get at when we designed this poll. first, i have been very surprised by the american public which was said to be war weary in -- and basically because of the iraq and afghanistan war and had opposed even a more minimalist intervention proposed by president obama after president obama told the american public that bashar al assad had used chemical weapons
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against his own people, and finally after a few beheadings was pretty much open to approving certainly a much more expansive intervention that was initially proposed against syria and now some are even open to escalation of that intervention. so i know that one of the easy questions -- answers in conventional wisdom is that it's all about the beheadings, but the beheadings don't really explain it because on the one hand because if it's about the ruthlessness of the beddings, we talked about chemical weapons and the public was still reluctant to do it. if it was about americans, think about our conventional wisdom in the past when american soldiers were dragged in the streets of mogadishu in somalia, that that's exactly why americans want to stay out of it, not to get into it.
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so clearly, that doesn't explain it. we needed to probe more and we designed this to probe a little bit more into what the thinking is of the public and i would like to share some of the findings. and i'd like to share some of the findings. it's important to start with it. which is when you ask i mentioned that when you ask for something and someone in the middle east and we have the conflict, iranian behavior, instability in libya, rise of isis. and in some ways that brings down a sense of iranian threat or the violence in the palestine question. doesn't mean those issues have not perceived to be a threat to american interest by the public. it is just the full, so focused on isis and gave only one choice
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everything else looks less threatening. clearly isis has emerged as the principal threat as americans see it in the middle east and there are huge divisions between republicans and democrats. but on this issue, there's little difference. 70% for democrats, 72% for republicans. it's consistent across party lines. the next question, is what do americans want to do about it? and normally, it's when you askeqi a hypothetical question, you have to understand that it's hypothetical hypothetical. it's not something they have to deal with immediately. and so, we pose the question what if the current effort fail. you could see, if air strikes aren't enough to stop isis, would you favor opposed sending
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u.s. ground troops to iraq to fight against isis? so what we find is that and this is hypothetical. 41% who favor. and 2% refuse. i'll tell you my own sense when i say hypothetical if the president were to go to the american people and say tomorrow the air strikes have failed. i'm asking you to send american forces to finish the job, i suspect the opposition would be greater. that is my interpretation because it's a real issue they are much more conservative in the way they react to it. and here is the interesting divide across party line, and i think this is huge if you look at it. only 36% of democrats and 31% of independents would favor sending
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ground forces even if current efforts fail whereas, you have a majority of republicans, 53% who say they would favor it. that is really an important finding and very important for the political process particularly in the primaries where how a candidate is going to define the positions on those issues and you can see it's going to be quite a difference. we've seen a difference on the palestine question and a huge divide particularly the republicans on the one hand and democrats and independents on the other. we see this a little bit here. which of the following is closest to review in the use of american ground forces. so we went to the 41% of the
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people who said i'm prepared to use ground force fess air strikes fail and we tried to figure out. so what is it that in their view justifies the use of ground forces. yes, the ruthlessness and intolerance of isis is, in fact, a factor and 33% give that as a principal reason, but the number one answer is that they really see isis as an extension of al qaeda. they see it as another manifestation of al qaeda which we're still at war and unfinished business and that's one reason why they highlight it and that, obviously, 43% say that, well above the worry about the ruthlessness of isis. two other things i want to say about this particular graph. if you look at the number of people who say that what's justifying in their mind the openness to deploying ground forces is, you know, that it's an extension, they don't give the possible threat to our most
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vital interest as the number one answer. only 16%, basically, say that they see it immediately or even can because the question was potentially a threat to america's manager and that's not what's driving them in this particular regard and certainly not a look at how many -- how small the number is of people who say it's a perceived threat to our allies and only 7% think that's the reason why we should
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be sending ground forces. remember, this is among the people who are prepared to use ground forces and not the whole population. there is a bit of a divide across parties and not all that much. i want to go to a second kind of question because we have understood and everybody who does polling understands that on issues like this particularly when there is no immediate choice that the public has to decide on and you are formulating some scenarios or hypothesis, the public is often conflicted and there are all sorts of issues that come into play. so we wanted to push it a little bit more to see the extent to which the public is open to involvement. so we have the following scenario. the u.s. should stay out of the conflict with isis. the u.s. cannot determine the course of war in syria and iraq. our involvement would be a
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slippery slope going from air strikes to military advisers and ultimately to combat troops. on the other hand we must intervene on the level necessary to defeat isis. isis not only threatens our allies if it succeeds in expanding and increasing its control and oil resources and it will become a greater threat to our interest. we asked them which one of your views is closest to your view? so basically, just to see where they lean obviously in this regard. remember, they've alreadiy said, the majority said they don't want to send ground forces, but look at this. so when you put this additional hypothetical with no reference to ground forces you still get a majority, roughly the same percentage, 57% who say we must intervene at the level necessary to defeat isis. by the way, this is not unusual and we see it also in syria where on the one hand, the public wants to do something and they don't want to put a serious option on the table for them and we see that here, as well. i just want to go quickly to a few other questions.
