April 5, 2009 -- ABC'S "THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS"
APRIL 5, 2009
SPEAKERS: GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST
U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N. SUSAN RICE
[*]STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning and welcome to "This Week.
Breaking news overnight. A missile test from North Korea.
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PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: North Korea must know that the path tosecurity and respect will never come through threats and illegalweapons.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: How will the president and the world confrontthis nuclear challenge? The top question today for our exclusiveheadliner, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in her first Sunday interview.
Plus, Obama's diplomatic debut.
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OBAMA: It is a great honor for me to be here in Europe.
I've come to Europe this week to renew our partnership.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: That, plus all the week's politics and a specialexpanded roundtable, with George Will, ABC's chief diplomaticcorrespondent Martha Raddatz, the president of the Council on ForeignRelations, Richard Haass, plus prominent new media voices from boththe left and right -- Arianna Huffington and David Frum.
And as always, the Sunday Funnies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(UNKNOWN): The Germans tried to make him feel at home. Theyoffered to let him fire the CEO of Volkswagen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello, again.
We begin today with the news that North Korea has tested a longrange ballistic missile. The country's state media claimed themissile put a satellite into orbit. But the U.S. Northern Commandsays the satellite dropped into the Pacific. U.S. officials believethe missile was really being tested to see if it could carry a nuclearwarhead over Japan potentially as far as Alaska.
Speaking out against the threat of nuclear weapons in Praguetoday, President Obama slammed North Korea for violating U.N.resolutions. And he promised to act.
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OBAMA: Rules must be binding, violations must be punished.Words must mean something. The world must stand together to preventthe spread of these weapons. Now is the time for a stronginternational response.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: And joining us now for an exclusive interview,the official who will represent President Obama and the United Statesat an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council this afternoon,America's U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice.
Welcome to THIS WEEK.
RICE: Thanks, George. Good to be with you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So what will this international response be?
RICE: Well, George, we have been in close consultation with ourallies in Asia, in particular, Japan and South Korea about theappropriate response. We have consulted over the last several days,including this morning as well with the Russians and the Chinese.
So the U.N. Security Council will meet this afternoon inemergency session. I'll be going up there straightaway. And we willbe discussing the appropriate response. The United States believesthat this action is best dealt with -- the most appropriate responsewould a United Nations Security Council resolution.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Japan wants sanctions, will the U.S. co-sponsora sanctions resolution?
RICE: The U.S. is working very closely with Japan and we will bein consultation with our partners inside the council, trying to getthe most appropriate and strong response we can possibly get.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But this is already a violation of U.N.resolutions -- two U.N. resolutions...
RICE: Yes, it is.
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... just to have this test. So what good doesit do for the United Nations to come back and say, hey, we really meanit this time?
RICE: Now, well, the first resolution that is really theoperative one was from 2006, when the North Koreans launched a missileand the United Nations Security Council demanded a halt to futuremissile-related activity and any future missile launches.
We feel very strongly that what occurred today was a violation ofthat resolution. So we will go back and work, George, to both toughenexisting regimes, but to add to that resolution. In fact, thatresolution did not...
STEPHANOPOULOS: So there will be new sanctions toughening...
RICE: George, we have 15 members of the Security Council and --including the permanent five, so we all need to come together aroundthis. But the United States' view is, this is serious, it's aviolation, and it merits and appropriately strong United Nationsresponse. We'll be…STEPHANOPOULOS: You mentioned...
RICE: ...working for that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You mentioned the 15 members. One of them, ofcourse, as you mentioned, is China. China has made it pretty clearthey don't want any sanctions. And because of that, your predecessor,John Bolton, says that any kind of U.N. resolution is going to beclose to meaningless.
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JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: I think the realpressure has to be applied on China, which gives North Korea 80 to 90percent of its energy and a substantial amount of its food and otherhumanitarian needs.
China has got the capability to stop this nuclear program, we'vejust never applied adequate pressure to them.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: Is the United States prepared to pressure China?
RICE: We're working very closely with China. China shares thesame goal that we do, which is a de-nuclearized Korean Peninsula.China also is very proximate, on the border with North Korea, andshares our desire not to see this situation escalate, and to ensurethat we can achieve, George, the long-term goal, which is de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through the six-party talkprocess.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But because China is right on the border ofNorth Korea, they've been reluctant to really pressure North Korea.They're afraid that if you turn the screws too hard on North Korea,the regime is going to collapse and there's going to be chaos.
And is that why they are not going along with tougher sanctions?
RICE: Well, I think they have multiple concerns. They arelooking at the large long-term goal of ensuring that we don't have anuclearized Korean Peninsula. There have been times when we havediffered as to the best means of achieving that.
But we are unified with China and others in the six partiestowards the goal, George, of ensuring that we roll back this nuclearprogram that North Korea is pursuing.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But is there any evidence at all that NorthKorea is going to respond to any of this? They've been steadilyadding to their nuclear program, in fits and starts at times, butbasically they've been able, over the last eight years or so, todevelop a nuclear capability, to develop nuclear warheads, and theyseem determined to keep going on that track.RICE: Well, George, it is fits and starts. I mean, there havebeen steps that have occurred over the last years that have beenprogress. For example, they did take steps to dismantle the facilityat Yongbyon, which was the principal reactor.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But then they restarted it.
