tv Cross Talk RT September 27, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm EDT
i know c.n.n. the m.s.m. b.c. fox news have taken some not slightly but the fact is i admire their commitment to cover all sides of the story just in case one of them happens to be accurate. that was funny but it's close and for the truth from them i think. it's because one full attention and the mainstream media works side by side the joke is actually on here. and our teenagers we have a different brain. ok because the news of the world just is not this funny i'm not laughing dammit i'm not hi. i'm. you guys sort of jokes well handled in the sense that i'm.
could you take three. or three. three. three. three. three braun video for your media project free media down to r.t. dot com. hello and welcome to crossfire all things were considered peter lavelle the inevitable idiot blowback in the perverse logic of terrorism ever since the us embarked on its so-called war on terror acts of terror and terrorist networks of political raided the recent deadly massacre in kenya is
a case in point so is washington's anti-terrorist strategy like a cure that is worse than the disease. to the war on terror i'm joined by richard barrett in new york he is the senior vice president at the soufan group in washington we have kelly she's a journalist at antiwar dot com and in san francisco we cross is steven zoon as he is the chair of middle eastern studies at the university of san francisco point folks cross talk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage it kelli if i go to you first you know thinking about kenya when i look think about kenya i think well what what everything that went wrong in somalia so somalia is broken and now we have these other groups which many would say american policy and western policy in somalia generated these groups and now it's spreading further as i said is the cure worse than the disease here when we look at the war on terror. well let's consider for
a moment what's been going on for the last twelve years in somalia we've had cia covert operations we've had joint special operations command forces doing covert operations we've had private contractors. military all operating in somalia since nine eleven they've been conducting targeted assassinations air strikes drone strikes all of affected to billions they're. they've scattered. groups but also created new ones and polluting al-shabaab which has been which has taken responsibility for what happened in kenya. the united states has worked with ethiopia and kenya to bring invading forces into somalia which have been responsible for brutal human rights violations create the united states is created an intelligence infrastructure in somalia the notorious jail or prison
interrogation center in at the airport there as reported by jeremy scahill in which they have assisted somali government officials in interrogating. people that they've dragged off the streets in these day and. bank dirty drug infested. insect infested cells underground so yeah the idea of blowback here is a surprise we are we are seeing. the remnants are of the outgrowth of what our policy the united states' policy it's been in the last twelve years there ok stephen in san francisco that's not what motivates me optimistic report there i mean i just don't see the learning curve here i mean you go in to try to stabilize somalia somalia becomes a broken state a failed state and then it exports what's wrong with that country i mean what's the security interest of the united states now in trying to continue down this path of fighting terror. but even goes back further to the years united states support of
the bahraini regime and his the former somali dictator's brutal repression would divide and rule policies which hope on his overthrow in a popular uprising in early one nine hundred ninety one created this power vacuum of which initially was filled by various clan militia and then with the u.s. intervention and other miscues created this power vacuum that islamist hardline islamist tried to take advantage of and sort of working with some more moderate elements like in the islamic courts the united states came down hard with drone strikes and other forums of intervention either directly or by proxy and indeed we've created this this kind of monster now and the good news i suppose is that bob has been losing support in somalia not just from. military intervention or the early battles with the somali government but because
their style of leadership is very unpopular and somalia or their ultra hardline and this interpretation of islam their dark kone and their practices does not have that much popular support and indeed i think and it's because of they're losing ground they're getting desperate i think they went and did this desperate act in in kenya so what i'm saying is i think the good news there on the client i think their call that the intervention you know from the west is making making things worse and that the decline would happen inevitably just because the somalis don't like or that kind of rule the kind of violence don't like that kind of extremism richard if i go to you and new york i mean but then again going after these groups these fanatical groups here it creates more blowback what i'm getting at from what we just heard from kelli and from stephen it ends up being a very vicious cycle here for when we have extremists and terrorists and then we this response drones changing governments manipulating governments it's