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which is the closest to your view? even if we commit a significant number of ground forces it is unlikely that we can defeat isis in iraq and syria. if we commit a large number of ground forces we can defeat isis and as soon as we withdraw, they or something like them will likely return and the third is if we commit a large number of ground troops we can defeat isis well enough so that it is unlikely they or something like them will return soon after we withdraw and what you see here is essentially only 20% believe that we can permanently defeat isis and that even those who think isis could be defeated and a majority, 56% say they will return soon after, they or something like them and i think that is the reluctance. that is really the principal reason for public reluctance to commit more because they think we'll be dragged into an indefinite war and that's been the experience and i think that explains it quite a bit and we see that to varying degrees across the party line, as well. i want to just transition to another set of issues which is about how the public perceives
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broad support for isis, particularly among muslims around the world. obviously it's an issue that has become tragically relevant given the massacre in paris yesterday where obviously a lot of people are asking the question if there is any connection whether communities in western societies will be dragged into it and whether there will be operations on western soil. so we had, while we obviously didn't anticipate this kind of attack we know this has always been on the public's mind so we
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asked questions specifically related to it and i would like to review some of those questions here. the first one is what is your impression of how muslims around the world feel about isis? most muslims oppose it. and most muslims are evenly balanced? and so what you find here is that only 14% of americans believe that most muslims support isis, but they're evenly divided, roughly between those who think most muslims oppose it and most muslims are evenly divided on isis. so it's a mixed picture. however, when you look at it again by party, it's interesting that just look at the lost category which is most muslims support it and 22% of support, they are 13% for democrats and 13% for independents and you can see that there is some kind of a
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difference interpretation that carries itself through much of the poll even though here it's not as pronounced as some of the others. >> how worried are you that a significant number of americans will join isis in the middle east? >> you can see that 40% say they're at least somewhat worried and there's 8% who say very worried and clearly a s+7d&?xo%ñ!
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interesting in and of itself and you have also that there is a variation across party line that by and large you find more worry among republicans than the rest. do you think that support among americans for isis is likely to be greater than support for al qaeda and less than support for al qaeda or about the same? the reason i inserted this is because, of course, we had this question about how does this compare historically and we don't have a historical data on this so i don't know how they felt about it before, and i'll put in al qaeda to see at least we had some rough comparison whether they see it's more or less threatening than al qaeda in terms of americans joining isis and their fear about
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americans joining al qaeda and what we find is actually slightly less worried and it's roughly the same. you see 56% say it's roughly the same and 25% say it's less than al qaeda. 17% say more than al qaeda, and i think this reinforces this other issue of what is it that's driving the propensity to want to intervene is they're clearly combining isis and al qaeda, a large number of the public are combining isis and al qaeda in their mind. i want to switch to a few questions about syria and isis and, and one of the questions is which is the closest to your view if we spent enough q%ñ resources to drain the moderate syrian opposition and it could 17% say more than al qaeda, and i think this reinforces this other issue of what is it that's driving the propensity to want to intervene is they're clearly combining isis and al qaeda, a large number of the public are combining isis and al qaeda in
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their mind. i want to switch to a few questions about syria and isis and, and one of the questions is which is the closest to your view if we spent enough resources to drain the moderate syrian opposition and it could stand up to both isis and the ass;d opposition is too weak and divided each if we give it significantly more resources, it cannot effectively stand up to isis in the current regime of bashar al assad. which one is closest to your view and here is what we see. clearly, two-thirds say the syrian opposition cannot stand up to both assad and isis no matter how much support we give it and that is kind of a ñ starting point for their attitudes on that. we then go and give them two scenarios that to evaluate two scenarios and see how much support those two scenarios have. one scenario is assad has killed its own people with chemical weapons and is as bad as isis. there is no way to resolve the war in syria without removing the assad regime.
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do you find this convincing or unconvincing?5a so look at this. you find a lot of people find this very convincing. you have overall, 70% say very convincing or somewhat convincing, but then we give them an alternative hypothesis which is assad -- a second. >> i don't have the full scenario, but we should not é@ fight the assad army and let it fight isis. we had built a scenario around that, as well and what we find is that still a majority agreed with that even though it's obviously somehow juxtaposed with the previous hypothesis, but fewer people agree with it.
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you have 60% find this argument somewhat convincing as opposed to the other one which is 70%. so then we go to the bottom line argument and now that you have these scenarios, do you think the u.s. military should or should not fight assad's army in syria? so what you have is a large majority, 72% said the u.s. should not fight assad's army in syria. so a clear reluctance part of it is isis, but part of it is based on other factors, as well. >> i just want to end with a couple of issues that i call linkage issues in part because when we did this poll we had two parts, one on israel-palestine and one on isis and syria and we went to see some connection in there and it was at a time where if you recall secretary of state
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john kerry was criticized for suggesting that violence on the israeli-palestinian front played into the hands of isis and enabled them to recruit more people and focused more attention on the u.s. and israel. that was an argument that he made. he backtracked in large part because he got a lot of criticism for it so we wanted to see how the public sees this issue so we asked directly which one is closest to your view? we gave them two options. one option is the escalation of the palestinian-israeli conflict is drawing more support among muslims worldwide and to focus more attention on confronting israel and the u.s. and the alternative hypothesis,
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it would not affect either the support for isis or its strategies. its aims are independent of the palestinian-israeli conflict and it is unlikely to draw supporters because of it. okay. so very clear two options that i think summarize the debate. here's what we get. a large majority, two-thirds, 64% say they think violence on the israeli-palestinian front would be used to increase support for isis and 30% say it wouldn't. we further, just very quickly, by the way, here's an interesting thing about the divide between democrats and the republicans and the secretary of state came under criticism from the republican side on this issue and here is the anything thing, and slight difference between democrats and republicans and there is more linkage than democrats and 75% think there is linkage between those issues and one final note. i'm not going to go through the issue, but it turns out also that in our polling which asked whether the american public wanted the u.s. to lean toward israel and to lean toward the palestinians or to lean toward either side we ran correlations to see whether we want the u.s.
