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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  May 15, 2010 2:00am-5:59am EDT

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presidential elections in mexico, in 1994,-- was the man o be president. he could not reach the presidency because he was killed in 2000, it had been one for the last 70 years but then the man to be president did not reach the presidency. in 2006, for 40 consecutive months, watching the top of the boards and then the next month he becomes president. now we see-- in the same position he was six years ago. that would be the most feasible thing to happen, but what is a
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constant in the mexican presidential politics for the last 20 years has been that unexpected things happen. so, it is not necessarily a fact that he will win the election, and the image to be per trade of efficiency and that they know how to govern, i think it could be very highly questions.
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john garver, george attack university, and ken, a fellow here at brookings. -- at georgia tech university that is garver. let's begin with north korea, and jack will talk first about the issue in toto. and it jonathan will talk about how well the u.s. and china are working together on that subject.
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>> thank you very much. i did a program last week at brookings, and was remarking how there really appreciated the opportunity to go last in a two- day conference. i have tried to figure out what is going worse, that is following im. by my calculation we have lost nearly half the audience. that means we are about 18 the drop aw of jim -- 1/8 the draw. is a pleasure to be on this panel. i'm going to start off by stealing jonathan's thunder. if you have not read his latest paper, it is the north korea nuclear weapons out of london,
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an implication for future policy. it is a terrific overview, and suggestions on what to do. i don't know if you will speak about that. i found it absolutely worthwhile. i commend you all to take a look at it. the first thing i would like to do is focus on what the u.s. concern is about north korea. it helps to answer the question. throughout my dealings with north korea that the no would tell people even as we dealt with the developments of their nuclear weapons program, is i do not wake up in the middle of the night thinking that north korea is just on the verge of [unintelligible] one of their missiles and therefore san francisco is soon to disappear. it is the question of
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proliferation. we have to be most concerned about what the north koreans are doing and why. and what they have, and the potential for it to become < accountable on their part. richard has asked a question i will not reveal now. it is a pertinent question. the answer has to do a lot with this particular issue. so, we have dealt with the north korean problem for a number of years. we have had fleeting glimpses of success in the agreed framework of 1994 that froze the issue for some time, but not completely. it had flaws with respect to the nuclear non-proliferation
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treaty. it postponed the reckoning of what north korea was supposed to do to a later date, which we never got to. so, rather than suggesting the six-party talks of a panacea, i would like to take a different tack. we need to stabilize the size of the north korean problem immediately. minimize future risks. when we have that opportunity, we then should remove as quickly as possible the material they have. it suggests that once we get back to active negotiations with them, we ought to be doing
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something different. something we have not in the past. we should negotiate the end game the first. control the material, dispose of it, then clean up the game afterwards. the piecemeal approach we have seen for several years it did not work. it opened the door in periods of time for north korea to expand a limited amount of fissile material. we started behind with north korea having possession of some small amount of fissile material, in the range of one to two weapons' worth of plutonium. that opened up dramatically. in 2003 the second crisis got under way. it was furthered in 2005.
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each time they expanded their possession of materials to the point where the program matured in october 2006 to their having detonated the first nuclear device. it was followed this past year towards the end of may almost one year ago were they detonated a second device. what has happened in the last 18 months, has been an unfortunate relaxation of concern. we have settled into the maintenance, the management of north korea's nuclear weapons program. we have not been actively seeking to get rid of the stuff.
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there are many reasons, not all the problem of the obama administration. there are many things on track. we're not moving in an effort now to get rid of this material. i suggest it is the main problem. i don't want to spend too much time on that. compounding that is this incident. the secretary indicated there was an indication of connection between the movement and incident. i suggest there is a domestic political connection that we can explore offline. it has suggested we cannot be indifferent. the indifference puts us back into the management.
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we're postponing active resolution. will we do in the meantime? lacking the active resolution, then must make sure that we don't end up with the inadvertent movement of the fissile material from north korea elsewhere. one of the things that probably needs to be done is the emphasis on the consequences should that occur. when i was in government i told the north koreans directly in 2002, 2003, that proliferation was the red line the u.s. could not tolerate.
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10 years before that the reprocessing was supposed to have been the red line according to the former secretary of defense was prepared to use military force on. the red line has been passed a couple of times recently. i was convinced in the post-9/11 environment that the u.s. would not tolerate the transfer of material to a third party. we saw clearly that the north koreans did that. we found out in september 2007 as the israeli air force bomb, the syrian nuclear facility, that the north koreans had been involved.
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the problem was, if you look back, there was no consequence. the u.s. did not do anything to reinforce that this was not acceptable behavior. we have to make sure it even in this time of an activity that the message goes back to the north koreans that proliferation does matter to this administration. that once we began the active resumption of the six-party talks, one of the agenda items must come back onto the plate -- a resolution of what happened with syria. it should be done in a way to send a signal that we will not tolerate the proliferation of fissile or technical information there. we have missed the boat a couple of times. once was in january 2003 as the
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north koreans were breaking out of the agreed framework. one of the things they did was to withdraw from the npt. i find this somewhat amusing, the manner in which they did it. and the 1993 time, they announced their withdrawal from the npt. they're supposed to give 90 days notification. they gave notification, 89 days and some hours before they suspended their withdrawal based upon progress being made. in january 2003 after a confrontation with the u.s. over concern about highly enriched uranium, the north koreans that we will withdraw from the npt.
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by the way, that becomes effective in about 10 hours. we're combining the notification we gave you nine years ago to" we're doing today. that sense to me -- sends to me -- the u.s. response was not to formally protest, and that was unfortunate. one of the things we need to take advantage of it is fully understanding north korean motivations. i commend the reading of this paper on this. he does a wonderful job of tracing the development of the north koreans'nuclear program, and gives us a much better understanding of where they are and have come from and are likely to go. for the north koreans, there has
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been an added factor that most of you are aware of. the events of the last nearly two years. in august 2008 you are aware of a stroke by kim jong-il. at the end of the bush administration and beginning of the obama administration, the inability to come to conclusion for about a verification regime. what was perceived by the obama administration to be provocative actions. preparing for and launching a long-range missile on april 5, 2009, followed short weeks later by their second nuclear device. it suggests the north koreans then and now are in a position
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where they cannot show weakness. nationalism is the priority. they are in no position to compromise. as we look at the ground and solicit assistance from others, there are couple of things. the situation is not the same as it was towards the last active phase of the six-party talks. the situation in china with regard to their own national security interests i don't think has changed much. accept their full understanding of what is going on in the north korea today. -- except that. the regime itself is under stress. their attempts and a belated
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manner to find a route to succession that has always been understood as their preferred manner from transitioning from their leader to a later leader has been extraordinary late coming. i would go into those details other than to say that the north koreans, as they are positioning themselves for the next couple of years with 2012 an important date for number of reasons, they are now in a position to walk back on a voluntary basis their nuclear weapons program. where does that leave us? to me it suggests we ought to take a vantage of the vulnerabilities of the north korean regime, of the things they hold dearest in terms of the regime's survival, successful transfer of power, and the aiming towards 2012.
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what happens if we resolve the incident to a satisfactory conclusion to allow the six- party talks to be resumed, and what is the probability the north koreans will in the near- term give up their nuclear weapons? in my opinion, very little. the situation does not now currently ripe for north korea to move forward on its own initiative. so what is incumbent on the u.s. and its partners to help shape the environment. i want to spend one sentence about what north korea is doing
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in its attempt to shape the environment. kim jong-il has just returned from his trip to china. we don't have full reports. but one of the things we have seen come of that is the suggestion that the north koreans said they will help with the chinese to create a more favorable condition in which they can then participate in a six-party talks. what are they? from the recent past when the other would like to have a peaceful regime ballot with the u.s., the sanctions withdrawn. with their relationship with the chinese they are attempting to shape the environment to their advantage. what we need to do is to move rapidly to pick up the momentum i think has been lost. i will end on this particular
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point. surely after the second nuclear test in may last year, the following month, there was a consensus. it resulted in the development of the un security council resolution for which the chinese were part of the authorship of that. even knowing their national security interests, not including bringing down the north korean government, the chinese, in my opinion, started off on much of the right foot in the implementation, at least verbally, of 1874. one of the things the obama administration did to its credit was to create a sanctions coordinator who won two locations visited beijing among several countries and kept the focus on the actual implementation and effectiveness
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of 1874. something i would remind you of with this resolution that is different from other resolutions and sanctions in general, while directed that north korea, the responsibility was universal on each member of the un. they were required to do a number of things. to identify, search, to report, to dispose of. on a number of occasions we have seen, this was successfully done. faugh in my opinion there was a very small window of opportunity last summer when the north koreans, but they certainly did not believe the sanctions were adversely affecting them daily, they did not like the path or directions of where it was headed. for a moment in time it created
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a charm offensive by the north koreans to improved relationship with south koreans, the u.s., and to try their best to get out from under the future application of the sanctions. this is an important part of what we need to be doing. it is a vulnerability that -- and i'm not going into much in terms of the chinese rule. there is a positive role to be played based on their own commitments there. if we could get back to the moment of time, which hopefully is not asking too much, giving our full understanding of their interests, we might have a chance at beginning to shape the environment so that the north koreans understand they're headed in the wrong direction. once we do that, we will begin to open the potential for resolution of their nuclear weapons program.