a vicious circle it feeds on itself. well al-shabaab is a product of what's going on in somalia of course and you know as stephen said it's a very complicated situation there were lots of clowns involved with a struggle for power in various different areas of the country or the country as it was since one thousand nine hundred one when the government collapsed and the forces in that are of course originally african union forces but now the un forces the amazon is a is a u.n. force trying to allow the transitional federal government to establish some sort of stability and out shabaab is fighting the u.n. forces and of course all members of the united nations and security council in particular have mandated those forces to try and help the transitional federal government and al shabaab yes it's attacking outside of the type of course in compiler in twenty ten during the world cup final that because uganda is also
a troop contributing major troop contribute to the u. forces as the as they had then wet and of course kenya and kenya is particularly active of course in the area of southern somalia where al shabaab is trying to maintain its support and indeed kicked about to conspire the main port and half of the main source of their revenue but i think we have to look at this in two ways first fold as a somali issue going on here and then as an international issue if you look at the statement made by al shabaab a about the westgate attack one thing was kenyans you better get out of somalia or else you'll face more than this and the second thing was the international community you've got a superstar supporting the kenyans and supporting the others in fighting in in somalia so there's a sort of transition that from a local issue to an international issue and stephen made a very good point about the unpopularity of al shabaab and the divisions in al shabaab which of course led to a great deal of bloodletting in recent weeks and months within al shabaab ok kelly
put it in the last two. of years again we go back to nine hundred ninety one when we considering what stephen hadley is africa a better off place or worse off place because of america's anti war or anti terrorism strategy me worse off better off. well i don't want to say worse off better off i just i mean i would take a look at what's going on in somalia now are the people less or worse off i would say they haven't been able to move forward since one thousand nine hundred one and that's that i think that's an important point to make we are meddling in somalia which dates back to as stephen said before one thousand nine hundred one before september eleventh has created not only a power vacuum but also a humanitarian crisis at add in a famine there add in
a refugee crisis and i cannot say that the people there are any better the people are civilian casualties due to u.s. airstrikes civilian casualties due to drone strikes. invading forces coming in raping pillaging the fact that there is no stability in that country right now i agree with stephen that al-shabaab is on the decline there because of its unpopularity with the people but that doesn't make the country any more stable and we can look at other places nigeria the congo libya. as well as mali and we can see that the islamist movements you know that have been born and then from us we're going to read point i'm getting created this stephen to go to but i mean only the countries that can we just mention there are a lot of them have to do with western interventions i mean this is what i'm getting at i mean makes things even worse and these groups are replaced by other groups ok
it's it's against the cycle continues and i don't see it being broken it just of the american soldiers to expand their presence in africa because all my goodness look what happened in kenya something must be done we keep hearing that something must be done go ahead. it does become kind of a game of whack a mole you know smashing down one terrorist cell here another one pops up immediately and there's a reason for that that you know just as during the cold war the united states. would. intervene in the name of anticommunism not recognizing that it's a movements of power came not from their study of marx and lenin but from their and from nationalism and that it was over here many economists movements were reaction or comments led movements were a reaction to western imperialism to. western involvement by some by propping up right wing dictatorships and bombing intervening we are creating more communist
then he was suppressing same thing has been happening in the so-called war on terror that the that the us intervention is creating. this backlash effect it's a it's creating the very enemy that we're trying to trying to suppress that you have these extremist islamist groups that are taking back to taking advantage of this national reaction that people have to a foreign intervention and those wishing to and help siders coming in and trying to run things and so you know the you know the fact is i've been going into the middle east for more than thirty years and the it's clear that the more the united states to militarize is the region the less and less secure we're becoming ok richard you want to react to that intervention interventions is probably one of the clearest indicator it's the biggest advertising recruiting for these kind of extremists. well yeah but his intervention we're talking about here i mean if you are looking
at west africa for example as i think stephen was mentioning kelley was mentioning i mean in nigeria the opposition to book is entirely local the didn't islamic magreb well of course the french moved in to try and push them out of mali but generally speaking of the work against al qaida and some of the drug has been essentially regional and i have to just stand here i'm sorry richard you can hear i'm going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the war on terrorism stay. so.
