tv The Bottom Line Al Jazeera February 13, 2021 2:30pm-3:01pm +03
dates and europe not to know i've been walking from one end to the other to even make hall for what i used to make the vaccination campaign has brought hope to most brazilians but 25 year old wonderly knows who have to wait a long time before it's his turn until the tourists come back life on the beach will be far from carefree monica sera rio de janeiro. half past the hour these are the headlines. as the taking their anger to the streets of me and now for an 8th day they want military generals to release the deposed leader suchi who is under arrest scott hardly has more on these protests he's reporting from bangkok there is an increase that's at least the word we're getting from people on the streets there who have been on the streets since the
protests really began since the movement to get as many people out from many different walks of life out in the streets are saying you know friday we saw spike in numbers the biggest numbers yet they say and again that's interest paid today in those pictures really indicate that that's probably what's going to be in store toward the end of the day now we won't get official numbers because the police are authorities are really counting this is coming from the organizers themselves headlines donald trump's 2nd impeachment trial is nearly over with a final vote in the senate expected as early as this weekend lawyers for the former president wrapped up their defense calling the trial unconstitutional and italy has a new prime minister the former european central bank chief mario draghi was sworn in not long ago taking over as italy faces a double health and economic crisis. police in nigeria in detaining protesters in the largest city in lagos after activists called for a rally at the spot where 12 people were killed last year during protests at least
4 people have been killed and 7 others injured in an attack near somalia's presidential palace in mogadishu police say a vehicle rigged with explosives managed to get away from a checkpoint at high speed no one is yet claimed responsibility. roadwork is in india's state are working around the clock to reach a number of villages cut off after the glacial flood excavators clearing rocks and debris from a site where a bridge washed away in a rainy village much of the surrounding valley was flooded when that collapsed into a river on sunday and the university of oxford is to begin assessing the safety and immune response of the astra zeneca vaccine in children for the 1st time the trials will determine whether the vaccine is effective on people between the ages of $6.00 and $7.00. that's my lot for today thanks for your company the bottom line with steve clemons is next.
i want to see. if you. hi i'm steve clements and i have a question president joe biden says america is back and that he wants to press the reset button on u.s. relations with the rest of the world but what does that mean let's get to the bottom line. joe biden campaigned on promises to destroy the pandemic create jobs and tackle the
systemic racism that's baked into america's collective psyche judging by the flurry of executive orders biden has signed in his 1st few weeks he's focusing on his domestic challenges but he's also going international too so after a break the u.s. is back in the paris climate accords back in the world health organization and trying to get back into the u.n. human rights council last week joe biden spoke at the state department to make the point that diplomacy is back that washington wants to work with other nations to solve big problems and to pursue america's core interests he talked about russia's attempts to undermine american democracy how he'll need strong alliances to face the rising power of china how we'd like the united states to accept more refugees and how we'd like to see an end to wars like that we have in yemen right now which has been going on for more than 6 years some of the things that he left out of that speech are interesting too like relations with iran or what kind of future recedes for palestinians and israelis today we're talking with someone who can help us make sense of it all. tired colonel lawrence wilkerson worked in the leadership of the
state department during the george w. bush administration and before that surfer decades in the united states army colonel wilkerson it's great to see you again thank you so much for joining us today as i open it the me beginning joe biden has spoke on at the state department on february 4th let's listen to this clip defending freedom champion opportunity upholding universal rights respecting the rule of law and treating every person with dignity. that's the ground meanwhile our of our global policy our grow will power that's our and exhaustible source of strength that's america's abiding advantage. though many of these values have come under intense pressure in recent years even pushed to the brink in the last few weeks the american people are going to emerge from this moment stronger more determined and better equipped to unite the world in fighting to defend democracy because we have
fought for it ourselves colonel wilkerson what are your reactions to joe biden's initial scaffolding in framing on american engagement in the world he's put a lot on the table there are a lot of things he wants to do what do you think of what he said so far. i don't. you know biden being a new year is i've known him for at least powell if not directly for almost 20 plus years. and he had no other choice than to say what he said let's look at his experience long years on the senate foreign relations committee and then years in the chairmanship and then the minority leader on this is joe biden and frankly it's a breath of fresh air after 4 years of paul from the domestic challenges that are confronting it including the pandemic of course and the foreign policy and security