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to lean toward israel had different views from the rest of the population and whether it was actual linkage, in fact, in the minds of some people and in f&uy1:u )u$at there is, for example, among those who say they want the u.s. to lean toward israel. 73%, you know say the israeli-palestinian conflict is used by isis to draw support and surprisingly, even more people think among that segment of the public, and it also matters for how people want to -- those who want the u.s. to lean toward what israel tend to want to also
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be more open to military intervention and sending ground forces to look at this slide in particular and among those who lean toward israel, 61% say that if air strikes aren't enough, the u.s. should use ground forces versus only 31% for the rest of the population. now, i just want to make one point, and i'm sure we'll have that in the conversation, this is not an indication of a causal relationship. most likely it is part of a connected world view, an ideological world view of the same people seeing, you know, who want to intervene. we see that also with the evangelical community and we're seeing it across party lines and don't be too quick to create a causal linkage and it's
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nonetheless interesting. thank you very much for listening and i invite the panelists to the stage. [ applause ]i]
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let's see. wonderful! shibly, thank you for giving us the highlights and there are quite a bit more in the packets that are available on the table and of course, more discussion in shibly's article for politico they mentioned earlier and we'll be able to get into a lot of what this means up here in a conversation with all of you. susan, let me start by probing the idea that shibly mentioned just at the outset. okay. americans went quickly, it seems from war weariness and r reluctance to engage to readiness to support this new struggle. at the same time what we see in the results that were just saying well, we have to do what's necessary to fight isis, to defeat isis, but we can't win in a lasting way.
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these guys are either, we're not going to be able to defeat them k=cu(-qí(p o-l g8l or they're going to comeyq-5ñ soon as they leave, but we have to do it anyway. how do you understand that contradictory sentiment? >> thank you so much, shibly and to you, tamara. i'm glad you started with that because there is a lot to wrap around politically as to what this means. the superficiality and the thinness of the support for what we're doing is reflected in the fact that this is and it's amorphous and what we were talking about and you have to consider we're basically talking about a war without a name and all of the political consequences that come with that which is to say i'm struck by the broad, but clearly not deep at all support for whatever it is we think we're sort of doing and same thing with the bipartisanship. you have this, you know, on the surface very striking appearance of bipartisan consensus and we have over 70% who appear to be
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absolutely fine with the policy we're conducting and yet at the same time basically there say complete cynicism around the idea that it's actually going to accomplish much and b, when you talk about b, if it doesn't accomplish anything you will open up that fissure which i think will be the fissure in foreign politics with policy that we're talking for the entire arc of this presidential campaign that's about to begin. okay, great and i definitely want to get back to that. it's washington and we can't avoid talking about the 2016 race even though it's only january of 2015, but in many ways i think that this poll has interesting implications for e1 where that debate will go, but first, e.j., let me ask you can we -- maybe one way to understand what looks
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contradictory or what looks like a reluctant or ambivalent from susan's description commitment is that it's the hard lesson in the last 13 years that, well, we're not always going to win and we're not always going to achieve our goals and sometimes we have to get in there and get dirty anyway. is that one way to understand this? >> i think that is and i think shibly's poll includes material that suggests that even americans who would be sympathetic to intervention think the lessons might not be good. i just want to sort of underscore what i see is a very interesting contradiction and ambivalence in the survey. there were two different questions that produced two different answers. if you asked the question, if air strikes aren't enough to stop isis, would you oppose sending u.s. ground troops and
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57% oppose and that's a dovish majority, but when you asked which of the following come closest to your view, we must intervene at the level necessary to defeat isis. 57% say yes. that's a hawkish majority which means something like 16 or 18% of the people in the survey gave answers on one question that did not seem to match the answer on the other question. one is i do think some of that is an iraq hangover and the other is i think there has been a profound ambivalence about intervention from the very beginning and i went back for something else i'm doing, i ran across this recently and i went back and looked at the gallop poll before we intervened in afghanistan and this was before 9/11. >> this was a poll after 9/11? >> poll after 9/11 in november
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2001 and this is when president bush had a broad con sense us in support of the invasion and 18% said no. gallup went underneath the numbers and of that 81% 22% were reluctant warriors and they found those, they classified them that way because they said they would not have supported intervention had 9/11 not happened. combine the 22% with the 18% and you're up even at the moment where americans were most interventionist and you have 40% who were either doves or reluctant warriors. took apart the rest, there were only 22%, they found who were consistent hawks who would have been willing to intervene before. so i think when we look at
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american opinion there is this deep, underlying reluctance to intervene even in circumstances when most americans have a gut sympathy for the intervention and one other point to go to your original question if you remember shibly's slide and which comes closest to your review and this is where iraq really comes in. 57% said the u.s. can defeat isis and only 20% thought we could perfectly defeat isis so that the war, i think, the iraq war has created a pessimism about the possible -- or let's put it another way. there is no longer an excessive optimism about what american power can achieve.>g shibly i want to ask you about e.j.'s comments about a long standing tradition about
