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Germany-U.S. Spy Row; Afghanistan: Crisis Averted?; Imagine a World
Aired July 14, 2014 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight with friends like these, who needs enemies? Germany still awaits a public apology and
more from the United States over the latest spying crisis.
And later in the program, rescuing the Afghan elections, vote by vote. I'll ask America's special envoy how a complete recount could save the
crucial presidential poll.
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour.
Germany is still going wild with joy over its first World Cup victory since reunification 24 years ago.
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AMANPOUR (voice-over): But while the Berlin Wall may have come down, some distinctly Cold War skulduggery seems to be going on between Germany
and its close ally, the United States of America, which has seen trust between the two nations fall to dangerous new lows.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who threw up her arms in joy at Germany's lone winning goal in Rio is not so happy with Washington. As she's still
awaiting an apology and some sort of make-good after last week's allegations that the United States has recruited spies inside Berlin's
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): I don't mind saying that from my point of view spying on allies is a waste of
energy in the end. We have so many problems and I think we should focus on the important things.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): This after her own cell phone was tapped by the NSA, according to Edward Snowden last year. Berlin has now expelled
the CIA station chief and it's the first time a close U.S. ally has ever done such a thing. And it's a long way from Candidate Obama's adoring
German throng, thrilling to his pledge to restore trust after the Iraq War.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: In Germany, memories of the surveillance state from the Nazis through to the Communists and the dreaded Stasi are bitter. But
could this crisis derail a vital and close partnership?
Joining me here in the studio to talk about all of this is the former German defense minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.
Welcome to the program.
KARL-THEODOR ZU GUTTENBERG, FORMER DEFENSE MINISTER, GERMANY: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So is this as serious as Berlin is making it out to be?
Washington says, hey, we all do this.
GUTTENBERG: Honestly, we all do it. It's -- that's nothing new. But you shouldn't get caught. And --
AMANPOUR: So is it just about getting caught?
GUTTENBERG: -- it's not just about getting caught. It's a process now that has developed over the last couple of months since last year,
since the NSA revelations. And it is serious when you look at the general mood right now in Germany, but also reactions you see in the government.
And these are reactions I have never sensed before.
AMANPOUR: What sort of reactions?
GUTTENBERG: Well, first of all, what you have just mentioned before to ask the leading -- the leading spy, actually, in Berlin or CIA agent in
Berlin, to leave the capital is a serious matter. That's something we haven't had before.
But even from a very transatlanticist perspective -- and I am a committed transatlanticist -- I think it was necessary because there was no
reaction at all during the last couple of months from Washington.
AMANPOUR: Is there, to your knowledge, any reaction forthcoming over this crisis? They're still waiting for an apology. What can Germany
expect from Washington over this?
GUTTENBERG: Well, some of the German dreams are illusory or actually dreams. I don't expect an apology because --
AMANPOUR: Because that would be an admission of guilt?
GUTTENBERG: -- admission of guilt and I already see that Dick Cheney and others waiting behind the trees, just for an apology from Barack Obama.
So he will have internal reactions after that as well.
So that's probably not going to happen.
The next illusion is a no-spy agreement. This is -- it's -- that's also not in the German interest because it's actually more about
cooperation that working at the end of the day. And becoming a member of this Group of Five, the Five Eyes group, where it's -- where the U.K. is
part of it, New Zealand and Canada and Australia, I don't think that Germany actually wants it, the German government, because it would mean
more responsibilities and responsibilities where we have been reluctant for the last couple of years.
AMANPOUR: Such as what?
I mean, I understand Germany gives and shares almost all its intelligence with the United States. I read 80-90 percent.
So what added responsibilities would this no-spy deal put on Germany?
GUTTENBERG: First of all, an internal domestic responsibility to explain to the people in Germany that we are part of a wide coalition, a
broad coalition that is involved in things the German people don't like to hear, that has historic reasons, that has other reasons.
I think it is necessary to bring to the Germans' minds that our responsibility has changed and has to change but becoming a member of such
a club will be a very far step forward. And I don't think that Berlin is actually expecting it. But the communication has to change from
Washington. That's the first thing.
AMANPOUR: You talked about reaction in -- against Obama if he was to quote-unquote, "apologize" and you've also talked about reaction in Germany
amongst the people.
Clearly Chancellor Merkel is facing a lot of pressure, particularly from those who don't quite appreciate her such close stance with the United
States. And in the past, she has given in to public pressure on certain other issues.
Is there any chance that this could come at a price for some kind of relationship between Germany and the United States?