challenges confronting him are daunting. i think he's gotten off to a pretty good start i hope he can bring to fruition even a quarter or a 3rd of what he's pronounced as his objectives but i think he got off to a good start and i for one will be a supporter of it larry i find you know the challenge for any administration and you were the person who kept order at the state department as colin powell chief of staff how does biden keep his presidency from becoming a reactive presidency rather than having the contours of a strategic approach to american priorities. that's a good question and it's a question we asked ourselves at the state department as we learned about george w. bush and richard cheney the vice president increasingly. it's difficult but i think he's laid down some markers he's going to have tremendous challenges in the
domestic arena and i think that alone is probably going to make his overseas a nation is difficult simple will if not challenging will because he's going to be stone focused on these domestic issues the fact that he's brought some of these key people even people who are foreign policy gurus so to speak into the domestic arena is indicative of that. the pandemic is not all he's got to confront of course as you mentioned in your opening remarks he's got to confront this white supremacy this eventuality will element in our country which motivated a significant portion of trump's base and hasn't gone away as a matter of fact as we've seen in the last week or so it appears to be that the republican party my political party is morphing into a cult call that is mostly composed of these kind of people so we can we can talk about this and we can say it's not a problem we can toss it off as
a little domestic terrorism but i think it's going to be an enormous problem in terms of the any kind of unity that joe biden wants to bring to this country which will be necessary to meet some really colossal challenges not least of which is the challenge of the climate as we are seeing now with the glacier melt then the. region of india along the top border which is just the beginning of that the mayan glaciers are going we're going to have this kind of flooding and they were going to have no water as the glaciers and the rivers they'd be dry up. so there are huge challenges huge challenges i wouldn't want to be joe biden drank. he has no choice he's. he's got to work on these things so that you know the name of the game is taking that job look when when you know you when the bush administration left and you were not there at that time you were in the bush administration for the 1st 4 years of it but when they were leaving and the obama administration was coming in i
want to acknowledge that you and i work together and we looked at things like where could barack obama send different segments to the world then and we identified 3 areas if he changed the way gravity works with cuba with israel palestine and with iran it would send a different signal to the world that america was back and that it was going to contribute to global stability now he worked on all of those some to varying degree what do you think the defining challenge is for a biden administration coming in one ng to genuinely send in different signals to the world are whereas the one of those you know you know give me some wilkerson strategic clarity on what buttons matter more than others. but he already dealt with principle one everyone wants to talk about and that could go right in the moment but not of course is the country in the world looks rivaling us in some ways surpassing us china. is statement. i have a dear extreme competition but we need not have conflict that's exactly the way to
look at it that's kind of the way we look at it 1st bush administration will talk about strategic competition but we didn't talk about war so that's what we're probably oh he's got a manic let's look at the age of pacific an important region of the wall almost all trade in that region now is with china dominantly not with the united states anymore but with china dominant. power situation is changing we must awake until that biden understands that the congress those what do i mean change their strategy because we are no longer. in the pacific there are 2 of us and that's a difficult battle. wants to maintain particularly when allies which we have a plenty in the region are so she can jalil with that giant call china our economy and purchasing power parity now surpasses ours i suspect it will continue to do that. this is
a difficult challenge but you mention cuba you mentioned iran these are places where you can pick up some perhaps low hanging fruit certainly with cuba just get back to the point where president obama was in affecting some sort of model without iowa and with the ranis already sandy wants to reenergize the p.o.'s now pale and trump left some land not significant land mine in the intricacy and complexity of the sanctions that they put on iran they sanctioned the knees of the red ants on the locusts in iran so it's going to be extreme i know something about this i work with ofac you on wind american sanctions with great difficulty especially when there are so entrants paling always left so those are some low hanging fruit areas but they're not that easy to accomplish in the iranians have already said sanctions relief is going to be there with pro quo or re-entering the
