11/02/2017 Dateline London


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11/02/2017

Foreign correspondents currently posted to London look at events in the UK through outsiders' eyes, and at how the issues of the week are being tackled around the world.


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LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to Dateline London.

:00:24.:00:25.

President Trump's travel ban ruled out by a court -

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Mr Trump responds with "see you in court."

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And Russian intervention in Libya - another tactical victory for Putin?

:00:32.:00:37.

Abdel Bari Atwan, who is a writer and broadcaster on Arab affairs,

:00:38.:00:41.

Yasmin Alibhai Brown, the author and commentator,

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and Vincent Magombe, who is an African commentator.

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President Trump's own nominee to the US Supreme Court was said

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to have criticised the president over Mr Trump's attitude to judges -

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It follows the court's decision to rule out the President's travel

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ban on people from mostly Muslim countries, and further bitterness

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between the President and some in Congress.

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Are these teething troubles - or a sign of how the next four years

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are likely to be in Washington - with the President attacking

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the other pillars of the US Constitution?

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Where do you think we are now? Well, I think, what happened this

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week is reflective of the fact that Trump clearly has a hazy view of the

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Constitution, and separation of powers, and the checks and balances

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that are the hallmark of the US critical system. The appeals court

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judges sent a strong message to him saying, you cannot invoke national

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security concerns, do what everyone. Are these teething problems? To some

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extent, there is some of that going on. Remember when he issued the

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executive order on immigration, he did not have key appointments in

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place, and the fact that he has now said that he is considering

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rewriting the order and making it more narrow, that reflects the fact

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that would suggest to me that Jeff Sessions has told him, this is too

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risky, perhaps you need to dial it back, if you really want to make

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sure to not lose this. But I think that the hallmarks of the Trump

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presidency seem pretty clear, people who think that he is going to pivot

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and become more presidential in his style and manner, they are going to

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be left disappointed. His style is to attack, personally, people on

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Twitter, judges, corporate executives. There is a real risk to

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that, going forward. Not only is he tying himself very personally to

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policy initiatives such as the immigration order, he cannot

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distance from that or blame other advisers for its failure. But with

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attacks on judges in his tweets, he seems to be parking blame at their

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feet, for any possible future terrorist attack, which is very,

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very dangerous going forward. No one should be surprised that this is how

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he's carrying himself. This is how he ran his business for years. He

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was extremely combative, confrontational and litigious as

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well. I don't think this is going to change. The style will remain the

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same, he may dial back and adopt more moderate positions. We have

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seen him do so on certain foreign policy issues, supporting China,

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Israel and so forth. But I don't think you're going to see a

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different kind of Trump emerge. What do you think? How has this come

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down in the Arab countries? The man is barely three weeks into

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power, and he is creating problems everywhere. Seven Muslim countries,

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it is pure racism. He picked the countries who never exported

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terrorism to that part of the world. Honestly. It is amazing, only six

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terrorist attacks actually happened in the United States from those

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immigrants living in the United States will stop the second thing

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is, contradiction. First he wanted Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states to

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pay for the protection, American protection. Now he is phoning them

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and saying, come with me and fight Iran. He wants to dismantle that

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nuclear deal. Has that been going down quite well

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in Saudi Arabia? The Saudis are focused on Iran, that is their

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number one followed -- foreign policy.

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He knows these Gulf state countries are very vulnerable. They were

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always protected by the United States, Obama said, you have to

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change your strategy, you have to depend on yourself and talk to Iran,

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solve your problems by talking. We cannot have easy rates. I believe,

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now with Trump, he is working into the hands and the agendas of Isis,

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Al-Qaeda and other... Why'd you say that?

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Because all the Muslims feel vulnerable, and they believe this

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man actually is coming to attack Muslims and hate Muslims. To create

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wars that part the world. He is unifying the Shia and the Sunni

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against the United States. There was a division beforehand. Terrorism

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used to be a Sunni trademark. He is actually now seeing Iran as a

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terrorist state. For the first time he managed to unify the Muslim

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terrorists, the Shia and the Sunni terrorists, to mobilise against the

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United States. I won't tell you what I think of

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Trump, I will tell you what Africans think of Trump. Ugandans, for

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example. He seems to have some African blood, people have said to

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me. I don't mean the cultures of Africa, that club of dictators in

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Africa. There has been recently, Facebook, and video that went viral.