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>> thanks very much veryjack for laying the foundation. we now turn to jonathan. >> thank you, richard. these are my own views. i am an employee of the u.s. government. fortunately, i can express my own opinions. jack has tried to set some of the larger context for some questions. there is no need for me to go over that same ground. my focus will be more on chinese policy calculations towards north korea, and helen turn these could advance warning of it -- how in turn, they could inhibit or dance u.s./china collaboration and how those
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could restrain or reverse the weapons development of north korea. i have been asked to place this in context. this is part of the new u.s./china agenda. it has a global dimension. it has a local and historical dimension. especially for the chinese. we are meeting in the immediate aftermath of kim jong-il's visit to china -- this was his fifth visit since 2000. of course, it was his first visit to china since north korea conducted its initial test in 2006. his visit now coincides with a number of urgent issues. it is more than the question of
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north korean nuclear issue, but of north korea itself. where it perceives as a political and military system. what the dangers and risks are of this extraordinary, and very self-referential entity. it occurs in the aftermath of the investigation. we will await word on findings. we also have kim jong-il's and certain health, the leadership succession, the key to economic needs, and not least it's determined pursuit of the nuclear weapons capability -- ones reinforced and not undermined by its most recent statements, especially on april 21. if i can give their quotation "
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the nuclear task, by this at the state of nuclear and balance in northeast asia where nuclear weapons and umbrellas were packed, and where only the dorj remained as a nuclear backings and was brought to an end. the nuclear deterrence provided by the position, the danger of outbreak of war has noticeably been reduced. this is precisely the effort made on the crest is to remove the nuclear states not through words only, but by deterring the u.s. nuclear weapons with our nuclear-weapons." there are other statements in this which i commend to your attention. i suspect china looks at this question in a much longer
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historical context. its history with the regime over the decades, the fact that china helped frankly to save, rescue the north koreans during the korean war, that china has been a protector, not consistently, but over time. when meets with
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meets with
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>> over time, there must inevitably be interchange with the north, and therefore china has incentives to play for time which over and some longer-term sense will lead to a more normal north korea that does not see its security depending on the possession of nuclear weapons.
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early in the reagan administration, there were initiatives made by the korean leader on behalf of the north koreans to establish a trilateral context for negotiations. dong was carrying some of north korea's water. it is discussed with the secretary when he visited beijing in september 1993, followed in a matter of weeks by the bombing in burma. intended to bring is more hopeful expectation to an end. the story has been repeated in one version or another many times. so, i don't want to dwell on this history, too much, but it does suggest to me that history and geography -- the
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understanding between the u.s. and china continue to limit possibilities for more meaningful movement, a least in the near to midterm, in pursuit of shared goals. there is to be sure cigna began debate in china. it comes and goes. it is certainly the atmosphere in which barry sharp views of north korea can be expressed contents to be a function partly of north korean behavior. in the the immediate aftermath of both tests, the political environment that beijing is more conducive to openly express anger and frustration at the north, but with china ultimately reverting more to a policy mean. this has been evident, for example -- we saw significant cooperation between the u.s. and tunnel in the aftermath of the second nuclear test, but then
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last year we saw, as north korea sought to make some more flexible gestures, the prime minister wen jiabao and the prime minister of defense but traveled to the north. even as the chinese and the size they were holding, adhering to the spirit of the un sanctions, it would appear to many that china had decided to make, if not a fundamental commitment to north korea, at least a deeper commitment focused much on economics, but more broadly keeping things in check and begging the issue of whether the u.s. and china were relief on parallel paths. the aftermath of the second test is that the obama administrato
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administration and the size and still does that we were at a critical inflection point on the question of nuclear proliferation and could not tolerate a situation to simply acquiesce to north korean actions. we certainly did not want to compensate north korea for its actions. does chinese support for north korea it in effect give them the support necessary, that they require, in order to dodge the pressure? bottom line, it seems to me, the chinese leadership as distinct from chinese analysts and scholars, has yet to be fully persuaded that non- proliferation compared to some of china's other competing interests, calculations, and
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needs, trump's these other concerns. china would do what is necessary to uphold the letter, and perhaps the spirit of 1847, beijing has yet to demonstrate that it is prepared to put this wider array of its interests at risk of. this leaves us and the situation where although there are areas of cooperation between the u.s. and china, there are also areas that are problematic. what do we do about it? the administration including our speaker has emphasized at times that the u.s. needs to offer a strategic assurance to beijing. perhaps we want the same from china. beyond that, the question is
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whether we can get to strategic clarification. are we walking from a comparable set of policy priority stackshow compelling a mutual interest is there in the goal? or does' s larger set of interest as the immediate neighbor trump coordination? are the means by which we can move to a more complementary discussion? because absent that frameworks, north korea may find itself with some increased room for maneuver. what we should be asking beijing about is to reinforce whether there are are ought to be shared national interest that emphasize the risks to both countries
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opposed by the nuclear weapons development? i worried there's a tendency to give north korea to much of the past. jack has alluded to some of this because there fissile material, among other things, are totally unconstrained, subject only to their technical and industrial limitations. the potential costs including for china in terms of regional stability, seems to me quite self-evident. it has the potential for a longer-term undermining affect on the u.s./china relations not to mention those with the rok for china. it also creates an unhealthy precedent over the long term for the non-proliferation regime. jack asked before whether the u.s. had a true the done.
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we might want to ask the same of china. their words are appropriate. china says it wants to work actively for the de-nuclear reservation of the korean peninsula. that is good, but there is a larger strategic context year and a set of actions that may be needed to advance that. that we need to import more coolly to the chinese. so, i see china like the u.s., confronting some unpleasant policy choices. on one hand, we could say china could in 1 context make some kind of commitment it will protect and defend north korea. i don't think china seeks that today. it does seek to preserve and provide, and sustain for north korea.
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heightened political and economic support this seems at first to be independent of north korean behavior. alternatively, we might want to see china move more towards an active prodding of north korea. even distance itself somewhat. but i don't see that coming anytime soon. i believe we have a set of overlapping interests better self evident. but getting there and finding the effective means and understanding continues to believe us. and it remains uppermost on the agenda that both beijing and washington need to confront. >> thank you, jonathan. [applause] let's now shift the geographic focus to the persian gulf with
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ken pollack. >> thank you very much. i'm going to give my top backwards today. i'm not going to speak back words. some day if i could pull that off, you will all be invited. i was taught you should start with your interests, and then the threats to the interests, then lay out different policy options to address the threats to security interests. then choose the best policy option and make a recommendation. i will start in reverse order. i will lay out the options. talk about which best. then return to the threats and interest. unfortunately, when you are
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talking about iran, the options all stink. there are no good options on iran. the only things we are arguing about these days its which is worst, and which is least bad. when you deal with a bunch of really bad options, there's a tendency to push the thinker and argue were towards inertia. you want to walk away. maybe focus on an easier problem to solve, like north korea. that is not a very good option for talking about iran. the potential downside, threats to our interests are the reason. it is useful to begin with the options.
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then think a little about the threats we face, which can then be seen as potential repercussions, consequences of inaction. at some novel it is well known to the group the preferred option to the u.s., a process of increasing the harsh sanctions to put pressure on the iranian regime. this is not a policy the u.s. government or establishment came to quickly are easily. it was the product of a long process of debate and trial and error. but with the iranians and with other allies. over 31 years of the existence of the republic existenceiran we
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have tried a bunch of different policies. we have tried everything from unilateral concessions to undeclared warfare. none of them have worked. today when we look at iran and what we in the rest of the world are so concerned about, we place hope and the idea that harsh international sanctions can succeed. frankly, nothing else has so far. there is no question that this will be very much along shot. the iranian regime has resisted other actionsanctions in the pat the kinds the u.s. and allies are pushing for. we have had a very important change in the nature of the iranian regime.
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on june 12, 2009, about a year ago, iran held presidential elections. there were many who were unhappy with the course of those elections. they believe the elections were rigged, stolen, and the man supposed to lose, president ahmadinejad, who was supposed to lose instead won. there is a lot of evidence to show the elections were raped. whether there were big enough to make him win, who knows? it may be true that the elections were rigged and he did win. all that matters is that after the elections there was a wide spread revolt by a large segment. that was the single greatest threat to the iranian regime and is 31 years of existence.
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an important event happened in response. it contracted within itself. the groups we intend to call moderates and pragmatists, even some mainstream conservatives, and some reformists, recommended making concessions to the opposition. the hard-liners all said no. the supreme leader sided with the hard-liners. his reading of his own coming to power of the islamist republic of the revolution that overcame the shah -- what doomed the shah was making concessions. therefore, there would be no concessions. in doing so, the leader systematically went about excluding all the voices of moderation that had been prominent voices.
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today we have seen a significant narrowing of the base of the decision-making apparatus. frankly, we have the hardest line group of people we have seen in iran since 1981. they're not interested or concerned by sanctions. they want the nuclear program. in many cases, they want nuclear weapons. they want enmity with the u.s. and believe that the u.s. and west are their enemies. they all believe that iran is more important to the rest of the world, then the world is to iran. in fact, many of them even believe that sanctions will be good for iran because it will
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encourage greater autocracy. the problem is that some point in time that it could be proven wrong -- it could take a long time. it is worth bearing in mind that in the 1990's the international community embarked on a similar program with libya. we imposed comprehensive sanctions. the response was hah! we cannot last recensions. they were proven wronn. not surprisingly. it took between eight and 10 years. let's remember that iran is more powerful than libya. it could take a very long time. we tend to focus on the sanctions.
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honestly, all other options are much worse. first, there is engagement. to its great credit the obama administration tried very hard to implement engagement during its first 10 months in office. long after outside observers, myself included, said to them, it was great you tried, but you have to realize is done. this regime is not interested. they clung to engagement, wanted to believe they could come to deal, find a way through peaceful negotiations to resolve differences with the writings. by the fall last year they finally figured out that it would just not work. the iranians were not interested. they came to that after many other, even most other countries around world recognized this. it is probably true that the
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chinese took even longer. even beijing has realized that iran is not interested. we saw a senior delegation from china go to take ron -- tehran and try to convince them that the world means business. there were badly disappointed by the obnoxiousness of the iranian interlocutors. so, engagement is highly unlikely for some time. we can hope that the wrong man's will mellow, realize they're in too deep. that isolation is bad for them. we can hope engagement will be realistic again, but it is not today. at the other end of the spectrum, there are people in
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the u.s. pushing different options. i suspect the voices will become louder in coming months. there is a group out there who wants to bomb iran. i am an old military analyst. i'm not exactly a shrinking violet when it comes to the use of force. if i thought there were good military options available, i would be glad to explain under what conditions. but i cannot come up with a good scenario for the use of force. i will simply say in summary, it is highly unlikely wood stopped the run and nuclear program. the best estimates thaare that t would only set back the running program by a year or two. it would create the perfect opera should be for iran to withdraw from the npt, to bury
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its programs deeper, embark on a massive program with the support of its own people. it would likely rally the iranian people around the regime. what is more, the run-ins' would likely retaliate and the variety of painful venues to the u.s. it is true that iran is much weaker than we are, but the running scandal lot of damage in the middle east. it is not a region that needs more damage. certainly not to american interests and western interests there. the other option of their proposed by those on the right is regime change. to help the iranian opposition overthrow. it's a wonderful idea in theory. i think it is something to look
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hard at. for the first time we do have a large, legitimate popular opposition to the government. we ought to look at ways to help the opposition. the truth is, the regime has demonstrated it will not go gently. if scholars have taught us anything about revolutionsm and they have taught us only one thing -- it is that revolutions occur only when the regime loses the will or capacity to use violence. unfortunately, this regime has lost me there. it is not likely to do so any time soon. we can hold out hope that at some time there will be regime change in tehran, but not any
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time since. so, if you don't like the harsh sanctions option, the alternatives are worse. i hope you don't simply say this is too hard and we should walk away. that is not a good answer either. then you must consider the consequences. that brings me to the threats and interest. i will go into too much detail. there are two broad set of problems that the u.s., its allies, and china will all face if iran is not convinced to give up its nuclear program. the first is the iranian threat to the middle east. some repair work is to be done here. many people are screaming about how the country's acquisition of nuclear capability means the entire world will explode the next day.
