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tv   Cross Talk  RT  September 10, 2021 4:30pm-5:00pm EDT

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the the with the low and welcome to cross talk. we're all things considered. i'm peter lavelle for many of us, the end of the american war in afghanistan was inevitable. in the end, the conflict was more about a massive griff than about nation building and smart strategic thinking. joe biden says the us is done with remaking foreign countries through the use of force. there is no reason to take the american president at his word, the cross talking, what comes after afghanistan? i'm joined by my guess, joshua landis in oklahoma city. he is the director of the center of middle east
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studies at the university of oklahoma in rancho mirage. we have scott ritter, he is a former intelligence officer in united nations weapons inspector. and here in moscow we have maxine to talk. he is director of the center for advanced american studies at moscow state university of international relations. i gentleman cross talk rules and effects. that means you can jump in anytime you want. and i always appreciate joshua, let me go to you 1st in oklahoma city. i mean, in the aftermath of this fiasco and leaving afghanistan, which i fully supported, i've been saying that for 19 years. but, you know, you see all this finger pointing who is at fault here. but my question is, and no one really in the mainstream wants to talk about it, is that how did we get into such a mess in the 1st place? nobody wants to be talk about who is responsible. so i want to ask all 3 of you about, will anyone be held account to account? and then i want to talk about moving forward because i'm sick and tired of finger pointing go ahead in oklahoma city. well, you know, the finger pointing is important here because many people are blaming bite and,
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and i think that biden has done the right thing. this is really george bush's fault . ok. he got us in to the situation and said we were going to build a liberal democracy in afghanistan, which was an impossible errand. and it, and it set us up on a course which we could not. america could not win. and every president, since then has said he's going to get out. and america needed to get out of afghanistan, but didn't have the courage to pull the plug because it was going to be messy. it was going to be a defeat. and it was going to be on their watch, and so they kick the can down the road. and president biden has finally pulled the plug, and yes, it was messy. it's been embarrassing. but i think it will make america stronger in the end because our real commit minutes and i real interest or not in afghanistan, there in places like europe and era, particularly in places like asia. and we will be able to concentrate and be a better ally to the people who really count. okay, good. okay,
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scott. but if we can, if people aren't held account for this fiasco, how can we trust the same people to look at areas that we just heard from joshua, i mean, again, i mean, no one really wants to look at the d n a of the foreign. busy policy, they just want to look at policy errors. ok, when which many of us knew in real time were being over occurring. go ahead, scott. i would add another name to the list. yes, george w bush started the conflict, but the man most responsible for continued is brock obama. brock obama campaigned on a pledge of getting out of afghanistan. and you know, he didn't have the political courage to confront the very people whom we should be holding to account the diplomat despise the people who lied about the situation. there was in afghanistan who gave us hope that we could prevail, that we could win, that there was a, an off ramp to victory in obama knew there wasn't, he knew,
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he knew that we weren't gonna win, but he had the courage to pull the trigger. so he, he, you know, he surged and he continued, he stayed, he remained, he also did things that are even worse. he pretended to be out of combat. we'll keep an american special forces in combat or heretic situation. the result of the death of many americans because they weren't adequately supported in many afghans to i mean this is the reason why the government collapse because we created a situation where that do the african military services to, to defeat so. and the reason why i bring up the obama administration is that many of the people making policy today for the by the ministration tony blank and jake, jake sullivan, our graduates of the obama school. so, you know, these are the same people that couldn't get it right now. stand back when obama's president or people were supposed to cross today to get it right and other complex
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situations. these are people who are unwilling to confront the establishment adequately. unwilling to tell the american people the truth about the complexities of a situation where they can stand, whether it's china, whether it's russia, whether it's europe, joshua had got just jump in and defend, defend some of these by people, because by, i mean, the defense, some of the obama people, because obama did want to get out of afghanistan. the generals really pulled a and run around him. and they managed to and the press went along with it, and allowed allowed the generals to get away with the search and obama who was trying to do health care and domestic issues did not want to get trapped in a foreign policy issue, which he didn't understand well, and which would make him look weak and already people were saying this guy is competent, he's a black, a president, the 1st black president, he's going to make
