tv Cross Talk RT August 30, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm EDT
hello and welcome to crossfire all things are considered i'm peter lavelle setting the middle east further ablaze with little or even no hard evidence surrounding the alleged use of chemical weapons in syria the obama administration appears determined to enter this conflict with no clear purpose or aim obama says the arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice but it does not bend on its own is american intervention in syria really a bend towards justice. to cross not the war in syria i'm joined by pepe escobar in hong kong he's an investigative journalist and author and we also have stephen slots and you're in new york he is a senior fellow at the century foundation and author of the book act of creation all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want if i go to hong kong first pepe is this all about justice mr obama is
looking for justice and threatening to bomb syria no it's about the president of united states of america and mash in the web because he was reckless enough to declare a red line without sinking about the consequences and we're not talking about pulau or some island in the middle of the pacific to talk about the middle east so now he's backed into a corner he doesn't know what to do he's clueless my best sources and stephen maybe you can confirm that in new york and in wall street they tell me he's completely clueless he's surrounded by a bunch of absolute atheists some month i got the power in the year when which by the way she was absolutely enraged because the russian and the chinese. so there's walked out of the p. five meeting when they were discussing the british resolution to start a war against syria valerie jarrett susan rice absolutely made the offer because he
doesn't have a clue he doesn't know what to do so now he's trying to even try to wiggle out and find an exit strategy that does not include humanitarian so mohawk war look this is tragic comedy more tragic than comedy ok stephen that was a real mouthful there and would you agree or disagree with what we heard from hong kong the samantha this got the power to say. i do know that samantha power is actually a very intelligent individual and i think she would be a classy diplomat at the u.n. but i all and i am a big fan of president obama's but i think he's made it made a grave error in this in this respect i agree with that he should never of promise this so-called red line a year ago but i will say that you don't american president has the right to change his mind and in the one year since he made that. a lot of things to change in the
middle east the middle east is in total chaos at this point egypt is and is in a state of collapse lebanon is riven by factions there are huge refugee flows into turkey lebanon in jordan for five hundred thousand each case iraq is racked by civil war so the circumstances in the past year have changed significantly significantly and i feel at the present the united states can say you know i did say that ok but steven no longer stephen but he's not saying that that's important here he's not saying that. i agree he's not saying that so therefore we have to deal with the reality now the reality is that he has suggested that the only way we can deal with the chemical attack so-called from. from from the assad regime is. missiles
missile attacks but he is not suggesting that we could strengthen our sanctions on syria or maybe send more weapons to the rebels i mean there are alternatives to a missile attack ok pepe i mean i heard you say alleged i said it as well we're going to react to what stephen said go ahead look. stephen is stephen is right that there are alternatives the alternative would let the u.n. inspectors do their work i'll give you an example the russians spent three months old the ground interviewing people who electing samples to establish a neatly page report that they presented last month at the united nations anybody can go to the internet and find a best of their vitaly churkin at the u.n. explaining to the press what they were doing so the you went to you know the winning spector's nowadays they had what three and a half days it's absolutely impossible they haven't talked to anybody we have this
absolutely bogus photo reuters or a.f.p. we have two inspectors with two vials colin powell style and you have a guy smoking behind them this is completely absurd what what kind of you know when inspector use that go to the math and find a photo now everybody it's completely absurd they need a months to do it properly and we have a window of opportunity because the president of the united states has to fly to sweden next tuesday and next thursday night and next week he has to face the g twenty has to face the leaders of brazil. oh india china where is the torrijos are going all over the place saying this is iraq two point zero and not to mention the flag himself in person so no wonder our friend obama is absolutely desperate ok stephen you want to jump in there go ahead i will say one other thing and i should
have mentioned this before you know the other thing obama could do is press for the geneva meeting which had been promised between the russians and the americans to talk about a political settlement in syria now that seems to be postponed at this point but why not revive it and why not suddenly focus on the and that is now that i'm just even i'm i agree with you out of an outrage i agree with you it's because the americans have been pushing this back back in further and further it's their fault this process and process hasn't worked not the russians fault the russians bad over backwards to get this started in the american almost no interest whatsoever how do you reply about. i mean i think that i'm not going to let the russians off the hook they've been sending weapons to. the assad regime for years and they have not shown any willingness to. perfectly legal to perfectly legal to a sovereign state for years and years and years legal contract these are people
that wanted to just like america they want to actually opinions are going to go ahead steven jump in go ahead steven finish your point they wanted a political settlement they might at least relinquish that calm down about the issue of the contract and say listen we're going to cut back some of your supplies mr assad so you can get we have only to be kind of hard to do that when the rebels say they are in the rebels are getting arms at the same time pepe jump in. it's and this is not how the real world works sorry gentlemen this is how the real world works bunda are bush this is all you need to know when he became the director of national intelligence appointed by king of dollar one dollar butch and all alone to convince the americas to drop catherine completely different mission of the bush literally qatar is a three hundred people in a t.v.
