UP WITH CHRIS HAYES
November 25, 2012
Guests: Hussein Ibish, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Steve Cohen, Heather Hurlburt, Tarek Masoud, Reza Aslan, Eli Lake
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: Hello from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Preliminary reports suggest shoppers spent $11.2 billion hunting for
holiday deals on Black Friday, which is slightly down from the $11.4
billion spent on the same day last year. And Egypt`s judges are calling
for a nationwide strike to protest the nearly unlimited power President
Mohamed Morsi granted for himself on Thursday. We`ll be talking about
Morsi`s power grab later in the program.
Right now, my story of the week. What we are doing in the Middle East.
The good news in the Middle East this week and good news from the region
can sometimes seem in short supply. Is that Hamas and the Israeli
government reached a ceasefire agreement to stop the escalating violence
between the two that left six Israelis and 168 Palestinians dead in the
course of the week.
Upon the announcement of the ceasefire, Gazans streamed out into the
streets to celebrate while Israeli public opinion was decidedly cooler
towards the news. One poll showed that 31 percent of Israelis approved of
the ceasefire while 49 percent were opposed. Though Hamas paid a heavy
price during the bombardment, the destruction of main government buildings,
the death of its military commander Ahmed al-Jabari as well, as according
to estimates over 50 other fighters and an unknown amount of munitions
destroyed in bombings was also able to point to the ceasefire as a concrete
The text of the ceasefire reads in part, "Israel should stop all
hostilities in the Gaza Strip, land, sea and air, including incursions and
targeting of individuals." That means no more operations like the one that
killed Jabari. And Israel is to commence, quote, "opening the crossings
and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods and
refraining from restricting residents free movement and targeting residents
in border areas and procedures on implementation shall be dealt with after
24 hours from the start of the ceasefire. That is widely seen as a
commitment to loosen the onerous restrictions Israel has placed on all
movements of people and goods in and out of Gaza.
In other words, if it holds, and that is definitely a big if at this
moment, it will represent a net benefit to the estimated 1.7 million people
living in the Gaza Strip. For example, Israel has already reportedly eased
restrictions on fishermen in the waters around Gaza, allowing them to go
twice as far out as they could before the latest hostilities.
Now, human rights organizations and Palestinian groups and members of the
international community have been calling for easing of these restrictions
since the effective seizure of Gaza was first initiated in 2006, and after
international pressure in 2007, and again in 2010, reforms were made. But
after firing roughly 1,500 rockets at Israel, at its civilian centers and
killing six people, Hamas can then turn around credibly claiming that their
military tactics worked, that they brought about a change in Israeli
policy. And this is not the first time that Hamas has emerged from a
violent confrontation with Israel with a concrete policy victory.
In 2006, Hamas kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and held him for more
than five years before the Netanyahu government through back-channeled
negotiations secured his release in exchange for the release of 1,027
Palestinian prisoners. Now, you might say this isn`t a perfect world and
realpolitik requires dialogue with Hamas, even negotiations with them when
it is called for. And I`d say you are absolutely right. But it also
requires the same with respect to the body that represents Palestinians in
the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Authority. And the posture of the
Israeli government towards the government of Mahmoud Abbas, a posture
either explicitly endorsed or tacitly tolerated by our own government makes
for an extremely disquieting contrast.
Now, as head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas has renounced
violence, even used the security forces of the P.A. to go after militants.
He accepts and recognizes Israel and its right to exist. And God, he`s
even gone so far in recent interviews to more or less admit the
Palestinians would concede their right to return to the land they or their
families held before 1948 inside what is now Israel. In return for this,
he has seen basically nothing, except for the continued settlement growth.
When Abbas took over the P.A., there were little more than 250,000 settlers
established in settlements in the West Bank. Today, there are 350,000.
Assume, for the sake of argument, for a moment, that Hamas targets Israeli
civilians not solely because of some unalterable cult of death, but that it
also adopts this as a tactic, however morally abhorrent, to achieve certain
aims. This idea that terrorism is a tactic adopted by certain groups at
certain times was articulated by a young state senator at a book event back
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THEN-STATE SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) ILLINOIS: Ultimately, terrorism is a
tactic. It`s not -- we`re not fighting terrorists, we are fighting people
who engage in terrorism. But, have a whole host of rationales and excuses
for why they do this and to the extent that we can change this sense of
opportunity in many of these countries and we can change the manner in
which we function in these countries in more positive, proactive ways.
Then we are not going to eliminate terrorism entirely, but we are at least
going to be able to make more of a dent than if all we`re resorting to is
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Though you are unlikely to hear the current incarnation of Barack
Obama articulate this point of view, I happen to think it`s pretty sound
analysis. And so, the question is, what message is the Israeli government
and the U.S. government that supports it sending when it makes choices that
result in Hamas being able to point to its many victories and leaves
Mahmoud Abbas and his government totally impotent and humiliated, roundly
viewed as feckless and failed.
And here is the lesson, as far as I can tell. If you recognize Israel, if
you are credibly committed to non-violence, you will get rolled,
marginalized, undercut and left looking like a loser. But if you fire
rockets into the heart of Israel, if you kidnap their soldiers, well, then
they will negotiate and adjust their policies. How perverse is that? And
believe me, everyone I have talked to on the Palestinian side, sees this
disparity. In fact, none other than Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal
explicitly cited Abbas`s sorry situation in an interview with Christiane
Amanpour on Wednesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KHALED MESHAAL, HAMAS: Mahmoud Abbas, whom the world welcomed, he gave
this opportunity to Israel and to the international community. What did
they do? They made him fail. They let him down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And allowing this to continue and refusing to pressure the Israeli
government to take concrete steps towards peace in the West Bank, such as
stopping all settlement growth, they are turning a blind eye and turning a
blind eye while unarmed protesters in towns like Budrus and Abi-Sala (ph)
are imprisoned, tear gassed and in some cases shot and killed by IDF
soldiers away from the eyes of the American cameras, with no condemnation
from our government. We in the U.S., are creating the conditions in which
terrorism, the great evil we have pledged ourselves to vanquish, brings
strategic benefits, while the path of non-violence leads to a dead end.
What a sorry legacy for everyone involved in helping this come to pass. I
want to bring in Congressman Steve Cohen, Democrat from Tennessee; Katrina
Vanden Heuvel, my colleague of "The Nation" magazine, where she is editor
and publisher; Hussein Ibish, senior fellow of the American Task Force on
Palestine, she advocates for a two-state solution; and Heather Hurlburt,
former special adviser of President Clinton, former member of the Clinton
State Department foreign policy planning team, now executive director of
the National Security Network.
This is my take away from the a set of incentives that have been created in
the region. Hussein, I`m curious.
HUSSEIN IBISH, AMERICAN TASK FORCE ON PALESTINE: Yes.
HAYES: As someone who is a very outspoken advocate for a two-state
HAYES: If this is how you see things as well?
IBISH: I think, yes, to some extent.
HAYES: You are free to disagree. I`m not ...
IBISH: I`ll tell you where I do -- did disagree, and minorly, with some of
the things that you said. I think overall, your analysis is correct. The
incentives structure that has been created does, certainly, encourage
Palestinians to think that negotiations, diplomacy and cooperation with the
west and Israel are a dead end and that all the P.A. has to show for its
efforts are not being able to pay the salaries of public employees which
they pay in both the West Bank and in Gaza except, you know, from two
months back. And Israeli settlement actively continuing and all of that.
As you said, they have little to show for their general approach of trying
to reach a negotiated agreement. I`m not sure that Hamas has actually
achieved much in this ...
HAYES: Yes. They claim they do. We should distinguish those two.
IBISH: Right, and I want to say that the agreements with Israel regarding
easing of the blockade and with Egypt regarding easing of the blockade are
very vague. They are being negotiated today. I mean, there`s an agreement
to negotiate things about them, which are continuing today in Cairo. They
may be temporary. They may be very, very limited and they may never
materialize at all. What Hamas has gained is, first of all, a certain
diplomatic breakthrough. The emir of Qatar went there before this
happened, and while it was going on, the prime minister of Egypt went
there, the foreign minister of Turkey and the foreign minister of Tunisia
went there. The prime minister of Turkey may go, also. In other words,
what Hamas has been able to do is kind of break out--
HAYES: International recognition.
IBISH: Yeah, break out of its diplomatic cage a little bit. And that`s --
that`s the benefit. The other thing, is that this is a benefit to the
people, the Hamas factions in Gaza, who are fighting an internal power
struggle with the external leadership that used to be based in Damascus and
is now dispersed all over the place. So I think for different factions in
Hamas, they`ve achieved things politically for themselves. The people of
Gaza maybe in a sense of euphoria, but there`s going to be a hangover.
IBISH: When the dust settles. And when they bury the dead and count the
costs. And there ought to be, as there was, after Cast Led in 2008 and
2009, a clear contrast with a much better situation in the West Bank. But
today there isn`t one. And that`s the tragedy. And that means that Hamas
might actually be able to spin this into a long term political benefit for
HAYES: The inverse and the counter argument to what I just made is ...
HAYES: Would you rather be living in Gaza or the West Bank? Correct? In
some ways ...
IBISH: Well, it still would be the West Bank, without question.
HAYES: That`s -- that`s my point!
IBISH: But, here`s -- here`s that`s not really the question that`s being
asked, OK? Because everyone is living under occupation. The question that
Palestinians are being posed is would you rather rot slowly under a kind of
collaborative capitulation in the West Bank ...
