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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
Crisis in Ukraine; Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski; Interview with Nir Barkat; The Year of China?
Aired April 13, 2014 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST: This is GPS, the Global Public Square. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria coming to you live from New York.
We'll start today's show with the latest in the unrest in Ukraine and the larger east/west battle it has become.
Then Middle East peace talks have collapsed. Why? There are many reasons, of course, but at the heart of the problem lies one city, Jerusalem, which both sides claim. I will talk to the mayor of Jerusalem to find out, is there a solution?
Also, a new U.N. report. The most exhaustive yet about climate change. We'll talk to Tom Friedman to tell us what the world and the United States need to do now.
And the great Anthony Bourdain will take us with him to Russia and India and lots of other places. We'll talk about politics and food, of course.
But first here's my take. Russia's aggression in Ukraine has had the effect of unifying the western democracies at least in their robust condemnation of the action. But travel further afield and one sees a variety of responses which foreshadow the great emerging tension in 21st century international relations between global norms and national interests.
Consider the response of the world's most populist democracy, India. New Delhi was mostly silent through the events of February and early March, refused to support any sanctions against Russia, and India's national security adviser declared that Russia had legitimate interest in Ukraine, all of which led Vladimir Putin to place a thank you call to Manmohan Singh, the prime minister.
India's reaction can be explained by deep ties with Russia. Between 2009 and 2013, 38 percent of major weapons exported from Russia went to India. More than any other country and more than triple the second country, China, at 12 percent. Between 2009 and '13, 75 percent of the major weapon systems imported to India came from Russia. Just 7 percent came from the United States.
Over the same period, Russia delivered to India an aircraft carrier and a nuclear-powered submarine, the only one in the world exported in those years. More curious has been the reaction of the most pro-American country on the planet, Israel. The country which has tended to support almost all American foreign policy initiatives has determined not to do so on this issue. Prime Minister Netanyahu was uncharacteristically circumspect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: I hope it's resolved quickly, amicably, but I have enough on my plate which is quite full.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: The foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, was more explicit saying he didn't want to offend America or Russia, treating them equally. Israeli officials explained privately they don't want to alienate Russia because they need Moscow in their efforts to deal with a myriad of threats, chiefly Iran, but those also emanating from the Syrian civil war.
But there are also those who believe that Israel can forge a special relationship with Moscow. Fueled by the connection between the hundreds of thousands of Russian dues who emigrated to Israel and from gaining political power there. When Lieberman meets with Putin, or Foreign Minister Lavrov they speak in Russian which is Lieberman's first language.
China perhaps less surprisingly was also unwilling to condemn or sanction Russia. But it's position has been more nuanced. Refusing to endorse Russia's actions in any way and emphasizing its support for the independent sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Now one could argue that in all these cases the countries are misreading what is actually in their national interest. China shares a long border with Russia and should not want to support Moscow in efforts to adjust these borders by force. It would be foolish for Israel to compromise its relations with closes ally, America, for delusions of an alliance with Moscow.
The fact that Avigdor Lieberman speaks Russian has not stopped Moscow from shipping arms to Iran, Syria and Hezbollah through Syria. India for its part should want to forge a much closer relationship with Washington as it confronts a rising China in its neighborhood.
But beyond their narrow considerations is a larger one. Do these countries want to live in a world, ruled entirely by the interplay of national interests?
Since 1945, there have been increasing efforts to put in place some broader, global norms, for example, against annexations by force. These have not always been honored, but compared with the past, they have helped shape a more peaceful and prosperous world. Over the next decade or so, as new powers rise, these norms will either be strengthened or eroded. And that will make the difference between war and peace in the 21st century.
For more go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column. And let's get started.
The sun will soon set on a tumultuous day in eastern Ukraine. Today as in recent days a pattern has emerged in this area that borders Russia. In city after city, official buildings, police stations and city halls have been stormed by militants, taken over and declared to be a breakaway people's republic.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh joins us from Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the original capital, and he's just back from visiting the locations of some of these takeovers.