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Trump here, video mean here. The Chirac media meme.

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The way he used to speak, I am the greatest man on the Earth. This and

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that. I am very good. There was actually an American satirical

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programme, they did that come Harrison between Trump and African

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dictators. -- come Harrison. And when I saw the Compas and, this is a

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joke. But he is not a joke. No one has

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seriously challenged his legitimacy. He may have been elected by the

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American people, but what he is doing and how he's doing it, and I

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can tell you that personally I believe that all the things he has

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been seen, being a dictatorial type of person, look at what is happening

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with the travel ban. I'm sure very soon he will discover that he cannot

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do it, and he will retract. For example, following Isis on

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social media. They are celebrating what Trump is seeing.

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This is the American, we told you they hate us as Muslims, but you

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never believed us. This is the proof.

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You raise very important points, and I agree with you. It is not just

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terrorists coming together, there was a time in the late 1970s and

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early 80s when America was heated in so many parts of the world, when you

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are burning the flags. He is taking America back to that place where

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Americans will not be safe in the world. And because, all Muslims, of

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whatever view, are feeling the heat. My goodness, we are the next dues,

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if you like, of the century. They used to laugh about Idi Amin, like

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they laugh about Trump, which is the biggest mistake. He got the judges

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first, he hanged judges, then intellectuals, he systematically,

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then the media, he systematically went for them. This is the modern

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equivalent. If you are right, and people will

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disputed, there will be viewers who disputed, but if you are right, then

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creating that sense of division, it will work, because this is a

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president, in makes periods, he did not really do anything in terms of

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bringing the country together, in other words, what has worked very

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well for him is defining and other people, the enemy abroad. That works

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for Mr Trump. It works up to a certain accent, but

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I think he has still got major battles ahead. What we have seen

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this week is the constitution working, the judicial system has hit

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back and drink in. The checks and balances are indeed working.

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Including from his own Supreme Court nominee. That was astonishing,

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wasn't it? He is clearly a judge who believes in the courts being

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independent. There are theories about that, that

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he knows that he needs to come out and distanced himself from what

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Trump has done. In order to win confirmation. But he has done what

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nominees have done before their confirmation hearings, make the

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rounds, among senators, tried to allay fears, tried to reassure them.

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Trump has denied that he has said this, he apparently told several

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senators that he was disheartened and found Trump's comments

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disheartening and demoralising. It is essential for him to distance

:11:04.:11:06.

themselves in order to win approval in the Senate. However, Trump is

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constantly undermining that, and disagreeing with him.

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It is interesting in shocking that the Senate in Congress have been

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much less effective in opposing Trump than have the people, the

:11:22.:11:25.

judiciary, activists. I am so shocked by Paul Ryan. He

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resisted his own nomination quite vocally. And now he is completely

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supplicant of Trump. The issue of checks and balances is

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very important for me because the African dictatorships I am talking

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about, in Uganda, today the media is being hit, people have rigged

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elections and so on. The judiciary cannot do it, the media cannot do

:12:01.:12:07.

it, but in America you are blessed with the infrastructure and

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democracy. I would like to talk about his

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mobilisation against Iran. Obama and the other five countries, they

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realised that the cost of war against Iran will be huge, so he

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topped to the Iranians, and used pressure to reach this nuclear deal.

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Now he is actually trying to provoke Iran, and you cannot see how the

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Iranians are responding. They are people of pride, and the mothers are

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mobilising. You are right. Obama managed to neutralise the Muslim

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world vis-a-vis America. America was not heated drink Obama's two terms.

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Trump is reviving this hatred among the Iranians, the Muslims, the

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Africans, Latin American. He has dialled back his rhetoric on

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Iran. He vowed on the campaign trail to rip up the deal with Iran, and

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that does not seem to be happening. He has dialled back a bit.

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He is imposing sanctions, economic sanctions against certain areas.

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But the shocking thing was, I was in America in October before the

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election, the number of Muslims who were backing Trump, shame on them.

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33% of American Muslims backed this man.