IBISH: Where you try to cooperate and get nothing for it, or would you
rather go down in a blaze of glory for God and country, you know, with all
-- all ...
IBISH: You know, and with -- under the rockets red glare? People faced
with a choice like that will, generally speaking, prefer the second.
They`d rather go down in a blaze of glory. So what they need is to be
provided a third alternative, which is ...
HAYES: Constructive engagement.
IBISH: Yeah. Progress towards freedom, independence and the improvement
of quality of life through negotiations and diplomacy. We`ve got, by the
way, a U.N. bid coming up. How Israel and the United States and the rest
of the west ...
IBISH: ... react to that is going to be a huge role in determining how
this conflagration plays out in the coming months.
HAYES: Let`s talk about that. Congressman, I`m just curious from your
perch in the United States House of Representatives, how you observe these
-- observe the violence in Gaza and the administration`s very forthright
and clear support for the Israeli government taking steps to - to -- in
their words defend themselves.
REP. STEVE COHEN, (D) TENNESSEE: I`ve been to Israel twice as a
congressperson. Once with basically an AIPAC sponsored trip, and once with
a J Street sponsored trip. Very different in who you met. Now, I think
that - one thing I think about is a long time ago, Elie Wiesel discussed
the President Reagan going to Bitburg. And he said he looked around the
world, and if he was looking today - I looked at the Congo and I looked at
Afghanistan and I looked at Syria and I -- all despair. But despair can
never be the answer.
You always have to have hope. And we still have to have hope, and the
problem in the Middle East does -- appear to be despair. But I think the
problem is and I don`t know how you get around it, this president has to
try to bring about some type of accord. Is that Netanyahu suffers from the
same problem that Romney did, they see the world only from their
perspective. And it`s from their view, and they don`t see the greater
world, the greater world being what`s -- the numbers and the population and
the future. And they are not prepared for it. They are hunkered down.
And Israel cannot remember -- continue to be hunkered down and survive,
because they are going to be outnumbered by ...
HAYES: They have been outnumbered for a long time. And I think there`s a
lot of fear that the tumult of the Arab Spring is only greater - created
IBISH: Fortress Israel.
COHEN: Iron Dome was beautiful. And that was President Obama, the United
States helped fund the Iron Dome.
HAYES: Iron Dome is a missile defense, this sort of rocket defense weapon
system that was able to shoot down rockets that were ...
IBISH: 85 percent accuracy at best.
HAYES: Hold on one second. I want to talk more about this and about what
the U.S. government can do to bring about a two-state solution, if that is
actually the stated aim, right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let`s understand what the
precipitating event here was that`s causing the current crisis. And that
was an ever escalating number of missiles that were landing not just in
Israeli territory, but in areas that are populated. And, there`s no
country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens
from outside its borders. So we are fully supportive of Israel`s right to
defend itself from missiles landing on people`s homes and workplaces and
potentially killing civilians. And we will continue to support Israel`s
right to defend itself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s President Barack Obama back on November 18th in Thailand
talking about the escalation in Gaza. And I think what that highlights to
me is the fact that the U.S.`s role in the region is ostensibly -- it has
two roles. One is, obviously, Israel is a great ally, there`s tremendous
domestic, political support for a strong relationship with Israel. At the
same time, it is also supposed to be the kind of neutral arbiter, the
mediator in the region that is going to bring this about. And it seems to
me that we don`t do a very good job playing both of those roles, and those
two roles are in tension.
HEATHER HURLBURT, NATIONAL SECURITY NETWORK: Well, those two roles have
always been in tension, they`ve grown more in tension at the time. You had
eight years of an administration that really gave up on try to play the
arbiter role, at which point the fig leaf kind of came away. The
administration did a great job, actually, tactically playing both of those
roles in, you know, in a way that they haven`t done at all during the
first-term sending the Secretary of State out to be the arbitrator while
the president can give the Defender of Israel speeches like that. Now,
that`s a tactical solution that doesn`t get anywhere near the long-term
structural problem that it isn`t the same Middle East that it was five
years ago. And what do you do instead? How do you serve both the long
term interests of Israel, especially when maybe many Americans don`t see
Israel`s long term interest the same way Israel`s ruling party does.
HURLBURT: And the U.S. long term interest of having better relationships
with Egypt, figuring out, you know. No one -- we are not talking about the
hundreds of people who died in Syria ...
HURLBURT: ... over the time of Gaza. SO, we`ve got a long term -- you
know, the administration did a great job on the short term, but we`ve got a
long term problem that our political system won`t necessarily let us figure
out how to deal with it.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, THENATION.COM: I mean I do think -- picking up on
what Heather is saying, I think this crisis poses an ultimate test for the
Obama administration in regard to the recent transformation in the Middle
East. I mean you see it in the fascinating relationship between President
Obama and Mohamed Morsi. Two pragmatists trying to find a way to mediate
this immediate conflict. You see it against the backdrop of an Islamist
government in Turkey, you see it against the backdrop of surprising riots
in Jordan, which will cause increasing problems.
So you have that changing environment, which you know far more about. But
the Arab street needs something different. They will -- cliche -- these
governments now need to be more responsive to their people, so that is an
opening through a different relationship. And the president -- no American
president is going to criticize, I would argue, Israel`s launching of this
But it is an opening for our relationship with Egypt, with Turkey, to
implement a ceasefire that will monitor arms-smuggling Gaza, that will
monitor Israel`s relationship, but overarching all of it, and this is such
-- it`s such a painful issue to discuss. And anything we say on this show
is going to be criticized. Overarching ...
HAYES: You think?
VANDEN HEUVEL: I do, I do think.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Overarching all of it is a history. Going back at least to
`67, of the United States role, maybe, you know, but the United States
role, as the enabler, as the political, diplomatic, economic, military
enabler of an Israeli police, who`ve got in many ways, and a younger
generation is seeing Israelis that is not in the long term benefit of the
security of the country. And I would make one last point. I would -- I
urge your viewers to try and watch an Israeli documentary called "The Gate
Keepers," which is an extraordinary documentary. It`s interviews with six
former leaders of the Shin Bet, Israel`s internal security service who
argue yes, the Palestinians have committed acts of terrorism, but largely
due to Israel`s failure to deal with the political causes of the
Palestinian problem. And that in replying to those causes, Israel has
committed acts of terrorism. These are the hardened forces who are
worried about the existential, moral future of Israel that they love.
HAYES: But just -- here is the thing. Here is the thing. It seems to me
that with regards to the American involvement with the conflict, as it`s
referred to in the circles of, you know, essentially conflict industrial
VANDEN HEUVEL: Yes.
HAYES: A massive institution that I ...
VANDEN HEUVEL: Some of us resemble that.
HAYES: Some of us --
HAYES: But the point is that it seems to me that the whole thing is
essentially on a road to nowhere. That basically, the policy after the
initial confrontation, essentially between the Obama administration and
Netanyahu government over a settlement freeze, right?
HAYES: Since that moment, the American policy has basically been, look,
we`ve got our hands full and we are just going to kind of let it go.
IBISH: Here is the fundamental conundrum. That -- that the government and
the entire policy community of the -- consensus of the policy community in
Washington has faced for at least a decade. Because the consensus voice
has thundered force. It is a vital American national security interest to
have a two-state peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
IBISH: But, it says, after a semicolon, "we cannot want that more than the
HAYES : Right.
IBISH: Now, this is an oxymoron. OK, this an absurdity. Can you imagine
anybody getting up and say, it is a vital American national security
interest for Iran not to have nuclear weapons, but we cannot want that more
than anybody else.
IBISH: And we have to decide which part of that sentence, divided by that
semicolon, is not true. Where have we been kidding ourselves? Is this a
really, a vital interest of the United States, in which case, we have to
want it more, when we have to throw our weight behind it and tailor our
policies around it, with less deference.
HAYES: What does that mean?
HAYES: To throw away - honestly, in a concrete sense, but what does it
IBISH: Look, in the concrete sense it means not letting the Israelis drag
us into overreacting, for example, to Palestinian diplomatic moves at the
U.N. It means understanding that we have a choice here. That the
Palestinians are facing a choice between the P.A. and the PLO, the
leadership in Ramallah. And their strategy of negotiations and diplomacy
versus Hamas` strategy of armed struggle and confrontation. And that we and
the Israelis play a huge role in determining how that goes. One of the
reasons that Hamas is maybe able to spin this into a huge and lasting
political victory, unlike last time ...
IBISH: ... unlike in 2008 and 2009, is the lack of contrast with the West
Bank. And the reason for that is that western aid, American and European
aid has been cut in half. And half of that, the American half is being
held back now, so the P.A. can`t even meet payroll, let alone build schools
and roads. And then there`s no functioning peace process. So what it
means is confronting people.
HAYES: Steve, I want to hear how you view this politically, how you talk
to your constituents about it right after we take a break.
HAYES: Talking about the aftermath of the violence in Gaza and the
ceasefire. I want to make one sort of fourth wall note here about who is
sitting at the table and the way this discussions happen and booking.
Because, obviously, that anytime you talk about this topic, people look
with a very careful eye, rightly, about who is the participant -- who are
the participants of the conversation. Last week, we had Palestinian
Americans and an Israeli and a member of the Jewish community sort of in a
broad global Diaspora sense.