Nick, it seemed as though things were calming down in the middle of the week, but now it appears as though this agitations for an independent eastern Ukraine are heating up again. What are you seeing?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A remarkable change in the last 36 hours, Fareed. From what seemed like a stalemate to now, which is a march, it seems, on a lot of cities. But if you look at the map they form a sort of circle around this main city of Donetsk where I'm standing. We just came back from Slavyansk where there has been a number of pro-Russian militants taking over the main security service and police building.
The Interior Minister said they were launching an anti-terror operation to clear them out. That has clearly failed. We went back later on to discover the city really still reinforcing its barricades. Those pro-Russian gunmen still in place. And the sense of people going about their daily business as normal, despite the interior minister warning them to stay indoors.
Another building we went to in Donetsk, another city, that was a police station. That was stormed last night by pro-Russian militants. That is now under control of protesters and the local administration there, too, on the protester control.
A lot is changing here very fast, and it seems almost like in Crimea, pro-Russian militants backed up by pro-Russian protests, then hold to places that they've taken. Things changing very fast here -- Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Nick, very quickly, we just have a few seconds left. Do you believe that Russia is behind this? Do you have -- do you have a sense of how that stands?
WALSH: It's very hard to tell. You can't tell from the accents of the Russian speakers here exactly where they come from. There is a lot of coordination, a lot of good equipment in the hands of these pro-Russian militants. That suggests some broader coordinating authority, the U.S. State Department that they think that Crimea tactics in the same perhaps people even soldiers are being used here in eastern Ukraine.
It's unclear but frankly there's a lot of coordination here. A lot of organization that's going to be hard for local activists to have pulled off in a matter of weeks -- Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Thank you, Nick. Fantastic reporting. So glad to have you here.
How is this situation going to get resolved? Yesterday Secretary of State John Kerry again warned his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, about Russian actions and the consequences that would stem from them. But are the Russians listening?
Joining me now is Zbigniew Brzezinski. Zbigniew was of course national security adviser in the Carter administration.
Zbigniew, does it -- does it appear to you that this is a concerted Russian effort to actually get Russia and Ukraine to declare independence, or do you think they're trying to create a situation where the Russians now have negotiating power to kind of broker some kind of deal with autonomy?
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I think the striking similarity between what is happening right now and what happened a few weeks ago in Crimea speaks for itself. Look, a bunch of thugs appeared dressed in strange, mafia-like uniforms without any national identity but looking sternly, strikingly similar to those who happened to have been in Crimea now are pulling off the stunt -- stunt in quotation marks -- in a number of eastern Ukraine cities, while Russia is claiming at the same time that the population there is rising.
And what Russia clearly is trying to do is to establish whether it can seize that territory without too much resistance and therefore claim that it seceded from Ukraine on its own. Or if there is resistance to move the forces which have been marshaled on the frontier right into Ukraine, or didn't hear were the Syria's international challenge -- challenge to international norms and stability.
A challenge to a system which was not to be dependent on the use of force. This is not a challenge to the international community and not just to Ukraine.
ZAKARIA: And Ukraine, Zbigniew, cannot really survive without eastern Ukraine, which is the source of much of its heavy industry and mining. So do you believe if something of the nature that you're outlining does happen that the west will be able to do more? There has been reluctance in Europe to do something like an energy ban because, of course, the Europeans are very dependent on Russia for energy.
BRZEZINSKI: Well, first of all, a lot depends on what the Ukrainians do themselves. They don't resist, as they didn't in Crimea. Then obviously the international community is not going to be excessively energetic in supporting, in effect, defeated Ukrainians. If they decide to resist, they'll probably be losing step by step, but if the resistance is sustained, I think the west, whether it likes it or not as of the moment, will be increasingly under public pressure, international pressure to provide assistance to the Ukrainians.
Not directly by troops, but by arms. And I say, frankly, that, of course, which may become really necessary and we should not shy away from it. Fareed, just think what happened in Vietnam. We lost thousands and thousands of men to the Vietnamese. But who armed the Vietnamese over and over again? The Russians. They didn't mind because they thought that was in their international interest and they were not directly involved.
I think we should be no less active. If the Ukrainians resist, we should help them. And if we can tell them that in advance, they're more likely to resist. And if the Russians know that the Ukraine will resist, they'll think twice about starting a large adventure. They're counting on it being peaceful, effective, and in effect, absolutely decisive.