RICE: No. We have seen some serious dismantlement. The problemthat we face now is ensuring that there is a verifiable regime toensure de-nuclearization. And that's where the six-party talks havenow stalled.
The challenge, George, is to convey with unity, as the presidentsaid today, on behalf of the international community that we will notstand for violations of international law which this launch todayrepresented. That there will be consequences. And that, indeed, wewill pursue together with resolve the goal of achieving a KoreanPeninsula without nuclear weapons.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you can't say yet what those consequenceswill be. And there is no guarantee that the U.N. today or over thecourse of next week is going to impose sanctions on North Korea...
RICE: George, we need to continue to work closely with ourallies Japan and South Korea, with partners in the Security Council toachieve united action. And that's what we will do.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What bothers the United States more, the chaosif this regime collapsed or the current regime?
RICE: Our concern is to prevent North Korea from pursuing anddisseminating nuclear weapons. We view North Korea as a proliferationthreat. Its actions today underscore our concern about itsdevelopment of not only a nuclear weapons capability, but thecapability to deliver it. That's what we're most concerned aboutpreventing, and preventing North Korea from sharing that technologywith others.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One more question on this, you talk about thecapability to deliver a nuclear warhead. The Northern Command saidthe satellite -- no satellite was sent into orbit. But this test didseem to be more successful than the last North Korean test, the stagesthe rocket did get over Japan.
Are you now convinced -- is the United States now convinced thatthe North Koreans have a missile that could reach the United States?
RICE: I think, George, what today's experience showed is thatthey did not succeed according to our best assessment to putting thatspace launch vehicle into orbit. That, therefore, was something shortof success for North Korea.
Our assessment is that their pursuit of a missile capability isof grave concern and that their aim is to achieve the capability todeliver a weapon as potentially as -- to North America.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do they have it yet?
RICE: I think we have to look at exactly what transpired todayand make a new assessment of the consequences.
STEPHANOPOULOS: There are also, as you know, two U.S.journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who have been in North Koreancustody for more than two weeks. They were arrested for illegallyentering, the North Koreans say, their territory. And they're facingthe potential of a trial that could land them 10 years of hard labor.
Two questions, are you confident they are safe and being treatedwell? And can the United States prevent them from being put into 10years of hard labor?
RICE: George, we're very concerned about the circumstances ofthese two journalists. We are communicating directly through the -- athird country that represents our interests in North Korea our concernfor these Americans in taking every possible action that we can toensure their safe and swift release.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And do you have any guarantees?
RICE: Of course we have no guarantees.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And do you believe they're going to put ontrial?
RICE: We don't have any reason to be certain that they'll put ontrial. We remain hopeful that their release may be possible swiftlyand safely.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But they're safe?
RICE: To the best of our knowledge, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me also talk about the issue ofproliferation in Iran, which the president also talked about today.He said that Iran poses a real threat and that we will continue toengage -- look for ways to engage with Iran.
This weekend, another one of your predecessors, this weekAmbassador Richard Holbrooke had a brief meeting with the Iranians atthe international conference in Munich. What is the next step in thatengagement?
RICE: Well, the president has been very clear that Iran has achoice. Iran can rejoin the community of nations, it can halt itsillicit nuclear program. It has a right to peaceful nuclearprocessing. But its behavior to date has indicated that it's not pursuingsimply a peaceful program.
We have extended, as the president said on a number of occasionsan opportunity, an open hand to Iran. And we hope Iran will seizethat opportunity to take the steps that would enable it to be aresponsible member of the international community.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But the U.N. effort to put sanctions on Iran hasnot been effective in any way. Is the U.N. process at a dead end?
RICE: No, George, actually I think on the contrary. Thesanctions that have been imposed by the United Nations and implementedby the United States and others have had some significant effect onthe trade and the banking and the financial sector inside of Iran, andwe certainly remain open to consideration of possible future measures.
The aim here, though, is to marshal all of the resources at ourdisposal, diplomatic, economic, and other to try to make this choiceas clear as possible to Iran, to give them a path to end their nuclear-- illicit nuclear weapons program, enter the community of nations,or, if in fact, they ultimately choose not to do that, then to bringto bear the full force of the international community to put pressureon Iran to stop.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Israel has made it very clear, including the newprime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that they believe Iran is fullygoing after a nuclear capability and that if the United States doesn'tact, they will act.
And Admiral Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff hassaid the thought of such a strike concerns him. Does it concern you?
RICE: I think we share Israel's very grave concern about thethreat that Iran's illicit nuclear weapons program poses, not only toIsrael and the other countries in the region, but indeed to U.S.national security.
I don't think it's productive to speculate about what maytranspire. As I said, and the president has said on a number ofoccasions, our aim is to use all of the elements at our disposal,including direct diplomacy, to offer Iran a path away from an illicitnuclear weapons program.
But obviously if that path is not chosen, we have not ruled outany options.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But are you confident that Israel will notstrike without U.S. consent?