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a mess of the world. so he went along with his generals and yes, it shows the blob in a sense. the foreign policy elite is extremely powerful in washington. but many of the people around him wanted to get out to. they didn't have the courage of their convictions as you say, and here he deserves a lot of blame for this. but i think that many of those people parts were in the right place. they understood, we were in a terrible situation that we couldn't vietnam situation which could not be won. and they kicked the can down the road, which was a big mistake, but they're trying to make up for it now. and that's, that's at least worth something. yeah, well at the end of the day the both to you, i mean it was a did one of the definitions of being a leader is to have courage and saying that, you know, you couldn't do it because of that or that that comes up short for me, but i see where you're coming from. maxine, let me go to you because, you know, afghanistan, it's a whole lot closer to russia than it is to the united states here. i mean,
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says what, what's going on in the neighborhood right now, because, you know, again, you know, we just had our 1st discussion about, you know, how we got here, but now we're here. okay? and so how do you see the lay of the land of the neighborhood and what is rushes role in this? because there's a lot of really propagandistic claims being made in western media about how russia assessment. the situation as the interim government was announced, go ahead. maxine right, of course we have to see how, how it was in the near future, but from where we are sitting now. it appears that what happened is he's asked for for a gun trooper protest on threat to india. challenge for russia and opportunity for china. and obviously as, as my colleagues mentioned, that the strategically, even though the tactically, this was like a mass strategically not sure, it would be a terrible thing for the united states, as it prefers to focus now on more and coming more resources to winning the so
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called rivalry, and not think about counter terrorism and all this is longest and services around the region. russia can not afford this luxury, given the geography and approximately, of all these threats to its neighbors. so it has to focus on a lot of these issues and have to do a lot more regional coordination with players who would not necessarily like each other like an india on the one hand and indian china on the other. so they'll be a lot of chord nation with industry, high security operation organization and also within c a c o. but of russia is also doing a lot of exercises for all of that happen in parallel to russia. diplomatic efforts to do some type of normalization with the taliban, right. we're not talking about their religion, which is ation or removing them from the least designated church organizations. ready where, where they are in russia since early 2, thousands but it's
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a whole new policy from sort for moscow for a little while. yeah. well, for better or worse. and i think a lot of people would say, worse, that how bad is there and you have to deal with them here. joshua, let me go back to you. i agree with the thrust of what you said in your 1st answer here that you know, there's, you know, you're talking basically about a pivot. but, you know, one of the things that we've seen with, quote unquote war on terror is inflation threat. ok. and we've already seen, we saw it as the the airport was being evacuated. what about ice is said, and what about al qaeda and, you know, you see these people trying again to take another bite at the apple here. how much traction do you have that? because one thing we've known for the last 20 years, it's really easy to scare people, particularly how the media goes out and scare mongering, pap are we, how should we do? should we be about that? go ahead. well, you know, i think the bible has done his big, heavy left here in afghanistan, and he's going to be very loath to pull us out really of syria and other places
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that we should really draw down our troops in. because he'll be accused, he's already being accused of being weak and screwing us up. but so i think he will be very, he'll be very reticent to, to get us out of some other places which we should get out of. particularly syria, because we're doing the identical thing and syria that we did an afghanistan. we're promising we're using the kurds as a and inflating their desire for kurdish independence and nationalism in northern syria in order to keep them on our side. swat is off to fight isis. the best way to fight isis in the region is to allow the syrian government to, to consolidate and to work with its neighbors, turkey, and iraq in order to destroy isis. by keeping an independent quasi state where we're disrupting and weakening the entire state system in that region,
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which is helping ice is more than anything else. and on top of that, the united states is building up a whole bunch of people of kurds and our errands, who are dependent on the us who are hoping the us is going to create an independent nation in northern syria. so that when we do eventually pull out which we will, they're going to be defenseless and they're going to be hanging on. the end of the helicopters are going to be asking us to take them to america. hundreds of thousands of them the same way they afghans are because they become completely dependent on us and they will, they will be thrown into prison either by the turks or by the syrian government as traders. let me, let me go to scott before we go to the break here. scott, reflect about what we just heard from joshua, cuz i completely agree we should get out of syria too. but we won't go ahead. scott: well, i mean we should get out of syria then the idea that we won't, i'll say is up for debate. yes. by look weak, but i think, you know,
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joe biden is somebody who is a realist and the same calculations that he put into getting out of damaged and apply to syria. you know, it's just going to devolve the writings already on the wall by and has the strength that the i think the resume to look at his advisors in the establishment said, hey, i warn you about this back when i was vice president award against the serge a warrant against doubling down on a field proposition. scott, so hold that thought, hold that we're going to go to a short break. and after that short break, we'll continue our discussion. what comes after afghanistan today with our team? the the the drug started as a way to come back, a great problem. what's the wonder?