GUTTENBERG: I don't think so, because Angela Merkel stays committed and she'll try everything to fix that relationship.
But she also knows that's not a one-way street. And something has to come from Washington there. But if you, at the same time, have a president
sitting in the White House who's probably the most detached president since decades, not really -- not seemingly capable to communicate properly on an
eye-to-eye level with others' heads -- with other heads of states, the last year's example of when her phone was wiretapped, he knew it already in last
What do you do in such a moment? You pick up the phone; you call the chancellor, tell her, well, we messed up. Let's try to fix it. Didn't
After that, she campaigned -- he had a campaign in Germany, defending the U.S. after the NSA revelations. Was at high risk for her. She does
not own the apologetic to the Germans, but she's also -- she did quite a step there and then the press revealed that the -- for the phone tapping of
Angela Merkel's rather rusty cell phone at that very moment, but they revealed it.
Did he call then? No. It was her calling him again.
So that's the level of mistrust that needs to be fixed and it needs to be fixed from Washington.
AMANPOUR: It's very interesting that you bring up this personal relationship thing.
Why is that so important? I mean, one leader to another leader, a lot of people are expressing frustration at the distance that President Obama
has with them on a personal level.
Tell me why that's important.
GUTTENBERG: I'm also quite puzzled because even with presidents, where the Germans struggled with it, President Bush the second was such an
example. We had on the top level a relationship that functioned. So they may have bashed each other in public. But they could pick up the phone and
just call each other and say, OK. If you need some assistance in Iraq, you will get it; if you need assistance here and there, you will get it.
So this kind of personal talking sphere that needs to be given and even in times of new media communications, other things, I think that way
of diplomatic outreach, of personal relationship is still of core relevance.
AMANPOUR: So let's talk about the substance. What is at risk substance wise from this kind of dysfunctional personal relationship and
the politics of not being reached out to?
For instance, the U.S. is obviously incredibly exercised and apparently has done much more spying since 9/11, when a cell in Hamburg was
responsible for one of the attacks. So that is a major issue for the United States.
What other issues are of vital importance for this shared intelligence right now?
GUTTENBERG: Well, it's not only an issue for the United States; it's also an issue for Germany. And that's one of the debates we need to lead
in Germany as well.
So we have an urgent need for cooperation, looking at the challenges we are facing right now. Europe is still not capable of handling the
crisis around Europe by itself. Look at Ukraine. Look at the Middle East at the moment. Israel-Palestine again, now, Syria, North Africa, other
places. So we have seen that we need a kind of cooperation. We need exchange of intelligence services but we need also the trust. And for the
trust, we need to go a little bit further up.
AMANPOUR: Does Germany spy on the United States?
GUTTENBERG: I guess that everyone spies on each other. I cannot give you any evidence. But I think it's an illusion to believe that the Germans
just hold their hands in their lap.
AMANPOUR: OK. That's about as far as I'm going to get from a former defense minister.
What about -- you just mentioned Ukraine and other such things. There's a picture of Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin at the Rio World Cup
final. And yet instances are of the relationship is not that strong right now, because of Ukraine and Crimea.
What do you expect to be Angela Merkel's message to Vladimir Putin right now?
Do you think she may have said something political about Ukraine during the Rio encounter?
GUTTENBERG: Well, I'm quite sure. I wonder --
AMANPOUR: Because you're still very close to her. You talk to her still.
GUTTENBERG: I wonder whether she did it during the game. I think there were other topics and but they had an encounter and I think she was
rather clear about the perspectives of Ukraine, about how she still thinks about the Russian behavior and non-behavior when it comes to the security
of borders, when it comes to their approach to become part of the conflict of -- still part of the conflict or not.
She uses every opportunity and again see the comparison. She talks to Vladimir Putin more or less on a very, very dialogue basis. I think there
would also be a thing for Obama to do. And so it's -- she might be a mediator in this very case.
She's not leaning towards Russia. That's also a misperception in Washington. But she might use every opportunity to make the -- how the
West stands through the whole thing.
AMANPOUR: We have one more minute left. I want to play you a sound bite from President Obama, who pledged precisely not to engage in this kind
of spying. He said this in January this year.
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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People around the world regardless of their nationality should know that the United States is not
spying on ordinary people who don't threaten our national security.
And we take their privacy concerns into account in our policies and procedures. This applies to foreign leaders as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So he's basically saying what you all want to hear, that it's -- you feel that it's not actually a commitment.
