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It is now my pleasure to welcome Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski; he was the National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter. During his term of office, such major events took place as the normalization of relations with the People's Republic of China, the signing of the SALT II Arms Control Accords, the brokering of the Camp David Accords which brought peace between Egypt and Israel and the US Foreign Policy which for the first time put human rights at it's very core. There were also very difficult times during those years. This was when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, in 1979. It's when the Shah of Iran fell in an Islamic state, replaced the Shah, and it's when American diplomats were held hostage both in Tehran and in Islamabad for those of you who can recall both events. Dr. Brzezinski is one of the countries' most distinguished scholars. He is also a distinguished commentator on foreign policy on a range of National Security and Foreign Policy issues. He is currently a counselor and trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC and a professor of American foreign policy at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. And he is author of course of a new book "Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower". So tonight we are delighted to have Dr. Brzezinski join us to talk about the current administration and the two the president's two predecessors and their handling of the post Cold War era, so please join me in welcoming Zbigniew Brzezinski. I was lucky enough to serve with Dr. Brzezinski in earlier times when in easier times in fact, less in some ways less complex times, in those days we worried about strong states. We worried about the Soviet Union; we worried about a rising China, now in the post cold war era are we more focused on dangers that come from weak states? I think up to a point, you are right. I mean the world situation is much more chaotic. But beyond that something new is happening in the world which is very important and which America has to understand better than it does. Namely that in the last several decades, almost all of humanity has become what I call "politically awakened." That is to say, there are hardly any places in the world today in which one way or another the people living are not engaged in some political quests, some political desires or expressing some significant political dissatisfaction. So we live in a politically activated world. And that requires much more intelligent stewardship, a much deeper engagement, much greater sensitivity to human aspirations which here to for has been the case with foreign policy making. What role has the information revolution played in all this? Well, it's not so much revolution in information that's making the difference. It's much more the reality of interaction among people, the rapid dissemination of dissatisfaction, the ability of demagogues to mobilize emotions and almost a pattern of imitation in political mobilization or if you will in some form of radical democratic populism. So that's when there are demonstrations for example, which express dissatisfaction with the status quo or are against some grievance such as Tiananmen Square in China. They tend to be very similar to what had happened earlier with the university students in Mexico City or the restlessness in Nepal or in Kyrgyzstan or in Egypt or in Bolivia; tends to have some similar patterns of behavior, articulation, slogans, so the world is today politically active, whereas most of human history from most of human history, the world was politically passive. Let's look back at the presidents who managed this transition or in some cases, didn't manage the transition from the Cold War era to what one would roughly refer towards the information age, a world in which you do see these patterns replicate themselves, and ask you to start with the first, George Herbert Walker Bush, and talk a little bit about what his focus was and here was somebody who was trying to manage the transition of the former Soviet of the Soviet Union to newly independent state. Say a word about how he did. But first of all let me take exception again to the notion of the information age. That kind of implies that people are informed. The sad fact of the matter is people are not informed. And I include sad to say, most Americans you know, most Americans are not informed about the world. How many Americans know the history of Iraq? Well we happened to be deeply engaged. I mean if you want to go through a whole list of examples. I cite some in my book, for example, regarding geography. Large number of college entrants in the United States, according to a poll taken by the National Geographic Magazine, something like 70 percent of them couldn't find Afghanistan and the Iraq on the map. Something like 60 percent couldn't locate Great Britain. And listen to the next one, something like 30 percent couldn't find on the map, the Pacific Ocean. I mean it's unbelievable. Now, information age is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the age of political stirrings, passion, which of course the new means of communication can stimulate, but not by information. But in part by demagogy, in part by stirring envy, in part by sloganeering and so forth. Now to answer