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tv   Inside Story 2017 Ep 334  Al Jazeera  December 2, 2017 2:32pm-3:01pm +03

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this is where we are the u.s. senate has passed a bill to overhaul the tax system the first major changes in more than three decades it is a political victory for president donald trump the house of representatives has passed a separate version so now both chambers must agree on a final bill police in germany have used water cannon to disperse demonstrators in the city of hanover they're protesting against the far right party which is meeting to elect a new leadership. security forces in honduras have been given extra powers to stop violence that followed a disputed election president one along the hernandez is narrowly ahead of position candidate salvador has claimed electoral fraud and called his supporters onto the streets police and soldiers are imposing a nighttime curfew for the next ten days pope francis has wrapped up his asian tour and he's on his way back to the vatican the head of the roman catholic church had
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been on a six day trip to bangladesh and meanwhile the international community hoped he to dress the six hundred twenty thousand rangar who fled violence in rakhine state but he didn't mention the ethnic minority until day five of his. those are the headlines the news continues but right now it is inside story. diplomatic chaos in just twenty four hours donald trump goes from threatening to destroy north korea to chipping away at the so-called special relationship with its closest ally the united kingdom is u.s. foreign policy now at a crossroads this is inside story. of
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will come to the program today with me piece it all be campaign promises have been reset deadlines have been mists but the trump twitter bravado is a constant it's been a week of tough talk and miscommunication mr trump first tagged the wrong mrs may but still set the agenda his agenda this week donald trump promised to quote handle north korea and he eventually told the real mrs may the u.k. prime minister to you and me to in effect do something to protect the u.k. even after he had retreated fake news and as the white house does now they are repeating a central foreign policy idea moving one of their embassies and we shouldn't forget he began the week by claiming wrongly but time magazine was probably going to name
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him a person of the they wouldn't all of this heat no lights can be boiled down into what the russians say about u.s. foreign policy and they're not pulling any punches. but. one gets the impression that everything has been done on purpose to make him shone through nap and carry out further inadvisable actions it is regrettable the americans should explain to us what they're after she says well there have been constant mixed messages during these first ten months of the trumpet ministration the president and his secretary of state rex tillerson frequently broadcast seemingly contradictory policy positions the white house is denying reports trump plans to replace to listen soon when castle was blockaded six months ago by several countries led by saudi arabia tillerson called for talks and unity while trump appeared to back the saudis then there's the president shifting stance on the u.s.
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embassy in israel during his election campaign mr trump promised to move from tel aviv to jerusalem only to shelve the idea once he was in the white house the latest reports however say he's changing his mind again and trump caused controversy in the u.k. by retreating fake anti muslim that he is british calls are increasing for his planned state visit to be cancelled nearly two million britons signed a petition against his visits and big protests are planned if trump does go to britain ok let's get going let's bring in our guests joining us here in the studio in doha josh on executive director of the arab center of washington d.c. and joining us from lancaster in the u.k. richard johnson he's a lecturer in u.s. politics at lancaster university and a specialist on u.s. foreign policy welcome to you both starting with you first the america first policy is it a good idea or a bad idea. it sounds like a good idea in principle but it depends what you mean by it and how you implement
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it the fact of the matter america first has always been it's every country's actually objective and foreign policy is to be first that's what we call national interests every every country in the world pursues its own national interest but when you behave if you will. as we have seen from this administration in washington where america first means basically addict at some countries or means. you know the any particular country's foreign policy is made in washington and simply implemented in that country's capital that is not playing well in many countries. particularly when the president reduces it to essentially his own personal agenda for the administration whether it's arm sales or reversing certain economic measures that he feels unfair for for the united states
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that that gives if you will a new meaning to america first that we have not we have not seen before although the term is not new but johnson in lancaster is it wrong to break with established global custom and practice well i don't you know the issue is that america first is in some sense a slogan but it also speaks to a longstanding principle of foreign policy which is a realist position which is that countries pursue their own interests in the foreign policy space now where trump maybe new is that in his willingness to walk back from certain institutions that the united states has shaped in the trash was fear particularly in the post world war two era and so in that sense it's not necessarily good or bad but it is disruption of. established. well politics and from the united states' perspective that might make sense for the rest of us in the international community means degree of