agreement fully and going along with parameters there are so yes there are some things out there he can do china russia russia look at what we need to do the new start expires this month and my dad has said he's going to do it we should have been doing this a long time ago we need to reestablish nuclear arms control in the wall we can let it become a tattered regime that's from very dangerous so yes there are some things he can do the numerate and some of them they need to do them swiftly and he thinks there's an oz likely and most most important of all the instrument with which to do him is diplomacy. one of the challenges and many of the things you just. laid out quite beautifully whether it's with iran whether it's confronting and dealing with russia is that there are a lot of middle countries involved both in the middle east in europe. that that have been looking at american behavior the last few years and not sure that the america they thought they knew was going to be
a good ally on their dark days and that they have been to some degree hedging their bets very frustrated with our course in iran what would you put forward larry what do you think it by the administration thinks you know needs to put forward in terms of trust building with allies that may not believe in an american balance back. a little on the middle east is a particular area of challenge right now while arduously because of u.s. miscalculation and even strategic error the invasion of iraq in 2003 to lead the list in that regard we turned lose a total chaotic mess in milan when we invaded iraq we destroyed the balance of power there and we put iran in the catbird seat. what we need to do now what we what we've done over the years as you well know we have changed from a strategy that i was part of the implementation all for so many years in the
military where we had forces offshore we called it all shore balancing we didn't have so many forces on shore look at that area now general mckenzie has the most powerful unified command and the unified command plan central command he has more forces that he can throw it people any time he wants to and need worry about him sometimes doing things like putting ballistic missile and attack submarines in the persian gulf an extremely dangerous thing to do for those vessels and doing other things like he looks as if he's trying to a fight a war over there buddied up with mohammad bin saddam on in riyadh that's not the way we should be dealing with that region we should be trying to stand that huge military apparatus down that to a certain extent value deed the largest air force base in the oil in kuwait the largest true perception of sunni in the world and behind this bit elite the largest and most powerful plea out we need to do something different in that region and i
hope president biden will figure that out and i hope his secretary of defense will be right there with even tony blinken that sextape and we'll calm this down a little bit and let the region handle many of the problems there at the same time i hope i'm hearing right that he's going to take a different tack to the palestinians because the last administration virtually under gerry kush mirrors on a table hand abandoned the palace standing abandoned them and centrally said what my president in 2002 or so said outreach arone over to you from minister we've been doing this for 40 years enough means weren't so you can do what you want to do and what it is that man it is meant israel turning into increasingly and the archives state in both to. i'm in the west bank and it made me would be an apartheid state with regard to anyone who is jewish a little bit of the primary territory really real solutions god you've got to get
a handle on it and to handle asked to represent the unions are more front leaning what the trump administration was doing and that that meant that anyone who got a new leadership why would a boss is no longer a monster they need to find some younger more energetic more dynamic more capable leadership and they need to get it ready to run for their money and we need to help them do that so their love act of challenges in the law i couldn't agree with you more i think and the you know it is interesting that 15 years of mahmoud abbas 11 years after his term extended they become kind of irrelevant if you will to just about every party so replenishing leadership bringing in youth hopefully that is not top part of that you know corrupt stagnancy you know i completely agree but let me have let me ask you to go a bit deeper on iran and saudi arabia for a minute so with regard to iran there are elections coming up there too and as in any nation there is
a struggle between hardliners and reformers that seems to be in every country in the world so what we do now will play into that with saudi arabia we have intelligence estimates said that mohamed bin psalm on likely gave the order to have jamal khashoggi killed we've just cut off arms sales and supplies to saudi for the continuation of the yemen war so things are going to shift there neither party is one that we're particularly comfortable with you know to say the least how does america get its interests right in that situation i think i heard you say we ought to step back and let them solve the problem but but are they so important that we just can't withdraw. i have i take the importance of the relationship with saudi arabia seriously in the military that was part of my portfolio for a long time at u.s. pacific command i take the relationship with the little spark to the u.a.e. and others encounter very seriously to the with the g.c.c.