your question, President Bush Number One whom I call global leader number one, presided over the dissolution of the Soviet Union with enormous skill. And he emerged as a first global leader because the United States as a consequence began the first global power that was paramount worldwide. That has never happened before. And he handled the end of the Cold War extremely well. He also handled the reaction to Saddam Hussein's seizure of Kuwait very well. But he transferred transformed neither success into something enduring, something more visionary, something more responsive to this new global condition. And I think the American people in a way, mirrored his own failure of imagination. The American people were confused by the meaning of the cold - of the end of the Cold War. We didn't really have a clear notion how to interpret it. So I feel that President Bush Number One global leader number one, sent by omission, in that he didn't capitalize on the opportunities that he had, either to forge a new relationship with Russia or particularly in the Middle East, where he had an enormous opportunity after the successful war against Saddam Hussein, in which the majority of Arab states participated in our side, to forge assertively a peace and reconciliation between the Israeli and the Palestinians. He let that drift. Now he was fairly assertive insofar, I mean after Madrid, insofar as he he pressed Israel with respect to the settlement, he even cut off aid or threatened with the cut off of aid, I can't remember whether he actually acted on it or threatened it, with respective settlements. Tell me how he could've been more forward leader? Well the point is he focused on the negative, that is to say, making sure that the settlements are not expanded. Shamir at that time requested a $10 billion special grant or loan for Israel. He not only requested it, he immediately budgeted it in his own budget which is a little bit presumptuous and President Bush cracked down and said, "No way." If you don't promise to stop building the settlements you are not getting a penny. And he did draw the line on this and Congress supported him. And Shamir kind of held forth, but then he was voted out of office and his successor, Prime Minister Rabin then promised not to expand settlements; which indicates it to me in any case that if you know what you want to achieve you can use your leverage purposefully. But I think he had a chance to do more than that, he had a chance to really push for an acknowledgement, both by the Israelis and the Palestinians of the basic principles on which the reconciliation should be based. He didn't do that. To give him some credit, he may have calculated that he'll have a second term and that he would do it during the second term. But much to his surprise he didn't get the second term. I'm going to return to the Middle East later, but let's go back today the 91' Gulf War because there there was an attempt on President Bush's part to kind of reaffirm a norm of the sovereignty of states, the notion that you cannot invade your neighbor and without international community responding. Was that a time was that a moment in history in which it was terribly important to establish and reaffirm the norms that would guide the behavior of states weak and strong? Well yes up to a point, but what I think was more important was that when President Bush, global leader number one, undertook the action against Saddam Hussein, he did it within a wide ranging consensual context, and he had with him a huge coalition, and that is what gave that action enormous legitimacy and created a political opportunity which I regret was not exploited, because the majority of Arab countries were with us in that military action. That includes most people forget this, that included even Syria. There were Syrian troops on our side. So I think that was the real importance of what he did. Did you feel he should have gone into Baghdad? I am not sure he should have gone into Baghdad, but I think more of an effort could have been made to unseat Saddam because his army was in full scale retreat, demoralized, the military command was shaken, fearful and very conscious of the fact that Saddam have overreached, and I think if in that moment there had been more of an effort to convey that we'll wreck the rest of the army, destroy it, unless Saddam is forced to leave, he might have been forced to leave. One cannot argue that with total certainty,one will never know. Did you feel at the time take yourself back to 1991, did you feel at the time that an era of multilateralism had begun and that we would be that in fact that would become the norm or did you see it as a as a possible aberration and that we would be where we are today? Well I was quite concerned because, I have this on the record in writing, that we might fumble the opportunity at leadership, that we were too preoccupied with ourselves, not really prepared to take a hard look at the new obligations that we now confront, given the fact that we are the only super power. And I did express the fear in the early 90s that the era of American global leadership might prove to be much shorter than most people expect- given the sort objective advantages of America, militarily, economically, financially, technologically; but I was concerned already by 93' and I wrote about that in a book called Out of Control; that