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readjustment and listening and watching quite closely to what's going on from the white house smashing the old is one thing but if you smash the old you've got to replace it with something else and there is a contradiction here because mr trump says we're doing x. y. or said this is a settled foreign policy and then maybe ten or twelve weeks later we see people like rex tillerson rowing back and inverness seeing what might or might not come next so what are they replacing it with precisely replacing all policies sometimes is necessary but like you said you have to have a replacement for that particularly if you're not necessarily in a two bit banana republic but a superpower that has national interests all over the world that any statement by the president of that superpower registers nine point eight on the political director scale in most countries around the world so when you engage in foreign
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policy as a superpower in a vacuum in the sense that you do not have clarity to your vision clarity to your america first clarity to do what you want to to achieve whether it's canonically strategically politically what have you that leaves a vacuum that leaves a lot of misunderstanding add to that the chaos that implied in the title of this program or this session. chaos that characterizes this administration in general and in particular into in terms of its foreign policy that is not a cause for comfort throughout most of the world richard is calles too strong a word because people who criticize rex tillerson say he's done or he's overseen two aspects to the not the states agreed foreign policy not the settled policy but the implementation of it they say he's done this point number one he's filleted the state department and he hasn't replaced people who've literally been got rid of him point number two across the middle east and asia there are still ambassadorial
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seats that are empty they have simply not appointed the personnel yet. well rex tillerson is under a great deal of pressure at the moment not only from president trump who has publicly disagreed disagreements with him but also from the foreign policy establishment for a different set of reasons which you've laid out to listen has been keen to pare down the state department to reduce the footprint of the state department and has offered things like. sort of redundancy packages for people to leave the state department and so in some sense this is a cause of concern for people that the state department is having this smaller role in world affairs but in another sense that's part of the way in which the the the trump administration is going which is that trumps proposed budget was to slash the
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state department and to put savings into defense and so in some sense to listen at least on that regard is following the president's wishes. precisely the secretary of state's main function is to follow the wishes of his president the head of the administration but at the same time what we have here is a very confused situation where where you have two issues here that are at stake one and we shouldn't mix the two i think it's important for the audience to realize that on the one hand you have the main architect if you will an implementor of u.s. foreign policy on behalf of the administration on the other hand you have another problem which is his performance at the state department and that too and in a way are totally separate and contradictory yes mr thomasson has not been a success story in terms of running the state department and that is surprising
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considering the fact that he was brought in for that specific purpose somebody with huge experience in the corporate community and he was supposed to trim down the bureaucracy and so on but on the other he's establishing force in this administration so the complaint the more serious i would say complaint in this regard is by removing him if indeed he is removed what you have is basically a removal of this stab eliza tool or element within this administration that has given a bit of a legitimacy to a chaotic administration in terms of foreign policy we've now been joined by charlie wilson us political commentator and co-host of the podcast paul had to be american he's also formally from the organization republicans abroad charlie wolf good to talk to you again part of the success story so far of america first. well i think the fact that he's. put changing the priorities i mean we're again waiting
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from the front as opposed to leading from behind that these are the the obama administration this is someone that has no problems in projecting power as a use of preventing the use of power or the need hope we go to war you know he's standing up i think to north korea sure. it looks a bit scary at the present time if you're someone there watching from afar it it looks a bit. different than what i think people are used to just catching the last bit of the last person's answer but i think again it's a dramatic change in a welcome change from what we've heard from the last eight years how can you possibly see just interrupt charlie will of how can you possibly see he's changing policies his team he's implementing implementation team are actually super conventional you've got mr massa's you've got master you've also got men you could that's kind of out with the old in with the old. well maybe maybe a better phrase it is the presentation is going back to again with mr obama we had again for the sort of the lead from behind the apology tours this is someone who is
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very proud of what the country represents understands what the country represents its values etc and is happy to state them plainly and without any reservations may not sound as slick as mr obama but i think even just watching this last tour were it's a bit unusual to see the president acting as a salesman with a tin and south korea talking about how many missiles he's going to buy and they're great missiles and you know again i know that's that's a totally foreign thing from those in the foreign policy. sphere but again it's a bit different a bit welcome so it's ok in your mind if you have a u.s. president who apparently because if one reads the tweets this is what he does all the time he gloats over all the world leaders problems he did it with to reason may thirty six hours ago the u.k. prime minister once he'd actually tagged the right to reason maybe he looked like he was gloating over a problem but statistically numerically analytically simply does not exist in the
