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tv   Interview with Rania Abouzeid No Turning Back  CSPAN  December 25, 2018 12:05am-12:18am EST

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looking to arizona and florida and those places to have more potential in the suburbs. >> please join me to thank steve kornacki. [applause] he will be in the book signing area. [applause] he will be in the book signing area. >> joining us now on the set is the author of this book no turning back, what makes your book different about what is
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going on in syria than others? . >> thank you for having me. i set out to write a book that has a numberer of characters of real people my intention was to try to provide an arc so you can seeut individuals and follow their trajectory to see what has happened over the past six years. it is also an investigation into the dealings of what the americans were doing when they started to bomb them and what that looked like and what people in those rooms were told. how islamist or the islamic state could rejuvenate themselves in a show that trajectory so as a journalist so often we see syrians for
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example, a young child on the beach and the family tried but we don't know what happened before they got onto what happened afterwards so i want toto present a book to unfold like a movie when people say what is it like over there what is it like to be there? i tend to report with all of my senses and i try to put that out on the page i want you there i want you to know what it is like to be in a town to show you a few pages later i will pluck you out and give you a break and show you something else in theth conflict i want to give you a visceral
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and a true character that is underpinned from the investigation of what the bigger players were doing. >>host: so when and how did the syrian conflict begin? .nt >> early 2011 it seems like a lifetime ago but if you remember the protest the demonstrations in the streets people calling for freedom and democracy and people in the book i say they unlearned fear because they had voices they ignored what they were told growing up and they unlocked those voices. >>host: how spontaneous were they quick. >> i watch protesters i ran from teargas in cairo and i
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flinched when i heard the gunshots. they were spontaneous there was that he the atmosphere and many places it was very spontaneous often they came with enthusiasm but also fear but i'll never forget what the atmosphere was like at that time and various other capitals so it was a very different. and in that environment that i was in syria and i was in damascus for the earliests protest. the initial calls were not for regime change. that is why the arab evolution
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the people calling for the regime that was not the first call in syria. it was reform. after a while when the crackdown began they started to call for regime change so initially they wanted reform. >>host: but aside said in the beginning. >> people were looking to him as a young leader to institute the change they hoped the man at the helm would institute the change but then a couple weeks into the uprising he gave a speech in parliament that spoke about growing conspiracies and staged events people realize the president was not going to fulfill their demandss also they did offer a few reforms so just to give
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that meant people could not gather or come together there was censorship phones were tapped so they call the emergency but it was equally as harsh but there were reforms that were made. >>host: now from no turning back which is part of the us response as the international players became more involved , president obama's response that if we revealed the existence the canister would add to the regime because of obama's red line of the weapons use and the trump response july 2017 the trump administration and did the cia program which reportedly cost more than $1 billion riddled with problems including
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basically bribery and things like that. where did those international players become involved in the conflict quick. >> i i learned it was a lot earlier than i initially reported it to the saudi's were arming the rebels but they were actually involved 2012 and they said now we will sit down and really try to organize the uprising so that held - - happened then. so that's when we saw on that side the rebel backers were coming forward that on the
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flip side of the conflict is iranian backs and russian backed and has the law as well but they didn't do anything military through 2013 but then the russian military turned the tide for a sod that was a decisive moment but in the book i outline not only the us response but the multilevel backers they would pit groups against each other so while they were calling for unity they were fragmenting them putting them against each other pitting them against each other for supplies so that they would compete for influence so it was very fragmented landscape the us was trying to understand and was a not an effective
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player. >>host: what is the current syria?on in . >> one thing is clear that a sod is not going anywhere. and that is a reflection on the ground of reality. he has won much of the territory he lost initially with the aid of his international allies but it is still a fragmented country you are the parts that are assad controlled or those that our kurdish controlled and then the part that is rebel controlled the islamist armed those that are fighting is one - - amongst themselves so it is very fragmented country and i said that in the beginning of the book on page number one
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that they cease to exist because there are many serious. but looking at the barriers avbetween communities and those horrific things that have happened. >>host: rania abouzeid has fallen off the pages here in the us the current status of damascus what is the man in your story and up? . >> he had everything a young man once that he paid a heavy price for his protest and i show that in some of the most difficult pages and others
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like him and we owe it to him to read what happened to him. >>host: damascus today? . >> government control. >>host: prospering? . >> i have been banned. >> i have been there hundreds of times to the rebel side but not the government side i was banned in 2011. as a spy. >>host: were you? . >> aren't we all? it is the land of the people. [laughter] it made it difficult to put it mildly to cover that side of the story i wish i could have covered more.
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. >>. >> i grew up in australia. and then to physically blend into many paint places but never with the intention that i could move around a little bit. >>host: no turning back is the name of the book. rania abouzeid is the author. [inaudible conversations] . >> good afternoon. please take a

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