And one of the things I want to try to communicate to folks, and I think
this is something that`s taken me awhile to come to recognize. It`s that
Americans have a stake in the conflict, even if they are not Palestinian,
even if they are not Israeli, even if they are not Jewish. But we do have
a stake in the conflict. And the reason we have a stake in the conflict is
because we are quite embedded in the conflict, in the actions of our
government. And I think that sometimes, there`s a certain kind of
exhaustion that comes over American citizens. I understand that
exhaustion, which is just like, oh, they are killing each other again or,
you know, this kind of, you know, it`s never -- it`s interminable and I
can`t get in there to kind of adjudicate who is right and who is wrong and
who started it, and these kind of questions.
But I think it`s important for folks to recognize that like the rest of the
world talks about this conflict a lot, cares a lot about this conflict, it
has an incredible strategic importance and also moral importance. And also
importance for just, if you are someone who cares very deeply about our
relationship with Israel, for instance, which is a large part of American
population, evangelical Christians, American Jews and others. It`s -- you
know, how this plays out in the next few years if we really are on the road
to nowhere or a road to a really horrible end. That`s going to be a
problem, too. So I just want to make that point. And I guess that gets me
to you, is someone who, you know, is going to go -- run -- he`s going to
run for election in two years and has to get elected like, do you get a
sense that there`s anyone who cares about this conflict from a political
standpoint other than the groups that are obviously very, very invested in
COHEN: I think mostly, it`s the groups. I mean my Jewish constituency,
most of which was taken out of my district by redistricting care strongly
about it, understandably so. And the African-American community, which is
the predominance in my district, you know, I think it`s a mixed feeling.
But I think a lot of people relate with the Palestinians as being the
underdogs and being denied rights. And they see in some ways analogies to
the struggle for civil rights. So it`s a mixed bag.
But it`s part of this whole agreement we`ve got to come to on the budget,
and part of the budget that some people want to have cut out is foreign
aid. But we are the world`s number one country. And as the world`s number
one country, we have certain obligations, not just for trade and commerce,
and all, but for humanitarian reasons. And there are things going on right
now in Goma where we need to be involved in a humanitarian -- major way,
because it`s -- what`s happening there is awful. But we have to be
involved. And it affects the whole Middle East. When I travel through the
Middle East, and all the leaders there say that what happens between Israel
and the Palestinians will determine the rest of the Middle East
relationships to Israel, which is potential for war, Armageddon.
HAYES: Heather, I`m curious, if we, I mean, how much the U.S. posture
matters? If we are over interpreting or I`m over interpreting how much
U.S. posture matters. They say, oh, you have to get tough on this or that
and really, there`s just not a lot that can be done.
HURLBURT: Well, I was in the Clinton State Department and Clinton White
House the last time when there was a really serious, major effort to reach
a deal that fell apart at the end. And the thing I would say to you, is we
do not matter as much as we did in 1999. We are not the only dynamic that
determines whether there`s peace or war between Israel and the
Palestinians. And I would push back a little bit on what Hussein said
while not taking away from the U.S. responsibility. You know, you put up
those numbers at the beginning of the show. Almost half of the Israeli
population thinks they did not go far enough in Gaza. Neither Hamas nor
the P.A. has a lot of popular support.
People in the region are disgusted with their government options. It`s not
all clear to me that either side would have the legitimacy to make a peace
deal stick if we somehow, you know, did, as you suggested and somehow got
engaged and managed to force the leaderships to get --
HAYES: This is -- this is the specter I worry about, which is that there`s
like an institutional set up. There`s like -- the U.S. government says we
are for a two-state solution.
HAYES: That`s always the official policy. Then there`s a set of NGOs and
institutions and groups, all of whom say they are for a two-state solution.
From, you know, the Task Force on Palestine to AIPAC, right?
HAYES: Everyone is for a two-state solution. There`s no constituency for
an actual two-state solution, and it`s like moldering middle.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But that`s not true. That`s not true, it`s wrong.
HURLBURT: Constituency for it, actually, then they are continuous to be
among both Israelis and Palestinians. The just don`t see their own
government institutions or, frankly, our government institutions being able
to get there.
HURLBURT: So f you want to fix it, what you have to do is deal with the
legitimacy problem and the institution problem. First, instead of saying,
OK, let`s go to final status negotiations tomorrow.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But there were also international efforts. There have been
over the years. Not just the idea that the U.S. is number one, I think,
is the wrong approach, with all due respect. Because I think part of the
problem, the United States foreign policy.
VANDEN HEUVEL: The United States should be first among many. But if you
don`t build regional power and international security institutions, it`s
very difficult to build a more peaceful world. So there have been efforts
like the quartet.
VANDEN HEUVEL: The United States is not the only one who should be playing
a role in the region. But we are forgetting another thing. The tragedy,
it seems to me, is that you have at this moment on the Israeli political
stage one of the most hard right governments in Israeli history. And if
you had a different government, one that didn`t expand settlements as Vice
President Biden was landing in the country ...
VANDEN HEUVEL: ... or have one, in which Benjamin Netanyahu is not the
most right wing -- I recommend to your viewers to read Ariel Sharon`s son`s
statement about what the Israelis should do to Gaza, comparing it to
flatten it like the United States flattened Hiroshima, or the understanding
- and I`m sad about this because I go to Russia a lot, that the Russians
who`ve come to Israel like Lieberman ...
VANDEN HEUVEL: ... have driven the country even further to the right. So
there`s a lot of work to be done there. But I would say, that working at a
magazine as I do, that fought for the creation of the state of Israel,
pushed President Truman who didn`t want to, that to -- the care for Israel
is -- is, there are many Jews in this country whose voices aren`t being
heard because AIPAC remains the right wing, I would argue, kind of Likudnik
American voice, has not been -- has not met a counter voice from J Street,
which is a new group, which first endorsed Congressman Cohen. You need a
sense of range of Israeli voices, which we are not hearing right now in
Israel because of the nationalism and when you have war.
COHEN: Because people --
VANDEN HEUVEL: But you see -- you were in Budrus ...
VANDEN HEUVEL: There are people like Noam Sheizaf (ph) ...
VANDEN HEUVEL: There are people like others.
COHEN: He was here last week.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Who was here last week. They want a different kind of
Israel and they are trying to fight for that moral--
HAYES: I want to ask if -- whether the relevance of the conflict, which we
talk about ...
HAYES: ... is so central, actually is no longer the case in the kind of
new post-Arab Spring world right after we take this break.
HAYES: There`s is a certain theory that I think was popular in Washington,
D.C., foreign policy circles. I was never clear on whether it was actually
rooted in reality. But basically, the theory went like this, you know,
dictators in the Middle East and the Arab world, essentially use the
Palestinian conflict as this kind of proxy pressure release valve, in which
the anger at them, at their own injustices and tyranny is focused on there.
And that now, in the midst of the Arab Spring, in the midst of the great
upheaval and tumult, that the salience of this, as the central issue in the
region, has declined and everyone can just muddle along, you know, fighting
their own battles, in the case of Syria where 40,000 civilians, according
to estimates have been killed.
HAYES : Do you think that`s true? Do you think the salience has
diminished, and maybe this, I mean, now, I`m trying to make the case to
Americans that we should care. Now, I`m making the opposite case ...
HAYES: ... which is that it doesn`t matter that much.
IBISH: But actually, both are true at the same time. In other words, this
issue has been cynically exploited by virtually every Arabic government
that`s been involved with it from -- before the creation of the state of
Israel. But that doesn`t mean that it isn`t the issue that Arabs across
the board, across generations, across genders, across religions, across
geographic face, across class lines care about the most. It`s the prism of
pain through which they view international relations.
Now, it is true that the Arab Spring has focused attention on Egypt, then
on Libya, then on -- now on Syria. And the Palestinian issue hasn`t been
dominating the front pages of the Arab newspapers the way that it has. But
that doesn`t mean that it isn`t the great back story. That it isn`t the
fundamental prism that Arabs view their relationship with the rest of the
world, with the west, with the United States, with the global order. It
still is. So while it receives, sometimes, as the most urgent issue, it
never goes away as the most important one in the Arab mentality.
HAYES: Heather, if you could wave a magic wand and create a magical space,
in which the U.S. could do whatever, forget political constraints
domestically. What would you want to see the Obama administration do? If
the Obama administration is committed to a two-state solution, if we are
committed to a genuine peace process that is heading towards some end
point, what would you like to see the Obama administration do in its
HURLBURT: Put in the resources to build real, legitimate Palestinian
popular government that would be an irresistible partner. And that is both
really doing the things and not necessarily with Abbas, by the way, but
helping Palestinians work through who is the successor to Abbas and the
P.A., who is actually legitimate and talk to Hamas. Not work with Hamas.
Not necessarily hug Hamas, but talk to Hamas. Do that. Because I don`t
think there`s a magic wand you can wave that solves the Israeli side.
HAYES: Do you think the American government should be talking to Hamas?
VANDEN HEUVEL: Yes. So did the former security leaders--
HAYES: Oh, there is -- there is plenty of constituencies in Israel, I
think, for that.
VANDEN HEUVEL: No one`s maybe -- no one`s mentioned Iran. I think because
there is a few that in some ways what we have seen in the last weeks is a
dry run. Both in the sense of testing the military equipment, testing the
antimissile facilities ...
VANDEN HEUVEL: But also in Netanyahu testing Obama. And I think what we
have seen is the president really pushing back. I mean, we don`t know the
full story. But the back channel here is that the president said to the
Israelis, no deployment of land forces.