RICE: George, as I've said, I will not speculate about what theU.S. or others might do. At this stage our focus is on steering Iranto the extent we possibly can towards a different course.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What kind of contact have you had with yourIranian counterpart at the U.N.?
RICE: I work in an environment where there are 191 other memberstates. And I actually have encountered on a couple of occasions myIranian counterpart in the course of my work up at the U.N.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you don't intentionally avoid him in any way,as previous ambassadors haven't either, in fact Ambassador Negropontehad what he considered a useful relationship with his Iraniancounterpart.
RICE: No. I -- we've run into each other on a couple ofoccasions and I've had an opportunity to have some brief exchanges.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But no negotiations yet?
RICE: No negotiations.
STEPHANOPOULOS: On Afghanistan and Pakistan, the president spokeout yesterday against this new law in Afghanistan which -- whereShiite women are subject to Sharia, Muslim law. He said it wasabhorrent. And Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, said he's going toreview it.
At the same time, human rights activists have been circulating avideo, and I just want to show a brief part of it, because it'shorrific, of a Pakistani woman being beaten by the Taliban in thenorthwest part of Pakistan, of Swat, Pakistan that's now controlled bythe Taliban.
So far the United States has not responded to requests forcomment on this incident, why not?
RICE: George, I think obviously we'd be very, very concerned atany instance of abuse of human rights. And this would appear to besuch an instance. The president spoke out very forcefully about the-- our concern about the law that has passed in Afghanistan.
And whether we're talking about Pakistan or Afghanistan or anyother country in the world, the United States is very firm ininsisting that human rights must be respected universally, and thissort of behavior would be inconsistent with that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But the concern here, is that the part ofPakistan where the government has signed peace agreement, basicallythe Taliban, and the concern is that this is giving them a safe haven,even though they're receiving billions of dollars of U.S. aid.
RICE: Pakistan is as -- has the most immediate stake inpreventing the spread of extremism within its own territory. Theactions of al Qaeda and the Taliban and their allies threaten Pakistanon a daily basis, even as they threaten us as well.
So our aim in the new policy that the president has unveiledwhich got unanimous support from all of our NATO partners was embracedand endorsed earlier this week in The Hague by more than 80 countries,is focused on supporting both Afghanistan and Pakistan in theirefforts to root out this sort of extremism.
And the assistance that we will be providing Pakistan, botheconomic and military, will be tied to Pakistan's ability andwillingness to continue to do as it has been doing, which is to try toroot out these extremists.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We're just about out of time. Just a quickquestion, General Gration...RICE: Gration.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Gration, excuse me, President Obama's envoy toSudan, has been over there this week trying to get aid organizationsback into that country. Has he made any progress?
RICE: He is working with -- talking to the aid organizations.He has had -- he has visited Darfur and some of the gravely affectedinternally displaced camps there. He has also spoken with theauthorities in Khartoum.
His aim is to support our efforts and that of the internationalcommunity to ensure that the people of Darfur have the lifesavinghumanitarian assistance that they need. I think it's too soon toassume that we have concrete indications of progress.
But he is pushing very hard. This is something of grave concernto the president, to the secretary of state, and myself and others,and we're working very hard to reverse the decision, the veryunfortunate decision to expel these 13 international NGOs, which isleaving people vulnerable.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And if he fails, is the U.S. prepared to imposea no-fly zone?
RICE: The U.S. will look at a full range of options to enablethe international community to support those vulnerable citizens, andthose that, frankly, were vulnerable before this expulsion.
The president and the vice president, secretary, have expressedgrave concern about the ongoing genocide that has preceded this latestaction and will be looking at the full range of steps to try toprevent further killing and dying, and to support the north-southpeace agreement that is also critically important to implement.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Ambassador Rice, thank you very much.
RICE: Good to be with you, George.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) Now for more on the President's trip, North Korea and all the week'spolitics, we turn to today's expanded "Roundtable." I am joined as alwaysby George Will, our Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz,also the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, andtwo of our new media commentators, David Frum of NewMajority.com andArianna Huffington of "The Huffington Post". And George, let's begin withNorth Korea. That is the news this morning. Clearly, the North Koreansseemed to know what they were doing with the timing of, of this launch asthe President is giving a speech on nonproliferation. And the wholeaction-reaction cycle here seems to have a ritualistic quality. The, theNorth Koreans violate UN resolutions, another one is passed.
GEORGE WILL, ABC NEWS
(OC) Yes, it's surreal, beyond ritualistic. There's nothing like aballistic missile to take your mind off Wall Street bonuses. In 1960, 50years ago essentially, when Jack Kennedy was running for president, hesaid in the life of the next presidency, there will be 10, 15 maybe 20nuclear powers. As president, he said maybe by 1975, there will be 25. So the nonproliferation regime has worked until now. And now, it'sbreaking down. We have no reason to believe that any of the things wehave tried or are going to try are going to have any - make anydifference. You asked Ambassador Rice have not the UN sanctions beenwithout effect. She said, no, no, they've had effect on the trade, thefinancial institutions and other things in Iran. They've had no effect onthe behavior which is the point.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) Do you agree with that?