it was always the. american a divorcing his asian and thought amongst itself more than one simple answer but i have to say that it hasn't worked but we've done up to this point it's not work in any serious way now let me back up and say one of the reasons reasons it hasn't worked lately is because we made such a mess in 2003 with the in the way in beijing iraq but that said that miss needs to be cleaned up as best as it as best they can and the way you do that is you get saudi arabia and its allies on that side of the goal that you will and iran and you get them to talking you get them to understanding that it is in their best interest and in the ability interest of the region to get them together and not to be so confrontational the only reason the saudis think they can be crowned confrontational in a serious stance and especially on has been so
a month is because they got the united states backing they got the superpower backing when they got $80000000000.00 in arms sales and so forth yesterday i spent some time with friends committee on national legislation trying to help them why don't let or to president biden and they've done a magnificent job of it that letter's headed for the white house right now and it be tales that things that he ought to fill in the somewhat ambiguous policy statement he made with regard to getting the saudis to stop the war in yemen that's an important ingredient to all of business i'm saying we need to stop that brutal conflict and pulling the united states out and support all military support for the saudis in terms of office. and that needs to be defined comprehensively and law not narrowly like the pentagon likes to do usually is a 1st step you have to get that conflict stopped and then you have to get there on the oddball thing to want to win all the rest in 2 years and you have to get them
convinced that the best way to bring peace to the building and ultimately prosperity to that region is for them to stop this constant by any grudge bearing that they have and get to doing things lead help all of them at the same time the code 19 pandemic is a case in point iran because of our sanctions is hurting right now really hurting it was unconscionable what pompei always doing in terms of using them in a tarion reasons to sanction iran just unconscionable they couldn't even get a mask in basic ingredients the p.p.t. you need to go with one thing they couldn't get any of the stuff we need to stop that too that we need to take a different approach to the region steve and their approach needs to be more balanced needs to be more diplomatic than military and it needs to be as holding people's hands as they negotiate their own agreements rather than are trying to compel them to it by dropping bombs on their territory that's been our policy for
the last 20 years or so let us bomb you a little bit and we'll fix you that doesn't work and we've proved colonel we're talking to you in part today because of your deep knowledge of the state department but you also have deep knowledge of the pentagon i remember when bill clinton came into office there was concerns about a gap between bill clinton and the pentagon and whether the pentagon would ultimately sabotage various clinton initiatives i remember the same thing when barack obama came in on whether the pentagon was alternately going to be a veto on some of the things barack obama was trying to do and we know those struggles they've been documented as joe biden is coming in as come in we also know from the past. there's been some ambivalence among you know major leaders in. the pentagon i mean you know i just just remember afghanistan and others where you have generals that basically mocked joe biden when he was vice president what is your sense does joe biden going to have a pentagon under general lloyd austin now secretary lloyd austin that is going to
execute his policies or are they going to become a constraint and a separate tour joe biden's foreign policy course. well as a very good question stephen let me back up just a 2nd to one of your comments or saying president obama did in his 2nd term if not both terms he was a military operation led into it by hillary clinton and samantha power not others but i had a conversation with him in the white house and he started the conversation with these words there is a my assume is down toward war and then when secretary kerry arrived inside him he began to talk about that in the way that it was the error that it was so the pentagon was objecting to that bob gates did not sign up for that war so there is a possibility and with lloyd austin there and i think that's
a reason joe biden want to put it in there there's an instinct possibility that the pentagon will be more amenable to glad president biden wants and then we might think otherwise now you're right there are certain people and i put at the top of the list general mckenzie the aggrandizing power seeking give me some more forces central command commander right now. if i were biden i'd be an austin i'd be watching him really close it looks to me like he wants to be another storming norman get him self another war that he can be famous and his command can be the main participant all so i wouldn't have anything to do with someone like that and if by nasa fire a few people as for example you recall dick cheney did it the 1st game came in a sector defense then so be it but the pentagon's got to go along with what the president wants to do unless the president is like the former one and wants to use the pentagon for domestic purposes as it was clear from one to do i don't think that will be joe biden i think joe biden in the pentagon particularly when will it