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u.k. and then he retreats a fake video that was unreal but that's ok because that gets his message out there and then we have just finished the phone just refinished charlie will please even then gets backed up by his press secretary who says well whether it was fake or not doesn't really matter because we've got the debate going. well again he is getting the debate going in there is important he's going over the heads of the journalists who have been given the guy i think i don't want to say rough ride he's been giving them a very unfair ride in how they're reporting stories now as far as these these tweets are concerned. these films as far as i was concerned told a narrative and i think it is a very correct narrative it is someone who is in london there has been some problems with with terrorism here obviously. i think it was far as mrs may is concerned he would she would have been far better i think to of very quietly picked up the phone and said excuse me donald did you know that this this group is not
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what you may think it is. a racist group and it would have been fixed but to embarrass the president that way he's going to respond i think it's a natural thing that he does ok very briefly i just you know want to interrupt you again just to pick up on one point there how can you say again that he's been given a rough ride the man is on twitter and in public forums and habitual liar and if it's about let me finish if it's about separating the message from the delivery and the implementation of that message he shouldn't lie no it's not lying i think what's happening here is you tell you having a press that is taking things literally is that seriously he does have a way of speaking in hyperbole and again i listen and i seem to know what the message is other people i know listen and they hear the right message and the press will sit there and nitpick over the words to say well technically what he said is x. well that's not how people communicate i think most of us understand where he's coming from you put it on her you know is it
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a hang on it's not power per believe when he phones in radio talk shows in new york my name's john i'm donald trump's p.r. man it was obviously donald trump it's not hyperbole it's a lie when he says i saw people dancing and he said wait a minute he said i saw people dancing on the rooftops in new york celebrating the events of nine eleven you can't see ground zero from trump tower he said his i had the biggest inauguration crowds of any u.s. president he didn't. first up i'm not going to worry about how big this the crowd was far as his inauguration is concerned but again i'm hearing the press picking up a trifling matter is when i think again it is a man who is dealing with much more important issues and you know again we're not getting on the guy's level and if we can be a listen we can play this game all day long if you want to be playing it for last year i don't think it's accomplished anything because the press is ratings and with
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the public opinion readies have gone down massively now his ratings aren't so great but i think the difference is he's willing to do what he needs to do. without worrying about ratings in the press or just not being trusted anymore you know and when i you know hear stories put up by the press when when everybody else seems to know exactly what he's talking about and you know he's not a great extemporaneous speaker he's not grown up in the political world but you know you can either play the game where you can find report what is actually going on you know analyze stories here in the middle east is it better or worse donald trump's foreign policy i think any objective analyst of the situation in the middle east would tell you it's a lot worse than it was before trump came on board and started fiddling with his ideas with regards to middle east policy. public opinion surveys and we have just ourselves at the arab center in washington conducted. public opinion poll in.
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eight different arab countries regarding mr trump and his policies although there are some pockets of support for him in certain out of countries that view that he's giving adequate attention to their concerns others or to the concerns of their government mostly related to arms sales but the rest of the arab world the majority have absolutely more than sixty some percent. which by the way the numbers are similar to the united states his support is in the low thirty's and his opposition is in the mid sixty's so it's not it's universal it's not just in the arab world it's also in the united states it's worse in europe it's worse in the far east and you know his supporters including what you just heard a classic example defense by charlie saying that you know he fully sympathizes and understands where the man is coming from and he says it's as if it's
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a he called it a game it's be our game it's not a p.r. game he's the president of a superpower a great power and you can't conduct the affairs of a superpower with massive interests throughout the world with tweets there has to be some substance to this policy which i think charlie just admitted he has he doesn't have the substance he articulate what he wants to do he says well i don't think the articulated well is and i live in washington two blocks from the white house and i still don't understand what this man once richard johnson in lancaster if they are about to in the dying days of rex tillerson being us secretary of state because there is a word coming out that says he'll be gone by january probably his wife told him take the job he didn't want the job anyway what does it do to foreign policy across the middle east if they move the embassy because that cuts right to the nub of the biggest issue across the middle east well it's been it's been the position of the u.s. congress in one thousand nine hundred five of course passed piece of legislation
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that bill clinton didn't sign but didn't veto and so became law ninety ninety five moving authorizing the movement of the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem now the law has a waiver in it which allows presidents to defer the implementation of that policy for six months and every president since ninety ninety five including donald trump has done so as he did in june now there are many people in the administration who would like trump. not to sign that waiver anymore and to the embassy i think someone like the vice president mike pence would be interested in doing that. but i think that trump has shown a degree of pragmatism on this particular issue and it remains to be seen how long he can push it into the long grass just on to on tellus and. you know it to lessons departure would be quite historically anomalous that the secretary of state
