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New Iraq Government: Fighting ISIS; U.K. Leaders United against Scottish Independence; Scotland: Better Together or Apart?; Imagine a World
Aired September 9, 2014 - 14:00 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: Iraq has a new government at large. I ask the senior cabinet member, can they now save
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HOSHYAR ZEBARI, IRAQI DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: We defied all the critics. And now we have the tool to fight ISIS jointly and collectively.
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AMANPOUR (voice-over): And later, Scotland, better together or apart? Our live debate right here in the studio.
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour.
A major milestone or more of the same? As Iraq finally forms a new government, this as President Obama prepares to outline his strategy to
defeat ISIS with a major speech this week that comes 13 years after Al Qaeda turned the world upside down on 9/11.
Yet again, a president dispatches his secretary of state to gather a regional coalition to do battle against Islamic extremists. John Kerry
hailed this initial step taken by Iraq.
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JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Now is the time for Iraq's leaders to govern their nation with the same vision and sense of purpose that helped
to bring this new government together in the first place.
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AMANPOUR: But on the streets in Baghdad, people aren't so sure about the new team. To them, it looks like a parliamentary reshuffle.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): In reality, it's just an extension or a clone of the previous government. It's the same faces and
the same picture but organized in a new way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Indeed, wasn't ex-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki just booted out of office for his divisive and
authoritarian policies that have been blamed for the rise of ISIS?
Well, he's back as one of three new vice presidents. And two critical posts are still vacant: the ministries of defense and interior.
Still, politics in Iraq must change. They must become more inclusive if there's any hope of winning sympathizers away from the ISIS militants.
I asked a veteran of this struggle, Iraq's newly sworn-in deputy prime minister and former foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, whether this time it
really will be any different. He joined me earlier from Baghdad's heavily secured Green Zone.
AMANPOUR: Minister Zebari, welcome back to the program.
ZEBARI: Thank you. Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: So finally a new government is in place. Big challenge to try to pull the Sunnis in Iraq away from ISIS.
Can this government do it?
ZEBARI: Well, here is the chance and here is the challenge. We all agree that this government has to be different from the previous government
and its leadership and faces and its composition and its representation.
So the Sunni have joined this government as well as the Kurds, the Shia, the minorities and really the hard work will start immediately. I
mean, forming the government was a big, big challenge. I mean, it was produced after a cesarean operation last night. But everybody's happy that
we made it. We defied all the critics.
And now we have the tool to fight ISIS jointly and collectively. And we have a common enemy now in order to work together.
AMANPOUR: This is a new government and yet many of the same faces -- you yourself were foreign minister and now you're deputy prime minister.
Nobody's complaining about you, as far as I know, Mr. Zebari.
But they are and they have been complaining about the very divisive former prime minister, Mr. Maliki, plus a -- even former prime minister,
Mr. Jaafari, are still now in this new government.
Why should anybody have any confidence with the same old faces?
ZEBARI: Yes, there may be some old faces. But they have not been in government business. They have left their position for some time.
But the idea was to bring all the Iraqi key leaders and faces together to give weight to this new government that the new prime minister, Dr.
Haider al-Abadi and to work together.
I think that is the idea, to give the government more weight, well- known faces, political leaders. This is Iraq what has. So we have to work what -- with what we have at the moment.
I think it's a stronger government.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me put it to you this way then.
When I interviewed Ayad Allawi, who is also now in this new government, I interviewed him as ISIS took Mosul. And I asked him, why did
the Sunnis run away, why did the Iraqi forces collapse?
And he said to me, you know why? Because they had nothing to fight for. Mr. Maliki's government was incredibly divisive, very sectarian, very
And now he's back in the government. You say it's different.
How are you going to fight ISIS now?
What do you expect to be able to do now?
ZEBARI: Well, here there is a new element, Christiane, a new development, and that is the reengagement of the United States, the
reengagement of the U.S. Air Force in this fight, the reengagement of the United States, who advise us through different way of support, of
intelligence, of assistance, technical assistance.
And secondly, the main fight has to be done by us, by the Iraqis. This is our fight.
But as you know, this fight has regional international dimensions. And I think the key issue would be to rely on local Iraqis in those areas
where ISIS is in control, specifically in Sunni areas, in Mosul and Anbar and Tikrit and Salaheddine and Diyala, for them really to push ISIS away
from the neighborhoods, from the cities.
And a great deal of burden will fall upon them --
ZEBARI: -- with the support of others, of course, in the Iraqi security forces, the Peshmerga of the north. So that's why this is a
collective, a common effort. We are facing a common enemy.
AMANPOUR: Do you think that they will be able to shoulder this burden?