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welcome back to cross talk we're all things are considered i'm peter lavelle we're discussing america's war on terror. ok kelly and i go back to you in washington i think as most people watch this program on a regular basis i'm a cynic at heart ok so i'm going to say my cynical thoughts here when i look at these interventions of the meddling in these countries in africa it seems to me that the west particularly the united states thinks they can control the things on the ground once they get things started but it never seems to work out that way there's always of a ripple effect it spreads someplace else maybe you can control the place for a short while and then you get these unintended consequences and it seems to happen
over and over again i go back all the way to the in the soviet experience in afghanistan all the way to kenya last weekend. yeah and i you know we're just talking a little bit about mali for an example i mean what are airstrikes the u.s. led airstrikes in libya had a ripple effect and which a lot of the weapons that were poured into that that caused the rebel cause there has to have found their way to islamist fighters who were fighting in the coup and subsequent insurgency in mali so that's a perfect example. when going back to a little bit about whether or not africa is worse off when the things that you know i failed to mention is that the humanitarian aid from the united states has not kept up with the military aid that we have poured into africa president obama has not he has not followed through on many of his promises to to create to help
with the famine and the humanitarian crisis there but he has helped in spreading the footprint of u.s. military throughout africa as over five thousand troops there and in i think at least twelve different countries and i just read today that they're expanding the base in djibouti so we're looking at a situation where military intervention has come first before humanitarian assistance and i think a lot of the blowback much of the blowback is is from from people like you you know had pointed out they're reacting we're reacting to our meddling and not any you know assistance that we been getting to. the right word footprint and you know again being a sunni could this is a great way you have to fight terrorism these terrible people that what they do to you we have to send in the troops we have to arm these people we have to find and
you know this is the same thing over and over again and again being very cynical and i don't want to be misunderstood is that this is a wonderful enemy because it gives and it's a very clear reason we have to do something and we must be. these people i mean i was listening i was listening to lyndon johnson the tape recordings about how he didn't want to get into vietnam and all these people were saying but if you don't this is going to happen you're going to look weak and these people going to take over it's just amazing the duplications that's going on right now it's all about the third print it's the footprint. well it's very much about this idea of imposing military solutions to complex a political social and economic problems and it's not that some form of force isn't sometimes necessary here revealing with dangerous terrorist cells i'm not saying that you know that us or the country shouldn't send in advisors and and and and counterterrorism support in certain again very narrow cases where you have actual
intelligence about specific cells but when you go in and you start you know bombing and country when you bring in troops when you give lots of military aid to regimes that in the name of counter terrorism use it to suppress legitimate political dissent i mean i think that's where it becomes a problem i remember saying some specifics i'm going to come to foreign aid question because i remember saying something major ten years ago that the only place the islamic world that public opinion of the united states had gone up since nine eleven was in ahci after the tsunami and part of northern pakistan after a major earthquake where the u.s. sent in large amounts of humanitarian aid this is this is the way to to win hearts and minds not by militarizing situations not by supporting repressive regimes because you know the you know an ironic way president bush was right when he said that repressive governments you know end breeding terrorists of course obama's top
bush is talking about spreading them ocracy for the masses to tehran and while i agree that syria and iran he's more democracy he wasn't talking about spreading democracy from riyadh to cairo or any number of the capitals of. the dictatorships of the u.s. of course where most of these terrorists actually come from but the might but the underlying point is that it is as john kennedy said those who make peaceful evolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable and if we are really interested in stopping terrorism we should stop supporting dictatorial regimes. as an occupying armies and start militarizing these are complex situations you know which are it we've already had on this point in the program but you know giving aid in technology and investment that that's a lot less sexy than sending in the marines ok and you can and then you said in the marines you can affect something it leaves very quickly it may not be the outcome that you want ultimately but it's you get friends and allies and sarah gets on the ground but aid and development takes a lot more time and it's not as popular during times of austerity in the west.
well indeed but you know there has there's a massive amount of humanitarian aid going into africa and particularly from western countries and indeed didn't president bush who was a bit of an interventionist as we well know was is very well known in africa for his aids campaign support full of the and he aids campaign there and he did a great deal of good in that and since the first term of president obama since the election two thousand and eight there's been a huge withdrawal of america from this sort of intervention as policy and i think that's matched by other countries as well i mean does it withdraw from iraq and withdraw from afghanistan and the thing about terrorism is obviously it's a scary thing and the international community particularly the major powers have to consider you know their own domestic security as well as some sort of international responsibility but just by giving aid you didn't solve the problem if you look at the united nations for example we've been at attacked in mogadishu the u.n. d.p.