RICHARD HAASS, PRESIDENTThe sanctions have a modest effect in terms of - in the case of in Irantheir, their ability to, to function, but in terms of the bottom line inIran which is their capacity to produce a large amount of low enricheduranium, no, the sanctions have not had any appreciable effect. WithNorth Korean, the bottom line is also it continues. This is stationidentification by the North Koreans. Every so often, they remind us thatthey have these things we don't like. And this is the beginning of thenext set of negotiations. And what they really want to do is sell thehorse yet again and get whatever sort of relief from South Koreans, theUnited States, Japan that they can. It will really come down to China. And the bottom line is while the Chinese may help us to some extent onputting a, a ceiling on the North Korean threat, they will not do what wereally want, which is to pressure them. Because the bottom line is Chinaand South Korea do not want North Korea to collapse.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) Well and that's right. And we, we, we may want them to pressureNorth Korea, Arianna, but we're - but how much are we willing to putbehind that?
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, "THE HUFFINGTON POST"Well, that's also the problem. That even though as George said it'staken our mind off bonuses and other Wall Street abuses, the truth is thatthe financial collapse has put us in a very difficult position when itcomes to pressuring China because we're so dependent on them since they'reholding such a major part of America's debt. And right now, we also needto look at what happened during the Bush years that got us to this point. Remember North Korea started as a member of the axis of evil. And formany years, there were no negotiations. Then suddenly arbitrarily it wastaken off the list. There wasn't a formal taking it off the list. But werejoined the six-party talks. And we wasted a lot of precious time interms of all our other allies working together.
DAVID FRUM, FORMER BUSH SPEECHWRITERHow much are we willing to put behind it? Well the President in Prague,I think answered that question. And to my mind, the biggest news of thiswhole new cycle is his statement to the Czechs who have take enormousdomestic and international risk to base American missile defense. That heis going - he has now got two clauses which will allow him to cancel thisthing. He said we will proceed with missile defense if it is effectiveand only so long as there is a threat from Iran. That is that this is aunidirectional defense, not a defense against North Korea, it's not adefense against potentially Russia.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) And, and the, and the question Martha, is where does he put theemphasis? On whether it can be effective or where Iran stops theirnuclear program? Both fairly big loopholes.
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS(OC) Very big loopholes. And I think what Barack Obama is saying is, isdiplomacy is not so easy. It's not just a matter of reaching out yourhand or having Ambassador Richard Holbrook meet in a hallway with theIranians and say, look, we're face to face. It's very complicated. Listen to Ambassador Rice talk about consequences. We're going to have aforceful statement. That's pretty much probably it.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) And do you think...
MARTHA RADDATZ(OC) And we have done that before over and over again. So I thinkthey're seeing the exact same problems that President Bush saw only worse.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) I also asked her is, is the United States concerned about China asChina is about chaos, collapse in North Korea. What's the real answer tothat question?
RICHARD HAASSThe Chinese are concerned about chaos. The last thing that...
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) What about the US?
RICHARD HAASSOh, the US needs to be too.
MARTHA RADDATZ(OC) Oh yes, absolutely.
RICHARD HAASSWe do not want to see - we don't want to so another conflict on theKorean peninsula and collapse is the most likely way to, to bring itabout. The Chinese don't want to see chaos. They don't want to see theUnited States forces involved in a war right up to their border.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) So that puts limits on any kind of pressure we're going to put on...
RICHARD HAASSExactly. Also...
MARTHA RADDATZ(OC) That exactly puts the limits on it too. Because we are concernedabout chaos. We are concerned about that country falling apart.
GEORGE WILL(OC) But isn't the, isn't the principle inhibition on our effectivenessthe fact that we're dealing with a fiction? Ambassador Rice said thecommunity of nations want Iran to rejoin the community of nations. Thesame thing with North Korean. There is no community of nations or wewouldn't have these problems. That is, there are extremely differentinterests and different values ranging from Sudan to North Korea to Iran. We don't get along. And, and behind the phrase "community of nations," isthe old planted liberal axiom that harmony is natural. It's not.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) It's not. And Arianna what we are - and I talked to Ambassador Riceabout this as well - facing Iran at least the Israelis are sending out allkinds of signals that they can't stand for more red lines to be crossedfor, for Iran to actually get to the point where they can have a nuclearweapon.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONAbsolutely. But, you know, just as there is no community of nations, butit's an aspiration and we have to keep working towards it. Whether itcomes to the relation between Israel and Iran or what we're doing withNorth Korea to just say there is no community of nations, there is nonatural harmony, let - therefore, let's abandon any attempt at diplomacyleaves us with no chances except force.
GEORGE WILL(OC) I didn't say abandon diplomacy. I will just remind you that whenWoodrow Wilson said to Clemenceau don't you believe that all men arebrother, Clemenceau said yes, Cain and Able, Cain and Able. Conflict isnatural, Arianna, and pretending that by aspiring to something else you'redoing something effective is - seems to me feckless.