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it is not accurate. iran is ruled by a group of people who are aggressive, and two-american, but they're not irrational. we have seen a derecognized deterrents. they're subject to the force of them. they do comply with its various structures. it suggests it is highly unlikely that the rains would get in a clear weapon and simply throw it at tel aviv or the saudi arabian oil fields. it is also not likely that the iranians would give a nuclear weapon to terrorists. they have had weapons of mass destruction for about 22 years. they have supported terrorist groups for 31 years. they have never seen fit to mix the two. beth had very good reasons not to. it does not mean there's not a threat to the stability of the
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least fromiran's nuclear capability. there is the potential for israel to go to war with iran. i think it is not likely. i think it is an overblown, but not irrelevant fear. the bigger problem is that iran is an anti-status quo power. one the sees the current status quo in the region as one inherently to its disadvantage. one is six constantly in with all the means at its disposal to overturn. it means iran 6 instability. whenever it sees it, it does all it can to stop it. its arms violent groups whenever it can find them, that's terrorists of all kinds.
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they are non-denominational. anyone looking to overturn the status quo, preferably by violence, typically can find some help from erroneous. the middle east does not need any more help on that issue. it has plenty of instability. when we think about american and chinese mutual interests in the middle east, to ensure a free flow of in expensive oil is at the very top of that list. everything else is a distant second. the jig of inexpensive oil. the runyon actions have been among the most threatening to that. iran with nuclear weapons and with capability of any kind, and
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iran which believes it is no longer vulnerable to american retaliation will feel emboldened. not just in love and on or palestine, but in the iraq and saudi arabia. -- not just in irawq, or palestine. it has tried to overthrow every one of those countries including egypt, except the uae. it is not an idle fear. it is very real and significant over the long term. the last thread will mention is the water one of non- proliferation. right now for many countries around the world, non- proliferation has a very mixed
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record. there are countries out there that the international community has punished severely for pursuit of nuclear capability. i put libya in that category, iraq, and even north korea. north korea paid a price that no other country on earth would be willing to pay. it actually did help to reinforce the non-proliferation norm. set against those three good cases are three bad ones. israel, india, pakistan. they acquired weapons not scot- free, but at a price many others would consider acceptable. iran will be the decider. it is and put them because the entire world, including all five members from a permanent members of the u.n. security council have stated clearly and repeatedly that iran cannot be
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allowed to acquire this capability. we now have four resolutions and the security council under chapter 7 of the charter that makes them binding on all members. stipulating iran cannot be allowed to have this capability. if iran acquires it nonetheless and does not feel it has paid too high a price to do so -- which is why the obama administration has tried to demonstrate there is a real price to be paid -- if iran is allowed to acquire it anyway was see the non-proliferation norm began to erode, if not collapse. it is highly likely that the saudi arabia and the uae will acquire capabilities of their own.
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they're making it clear to iran that this is meant to match their capability if the iranians don't cease and desist. the saudi arabian officials have told u.s. officials that if iran acquires a nuclear weapon, they will acquire 12. people talk about turkey, egypt, others. and less convinced about them -- you will see other states follow in the suit. beyond that, if iran can get nuclear weapons, a country that everyone else realizes is a tremendous threat to international peace and stability, and prosperity, why should others stopped? do brazil and argentina really believe the world will treat the moors?
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. . >> out of about chinese policy, not u.s. policy.
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-- i will talk about chinese policy not u.s. policy. " i would talk about the extent to which chinese and u.s. interest overlap regarding tv u.s. -- of the iran -- regarding the iran issue. the logic is easy to understand. one of five members of the permanent -- one of the five nuclear weapons states under the regime, china's interest isn't year and other -- china's interests is in having fewer capabilities. it is the same logic as the united states. we have converging interest.
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-- we of convergent interests.
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the united states has a lot of problems with these countries -- iraq, iran -- but not china. china, unlike the united states, has never compensate -- has
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never contemplated war with these countries. united states has. we had two wars with iraq. we had the war with iran in the 1970's. we're now debating whether there will be another one. we continually confront this question of war or peace with these countries that we think nuclear program. china does not. china has had fine and cordial relations with iran and iraq. the second cut is that, although we share brought interest in non-proliferation, on closer inspection, there is a series of very significant, divergent interests regarding the importance of nonproliferation in the middle east. why is china so unenthusiastic about u.s. push for abiding sanctions -- for tough sanctions? this is not new.
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they have opposed u.s. sanctions since 1980. that was when iran seized american diplomats and held them hostage. the u.s. administration and the carter administration responded with sanctions. china said they thought it was a bad idea. on the one hand, opposed the violation of diplomatic privileges involved in the seizure of the hostages. . >> to characterize china's policy toward this, i would say that china has delayed the
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process and sought to limit the scope of the sanctions so that the sanctions would not really interfere with the substance of china's economic or political relations with iran. maybe to delay and water down, you set the terms of the sanctions. if you look at china's statements at the iaea board of governors, you see a lot of objections in this direction. not only currently, but going back to 2003. and china would say that they are standing on principles. and china has a number of principles that it feels are --
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for example, the principles of insisting that this question be solved by dialogue and negotiation. that any use of military force or threatened military force would make the situation more complex, would be antithetical to a resolution, and all reference to the use of force, the possibility of force, should be ruled out, and all parties should resolve this through negotiation and dialogue. or the resort to sanctions, making the matter more complex or more difficult, and does not move the situation forward. instead, it moves it back. and another level of the same objection, the united states is far too willing to resort to
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sanctions and presumes to bully countries around the world, especially in developing countries, through the frequent resort to sanctions, and this is not a good way to rumba world -- around the world. a lot of chinese things that the doctor just mentioned, a lot of chinese analysts suspect that the real u.s. objective is regime change in iran. even if the regime changes not one factor, then u.s. interference into the internal affairs of iran is one factor for the current u.s. cry for sanctions.
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principles -- a couple of observations about china's stands on principle. its protection of principle, its use of principle to oppose u.s. policy. the first observation is that china stands on principle as a way of protecting china's economic and political relations with iran. china receives about 12% of its imported oil from iran. iran has a lot of very rich copper deposits, undeveloped copper deposits. 80 something% of china's imports are crude oil. another 12% our mineral deposits -- are mineral deposits. china needs that and iran has a lot of them. iran is also a big market for
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chinese exports. capital goods. prior to the revolution, in 1978, one year before the iranian revolution, china's trade with iran accounted for 1%. in 2009, china became iran's major trading partner. iran is a big and important market. they have very ambitious development objections. iranian engineers and manufactures wood often prefer german equipment or french equipment because of technological capabilities. they really do not like the chinese stuff because it is not as good. those factors are set aside. in effect, u.s. sanctions have opened the door and allowed
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china to shoehorn itself into a very lucrative and big and important market. export promotion is the -- china needs export markets and iran is a big export market. the first cut on china's stance in defense of principles is that the stance serves china's interest in developing friendly, cooperative relations between the peoples of two countries in accordance with the five principles of peaceful coexistence. a second observation about the role of principles in chinese foreign policy is that principles served interest. i question the chinese leaders. when they decide to stand firm on chinese principles, or to be flexible on the application of those principles, is whether
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defensive principles or flexibility of principles * china's interest. -- serves china's interests. what chinese interest would be served by flexibility on these principles? the main chinese interests that are served is protecting the favorable macro climate for china's development drive, which began in 1978. through protection in the global capitalist system, which for better or worse, was dominated by the united states. since then, china has desperately tried to maintain
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amicable relations with the united states. the problem is, from the chinese view, the middle east is the lowest for american drive for world domination. during the cold war, the middle east was a center of contention between the superpowers with both of the two superpowers wanted to control the oil of the middle east. we need gasoline. there you go. the two superpowers sought to control the middle east during the cold war. the disappearance of the soviet union has created a very unbalanced situation. the crux of that is in the middle east. in this unbalanced situation, the united states has seized the
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opportunity to push forward aggressively with the drive to bring the oil of the middle east under american control so that the americans will have their hand on the oil spigot of the middle east and say you can have some and you cannot have some. the countries of the world who need oil will need to get from the americans. the unbalanced situation of the middle east released the united states to which the first hegemonism war against iraq and 1991. china's view is that both sides are head chemigemonist. and then the 2003 war, and so forth.
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some believe that in the american heart of hearts, in a secret blueprint in some office in washington is the -- iran is next on the agenda. the problem is, from china's perspective, you have got to have good relations with the americans. the middle east is the center of the american drive for hegemony. the americans are doing a lot of bad things in the middle east, but that is a region of the world that is pretty hard from china's strategic interests, which are in the eastern pacific and southeast asia. americans are doing bad things, but at least they're not doing it in an area of crucial concern to china. by the way, the americans might exhaust themselves and wear out their national will, leaving us in a better situation. what this takes us back to is
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flexibility on the application of principle. of course, if china is going to be flexible on the application of its principal, opposition to the use of sanctions and interference in internal affairs, if china is going to go along with the americans, it needs to get a good pro quo. mr. steinberg said this morning that china does not seek a quid pro quo. that might be the situation. china's interactions with the united states in earlier per iods, for example, in 1990 during the first iraq war, or in 1997 when the u.s. pushed for chinese disengagement from nuclear cooperation with iran. in both of those junctures, china sought and received from
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the united states a quid pro quo. china will be flexible, but i suspect will need some kind of satisfaction from the united states. there are several other areas in which china's interests are not conversant with american interest in the middle east. let me go further and be provocative. perhaps -- there are other ways that chinese interests may be served by the failure of american policies toward iran. china's objective is multi clarity. the long-term objective, there's been a long term the day and china. the broader idea is that china should seek to move the world's in the direction of multi polarity.