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it's part of the attitude of the nation, not just of north dakota, and it got to be something that you could get elected. this time, the fight against drugs took a check. he told us that there was a competence short form. this is way too dangerous for him to be doing. clearly they put him in harm's way. a rural college student does interest get shot in the head and found in a river like that. something else had to be happening with me . and i make no, certainly no borders my teeth as emerge. we don't have authority. we don't actually the whole world leaves to take action and be ready. people who judge governors
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crisis, we can do better, we should be better. everyone is contributing each of their own way. but we also know that this crisis will not go on forever. the challenge is to response has been massive, so many good people are helping us. it makes us feel very proud that we need together in the welcome x across side, where all things are considered. i'm peter bell, to remind you we're discussing what happens after afghanistan. ah
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okay, scott, i want to go back to you before we went to the break you were talking about, you know, we, we will get out, we should get out of syria, but i mean, you see what's going on. there's a lot of pushback against fighting for his decision. of course, it's the optics of how we got out. i agree with joshua, these things are always messy, always will be towards the end. but i mean, this is an opportunity, but there are, there seems to be a bipartisan effort against him right now when he has an opening. i mean, what's good to give here? i mean, it's like stepping on the break and the accelerator at the same time. go ahead. scott. just point out the fact that the people who are articulating for us to stay in syria are the same group of people with same bill, so to speak, who articulated the necessity for us to remain in afghanistan. and so the debate is not an unfamiliar debate, and the people that are populated around biden, over advising them, are people who were there when obama received the same pressure,
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the same push back about that damaged and the understand what a policy disaster that was. so i do think that, you know, there, there will be a, a, a group of people surrounding by and who will push back against those who are pushing back on syria, meaning that i, i don't think that debates over yet. and i do think that joe biden knows what the right decision is in syria and understands that what the cost to america will be or continuing fail policy and in syria israel policy. so i, i think there will be a lot of push within the bi ministration to get out of syria sooner rather than later. maxime, one of the things in looking at the media coverage of it, again, this kind of scare mongering is that al qaeda is coming back. isis is coming back here, but it's never really reflected upon is that the, the us and its allies actually coddle isis in syria here. i mean, there's such a disconnect here and there. and it's so it's so propagandized here because i agree
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with, with joshua and with scott here. i mean, this is an opportunity right now, but there are plenty of vested interest the don't. i mean, as i said in my introduction, for 20 years, there was a griffin, i mean, a lot of people made a lot of money. and when the speaker was turned off, it all fell apart like a house of cards here. but there are still vested interest to keep the conflict going on in syria. and l t are supporting saudi arabia and yemen. we could go on and on and on. go ahead. maxine, well, i think there was a lot of skepticism in moscow over, you know, going to continuation of these policies, so trolling down in places where america perhaps in the drop down from the ben difference between syria. and i've got to use that one by from august on the united states have not left vacuum for another great power to fill it in. there is a vacuum of order that is not being filled up by the tall man, and we'll have to see what type of order they'll,
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they'll be constructing. and china may be jumping on a few of the opportunities for one, both long road initiative. but if the united states withdraws from syria, it make later the look and lack of for russia. and that's definitely not something that many people in to see would like to see. i think there's a lot of skepticism in moscow over the continuation of this policy. also, because there is a sense that the only things that american politicians truly care about is the domestic elections. and the, you know, the, what we're seeing right now. all these facts and fights between the republicans and democrats and within his credit party is really about the coming 2022 election. and those who are criticizing by his party are just trying to safe their own sack or house of representatives. so it does not have to necessarily, you know, act on other places where the united states is now present. no, joshua, when,
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when gerald ford was president, he witnessed the evacuation of saigon. he, his poll numbers dropped to me as a result, but months later, they lifted up again. i just have to wonder how much it's baked in here. you know, there's a big debate about how the us should proceed and interact with the taliban. how. what would be a realist way of doing it? okay, not a partisan one, not to score points against this guy or that party. what would be a realist policy in dealing with the present status quo in afghanistan? go ahead. well, it's quite clear that this new government wants to engage with america. they do not want the enmity of america. america still has leverage. we're holding that $10000000000.00 of further their there. there are an exchange account with a lot of aid is america can turn offer on much of a foreign aid and the attitude of europe towards afghanistan. so we hold some cards,
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but we have to do that realistically. we're not going to overturn this government. we're not going to shape the government in the future. this is going to be a taliban government. it's been very clear. but we do have some ships to trade with . and our big interest is that the policy on not caudal al qaeda as it did in its 1st round. and we know that the, the present head of state and was a foreign minister in the previous government leading up to 2001. and, and he defended al qaeda and, and we have to make sure that he does not defend al qaeda this time. and all of our efforts should be really focused on making sure that he understands that. and he does not do it. and then we will have, you know, if we can accomplish that single fact we will have accomplished our primary mission originally, which was to stop this al qaeda and the terrorism against the west. and that's,