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It is a challenge, the other thing he presents as a challenge for

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journalism. When you have got a president who basically says

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terrorist attacks are not being reported, and the fact our that

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everyone of those attacks as far as we can see were reported and given a

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degree of interest by different media outlets, but they were

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reported. How do you handle someone who says things which are clearly

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not the case? There has been some talk about we

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should not be televising these press conferences from Kelly Anne Conway

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and Trump. We need to fact check them, and you cannot fact check them

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as they are happening live. It is an incredibly different and difficult

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position journalists are in. He has threatened them, there is? Will

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there be space for the quest -- press corps in the White House. It

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is the constant stream of alternative facts, it is posing new

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challenges for all of us. And we must not remember the powers

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behind Trump, Steve Bannon, his vice president, some of the dark forces

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behind him are very well organised. The types of forces that supported

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him, very radical, people were ready to damage. I would be more worried

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about them than Trump himself. I think Trump will be cut short. I

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don't think that he can really manage to intimidate totally the

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judiciary. Even the media. I would be surprised if, in America

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especially, the media is cold. We shall see.

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Following western intervention in Libya -

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led by Britain and France - the downfall of Colonel Gaddaffi

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has produced not one but two Libyan governments.

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Now Russia has chosen sides in the Libyan conflict,

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and President Trump, who found time this week

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to criticise the US department store chain Nordstrom

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for dropping his daughter's clothing line,

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has not yet found time to criticise President Putin.

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Is this another potential victory for Russia?

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Maybe you could tell us what is actually going on in Libya.

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Six years ago, there was a state of euphoria in the West. We managed to

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achieve a huge success. We toppled tyrant. We will make Libya as a

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model of success in the Middle East. Six years, how has it been? Nobody

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talks about the situation. The West created it in Libya.

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Chaotic. It is chaotic.

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And very dangerous. You have three governments, two

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parliaments, three armies, militias, no security at all, everybody is

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fighting everybody, half of the Libyan people emigrate either to

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Tunisia or to Egypt. About 3 million of them, to look for safety. And a

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decent way of life. The situation, the West decided to support

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democracy, so-called democracy. The elected government never actually

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had the teeth of the clues to impose its force there. There is one

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general, and this man is the ex-colonel of Libya, he used to work

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with Gaddafi and was part of his counsel. He defected, and he was

:17:38.:17:48.

actually trained and sent back to fight Gaddafi topple Gaddafi. And he

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tried to lunch a sort of military campaign from Chad. Now what is

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happening, this general is backed by Egypt, by the United Arab Emirates,

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and Russia. Why? He managed to secure the eastern part of Libya,

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which is the wealthy part. And he managed to root out Isis from that

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eastern part, and he controls about 80%, or 75% of Libyan oil export, it

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is coming from that part. The West actually could not do anything, they

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broke it and they cannot fix it. One thing. Now, one thing. Because

:18:38.:18:46.

you have given us the anti-western analysis. I think it is time to look

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at Russia. It really is time to look at Russia, what Russia has done in

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Syria and is about to do in Libya, you have to absolutely focus.

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Wait till a mention it! Unbelievable.

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It is very interesting what Russia is doing.

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The West went to Russia, Italy and Britain. They say to Russia, please

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save us. We have illegal immigration, 2000 kilometres of the

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seashore, Libyan territories in the Mediterranean, we cannot do

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anything, please help us. Moscow invited a man who was received by

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Putin, Sergey Lavrov, the First Minister, and he had a very fruitful

:19:42.:19:50.

talk. Then they reach an agreement. First to curb all the immigration

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from Libya, and also to work under the UN backed government of the

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so-called National Accord government, and to be the leader of

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the army. What does Russia get?

:20:08.:20:15.

An American lease in Libya. You just have to study this man, and

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some of us have been in Russia for ten years during Communist times, we

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know who the KGB and Putin are. This man has succeeded in Syria, making

:20:31.:20:35.

sure that the failure of the West is my game. He is doing exactly the

:20:36.:20:41.

same template in Libya. What he has done is identify this general

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Khalifa, and what he is doing is look, this man has the military

:20:49.:20:52.

power, he is trying to promote him to become the real leader. The only

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problem is, with Russia, he does not care the type of commotion, the same

:20:58.:21:03.

template Syria, it does not matter whether the Syrian president is a

:21:04.:21:08.