VANDEN HEUVEL: And in that, perhaps, is a signal that there maybe a
toughness now the President Obama is reelected, on Iran. Because that is
the great conflagration in the Middle East we want to avoid.
COHEN: But Iran is the great problem. But you`ve got -- one of the ways
to resolve it, I think, is to have allies throughout the Middle East.
VANDEN HEUVEL: I agree.
COHEN: You`ll get your allies by dealing with this issue and by dealing
with this issue you might help Israel with Iran. And then the big picture,
this is more for Israel`s benefit, the two state solution, than it is for
even the Palestinians.
IBISH: By the way, on both of those issues, Obama and I think you
characterized his attitude correctly, had great support from within the
Israeli defense and securities stuff.
IBISH: They do not agree with Netanyahu about a world ...
HURLBURT: We`ve seen that openly.
IBISH: They do not agree with the idea of a ground -- and they didn`t
agree with the idea of a grand invasion. There`s a split between demagogic
politicians who get a lot of votes in Israel ...
HURLBURT: And the realists.
IBISH: And the people who are responsible professionally for the security
and defense of the state of Israel. That`s something the president can
really work with. And it`s also, by the way, something that the Israeli
opposition, if it ever got its act together, could use and has not.
HAYES: The power grab in Egypt and what that means for you as policy in
the region, next.
HAYES: We have been talking about the role the U.S. can and up to play in
the changing Middle East. For decades, the main Arab conduit, through
which the U.S. has conducted policy in the region has been Egypt. And for
most of that time, American leaders could rely on a steadfast and
unshakable ally, a faithful steward of American interest in the region,
Hosni Mubarak, or the Pharaoh, as his critics called him.
Mubarak, of course, was ousted in 2011. And the man who replaced him,
Egypt`s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, has remained
largely a mystery to western leaders. Their suspicions about him run the
gamut from tool of the Islamists to ineffectual political naif. But as he
emerges now onto the world stage, amid the crisis in Gaza, Mohamed Morsi is
confounding all those expectations and turning out to be one of the most
fascinating political figures in the world.
Morsi rose to power somewhat accidentally as a back-up candidate for the
Muslim Brotherhood, who ran for president only after the party`s preferred
standard bearer was disqualified, earning Morsi the nickname "spare tire."
Since then, Morsi has navigated Egypt`s Byzantine politics with surprising
savvy, overcoming the opposition that includes military rulers, who sought
to thwart the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.
When Gaza was plunged into crisis by fighting between Israel and Hamas last
week, Morsi seemed to confirm the worst fears of some in the west when he
dispatched his prime minister to the region to express solidarity with
Hamas and condemn Israel. A week later, however, Morsi proved instrumental
in brokering a ceasefire earning glowing praise from non other than
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I want to thank President Morsi
for his personal leadership to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and end
the violence. This is a critical moment for the region. Egypt`s new
government is assuming the responsibility and leadership that has long made
this country a cornerstone of regional stability and peace.
(END VDIEO CLIP)
HAYES: Morsi surprised even the most cynical observers of the Middle East
politics and was said to have impressed President Obama with his pragmatism
But then, the very next day, Morsi turned around and he unilaterally
claimed for himself virtually unlimited powers in Egypt`s government,
declaring himself above judicial review and insulating the body that is
writing Egypt`s constitution, which critics fear is dominated by Islamists,
from any sort of challenge.
Morsi declared that "The president can issue any decision or measure to
protect the revolution." And that "the constitutional declarations,
decisions and laws issued by the president are final and not subject to
Morsi insists the powers are only temporary and will expire when a new
constitution is drafted. The State Department, which had just openly
praised Morsi, responded delicately saying the decree "raises concerns" and
calling for all parties to work together to resolve their differences.
Morsi`s critics were considerably less tame. Protesters thronged to Tahrir
Square to declare the revolution in jeopardy. Judges called for a
nationwide strike. And Mohamed ElBaradei, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
and an important figure in Egypt`s revolution said that Morsi had shed his
old nickname in favor of one familiar to most Egyptians. "Morsi today
usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt`s new pharaoh,"
ElBaradei wrote on Twitter. "A major blow to the revolution that could
have dire consequences."
I want to talk about those consequences right after this.
HAYES: We are talking about Mohamed Morsi, the leader of Egypt, the first
democratically elected leader who gave a somewhat stunning declaration this
week, arrogating to himself nearly limitless power and he`s now caused some
uprisings again in Tahrir Square.
Joining me now are Tarek Masoud, associate professor of public policy at
Harvard University`s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Reza Aslan,
author of "No God but God: the Origins, Evolution and Feature of Islam.",
and adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relation. Also Heather
and Hussein back at the table.
Tarek, let`s start with the context of this. I find the process by which
politics is negotiated in the absence of essentially constitutional law
fascinating because right now, Egypt is operating in this post
revolutionary environment, in which there`s no letter of the law, of what
the constraints on the state are, am I correct?
TAREK MASOUD, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Not only as -- well, you are sort of
correct. I mean, Mohamed Morsi gets to decide what he law is.
HAYES: Right. Yes. That`s right.
MASOUD: I mean, he is both the executive and the legislature in Egypt. So
he gets to actually issue amendments to the temporary constitution that
governs Egypt right now. And that`s what he`s done so far.
Now, there are a bunch of people that are supposed to be writing a more
permanent charter, but those people have been selected by an Islamist-
dominated parliament that is now dissolved. And there are bunch of
Islamists. And so, the liberals are feeling very much that the
constitution writing process is not going in a direction that will produce
something that all Egyptians want. And so, they have found that their
closest ally in the apparatus of the state is this judiciary, right?. And
so, the judiciary has taken steps all through this, you know, post
revolution period to kind of limit the Muslim Brotherhood and limit Morsi`s
power. And his declaration is basically an attempt to say to the
judiciary, listen, stop this, I`m in charge and I`m going to determine how
the process goes from here on now.
HAYES: You -- you have done your academic work on the Muslim Brotherhood.
HAYES: And my sense is that you`ve spent a lot of time there, maybe you
have met Mohamed Morsi?
MASOUD: A bunch of times.
HAYES: Yes, so.
MASOUD: Spent a lot of time with him.
HAYES: Has Morsi`s development as a leader -- I mean there is -- to me,
there`s -- and this is not my point, other people have made it. There`s a
kind of Putinesque quality, right? Which is that when Vladimir Putin is
named everyone is like, who is Vladimir Putin, and the next thing you know,
Putin is like running the show and proven remarkably adept and also quite
vigilant in suppressing dissent, and I wonder if that seems like a sort of
noteworthy parallel to you, or there is differences that are important to
MASOUD: Well, there`s something I really like about your question, which
is that we are talking now about Mohamed Morsi, and we are not talking
about the Muslim Brotherhood, right? Lots of people look at what Morsi has
done and they say, this proves that political Islam is completely
incompatible with democracy. No, this just proves that Mohamed Morsi, who
is now President of Egypt, is acting the way Egyptian presidents have acted
HAYES: Sadat and--
MASOUD: For 60 years.
MASOUD: So that`s clearly - there`s something clearly about this
institution of the presidency that, you know, you know, endows those who
occupy it with this feeling that they should be running the show and it
should be -- they should brook no dissent.
REZA ASLAN, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: But here is the difference,
though, now. Is that while these kinds of decisions could be made by Sadat
and Mubarak and any kind of dissent against them could be brutally
suppressed by the military or by the state regime, this time, what you are
seeing is precisely what we want to see, which is a flowering of a public
discussion, sometimes violent, but oftentimes not, in which these very
important issues about the role of government in society, the role of
religion in government are being had for the first time in the public
realm. And that`s a huge step toward the kind of hopefully open democratic
and freer system that we want to see in Egypt.
IBISH: But this can`t be viewed as a positive development in that
direction, this particular constitutional declaration, because it has two
key features, article two, which says there`s no review. There`s no check
and balance. No judicial review, no court has any jurisdiction over any
decision Morsi makes or has made--
IBISH: And any decision made against the decisions he has made that are
already issued are annulled. And worse, the real meat and potatoes, I
think you are right, in the public discourse it`s all about the judiciary,
the prosecutor general and who is in charge. And it`s being packaged that
way. The meat and potatoes of this is article six, which says the
president may take any measures necessary to defend the country and the
goals of the revolution. Now I can`t ...
IBISH: What it means is, anything. Because he can do anything. It means
he can do anything.
HAYES: Anytime you hear the phrase, like take whatever actions necessary
to defend the revolution, that`s like -- that sort of sends off some
IBISH: So he`s more than Nasser or Sadat or Mubarak. He`s more than a
dictatorial president. He`s at least an absolute monarch, if not a god.
His word is law. Well, who has a check and balance over him?
ASLAN: The issue is how does he actually enforce this?
HAYES: Yes, that`s a great question.
IBISH: That`s a different question.
ASLAN: So you know, unlike the Mubarak regime, where the way that you
enforce it is by shooting everybody, that`s an option that Morsi doesn`t
HAYES: Is that true that he doesn`t? I mean that`s the big question,
right. He`s got the security forces, the military and the security forces
which are slightly different things are those in his corner enough? And
this is important.
MASOUD: Certainly, the military is, we -- I don`t know if the military is
in his corner or not. They have been silent so far. We certainly know that
the police have been doing his bidding over the last couple of days of
IBISH: That`s right.