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and the failure of the u.s. policy directive, i think, would diminish american prestige and influence in the world, and put china in a better position. in terms of china's energy security, china would receive certain advantages from a nuclear iran. one of china's fundamental problems in energy security is the same lines of communication, the movement of oil across the indian ocean, and so on and so forth. china's solution to the problem is overland pipelines through kazakhstan or pakistan or me and yanmar.
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one of the problems is input to it in the event of some kind of u.s.-china confrontation over taiwan, where with china find some country that was willing to endure the united states by putting oil into those pipelines to pump to china. probably not pakistan, and not myanmar. iran would probably be the best bet. a nuclear-armed iran would probably be more willing to do that. don't the united states and china have a convergent interest in the uninterrupted supply of oil from the persian gulf at safe and moderate prices? we have heard that argument again and again. that is basically an american argument that we pitched to the chinese. my sense is that the chinese have not bought that argument. a couple years ago, a colleague
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in washington and i spent a couple weeks in beijing in talking to chinese analysts and retired chinese diplomats. we deliberately pitched that argument to the people we met, with the exceptions of a couple of profs. we did not get any takers. the basic response was -- you americans want we chinese to be junior partners in your hegemonism, and we are not interested in that. that was pretty much the response across the board, except for a couple of professors. there may be people in the chinese diplomatic apparatus who do not agree with that line. my sense is that they're not very influential yet. they may become influential, and i hope they do, but my sense is that they're not yet influential.
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bottom line, i think united states and china have convergent interests in preventing iran from acquiring nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons capability. the interests in that regard are very asymmetrical. there are very few american interests that would be served by iranian nuclear capabilities. unfortunately, i do not think that is the case with china. in the case of china, there are several interests which would be served by a nuclear iran. those are my views on the situation. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. we have two situations, different in some very profound ways. in each, the stakes are high and the options are poor.
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the convergence of u.s.-china interests is not as great as the administration would like us to believe. the degree of cooperation is not as great as one might hope. now we're going to open the floor for about a half an hour of questions. i have some for the panel, but i will defer those. we will start with the gentleman right there. >> thank you. good afternoon. i am richard harris from momentum private equity in new york. mr. pollack, it seems the thesis of your talk could be that pretty much all lobohope of a
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negotiated bargain with iran -- in a administration, is anyone letting the strategic ground wework for naught if iran gets nuclear devices, but when? >> it's a great question. no. i think it is a very big mistake. it has taken the administration a lot of time to even go from preparing the american people to move from engagement to confrontation with iran. it took them a very long time. secretary clinton has been almost alone in going out there and seeaying engagement has run its course. they have a good argument that they make in private to people, including the chinese, about how engagement is not off the table and we prefer engagement.
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we need to turn the active phase toward pressure predicted very good line -- it is a very good line. they do not use it in public. i think you are right. we have to be very realistic about the likelihood of all of this working and the likelihood that there will be a nuclear iran at some point in time. politically, the president backed himself into a corner by saying this would be unacceptable. he said it during the campaign, and you could understand why he said it during the campaign. in some ways, that was the minimal position he felt he could take. he has not moved away from that he has had a few other things on his plate. i do not think this has been a high priority for him. i think it's a very real problem. at some point in the next five years, we will wake up and realize of the policy has
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probably failed, and we are dealing with a nuclear iran. that's what we're doing a brookings. it would be helpful if the administration would get the american people ready for ait. >> scott garrelharold. a question for the panel as a whole. it is time of the problem -- is china of the problem? from one perspective, looking to premier wen's visit to p'yongyang, and the words that were said about china and north korea having as close a relationship as they have ever had, and some large amount of money, suggests that current
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policy is not actively causing north korea to have to face any consequences for its actions. similarly, as you know, after the uprisings in iran, china sent crowd control devices and political support and any number of activities that shield the iranian regime from the effects of its own actions. the other argument, jack, is that even china at its most determined, if china were to adopt every policy that even the most hawkish american president were to ask of it, the north koreans would not budge. the north koreans are very skeptical and suspicious of beijing. similarly, i expect the in runyon's, -- iranians would not necessarily bend just because beijing would acsk them to do s.
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it is an interesting question to if he were to have a fully committed leadership in china that really wanted to try to bring either of these two regimes "to heel" in the quest for nonproliferation policy victory, would that really succeed? if the answer is no, it should the u.s. back off. if the answer is yes, should the u.s. pursue some kind of a policy that makes these regimes more dependent on beijing so that beijing can no longer claim they do not have the leverage. should the u.s. pursue a variant of the 1950's strategy that we had for the soviet union and china? open up slightly to moscow, put tons of pressure on beijing, and pressure beijing into becoming more dependent on moscow, so it
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creates dissension in that relationship. at the same time, it creates leverage that beijing at some point in the future be called upon to use by a future or current admiamerican administration that could compel beijing to recognize that logic. >> i'm going to ask the analys panelists to give short answers. >> thank you, scott. in my opinion, beijing is not deliberately doing this, but yes, it is, by its actions, extending the problem. the visit last year reversed what i described earlier as that moment in time when p'yongyang was thinking that it was on the wrong path.
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after the wen visit, the north koreans reversed course and gave them a new lease on life. they did not believe the sanctions would affect them. they understood the lifeline that the chinese were providing was substantial. i do not agree with the second part of that. if the chinese adopted all of the american hard-line positions, it would budge. i think the reverse is true. the problem is that you will not get the u.s. to do that. by saying that inteuntil the che own national security interests -- if proliferation issues trump all their other concerns, then we would be on the same page. that's not going to happen soon. >> a couple of quick comments. first of all, this $10 billion figure is a fraudulent number.
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the chinese actually do not have that much at risk in a purely economic sense. i would also contest that they have real defense relationships anymore. part of what wen was trying to establish was to make this -- this has been a process over a longer period of time, in effect to say to the north koreans that we are not tethered to our strategies. it does not mean that we will hang the north koreans out to dry. i think the chinese have been fairly explicit, going back to as early as the mid-1980s for where there is a defense commitment under certain circumstances under where north korea is attacked, but certainly not beyond that. i would agree with jack. to some extent, the new aid packages from china have given north korea a get out of jail free cards to an extent.
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again, coming back to what i said, is there something the chinese think they know? i guess the best sicase scenario is that there's still a belief in significant quarters of china, that after a long period of time, particularly after kim jong il is gone, north korea cannot define the laws of gravity politically and economically. as you know, there have been a lot of predictions over the years that the end is at hand. we go through waves of this. we're going to another cycle of this right now. this is a brilliant, determined regime -- resilient, determined regime. china is the immediate neighbor.
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this does inhibit their options to some extent. there is kind of a quiet confidence -- a belief that over time, this will not be sustainable. as you know, there is a lot of anxiety in some south korean quarters that the chinese are gobbling up what ever is there to gobble. i do not buy into the idea that north korea becomes another province of china. you could paint a picture, over time, where there are avenues that china has. if you look at what' hu jintao said to kim jong il on his visit, he was basically mapping out what a normal relationship with look-alike between china and the dprk. they do not have it.
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kim did not refer to this. just to see whether you could put the pieces together for a more normal relationship. that presumes a system that besides its long-term interests are to achieve a normal for a clause in normal relationship with the outside world. one thing that really strikes me about the north is the degree of dependence on china has grown significantly. usually that's not north korea's style. they have not got the united states. they have lost south korea. they certainly do not have japan. it is a very unsettling picture. as richard said when the
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question was posed to mr. pollack -- again, is not to say that north korea could not be a productive society under certain circumstances, but it is a long way from here to there. i think the chinese have decided to play a waiting game. they could be disappointed yet again, but is also a way in which they think it is the sort of a damage limitation strategy. it begs the issue of how much there is intrinsic concern about the existence of some kind of a nuclear capability in the north, some kind of a belief that the north will still be constrained from taking a major risk taking behavior. >> there is significant leverage with iran in terms of the
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infrastructure and development of the oil industry and so forth. china has capabilities that, say russia, does not have. will china be able to roll that back? that's another question. no. what should be the u.s. approach? i doubt that trying to pressure china would be that effective. my hunch is that would confirm the chinese notions of america as a bullying and gymnhegeonist. more effective would be to solicit china's partnership.
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that appeals to maintaining the favorable macro in garment. it favors china's notion of a rising global power. china could grow into the steps of the iranian incumbent great power. that would offer an appeal to china for genuine partnership to deal with these things. it would probably pay off better than an attempt to drive away. >> thank you, richard. i love your question, scott. i will answer a little more bluntly. china is not the problem if the problem is iran's nuclear program. the real problem is iran. they're not interested in changing their minds. it would be helpful to have the
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chinese on board. nobody is saying that would be enough, even if the chinese were on board. yes in this sense. i wanted to make a joke at the beginning. the answer to the question depends on your definition of what is yes. if it is stopping the iranian nuclear problem, no, china is not the problem. if it is nonproliferation, then yes, china is part of the problem. if you're afraid of iran acquiring this capability sending a terrible message, which will then spur greater proliferation, china's unwillingness to sanction iran, to make it clear to other countries that there's a steep price to be paid, then that definitely is a big part of the problem. my third point is on a somewhat
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different issue, which is about stabilizing the middle east. i was so struck in your comments. listening to everything you said about how you could almost make it about american policy in the 1920's, 1930's, and 1940's, with the hegemonic power in great britain. that is almost how the united states fell to about great britain word for word. it is remarkable. in many ways, china is treading the exact history that we went through in the middle east. i was also struck by your point that the chinese do not buy it when we say we have this mutual interests. the british kept trying to make that case to us. we did not figure it out until it was too late. 1973 is when we figured it out.