DAVID FRUMJust as the United States needs to think very hard about the actual meansof defense in this new world, as George said, of proliferation, buildingmissile defense, so if the United States government wants to preventIsrael from attacking Iran which I think this government does, it needs tobe very clear about what measures of defense it is going to make availableto Israel. That we - if we are leaving a world in which nuclear weaponsare absent and they're more prolific, we are going to have to enter aworld in which nuclear defenses are more available both to the UnitedStates and to its friends.
RICHARD HAASSBut we shouldn't kid ourselves, George. There's no solution to thiswhether it's sanctions and diplomacy or whether it's missile defense. Welcome to the 21st Century. This is a world in which power, in manycases in nasty forms like proliferation will become more dispersed. Moredistributed. This is, this is the future of the world. This is historycoming to us now. We can't solve it, we can perhaps manage it at times. But this is going to be a messier, more difficult world that the UnitedStates at best can influence. We can't dominate it. We certainly can'tcontrol it.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) On that happy note, we're going to take a quick break. And we'regonna come back with a lot more roundtable after the break. We're gonnahave our take on the President's trip, Michelle Obama's star turn, alsoPresident Obama's tough love for GM and Chrysler. All that and "TheSunday Funnies" when we come back.
GRAPHICS: THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOSJOHN KENNEDY, FORMER US PRESIDENTI am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris. And I'veenjoyed it.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMATo paraphrase one of my predecessors, I am also proud to be the man whobrought Michelle Obama to Prague.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) No reason not to steal a great line, President Obama and MichelleObama in Europe this week. We are back with our "Roundtable." I'm joinedby George Will, Martha Raddatz, Richard Haass, David Frum and AriannaHuffington. And, and George, to set up the trip, let me also show you oneother piece of sound from, from President Obama this week that sort ofcaptured the kind of tone he was trying to strike with the Europeans.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMAThere have been times where Americans have shown arrogance and beendismissive, even derisive. But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanismthat is at once casual but can also be insidious.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) The President clearly trying to signal all week long a new start,saying he was there to listen, not there with any grand new ideas for theEuropeans. And he, and he's been a success overall, certainly at thestagecraft, but when you look at the substance on the G-20, onAfghanistan, on Guantanamo, good words, but the President didn't get allhe wanted.
GEORGE WILL(OC) But he also told the Europeans exactly what they wanted to hearwhich is nonsense. He said, I - we, we want to reestablish and recognizeEurope's role of leadership in the world. Europe has no leadership rolein Europe. When they had a crisis in the Balkans with ethnic cleansingapproaching genocide, it was the United States who had to come in andorganize it. He said there, in, in Europe, he said or his Afghan/Pakistaninitiatives, he said there will be a military component to it and Europeshould not simply expect the United States to shoulder that burden alone. America will shoulder it alone because it's not worth the trouble tryingto extract ten helicopters and a platoon out of Europe.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) Want to speak up for the Europeans?
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONWell, definitely Afghanistan was where the President did not get what hewanted. No question that now basically Afghanistan is an American war. All that the Europeans offered was some logistical support and trainingfor the Afghanistan police and army. Absolutely, he didn't get what hewanted there. But he did get 1 trillion, $100 billion for credit, fortrade support from the IMF. And more important than anything, he reallyasserted himself as a leader there. What he said, especially for me, myfavorite moment was in his answer to American exceptionalism. When he wasasked what did he think of American exceptionalism. I think he gave amasterful answer. When he said, I believe in American exceptionalism andI'm sure that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism, and the Greeksbelieve in Greek exceptionalism and definitely we do, George.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) Of course we do. That's exactly right. But Richard, on, on thistone the President tried to strike all week long, it was, it was prettyclear that he wants to build a relationship where he can call on theEuropeans later on, even if he doesn't get everything he wants right now.
RICHARD HAASSThat's exactly right. At the end of the day, the biggest pool ofpartners the United States has, however inadequate they may be, stilltends to be the Europeans. I remember when I worked at the White Houseand a crisis would happen, the President always wants to get on the phone.And invariably most of the codes, most of the codes, most of the dialingcodes tend to be European. They are still the most like-minded as theUnited States. They are still - they still have some capacities. Butthere's a, there's a, there's an irony here that I can't help but note. The Europeans said they didn't like George W Bush because he was toounilateral. We want a multilateral American. Well, be careful what youwish for, Europe. You've got a multilateral president, but that meansthey've got to do more and they are clearly not ready to step up to thatplate.
MARTHA RADDATZ(OC) They are clearly not ready. And I, I think what you were saying,George, I mean, he goes over there, he's a great president. Everyoneloves him, but the second headline has been he didn't get everything hewanted. And particularly Afghanistan. Next year, the US will probablyhave 80,000 troops in Afghanistan. That is huge.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) That's if the President agrees to General McKiernan's next...
MARTHA RADDATZ(OC) But that's only - at the very least they'll have 70,000 troops nextyear. They will probably have 80,000 troops because I think it's going tobe awfully hard if things start spiraling downward. And I think you'regoing to have more violence over there to deny General McKiernan what hewants. I don't think they wanted it mentioned this year. I think GeneralPetraeus on the Hill mentioning it ruffled a few feathers. But I thinkyou probably will see 80,000. And the Europeans are not helping. Theyhaven't been much help so far. The Germans don't go, go anywhere theycan't fight. The election troops that President Obama was askedyesterday, will these troops stay after the election. Totally dodged thatquestion. The answer is, no, they will not.