MASOUD: .. in a way that`s very distressing to those of us who saw, you
know, all political forces unite to sort of end police brutality. To see
this happening. Now, I would say one thing that we should keep in mind.
Look at Morsi`s declaration.
MASOUD: One thing he didn`t do is he didn`t say I am resurrecting the
parliament that this judiciary dissolved, right? Well, in fact his
spokesman apparently said that they are not going to do that. And that to
me further confirms the notion that this is really about him consolidating
the power of the presidency ...
MASOUD: .. and not necessarily about bringing back all these democratic
HAYES: I want to hear your thoughts on how the U.S. -- how the U.S.
navigates this very treacherous terrain and whether we are heading towards
a kind of Mubarak 2.0 relationship in the wake of the Gaza ceasefire.
Right after we take this break.
HAYES: Hello from New York, I`m Chris Hayes here with Heather Hurlburt of
the National Security Network; Tarek Masoud, associate professor of public
policy, Harvard`s John F. Kennedy School of Government; Hussein Ibish from
the American Task Force on Palestine; and Reza Aslan from the Council on
We are talking about the remarkable events in Egypt, which continues to be
one of the most interesting places on the globe politically. Because it is
this intense post-revolutionary environment.
And I want to read, you know, it was one of the most eventful weeks, I
think, in Egypt since the revolution. I think it`s fair to say this week.
And in the region since the revolution because of it. And Mohamed Morsi was
part of, you know, sort of along with Hillary Clinton was doing this kind
of shuttle diplomacy around, negotiating a ceasefire in the hostilities
between Israel and Hamas and Gaza.
And the ceasefire agreement actually makes Egypt, essentially the enforcer
of the agreement, quite remarkably. Egypt shall receive assurances from
each party. So Egypt is -- Egypt shall receive assurances from each party.
The party commits to what agreed upon, each party shall commit itself not
to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any
observations, Egypt as the sponsor of this understanding, shall be informed
to follow up." So Egypt is the ...
IBISH: So they didn`t negotiate with each other? Each one negotiated with
HAYES: With Egypt, right. So Egypt -- so Egypt played the central role.
And it does sort of call to mind the central role that the Mubarak regime
played in this, and that we are essentially coming out of this week in
which the combination of that and then Morsi declaring himself these broad
powers looks like a recreation of the American-Mubarak relationship.
HURLBURT: This goes actually, back, Tarek, to something that you said,
that it`s a recreation of the imperial Egypt. Or the pharaonic Egypt, if
you want to use the cliche.
HAYES: Which I didn`t use.
HURLBURT: Yes. Be it noted that I am the one who went there. But, that
the U.S. needs Egypt to play that role, and Egypt wants to play that role,
has been trying to play that role unsuccessfully with respect to Syria, has
been trying to recapture in diplomacy what the revolution did recapture in
the Arab popular imagination. So this is a place where U.S. interests,
Morsi`s interests, and ironically Israeli interests, because, in fact, you
have some on the Israeli right who say great, let`s make Gaza Egypt`s
problem forever. So there`s a funny way that everybody`s power dynamic
goes the same way here.
HAYES: That`s very interesting. To recreate this sort of stable
relationship. But of course, the big dissenters from that are the people
in the streets of Cairo and the population of Egypt, which had just toppled
the government that was playing that exact same role.
HURLBURT: It goes back to your Putin question and what I thought of when
Hussein was talking before, because the point is here, Morsi`s Putin, he`s
not Stalin. So this isn`t Mubarak. You -- we are not going back to
Mubarak. But, at the same time, we are not proceeding to sort of
Switzerland style or British style constitutional democracy, and American
policy is going to have to juggle both of those things.
IBISH: Quick thing about this. Number one, I thought it was inevitable.
And Saturday before last, I predicted that Egypt would play this role,
because everybody would need Egypt to play this role, and Egypt would want
to go back to playing the role that it always played, because Egypt has
changed CEOs and they have a CEO with a new ideology, but it has the same
national interests, the same options, the same challenges. One of the
crucial things is to be the mediator between Hamas and Israel and not to
get sucked back into Gaza, to be the guarantor of the arrangement, but not
the custodian of Gaza. That is very important.
HURLBURT: Good luck.
IBISH: The other thing, though, about this decree that I want to mention,
which is a sleight of hand, I think, that is being used to make it, to
sugar the bitter pill for the Egyptians is they are being assured this is
all temporary. It`s until there`s a new constitution and a new elected
parliament. And until and until. However, temporary is always permanent.
Every single Arab state, including Mubarak`s Egypt, every Arab state that
oppresses people uses temporary --
HAYES: Mubarak of course had emergency laws on the books for--
IBISH: Israel uses old British emergency laws from 1945. And Hitler never
suspended the Weimar Constitution. He`s never abrogated it. He suspended
it for four years, beginning with the Reichstag fire. And every four years
until the Soviet army overran Berlin. So temporary is permanent. It
means, this is the way it is until you force me to lose any bit of it back.
MASOUD: In all the cases Hussein is talking about, there`s a marriage
between the coercive apparatus and the dictator. In this case--
HAYES: Explain what you mean.
MASOUD: In other words, you had the army ready to crack heads if people
didn`t like your temporary situation.
HAYES: The army remains remarkably -- we should all remember the context
here. Which is the security forces, their number one enemy for year
essentially were Islamists, the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi did time in
prison. Everyone did time in prison. They were tortured. The security
forces have an institutional memory of essentially finding, spying on, and
imprisoning and beating the same people who now run the place.
IBISH: The top two generals in the army, right? They are beholden to him?
MASOUD: We are confusing a couple of things. First of all, the army is
different from the security apparatus. The animating ideology of the
security apparatus is not anti-Islamism, it`s serving the presidency. And
we see them doing that right now. What I`m talking about is that we do not
know that he has the army behind him.
HAYES: It was the army`s defection from Mubarak essentially--
MASOUD: Why did they defect from Mubarak? The deal between the dictator
and the army is, look, you let us do our thing and we`ll allow you to do
your thing, as long as the situation doesn`t get out of hand. The
situation got out of hand. The army came and said, OK, we are protecting
the revolution. There`s no reason something like that couldn`t happen
ASLAN: As long as it doesn`t jeopardize the funding coming from the United
States that goes to the military. One of the many things that I think we
should not be -- we shouldn`t exaggerate too much what this decree is going
to do. We are already talking about the death of democracy in Egypt. It`s
because of a conversation I had with a revolutionary very early on in this
process. I asked, I said, look, are you afraid that with the military
still in charge, that we are just going to go right back to the same kind
of dictatorial process that Egypt has had for 40 years?
And she said to me, I`m not afraid of that, because we know the way back to
Tahrir Square. We have to remember that it was only a year ago that Egypt
was an oppressive dictatorship. We are in the middle of what you just said
perfectly, the competing interests of a post-revolutionary Egypt, that are
playing themselves out both on the streets, in the military, in the
government. We are a long ways from a place where we can throw in the
towel and say, well, the entire democratic process was a complete waste of
time. What we are seeing is what we want to see.
HAYES: Here is the most fascinating thing about this to me from the
perspective of U.S. policy, which is in the context of the U.S. policy post
9/11, which has been first the rubric of the war on terror, war on
Afghanistan, war in Iraq, and now special forces JSAC (ph) operations and
drone strikes in probably about six different countries, all of which have
Muslim majorities or have -- some of which have Islamist regimes. Right?
In all of that context, right, we are now finding ourselves with our
possible chief ally in the region, other than Israel, being the first
democratically elected president of the Muslim Brotherhood, democratically
elected of Egypt who is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and there being
this fear amongst people, I think secularists, liberals, Christians in
Egypt that now America is tilting toward sort of pro-Islamist posture.
That this is actually a genuine fear in Egypt and parts of the region after
the ten years that we have just had. It`s just a remarkable turn of events
to me, given the context of what the war on terror looked like and how it
was understood in these sort of broad clash of civilizations language that
you`ve written about.
HURLBURT: Chris, two things, one is that is the logic of power. It`s
nothing more or less than that. Second, the crazy thing about it is both
things are happening at the same time. This administration is pragmatic
enough to work with folks who are legitimately elected. At the same time,
as our political system is still so crazy, that you can run for president
and come fairly close to winning saying oh, you can`t bomb your way to
victory in the war on terror but you can`t talk to Islamists. So we have,
this is a fundamental brokenness in our political system that`s going to
prevent us from being very effective on either.
HAYES: Hold those thoughts. I want to hear from both of you right after
we take a break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices
to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them. And we will
welcome all elected peaceful governments, provided they govern with respect
for all their people. This last point is important, because there are some
who advocate for democracy only when they are out of power. Once in power,
they are ruthless and suppressing the rights of others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Sort of eerily prophetic statement by the president in his Cairo
speech, famous or infamous depending on who you ask, Cairo speech of June
2009. But, you know, the Muslim Brotherhood was a huge agitator for
opening up the system, right, and they fought the regime and they fought
for democratic rights.
HAYES: Partly. But they were partners with secular liberals and others
who were fighting to open up the regime. And now, we find them in this
position. I`m curious, what misunderstandings do you think we have about
what the Muslim Brotherhood is that guide our policy as we sort of enter
this new --
MASOUD: That`s a great question. One thing we constantly see in terms of
reporting on the Muslim Brotherhood, we fetishize this group as this very
tightly organized -- if you want to know when to discount a particular
story on the Muslim Brotherhood, you find a phrase like I talked to the
Muslim Brotherhood, or the Muslim Brotherhood thinks or the Muslim
Brotherhood believes. This is actually a very diverse organization.