offices there the world food program attacked in pakistan the you nama offices attacked in afghanistan the u.n. building in our budget are attacked in nigeria you know said the u.n. which does you know is essentially humanitarian organization isn't immune from these attacks so i think the real answer when your country and terrorism is not to just flip from military support to humanitarian support to try and get those in better balance it's more to understand why people are becoming terrorists in the first place why do they think they can only achieve their aims so feel this sense of empowerment and identity and so on by being violent why why is it that they don't have better outlets to express their concerns and i think a lot of people that i think if they are victims of violence itself from western countries i'll tell you what it is one of the issues i want i want to address in the from not from weston go ahead richard go ahead not from western countries i didn't think i don't think they're victims they feel they're victims from western
countries i think they may feel. they're victims from their local governments which are supported by west and places fair enough but then again they're terrorists because a group which find no way of exerting their voice you know without maximizing their impact through terror because there's not enough of them of course you know like in the arab awakening for example you didn't see al qaeda flags in tahrir square or into his ear or even earlier on in syria and so on you know in those revolutions even in libya too you saw a popular movement and where the popular opinion can have an impact can have an affair then you get change without violence ok kelly that we we know at least it's been alleged that a number of americans were involved in this attack in kenya this is very interesting in looking at the recruiting of these organizations i don't know all of them and i don't know all the details but more and more western nationals are involved here syria is a good case in point here this is very interesting as well is because this is not
only something happening far far away but it's something getting closer and closer to home i don't know i think the last count it was over one thousand e.u. nationals in syria fighting with the rebels i mean this is another one of the blowback is the cancer that this war on terror creates. well yeah and i think i think stephen alluded to this that the attack that we signed kenya the other day was the result of a splinter within al-shabaab you have these competing forces on one on one side you have the al-shabaab who is fighting to get the kenyans in the ethiopians out of somalia it's a more localized effort and then you have the more transnational al-shabaab that's affiliated with al-qaeda and has broader transnational aims. and we see in recent reporting that the the latter had one and we saw that in the
massive attack on the mall the other day that transnational effort includes like you said. many fighters from across across the globe including fighters that have come from. close to the united states is minnesota there's a huge somali population there the f.b.i. has been watching them for years turns out that they've been doing. and al shabaab has been doing some very effective recruiting from that population well it's really quite a while i see it's amazing why did the n.s.a. find this you know what is the n.s.a. doing ok if they're not finding people like his treasure to go ahead jump in actually or was there there was some news that came out just a year and a half two years ago that there had been a number of somalis americans living in the twin cities that had been recruited by
al shabaab they were following up on that so this is a new information but does raise kind of a bigger question that you know u.s. policy is alienating not just muslims abroad but you but even muslims at home and again raises serious questions about you know whether this kind of this kind of counterterrorism strategy which you know put so much emphasis on the military side is doing more harm than good i think the one hopeful sign we had initially i think was the arab spring in the way that it showed that massive nonviolent action was far more effective the bringing down western baghdad taters like like like those in the egypt and tunisia and yemen then was al qaida and their kind of apocalyptic idiology and genocidal tactics. but unfortunately the you know the way things have gone in in syria and libya and the and the
struggles are consolidating democracy and in egypt and yemen i think has maybe given new life all right the city was gushing here frustrated seems to me the stream down these the war on terror has nothing to do with. democracy in the world many thanks today to my guests and watched in new york and in san francisco and thanks to our viewers for watching us here r.t. see you next time and remember across topples. in the future. technologies the name in aviation is the game is late he still might
say please come to the mikes i know will tell a soul springs innovation sundstrom don't look grown the green knight shapeless surface comes. year on a. look. for the wonderful strong arm and a life should be good news all the face time to time peter was. a pleasure to have you with us here on our t.v. today i roll researcher. loaf. look.
at the bottom of. the book. hey guys i'm out in martin and this is breaking the set you know despite the revelations concerning the scope of n.s.a. spying there's been little political action or inform the shady practices of the secretive agency but earlier this week a small group of politicians introduced a bill to challenge the n.s.a.'s lack of oversight the charge led by senator ron wyden poses an overhaul b. agency and a band of the bulk collection of americans phone e-mail. records but it's not just about gathering data the bill would also introduce a constitutional advocate to argue on behalf of the civil liberties community at the fight as a court now of course there's strong opposition to the legislation mainly from dianne feinstein who shares the intelligence going to.