we may not have the basic, historically rooted capacity for exercising effective global leadership. There was another crisis during that period and that was the crisis in Bosnia, and that was a case where you could argue, because that was a war within a state, an existing state. George Herbert Walker Bush didn't act, do you think he was what do you feel he should havedone and when? I think that was a misunderstanding of the vulnerability of Yugoslavia. You know, part of Bush's leadership was very uncertain us to whether the disintegration of the Soviet Union should be encouraged. And I think there was lingering sense of uneasiness about the possibility of Yugoslavia also disintegrating when the crisis was set in motion. So at that stage, I think there was a tendency to hold back, but I don't fault Bush too much for that because there really wasn't that much time left in his presidency for that issue to become very serious. The real serious crisis developed when Clinton was already in office. Uh-huh. But we still we had streams of refugees that you could see during the Bush administration streams of refugees coming out having been brutalized, I remember the sense of surprise that there wasn't a stronger public reaction going back to your sense that that the public was not as is not as informed as it should be. Well, I think moving sort of speak a little bit forward, because I am not sure we have to be spending all our time in the first two years of Bush's global preeminence, and I think that was kind of a tendency also to feel, this is more of the European problem than the American problem. The Germans had a specific view on this subject so the difference and so forth, so it took time for the United States to galvanize itself to the over this problem. But in the end it did. And it was the United States under Clinton that it dealt with the problem of Bosnia and that of Kosovo. So let's so let's go to Clinton. And first of all, I mean here was the case, in the case of Clinton where he was faced with both Bosnia and Kosovo having and the Rwanda where he did not act, and in all three cases one could argue he did not know the public permissions that is to say, the public had not had a wide ranging debate of discussion and reach to consensus on our role in this post cold war world. At that moment, how important is leadership? Well, of course whenever there is a critical situation leadership is decisive because the leadership requires articulation of a goal, a sense of history and ability to mobilize support. So that is the test of a president in a moment of crisis. Clinton stood up to it, slowly, but he did on Bosnia and particularly Kosovo, but it took time and it required galvanizing the NATO lines, getting them to go along, but in the end I give him credit for dealing with Yugoslavia problem and articulate with the crisis in Kosovo and with the challenge opposed by ethnic cleansing. He did respond in the end. I give him credit for that, I also give him credit at the same time almost for deciding that Europe would be safer, if Europe was larger, if the boundaries of NATO and of the EU reflected the new post cold war realities, by the expansion of both institutions NATO and the EU eastward. So that's where he did well. Or I think he did not doing so well, is that he did not try to convey to the American people the extent of responsibility involved in the admin status of America's global power in relationship to the larger new global problems that increase in the reface, and which I related with with issues of social justice, personal dignity, post colonialism, global issues such as global warming and so forth. And there Clinton's posture was a curious combination one of determinism, kind if historical determinism almost as if he was a Marxist namely the globalization would solve everything. And the second aspect was a kind of self indulgence basically. Nationally, personally in the sense that preoccupation with the good life in America was what was preoccupying people, and what was determining the sense of feeling good but ourselves at that time, and as a consequence we didn't really bite the bullet in some issues, but we sort of relied on history to work in itself out in a Marxist sort of way. And on enjoying the kind of hedonistic definition of the good life, that maybe justified in contemporary America, but which makes it impossible to translate the essence of our society into a loud start for the rest of the world, because there is just a conflict between our way of life and the imperatives of global corporation if real social problems world wide that have to be addressed. That came to a head on the Bush, because Bush then rejected the kind of that you will Marxist determinism of globalization, but opted for something very different, a kind of an activist physical engagement against what he constituted to be the forces of evil, the collision between good and evil a kind of Manichaean view of the world Leninist rather than a Marxist in substance. And you know, the curious thing is that so much of Bush's post 9/11 policy was summarized by slogan that he used very often. And the slogan I am sure you all heard it, was if you are not with us, you are against us. Well bush didn't know that, but that was Lenin's favorite slogan and and Lenin Lenin used it to justify the argument that since the social democrats, Mensheviks