ISIS is obviously a terrifying entity and it has proven its ferocity with all its videos. And people, I hear, are pretty afraid to stand up to
Do you think these tribes will stand up to them?
ZEBARI: Well, I think the aura of ISIS have been broken by the Peshmerga, by some military operations by the Iraqi security forces, thanks
to the U.S. air support, really. I mean, no longer people start to fear them. I think they're on the run, on the defensive, and with the increased
international support coming.
And I think they could be defeated, at least here in Iraq. We have every confidence. Also the public actually are getting very nervous about
their continued presence, about their practices, imposing taxes, their own codes, their own rules, their own brutalities or violations.
So that's why I think we are winning this argument against them.
There are other areas where other countries must do also. This is -- could not be confined to Iraq and Syria. Their funding, their financing
that needs to be support. The flow of foreign jihadists who join them has to be stopped.
To delegitimize their ideology in order to not to deceive many young people, there are a whole range of measures needs to be taken. And that's
why now I think there are efforts to build an international and regional alliance or coalition against them to involve some Arab countries, some
Muslim countries in this fight, too.
AMANPOUR: Former foreign minister, deputy prime minister in the new government, Mr. Zebari, thank you very much for joining me tonight.
ZEBARI: Most welcome. Most welcome.
AMANPOUR: And with security paramount in an international coalition gathering, we've just heard word from the Elysee Paris -- Palace in Paris
that President Francois Hollande this week will visit Iraq to talk about security and then there will be a major security conference later to be
held in Paris.
After a break, if keeping Iraq together is top priority for the new government there, keeping the United Kingdom together tops the British
government's to-do list with the prospect of Scottish independence dividing the nation, we'll hear passionate voices on both sides. One key question
is the face of Britain's nuclear submarines, which are currently based in Scotland. And this much we do know.
Whenever a new British prime minister is elected, one of his first duties is to write his, quote, "letter of last resort," four identical
letters locked away in four submarines, only to be opened in case of nuclear war. The letter would order the commanders to fire their missiles
or to stand down to avoid further death and destruction. No one but the prime minister knows for sure and when he or she leaves office, all four
copies are destroyed unopened.
We'll be back after a break.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
Now Britain's three main party leaders don't agree on much. But this week they do all agree that they will abandon Westminster for the Scottish
Highlands to try and stop a breakup of the United Kingdom, an air of last- minute urgency has seized these otherwise disagreeable leaders as polls continue to put the independence vote on a knife edge, too close to call
In a joint statement, the leaders say, "There is a lot that divides us. But there's one thing on which agree passionately: the United Kingdom
is better together."
Now trying to fly the flag for unity, the Scottish Saltire was raised above Downing Street today. But it didn't really go as planned.
In Scotland itself, the debate is even splitting families apart. CNN visited this household in Edinburgh, where the wife says yes and the
husband says no to independence.
So I'm joined now in the studio by guests on both sides of this debate, from "Braveheart" to "Bourne" and of course, Shakespeare, Scottish
actor Brian Cox has racked up his share of awards and now he's urging his country folk to conquer their fears and vote for independence.
For the no side, British MP Rory Stewart, born in the far corner of the British empire, he's famously walked 6,000 miles across Asia, including
Afghanistan and Pakistan, and he's helped write the Iraqi constitution after the 2003 war.
And while the fate of the royal residents of Balmoral -- I'm going to stop and go straight to you guys.
Thank you very much indeed for joining me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're welcome.
AMANPOUR: So let me ask you first, because the momentum seems to be, Brian Cox, with the Yes campaign right now.
Why is it not better to have devo-max, have all sorts of devolutions that's currently being promised, all sorts of control and power in Scotland
and yet keep the benefits of being in the union?
BRIAN COX, ACTOR: Well, I think we did want devo-max. It was -- we wanted it on the ballot paper. We weren't allowed it. We were told we
wouldn't have it. And as a result, some of us who believed in devo-max -- and I certainly believe in devo-max -- were forced into a position to
really become, to declare ourselves as independent and desiring independence.
And it seemed to me that we were kind of put into a situation where this whole campaign has been run of a kind of very patronizing way, where
you -- where one has thought to one's self, well, hang on a minute. I'm really made to decide something. And I'm happy to decide it because it's
come to the point where when push comes to the shove, it's probably better off.
And also I think it's also on -- in my case, I look back on the theory of British politics over the last 20 years that we've got to this kind of
AMANPOUR: Well, on that note, you, too, I think, believe that there's been a failure in central government, a failure of politics. But do you
not think that the government -- you're the No campaign, although it was better together, don't break up. You listen to what Brian Cox has said.