ZAKARIA: Very quickly, Zbig, we have about 15 seconds left. Do you think President Obama is on the right course right now, so far as you can tell?
BRZEZINSKI: I don't know what's being said privately. And what I'm advocating is that it'd be part of the private message that the Ukrainian would take seriously, the Russians would know about it, but we wouldn't be trying to humiliate the Russians and we should be offering the Russians a deal, whereby a free Ukraine is free to associate itself with the European union, but a free Ukraine also has a normal relationship with Russia and we both participate in providing a kind of a finish, Finland like solution to the Ukrainian problem.
ZAKARIA: Fascinating insights. Zbig, thank you so much.
And we will be right back with lots more.
ZAKARIA: On Monday at the end of Passover prayers, Jews around the world will say four words that hold great importance for them -- next year in Jerusalem. This holiest of cities for the Jews contains among many other sacred locations, the Western Wall, the holiest prayer site in Judaism.
Jerusalem is also, of course, where Jesus Christ is said to have been crucified and resurrected. And the Dome of the Rock right by the western wall is where the Muslim prophet Mohammad is said to have ascended to heaven.
For all these reasons and more, the city is considered most holy for all three religions. Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, and the Palestinians have said time and time again, that the only way they would accept a peace plan is if East Jerusalem was given to them for their capital.
I wanted to know if this is even in the cards, which is why I asked the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, to join me.
Mr. Mayor, a pleasure to have you on.
NIR BARKAT, MAYOR OF JERUSALEM: Thank you, Mr. Fareed. ZAKARIA: How would you divide the city? Can it be divided, you know, because the Palestinians say that they must have a capital in Jerusalem, east Jerusalem? A lot of Israelis feel undivided Jerusalem must be the capital of Israel. Is there a solution?
BARKAT: Let me take you back 3,000 years. Jerusalem is the capital of the world, the temple of the middle, and it was never divided to the tribes. But everyone was welcome to come to the city of Jerusalem. The DNA of Jerusalem is a united city respecting all people, residents, visitors, and Jerusalem has a role to play.
And that DNA of the past, that's how Jerusalem functioned for a thousand years, is our future. By definition it cannot be divided. Our role is to open up and to enable people that come peacefully to the city of Jerusalem to have freedom of religion that did not existed for 2,000 years. Today you go to walk the streets of Jerusalem, you'll find that the churches are managed by the Christians, the mosques are managed by the Muslims, and the Jews manage the Jewish sites. It was not like that.
ZAKARIA: But what do you say to a Palestinian who says, yes, but you have your capital, if we are to have our state, we have to have our capital? Where would -- where would that capital be?
BARKAT: There are solutions to that, but there is not a solution of god forbid dividing the city of Jerusalem. It will never function. It's against the DNA of the city. And b y the way, there is not one example of a city in the world that ever got split and became functional.
ZAKARIA: So what are the solutions? What are the solutions?
BARKAT: Well, I leave that for the national government. You can call Ramallah, the center of the Palestinian people, they can bring their embassy to Jerusalem. They today have freedom of movement, freedom of religion. Today Jerusalem is an open international city, and by the way it's doing extremely well. Jerusalem, if you look at the trends in the city of Jerusalem, our economy has been growing 8 percent from year to year.
Satisfaction of all residents -- Muslims, Christians, orthodox, secular, is otherwise, our crime rates are .1 an average of any American city. When I fly to the States I pray because I know I'm 10 times more exposed to crimes in the United States than I am back home in Jerusalem. And all of that, the economy going north, crime rates going south, all of that, we must be doing something right.
ZAKARIA: For you the Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem, which is where the Palestinians would like to put their state, you think it would not be possible to have a Palestinian capital?
BARKAT: A very clear no. I'm committed to serve all my residents, the Muslim, the Christian, the Jewish residents. For me they're all the same. That's what the Jewish tradition, that's what the Jewish bible says. You've got to treat everyone equally, and that's exactly what we're doing. And there are gaps to close on the Arab neighborhoods, and the Jewish neighborhoods, and I'm committed to closing those gaps. And that's why you see --
ZAKARIA: But I've never met a Palestinian negotiator who would accept that -- that position, that they cannot have a capital in a part of Jerusalem.