People will often point to the fact that on their English website, they say
one thing, on their Arabic website they say another. And they say that`s
double talk. No, that`s because it`s different types of people.
HAYES: Different people, right, yes.
MASOUD: Now, they are clearly rallying behind the president in this time,
because he`s one of their own. But to come back to a question you asked
earlier, which is about, why is it that people in Egypt feel that the
Muslim Brotherhood now is in bed with the Americans. How can they think
this? It`s as much about sort of what people think about America as it is
about what people think there of the Muslim Brotherhood.
It is important to know, every promise the Brotherhood made after the
revolution, they have actually broken. They have given some good reasons
for it, but they said they weren`t going to run for the presidency, they
ran for the presidency. They said they were only going to run for a third
of seats in parliament, they ran for the whole thing. So you can forgive
people for thinking that the Muslim Brotherhood would also go back on its
storied resistance to American hegemony.
ASLAN: But again, that`s a good thing.
ASLAN: The thing about politics, is it has the ability to both moderate
ideologies, radical ideologies, and also, it has the ability to sort of
call out the extremes, in a sense.
ASLAN: For the first time, these guys have the opportunity to present
their ideas to the public. They swept the parliament not so much because
of their ideas, but because for many years, they were the only viable
HAYES: Sure, right.
ASLAN: They were seen as sort of incorruptible. But now we know the way
that politics can corrupt even someone like the Muslim Brotherhood. And
people are starting to realize that what is governing Egypt is now
different interests, not so much ideologies.
IBISH: That`s true, except that also true is that politics can empower
ideologues and authoritarians, bring them to power, and then they don`t go
IBISH: We have seen that a lot. I think, you know, while it`s true, the
Muslim Brotherhood is diverse, and if you look at the guy who runs their
Twitter feed, he is very moderate, compared to their supreme leader. And
somewhere in between is Morsi. So there is a range, but they all have, at
a minimum, a strict majoritarian view of what politics looks like, in other
words, majority rule and what we would call the tyranny of the majority.
They don`t understand individual rights and rights of citizenship at all.
They understand the right of majority to rule. That, maybe.
HAYES: I want to thank Tarek Masoud of Harvard, John F. Kennedy School of
Government, who dissented from the last point, but we have to go. I`ll
have you back on to reply. Hussein Ibish of the American Task Force on
Palestine. Reza Aslan from the Council on Foreign Relations. That was
really a great, informative discussion. Thank you so much.
The bizarre and absurd Republican attack on Susan Rice right after this.
HAYES: If you asked me a couple of months ago to guess the Obama
administrative official who the Republicans would target next, I would have
given you a dozen names, but U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice would not have been
one of them. Mainly because she is, from the perspective of mainstream
American foreign policy, with all that entails, one of the least
controversial figures in this administration.
Rice was a Rhodes scholar. At 28 years old, she joined President Bill
Clinton`s Security Council, and within a few years, became the youngest
ever assistant Secretary of State. And in January of 2009, Rice was
unanimously confirmed by the Senate as the United States ambassador to the
United Nations. During her almost four years on the job, she`s earned
bipartisan praise for deftly pursing U.S. interests, including passage of
resolutions that imposed strict sanctions on Iran and North Korea.
"New York Times" reports that White House aides say she is favored by
President Obama to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. But
Rice`s substantive record doing her job doesn`t seem to matter much to
Senator John McCain. What matters to the Republican from Arizona is that
Rice went on television in the days after the deadly attacks in Benghazi,
Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, and
repeated the information the CIA provided at the time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: Susan Rice should have known better. And if
she didn`t know better, she`s not qualified. She has a lot of explaining
If this select committee, if appointed, clears her of any wrongdoing,
besides not being very bright, I would do everything in my power to block
her from being the United States Secretary of State.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I suppose I understand the Republicans feel the administration
hasn`t paid a sufficiently high political price for the Benghazi attack.
But it seems a stretch to suggest, as Senator McCain is doing, that Rice`s
performance on a few Sunday shows should disqualify her from another job in
the administration. The president addressed this issue head on during his
first news conference after he was reelected.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after
somebody, they should go after me. And I`m happy to have that discussion
with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing
to do with Benghazi, and was simply making a presentation based on
intelligence that she had received, and to besmirch her reputation is
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And the day before Thanksgiving, Susan Rice spoke up in defense of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN RICE, U.N. AMBASSADOR: When discussing the attacks against our
facilities in Benghazi, I relied solely and squarely on the information
provided to me by the intelligence community. I made clear that the
information was preliminary and that our investigations would give us the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Republicans appear to show no sign of moving on, setting up what is
likely to be a vicious confirmation battle. Back at the table with us now
is Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen from Tennessee, along with my
colleague at "The Nation" magazine -- well, more properly my boss --
Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Eli Lake, senior national security reporter for
"Newsweek" and "The Daily Beast", and Heather Hurlburt is still here.
All right, Eli, you have done a lot of reporting on Benghazi, on the
intelligence. Can you -- I am genuinely -- I`m not trying to concern troll
here. I`m being honest. I don`t quite get the Susan Rice focus. You can
say diplomatic security services, the people that turned down the funding
request, you can say Hillary Clinton at the State Department, because
that`s ultimately who -- there are people that I can understand the anger
or outrage or -- being directed out. But of all those people, Susan Rice
doesn`t make very much sense to me as a target. So I want you to explain
that to me.
ELI LAKE, "THE DAILY BEAST": We now know, because of the closed hearings
from David Petraeus, that the intelligence did first say that it was a
terrorist attack. We know that the original classified talking points, not
talking points, but classified information that went to the presidential
daily briefing said that this was a terrorist attack with groups connected
to al Qaeda. And then the unclassified talking points gave a very
different impression, if not contradicting that. That made it seem like it
was a natural outgrowth of some sort of a protest. The person who
delivered those talking points was Susan Rice. She said something that I
think Republicans believe she must have known wasn`t true. Because she
said something that she must have known wasn`t true, she should pay a
HAYES: But why, I don`t understand, I don`t follow that logic, for two
reasons. One, why would she know it wasn`t true? First of all. And
second of all--
LAKE: Because the classified information at the time contradicted it.
HAYES: Right. But the point is that intelligence contradicts itself all
the time. In fact, you have numerous channels of intelligence that
sometimes are intentioned, sometimes can seem usually (INAUDIBLE), or can
both be true, right, it can both a terrorist attack and there can be people
there because of the movie, which seemed like possibly what ultimately was
the case. And so, if you are given one set of talking points that are
classified and then a later iteration that are unclassified, I don`t see
why -- do you go back to the CIA and say, you guys are contradicting
yourself, or do you say you guys have made this judgment?
LAKE: I mean, maybe it`s the intelligence community here, and there are
reasons maybe why you would want to obscure the fact that we would know who
the terrorists were if there was a terrorist--
HAYES: This is Petraeus` argument in the closed hearings.
LAKE: I don`t necessarily buy that either. But the point being that at
the time, the intelligence community knew this was a terrorist attack with
groups that had links to al Qaeda. And what Susan Rice said, because the
unclassified version of those talking points was very different, she
delivered that information that was not correct.
HAYES: And so she should pay the price for delivering it?
LAKE: It`s not for me to talk for Republicans. But that`s - that`s the
HAYES: That`s the argument there.
LAKE: That`s the substantive argument there.
HURLBURT: There are two points about that. And first, it isn`t that the
intelligence community knew. That was their best advice at that moment.
And things always change. Any other crisis that hadn`t happened in the
middle of an election. And, I think this is really the key thing, Chris,
an election in which the Republicans were trying very hard to grab any
foothold they could to take away the president`s advantage on national
security. And Ambassador Rice was the person who was out talking, who was
sent out two weeks before an election, so they went after her for that
HAYES: Someone, I should say, someone accidentally as far as my own
reporting can tell, Secretary Clinton sort of almost never does Sunday
shows. And it was the U.N. General Assembly that week, right? So everyone
was going to focus on the UNGA, and so she was the person. It wasn`t that
like, it was like, oh, this is the Susan Rice playbook. We`ll have Susan
Rice deliver it -- she just sort of happened to be there at the time.
HURLBURT: The other point that I do think is worth making here, is it`s
not accidental that they didn`t go after Secretary Clinton. Even though,
as you said, ultimately, the State Department is her responsibility. They
didn`t go after David Petraeus, but they went after somebody who, in a
certain sector of the public mind, is more immediately reminiscent of
President Obama and doesn`t have the kind of independent political
HAYES: If you want to make this point, you should make it explicitly.
HURLBURT: Yes. So it`s a lot easier to go after a young, black woman than
it is to go after somebody who`s run for president and is the most popular
politician in the United States, or a four-star general.
HAYES: Do you think that`s the case?
COHEN: Especially if you are from Arizona. (INAUDIBLE) state, make it
secede, but nevertheless. The election is over. They need to get over
Benghazi. That was a political effort to take over the agenda. And they
wouldn`t have said this about somebody - you say she`s not smart? That`s
ridiculous. I mean, she didn`t go to Harvard School, but she`s smart.
LAKE: With all due respect, he was saying if she didn`t read the
classified, he was saying, if she didn`t read the classified, she didn`t
know what she was saying was wrong, that was a rhetorical device.