were not with the Bolsheviks, he has the right to wipe them out because since they are not with us they are against us. So I think we have gone through rather interesting sort of series of transitions from one global leader to another that brings us to present. Well, as we care was we compare these global leaders we are we are shifting from one of just get our attention a little bit to what were called under Clinton: "states of concern," then toward the end in the second term of Clinton they became called "rogue States" and under Bush's first term they became the Access of evil. Say some thing about the handling why don't we sort of pick then one at a time, but also if you want to talk about to see the overall approach to it, trouble some of these, trouble some countries. Compare the handling of of Iran by Clinton to the handling of Iran by President Bush, the current president? Well I think they both handled it badly, friendly you know, under Clinton we had a Iran Libya sanctions act, and we had some rebuffs for attempts by the more liberal elements and the Iranian government to see the some sort of dialogue in the United States, but did not be contrived we similarly have the same under Bush, but with much more aggressive and antagonistic rhetoric in which Iran was defined as you suggested as part of the access of the evil, so this will moral dimensions was objected into it. But by in large I would say that in the different degrees we have failed to take advantage of the complexity of the Iranian society of the fact that the Mullas by a large don't represent the younger generation of the fact that underneath this external venue of fanaticism and fundamentalism of there is a society which is in many respects more advance, the most Muslim societies. If you taking to account levels of education access of women to higher education, more university students are females and males in Iran. A women vise-president of the country, I love the women in the professions, a kind of partial democracy in the sense of all elections and Iranian leaders do complete for votes. And some were in power who actually lost these elections which is unusual in countries where stage elections are done just for show. Rafsanjani is defeated for example. So we have come in to terms with the complexity of Iranian society and with its few political importance in that part of the world. Now the good of historical reasons for it, because of the breaking relations, back in the last 70's I was at the White House at that time. And maybe goes even further back to the era of Mossadegh, whom we overthrew and he was the first genuine and the popular leader of Iran so there was a legacy resentment there. That was 1953 I believe; '53 '54. Iran is also or has been one of the most pro American populations. This young population - is quite for western. Which direction are we are we seeing that going on. I suspect you had been told to put the mike closer. Are we seeing that sustained or we seeing that perhaps going in a different direction? In Iran the pro American view? Well, it's very hard to gage. My sense is from all the reports one gets from that; the younger generation indeed is frustrated with the kind of and equated and chronistic lifestyle, that they will know us want to impose. And it is fascinated with the many factors of American life, and they know from past experience, from the experience of many of their relatives, that thousands and thousands tens of thousands of Iranians used to study here to the benefit of themselves and to their country. So that is the fact which we should not discount. But it is also a fact that this blanket condemnation of Iran, this continuous description of it as a member of the access of evil and say you know, the worst offend there is the sponsorship of terrorism and so forth has tended to create a fusion between the ruling fundamentalist elite and even the younger generation, because they are very nationalistic. The woman who received the Nobel Prize for literature, I forgot here name, - the Iranian lady "Shirin Ebadi. " Yes, exactly. You know, she was greeted by thousand and thousands of people when she returned to Tehran from Stockholm, when she received the Nobel Prize and were she try to interfere by police and so forth, because she is in a way of symbol of the liberation of Iranian women and of Iranian society, which she said not a long ago, if the United States undertakes and attack on Iran, we are all going to fight till the last men and women. And I think we have to be very careful, not to fuse Iranian Nationalist and with Iranian Fundamentalist. And I don't think we have been sensitive enough to that problem. That is in a sense a normal response. Any nation would respond in that way, would it not if the fields under attacked they tends to unite. Well, that's right. If it feels unjustifiably attacked, now there are sometimes regimes which are so unpopular that some sort of military action against them initially brings out clarification. I think one could make a possible case that at least for quite a few Shiaist in Iraq and quite a few Kurds in Iraq, the initial phase of the war against Iraq was actually producing rectification except in this larger sense that we overstayed, over brutalized, and wrecked the country the process. Jane Wales: Before getting to Iraq which we will, let let me Before getting to Iraq