BARKAT: Well, I think the demand --
ZAKARIA: So does that mean peace is unlikely?
BARKAT: I think it's a demand that has to be off the table, because whoever raises such a demand doesn't understand the importance of the city of Jerusalem as a united city. And unfortunately, sometimes I feel that Israel does not have a partner to negotiate with because the charter of, unfortunately, many of the Palestinians and our neighbors is to destroy Israel. And when somebody wants to destroy Israel, sometimes we feel that this is a salami style negotiations.
Let's take a piece now and then we'll argue about the rest. It's -- the whole concept of negotiating with the Palestinians has to take another route. They have to understand that Jerusalem will never function as, god forbid, a divided city.
ZAKARIA: That was Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem.
Coming up later on GPS, Anthony Bourdain has been around the world again. And he will share with me his thoughts about everything from Vladimir Putin's tensions with the West to the best place in the world to be a vegetarian.
But up next, what would you think if President Obama had Dick Cheney arrested? The analog of that just happened in China. I will explain.
ZAKARIA: And we are back with something that caught my eye. If Dick Cheney were arrested and his assets seized, all in an anti-corruption effort by President Obama, you might say, what in the world, right?
Well, as the "New Yorker's" Evan Ausnes points out, that scenario is a rough analogy for what is going on in China today. Some of you will remember that in the first week of 2014, I began the show suggesting that this would be the year of China, meaning that the country was likely to go through enormous changes that would make or break its rise.
But even I have been surprised at how much has happened on almost all fronts. China is now being ruled by a new generation, spearheaded by President Xi Jinping who has consolidated power and appears to be the strongest and most ambitious Chinese leader since Deng Xiao Ping.
Consider what he has been doing in just one year in office. First and most significantly is the anti-corruption drive and at the forefront of that is the expansive investigation into Zhou Yongkang, China's former domestic security czar once head of China's National Petroleum Corporation and a former member of China's untouchable politburo standing committee. Zhou is the man who has been called China's Dick Cheney by Evan Ausnes. Authorities have detained several of Zhou's family members and associates and have seized assets worth $15 billion.
And President Xi has taken his anti-corruption drive to the military as well, exerting much more influence than did his predecessor.
One result, officials charged former General Guyu Chon of using his power to amass illegal wealth pointing to his posh homes and other extravagances which could not have been bought on a military salary.
The second area where one sees great change is the environment. Everyone talks in China about the unbearable smog. A study released last July shows that air pollution in northern parts of the country can actually cut life expectancy by an average of 5.5 years.
Well, Beijing has now decided to begin a cleanup, promising to spend $280 billion to fight air pollution. This year China has started to directly monitor and publish the pollution impacts of its biggest 15,000 culprits. China's urban middle class now routinely protest against not only polluted air but polluted water as well. And in February China announced a plan to spend $330 billion to clean up its water.
This mass scale public effort may be a reaction to increased discontent, but it's also about the economy. The impact of environmental degradation cost China 9 percent of its GNP according to the World Bank.
Perhaps the most important set of proposals not just for China but for the world, are Xi Jinping's plans for economic reform.
Last November the party announced it would maintain its authority over the Chinese economy but would allow the market to play a decisive role. The government vowed to take a less active role in the allocation of resources and said it would allow the private sector to invest in state owned enterprises. And in perhaps the most striking development, Premier Li Keqiang told the parliamentary meeting in March that China aimed to expand its economy by 7.5 percent this year, but -- and here's the key part -- that growth would not get in the way of reform. Until now the party has not faced up to reforms, always pushing them off and goosing the economy to keep jobs growing. Now, let's be clear. So far economic reform is all talk and little action. And one thing you don't see in this flurry of new policies and proposals is anything about political reform, it moves towards greater pluralism or democracy. That's because the goal of all these ambitious measures is to strengthen the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party, not weaken it.
Up next, China might be doing something about pollution, but after a U.N. Report that elicited frightening headlines about climate change, what is the rest of the world doing? Tom Friedman joins me when we come back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAKARIA: Take a look at the headlines written about the report that was released by the U.N.'s intergovernmental panel on climate change. "Effects of climate change seen everywhere." "Climate change is here now." "The worst is yet to come." "Little time left to turn down the world's heat." The report foresees worsening warming, yes, but also with it, worsening floods and wars and food shortages. What to make of all this, and will it inspire any action? Joining me now, "New York Times" columnist Tom Friedman. He's also a correspondent on Showtime's climate change series "Years of Living Dangerously." Tom, for you, what is the headline of this new IPCC report?