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position is quite a sticky one that very few secretaries of state leave due to disagreements with the administration that in all of american history only four have done so in two states they were over one over the civil war one over world war one and the last time we saw this in modern history was in one thousand nine hundred two when william hague alexander haig left. as reagan's secretary of state so the departure of tennis in would be really quite a dramatic move for in the recent history of sections of state kelly is there a sense in which perhaps is foreign policy implementation has been a plus in as much as a direct reaction not so much to his implementation of so-called foreign policy on his part but as a reaction to the fact of donald trump and how mass they were that far apart they've got close together and they've papered over the cracks a little bit they were supposed to sign the deal today that's been delayed but
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that's how they do it that's the lubricant of their relationship but they've come closer together so the palestinians are closer together but they can't maybe deliver on something bigger than that. that's the problem frankly they have gotten a little bit closer but not necessarily for american reasons the us salute leonora whatsoever to play in the recent between and amassed it's an internal challenge based on competition between. to. acknowledge a moment on the part of hamas that it cannot continue to govern gaza and therefore it wants to dump the responsibility on the d.p. a leadership in ramallah so on the contrary this is something that's about to explode in our face i'm not too optimistic that this is working what is important again and it's not be are or whether we agree or disagree or whether we remain silent as the united states of america visit this important development in the
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region but where is the plan this president promised a plan when he was even running for office the plan is nowhere to be seen we do not know it's detail he has an inefficient experienced team in place that keeps they keep leaking you know a few bits and pieces that do not seem to constitute a plan for peace in the middle east that's what's missing charlie serious policy pardon me for interrupting charlie wolf i mean his his ratings among democrats understandably predictably they are so low they barely blip on the radar however amongst card carrying republicans his popularity percentages are running about eighty one eighty two percent if nothing bad happens to him say health wise over the next three years are we heading towards a second term donald trump a second term of this kind of foreign policy. without a doubt we will because the first off if you look at the democratic side there is
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no leadership there is hillary clinton still think she's. the heir to the throne when she lost the election just as much as he won the election i don't see anybody coming up from the way things and quite frankly the way the american people are working again his is constituency is there is someone in there that speaks to them and for them and whether he gets his gender in in place that all this it bodes well for him if he doesn't get his agenda in place then the the people will essentially look towards the congress and say well that's the reason why so would never have it whatever way it is if the cookie crumbles oh really the coin falls it works in his favor you mentioned him on twitter about two minutes ago is there a sense in which for you he's actually exceptionally good at what he does he follows forty four people on twitter he has forty four million followers he's
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well known he gets up at five he tweets at six and by seven every internet you know you're laughing but it's true by seven a.m. washington time every international news channel around the planet is generating more words per word in per tweet than he came up with two hours before hand. this is becoming a fad i mean it's a joke in a way instead of i mean i wish he would tweet policy i wish he would would tweet substance so that people can discuss u.s. foreign policy and u.s. interests as a result of his tweets instead of who is he attacking or who is insulting that that moment and this is a passing fad that is apt to blow up in his face soon or later as charlie said he does have support unfortunately that support is continuing most probably he will be reelected their current circumstances but he is losing independents so that could be the defining if you will factor in the long term well maybe we'll have another seven years of president trump to find out if he refines his twitter skills or not
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gentlemen thank you very much for joining us here on inside story they were i guess josh on charlie wolf and richard johnson and thank you to you too for your company and you can see the program again anytime you want on the website altidore dot com and for further discussion check out our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story and also join the conversation on twitter handle at a.j. inside story or i'm at peter don't be one for me peter dog and everyone on the team here in doha thanks for watching we'll see very soon.
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you know if it. was up to. the south side she's it'll be all right everything. it's. like your. life is going to suffer you still did you see if you like kids. in syria citizens are collecting evidence you know about it till the start of crimes committed against civilians we've moved out of syria now about six hundred thousand pages of material so that one day they can bring the outside regime to justice it puts a human face on the charges it's a dead human face but it's a human face syria witnesses for the prosecution at this time on al-jazeera.
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donald trump has rescinded foreign aid to charities that perform actively promote abortion people and pallid iscar has the consequence is a us president spends strength can have on countless lives around the globe he's completely in jest against eulogize people we feel unsafe of bush and those people we trump and the ethics of foreign aid at this time on al-jazeera. i'm sammy's a down and look at the headlines here on al-jazeera now yemen's former.


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