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reluctant warrior segment. >> first of all on e.j.'s last point which i think is key is how people assess the prospects because we have a lot of literature separate from polling and we have international theories about why public and why particularly the american public says i've had enough. at what point do they say we don't want any more of this and a lot of theories have suggested it's a link to their assessment whether you can win or not. you can pay a price up to a point and obviously, the assessment is there is no clear win here and iraq is one case, but even afghanistan, people don't really see a particular win and that's undoubtedly influencing the move. i think that by and large, i think the american mood, i mean, remember, particularly after the end of the cold war, i mentioned the mogadishu case of 1990 when
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we had the soldiers dragged in a very ugly way. remember, this is a time when we are the sole super power and we're in the middle of celebrating that and the cold war ends the year before and we are the mighty power and everybody is -- we can lead, ride? and yet the public says instead of saying let's go after them says let's pull out because the public's instinct that the privacy was to intervene more and this is why bill clinton came here and i think that instant is in the public not to intervene is there, but then what happens is they assume that america is safe and the minute they think there is a threat or feel there is a threat they're conflicted and that's what we see, a lot of conflicted attitudes in the poll. >> okay. it's very interesting because both of you were really talking
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about how americans define america's role in the world that we're not there to sort of tramp around and reap our will as long as we're safe we should let things go and 9/11 changed that not because of how we think of our role in the world, but because of threat and here i want to come to what i found striking and maybe it wasn't striking to all of you, but 40% of americans are worried that a significant member of american citizens will join isis and attack the united states. now, we're going to release a paper here in brookings on monday on the question of foreign fighters going and fighting in iraq and syria and the threat that poses to the united states and europe, but we haven't seen a large number of americans running off to fight isis. >> susan, where do you think this is coming from? is this because the president talked it up over the summer because the intelligence community was out there saying this was a real problem? >> i think this is really important. first of all, this is about the
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first mention of barack obama's name in the conversation which i find very striking and i want to get back to that in a second, but directly to your question, it makes it a convincing case that across party lines people are associating isis with al qaeda and they do see it as an extension of al qaeda, we don't have the historical data from shibly's work and we also see similarly high fears around the possibility of an attack inside the u.s. homeland from al qaeda in the post-9/11 or those numbers have been quite high even given the fact that there have not been subsequent attacks and i see it as consistent with we're willing to have what might be much harsher response to a perceived threat even if there is a low risk of the actual perceived threat here at home and that seems to me to be
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consistent with what we've seen from the american public and clearly, people do believe that this is either an offshoot of al qaeda or the logical extension of the radicalization of a small segment of this part. so to me, that seems very much connected to our anxieties around this faraway conflict that has managed and to manifest itself here. barack obama, the thing i would say that's interesting to me about the survey is that it kind of reflects, right, the inherent, unresolved conflicts, contradictions and the administration's policy. in many ways, you can almost say he is either representing or reflecting or has designed a policy that more or less intentionally or not reflects the ambivalences and ambiguities and uncertainties of how americans view the situation. he's basically very much in line with yes, we're worried about
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it, but we're only willing to do so much and a wink and a nod, that's been what he has conveyed to the extent that he's spoken which is not very much about this conflict, more or less, the president has made it clear, it seems to me that he doesn't think that we'll necessarily be defeating isis any time soon. he's made it very clear he's not going to be going to war against the assad government any time soon and so i think that's just something interesting to reflect upon, too. >> yes, and then i want to come back to syria. >> briefly on obama. i think obama's position reflects pretty well where the country is which is the country wants to act on isis and it's reluctant to get too involved in the effort and it also shows why the president didn't push ahead to get authorization to strike syria when he wanted to or why the congress didn't seem, we'll never know and didn't seem prepared given that and when you
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look at the numbers and survey on syria, opposition intervention is enormous and it crosses party lines. almost no partisan difference on that, but i was really struck, as you were by that enormous number who believed that americans would fight with isis and i was thinking of the whole rock and roll song, paranoia strikes deep and into your life it will creep.k3vq q i would love to see some work 39j=7jj:ájhpsq)icans believedot%ñsi:n
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is already very substantial. on the one hand i look at that number and say i don't share that view, i'm not worried particularly when one looks at the history of the american-muslim community which is a historically moderate community, historically very successful community in american life. so the odds of that happening in large numbers strike me as very small. but we look at horror like this and i think people say, all right, do i have to check that view, is there something wrong with that. it's -- but it was a very big number. >> yes. a striking number. >> just on this, because i think you are probably right, if there is a poll today or tomorrow after the massacre in paris, it will probably go up.