which we will, let let me just hold on to Iran for one moment. You were an advocate were you not, during I would say, during the 1990's of engagement with Iran. If taken the view that just as we isolated the Soviet Union and and that in the worst of times that the right approach to Iran was to engage it and to draw it into the international community. Am I am I remembering correctly? You are basically right. And actually that goes back many years to the strategy which I advocate it and helped to shape visa with the Soviet Union. I always argued that peaceful engagement with the Soviet Union was the best method of political warfare designed ultimately to undo the Soviet Union; because I was convinced that the regime had many weaknesses and have a good develop extensive relationships with it. You cam begin to capitalize in these differences, and setting motion forces on behalf of pluralism the ultimate will undo the regime but that requires if the degree of out accommodation in order to make it possible. And I feel the same way about Iran, I think that that we had persisted, well I have to correct myself if we have adopted such a policy in a consistent fashion we would do better, I feel the same way incidentally about Castro's Cuba. I am no admirer of Mr. Castro, but I think we will do much better in procuring the ground for political change in Cuba if we had a policy of active peaceful engagement with Cuba in a broad scale thereby creating the policy for significant political change once this seeds we plant begin to sprout. That's what happened with the case of Soviet Union, that's how solidarity came into being in Poland, and we should be pursuing that policy to Iran but we have a rather different policy, which is military settlement, repeated threats, intense sanctions, isolation, ideological denigration abuse, and may be even some covert activity to boot. And in the process, are we strengtheningthe hand of Ahmadinejad? Well that's exactly the point I am making that it does we were not pursuing a consistent policy of without peaceful engagement we are making an easier for fanatic, and rather primitive not who Ahmadinejad is- you know, to become a great popular tribune and I don't want to envidious, but I think there are some rather prominent political figures in this country whom Ahmadinejad finds useful and they find him useful and there is a kind of settle in their relationship between them. I really like that, I will let that ripples through the audience. Have we held on the right level, no, no lets go back to Clinton's administrations of pre before we have an access of evil speech out there. We do was reference on Rafsanjani, we didn't deal with the constituently most a senior member of that, government the supreme leader. Should Dr. Zbigniew Well there was a time when the president, Iran was Hatami he was more liberal, there was a time when they so called supreme leader was certain better than the original Homanie Khomani was the next one slight different pronunciation of the name. Now we basically adopted with ILSA, The Iran and Libya Sanctions Act, the policy of across the board excursing of Iran which I think was a mistake. And would it be possible now, not so much for government leaders but perhaps for religious leaders for for others to reach out tothe supreme leader when we were in this moment of I am not sure about the possibility of reaching out to supreme leader at this stage, because in that complex interpolate domestically in Iran dealing with us in the present circumstances and maybe risky for the people involved. So I think right now unfortunately this is not a very good moment for that, but that not with standing, I think we should be more opened to serious negotiations with Iran and on that issue I do have this specific concern, namely that we have adopted a position on a very important issue and a very sensitive issue namely Iran Nuclear Program, that we will not negotiate with them while they are enriching uranium. Now the fact of the matter is they are enriching right now on the level of five percent which means that its not weapons grade uranium, but they could go up to 95 percent rather rapidly at some of the stage. We are saying you have to suspend enriching before we negotiate with your bunch of nuclear program, the problem with that is they have a right to enrich and that the non proliferation treaty. So we are saying in affect them before we negotiate with you, you have to make you know, lateral concession regarding your own rights for the privilege of negotiating with us. I think that's a formula for non negotiations. I think under the circumstances what I would like to see us do is say something like this, we don't want you to enrich even if on the 25 percent, because we know and you know, that in the process you are gaining the capability to upgrade your enrichment and to take the more important and more ominous step in the future. So we want you to stop. But if you were just to stop as a concession for the sake of these negotiations we are prepared to lift a number of sanctions that we have adopted against you, as our concession. So that there is a good protocol, I think under those circumstances it might be easier for the Iranians to accept, they wouldn't feel they are loosing face that they are making unilateral concession and perhaps some serious negotiating process would start. And