all spin the sector defense i'm going to get along quite well and i think he needs to listen probably to the pentagon with regard to the use the both carry for. as much as you might blink in a one state department i recall powell telling me many times in my own experience there's so out there warmongers in the cabinet cabinet sometimes we have to foggy bottom more than they did at the. hours. so you have to be careful there biden has an experience this is probably the most experienced president that we've had with regard to foreign and security policy and to a certain extent domestic policy all the time you spent in congress that we've had since george h.w. bush. and i think that is my teaching and my study has demonstrated to me my students are probably. the most important asset
a president can bring to the white house in the beginning and conversely the most dangerous element he doesn't have it is experience knowing what he's doing from the get go presidents learning on the job are dangerous well colonel lawrence wilkerson former chief of staff of the department of state thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and thoughts and insights with us today we really appreciate it thank you thank you steve and that's the help to them safe stay safe so what's the bottom line joe biden may say america is back but this isn't a disney movie can't say abracadabra don't like magic everything is fixed the world still trying to get over the weirdness of a superpower that said screw you with its america 1st narcissism for the last 4 years biden wants a lot of things and many are good he wants america to welcome more refugees want to elevate rights globally he may enjoy a honeymoon phase of goodwill in some corners of the globe but then it's going to get tough he's going to be tested by friends and by photos at least the world's
problems are won't be dealt with through tweets and sound bites from the president yelling over the sound of a helicopter but in a messy world where trust in america's intentions and character are low we just have to wonder how much will he be able to pull off and that's the bottom line. when freedom of the press is under threat demonstrators and journalists are dealing with internet outages police intimidation and charges of sedation and the state line becomes the default media namely develop looking for images that that leak
that it gives to these guys that just how did he create and uses makes it hard for people to know what's real and what's not step outside the mainstream shift the focus covering the way the news this covered the listening posts on a. it's 10 years since the libyan revolution led to the overthrow of longtime roona mamak a death. the country was torn by conflict and driver claims of power. but it's hoped talks will finally bring peace and stability join us as we assess libya's road to elections on al-jazeera. a song. a father. a mutual love of the ox. the stage is set to immortalize fading memories. in a magical race against time. witness our time machine.
on a. israel's vaccination drive has been the one unqualified success in its often criticized response to code 19 the aim is to vaccinate everyone over the age of 16 by the end of march prime minister benjamin netanyahu is promising israelis that theirs will be the 1st country in the world to emerge from the pandemic of he's persuaded pfizer to commit to an excel aerated supply of its vaccine in return for israel being used as a data rich test bed for its efficacy palestinians living in the eastern half of jerusalem the only known israeli citizens getting israeli procured vaccines the palestinian foreign ministry says israel is neglecting its obligations as an occupying power by not providing vaccines to the $4500000.00 palestinians in the west bank and gaza already a clear gap has emerged between rich nations and poor ones when it comes to vaccinating their populations israel's own program has outpaced even the richest
countries but that's only made starker just how much the palestinians have been left out of the process and how far they've been left behind. hey there i missed us he attained our hall at the top stories here on al-jazeera and take a protest as taking the anger to the streets of myanmar for an 8th day now they want military generals had to release that their deposed leader who is currently under arrest scott hi there has more now on those protests across the border in bangkok there is an increase that's got at least the word we're getting from people on the streets there who have been on the streets since the protests really began since the movement to get as many people out from now.