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i completely agree with you, john, that the answers partnership. i do give obama administration credit. that is the argument they have been trying to make about being a stakeholder. a big part of it is helping the chinese not repeat our mistakes. i will give us a little bit of credit. i think the british really work hegemonic -- were hegemonic. nonetheless, the british did have some good things that we ignored. a lot of what we need to do with the chinese is come to an understanding about those issues. yes, as partners, move forward in the middle east. >> he was talking about britispn
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in the past. i think -- he was talking about great britain in the past. victimization is a core part of national and state identity. that constrains what ever outsiders can do. however strong their capacity and will is. >> chris nelson. since i do mostly asian and north korea, i am totally innocent on how to think about the proliferation implications in the middle east. it was fascinating to me the way ken talks about it. why is it in their interest to have the bomb? is iran their enemy?
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if you are an asian country and you get the bomb, you automatically become a first- rate target for the chinese. you could argue that one, but it seems pretty clear. otherwise, really, you're left with one thing. we sit back and let this happen, or we have to say to ourselves -- we will take the chance and roll the dice and really use a military option. i do not mean screwing around and bombing the cave. that is what one gets from listening to you. i do not mean that in an argumentative way. it is that bad and nothing we have works and nothing we're going to do works as long as this regime is in place, what other option do we have, if it
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is really proliferation in all of the middle east. >> thank you. i was waiting for someone to ask that question. there is another option. it is the one we're working on very hard year, which is containment. containing a nuclear iran will not be fun or easy. there's no reason to believe it is impossible. it's more than simply containing the soviet union and the soviet union was a lot tougher and stronger than iran. that is a fair point, but iran will be hard in other ways. we were already looking very hard. i will just give you one. i do not want to suggest containment is impossible. even if you a match in iran -- even if you imagine iran is the
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best -- during the cold war with the soviet union, which did not want to incinerate s, we've never the less got into some very nasty crisis with them over the cuban missile and berlin several times. what we learned from that scenario is it takes three things to make crisis management work. it takes both sides understanding each other. having good communication between the leadership. and the two leaderships being able to signal each other. that's how we got through those crisis. we do not have any of that with iran. we do not understand the iranians. they do not understand us.
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i do not want to suggest containment is impossible. i believe that it absolutely is possible. it is just going to be hard. >> i would argue that the trajectory of the north korean issue is in precisely the same direction. we end up with containment. if it is hard enough to get china and russia to go along with what we're doing now, just think about how even more difficult it will be then. ken, i will give you the last question. then we will give each panelist a chance to wrap up. >> forgive me if this question has been asked. it seemed to meet from both what john and jack said, that the u.s. should think in terms of what we can do that would be a wake-up call for north korea.
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reenforce red lines that we have allowed them to march across without consequence. what would you suggest that we might be able to do that would have consequence given the context of our policies? is that something that would be nice, but there are no realistic options? >> can we may be confronting an opportunity, west with respect to the nuclear weapons capabilities, with more respect to their actual behavior. this is over the result of the investigation, which is multilateral. despite their fierce rhetoric, at a lot of levels, north korea is a diminished state that is now in possession of a minimal nuclear capability.
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we do not know if they can deliver a weapon or not, or even if they want to deliver or not. there have been some historical episodes where they can and have been sobered. what we may be facing is the need, in some sense, for a containment strategy that finds us, much to china's chagrin, to be more militarily active, and compelling south korea to turn its attention toward the continuing problem that they face. to be frank, in a lot of ways, the president of the rok looks at his country as a major actor
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coul. would prefer to see unification. he does not have unification. there are ways they will have to make sure that north korea is inhibited from the use of any of its capabilities, lest bigger risks do transpired. one other point, and i cannot emphasize this enough. it seems to me that the challenge for the united states and china and others is not to allow political space to be created between them such that we lose sight of a fundamentally a shared objective to prevent long-term nuclear- armed north korea. the risk right now, where there is this kind of separate track between -- on the one hand, the united states holding to not
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compensate the north, whereas china sees a basis for if not building up the north, at least keeping them on some sort of a lifeline. that is worrisome only because it creates room that the north koreans have shown they are only too capable of exploiting very effectively. one last point i would make that warrants an entire separate session, and that is the degree to which iran and north korea and tracked on a variety of programs. then you are really talking about a significant more worrisome scenario. something that might even get china's attention. >> jack, why don't you start wrapping up? >> i do think that unless we do something as a wake-up call to north korea, we are headed for a
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containment policy. that does not get us anywhere. you have to be very lucky that that is very effective. i've suggested that we understand the vulnerability of north korea and what is important to them to for them, it is moving toward 2012 in terms of some successful economic progress that enhances, from their perspective, the transition from current leadership to future leadership. i think we need to get inside of that decision cycle of the north koreans and begin to interrupt it to the point that it causes them great concern that the stability of their regime is at risk, the future beyond kim jong il is at risk, and then have something that may get their attention. >> jack has reminded us that although we do not have easy means of entry or influence into
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the north korean system, that consideration of how you doing this and what kinds of tools are at our disposal warrants much more careful consideration than we have given it to this point. i would only conclude to say 2012 is going to be one hell of a year between north korea, south korea, taiwan, the chinese succession, and i think there will be an american presidential election, too. >> i was struck by the congruence of jonathan pollack's description of korea and my own take on chinese policy toward iran. in the case of iran, there are deep domestic routes for this. china's public opinion has been
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educated, at least since 1989, to be deeply suspicious of the united states. the public opinion resonates through the internet and interplays with politics so that any leader that aspires to be the paramount leader cannot afford to be weak in dealing with the united states or be willing to play second fiddle to u.s. hegemony. there's also -- the chinese political system is fragile in many ways. it lacks the legitimacy, which leaders based upon elections have. that means the chinese leaders are very cautious because they're afraid of being embarrassed. if they undertook to be partners with the united states, they would be second fiddle.
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they perceive a great danger of setback, failure, and criticism. in terms of addressing the fundamental question of how to persuade china toward genuine cooperation with the united states, i think we need to be cognizant of these deep, domestic banks. -- things. >> i'm struck once again in this conversation about how difficult it would be to have this relationship with china moving forward. also, how important it is. one of my great fears is that -- it was motivated by johns description. the experience is that everyone assumes we want to conquer their region. all we want to do is get out. united states has ever wanted to do is to leave the region to even the bush administration,
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the whole goal of conquering iraq was to put our guy in charge he would be good and leave us alone and we could walk away. i would be afraid of the differences between the united states and china, while simultaneously recognizing, i would hate for that to be yet another incentive for americans to walk away from the middle east. that has been the bane of our policies in the least over the last 50 years. >> thank you very much. we will take a 10-minute break. i made a pledge to ken that the audience i delivered to him would be as large as the one that i have. please do not let me down. i would like to thank the various brookings people who have helped make this possible. the communications staff, my staff, the china center staff. i want to thank the panelists
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for an outstanding session. thank you very much. [applause] p1pñd arizona and
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beyond government will your beats to local people. my name is angela kelley and i'm good advocacy for center for american progress and it is my honor to be here with these three very handsome gentleman on a rainy friday morning to have a very important discussion on the great topical issue and that is not only the arizona mutt, but how we got to the arizona mother recently passed them what it means for a nation going forward. particularly as immigration reform is bubbling up here in washington as a possible legislative battle over the summer and into the fall. so what we're going to do is i'm going to introduce our panelists. we're going to have a very informal conversation, sort of oprah winfrey style, although
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i'm not as rich or well dressed as she is. and will have a series of russians and back-and-forth in dialog and then we'll open it up to the audience for their questions. so mike immediate right is phil gordon. and mayor gordon is the chairman, the mayor of course of phoenix and he's the chair of the u.s. conference of mayors task force on immigration reform. mayor gordon was elected in 2003 with 73% support of phoenix voters. your popularity went up in a seven-year reelected with 77% support. in 2000-acre voted the best mayor in america by an international think tank in london and you have made the news, mayor. we've seen a lot of you recently and were very grateful for it. next to mayor gordon is mayor destefano deep mayor of new haven, connecticut. you're serving your tent turned out i believe. under your leadership, new haven was the first city with international attention because of the large others giving
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identification cards to all residents of new haven, connecticut and we'll be talking about this later this morning. and while you have been mayor, new haven has been perceived the highly related regard of all american city times as reasoned many as 2008. and since you been mayor, i messed up to new haven and and you've attacked it high-tech and biotech firms which i think it's got a immigration which we have a lot to talk about this morning. to my left is an old friend, walter tejada. he serves on the board in arlington, virginia critters elected in 2003 and reelected repeatedly. he was the chairman in 2008. as i mark taskforces and commissions that could possibly put on my little note card, perhaps one of the more interesting ones on although they're all important is that for the national association of counties task force on immigration reform, you are the chair. arlington is described as a diverse and inclusive world of community and in march of this
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year, by associated press, it was rated one of the counties that is the least economically stressed, which is a designation that i think. thank you for being here. mayor gordon, i have to start with here. within hours of the arizona law being signed into law, you publish an op-ed in the "washington post." and it make you sad that our state was frustrated. we've become ground zero for illegal immigration. and this week, that frustration exploded. so give the audience a birds eye view of what happened in arizona. it's still very much in the early stages in the aftermath of the law being passed. kind of tell us what's happening on the ground. >> well first of all, thank everybody for being here. thanks for inviting me and allowing me to continue to tell the story and michael, just so you know, is to get this law
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revoked as soon as possible, certainly to get it and joined. the law was signed three weeks ago today and in those three weeks the nation in the world has focused on arizona and phoenix, who said that not everyone is like those that you read about in here about and see on television in places such as ohio or j.d. hayworth, that many of you may remember. but a lot of people in arizona that aren't a aware of what's on the lot and as people are becoming more aware, support for that law has been dropping those still overwhelmingly supportive. but two, having been in phoenix for so many years, letting everyone know really that we have another funds are of the debate as a result of a number of circumstances, one i think that goes back to the reagan era, when the fairness doctrine
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was dropped and instead of requiring both sides of the debate to be aired, only one side was given the chance come in depending on who was providing that, but more importantly, language that was never acceptable became mainstream and those that were being in disagreement with those on television or radio were big traders and extremist and hateful and language that we've never heard or seen, so it became acceptable in the mainstream media. it became acceptable in the debate. and as a result, the wedge issue that came about as a result of the economy over the last four years of immigration became front and center. as texas and california in the federal government were able to the more agents and closed borders that were easier to close because those cities that were right on the border, arizona was less abandoned and has hundreds of miles of wide-open deserts and mountains
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and valleys. and as a result, on a false belief that immigration wouldn't occur because of those desert, smugglers historically from difficult times knew that they could and we have become the final point for all of america on smuggling. that created a lot of issues within the urban population, particularly phoenix dropouts is reading about tortures and murders, primarily just to those that were being smuggled in. but it became a very visible issue with the airwaves only one-sided people got frustrated, continue to get frustrated and arizona. for years, even myself and go in the congress asking for them or agents on the border on one hand and an eight to immigration policy that would actually fix the immigration issue, allow people in arizona in the u.s. to work here legally, probably
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12 million people that are here now instead of being driven underground and fearful that they'll be arrested by a pile in these individuals. number two is a new system and immigration laws have been changed since the twenties and all it does is encourage undocumented to pay smugglers that torture will kill or individuals to bring them across an some type of legalization practices that are there. we need to do that as we secure the borders and we need to do it now. i think there is so many people in arizona that they just grab this and said even though it will secure the border, even though it won't see phoenix safe, even though it doesn't do anything for immigration, because congress isn't not dean. [inaudible] >> gets expressed in different
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ways. right in arizona is one extreme. i'm going to turn to you mayor destefano to talk to you because nearly three years ago you can start contrasting debate that's happening in arizona in new haven, was passed with a policy that offered i.d. cards to all its residents, whether they were undocumented or not. and in navigating for the law, you said they can't lease a community of people who won't talk to our cops. so what did she mean by that? what was the thinking behind the policy? into the working? >> sure, great to be with you all and i want to thank the center for hosting this event. i found myself four years ago in a public library. a book library because it's usually considered a safe space as opposed to city hall. we had a catholic peace priest present. a catholic priest present basically because i was there with my police chief and the
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message of the catholic priest was there was going to be cool and engage in a part of the community that when women were being beaten up by their boyfriends, when they were witnessing crime or when employers were cashing checks for them. we're not talking to us. and it was a concern to our police department into the community at large. it's not good to have neighbors who are only engaged in keeping the neighborhood safe. out of that came a couple things, one where some policy on how we communicate with people who live in our community, about language availability other than english. the second thing was a least general order that had to do with the fact that unless you were at a subject to criminal investigation, we were not concerned with immigration status. and third with the idea of a resident card. a lot of these folks, on level were singing to us, look, we don't have any meaningful proof that could be accepted at who we are.