GUTTENBERG: To remain in the soccer language, there was a penalty and he must to go to them and in the weeks after that, he could have done quite
a bit to actually put substance behind the very sentence. And it didn't come. But there is still time to do so.
AMANPOUR: Former Minister zu Guttenberg, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
GUTTENBERG: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: And while Germany's World Cup victory provided this priceless photo op for Chancellor Angela Merkel, in the changing room,
surrounded by the cheering champ, it also provided a temporary respite amid the violence on opposite sides of the Israel-Gaza border.
These Israeli soldiers in the town of Sderot were glued to the football match and less than a mile away in Gaza, these Palestinians were
also riveted by the action as the two sides continue to launch rockets and airstrikes at each other.
And after a break, another dramatic finish, not on a football pitch but on the political landscape of Afghanistan. Is a last-minute American
brokered compromise between presidential candidates enough to avert civil war? Maybe. We'll be right back with the U.S. special envoy.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
It's a critical week of shuttle diplomacy for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. In Vienna today, trying to hammer out an agreement with Iran
on its nuclear program and perhaps off to the Middle East later, to try to broker an end to the Israeli-Palestinian war over Gaza.
And fresh off his weekend of high drama in Kabul, where 44 hours of intense negotiations extracted a deal to resolve yet another disputed
presidential election there.
Candidate Abdullah Abdullah, the former foreign minister, had accused Candidate Ashraf Ghani, the former finance minister, of massive fraud in
last month's runoff election and even threatened to declare himself president of a parallel government.
Well, the U.S. promptly threatened to cut off all military -- all assistance to heavily dependent Afghanistan and dispatched Kerry to Kabul.
So will his deal to end the crisis and avert a civil war with a complete recount of 8 million votes work? Well, who better to ask than the
U.S. special envoy, Ambassador James Dobbins, who joins me right now from Washington.
Welcome to the program. And let me begin by just asking you, do you believe this audit of every single last vote will be the final word?
JAMES DOBBINS, U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY TO AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN: I think the audit of every single last vote will confirm the legitimacy of
the election process. Both of the candidates have agreed to abide by the result. But there was another important element of the agreement that
Secretary Kerry hammered out and that was the agreement to form a national unity government so that no matter who actually wins the vote, the
government will include representatives of both campaigns and both factions.
AMANPOUR: I was actually going to ask you that, to tell me how you think it will look like.
Will Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani both be in the same government, no matter who wins?
DOBBINS: Well, I -- that's not clear. What is clear is that one of them, of course, will be president and the other one will either be in the
government or his designees will be in the government. That would be up to that individual, whether he personally joins the government. That hasn't
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you to explain to me what seems to be under consideration, and that is something different than what we've had before
You were there at the very beginning, Ambassador Dobbins. You helped forge the very first government and you've been involved with this ever
It was and it has been a winner-take-all situation. And now they're talking, though, about creating a powerful new position, perhaps prime
Can you confirm that to us?
And tell us about it.
DOBBINS: Well, there were two parts of the agreement that Secretary Kerry hammered out. One is the process of auditing the ballots and
confirming the winner of the election. That's a process that involves heavily the international community.
The U.N. will oversee the process of auditing. ISAF will help collect the ballots from all over the country and bringing them to Kabul in order
to be audited. So we're heavily involved in that.
The other part was an agreement between the two -- between the two candidates about forming a national unity government. And I think it's
really up to them to detail to their own constituents and to the country the contents of that part of the agreement.
AMANPOUR: Is that that you don't want to come out ahead of them to tell me about it?
Or do you see a fundamental change in, as I said, the winner takes all style of politics that Afghanistan has been going through since their first
DOBBINS: I'm not sure that the change will be as dramatic as it would appear. President Karzai was, of course, initially chosen not through an
electoral process but through a meeting of the major non-Taliban factions in the country. He then ran in two elections as an incumbent. He did not
have a political party; he did not have a particular consistency in the country. He was able to create broad support across all of the ethnic,
religious and linguistic divides in the country. And he included all of those in his government.
I mean, it's striking that not only Abdullah and Ghani, the two remaining candidates, but all of the candidates in the first round, of
which there were 11, were all either ministers in his government or governors in his government.
So he's governed in a very inclusive fashion. It's true the constitution creates a strong presidency and a winner-take-all system. But
that's not the manner in which Karzai has governed. And I think as the result of this agreement, it won't be the manner in which his successors
AMANPOUR: So as you prepare to step down from your role as special envoy, are you confident that Afghanistan can hold together politically and
also in the light of the threat from the Taliban? And that still hasn't been resolved.
