'This Week' Roundtable Transcript: Foreign Affairs


with you when you work with us, but otherwise we are going to work

around you, This has got to become a much more conditional relationship.

We have tried for years and we have failed. We have to understand

the fact that Pakistan is not an ally. And we should start banning the

words ally and partner when it comes to Pakistan. It doesn't mean you

jettison the relationship, but we've got to become so much more sober

and critical and conditional here.

AMANPOUR: Post-bin Laden world we're dealing with Pakistan. We

also dealing with the rest of the Arab world. President Obama is going

to give a speech. I want to turn to Anthony Shadid, because there

again, you are in Beirut. You've traveled to Syria. You spoke to

Syrian government officials and a key aide of Bashar Assad.

Bashar Assad is being asked to respect those right the of the people

there. Is there any sense that you got, Tony, that the government is

going to step back from the violence that is being perpetrated against

the protesters?

ANTHONY SHADID, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think this is clearly a

government that is in survival mode. And they're willing to go as far

as they need to to maintain their power. Again we have to remember this

is a family who has ruled over Syria for nearly 40 years.

There's no indication that I got that they were willing to

compromise. And if they do compromise it will only comes from a

position of strength.

We may see that in the weeks ahead. They feel they have the upper

hand. There are tentative signs of some concessions being offered to the

opposition, but again the opposition is basically several dissidents,

you know very prominent dissidents within Syria. There may be talks

with them.

But I think clearly, we are going to see this crackdown continue in

the weeks ahead. And it could become very dangerous, given the events

today where we saw clashes on the border near the Golan Heights. This

may take turns that are not expected.

AMANPOUR: Tony, what do you think the people of the Arab world

right now, those who are rising in countries from Tunisia and on to

Syria and beyond, what are they looking for if anything from a speech by

President Obama?

SHADID: Well, I think in general, the event, the so-called Arab

Spring have created an enormous amount of enthusiasm and excitement but

also some trepidation. I think the power of the United States, again

this is just from interviews, but the power of the United States, in say

the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia was that the revolution themselves

were not very associated with the United States.

These are organic movements, organic change. And in a way, the Arab

Spring is about the Arab world itself.

I think the president is going have a challenge in trying to

navigate that, trying to take some role what's going on in the Middle

East but without being too associated with it.

I think if we look at the history of the Arab world, we have to

understand that intervention has rarely gone well, be it the 1956 Suez

War, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in '82, even the Iraq war.

So this is a very delicate moment I think in the Arab world. And

what gives the Arab Spring such force and such vigor in some ways that

it's the Arab world at a moment trying to determine on its own what it

will become.

AMANPOUR: Tony, thank you so much for joining from Beirut. And let

me pick up some things that he said.

There's so much inconsistency if you like, or different scenarios

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