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we want to be acknowledged as we are. it started out as a concept of an immigrant card. we realized quickly that was not the kind of community. we wanted a resident card. in greenwich, connecticut because the beach path. in new haven, we called the own city resident card and it demonstrates that you can show who you are, bursting to forget, something or if you could and you could show you that you new haven and in exactly the same criteria that another federal agency uses to acknowledge people in the united states, the internal revenue service is less concerned about immigration. if you could demonstrate who you are if you live in new haven, we provide you an identification card. it also is used as a substitute for seniors instead of purchasing connecticut drivers. it did something interesting. one is two days after a legislative body past that we had her first i sprayed that we have ever had an dayside
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assuming assuming the federal government could not move that quickly even if they wanted to. frankly, we would hold deliberation process, radar screen and somehow they were angry about this, which is clear from documents it came out afterward that they released about the event. in 17 years as mayor, i've never seen hate mail like we had on this. i actually think it ended up being an incredibly proactively unintentional consequence construct a discussion about immigration in our community. and instead of having a negative reason like someone got killed by an undocumented, it was more of a positive way to engage the issue and it brought up this larger issue, the role of immigration in our community of readers particularly of economic beam. we did not become dramatically different in any way, except the one saying there was a powerful surge of document resonated for
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the card. it was interesting to me and i think that had as much to do with the i sprayed. >> for documenting people that have legal status and are the card because of a fear? >> now, think what happened was a state of solidarity with the community. what happened in the i.c.e. raid was they had 21 is to serve. they ended up arresting 32 people, five of them who were being served, the other 27 basically won the lottery that day. they were in the right place at the right time to get arrested. and it sort of illustrated just the schizophrenia of the federal government. and you know, we've done companion pieces such as we encourage all undocumented residents to get tax ids, to pay taxes appropriately in the context of rights and
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responsibility system. >> so, arizona and connecticut are really far apart geographically. but varying outcomes in terms of how the debate is playing out. but in northern virginia, counties that are really close to one another are engaging in the issue quite differently or at least they have. and so three years ago, while new haven was having a debate about the card, prince william county was also having a vigorous anti-immigrant debate and arlington county responded in its own way. how did it respond and where do things stand today quite >> thank you here first on it's great to be here. i can't believe it's been three years now since they had their opening reception. it's good to be here with you again, eng, and thank you for inviting me. this is an example of how there's a patchwork of an approach around the country in the unity really needs to come from the federal government to resolve the differences in the way this issue is addressed. yes, and the height of the anti-immigrant fervor and 2007,
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a number and because of the failure of the federal government at that time, it began acting on their own thinking that they could legislate immigration. we now know that their group has guided approaches that also are unconstitutional and it was driven so by a number of ordinance is that were thrown out of court in other places. for us, in virginia, my state has not taken a backseat to be proposing anti-immigrant laws, unfortunately. and when the spike and lost to race in 2007, there were 130 immigrant maid in the general assembly working with their friends in the government mansions you were able to defeat just about with them. arlington, throughout the history of diversity was one of the first school systems who allowed immigration when people excluded african-americans. we've had a long history of immigrant in the 70's nation
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vietnam, cambodia, 80's and 90's from the latino population, south america and south believe for example. people who look new or different are no strangers to us. i had the privilege to have been born and raised in el salvador and central america and now i served as a member of the board in arlington. so our approach has been different. with the increasing diversity we we have had, today we have the lowest crime index since 1960. we are one of the most financially stable communities in the country. we have the lowest foreclosures and the reason and one of the lowest in the nation. our community is very diverse in about 16% latino, 8% african-american, 9% haitian. so we have a range of including people in our way of life and for us it has been about a
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countertop to legislate immigration. instead can we focus on integrating and teaching residents how to integrate in our country which somethings most immigrants do want to learn from the best majority want to learn english if they have a little more time after their second or third job when they get out, they may have time to learn can or something like that so people can accommodate. it's a myth that people do want to learn english. in 2007, archived to pass a resolution for an ordinance that sought to question immigrants and also authorize the police department to do so. we did respond one of my proudest members on september 18, 2007 when my colleagues accepted a resolution of support for the positive resolution they could bring not only to our accounting for regions eight in the nation. and it was kind of a turning point and i'm happy to also join
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in and finally what this does and says we can't let this hatred and his approach is that to raise our level of racial profiling and this is very important, incite others who don't have the full knowledge to then target and increase the cranes. that's a very dangerous and when there's government action, or there is a, city, county, town we have to be careful that it has consequences. and arlington we felt that instead of taking this approach is, we have to embrace their immigrant population. we have the workcenter and ours is the only one in virginia we feel workers out looking for employment and employment are looking for workers. in order to have a secure safe community. that's our approach. we don't shyly speak up on the
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issue. in fact, they said it was the first resolution to support immigrant in 2009. as another factor with a second resolution to try to add to the voices to push our president and the current congress to act on comprehensive immigration reform and other other jurisdictions around the country. so we continue to do that and our approach is to integrate in to assimilate and to knock it away from our history of immigrants with tolerance and inclusion and reject those issues with respect to the mayor because your approach is the right approach to have a heat state driven by passing legislation of one of them approved in arizona is not the way to go. >> for both of you have talked about the law enforcement and community safety perspective as really being, you know, at the heart of the matter a shared concern for everybody, frankly.
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so mayor gordon, talk a little bit about what has been the reaction of the law-enforcement community. i mean, they have been given a whole new set of response ability. and on the one hand, they can be sued for racial profiling, on the other hand they can be sued for not going after people or having reasonable suspicion they shouldn't be here illegally. where is the community finding it out? >> unfortunate, divided like america. first, just for background, the city of phoenix is roughly 50% of the entire population of the state of arizona. it really does fifth-largest city in the united states. most of the land in arizona is government either native american or federal. so the city of phoenix is also one of the largest cities physically with about 500 or a square miles. the valley, which encompasses another three and half million people is within that proximity. so you have multiple lease agencies all within basically
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100 square miles. and then the shares have concurrent jurisdiction within the city originally it was designed for the areas from the state was western. as a result, particularly the immigrants and a lot of time citizens knowing who's who is very difficult, particularly immigrants where they come from other countries, where police aren't honest. our police department has had a long history of opposing these laws for almost 20, 25 years and believe in the motto of all police agencies are there to protect and serve, they're not immigration police. unfortunately, over the last few years, not unlike the political system, the police management side, the resisting the human side was hijacked and so you
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have the card and now over our police and other police agencies saying this is how we keep officers safe here at >> and can you just tell everybody who shares arpaio is. >> joe arpaio claims to be the toughest. he is known as somebody who has never missed the opportunity for a camera in for a publicity stunt. so many of you have probably seen the pink underwear,, but it resulted in a lot of tragedies destined in the prisons, pregnant mothers being arrested and delivering babies. families being split up on the citizens being arrested. the police ours but on the issue that they're frustrated to because officers have never wanted to sign up to be police officers. they want to arrest the young
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guys and for years that split our officers have done. now they're being mandated as of july 292 basically become -- get off the street after bad criminals a legal or illegally here and go after people because the status. the problem we're going to happen that's where the police are very concerned is number one, like every city, not enough officers. while a kind of been on for five years in every category, we still have crime to take officers off the street, to go arrest individuals to what will be a misdemeanor as opposed to going after felons, makes us less safe. more importantly and may be the underlying issue among persons historically the role written or unwritten has always been the police community government needs individuals to point out
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criminals and then testify that terms. and if a third of our community can be arrested for coming forward by pointing out drug dealers and murderers and by the way none of whom respect ethnicity or because that is, they don't ask for one passport, they are not testifying for fear that they or their family or loved ones will be arrested. then, these murders go away safely and the ability to go after criminals have been affect it. in effect, the rhetoric of war sanctuary city, which is not the case. we go after criminals by what arizona is making itself a sanctuary state. the criminals, the entire police department is being pulled out and terrorizing over a third of the community. >> mayor destefano, what's
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your view now that you are at the city card has been in place for three years? critics charge he was going to be a minor for illegal immigration, that people would flip new haven, that crime would go up, that property values would go down. have any of those dire predictions come to pass? and similarly, what a good in your community particularly in wake of the arizona law? >> or one crime report to the fbi was down 10% last year. it's our lowest that we've seen. it's interesting and police enforcement in new haven has been in support of these policies. it's interesting to me how we talk about public safety, though. i mean, it truly is. i think it misses some points which is that immigration, healthy robust immigration has always powered our economy. it has always been part of growing markets and growing wealth and in the united states is a great book out by a guy
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named joe cocker and aimed the next 100 million. it takes about the change in population over the next two years and it resonated me some of the same things he said. appointed at 31990 and 2005 a quarter of the venture-capital businesses started started in the united states were started by immigrants. it pointed out half of the skilled immigrants in the world come to the united -- come to the united states. ..
