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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Hello and welcome to Dateline London.
President Trump's travel ban ruled out by a court -
Mr Trump responds with "see you in court."
And Russian intervention in Libya - another tactical victory for Putin?
Abdel Bari Atwan, who is a writer and broadcaster on Arab affairs,
Yasmin Alibhai Brown, the author and commentator,
and Vincent Magombe, who is an African commentator.
President Trump's own nominee to the US Supreme Court was said
to have criticised the president over Mr Trump's attitude to judges -
It follows the court's decision to rule out the President's travel
ban on people from mostly Muslim countries, and further bitterness
between the President and some in Congress.
Are these teething troubles - or a sign of how the next four years
are likely to be in Washington - with the President attacking
the other pillars of the US Constitution?
Where do you think we are now? Well, I think, what happened this
week is reflective of the fact that Trump clearly has a hazy view of the
Constitution, and separation of powers, and the checks and balances
that are the hallmark of the US critical system. The appeals court
judges sent a strong message to him saying, you cannot invoke national
security concerns, do what everyone. Are these teething problems? To some
extent, there is some of that going on. Remember when he issued the
executive order on immigration, he did not have key appointments in
place, and the fact that he has now said that he is considering
rewriting the order and making it more narrow, that reflects the fact
that would suggest to me that Jeff Sessions has told him, this is too
risky, perhaps you need to dial it back, if you really want to make
sure to not lose this. But I think that the hallmarks of the Trump
presidency seem pretty clear, people who think that he is going to pivot
and become more presidential in his style and manner, they are going to
be left disappointed. His style is to attack, personally, people on
Twitter, judges, corporate executives. There is a real risk to
that, going forward. Not only is he tying himself very personally to
policy initiatives such as the immigration order, he cannot
distance from that or blame other advisers for its failure. But with
attacks on judges in his tweets, he seems to be parking blame at their
feet, for any possible future terrorist attack, which is very,
very dangerous going forward. No one should be surprised that this is how
he's carrying himself. This is how he ran his business for years. He
was extremely combative, confrontational and litigious as
well. I don't think this is going to change. The style will remain the
same, he may dial back and adopt more moderate positions. We have
seen him do so on certain foreign policy issues, supporting China,
Israel and so forth. But I don't think you're going to see a
different kind of Trump emerge. What do you think? How has this come
down in the Arab countries? The man is barely three weeks into
power, and he is creating problems everywhere. Seven Muslim countries,
it is pure racism. He picked the countries who never exported
terrorism to that part of the world. Honestly. It is amazing, only six
terrorist attacks actually happened in the United States from those
immigrants living in the United States will stop the second thing
is, contradiction. First he wanted Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states to
pay for the protection, American protection. Now he is phoning them
and saying, come with me and fight Iran. He wants to dismantle that
nuclear deal. Has that been going down quite well
in Saudi Arabia? The Saudis are focused on Iran, that is their
number one followed -- foreign policy.
He knows these Gulf state countries are very vulnerable. They were
always protected by the United States, Obama said, you have to
change your strategy, you have to depend on yourself and talk to Iran,
solve your problems by talking. We cannot have easy rates. I believe,
now with Trump, he is working into the hands and the agendas of Isis,
Al-Qaeda and other... Why'd you say that?
Because all the Muslims feel vulnerable, and they believe this
man actually is coming to attack Muslims and hate Muslims. To create
wars that part the world. He is unifying the Shia and the Sunni
against the United States. There was a division beforehand. Terrorism
used to be a Sunni trademark. He is actually now seeing Iran as a
terrorist state. For the first time he managed to unify the Muslim
terrorists, the Shia and the Sunni terrorists, to mobilise against the
United States. I won't tell you what I think of
Trump, I will tell you what Africans think of Trump. Ugandans, for
example. He seems to have some African blood, people have said to
me. I don't mean the cultures of Africa, that club of dictators in
Africa. There has been recently, Facebook, and video that went viral.
Trump here, video mean here. The Chirac media meme.
The way he used to speak, I am the greatest man on the Earth. This and
that. I am very good. There was actually an American satirical
programme, they did that come Harrison between Trump and African
dictators. -- come Harrison. And when I saw the Compas and, this is a
joke. But he is not a joke. No one has
seriously challenged his legitimacy. He may have been elected by the
American people, but what he is doing and how he's doing it, and I
can tell you that personally I believe that all the things he has
been seen, being a dictatorial type of person, look at what is happening
with the travel ban. I'm sure very soon he will discover that he cannot
do it, and he will retract. For example, following Isis on
social media. They are celebrating what Trump is seeing.
This is the American, we told you they hate us as Muslims, but you
never believed us. This is the proof.