station and i think his exaggerate them because there is actually five people in a t.v. station and that's it it's not a country it's a joke saudi arabia is another story and bundler bush lets you know a quick recap to any true years of there in washington he knows every player in the book in the us in europe in the middle east and in asia he was that goal to guy in the afghan jihad as in the nineteen eighties he did the afghan jihad in a ninety eight so this is the real player and now he is in charge of syria so we have to deal with what been there once which is not what the obama administration wants and it's not what israel wants we have triggered different agendas virgine in syria the fact bunda are at these rallies i was right where you were go about ministration to fight a war for them ok fight for their rights are as option now knowledge of a national unity of paratime syria let's go to steven steven jump in go ahead.
i mean you know one of the many consequences of a missile attack on by the u.s. on on syria may be an attack by the syrians and iranians on israel i mean speaking of a you know an unintended consequence of going to happen and frankly that's something that i don't feel that this administration has really figured out the other thing i might mention is that a republican who i don't necessarily ever agree with on most issues the speaker of the house john boehner has actually sent a letter to obama asking him fourteen questions about exactly what his strategy is if we we bomb syria i mean including the question of what happens if a missile attack occurs and it doesn't change anything and you know assad continues to do what he wants to do you're going to then have people in this country demanding well if that didn't work we're going to you know increase our price we're
going to put troops in there we've got to do all sorts of other things which would be absolutely a disaster would be another iraq another afghanistan and on the other con on the contrary if it doesn't work if the missile attacks do have the impact today who do they seem pouncing or at least doing time in aiding a lot of the use of the any weaponry then they're going to say well hell if if if there if the syrian regime is tottering at this point let's continue let's complete the the attack and wipe it out so either way it seems to me the u.s. is dragging itself into a ma into a quagmire which it's not going to be able to from ok pepe but i don't see the united states is dragging itself anywhere it's pushing hard. no no the denier state is being dragged once and we have to go back to the you know the basics it's israel and bun that are bush they are dragging us toward they're just completely absurd in terms of us interests security national credibility you name it in the middle east
and all over the world you know the meaning coalition of the winning is a bloody joke it's the brits the french turkey doctor saudi arabia united arab emirates and the us do you call this international community it's a bloody joke and you know it's an a when we talk about to the dumb but and remakes of the psych speak called nine hundred seventeen agreement now represented by william hague in london a lot of abuse in paris it's even worse a degenerate scene to self-parody in fact it's ridiculous it's totally ridiculous coming back with very important right gentlemen and it is a good job and here we are going to have short break we have to go to a short break and after that for break we'll continue our discussion on syrian state.
. welcome back across top we're all things are considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing the civil war in syria. ok stephen if i go back to you in new york the united states and the u.k. say they can attack syria without a united nations security council mandate how is that possible it's beyond international law they say they can do it under humanitarian grounds so what are they to meet i understand that they've come up with various rationales for the attack humanitarian grounds is one of them active defense is another because under . fifty one of the un charter states are allowed to defend themselves against
attacks but it's stretchy and in both cases it's stretching these terms in a way that well yeah but i mean i sort of i suppose syria and syria could invoke that one. anybody could invoke those things and the point is it's not just the u.n. is not supporting this you don't have the arab league their belief has refused to endorse any kind of military action nato for that exam for that for that purpose it has not issued any statement in support of this you don't even have the in the american polling data there's very little support among the american citizenry for any attack on syria i don't quite understand. bamma thinks he has really solid grounds for this outside of the fact that he feels he has to you know validate his red line that you know he is in this is amazing thing somebody has to
do something somebody has to do something that's what it gets down to pepe go ahead because obama's credibility is on the line right now and he's looking like a complete buffoon foreign policy wise. his credibility is already gone come a look at the n.s.a. scandal and by the way have you heard anything about the n.s.a. scandal these past week or so of course not it's in terms of wag the dog you know deviate attention the problem is not the v.a. the v.a. pension from obama shortcomings himself you know he doesn't know what to do he blocks himself in and he blocks he scanned through his foreign policy in what kind of lead there are all of the free world is this it's ridiculous and there's a constitutional lawyer he's trying to find a way out to dribble not only the congress ok nobody cares about us congress or the five percent approval rate maybe dribble the u.n. dribble natal dribble international law and outback unilaterally under the cover of
a humanitarian the valerie jarrett's assignment i got the power. scheme this is ridiculous stephen what it is and i think that what i think you're being a little unfair i i think the fact is that. president obama has shown restraint for the last couple of years he has not gone into syria this is what troubles me so much he's been very good in the sense of keeping america out of that minefield and he's actually any american president frankly who had to deal with the cry to the series of crises in our peoples here because of the you know when it's even said all the crisis management and we all had a crises that you don't see at the beginning of the programs keep us out of crises and all of those cries easily much more than even all of the crises you mentioned are driven or a result of american foreign policy so we should thank obama for not using more