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i'm not sure it will go up a lot actually, because i think in american public mind, they have generally differentiated between what happens happening in europe an what's happening in america. that's one. but the second thing is, that number is high, for sure, 40%, but if you look at it closely, the number of people who say they're very worried is very small. and you can attribute that almost to ideological because some of it. not all of it. 8% i think is the only -- and also when you then have a rough comparison with al qaeda, if anything it is slightly less than what they thought al qaeda's capacity. so in a way, yes, it is high, for sure. that does tell you something. but it is not as intensive as we should be careful not to over interpret it. >> okay. so in other words, we're not in the public opinion environment we were in that immediate
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post-9/11 era where people were willing to contemplate a lot of things on the basis of their threat perception. i want to come back to the point that susan made a few minutes ago which is that it seems that president obama has actually done a pretty masterful job of reflecting public opinion, at least as indicated in this poll, in his policy as he's triangulated the demands from the intelligence community, from allies in the region, and from american public and from congress in dealing with the question of isis and american military engagement in iraq and syria more broadly. so okay, the american public says assad in an awful guy, he's done terrible things. but the syrian opposition can't defeat him, even if we help them. so maybe we shouldn't over invest in that. and the u.s. military shouldn't try to defeat him.
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that's not our priority. so if those -- each of those three findings i think came out in different parts of your poll. if obama has in fact triangulated well, then number one, where does that leave congress as it tries to think about authorizing this fight. there are of course those in congress who would like to authorize a broader fight, including against assad. and there are those in congress who want to tie this administration and the next administration's hands as much as possible, including on issues like ground troops where it looks like they'll have some support. so that's one question it seems to me is what does an aumf, an authorization to use military force, look like if congress is going to reflect this public opinion. second, what does it say about the fight that is largely within the republican party over foreign policy between more interventionist views and more reticent, if you will, rand paul
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verses are john mccain, if you want to put it in very rough terms. we have an ambivalent public. does that favor rand paul? does that mean that john mccain has already lost the argument with the american public? lou do we interpret the way this will play out going forward? e.j., you want to start? >> sure. i think one of the paradoxes for president obama -- and this was even more obvious before the election when his numbers were lower. his numbers have recovered some. where you seem to have obama's policy matching public opinion pretty well, and yet the approval of his foreign policy was way down. now i think there are a couple of things that were going on there. one is, republicans would disapprove president obama probably if he could clang straw into gold. there would be something wrong with the gold. so there is just a deep partisan feeling against president obama.
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but the other thing is, americans want two things at the same time. they do not want a disorderly world. they do not want the rise of groups like isis. and they don't want us to do too much to get intervened in ways that are going to hurt us again. it is almost -- what it reminded me of looking at the survey is this old piece of political science, some of you probably know, the observation that americans are operational liberals but ideological conservatives, they don't like government in theory, but they actually like a lot of the stuff government does and some of the stuff government gives them. similarly, americans are ideologically interventionists but operationally cautious. and i think that's what -- >> and you see that right there. that's exactly right. >> that's right in our faces here. so for the president, there is this challenge where the americans want somehow for him to make the conflict -- these troubles go away, but don't necessarily will all the means that might require. and the republicans clearly are
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the group split most in this survey. if air strikes aren't enough, would you favor or oppose sending u.s. ground troops. 53% of republicans favor. so a hawkish view still prevails. but very narrowly. 46% opposed. which i think points potentially, if rand paul gets in the race, to a very interesting debate inside the republican party, because there has always been a strong and interventional/libertarian/ realist view within the republican party. and rand paul is going to try to speak for that view. it's probably the case that it is not a majority, but it is an awfully large minority. >> susan. >> well, the poll also points out -- i totally agree with that -- that there is an ideological component even within that fractured republican party where support for israel is much higher and it's hirer -- support for israel higher among
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evangelicals which we were talking before the panel which has gone up over time as a proportion of the most fervent israeli -- supporters of israel in u.s. politics is evangelical. that complicates the election even further because i think you are talking about potentially candidates in the presidential race whose foreign policy views may or may not line up with the very strong evangelical support that's going to be required in places like iowa, for example. so i think what we're looking at number one is that foreign policy is likely to be a bigger issue in the 2016 presidential campaign for these reasons, perhaps even than it was in the primary season in 2012, for example. so i think that already seems to be how it is playing out. number two, the support for israel of course is much higher across the board in american politics with democrats and republicans than it is in europe. to get back to our previous
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conversation, i think that's very important when you consider what the after-effects are going to be of this horrific attack in paris. they're very likely to play out differently among the european public, both in france and more broadly across the european union, both because this is a neighborhood issue for our partners in europe in a way that makes it very different. it's much more comparable to something like this happening in canada than it is to how our reaction to it is going to be. and also, there is just a really different attitude towards the divisions and fractures in the middle east that exist in american politics because of that really rock-hard support for israel across the political spectrum. there has been some fraying that's interesting. we can talk about it separately. the democratic party obviously in recent years about what our attitudes are. but talking about 2016 certainly is in many ways a republican that it was hillary clinton when she was
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secretary of state who teamed up back doors with david petraeus and worked and lobbied president obama, unsuccessfully at that time, to do more both to support the syrian opposition and to intervene in a way that obama has never been willing to do, and my final point goes back to this question of did obama design the syria policy that the american public wants. it may well be that he did so, but the american public would probably disapprove of itself if it was president. >> if i may just on this issue, because i mean consequences for the american elections and particularly republican/democrat divide on foreign policy which is strike something across the board. i certainly believe that foreign policy will be a major issue in the campaign. not because it is for a lot of americans. it is because i think the president is relatively popular