COHEN: He said she wasn`t very smart.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But the larger point is one that Heather raised. Which is
that the Republicans, beginning with Romney and Ryan, have tried to attack
President Obama`s foreign policy. And Susan Rice became a proxy for this
meme that the light footprint, weakness, the apology tour. Which is
fantastical when you think of President Obama and his policies.
HAYES: Let me argue against that. Because the argument -- there`s two
arguments on the table. One argument is that Rice is being targeted
because she`s -- her race.
VANDEN HEUVEL: It could be --
HAYES: Or her relative lack of stature. Right, that she`s a less
formidable target, A. And B, the other thing is that this is, the entire
Benghazi attack by the Republicans, right, the criticism of the
administration has been essentially cynical and politically motivated
because of the campaign.
HURLBURT: Those are not mutually exclusive.
HAYES: No, they are not, they are not mutually exclusive, but I want to
counter the latter for a second, which is to say, if it was cynical, they
would have just dropped it the day after the election. Right? That would
be the argument, and Eli, I want you to respond to that right after this
HAYES: We are talking about the Republican criticism of Susan Rice in the
wake of an appearance on several Sunday shows relaying information the CIA
had provided her about the attacks on Benghazi, and how disingenuous or
motivated those are, and Eli, you think there is a substantive core to
them, and I made the point that if they were genuinely disingenuous --
genuinely disingenuous is a weird phrase -- they would have been dropped
right after the election. There is something else you wanted to say.
LAKE: Well, you know, I think in some ways, the talking points are less
important than the if you want to know the original sin of Benghazi, it was
trusting something called the February 17 Martyrs Brigade with the security
of a CIA-base/diplomatic consulate or sorts. That mistake is because there
was regime change in Libya facilitated by NATO and U.S. Air Force, and
there was no reconstruction and no footprints on the ground.
Now, there are good reasons for maybe not having a military force post
revolution in Libya, because you don`t have a government that would ask for
them, and there are very strong arguments for that. But one of the
downsides, if you will, is that you trust militias and those who don`t have
U.S. interests with security of U.S. facilities.
VANDEN HEUVEL: One thing -- one thing that is lost is it was Ambassador
Christopher Stevens who was in charge of asking of what kind of security he
needed. And one thing that`s lost in so much of this is that we haven`t
asked, what risks should our diplomats take? Lost in this are so many
substantive conversations that need to be had, because it`s like the
demonization of Susan Rice and the defense of her is overwhelming.
HAYES: Two points on Eli`s Diplomatic Security Service, the DSS, which has
-- is not very large and actually is not particularly well funded and
doesn`t have that many people, right, A. B, the way that we squared this
circle in the past is that we hired Blackwater. And that is what we did.
It`s what the State Department and everyone walking around in Iraq had a
huge vanguard of Blackwater folks. After the massacre in (INAUDIBLE)
square and all of the problems with Blackwater--
LAKE: They still hired Blackwater, by the way.
HAYES: Yes, they still do, much to the chagrin of my colleague Jeremy Hale
(ph), did all this reporting on it. But in Libya, it was clear that that
was going to be untenable, right? That private security forces were almost
certainly going to be untenable to the new post-revolutionary regime, and
that is part of--
LAKE: By the way, there`s a very strong argument. This is a
democratically elected government in the Arab world that would probably be
very pro-American. It makes sense to want to wait for that government to
form and have a formal agreement with them before you pursue, you push the
HAYES: Right. I want to turn our attention to Susan Rice herself, because
now everyone, the context for this is the idea that she`s going to be
nominated to be Secretary of State. It`s what everyone is expecting. The
irony of it of course is on these sort of interventionist, non-
interventionist axis of foreign policy, Susan Rice is closer to John McCain
than I think probably the center of the Democratic Party, certainly the
center of the people that read "The Nation". Here is famed
interventionist, the now late Christopher Hitchens, telling Chris Matthews
in 2008 that he thinks the world of Susan Rice, check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Susan Rice, who I think should have been nominated
as Secretary of State, really do think should have been, has a long track
record of arguing for political and humanitarian interventionism, of the
sort that many of us had advocated in Darfur, in Rwanda. Susan Rice would
have made a very good appointment for Secretary of State. We would have
known where she stood, a person who`s always approached foreign policy as a
matter of principle, who doesn`t carry any baggage, who hasn`t been a
servant of special interests, is given a relatively unimportant job. It`s
a major job, of course.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAKE: Remember, Hitch went for Obama in 2008 because of the promise of
more war in Pakistan. In that sense, it doesn`t surprise me. And I have a
memory of Susan Rice in the 1990s standing in Southern Sudan saying there
is slavery here, and doing so in such a way that almost guaranteed other
preliminary efforts to try to reach out to the government in Khartoum would
in some ways fail. She does have that --
VANDEN HEUVEL: I wouldn`t equate McCain and Susan Rice. I think McCain
has gotten a pass in these last many years. I think he`s a trigger happy
hawk. Susan Rice represents this liberal interventionist wing, which I do
think is very problematic and has been militarized in ways we saw in Libya.
And I hope that in any confirmation hearing, whether it`s Susan Rice or
John Kerry or someone else, there will be questions raised about a new
internationalism, one that is not a neo-liberal or liberal interventionism,
that isn`t about bombs, bases, intervention, but about rebuilding America`s
relationship with the world and dealing with the major problems of our
time, like climate crisis, nuclear proliferation, hunger, and how America
can lead a global economic policy. These are issues that liberal
interventionism has not done a good job in dealing with, nor will it, if we
don`t rethink our foreign policy.
HURLBURT: Katrina, the trouble with that, though, is that we actually
don`t have the money as a result of the choices of the people who would be
voting to confirm or not confirm Ambassador Rice. That if you only have
the money for the military solution, because the Pentagon is well funded.
And your regional commander has much, much more ability to go out and act
on behalf of the U.S. than your ambassador does. So yes, I agree with your
critique, but the way to get to the source of the critique is not that, you
know, Susan Rice or anybody else doesn`t understood what you just said.
It`s to follow the money and give the U.S. the tools.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But shouldn`t we rethink our priorities as to where the
money goes? One of the reasons, again, that diplomatic security is
underfunded. The cuts to the State Department. The balance between
Defense and State, diplomacy and military are way off in our country.
COHEN: I think the overall issue is Susan Rice, and will she be confirmed
and should she be confirmed? I do think the Republicans would maybe rather
have John Kerry, to give them a chance to get the Massachusetts seat. That
may be something in the background. But the bottom line is, confirmation.
Yes, you are supposed to tell the truth, and if you don`t tell the truth,
it`s bad. No question. But there ought to be like instant replay, you
have to have overwhelming evidence to overrule it, even when you know the
referee was wrong. But there needs to be overwhelming evidence I think not
to support the president`s nomination. And I think it`s unfair to play on
HAYES: We have sort of an amazing bit of tape of John McCain making
actually a somewhat similar argument a few years back. We`ll show it to
you right after we take this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: I wonder why we are starting this new Congress with a protracted
debate about a foregone conclusion. I can only conclude we are doing this
for no other reason than because of lingering bitterness at the outcome of
the elections. We need to move on.
The people of the United States made their choice last November, and they
expect their elected officials to govern accordingly.
When President Clinton was reelected for his second term, I didn`t share
the policy views of some of the officials he nominated. But I do not
recall going through protracted battles like this. We all have varying
policy views, but the president, in my view, has a clear right to put into
place the team that he believes will serve him best.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s John McCain in 2005, defending the nomination of Condoleezza
Rice for Secretary of State. Condoleezza Rice, of course, at that point,
who had been part of the national security team that had brought about the
Iraq war and -- on the argument about weapons of mass destruction being
present. So a little bit of a different tune from him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COHEN: Consistency being the hobgoblin of small minds.
HAYES: Well, in all politics, we should say.
LAKE: He is just following the talking points.
HAYES: Well, I`m not trying to bar him from serving as senator. Part of
my question actually, Heather, as someone who`s worked in the State
Department, is how much these appointments matter? It seems to me like
American foreign policy is so overdetermined by this set of interests that
it doesn`t -- I mean, there`s differences between the two parties, but in
the grand scheme of things, I think over time have been crowded out or
overwhelmed by the ways in which they agree in terms of pursuing American
foreign policy interests. And then I wonder, given that context, whether
this Secretary of State or that Secretary of State matters much for what
HURLBURT: Chris, it matters enormously at the margins, which means it
matters enormously. In a second term, when any president is thinking
legacy and is able or forced because of Congress to turn his attention
abroad more, your Secretary of State is going to determine for you in many
cases which of the intractable problems we were talking about the first
part of the show you take on. And at the margins, how successful are you
going to be?
HAYES: Does that matter, though? I mean, that`s my question, it`s a
totally genuine question, like the ability of that person who has that
role, does it matter how good they are at doing that thing in resolving
these conflicts or projecting U.S. power or whatever it is?
HURLBURT: So second Clinton term, arguably you wouldn`t have had Kosovo
and it wouldn`t have ended as well as it did without Madeleine Albright.
Second Bush term, arguably, you might have had a war in Iran without Condi
Rice finally in a position in which she could be a little bit more of a
moderate Republican. Two examples off the top of my head.