that negotiating process I think could then take advantage of some thing very important which most people don't really notice. Which is a very basic difference between the attitude of the North Koreans and of the Iranians to the whole nuclear issue? The North Koreans say we have a nuclear program. We have been weaponising, we have weaponized we have nuclear weapons, now what about us? That's for the saying in effect. The Iranians have said some thing quite different to us, they are saying we don't have a weapons program we just have a nuclear program which we need for the future of energy in our country, for which they have case their oils is going to run out in by 20 years. We have a neutral program but not a weapons program. Secondly, we don't want to have weapons, third our religion forbids us from having nuclear weapons. Now I am not saying we should believe when they said that, and the contra we should be suspicious, and we can say to them, look that's sounds very nice, very nice we are very impressed by these wonderful assertions But you know, we sort of suspect you might be lying, and so lets talk seriously about establishing mechanisms that will reassure us that what you say is true that you have a nuclear program, but you are nor weaponising you don't indent weaponized, and your religion for busy to weaponize. So let's find a formula which makes that technically possible, but you need to negotiate on that and you have to have time for these negotiations. This is not an issue which is going to be worked out quickly, but if we have to take that position, but in a setting also greater opener what I call peace of engagement, I think there is at least a reason of both chance that it might work. I am not going argue categorically that it will but I do not that we are not doing it and I think that's a major shot coming of our posture. The there was an offer by the Russians to provide nuclear fuel for power to the Iranians and exchange for the Iranians to agreeing to return he spent fuel so that they wouldn't reprocess it from nuclear weapons. They turn that down. Give us your views on that. Well, let me ask you, how would you feel if some one said to us that the Russians have their nuclear fuel and, let us have the location from time-to-time. The point is sovereignty you know, this is not an arrangement which leads the Iranians in a setting of sovereignty it has to be some arrangement which takes in to account their right to have the program which other countries have. A lot of countries around the world are enriched in uranium, and Israel and the Middle East has not signed MBT and is reliable reported to have about 200 nuclear weapons. So any arrangement that is contrived as to take all of that into account and finds some formula which I think is possible to envisage with additional inspections and perhaps some special arrangements regarding the techniques that are used to enrich, to give the Iranians the nuclear program to which they are entitled under international arm, but with the safeguards that give us assurance that they are not weaponising. Now in the long run it may end up with the Iranians being a little bit at the Japanese. Now the Japanese are part of the MBT trade, they have more plutonium than any body in the world. They have not a nuclear power but if they had to be a nuclear power they probably could become more fairly quickly. But that's not such a disastrous arrangement if it takes time to get there, and if in the mean time a lot of political change takes place in Iran. What if we were to learn that Iran felt it needed nuclear weapons for security reasons or put the question different put this differently, how this one assure of the security of Iran? Are there collective security arrangements it could evolve in that region? Well, I would think that would be part of any real progress if these negotiations are seriously pursued, because if you put yourself in their issues they have some legitimistic reason for being concerned. You know, Henry Kissinger once said that, he sometimes describe it as a paranoiac, but he says Washington is a place quite sensible to be a paranoiac. Well, if you look at the map and you know, Iran and you have American forces in Iraq, Americana forces in Afghanistan, American forces in the Persian Gulf, some American presence in Azerbeijan and if you look at what we was saying, and if you look at we have been doing. Yes, may be you are concerned for their security. But, if they were to go for nuclear weapons there is also the question whether Israel has it the deterrent that's reliable and gives it protection? We were threatened by the Soviet's for many decades. We lived in the brink of the war which could have killed scores of millions scores of millions of Americans, probably more than a 100 million in six hours. And we could at the same to the Soviets. And we accommodated the reality that the Chinese have built their weapons. The Israelis have nuclear weapons, they can destroy all of Iraq in no time. So, they do have a deterrent. Now, if the Israelis say and they have some justifications saying this, we are a small county, only a few Iranian bombs will destroy us, therefore our deterrent of 200 bombs is not sufficient of a deterrent to maintain stable deterrence. If they really mean that when they say that, then they are saying something else additionally, namely that