DOBBINS: I'm hopeful. I'm reasonably confident. I think it will depend first of all on the leadership exercised by the two candidates in
forming a national unity government and then working together over the next several years.
It will also depend on their ability to hold their supporters to this agreement as well. I think they have the capacity to do that. I think
they are committed to working together. I think there was a huge sigh of relief in Afghanistan when this agreement was announced. I think there was
considerable concern that Afghanistan was heading back to the 1990s. And now there's a feeling that it can continue to build on the dramatic
progress that it's made over the last 12 years.
AMANPOUR: And when you look at Iraq and you see what happened, the U.S. left; no forces there, very little leverage. ISIS has got a huge part
of that country.
Do you worry that the very forces that we were told were really up and running in Iraq, the same forces that we're told are really up and running
and going to be absolutely ready to take over when the U.S. pulls out, do you worry that they actually won't be?
DOBBINS: No, I think that there are differences between Afghanistan and Iraq, tempting as the analogy is between the two. The Afghans do --
are divided by language and to a lesser degree religion and geography and ethnicity.
But they simply don't dislike each other to the same degree that the Iraqis do. I mean Iraqi Arabs and Iraqi Kurds really don't want to live in
the same state if they can avoid it. They have historic antipathies going back decades; indeed, centuries.
In Afghanistan, the Tajiks don't want to live in Tajikistan; the Uzbeks don't want to live in Uzbekistan. The Pashtuns don't want to live
in Pakistan and the Azeri don't want to live in Iran. They just all want a large share in governing Afghanistan. So the competition there is a
competition not about national identity in the way it is in Iraq, for instance. It's a competition for power in a fairly straightforward
fashion, which is susceptible to the kind of dealmaking that Secretary Kerry was successful in pulling off last weekend.
AMANPOUR: And what about a deal with the Taliban? That has come and gone as an idea. Is there any way in the future -- excuse me -- you think
this is going to happen, particularly with the U.S. pulling its forces out?
DOBBINS: I think there's a good chance that the Taliban will reevaluate its position, based on several factors. First of all, we've
already pulled out -- we and our NATO allies -- have already pulled out more than 100,000 troops. And yet we haven't really lost any territory or
ground in the country. So the Taliban has to see that the Afghan armed forces are, in fact, filling the gap left behind by us and that they're not
gaining much ground.
Secondly, if this election does produce a winner that's universally acknowledged by all of the factions within Afghanistan, including by the
winner's opponents, and by the international community and if the international community continues to fund and support Afghanistan at the
levels that it's committed itself to do then I think, again, the Taliban will have to reconsider their position.
AMANPOUR: Ambassador Dobbins, thank you very much. And you mentioned that all-important funding.
As we know, funding has already been reduced from the levels of 2013. So we'll keep looking at all of that. Thank you so much for joining me.
DOBBINS: My pleasure.
AMANPOUR: And while Afghanistan learns how to navigate politics, as we've just said, any other way that winner takes all, after a break, we ask
whether the baton might be mightier than the bayonet. One remarkable musician conducted his life that way. The legacy of the composer and
conductor Lorin Maazel, when we come back.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, distrust among allies, contested elections, rocket attacks, these days peace and harmony can see like two
But now imagine a world where music can help build a bridge across the most hostile of borders. That was the vision of Lorin Maazel, the renowned
conductor and musician who died on Sunday at the age of 84.
Back in 2008, as the music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Maazel took the extraordinary and controversial step of bringing
the orchestra to North Korea, one of the most brutal regimes on Earth.
And he also took a great deal of heat for it. I was there in Pyongyang to witness Maazel's remarkable musical diplomacy and to see how
it opened a cultural door, however briefly, to the Hermit Kingdom.
Breaking new ground was nothing new for Lorin Maazel. Born in France but raised in America, he became a famous child prodigy, taking up the
baton at the tender age of 9 and directing major orchestras by the time he was 12.
His meteoric career would take him around the globe to such prestigious podiums as the Cleveland Orchestra, the Vienna State Opera and
eight years at the New York Philharmonic.
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AMANPOUR (voice-over): But he never lost his love and admiration for young musicians. With his wife, Dietlinde, he founded the Castleton
Festival on the family farm in Virginia to encourage aspiring artists to carry on his musical mission.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
And that's it for our program tonight. Remember you can always contact us at our website, amanpour.com, and follow me on Twitter and
Facebook. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.