So yes, it says, look, on the one hand, increasingly the president is his
own Secretary of State. We are seeing that as a bipartisan trend. Also, I
take issue a little bit with the idea, not so much that American foreign
policy isn`t overdetermined, but there`s a hugely important difference in
underlying world view at the dawn of the 21st century. Are we
fundamentally still trying to find new ways to be a unilateral hegemon or
are we fundamentally trying to find genuine ways to work multilaterally,
while preserving the unique things we like about being the United States of
And that is a huge difference, and in that sense matters enormously who is
out there putting that face on the relationship. Does it matter who your
HAYES: Yes, it does matter who my producers are. Yes.
LAKE: I think it matters a great deal. I think what the Secretary of
State chooses to talk about, chooses to focus on, the people that she or he
chooses to appoint matter a great deal in the details of policy. If you
are asking a broader, kind of almost a Noam Chomsky question, like, you
know, there are these interests and the U.S. is always --
HAYES: You found me out, Eli.
LAKE: But in that sense, I suppose not. Because I think that there is, in
some ways, you could argue from a radical critique, it`s a narrow band, but
I think that the details matter a great deal.
VANDEN HEUVEL: I think it`s a way too narrow band. And I`m not Noam
Chomsky, but I do think that there are interests that are determining our
foreign policy. And again, I come back to the fundamental issue, which is
that we do need to be less militaristic in our approach to the world. We
need to better engage, we need to cultivate regional power sources,
international security institutions, and find a way to work with the world.
Particularly this country, as you know, in the next period, is going to be
so limited financially, we should lead a global economic recovery. That
should be our mission. And invest in the world and in our country. And I
don`t think Americans want a messianic nation building.
LAKE: And the engine of that recovery is building more drones and
HAYES: That is as likely as anything. What you should know for the news
week ahead, coming up next.
HAYES: In just a moment, what we should know for the news week ahead. But
first, a quick update on a story we did last weekend. My criticism of New
York Governor Andrew Cuomo for his lack of effort in helping Democrats
attain a majority in the state senate got quite a bit of attention. In
fact, Cuomo faced a number of questions from local reporters about
criticism from the left, including my own. And in an interview on a radio
show of "New York Post" columnist Fred Dicker, Cuomo responded this way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, (D) NEW YORK: I would like to see a little less
hyperpartisan rhetoric and a little more substantive rhetoric on issues and
positions and what people would actually do. You know, all this talk,
where are people on teacher evaluations? Where are people on minimum wage
and campaign finance reform and stop and frisk and marijuana? Where are
they on storm relief, where are they on the budget? Why don`t we have a
little discussion about an actual agenda and issues and progress and what`s
good for the people as opposed to just hyperpartisan rhetoric?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Well, I agree. And if the governor wants to see more substantive
rhetoric on the issues, he is welcome to come on UP anytime. Because I do
not care about a senate Democratic majority because I care about the New
York State Democratic Party, which has been an absolutely dysfunctional
mess as long as I can remember. I care because I care about a higher
minimum wage and public financing and marijuana decriminalization. All
extremely important pieces of legislation that have essentially no chance
of passing if Republicans control the senate, but do have a shot if
Democrats control it.
And my point is that I`m sure a political mind as sharp as the governor`s
recognizes that as well. But according to "The New York Times," as of this
week, more than two weeks after the election, we still don`t know which
party has won the majority in the New York State Senate. 63 seats were up
for grabs. Voters elected 31 Democrats and 30 Republicans, but one of
those Democrats has decided to vote with the Republicans. There are still
two seats that are undecided. Democrats will now need to win both of them
to gain the majority.
Presently, they`re leading in one of those races in the recount, and
Republicans are leading in the other.
It`s an impending disaster, which might be a real missed opportunity to
create positive change.
All right. So what should you know for the week coming up? This holiday
season, we should keep in mind that poverty, hunger and deprivation are not
merely random ills that befall the least lucky among us. Take our current
drought. Yet another example of the extreme weather we`re experiencing in
the onset of global climate change. It`s the worst drought in almost 60
years, and the reduced crop supply has helped to drive up prices which has,
in turn, led the government to reduce how much food it buys to subsidize
agriculture. But that in turn means the government has less food to donate
to food banks. Less than half, in fact, as we head into winter.
Reuters reports that 50 million Americans live in hunger or on the edge of
it, including children, seniors, veterans and the disabled, and you should
know the consequences of our actions, intended or otherwise, are felt most
acutely by those most vulnerable to them.
As Washington debates what to do about what I call the fiscal curb, you
should know the spending cuts leveraged and traded in the abstract have
very real implications in the particular. Federal unemployment funding is
set to expire at the end of this year, meaning an estimated 2 million
Americans will lose their unemployment insurance. Republicans might have
you believe that the whopping average of $291 a week keeps the unemployed
from finding work, but you should know what the real impact of unemployment
insurance has been. A new report for the National Employment Law Project
estimates that last year, unemployment insurance kept 2.3 million Americans
out of poverty, including 620,000 children. So when you think about fiscal
cliffs, you should know there`s none worse than the fall into poverty.
You should know the perils of corporate journalism are usually not quite so
obvious as a cigar-chomping boss rewriting your script to please
advertisers or politicians. The most powerful constraints on journalists
are both more mundane and more insidious. That said, you should know that
principled journalists can and do let their audience know on occasion when
something is afoot.
That is what happened Tuesday night in Bangor, Maine, when a local news
anchor team surprised their audience and their bosses by resigning on air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY CONSIGLIO, NEWS ANCHOR: On behalf of Cindy and me, we have loved
every moment bringing the news to you and coming into the homes with your
stories of the community and the state, and some recent developments have
come to our attention, though, and departing together is the best
alternative we can take.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Anchors Tony Consiglio and Cindy Michaels declined to offer
specifics, but Consiglio told the "Bangor Daily News", quote, "I just
wanted to know that I was doing the best job I could and was being honest
and ethical as a journalist. And I thought there were times when I wasn`t
able to do that." All right.
I want to find out what you guys think our audience should know. I`ll
begin with you, with Congressman Steve Cohen.
COHEN: The first thing I think everybody knows is that 98 percent of the
American public should have tax relief, and the Democrats, the Republicans,
the president and the House and senators agree on that. It`s the 2 percent
that we don`t agree on, and the Republicans could hold up tax relief for 98
percent of Americans, because of the desire to give the 2 percent who have
enjoyed immense wealth, more tax advantages.
I think the public also needs to know that what`s happening in the Congo
and Goma is a humanitarian crisis, almost going to be at the tipping point,
and it is one of the most desperate places in the world, and these people
who are in camps, have been dispossessed and on the road, and there will be
great death and disease there, and we need to contribute to the Red Cross
and to Oxfam and others to help the people in Goma and in the eastern
Congo, and that the Grizzlies are the best team in basketball. They`re a
grit and grind and America`s team.
HAYES: You really touched all the bases there. Katrina.
VANDEN HEUVEL: People need to know that we have come one step closer to
ending the ineffective, irrational and inhumane drug wars in this country
with the initiatives that passed in Washington and Colorado on November 6.
This is an opening for the president to instruct the Department of Justice
to re-prioritize the marijuana -- prosecution of marijuana cases. But also
to use this as a way to allow Washington and Colorado to implement these
cases, because the war on drugs disproportionately affects Latinos,
African-Americans, and it`s failed.
HAYES: Colorado is an -- the story in Colorado is fascinating. We`re
going to keep following it. Because what they`re setting up there, the
regulatory system, it is really interesting. Eli Lake.
LAKE: People should know that as the Justice Department and the White House
and the CIA write the policy that was supposed to endure for drone
targeting, China has developed their own military drones that they unveiled
this week at a military air show. So it`s not just America and Israel
HAYES: Inevitable. Heather Hurlburt.
HURLBURT: People should know that as we go back to the fiscal cliff/curb
discussions, Pentagon contractors and their CEOs have enough money to ride
them out for as much as six months before they feel the costs, unlike
military families, regular American families, folks who need unemployment
insurance. People should also know that if the Washington Wizards do not
break their losing streak this week, my 8-year-old is coming down there to
start as power forward.
HAYES: The Memphis Grizzlies are doing well. And also, I should say this,
you should know at home that the staff in the makeup room here Saturday and
Sunday mornings do an incredible job. And I stupidly, not intentionally,
omitted them from my thanks yesterday. So I wanted to give them a special,
special shoutout today. They make me look presentable, which is no small
feat, so thank you to you folks in the makeup room.
All right, I want to thank my guests today. Democratic Congressman Steve
Cohen from Tennessee, great to have you here, come back any time. Katrina
Vanden Heuvel from "The Nation" magazine. Eli Lake from "Newsweek" and
"The Daily Beast", and Heather Hurlburt from the National Security Network.
Thank you all. I learned a lot from today`s show.
Thank you for joining us this weekend. All right, we`ll be back next
weekend, Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 Eastern Time. I`m really excited.
Our guests will include Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy. Now, Malloy is
really a rising star, I think, in the Democratic Party. Has put together
budget deals to avoid fiscal shortfalls that I think should be a model for
a lot of the rest of the country to follow. I`m really excited to talk to
him. So you`re going to want to tune in for that.
Coming up next is "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY." On today`s MHP, the Wal-Mart
paradox. Low prices have undeniable appeal, but the campaign to organize
against the giant retailer says we need to look beyond the discounts and
understand the real price being paid.
Also on the show, this is a special treat. Professor Anita Hill lays out a
vision for what`s ahead for women in 2013. That`s "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY."
You are going to want to stick around for that, coming up next.
We`ll see you next week here on UP.
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