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on other issues, and if the economy continues to do it, his numbers are not very good on foreign policy and that's going to be one that will be picked on by the republican side. but that's going to change the dynamics because what we see is that while republicans are somewhat divided on some of the issues, including the intervention using ground forces in the middle east, the gap between the grass root republican party and the leadership in congress isn't very wide. the gap between grassroots democrats and leadership in congress is wider on foreign policy, in part because the democrats are playing to national politics and being put on the defensive on the republicans. we see this on the israel-palestine question especially where the most strike something result is that you have a completely different outlook among the grassroots of the democratic party than the positions being taken by the leadership. so it is going to be very interesting to see how this is going to play itself out in the primaries, particularly the
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democratic party but also the republican party, before you aim for national election. i think it is going to be an issue. but the final point i want to make, you've suggested that -- i think it was e.j. who initially suggested maybe the policy on syria was calibrated in some ways. it fits nicely with the public sentiment roughly, sort ever the ambivalence about all the different components. i would even say the iran policy is calibrated this way. one thing that comes out of this poll, because the public suddenly sees isis as the main threat, it lowered the -- >> salience of everything else. >> -- the sense of the iranian threat and it gives the president -- and therefore even the insinuation that iraq could be possibly helpful in dealing with isis actually helps the president because that's where the public is. so in some ways that, too, plays to the -- not only to i think the sentiment of the democratic party, but even national priorities including republicans.
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so it will be interesting to see how the republicans play that out in the elections. >> my hunch is that the policy isn't -- since i seem to have said this -- it wasn't like the administration took a poll and pursued this policy. i think actually obama won the election because the very ambivalence he feels is actually similar to the ambivalence that the country feels. but susan is right that the public doesn't always like the result of the very policy they support. >> they're also skeptical that it will work. in fact, they're convinced that it won't work. they support the thing that they don't think will do anything. >> but they don't think the other thing will work either. they're pessimistic. >> they don't like "a," they don't like "b. >> i have to say as somebody who worked in the first term of the obama administration, this is something that i think is very deeply ingrained in a lot of the people who came in with the president. it is partly an iraq hangover but it is partly much deeper than that which is a keen sense of the limitations of american
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capacity to accomplish things, particularly but not only using force in the world. that we try. we may have good intentions. we may sink tremendous resources into it. but it often -- in fact it mostly doesn't work. and i was struck over and over again by it while i was in the administration, and since i've left, the sense of incapacity and the way that that constrains willingness to attempt. this is not dare and dare greatly. it's also not, importantly, a caricature that many in the mccain camp put out there. it is not sort of post-vietnam, america is a bad actor, it's on the line out there in the world. it is a belief that, no, hearn america is a benign actor, it is not just a very capable actor. we're not bad, we just suck.
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and i think that's a pretty powerful sense also among the american public as these numbers reveal and therefore, something that i think that coming incense of the obama administration, what the public is telling them as problems mount and mount. >> i don't think the public's ambivalence is stupid. i actually think the public's ambivalence -- >> i didn't say it >> no, i know you didn't say that. but i think it is an intelligent ambivalence. were you in and i was not, but i recast the administration's view just a little bit, which is to say there are some things even a competent power can't achieve, even if they put in vast numbers of resources. and i think that is a lesson that a lot of people drew from
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iraq, which is that if circumstance on the ground are not in a situation where an american intervention could then lead to x, y and z happening and a happy result, then all of the competence in the world and all the resources and all the human beings that we put in, including lost lives, we still won't get the result we want. therefore, a certain amount of caution is in order. i think that would be my sense of what the kind of ambivalent view of kind ever american intervention comes down to now.ñ >> fair enough. and also i think an appreciation of how much more complicated the world is today. >> some things are really, really hard. >> some things are really, really hard. okay, i want to get to one more point before i open it up to all of you. especially on the right in those cross tabulations at the end, those last couple slides, there is an ideological continuity
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across issues, whether it is israel-palestine, syria and isis.y can you help us understand a little bit what this constellation looks like? it's not neoconservative. it doesn't seem to be partisan. how do we understand it? >> no, it is really, really interesting because we see it in the democratic party and the republican party. when i probed on the middle east specifically, it is interesting what you get. on the republican side the most intensely held views on foreign policy that tend to be conservative come out of people who classify themselves as evangelical born-again. significant percentage of the republican party right now. nearly half of the republican party. so this is not a small group. but a lot of those views, a world view, if you wish, comes out of that. now why, it requires deep analysis to how this group --
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obviously they're diverse. i won't suggest they're not diverse. but on foreign policy they're much more in agreement. on the democratic side there's something that i would call a human rights community that emerged. i bunched it up, i even tested it, to see whether, for example, people who are expressing views on israeli issues or syria issues are really doing it because they care about israel or because they're taking sides or they care about america's strategic interest. turns out the number one concern for much of that constituency is human rights. and so there is a community where the reference point isn't necessarily specific issues, or even -- and that -- what goes with that is the particular interpretation. it doesn't always tell you whether you should intervene or not, because you can take it both ways. but i think there is a world view. and maybe multiple world views within each party. and therefore, i think it
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wouldn't be surprising if people are not analyzing their relationship between issues is good for iran and good for isis. or good for assad. that they as -- on the whole have a propensity to answer in a particular way because of the world view they have. yes, we can do it. yes, we can defeat assad. yes, we can defeat assad and isis and iran at the same time. and so you have some people who actually feel those -- take these views, and you have people who say we can't do anything, forget it. so what i'm suggesting is while obviously we need to focus on what e.j. suggested on the small segment that sways from one side to the next, we are starting off with people who have roughly entrenched views that come out of a world view, not so much out of analyzing the particular strategic consequences of reaction. i think that's clear in my mind.