DAVID FRUMI don't why we're saying the President didn't get everything he wanted. The President didn't get anything he wanted. Now, that's halfway goodnews because he came with two big requests and one of them was veryfoolish. At that was the request that Europeans, which have much higherdebt ratios than the United States, run up their debts in an attempt to dothe kind of fiscal stimulus that the United States is doing, at a timewhen the European central banks still has monetary measures left to do. That was a bad request. And it's a good thing probably for themselves andthe world that the Europeans said no. But on, on Afghanistan, thePresident is focusing on the wrong thing as well. He's asking for moretroops when the real issue is those European troops that are there, andthere are a lot of European troops, don't have permission to do things. If the - I was told a story when I was in the fall by a German commanderthat they actually have F-15s - they have aircraft - I shouldn't saywhich, which kind of aircraft. They have aircraft over, over Afghanistan,but if they want to actually hit anybody, they have to place a rapid callback home to get permission to fire a missile from the aircraft that theyhave overhead. They are not able to engage on anything like a warfighting basis. And that's the first request, don't spend more - sendmore troops over they're not to fight.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) Everybody wants to get in on this, I can tell.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONNot, not just Afghanistan was the wrong request, because it's the wronggoal for America, as well as Europe. I mean there is no question that weare not going to be successful in Afghanistan with more troops. I mean,history has proven that again and again. The President has said that our- the main reason we are there is to root out al Qaeda. Well, al Qaeda isprimarily in Pakistan, and not in Afghanistan. And the idea thatthousands of American soldiers in the mountainous regions of Pakistanfighting the Taliban is going to improve our national security is absurd.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) But let me press that, Richard. And we may not succeed with moretroops, I think the fear is that we're certainly going to fail and therewill be a collapse with - if we don't have more troops.
RICHARD HAASSWe have to start defining success down. We succeed in places likePakistan and Afghanistan if they don't collapse, if they don't becomecompletely failed states. So we've got to set the bar extremely low. That's the realistic news. The bad news is, even extremely low ambitionstend to be ambitious in places like this.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) And, and that's also the Biden view from everything I've been told,George Will. That internally inside the National Security Councildeliberations, Vice President Biden was arguing for a minimalist postureprobably against General Petraeus who thinks that they can replicatesomething like the interim success we've seen in Iraq.
GEORGE WILL(OC) Let the record show that Mr Obama's problems on the left have begunwith, Arianna, when Iraq was the problem, the American left said the goodwar is Afghanistan. We are not against wars. We're not against usingmilitary force if you want to use it in Afghanistan. And now he's done itand the left will peel off I have a feeling.
MARTHA RADDATZ(OC) And the, the civilian surge, part of what, what the Obamas, theObama administration is talking about, that civilian surge is hundreds ofcivilians. That's not a whole lot of civilians. And they have had avery, very difficult time at the State Department getting people who willgo into war zones. I don't know why they would be more successful withthis one. So I think in this case, with the troops going in, I thinkthat's exactly right. I think they'll think they fail if they don't doit.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONThe idea that, the idea that opposition to increasing our militarypresence in Afghanistan is a left wing position is so obsolete. Just lookaround at where the opposition is coming from. It's coming from realistswho know Afghanistan history, who know how much the opposition againstmilitary presence there is growing. And at a time when we're sending21,000 more troops, the Karzai government is basically going forward witha law to regulate the sexual practices of Shiite families.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) He said this morning he'd review it.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONHe'll review it. But the bottom line is that they went along with it...
MARTHA RADDATZ(OC) Not to mention - Pakistan.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON...unless - until there was tremendous opposition to it. So this isbasically our ally in Afghanistan.
RICHARD HAASSWell let's, let's, let's remember, though, why we're sending more troops.It's simply to provide something of a breathing space so we can train upthe Afghanistan police and military forces to hopefully do a bit better. And it's the same thing in Pakistan. We are dealing with two countrieshere, Pakistan and Afghanistan that lack the most rudimentary capacitiesof a modern state. They simply can't police their own territory. Theproblem for the United States is if and when - I have a fear it might bewhen - they can't do what, what we want, what do we then do. In a funnysort of way in foreign policy, it's easier to deal with your adversariesthan it is with your friends. And when your friends don't meet therequirements that you need them to meet, what then does the administrationdo? You can't sanction them, you can't attack them. You don't want toinvade them. What then does the administration do?
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) So with Pakistan we have all carrot and no real stick that'spossible. And, you know, the President has taken some of your advice,Richard. They have scaled down the, the stated goal in Pakistan andAfghanistan to simply disrupt al Qaeda, to dismantle al Qaeda as much aspossible. And they've also retired the phrase "global war on terror." AndJon Stewart had a little bit of fun with that this week.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) Now David Frum...