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and other kinds of immigration. so we do make distinctions and it does gets characterized in a certain way right now. so -- i mean, to me in a period of economic recovery we ought to embrace this. just as immigration has always been powerful to our growth, opposition to immigration has existed from the start of this country. i mean, i am struck as an italian-american, 1924, johnson-reed act established racial quotas that was discriminated against southern mediterraneans. bombings on wall street, sacco and venzetti in my group's case. communism was starting out. and people were scared. and they were afraid and we put these dramatic quotas on immigration. and i think virtually every ethnic group could identify with this. so you sort of get back to, you know, why is this happening?
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and what's ratcheting some of the dialog about this? and i think, you know -- you know, it's inescapable to note that if you look at the population growth of the united states over the last decade, 83% of it has been ethnic or racial minorities. and i think to not at some level see that playing a factor in how people are reacting to this. if you look at crime, it is not driving crime. if you look at economics, immigration has done nothing throughout the nation's history other than power our economy and in order to embraced. china does not encourage or assimilate immigrants. europe does not encourage or assimilate immigrants. a distinction of our nation has been this wonderful ability to do that. and so i guess ending this diatribe. >> it's a good one. go for it.
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there's two ways to drive immigration policy. one is faisal shahzad, right, the guy -- time square bomber from three weeks. or i went to get a cup of coffee. i was at connecticut and rhode island and i saw across the way edible arrangements. have you ever seen edible arrangements. edible arrangements started in greater new haven. two brothers, 1999, started the business. and they've now got 953 franchises, two pakistani immigrant brothers. so what's our vision for america? one of growth, optimism or positive? or one of fear that's got a strong sense of prejudice and ignorance running through it? and when america has always stood on its values of growth and assimilation and connectedness to one another, we've always -- we've always lived up to our potential. and you know what?
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every generation has got to grapple with this apparently. [applause] >> let's give a round of applause to the diatribe. it's a good one. mayor gordon, you want to jump in? >> if i could jump in. >> sure. >> what the mayor said i don't think a lot of people want to talk about or talk about is our nation is changing and historically we've had exactly what the mayor said, the waves of immigration. and then the waves have stopped. the irish, italian, the jews, the asians. and what's happened since at least the late '30s, because of our need for labor particularly in the unskilled areas, agriculture, hotels, et cetera, the wave of brown, dominican, haitian, el salvador has continued. what's happened at least in arizona, the majority is going to be the minority in the next decade. the current -- the minority is going to be the majority. >> right, right.
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>> and there are people that are afraid of change. particularly when it's different-looking, different-speaking and different-thinking than you. and people then have been able to capitalize, whether it was the kkk in the '50s era. in our case it's extremists like j.d. hayworth and joe apairo. and that's where the system has been highjacked and the governor signs a bill clearly knows it's wrong, it's immoral and racist and it's illegal but she wants to be elected. and being silent we've all seen that. so you've seen that. this excuse that it's our economy and taking away american jobs, i can assure you coming from arizona, in probably going back to 110-degree heat tomorrow, okay, there aren't a lot of americans willing to stand in the fields and pick the
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food that you and i are eating, vegetables and fruit in 110-degrees. or cleaning the hotels you and i have stood -- slept in or the restaurants, washing the dishes. and they are second and third jobs, working hard to better themselves for their kids just like my parents did. one important point -- >> sure. >> and i said in the beginning -- our system of immigration is so broken. it allows the extremists to control the debate. there's not any way that somebody legally can get to this country as a practical manner and especially if you're coming from south of the border. my grandparents came from lithuania in the late '30s, and had they been told to come back in five years, not only my parent wouldn't be here but my sons and daughters and myself because at least our system allowed enough people to come
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into this country over the years that some of the persecution that's happened was avoided. today, the system is 15 to 20 years -- if it's working. that's not a system. and we've got to get that change. and then we can stop the sphere of hispanics controlling the world. which, you know, we're all going to end up the same hue anyway at some point. >> i hope it's one way we can tan. >> i don't have that problem. >> i think we're okay. walter let me give you a little bit talking about the need for reform, right? because, look, you've appeared prominently as a supporter for the president when he was running to be president. for both virginia senators, for webb and warner. you are probably one of the recognizable leaders arguably in the country. and so -- so you have leaned into the democrats who are now in office. and locked arms with them. and i know this issue is just
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core to you as a personal matter and as a member of arlington. and as a u.s. citizen. so are they going to lead to us immigration reform? and what do you think it's going to take? >> we're going to have to continue to push them to make sure to move in that direction, angie. and, yes, typically what happens in a political arena you try to support those who make closer to your political philosophy and overwhelmingly my opinion the democrats have reflected that. i am a democrat myself. and so, yes, i did support the chance to make history by electing a minority president and not that happened to be an african-american. the fact of his background continues to be a subject who are on the far right that will never accept the browning of america. that have a problem with someone
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that doesn't look like them being in the leadership role. and let's just call it for what it is. there is a lot of that going. it's subtle. but it's part of it. >> arizona is not so subtle. and sometimes laws are passed to authorize that type of fear such as the law in arizona. but separate but equal is also the law of the land at one time and that law was not right and it needed to be changed and thank goodness it was. now, with our president, remember, the u.s. president signs bills. he is the one that eagerly awaits bills to sign or veto depending on the view that it might be. it is the congress that has got to get on the ball and get a bill to the president in which all of us collectively need to respect our representatives from congress. i can tell you former governor and now u.s. senator from
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virginia, mark warner has issued a letter in support of comprehensive immigration reform as one of the direct links to support for office in other ways. and that the president often said that he would like to have a bipartisan bill, a bipartisan bill. that means his party, democrats, and republicans. now, frankly i'm not being partisan here. but by far, you know, the republican party has been very reluctant to come forward with a proposal that we can actually begin to have a conversation about in the debate and have a healthy conversation. to his credit, senator lindsey graham from south carolina has made some proposal. he's been a little bit on the silent end of that conversation. i believe it was march 20th editorial in the "washington post" appeared with senator schumer protecting a framework. they are not perfect. we know as we debate the issue there's some things we're not
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going to like. and i got to tell you angie, as an active member of national ocean of counties which representative 2400 counties in the nation and privileged to serve on the task force, i've had to debate a resolution in support of comprehensive immigration reform by in this organization. i have to tell you it was one of my toughest political debates i have ever had because there were strong feelings against supporting anything that says comprehensive immigration reform. very strong views but we hammered out and we sat down eye-to-eye shoulder to shoulder. we looked at one another and hammered out a resolution which is now public on the website that does call for comprehensive immigration reform with all the things border security and employment sanctions and all this other stuff and a path to earned legalization, whether we like it or not, we just simply aren't going to deport whatever number of undocumented immigrants that might be here. they are helping our community. they're helping our economy. in large part when we seek to
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exclude people, there's a direct economic impact prince william county that was mentioned earlier in northern virginia has the largest foreclosures in the region as a result of the 2007 resolution. they had an exodus of their community and with that immigrants who not only held businesses but employed people went out and so the economy went down. so there are consequences of the failure of enacting proposals. really when -- what we did is by having this resolution that called for comprehensive immigration reform puts 2,400 counties in the united states. that's a pretty sizeable number of people in support of comprehensive immigration reform. that's something that can be used with each legislator whether we supported them or not to encourage them to get on the ball and propose a bill that we can debate that can come to -- i have to also say.
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in fairness in the conversation, sure, i'm a proud democrat. it's important that democrats take a stronger leadership role in the last i counted 51 was higher than 49. and the 100 senators and there comes a point in time we just got to move things forward and if the republicans aren't going to come to the table so be it, we have to move forward. the debate on health care reform is an example. what was it, some folks were saying, let's start over again after we've been debating this for a year and decades essentially. so it is important that we tip to pressure our leaders in not being partisan in any way, shape or form but we all acknowledge whether we're on the far left, far right or the middle that the immigration system is broken. we can't be scrunching our arms and waiting for things to come from the sky. we have to stop waiting for people to act. i went through tough budget, the toughest budget since i was in
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elected office, we made difference decisions and we balanced our budgets. we can't afford to punt. and there's an issue that's lingers and a problem we need to address it. i can go on about that. in short, i would just say we have to collectively pressure our elected leaders whether we supported them or not that we have a problem. our system of immigration is broken and we all to have make sure and make of a concerted effort to fix it by enacting comprehensive immigration reform. >> phoenix and arizona is exhibit a of a broken immigration system. what happens when you knock on lawmakers doors. do you knock on it to talk about a solution or do they suddenly don't make the appointment? >> well, the doors for the most part have been opened. i certainly don't disagree with anything that was said. but the problem is even the
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democrats, the senate -- not all the democrats are on board at least until after the election and what if, whether they stay on board so the debate -- the leadership of the democratic party doesn't -- isn't going to have it until, unfortunately, after the elections in november. in my opinion there's not enough democratic votes in the senate, unfortunately. there are in the house. and they showed that it could push something through that was important on the health care. but i think d.c. is that bubble in terms of what's going on in terms of this country. you have the duplicate bills that are coming. every city and every state is going to have different laws. and the one thing i would say -- maybe add a finer point on, while the president doesn't pass the laws, the president has executive power. and the best thing and the most important thing right now till
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congress does act, whether it's hopefully tomorrow but realistically probably and not until next year is get the justice department to intercede. get an injunction on the law that's in arizona. and then the other copycat laws. let it start working its way through the court and use that. because we have rising tension for violence. we have people suffering. we have parents that are being deported working to get their children through school that can't go to college. can't afford to go to college 'cause there's not a dream act. the engine, the fuel for economic development, whether it's the new technologies, highly skilled mexicans, the dominica dominicans and the labor is going to run out and we've got to address this issue today. we don't have time to wait. and i agree in the conference of mayor passed a resolution 3 1/2 years ago which was tough.