TOM FRIEDMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: I think the headline for me is simply greater certainty among the vast majority of climate scientists, the people who truly know and study these issues. That if we don't begin to take the steps needed to prevent the kind of what they call doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere that will lead to the kinds of rise in global average temperature that will put us into a much more unstable world.
ZAKARIA: And is there a sense of greater urgency or a greater - a kind of warning that we haven't been doing much yet? You know, if you think about it, we've been hearing these reports, and all of them have kept saying, and therefore we need to start in some way having this CO2 emission levels start plateauing or even declining. And as you know, in totality, because - largely because of China's growth and a lot of the other emerging countries, CO2 emissions continue to rise quite substantially.
FRIEDMAN: Well, of course, and that's really been the problem for it, getting governments to act. Now, you know the debate in our country and it was echoed in the world. There are people who don't think this is really happening, don't think it's important. We can adapt. I was thinking driving over here, what if the nightmare of the climate deniers came through, and we really decided in America to take this seriously and act? What would we do? What is the nightmare that would happen? Well, the first thing we would do is actually slash income taxes and corporate taxes and replace them with a carbon tax. So we actually encourage people to stop doing what we don't want, which is emitting carbon, and start doing what we do want which is hire more workers and getting corporations to invest more in America. That's the first awful thing that would happen. The second awful thing that would happen is that we would actually borrow money, the federal government would borrow money at almost zero percent and invest it in infrastructure to make our cities not only more resilient, but more efficient. The third thing we would do is make permanents - the wind and solar and other renewable energy tax incentives. So we would actually stimulate more innovation and ensure that our companies are going to lead the next great global industry, which is surely going to be clean water, clean power, et cetera.
Another thing we would absolutely - the terrible thing we would do is ensure that another coal-fired power plant is never built in this country, so all the young people in this country now suffering from asthma in big cities, they wouldn't suffer from asthma anymore. Those are, Fareed, just a few of the terrible, terrible things that would happen if we took this seriously. In other words, Fareed, preparing for climate change, seriously, in my view is like training for the Olympic triathlon. And whether the Olympics come or not, you will be so much healthier, so much stronger, so much more innovative as an individual or country.
ZAKARIA: What about one piece of that, which is the subsidies for green energy? There are a lot of people who believe that the Obama administration has done way too much on this front, anyway, that we've been providing all these subsidies, that there has already been a huge, you know, kind of green revolution.
FRIEDMAN: Well, you know, the Republicans fell in love with the case of Solyndra, which was a case - a bad case where a government venture capital -- we lost $500 million on a solar firm. I wish those things didn't happen. But they've so fallen in love with the Solyndra story they've completely missed the fact that the solar, wind and efficiency industry today is actually at a tipping point. It's actually at a tipping point. Fareed, I'm going to ask you something. Would you think I'm a bad guy if I were hoping that Vladimir Putin turned off the gas to Europe? Because that's my secret hope, because I believe if Putin turns off the oil and gas to Europe right now, it would be the equivalent of the 1973 Arab oil embargo, which is what launched the solar wind and efficiency industry. We only got the first auto mileage standards after that. I think we are poised to take off. I hope you bought solar stocks last year, because if you did, they're all exploding. And I don't have to tell you about Tesla stock. We just need a little push. We just need Vladimir to do the right thing and turn the gas off. I'm happy to pay all the energy bills for the Ukraine because the impact it would have on the whole clean tech industry, which is poised to take off now, would be just like 1973. You go, Vlad. Give it to us.
ZAKARIA: One of the things I'm struck by is that there are more private sector actors that are taking this stuff seriously. You see corporations dealing with some of these issues, responding to what they see happening and also what they read with regard to climate change. But still, governments have been pretty slow to act. I mean you've been talking about this for years. You've written a powerful book about it. Do you think there's any sense -- do you have a sense that things are changing, that people - that this report will be different from the last report?