DAVID FRUMClearly we have here a national euphemism initiative. That is launchedby this administration. That is really - that's, that's going to be anenduring achievement.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) But Secretary Clinton said the reason they switched speaks foritself yet refused to elaborate any further, does this matter?
DAVID FRUMIt matters - I think Richard Haass is exactly right. That they, they aredetermined to have a success in, in Afghanistan. And they don't care howcompletely negligible and miserable that success is in order to proclaimit a success. What I worry about is that they are on a path now wherethey are injecting into Afghanistan just enough force, in the old Vietnamfailure machine way, just enough force to keep problems at bay. Thereason Iraq turned around is not just because of the American surge, butbecause the United States and its friends were successful in building upindigenous Iraqi forces to a number great enough to provide the kind ofratios you need to police an insurgent territory. In Afghanistan, whilethe Afghan army is, you know, sort of plausible, the Afghan police are adisaster. They remain a disaster. The American training operation forthe police is not very effective. It's - and the Americans deludethemselves about how much success is happening there. 80,000 Americansare not going to be able to patrol Afghanistan. This, this huge countrywith a large population and a lot of rocks.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONFirst of all, this is revisionist history about Iraq, The reason thingsturned around in Iraq is because, contrary to the Bush administration'spolicy, we started negotiating with terrorists and indeed paying them. Westarted paying Sunnis. That is the famous Sunni awakening. It hadnothing to do with anything else. It is really contrary to everythingGeorge Bush had said. And in the same way now, we could start negotiatingwith some of the Taliban that want to negotiate with us.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) The President said he was going to do that.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONI know. But this is a greater priority than adding more forces.
MARTHA RADDATZ(OC) George, can we just pick up on a, a good point you made earlier,Arianna, and that is, Pakistan. I mean we keep talking about Afghanistan.Pakistan is really, truly, the huge problem here. And I think you've gota Pakistani government that is still in absolute denial that they have aproblem in their own country. Suicide bombing after suicide bombing, theydenounce that. But then they still don't turn their attention to theareas where they should be turning their attention.
GEORGE WILL(OC) If Pakistan did not exist, we wouldn't be worrying aboutAfghanistan.
MARTHA RADDATZ(OC) Absolutely right. And that's why, going after al Qaeda, they do getinto Afghanistan.
RICHARD HAASSA bit of exaggeration, because places like Afghanistan can still becomebreeding grounds for terrorists who in an age of globalization as we sawon 9/11, can do serious damage. But it's interesting, we spent the firstten minutes of this conversation talking about, what, North Korea andIran. Pakistan has five dozen, plus or minus, nuclear weapons. The is acountry that to some extent is failing, where the government is not incontrol of all of the territory. The government is not even control ofall the government. This is a major, major problem. When you make theshort list of the foreign policy national security nightmares facing theObama administration, this would probably be - better be at the top of thelist.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) Or is it...
MARTHA RADDATZ(OC) And they say it is. They say it is. But their solutions aren'thuge.
DAVID FRUMBut the solutions are dangerous. I mean the President has often flirtedwith the idea of pressuring India to make concessions on Kashmir in orderto stabilize Pakistan. So in order to help a, a, a very doubtfulgovernment with its, with its domestic problems, you are going to putpressure on one of America's best friends in the world, potential bestfriends, most important best friends to give up on its vital interests inorder to assuage an unassuageable situation.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) We have a few minutes left and I want to turn back to the home frontand the economy. The President began this week before he went overseaswith something of a surprise announcement on both GM and Chrysler. Andone of the things the President did was put the idea of bankruptcydirectly on the table.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMAWhat I'm talking about is using our existing legal structure as a toolthat, with the backing of the US government, can make it easier forGeneral Motors and Chrysler to quickly clear away old debts that areweighing them down. What I'm not talking about is a process where acompany's simply broken up, sold off and no longer exists.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) Maybe not, George Will, but the President sent shock waves throughMichigan, Indiana and Ohio. And it, it's pretty clear that especially inthe case of Chrysler, if there's no merger with Fiat, they are going intobankruptcy. And the chances that GM are going into bankruptcy are alsowell above 50/50. They're going to have to pay their creditors $1 billionon June 1st. They don't have the money right now.
GEORGE WILL(OC) No, they don't have it yet, but we know where they'll get it andthat's from the taxpayers. What the President said about Chrysler is sellyourself to Fiat, and the taxpayers will lend $6 billion to an Italiancorporation. That's a tough political sale. What the administrationsaid, and this, this trouble began with the Bush people who flinched frombankruptcy also. They've said, look, go away, come back with a plausiblerevitalization plan on the following deadline. So they came back. Theadministration said, we don't like your plan. Therefore, go away andwrite another plan for another deadline. Meanwhile, the billions keepflowing. They're not credible yet. And they're not credible when theyenvelope the, the phrase bankruptcy and all these qualifying adjectives.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) Well that may be, George, the President actually used the word"bankruptcy" two or three times in an announcement...