their deterrent is not a reliable deterrent in terms of their own self protection, in which case it might be very smart to say, we will give up our nuclear weapons subject to you know, international confirmation if the Iranians abandon any program that has the possibility of weaponizing. So you so you imagine that a nuclear free zone is possible in the Middle East? Well, I am not saying it's possible. But if the Israelis are really convinced that they cannot allow Iran to have any nuclear weapons, even though they can wipe Iran off the face of the Earth, and hence they don't believe in deterrence. And then they should consider what the South Americans did. You know, Brazil and Argentina were at one point, kind of in a semi-race to have nuclear weapons. And then they concluded that they weren't buying security by that. So they reached an agreement for in effect the regions denuclearization, something similar but in a different way as taken place in Africa. South Africa had a nuclear program more than that. Apertheid South Africa had a number of nuclear weapons. In the late 70's South Africa and Israel conducted a joint nuclear test in the atmosphere. And yet South Africa gave up its nuclear weapons, terminated them, thereby creating in effect in Africa a nuclear free zone. So that's not that they entirely dismissed, in other words, what I am trying to say is there are lot of more sensible opportunities of dealing this problems than simply muttering how many there from time to time. All options are on the table and hinting that we are going to bump the hell out of the Iranians, which probably does not incline them to be more accommodating. And which probably would produce consequences which were to make Iraq seem rather a modest challenge and would focused on for years and years to come simultaneously in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan with the result that we could literally kiss Americanglobal leadership good bye. And along with that American Security while you describe that - But you are describing an optimistic world in which you have before you got the second half. I like the first half in which you imagined Mandela Nelson Mandela like leadership in the Middle East as you look at the Middle East today, where are the leaders? Well I don't see them and this is why I think any next president of United States beyond 2008 and we will have to really make a major effort to generate American leadership regarding the three sort of centrally the stabilizing issues in the Middle East, the war in Iraq, the uncertainty with Iran, the perpetuation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In different ways each one is breeding dynamic in stability, threatens the region with growing radicalism, and the last but not least and their minds of American position in their region, in a region which is a vital importance to us. Say something about first before getting to Iraq. Just say something about the conditions under which the situation with Iran could spiral out of control. It could in part because there are fanatics in Iran, Mr. Ahmadinejad has given plenty of examples at least rhetorically of the quality of his mind in so that's obviously a source of concern, there are some people among those groups in this country whom we call the new accounts, of whom there are some administration, whom seem to think that who to be would be a good idea to take military action against Iran, but beyond that there is the reality of an ongoing conflict in Iraq, and a military conflict is by definition, a dynamic unpredictable escalating reality which can produce incidence, collations, provocations that cant get out of hand. Take for example an event with which we are all familiar, the incident involving the British sailors about a month ago you remember the resist in international wars so the British reclaim and they were taken to Iran and incarcerated. Suppose the 17 British sailors have not been British sailors, but American marines and suppose they haven't been so willing to be taken to prisoner, but had resisted, and suppose the president went on the tube in the evening and said to all of us that Iranians have massacred, 17 American marines in international wars and that he is ordering a retaliatory strike, not against Iranian nuclear facilities that would be well proportion, but suppose he has simply said he is ordering an attack on the naval base once the Iranian gun boats came and then ceased or killed in this case, a pathetical case in the American marines. I think most Americans would endorse that I would endorse it. They did that to our people yes iw doing say bombing that facility killing some Iranians there destroying their boats would be the proper retaliatory response. But that would be not be the end of it. Within weeks or maybe even days there would probably be some Iranian countermove, there were plenty of opportunity, they could do something to us in Iraq more overtly they could do something to us in Afghanistan where they have been helpful to us. They could perhaps send out some speed boats to attack some of our ships with torpedoes in the Persian Gulf or maybe just hit a tanker in the Persian Gulf, and they often escalates, and then we could find ourselves in the war with Iran sometime they had this year or the next year and that's my big fear. Because I am convinced that any next president of