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that's why i suggested that we shouldn't jump into conclusions about cause and effect when we look at correlations in these results. >> okay, great. let me open it up for questions from the floor at this point. i'm just going to reiterate our house rules. number one, please wait until you're called. number two, please identify yourself before asking your question. and number three, one, singular, question. thank you very much. we'll start right over here. >> ted gateau, former u.s. ambassador to syria. i'm going to get the question pretty quickly. but to paraphrase dick cheney i think before the iraq war, or whatever, he said even if there's a 1% chance or less that terrorists or iraq gets their hands on weapons of mass destruction, we have to go all out, we have to make 100%
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effort. i wonder if you had included a question something that said to this effect -- what i'm getting at is a lot of americans seem to have an exaggerated fear of terrorism and isis and what could happen to them and their families and communities. but we keep sending the same people over and over again to fight a war that we say we can't win. so the question is, if you had included in your survey, how would you feel about this if a draft was reinstituted, and somebody close to you was going to possibly be sent to fight this war that you're in favor, how would you then feel about it? i'd be interested in that. it seems to me it's become too easy for people with hawkish inclinations to say i'm a little bit concerned so i think we ought to go and send the 82nd airborne. >> yeah. do you want to take one at a time? >> why don't we take one more,
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if you don't mind. then we'll come back. in the third row here. >> my name is ilhun and i am from the muslim public affairs council. the question is in spite of the fact that it's mostly muslims in the case of kurds, iraqis, syrians, fighting against isis, there is sort of rumblings within at least certain sectors of the media here and in social media that muslims are somehow not doing enough to counter isis. i'm wondering if you actually included that kind of information or probed for that within your survey and what your findings were. >> good. >> let me start with ted's question which is a good one in highlighting sort of the kind of choices that people face. as i said in my opening remarks, usually the realistic option is, and immediate to them, the more conservative they become. undoubtedly. it doesn't have to be about the
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draft. as i said, when you're given the hypothetical, what if the air strikes are not enough, would you then support, that's a theoretical yes. if tomorrow, as i suggested, obama says, they didn't work, i'm going to send troops, they're going to get fewer number of people who say i'm supportive. so we have to keep that in mind. there's always a connectedness with the reality. and yet, let's also be realistic. the president asked them to strike syria from afar. just by shooting missiles, punitive. and they said no. the president said i'm going to send my air force and some logistical support to iraq and syria for the first time. and they supported him. so the public, you know, does sometimes support. the question is what is the limit. it's not always -- and that wasn't just hypothetical. that was a real question posed. on the second question, i
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haven't asked that question. and i'm sure there are others who have. this is certainly that often is debated. it's already debated on our pages, are "muslims doing enough." and i suspect whether they are or are not doing enough, you're going to get probably a large percentage of people who say probably not. i mean i wouldn't think a majority, but i would think that you would get a large number of people who would take that position just like there are a lot of people who worried that there would be americans who would join. i would expect that. that obviously doesn't mean that's true. as you know, there's a whole kind of debate, all kinds of condemnation of there. even in france, e.j. talking about "we're not like the french." and we're not, obviously. but the french, when you look at the muslim-french, overwhelmingly moderate.