GEORGE WILL(OC) But about essentially bankrupt companies.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONHe used it. And it is incredibly important. And the only problem is thedouble standard that became immediately clear in terms of how we'redealing with the banks. Because we are pouring hundreds of billions ofdollars into insolvent banks. And that's where the President should stoplistening to Larry Summers and Tim Geithner whose cosmology is basicallythe same as the center of the universe are the banks, everything has torevolve around them. If we continue believing that, we will continuedoing the wrong thing and you'll see the consequences. First, we weretold we need to do that in order to free up credit. Then, the Presidentsays well you didn't free up credit because the banks used the money tobalance their balance sheets. So, now, we're just going to sell the toxicassets to five hedge funds guaranteed by the taxpayers. One of thoseparticipants is going to be Citigroup that's getting bailout money thatit's going to use to buy toxic assets. It's not going to work.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) You raised all the problems - you raised a lot of the problems withit, yet, on the other hand, you can say since these announcements havebeen made, the stock market has been jumped 25 points.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONThat's the only thing that has jumped.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) Credit has been, credit has been flowing more. There is a bit moreconfidence at least in...
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONNot from the banks. Credit has been flowing from the separatearrangement that the administration has made.
DAVID FRUMEven if it's as deplorable as Arianna says, I mean we were talking aboutPakistan a minute ago. The banks are the - are our domestic Pakistan. That is that they threaten...
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) No good answers?
DAVID FRUMBut they also - they keep threatening, you have to give us stuff or we'llblow ourselves up and take you with us. It is a kind of hostage-takingsituation. And...
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONWe need to stop giving in to them.
DAVID FRUMBut the auto - the automakers can go down without it destroying theUnited States and global economy. And the banks can't, unfortunately.
RICHARD HAASSBut we are making some progress. We are basically introducing anenormous amount of stimulus. Whether you look at essentially flatinterest rates, which are at zero. Anyone can get money to the extentit's out there. We're looking at the amount of stimulus, you're lookingat the IMF capacities and so forth. There is a tremendous amount ofstimulus on the table. This economy will turn around. I think it's aquestion of when, how quickly, how much. That - we've basically fueled touse the missile imagery again. It's fuel. Now at some point we're gonnahave other problems. We're gonna have a dollar crisis conceivably downthe road. We're gonna have inflation crisis down the road. Individualcompanies are going to pay an enormous price. But this administration hasintroduced and I think the G-20 meeting contributed to it actually atremendous amount of stimulus into the US economy and global economy. Andit's going to have some effect. It has to have effect.
DAVID FRUMBut also a tremendous amount of new regulation which is going to be ananti-stimulus. That's coming, too.
RICHARD HAASSWell regulation is not an anti-stimulus. Regulation if done well canactually help an economy.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONActually, this week, we saw so many concessions to the banks. We saw thesuspension of mark to market which is absolutely tragic. Japan by nothaving mark to market made it much harder for them to recover.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) Just quickly explain to our viewers who may not know. Suspendingmark to market means that banks do not have to put in, publicly proclaimthe real value of assets?
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONExactly. So basically it has now become mark to fantasy. They can putdown any number they want. And they're basically perpetuating all ofthese gimmicks that have gotten us where we are. And the government isgoing along with that. Because basically, Tim Geithner and Larry Summersunderstand that well. This is their world and this is really the world towhich they keep making concessions.
RICHARD HAASSBut there is long-term investments, which should not - which is exactlywhy Arianna is wrong on this. These things should not be forced to bemarked on a daily basis. There's no market for certain things that areilliquid which are long term. So it's healthy.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONIt's not a daily basis. It's only when they're available for sale. It'snot on a daily basis.
RICHARD HAASSIt is healthy to basically move away from this short-term accounting. This is actually a positive thing, which is why the market's reacted sopositively to it.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONAnd you think they'll continue….
GEORGE WILL(OC) It's a mess isn't it, Arianna, when you get into the business ofgovernment allocating wealth and opportunity in a society. Let's agree onthat. And it can't be done prettily.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTONWell I agree on that. But it can't be done because of, of the club,supporting the oligarchs. Right now, the banks have become the oligarchsof America. We just found out this week that Larry Summers had hundredsof thousands of dollars in speaking fees to Citigroup, to all - a lot ofthe same companies that have been bailed out. I'm not suggesting for aminute that Summers or Geithner are corrupt. All I'm suggesting that'sthe world we're living in.
GEORGE WILL(OC) This is the world you wanted, Arianna. This is the world you want. More government supervision of the economy.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(OC) And this is going to have to continue in the green room.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(VO) You can join in later on ABCNews.com and get political updates allweek long from me on Facebook and Twitter. Coming up here, "The SundayFunnies."
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(VO) Now "In Memoriam". GRAPHICS: MAURICE JARRE, 84 ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING COMPOSER GRAPHICS: TOM BRADEN, 92 FORMER CIA OPERATIVE, COMMENTATOR AND COLUMNIST
ANNOUNCER"Crossfire," on the left, Tom Braden. On the right, Pat Buchanan. GRAPHICS: HELEN LEVITT, 95, PHOTOGRAPHER
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS(VO) This week, the Pentagon released the names of four service memberskilled in Iraq and Afghanistan. GRAPHICS: IN MEMORIAM