They all almost been pushed into this because they never had a third option. It was yes or no and that was it.
RORY STEWART, BRITISH MP: Yes. I've had a lot of sympathy for what Brian feels and I think a lot of people feel very frustrated, particularly
irritated with government now. People feel politics is broken, society's broken. All I'd say though is that a constitution, a country is a longer-
term thing than that. It's the 300-year relationship. And there's a lot of reasons to be very, very irritated. But these are things which will
pass. They're 5-, 10-year things. They change with governments, a lot of things Alex Salmond's talking about, he can implement immediately.
Or a Labour government could implement in 2015. It's very strange somehow that we've got this massive constitutional tear-up (ph) as a
solution to what I see ultimately as short-term anxieties.
AMANPOUR: You are MP for the border region up there, where it's right below the Scottish border. What do you feel on the ground when you're
there? Is there a sense of inevitably? Obviously the tabloids, the papers are saying the No campaign is in a state of panic and offering all these
things around the -- you know, at the last minute.
What do the people think in your consistency?
STEWART: They think, particularly on the border, it feels very arbitrary. The English-Scottish border is something created by a French
ambassador in 1552, who drew a line on a map, not very far from where the Emperor Hadrian came along and drew a straight colonial line on the map and
Our sheep move back and forth across that border. The Longtown Auction Mart (ph), where I'm based, has sheep from both sides of the
border. People are used to moving back and forth across that border, seeing us as a single family, a single unit.
And I think we almost went actually understand how big a deal this is until it happens. And when it happens, it'll be a terrible sense of loss
AMANPOUR: Well, what do you say about that, Brian, because --
COX: Well, I don't think there is going to be a sense of loss. I actually think there's going to be a much greater social union. You see, I
think this whole debate is about social democracy. It's more about social democracy. It's as much about social democracy as about independence.
And what I feel is that the social democracy has been severely lacking and has been -- has been sort of drifting away, the kind of -- I mean, I
suppose the great Labour government of -- or the great government, for me, of the 20th century was the Attlee government, which put into play all
those great social things that we have now. And these things have become eroded more and more and more and more and more.
And in my case, because I'm a member of the Labour Party, what I've seen is that the involvement and what was in the legal war was the final
sort of nail in the coffin --
AMANPOUR: You're talking about the Iraq War.
COX: -- the Iraq War -- and it sort of destroyed the credibility of Labour and it certainly, even probably, was responsible for the death of a
great man called Robin Cook, great Scotsman.
And I feel that we've reached a point now -- it's a historic inevitably. It's no longer working. I think the 300 years is -- the thing
about the Scots is they've always done things on other people's behalf. You know, we created -- well, you know, we created -- we gave them our
regiments. When we were run after proscription, we weren't allowed to carry our colors.
But William Pitt decided, well, you can carry your colors if you become a militia and you serve Empire.
So there were -- therefore, we had a kind of -- you know, we had a sort of mercenary identity. And I think this has gone on. We also created
the Labour Party. We've created things on other people's behalf. And finally, I think this got to a point where we said, well, we've done all
this. It's time to do it on our own behalf.
AMANPOUR: How very clearly the Scots play a huge and vital role in everything that's Great British.
STEWART: Absolutely. I mean, we're a family. And we're individuals in that family. We're not a -- we're not clones. We're not all the same.
Scots have contributed a huge amount. But the danger of this, the Scots are also forgetting how much England has contributed to Scotland. I
mean, the danger of this is that if we're not careful, we're going to end up being a bit complacent and a bit smug here.
The Labour movement is also an English Labour movement, determinism, the progressive movement, people who are progressive, social democratic in
Scotland shouldn't be patronizing towards that in England. They shouldn't forget the idea of solidarity. They shouldn't forget the fact that Attlee
would be horrified exactly by this kind of proposal.
AMANPOUR: But his successor, Gordon Brown, Labour prime minister, the previous Labour prime minister, was up there, doing his best to explain to
the people of Scotland that if you don't vote for independence, we're going to give you all of this "independence," inverted commas.
Why do you think that will resonate now at this late date?
Do you think it will?
STEWART: I believe we have a genius for the local, nobody like politicians a long way away. I think Westminster's too far away.
Honestly, I think people will --
COX: I couldn't agree more with that. I think Westminster's time is over. Really, really over. And I think a lot of the problems that we've
got is actually due to Westminster.
AMANPOUR: You're both saying where -- you said Westminster's time is over; you've said Westminster is too far away. People are fed up with
central government, is what you're saying.