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most of them are secular. most of them don't even want to have anything to do with religion altogether like the rest of the french population. so the fact that you have -- the fact that you have these criminals who are conducting because they issue -- those people who are carrying out
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these horrific attacks are only religion as an instrumentd. they're killers and their aims are political. and i think that -- i'm not sure that, quote, delegitimizing by the main stream is going to be effective either. >> i think the gap between the intelligence community here and in europe, their understanding of the muslim community within their borders and the percentage that are radicalized versus the vast majority who are opposed to such kad ralization. and the perception of the public. clearly, there's a big gap there. jim hogland i think, had a wonderful piece in "the post," that came out this morning about the challenge the french government faces in responding to this because they're going to face contending pressures. it's very polarized. we had already seen a lot of strengthening of a very right wing, anti-islamic,
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anti-immigrant, political forces inside france. and inevitably partly by design, the guys who did this are stoking the growth of that sentiment. do you -- >> yeah. two quick points. one, on the french with a last name like mine, i'm not knocking the french. what i was saying is i do think the case -- >> you knock the french all the time. >> no, but, in other words, i was talking about american muslims are not like french muslims muslims. specifically what i meant is in class terms, the class position of american muslims is very different not that class position on the whole than the class position of muslims in france. and that france has had a very large group of poor -- you know, relatively poor, unemployed muslims to a degree that is not the case of the american muslim community. and on this gentleman's very good question about which -- i
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do think the whole issue about the fact we don't have a draft. very few members of congress have sons and daughters in the military. there are a few. is important. but i didn't read this poll as terribly hawkish. and even on the question we must intervene at the level necessary to defeat isis where you have 57%, the alternative was worded very2h9 strongly, do you think we should stay out of the conflict with isis, which got 39%. i think more people drifted to the hawkish answer because their view is we shouldn't stay out but we still don't want to send ground troops. so, i didn't read this -- i saw a certain determination about isis but not a real hawkish result. >> interesting, though that number -- that 39% is higher than you get on the chicago council's broad question of should the u.s. -- is it better for the u.s. to be involved in
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world affairs or to stay out of world affairs. i think their latest result was about a third said stay out. susan, did you want to add? >> goes the 7% right? >> we can go ahead. we'll take a couple more. here in the front. think about the distinction between what people think as they -- in a response in a survey as opposed to how they think about the questions that you pose. and i'm thinking back to the first of these two sessions. israeli/palestinian conflict when you spoke about one of the
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ways to distinguish is the people predominantly democrats, who look at this through a human rights lens and the people predominantly who looked at it through a national interest lens. that if you were a -- if the glasses you wear are human interest glasses you saw the israeli/palestinian situation in -- you tended to see it in one light. if you wore the human interest lenses you saw it in another light. we touched on it a bit. e.j. has touched on it. is there such a factor at work in these questions about isis in syria if not literally human rights and u.s. interest? is there some other way that people think about this issue that determines what their responses to your questions have been.
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>> and we'll take the second question over on this side. the yellow sweater. yep. >> i'm harlan allman, i'm a recovering realist. >> aren't we all. >> in terms of an observation that we've had -- we've been unsuccessful in two wars in large measure i would ar gushgs because we had two presidents who were inexperienced and really not competent to start and then finish wars. the proof is my question. during world war ii we had pretty good propaganda against a foe that deserved it. during the cold war we weren't bad. the question i want to pose to you is one i have posed to four secretaries of state without effect. why have we not had a good cannon narrative, something to delegitimize and destroy the credibility of al qaeda, isis and these horrible movements byo ñ rallying the muslim world and maybe to get king abdullah of
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saudi arabia to get off his ass and put out a fatwa to say this is not good. why haven't we been able to do that? >> susan you want to start off on that? >> i can't speak to internal saudi public opinion but you have to say these guys, when it comes to american public opinion are certainly very effective american propagandaists, quite frankly. chopping people's heads off on video has given them pretty low approval ratings when it comes to not only the united states but i'm sure american muslims. they are somebody -- somebody said to me back last fall when this escalation was occurring in the u.s. presence they are not only triggered obama to do something, he was extremely reluctant to do but they're almost a caricature like the perfect sort of dream villain when it comes to american politics. i'm not entirely sure in the american political context that they haven't been pretty
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effective propagandaists themselves for their own kinds. >> of course, that's a self-fulfilling prophecy. >> that's true. >> because if they bring down our rath you know, if they could actually get the united states to reinvade iraq that would be their dream? >> sure. i think this is a bigger part of the framing we have talked about a lot today. you started to get into it right before we went to the questions which is the historical context. is it really about where americans are right now in terms of their views of american power and american foreign policy or does this poll actually reflect a very correct historical assessment that most american interventions or any interventions in middle east politics are likely to fill? it seems to me that it's sort of the same way that one could reasonably look at restarting negotiations for peace talks in -- among the israelis and
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palestinians. the odds are extremely high they won't succeed up. don't need a lot of additional information. wonder if the poll tells us more about a sensible conclusion based on their available knowledge that this policy is not likely to affect things one way or the othering a real snapshot of these americans are actually foreign policy realists at heart or they're actually this. i want you to draw on the polling you did, we have other polls from gallup the broader sentiment about islamic extremism. what do we know? what do we know about that counternarrative maybe not driven by the u.s. government but maybe driven by others? >> that's a really good question. let me quickly address the earlier questions and -- with
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susan, the world view issue is something that needs to be probed. that's something i start with because i think there's something always there that is just covered when you're just focused on the issue. you have to look at these packages. it goes down to -- it relates also to what gary asked about, so what are the -- you know what's the prism through which democrats or republicans view these issues or at least the american public. obviously, multiple prism but i wanted to note one thing. on the poll that you referred to, you're right about the democrats that tend to see it mostly through human rights. certainly the israel/palestine question, mostly through a human rights prism. but the republicans actually don't see it necessarily through a u.s. interest prism either. they actually see it through two prisms. one is also human rights, by the way, particularly evangelicals


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