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that seems to me where we should put our chips, not on changing the, the human rights nature of the hollow bond of changing that government. yes, got the same question to you. i mean, recognizing them doesn't necessarily give complete legitimacy as a lot of people make claim. i, i don't think that's necessarily true here. i get again, you know, i, i take the position of joshua and i get attacked, but i said, but what, that's the situation on the ground. ok. and that's the situation really as a result of 20 years of the last war. ok. what it would be a realistic approach to deal with the situation there because as i pointed out, talking with maxine, it's a regional problem right now. the taliban annoyed everybody. this is television to have to be careful with my language annoyed everybody between 96 and one. i don't think they want to repeat that again. go ahead, scott. well, 1st of all, i think we need to reflect that there's,
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there's reality and then there's perception the perception is that the telephone, telephone 2 point, oh, can we trust them? are they just an extension of one point? oh. and that's just stuff that plays well on tv. the reality is, every nation has been dealing with the for several years. the united states under brock obama engaged in detail negotiations with the taliban for the release of oberg. all that had the 5 senior child on release from incarceration. and these people ever become part of the doha negotiations. we've been negotiating with the taliban on the highest levels for many, many years to manage what has occurred here to manage the withdrawal of the us and the takeover of power and half can stand by the chat about this hasn't taken anybody by surprise. it's what we have wanted. russia has been working with alabama for years. there were the whole moscow, a negotiation take place. china has been working with taliban for years. iran has
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been working with the taliban. everybody has been working with taliban. nobody is being honest about this. the reality is to knows what needs to happen. what needs to happen is we need to recognize reality and we need to work with the taliban so they can do what they say they want to do. this interim government is designed to create a buffer between an organization has been engaged in 20 years of non stop war and help it transition to an organization capable of governing. nobody can do this overnight. that's what the interim government is designed to do. and we need to let them do that, and we need to be honest about what we have done with the taliban promises. we may do the taliban. the assurances we received from the taliban and lead a natural course of events proceed without as artificial perception. that somehow we believe that 2 point. oh is really just one point. oh the same people back and
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it's not. we know that we need to be honest, but politics is about optics. and as people pointed out, america's got an election coming up in 2020 to a critical midterm election. and when you're explaining your illusion. and the last thing a politician wants to be doing right now is explaining the american people. why were suddenly buddy buddy to tell him, i don't know that same a number of a number of people. again, realists believe that russia could play a very interesting, important intermediary role in dealing with afghanistan in the outside world. how, how engaged, as you think moscow wants to be in this very, very new moment that we have here an interim government here. would russia provide diplomatic services, you know, introduction, things like that? or is it basically hands off and wait and see what the, what the rest of the region wants to deal with? because wretched knows the region. well, i've, what i interviewed president is archive in. in cub boulle, i was astounded about how much so we'd architecture was still there. i mean,
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his presidential palace was the central committee of the communist party of afghanistan. ok. my point is russia knows a lot about janice, then what does what, what kind of role does want to play? and as it watches the events develop their you know, the resurrection race. it's not wise to put the car before the force and meaning you don't really want to jump for something important before everyone else. so i think right now moscow really as adopted the rather wait and see approach. but it does not mean it will be led by whatever other hours are doing is just wants to see whether the telephone are committed to delivering upon their own promises to moscow, which were given to their rational leadership back in july. and those are included in capsule, on the deliberately colleagues to essentially show that area to russia,
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hosting isis and allocate and other terrorist groups also provide the security of diplomatic missions and not spilling over the instability to neighboring central asia. right now, all of the 4 elements of all of the 4 commitments only one has been service, which is the security of the rushing embassy. and this is the primary channel. the moscow is now working with the top officer. we'll have to see whether the other 3 are honored. obviously, you know, the, the envoy spoke with, mentioned that there is no need to formally recognize or for religion of my stamp in order to be able to work around some of the important can jump in here. so it's early days. but there's a lot of that we've run out of time many thanks. so my guess in oklahoma city
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rancho mirage. and here in moscow and thanks to be worth for watching us here are to see you next time. remember, cross talk roles the ah, me, ah, the september the 11th 2001 day that reshape to the modern world. i remember watching the world trade center burn on a tv at to ca, and i was standing there like this just looking at it. and a colleague of mine was standing next to me and he said, my god, did they have any idea what they've done?
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we're going to kill everybody now. everybody, the, the live tv images promote the us into declaring its war on terror. begin to bomb up. can villages and holmes and get people hurt and, and kills the main goal of destroying terrorism and then was it achieved? yes and no. okay. to essentially no longer exists good for us. but there are certainly other terrorist groups that are worse than our back. kaiser's financial survival made the girl. i want to be central packed before going a problem. i know they stopped in
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the pacific leg around the world. expedition by 1000 ocean mile round the clock and the dead. every country close by like the crew cabins, food and one or 2 doors for us also. little thing is got everybody locked down or almost no food and no water. but really, i'm not sure somebody either stuck in the living
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like to see men of own, but in the 21st century, the off, the delays and sanctions pressure. russia finally completes construction on the controversial node stream to pipeline. it set to deliver low cost natural gas from siberia to central europe. a larger they did not. if you are not the medical need to know that these fascism on the weekend of the 911 anniversary r t looks at the lasting impact of the us led war on terror, we'll hear from a former guantanamo prisoners released after 14 years of local detention moscow says it has irrefutable proof that big tech has helped washing.

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