FRIEDMAN: I do have a sense that things are changing in the private sector, but -- and things, again, are really poised. You know, I would be happy if the U.S. Congress approved a one penny a ton climate - a carbon tax. A one penny a ton carbon tax. It wouldn't affect anybody, but the signal it would send to every corporate CEO in America is that this is coming, you've got to adapt. And you would all - you would see them all overreact, do so much more than the tax even require just by that signal from the government. We are really close to a real takeoff here.
ZAKARIA: So you look at this report and the situation and it doesn't make you pessimistic?
FRIEDMAN: Well, you know, I'm from Minnesota. I'm by nature optimistic. But the report worries me, but -- am I worried? Of course, you're worried. And you're worried that a word that you and I grew up with, Fareed, when we were young men, we once were young men, and that word was later. You could, you know, you could protect this valley, you could save this species, you could preserve this forest. You could do it now or you could do it later. And my real worry right now, Fareed, is that later is the word that our kids won't ever be able to use. Because for them, later will be too late.
ZAKARIA: Tom Friedman, pleasure to have you on. We'll have you on again soon. Thank you.
FRIEDMAN: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Up next, Anthony Bourdain has been traveling around the world. He will tell us about eating and drinking with Russian oligarchs.
ZAKARIA: In the past few months, Anthony Bourdain has been everywhere from Punjab, India, to Bahia, Brazil, St. Petersburg to Las Vegas, French wine country to the Mississippi Delta, and that is just to name a few of his stops. Tonight on CNN, the latest season of Bourdain's Peabody Award-winning series "Parts Unknown" will premiere at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. He joins me now to tell me what he has learned.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, CNN'S "PARTS UNKNOWN": Thank you. Good to be here.
ZAKARIA: So, one of the things I was struck by was Russia. You went to Russia, and I've always felt that when you go to Russia and you go to one of those fancy - really fancy restaurants that you went to that the oligarchs go to, the Russians party at a kind of an amplitude that is so different. It's like then Spinal Tap, you know, they go to 11:00 or 12:00.
BOURDAIN: Yeah, no doubt. It's a problem for me. It explains why I really only do programs in Russia every few years. I really need to rest up. They're not the most outgoing people in the world until you get around halfway down that vodka bottle, and there will be, as you know, always a vodka bottle. And I just can't drink like that every day. And yet one must in order to -- if you're going to get comfortable and get people to open up and talk to you there, you've got to drink.
ZAKARIA: But the food is also kind of extravagant, right? It's like lots of caviar ...
BOURDAIN: Oligarch food is sort of - generally speaking the best restaurant in Moscow tends to be sort of late '80s, investment banker friendly, New York, Asian fusion. This last time we went to -- we were scheduled to do a scene at the hottest restaurant in Moscow, and when they found out that we were eating with an opposition figure, they said, no, no, no, you're not coming in here. You're out. ZAKARIA: And you were there around the time of Sochi and Crimea.
ZAKARIA: And you actually talked to some of them about the Crimean situation?
BOURDAIN: Yeah. And the show is very much about sort of imperial Putin Russia, and, you know, the benefits of being a friend of Vladimir Putin and the dangers of getting on his bad side.
ZAKARIA: And when you go to Mexico, what I was struck by is you have these two experiences going on. You have the drug wars and they sort of shadow your trip, but you also have very vibrant country with a culture and cuisine that's getting very sophisticated.
BOURDAIN: Well, that's one of the heartbreaks of Mexico, if you love Mexico as I do ferociously. It's such a gorgeous country with so much heart, with just great music, sensational - very surprisingly sophisticated deep repertoire of gastronomy cuisine, with so many beautiful place, and yet just terribly afflicted by corruption and the drug wars. I mean it's really - it is a war there. Nearly 80,000 people killed just in the last about five years. That's a lot of innocent people.
ZAKARIA: Tell the story of the photographer.
BOURDAIN: Well, there are people in Mexico who do what are called notas rohas, simply red letters, and essentially they drive around photographing bodies, of which there are many left by the cartels. Generally these bodies are left in with a helpful note attached to them explaining why they were killed and generally by whom. Not specifically, but which organization they displeased. And this is what they do.