the United States democrat or republican is going to end the war in Iraq, in part because most rational people have come to realize that it is not a war that we are winning incidentally the new so called SAR4 Iraq general Lute testified today and he said in effect that they we are not winning, very interesting comment. It's a war we are not winning it is getting worse and the American people don't want that war to continue. So the next president will not be president unless he is elected in the support of that message so he will end it. But he will not have that chance if the war in Iraq escalates and absorbs Iran but if that doesn't happen then the next president will have to address but we talked about already Iran, and he have to address the Israeli Palestinian problem, because those two problems continue to Western and each of them threatens in different ways to get out of hand. So Al-Qaeda has a real interest in our having our violent conflict with Iran? You are absolutely right, and they have said so openly. Al-Qaeda has said openly that they would like to have a USIranian conflict because it will simply make the whole region much more violent and in fact will force the Iranians to help Al Qaeda which so far they have not been doing. But once they engage in a conflict with us they probably by the sure dynamics of the conflict would the factor become allies. Can we inoculate on I am still an your scenario of this escalation can we inoculate ourselves against it in essence by against this provocation leading to an escalation by in essence predicting it, by declaring it in advance, that we are two great powers or two great nations, two great societies, however you would want to describe us obviously Iran is not a great power, but it is a great civilization. They will not be they will not allow its fate to be driven by the acts of criminals or extremists. Well I have to up to a point yes you can do that, but I don't have to appoint because a war has its own logic its own unpredictability's. But if we were now example more actively engaged in an on going negotiating relationship with the Iranians, which could embrace not on that the nuclear issue but which could embrace also the issue of security in the region, some discussion of what security arrangements it might to emerge once we disengage from Iraq. Then I think we will have some buffers, some buffers that would kind of absorb some of those risks but we don't That you will be interested that the general Anthony Zinny in the west part of the series and he argued that in fact a collective security arrangement in the region was possible one that engaged Iran that's interesting since as been focused. Well I agree, I agree with that and I feel strongly that is now interest to be further in such a dialogue, because in different ways and for different reasons every single one of the Iraq's neighbors knows that once we leave and they want us to leave, at once we leave if there is an explosion in Iraq, they will be affected because it will still over for either sectarian or ethnic or what are the reasons to them, because each of them has some sectarian and ethnic problems. So in that sense if there was a process of examining the security issue and of contemplating what possible arrangement could be contrived that - that would help to reduce the risks, the risks that we have been talking about. With respect to Iraq you would, I think many commentators speak of it as though there were civil war that would definitely be contained with in the borders of Iraq, and that the worst case scenario is that they will continue to fire with in the borders of Iraq and exhaust them selves. Are you suggesting that a worst case scenario is more likely to be a cotangent? No, I don't actually believe in the worst case scenario. I think it's avoidable, but one has to try to avoid it. But I don't believe in a kind of modern day equivalent of the dominos that was the argument pertaining to a war in Vietnam. And the dominos at the end did not fall. I personally think that we could work out a scenario in which we would disengage and in which simultaneously with the process of disengagement that would occur a kind of the regional accommodation on what steps different countries would take to minimize the fall out, that the situation within the Iran within the Iraq after a while would stabilize in all probability on the basis of a Shi'ite domination perhaps not very attractive in terms of democratic standards and probably based on the leadership of those with whom we have been really been quite prepared to negotiate seriously, but they are the ones who are out side the green zone and who actually have physical power at their disposal. And therefore they will be able to govern. But we have to be willing to talk to all of them and this has been some thing that I have been urging in Washington. That we begin serious talks with Iraqi leaderships, not just the ones in the green zone but with Iraqi leaders within the green zone or out side of it including Sistani, Hakim and Al sad who has a strong devoted to him, well armed military about what will follow once we agree jointly on a date for our departure and then leave. While in the process also participating in these regional talks about creating containment regional containment for any eruption that might follow at least initially after our departure.