violence. you you mentioned all of them in the beginning i think i listen i think it's a great attribute that people think that everything in this world is driven by american foreign policy i wouldn't say that that would be true if you look at the if what happens internally is in and afghanistan iraq has proven to be irrelevant to american foreign policy in fact it's so relevant that the americans have had to withdraw from both countries because they no longer have any control of what's around they broke both so i think you exaggerate the impact on that on a not on the way you go ahead wait you had no no no no no way got a plan big on spare time pepe jump in. no no no no no wait they didn't know with all i know because i've been there in both places extensively they were defeated by a bunch of students which have been defeating serialist four. floors of the five centers than centuries old have and they were defeated by
a bunch of power i had seen bar province with. i believe these people i talk to them and they won't bullshit wars this is what happened with the american empire to live with it. it's even the well i think the book but in both cases it shows the limit of american power i mean the fact is that you can blame the us for every crisis that goes on in this on this planet but when you really look at the factual zz on the ground you see that very little can be accomplished by u.s. military power the best thing that the americans can do is diplomatic power in fact one of the real unintended consequences of an american missile strike in syria will be the fact that the us will never be able to start real negotiations with the iranians which are real but a bug a boo and under this new arabian president who seems fairly moderate and seems to be reaching out to the west i think we should attempt to start real negotiations
but these could be totally undermined it seems to me if we attack syria ok pepe is it a done deal that or to topple him i had stephen peter go ahead please do. better can i agree with stephen yes i don't really like it but they're going to go ahead go ahead. no i am a i'll agree with his point to that diplomacy is the only way out this is what the russians have been saying for two and a half years and said again after all has been saying this every week the americans are bombing our negotiations when kerry and lavrov got into an agreement of how to . organize geneva two which by the way has been postponed since june it's never going to happen geneva two and boom there are bush himself told putting geneva two is not going to happen because the opposition they want assad out now so the only possibility is the geneva two roadmap everybody together the same table including
regional players and the big powers outside. roadmap from that show you know but intending then not only are i see i am also i agree with you. if you pappy but no one will give a chair to the iranians right exactly how clearly they said something that has actually ukrainian security and to honor its regional equation ok stand by go ahead stephen go ahead go ahead and i think it has to be i think that obviously the iranians have to be part of any eventual settlement you know repeat people forget that even under george w. bush the iranians were involved in setting up the afghan government in two thousand and one two thousand and two because they had intelligence they want to do and they're going to see if there's a wi-fi and so we have dealt with the iranians before in political settlements and there's no reason we can't do it again in the end. of the last group for sanctions
the last group so it's just an issue isn't it it's ridiculousness it's ridiculous policy the u.s. has towards iran ok pepe if this all is syria really all about iran's that's what a lot of people would say. no no it's not only about to run it is the road to the mosque first road to damascus and then a roll to iran there's no question but it's also trying to syria as the sort of middle man or the passage between iran and hezbollah in terms of the sunni shiite conflict in terms of bum dire bush spur spec to in fact if we. take over syria let's put it this way like a hardcore sunni government allied with saudi arabia. iran is isolated from the arab world and i have allies isolated as well from the point of view of israel if serious out of the picture and it's one of them our one of us in power in fact has
well i still think isolated and then we can try to invade lebanon again just like they did in two thousand and six i was there of towards it was a total disaster so that they had joined us as i said before they're completely different the problem is for the obama administration what is the big agenda try to find a deal with iran. this is the most important issue and i would agree with that because the interest in the long run that you and i said to drag the cold verge ok but stephen it's not going to happen is it it's not going to happen and if it does how could it happen still going to happen if it would it would happen if we didn't fact pull back on our threats against syria or at least come up with alternatives to a missile strike there's no question in my mind that this idea that the that the only way we can deal with syria today is see you know use cruise missiles to take out certain military depots within that country i just think that
one of the reasons why obama said last night on public television that no decision has been made yet is he starting to feel the pressure the fact that he hasn't gotten your endorsement the nato won't won't back come up that the arab league won't won't endorse what he wants to do maybe maybe i'm just saying this because he claims to not have made the decision yet he is looking for an alternative i certainly would hope so because he still has time to reverse any drastic decision towards these attacks and why not take advantage of the space why not take advantage of the fact that the republicans and congress under the majority will cave but there can be intervening and if i can get them happy what happens to the red line. behrendt exactly and now we need we need a psychological analysis of this whole thing and also cultural it's you know putting your member on the table and say my member is bigger than yours this is
what obama said with a red line and now he has to prove it the public very sorry to say that but this is how it works if we if we look at the in the arab world is more or less the same saying asia is the equivalent of the not the losing face so from a chinese point of view obama me he simply cannot afford to lose face because he already said he was going to do it and now he has to do it even if it's one one point five million cruise missile against i don't know. a carpet store you know in the a little bizarre but he has to do something ok well he's fall ok all about the point gentlemen thank you very interesting analysis that of peppino and thank my guests today in hong kong and in new york and i want to thank our viewers for watching us here at r.t. see you next time and remember crosstalk from.
to live on one hundred thirty three bucks a month for food i should try it because you know how fabulous i'm glad i got so many i mean. i'm seeing the same thing really messed up. in the very closely. and. worst for the little. white house of a. radio guy and for a minestrone profit. quote for a politician because you've never seen anything like this i'm telling. you. what's going on everyone i'm having martin in this break in the set so we have a packed show for you guys.