ZAKARIA: And do the people in Mexico kind of -- how do they deal with this? Do they repress it? Do - Is it like, you know, poverty in some countries where the urban elite just pretend it's not happening?
BOURDAIN: No one is immune. Everyone has felt it. Everyone knows someone who has been kidnapped if you have money, if you have a business. One of the ancillary businesses of the cartels is kidnapping for profit. If you're a journalist, you certainly have felt it because you're under threat. If you're working - if you are a police officer, you are faced with the choice, do I report this crime? Chances are it will not be prosecuted and I might be killed, my family might be killed. And the ordinary people in Mexico live with it every day because they're dying in droves.
ZAKARIA: India. A country I grew up in. You went, too, and saw an unusual part of it, which was the old British India, as it were.
BOURDAIN: Yes. In some ways we were looking at India through one house, a house with a lot of history in the former British Hill station of Shimla, which is where much of the British elite, government and management class would all move during the hotter months, all the way up through the foothills of the Himalayas where they essentially reconstructed a little England, complete with either Tudor homes and rose bushes and look at the history of India through that - that strange mix of bitterness and nostalgia. The thing that struck me about the place are the colors, which are just gorgeous, just a photographer's dream. The food, a place where even I, a confirmed carnivore, am happy to eat vegetarian for extended periods of time. Fascinating place in the world who we should probably no more about, because what is happening there is affecting so many in the areas and regions and our policies.
ZAKARIA: I was going to ask you what is your favorite country to be a vegetarian, and I had ...
BOURDAIN: I think you have the answer. For me eating vegetarian in New York is a misery. In India, it's a delight.
ZAKARIA: And if you had to choose a country where it is the worst place to be a vegetarian?
BOURDAIN: Argentina or Uruguay.
BOURDAIN: You're not finding many vegetarians. I think they eat them.
ZAKARIA: And Germany also, I've noticed, it's just - it's all meat.
BOURDAIN: Pretty much.
ZAKARIA: Tony Bourdain, pleasure to have you on.
BOURDAIN: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Coming up next on GPS, the only country in the world where Russian soldiers and American soldiers coexist peacefully for now.
ZAKARIA: A rare bit of good news in today's world. On Thursday the U.N. released its global study on homicide which found intentional homicides have actually decreased down by 31,000 people since 2010. About 16,000 people in the United States are victims of homicide each year. But how does that compare to the rest of the world? It brings me to my question of the week. Which countries has the highest homicide rate in 2012? A, the United States, B, Afghanistan, C, Venezuela, or D, Honduras. Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer. We have an exciting new way for you to get more of GPS even after the show is over. It is our flip board page, which has all of the great expert announces you've come to expect as well as some insides from me. Check it out at Flip.it/Fareed.
This week's book of the week is Timothy Snyder's "Bloodlands." If you want to understand the real history of what is going on between Ukraine and Russia and the West, you have to read this harrowing history. Between 1943 and 1945, 14 million people died in Eastern Europe, killed by Stalin or Hitler. Snyder explains why and how this part of the world became the 20th century's hell hole.
And now for the last look. This is a true one. A last look at an aberration, an unusual place that soon will cease to exist. Believe it or not, there is one country on earth that is home to both U.S. and Russian soldiers. The opposing nation stationed a mere 20 miles from each other. It is a landlocked mountainous country, and its parliament has been known to sacrifice sheep. I'm talking about Kyrgyzstan where the transit center at Manas has been a main staging ground for American troops and supplies to move into Afghanistan since 2001. It's less than an hour's drive from Russia's Kant Air Base, so close they could practically borrow cups of sugar. But you can see from these pictures, this military neighborhood will soon come to an end. The Kyrgyz parliament voted not to extend the American lease, and the U.S. has been given its eviction notice. It must vacate by July. U.S. Forces are getting ready to go, packing up boxes and breaking down large tents. Will this put some much-needed space between the United States and Russian militaries? Actually, not so much. The U.S. will now use its newly outfitted transient center in Rumania, 215 miles from Sevastopol, where there is, of course, a Russian base in the Crimean peninsula. The correct answer to our GPS challenge question was D, Honduras. Rounding out the top three of Venezuela and Belize. The United States ranks 66, sort of in the middle. Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week.