You raise very important points, and I agree with you. It is not just
terrorists coming together, there was a time in the late 1970s and
early 80s when America was heated in so many parts of the world, when you
are burning the flags. He is taking America back to that place where
Americans will not be safe in the world. And because, all Muslims, of
whatever view, are feeling the heat. My goodness, we are the next dues,
if you like, of the century. They used to laugh about Idi Amin, like
they laugh about Trump, which is the biggest mistake. He got the judges
first, he hanged judges, then intellectuals, he systematically,
then the media, he systematically went for them. This is the modern
equivalent. If you are right, and people will
disputed, there will be viewers who disputed, but if you are right, then
creating that sense of division, it will work, because this is a
president, in makes periods, he did not really do anything in terms of
bringing the country together, in other words, what has worked very
well for him is defining and other people, the enemy abroad. That works
for Mr Trump. It works up to a certain accent, but
I think he has still got major battles ahead. What we have seen
this week is the constitution working, the judicial system has hit
back and drink in. The checks and balances are indeed working.
Including from his own Supreme Court nominee. That was astonishing,
wasn't it? He is clearly a judge who believes in the courts being
independent. There are theories about that, that
he knows that he needs to come out and distanced himself from what
Trump has done. In order to win confirmation. But he has done what
nominees have done before their confirmation hearings, make the
rounds, among senators, tried to allay fears, tried to reassure them.
Trump has denied that he has said this, he apparently told several
senators that he was disheartened and found Trump's comments
disheartening and demoralising. It is essential for him to distance
themselves in order to win approval in the Senate. However, Trump is
constantly undermining that, and disagreeing with him.
It is interesting in shocking that the Senate in Congress have been
much less effective in opposing Trump than have the people, the
judiciary, activists. I am so shocked by Paul Ryan. He
resisted his own nomination quite vocally. And now he is completely
supplicant of Trump. The issue of checks and balances is
very important for me because the African dictatorships I am talking
about, in Uganda, today the media is being hit, people have rigged
elections and so on. The judiciary cannot do it, the media cannot do
it, but in America you are blessed with the infrastructure and
democracy. I would like to talk about his
mobilisation against Iran. Obama and the other five countries, they
realised that the cost of war against Iran will be huge, so he
topped to the Iranians, and used pressure to reach this nuclear deal.
Now he is actually trying to provoke Iran, and you cannot see how the
Iranians are responding. They are people of pride, and the mothers are
mobilising. You are right. Obama managed to neutralise the Muslim
world vis-a-vis America. America was not heated drink Obama's two terms.
Trump is reviving this hatred among the Iranians, the Muslims, the
Africans, Latin American. He has dialled back his rhetoric on
Iran. He vowed on the campaign trail to rip up the deal with Iran, and
that does not seem to be happening. He has dialled back a bit.
He is imposing sanctions, economic sanctions against certain areas.
But the shocking thing was, I was in America in October before the
election, the number of Muslims who were backing Trump, shame on them.
33% of American Muslims backed this man.
It is a challenge, the other thing he presents as a challenge for
journalism. When you have got a president who basically says
terrorist attacks are not being reported, and the fact our that
everyone of those attacks as far as we can see were reported and given a
degree of interest by different media outlets, but they were
reported. How do you handle someone who says things which are clearly
not the case? There has been some talk about we
should not be televising these press conferences from Kelly Anne Conway
and Trump. We need to fact check them, and you cannot fact check them
as they are happening live. It is an incredibly different and difficult
position journalists are in. He has threatened them, there is? Will
there be space for the quest -- press corps in the White House. It
is the constant stream of alternative facts, it is posing new
challenges for all of us. And we must not remember the powers
behind Trump, Steve Bannon, his vice president, some of the dark forces
behind him are very well organised. The types of forces that supported
him, very radical, people were ready to damage. I would be more worried
about them than Trump himself. I think Trump will be cut short. I
don't think that he can really manage to intimidate totally the
judiciary. Even the media. I would be surprised if, in America
especially, the media is cold. We shall see.
Following western intervention in Libya -
led by Britain and France - the downfall of Colonel Gaddaffi
has produced not one but two Libyan governments.
Now Russia has chosen sides in the Libyan conflict,
and President Trump, who found time this week
to criticise the US department store chain Nordstrom
for dropping his daughter's clothing line,
has not yet found time to criticise President Putin.
Is this another potential victory for Russia?
Maybe you could tell us what is actually going on in Libya.
Six years ago, there was a state of euphoria in the West. We managed to
achieve a huge success. We toppled tyrant. We will make Libya as a
model of success in the Middle East. Six years, how has it been? Nobody
talks about the situation. The West created it in Libya.
Chaotic. It is chaotic.