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even then. we had tancreti and others who passed it. there's support across the nation. we had 100,000 people conservely protesting arizona's law on may 1st. at the same time when those protesting for it numbered 2 to 3,000 total. >> uh-huh, uh-huh. >> congress has got the message. they just have to get the will to do it. and i think the president by getting justice department in tomorrow would be the best thing that we can do to move this country forward. >> all right. i'm mindful of the time but i want to get a few more questions in and then we'll open it up to the audience. you boarded a because before dawn on the day the health care vote was happening in washington. but it wasn't to express an opinion on health care.
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it was to express an opinion with 250,000 other people on immigration reform. this was on march 21st. i'm sure you remember. >> uh-huh. >> why did you do that? and what's the mental that you want to send to lawmakers? >> you know, it's too early in the morning to be poetic. >> you're doing a great job. >> but, you know -- walt whitman had this phrase about america and immigration and race and races. it's not the argument. to me the argument is when we go to bed tonight, there will be kids waking up on the other side of the world who are going to trying to figure out how to steal our jobs and our future. i mean, that's how i view the world. we're in an economic competition. my largest employer is a world class research university. h1b visas, high skilled visas were exhausted last year in one day. why we wouldn't be trying to steal the talent of the world and import them is a world will
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be demanding the products and the things and the ideas that we make. why we wouldn't be seeking to advantage ourselves in this fashion by promoting immigration to the nation seems to me this self-defeating purpose. the other observation i have -- and i think it's why, you know, we did board the bus and sort of the frustration and, you know, really between a rock and a hard place that phoenix, the mayor finds himself and his community finds himself in, is if we're continuing to wait for the federal government to save us, that may be a real long bus trip to have happen. and frankly if we're waiting for the courts to save us, the courts to my point of view become increasingly politicized. and reach for cases to make law that they want to make. you know, a real cynical view of things -- and i don't know arizona well enough to make a broad generalization. but having said that, let me
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make one. is that a real cynical attitude was that some people supported this law hoping the courts would invalidate it. so they wouldn't -- so they could make their political statement and at the same time then just have the courts take care of the problem. i think change happens because people demand it. people insist on it. you know, there's that great winston churchill quote about american during world war ii. did you ever hear this one. churchill said americans could always be counted on to do the right thing after they exhausted every other possibility. and i think that's the case. this is a hard issue. and again, it's not a new issue. and so why do you go to washington? why 100,000 people come out in phoenix? because they're insisting on the right thing and that's how change -- and that's how change happens and that is how doors -- and that's how doors open. >> all right. last question and then we'll open it up. polling, right? everybody follows the polls.
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the polls show support for the arizona law. now some of that support might be dropping a bit but consistent high support by the average american. polls are also showing that there's widespread opposition to the arizona law by latinos. and univision is doing a town hall this evening in phoenix, i belie believe, this is like the lead story every single night. so how -- how are you left feeling as local leaders of diverse communities where you're seeing a split, if you will, between where one would say middle america is on this issue of an arizona law? and where the latino community is and other minority communities that are growing communities as you indicated, mayor gordon. what are your thoughts and reflections on that and then we'll open it up to the audience. >> well, one, i remind my
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colleagues and the residents in phoenix and arizona, that this country and this state as i think all states weren't founded on the rights of the majority. but to protect everyone. minority and majority. in fact, it was the minority that came to this country. to establish america. in that if we were doing everything by polls, you know, we wouldn't need us at least to serve in office, though, a lot my constituents probably believe that now. but secondly, you know, the difficulty in the polling -- those of us in the polling industry is how you ask the question. >> sure. >> i think it's fair to say that people are frustrated. and want immigration fixed. what that means, we've all discussed that. but that takes leadership and that takes courage. and that takes frankly -- and i was part of it, as some of the extreme rhetoric and sensationalism to put aside and
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now that there is a big problem and there's a silver lining in arizona or the arizona law, it's got the nation focused. that we have to do something. so now it's time for parties to come do what americans and arizona and communities have done in the past which is to fix and move forward. and it won't be perfect. but inaction is worse. i think the polling is clearly showing that people don't and haven't wanted to step on civil rights. number two, they want something that works. and the more this frustration goes on, the more i think people are going to understand -- you know, the poll is not the tool. now, having said that, you know, i think i'm the only anglo -- or noncolored-elected official, person of color that has stood up against this law in arizona. so it gets lonely in that sense.
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those standing up against it at the city council, the jew, the black, the gay and the hispanic. it's kind of ironic. i'm within one of those categories or maybe all of them, i guess. so polls do influence elected leaders. it influences the media. but again, i think something this fundamental have got to rely on the courts now because, you know, in the '50s it was the law of the land to have segregation. and sheriffs had laws that allowed them to send dogs on people. you know, and it was legal. but it wasn't right and the courts said it wasn't right. it took too long. we've got to get the courts involved. we've got to get congress involved. and we got to keep the pressure up on cities and states like phoenix and in arizona. >> you know, i would add, of
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course, polls are taken by a small number of people. >> it's how you ask the people. >> if you ask people on the far right and that's the only segment of people you have, of course, you're going to get a certain hateful answer and promoting that type of view. you ask people on the far left, you know, you get the opposite on those kind of views. you always kind of wondering -- how are they done? now, i think there's some genuine concerns and issues that we have to acknowledge. and while many of the numbers -- many of the studies show he that 1 out of 4 persons in the united states will be of latino background of 2050, maybe earlier. that's whether people like it or not. it's happening. so the browning of america is taking place. and that makes indeed people nervous. there's also another element the graying of america. and we have folks who are able to live a little longer. and they're in need of care in other important elements. and that we need to have the pool of workers and trained people that would be able to respond to all those things.
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now, we can take the decisive approach and reject that we want to have the best and the brightest in our community by educating them and then we'll be at a disadvantage in the world market. we're not competing -- in my state, for example, part of the urban policy task force -- the governor appointed. and our aim is put virginia as a unit and compete with shanghai. and other places around the world. and not vero beach with northern virginia. that isn't it. so we need to be able to have our act together. in arlington, we feel that we're doing our part. our public school system is the top 1% in the nation. and we've had valedictorians that have come out of our high school who are undocumented immigrants enable to go to the best colleges because of their immigration status. do we want to continue that? the best and the brightest, isn't that what we ask our kids to go through the public schools and do their homework and pass the tests and they become val
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value -- honored. they reject the hate approaches. such as the bill in the state of arizona. and others that have been proposed. having said that, we also need to recognize that as a country that is a model in the world for democracy and of tolerance -- and remember, there's some things that almost don't need to be said, freedom of religion, freedom of expression. all of those things, have we reached a point in time in the history of our country where we are just simply going to ignore those or trample those? we have genuine national security concerns absolutely. no question about it. no one is denying that we have to make sure. at one point it has to be made
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very, very clear, no one has defended the murderers, the kidnappers, the rapists and the drug dealers. if they commit a crime, they are just going to have to do the time. that's just how it is. no one is defending the element. and the folks are taking the hateful approach and think that's part of what our agenda is. it's wrong and we reject that view. at the same time, we have to to be very careful sometimes the initiatives are sneaked upon us by the security communities approach in which supposedly -- >> a dhs program aimed at -- purportedly aimed at illegal aliens. >> are we also have the mom who takes her kid to school and get stopped and get deported. is that the kind of laws we want? no. we want to make sure we stay vigilant and go where the wind
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blows because of what one poll says. the accumulation of a variety of polls, latinos overwhelmingly reject the views that are espoused by the bill as h.b.1070. >> uh-huh. >> it's also important to note that immigration isn't the only subject that the latino community cares about. about whether you're undocumented or just become a u.s. citizen or been here for generations, such as in new mexico and other places, latinos overwhelmingly reject this type of approach. it's united the community. i'm not being partisan here but i believe it against the republican party. time and time again we see the republican governor signed a bill. in arizona from the republican lawmaker and that is consistent with what's happening all around the country. someone may want to take a toll. we have to look at numbers with an open mind and how did this information come about?
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but i personally reject we're going to be driven by where the wind is blowing and instead we need to be firm and hold to our convictions. and i'll just end this part by saying a long time ago in the washington metro region to construct a metro system was proposed. many people said no wait a minute. no, no. that's going to destroy our streets. it isn't going to happen. it's the worst thing that will ever happen. today is the background of our transportation network in the washington metro region. this is a subject that we don't talk about at some point someone rejected that idea and it's one of the things that happened. they have to make some adjustments and improve, sure. and we'll move in that direction but i want to open it up to the point of sometimes you have to take a stand and you have to find a solution to a problem. the immigration system in this country is broken. we need to fix it. we need to keep pressuring our lawmakers and the president. >> interestingly enough where the polls are consistent across all ethnic groups in both parties is of on finding a solution. to immigration reform. so if you give -- >> hello. >> that's where they'll go to.
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any last comments and then we'll open up the floor to questions. >> you know, i don't try to rationalize the polls. they say what they say and they mean what they say. it says americans are paying attention to these issue. they're engaged on this issue. they're going through the worst recession in economic times of their lifetime for the most part which i guess is a rationalization of what their position may be. but i mean, i just sort of step back and say even in a way, although it may or may not feel this way, the arizona laws is going to contribute to the solution. because -- and it's not just a southwest thing. we saw the thing that happened in my neighboring state of new york in english-only in a village that clearly does not have a lot of non-english speaking people. these are all the steps towards solution. and again, if you just look at the curve of citizenship in the united states, it's been an ever broadening curve from when we
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started as a nation in 1776 to redefinition in 1863, to re -- was it the 20th amendment in 1919 or the 19th amendment in 1920? women's right to vote in 1919 or 1920, right? civil rights legislation in '64/65. we've had this broadening definition of civil rights. we do get it right. these are painful steps in the process of getting it right. and this nation always gets it right. >> on that note of optimism, we'll open it up to questions. and the young lady in the back with the nice string of pearls. >> thanks so much for this panel. it was really interesting to find out how your localities e


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