Democrat or anything like that. If he is a stubborn man.

:21:09.:21:17.

If you look at it, if it is correct, he has cracked down on Isis, he will

:21:18.:21:20.

stop or try to control made it -- migration. There are a lot of people

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in Europe and will take on that great.

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The standards by which this man operates should really worry all of

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us. I totally agree, intervention in Libya and what we did in Iraq, but

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it is time now to focus on actually this really dangerous and quite evil

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presence in Putin. And what he did in Syria, what he has done to the

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people of Syria with Assad is absolutely, it should be the focus

:21:58.:22:01.

of good people. We are talking about Libya, not

:22:02.:22:07.

Syria. Let me talk. The West went to Putin and he did not go to the West.

:22:08.:22:14.

They say to him, come and save us in Libya, we made a mistake, please

:22:15.:22:21.

save us. President Obama said, the gravest

:22:22.:22:26.

mistake which I regret in my two terms, intervention in Libya. They

:22:27.:22:32.

admit that they made mistakes. It was the British and French, who

:22:33.:22:36.

were very proud of it at the time. Where does this leave us? The

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argument has been, eight years of Obama, he was terrible. America

:22:42.:22:45.

withdrew from the world stage, left this vacuum, Putin said thank you

:22:46.:22:49.

very much, I can solve several problems, Italy, but I can do it.

:22:50.:22:56.

Putin wants to re-establish Russia's dominance, political and military

:22:57.:23:01.

positioning in the region. Russia lost billions of dollars in arms and

:23:02.:23:05.

oil contracts in Libya after Gaddafi was ousted and killed. This is part

:23:06.:23:11.

of Putin's effort to re-establish his geopolitical power in the

:23:12.:23:17.

region. Whether or not Putin backing the general is going to stem the

:23:18.:23:22.

flow of refugees, isn't it going to undermine the stability of the

:23:23.:23:27.

country, the UN peace process, and leave Europe that the cold, because

:23:28.:23:32.

Putin does not care about the flow of refugees into Europe, and neither

:23:33.:23:36.

does Trump. And neither does the general.

:23:37.:23:41.

He has been against European and UN attempt to have that migration and

:23:42.:23:45.

position. But this is also where there is a

:23:46.:23:50.

connection between Trump and Putin. They both seem to admire so-called

:23:51.:23:57.

strongmen leaders, authoritarian people who they view as being able

:23:58.:24:02.

to re-establish order where they see is chaotic regions. However, Trump

:24:03.:24:08.

has not criticised Russia for this. He may not have too. He may not even

:24:09.:24:12.

have to endorse what is happening, he could just turn a blind eye and

:24:13.:24:20.

allow it to happen. The general himself talked about

:24:21.:24:23.

Trump, and he said that, look, because of the war we are carrying

:24:24.:24:26.

out against terrorism, in this region, I think Trump will

:24:27.:24:30.

appreciate that we can work with him.

:24:31.:24:35.

The centre of power is like that, you have a government in triply,

:24:36.:24:43.

backed by Muslim Brotherhood,, and supported by cat or in Turkey. And

:24:44.:24:50.

you have a government which has no power on the ground at all. The

:24:51.:24:53.

Muslim Brotherhood supported government is about to set up a new

:24:54.:25:00.

army, and in order to consolidate its power in the West. The problem

:25:01.:25:08.

is, which we are facing, have to is a very clever man, I hate him

:25:09.:25:15.

personally because of the Langley things, but anyway, what he is

:25:16.:25:21.

doing, he used the immigration card to put pressure on the West, on

:25:22.:25:26.

Britain, Italy France and the United States, saying look, you ignore me,

:25:27.:25:31.

you don't recognise my services, my power, I will use this immigration

:25:32.:25:36.

card against you. And he used it very well. After six years, they

:25:37.:25:42.

throwing the towel, please come and help us.

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We are to leave it there. That's it for

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Dateline London for this week. You can comment on the programme

:25:46.:25:47.

on Twitter @gavinesler. We're back next week

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at the same time.

:25:50.:25:52.