And very dangerous. You have three governments, two
parliaments, three armies, militias, no security at all, everybody is
fighting everybody, half of the Libyan people emigrate either to
Tunisia or to Egypt. About 3 million of them, to look for safety. And a
decent way of life. The situation, the West decided to support
democracy, so-called democracy. The elected government never actually
had the teeth of the clues to impose its force there. There is one
general, and this man is the ex-colonel of Libya, he used to work
with Gaddafi and was part of his counsel. He defected, and he was
actually trained and sent back to fight Gaddafi topple Gaddafi. And he
tried to lunch a sort of military campaign from Chad. Now what is
happening, this general is backed by Egypt, by the United Arab Emirates,
and Russia. Why? He managed to secure the eastern part of Libya,
which is the wealthy part. And he managed to root out Isis from that
eastern part, and he controls about 80%, or 75% of Libyan oil export, it
is coming from that part. The West actually could not do anything, they
broke it and they cannot fix it. One thing. Now, one thing. Because
you have given us the anti-western analysis. I think it is time to look
at Russia. It really is time to look at Russia, what Russia has done in
Syria and is about to do in Libya, you have to absolutely focus.
Wait till a mention it! Unbelievable.
It is very interesting what Russia is doing.
The West went to Russia, Italy and Britain. They say to Russia, please
save us. We have illegal immigration, 2000 kilometres of the
seashore, Libyan territories in the Mediterranean, we cannot do
anything, please help us. Moscow invited a man who was received by
Putin, Sergey Lavrov, the First Minister, and he had a very fruitful
talk. Then they reach an agreement. First to curb all the immigration
from Libya, and also to work under the UN backed government of the
so-called National Accord government, and to be the leader of
the army. What does Russia get?
An American lease in Libya. You just have to study this man, and
some of us have been in Russia for ten years during Communist times, we
know who the KGB and Putin are. This man has succeeded in Syria, making
sure that the failure of the West is my game. He is doing exactly the
same template in Libya. What he has done is identify this general
Khalifa, and what he is doing is look, this man has the military
power, he is trying to promote him to become the real leader. The only
problem is, with Russia, he does not care the type of commotion, the same
template Syria, it does not matter whether the Syrian president is a
Democrat or anything like that. If he is a stubborn man.
If you look at it, if it is correct, he has cracked down on Isis, he will
stop or try to control made it -- migration. There are a lot of people
in Europe and will take on that great.
The standards by which this man operates should really worry all of
us. I totally agree, intervention in Libya and what we did in Iraq, but
it is time now to focus on actually this really dangerous and quite evil
presence in Putin. And what he did in Syria, what he has done to the
people of Syria with Assad is absolutely, it should be the focus
of good people. We are talking about Libya, not
Syria. Let me talk. The West went to Putin and he did not go to the West.
They say to him, come and save us in Libya, we made a mistake, please
save us. President Obama said, the gravest
mistake which I regret in my two terms, intervention in Libya. They
admit that they made mistakes. It was the British and French, who
were very proud of it at the time. Where does this leave us? The
argument has been, eight years of Obama, he was terrible. America
withdrew from the world stage, left this vacuum, Putin said thank you
very much, I can solve several problems, Italy, but I can do it.
Putin wants to re-establish Russia's dominance, political and military
positioning in the region. Russia lost billions of dollars in arms and
oil contracts in Libya after Gaddafi was ousted and killed. This is part
of Putin's effort to re-establish his geopolitical power in the
region. Whether or not Putin backing the general is going to stem the
flow of refugees, isn't it going to undermine the stability of the
country, the UN peace process, and leave Europe that the cold, because
Putin does not care about the flow of refugees into Europe, and neither
does Trump. And neither does the general.
He has been against European and UN attempt to have that migration and
position. But this is also where there is a
connection between Trump and Putin. They both seem to admire so-called
strongmen leaders, authoritarian people who they view as being able
to re-establish order where they see is chaotic regions. However, Trump
has not criticised Russia for this. He may not have too. He may not even
have to endorse what is happening, he could just turn a blind eye and
allow it to happen. The general himself talked about
Trump, and he said that, look, because of the war we are carrying
out against terrorism, in this region, I think Trump will
appreciate that we can work with him.
The centre of power is like that, you have a government in triply,
backed by Muslim Brotherhood,, and supported by cat or in Turkey. And
you have a government which has no power on the ground at all. The
Muslim Brotherhood supported government is about to set up a new
army, and in order to consolidate its power in the West. The problem
is, which we are facing, have to is a very clever man, I hate him
personally because of the Langley things, but anyway, what he is
doing, he used the immigration card to put pressure on the West, on
Britain, Italy France and the United States, saying look, you ignore me,
you don't recognise my services, my power, I will use this immigration
card against you. And he used it very well. After six years, they
throwing the towel, please come and help us.
We are to leave it there. That's it for
Dateline London for this week. You can comment on the programme
on Twitter @gavinesler. We're back next week
at the same time.