STEWART: And I was going to add to that, I think Edinburgh will also prove to be too far away. I mean, Brian's doing great work at the moment
in Dundee. I mean, if you look at Scotland, what a lot of people are asking for in Scotland and haven't got yet is an ability to express their
own identity in the borders, in Inverness and Skye and the great cities of Scotland.
I mean, we've got too much of a centralized system in general. The answer is to give power back to people, not, I think, to tear the country
AMANPOUR: So what does happen next? What is the logical ramification? It is a federal --
AMANPOUR: -- is everything going to spin off?
COX: See, what I feel is once -- if independence is achieved, I think then we come to an idea of a federation of Great Britain, the United
Federation of Great Britain. You know, I look at the problems that Somerset had at the time of the floods. When they couldn't make decisions
about something they knew about that they understood, which was to do with the drainage, to do with retreating -- receding the floods.
And the whole central government was so slow to move on it and I felt -- I felt we've lost touch. Something has lost touch. We've lost -- we've
lost contact. I think -- and I think it about England, because I'm as much about -- concerned about England as I am concerned about Scotland, Scotland
will be OK. Whatever happens, Scotland is going to be OK.
England is the place I --
AMANPOUR: Better together for England, not for Scotland --
STEWART: -- and I think that we're better together in the sense that on our own, our nations are in danger of being a little bit unbearable. We
actually hold our heads up in the world because we compensate for each others' weaknesses. We're about diversity. We're a very -- actually, the
United Kingdom is a very modern idea. It's not about narrow nation states. It's about accepting all that strange diversity, comedy, tension --
COX: Unfortunately, though, the problem has been that -- and in Scotland, that we have not had a say. We've -- we had -- the government of
Margaret Thatcher, which kind of de-industrialized Scotland --
AMANPOUR: But Tony Blair gave you devolution.
COX: -- he gave us devolution but he gave with one hand and took away with another.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you this, I mean, the honest question is when it comes to most people care about not just the heart and the spirit
of nationalism and independence and freedom but about jobs, dollars and cents, pounds and not shillings anymore; euros.
It's not at all sure, according to every single financial expert who we talk to that Scotland is going to be better off or as well off --
COX: I think that Scotland -- the -- in the "Financial Times," Scotland has the potential to be one of the -- the 20th richest country in
the world. And I think that's there, that potential is there.
We haven't harnessed it. We've not been allowed to harness it.
STEWART: I'd say a couple of things quickly. One of them is it's the uncertainty that's the problem. Look, Scotland is an entrepreneurial,
energetic country. It's got great resources.
But the problem is the transition. International investors haven't seen this before. They're going to step back for a second; they're going
to be cautious. It's going to be a difficult transition. The biggest (INAUDIBLE) can't in the end be about money. It's about who we are.
STEWART: Do we want -- and I think, you know, Brian's right on top of this.
Do we want to be proud Scottish actors, who study in LAMDA, in London Academy Music and Drama, come back, move to New York, move to Scotland?
That's the kind of world we want to create. So progressive, open world that accepts different --
AMANPOUR: Well, you both agree on that.
COX: Yes, I agree with that.
AMANPOUR: And on that note, Brian Cox, Rory Stewart, thank you so much indeed for joining us.
STEWART: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And while the fate of the royal residence on Balmoral and the hunting lodge the royal family keeps there is not central to the
independence debate, we do turn next to a more direct threat to wildlife than hunting and shooting.
The impact of climate change on endangered species. Imagine a Nobel Prize-winning novelist who's been dead for over half a century helping to
save future generations of marine wildlife. "The Old Man and the Sea," when we return.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine a world that's neither fish nor fowl. An exhaustive new study seven years in the making is a wakeup
call -- a bird call, if you will, for the perils of climate change.
According to the naturalist Audubon Society, half of North America's bird population could face extinction because of warming temperatures.
Among them, the bald eagle, which is the majestic national bird of the United States. Another 10 officials state birds are also on the watch
list, including the Baltimore oriole, which is state bird of Maryland and mascot of Baltimore's professional baseball team.
But the assault on the environment isn't strictly for the birds. The grandsons of the great writer, Ernest Hemingway, have returned to the coast
of Cuba, celebrated in his classic novel, "The Old Man and the Sea."
Patrick and John Hemingway are leading a team of scientists hoping to gain access to their grandfather's old fishing diaries, meticulous records
of the marine life that existed in abundance before overfishing devastated the population.
Just as Hemingway wrote "The Sun Also Rises," his grandsons hope that their efforts can help endangered species of fish rise and swim again.
And that's it for our program tonight. Remember you can always contact us at our website, amanpour.com, and follow me on Facebook and
Twitter. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.