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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
On Pope Francis' Climate Change Encyclical; Interview with Richard Clarke; Interview with Jack Lew; What Washington, D.C. Could Learn from NYC; "What in the World"; The Space Race: U.S. Versus China; Revolutionary Women. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired June 21, 2015 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:01] FREDERICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: After another possible sighting of Richard Matt and David Sweat. The convicts have been on the run for 17 days now. Search teams are warning people not to approach them. Many people are scared.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had to go through two police checkpoints just -- you know, just to get to the house and they told us, stay home, lock your doors and windows. So here we are.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a lot of woods, there's a lot of places to go, a lot of broken down things in the woods that you can hide in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: There have now been three recent sightings in that same area. Police called this latest sighting credible.
All right. Join me at 2:00 Eastern Time for all the latest on both of these stories and more.
I'm Fredricka Whitfield. "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" starts right now.
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.
We'll start today's show with the fight against terror. A key ISIS commander dead. The leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula dead. And a top jihadi who wreak havoc in North Africa believed dead.
All in just over a month. And yet ISIS is on the march. What to make of it all? I'll ask former White House counter terror czar Richard Clarke.
Then an exclusive interview with the United States Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. On a new face for the $10 bill. On what looks like a Democratic revolt against the Obama administration on trade. And on the next global financial crisis. Could it be starting in Greece? Also the race for space supremacy. Will upstart China beat the U.S. at its own game? Finally, remember the bombing of the Buddhas? Toppled by the Taliban
after 1,500 years? Well, a clever couple has figured out a way to bring them back.
But first here's my take. I am an optimist both by temperament and observation. Over the last two centuries human beings have made extraordinary progress in so many ways, but I maintain my hopeful outlook partly because I know that less optimistic people will regularly see challenges and sound the alarms to which we will then respond.
Pope Francis has issued just such a warning with his encyclical on the environment. The document is eloquent and intelligent, especially in its handling of science. Now it does make for gloomy reading. But in fact there remarkable changes taking place that could put the planet on a much more sustainable path. You'll get a sense of them if you read another important report that was issued this week to much less fanfare than the Pope's missive.
The International Energy Agency's "Special Report on Energy and Climate Change." The report points out that the in 2014 the global economy grew at 3 percent, but energy-related emissions carbon dioxide emissions stayed flat. The first time this has happened in 40 years.
How? Well, there is an ongoing revolution taking place in energy technology. Natural gas has replaced coal in many places. The cost of solar cells has plummeted leading to their widespread use. Cars, buildings and machines are becoming much more energy efficient and over the horizon, one can see progress in batteries, nuclear power and biofuels which could collectively produce a whole new energy ecosystem.
But innovation alone isn't what is spurring progress. And it won't be enough. We need a revolution in public policy as well. Fred Krupp the head of the Environmental Defense Fund points out that most of the improvements that have been made in technology and efficiency would not have happened without rules and laws. And a series of smart policies that are not very costly or disruptive but dramatically accelerate the shift to a cleaner economy.
First stop doing harm. The IEA estimates that in 2014 subsidies for fossil fuels globally amounted to $510 billion. About four times those provided to renewable energy. We still have a long way to go on energy efficiency, Krupp notes. Buildings waste 30 percent of their energy and a dollar spent in this area usually yields two to three dollars in energy savings and returns.
[13:05:02] He argues that solar power could become far more widespread if governments were not as beholden to utility companies and their phalanx of lobbyists. Natural gas is better than coal, but its production, transport and use released significant amounts of methane, which has much worse effects on the climate than carbon dioxide. The good news is that some serious studies have found that these emissions could be reduced relatively cheaply but would require new regulations.
The smartest new policy would be the simplest. It's one supported by many diehard free marketers like the Reaganite Republican former secretary of the Treasury, George Schultz. A carbon tax effectively putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions to encourage companies to adopt cleaner technologies.
This seems impossible to imagine, yet earlier this month several major European oil companies came out in favor of a global price on carbon. Whether through a tax or an emission trading system like those used in California and Europe. Technology and policy innovations in energy are happening. Just not on the scale that they need to. That's why the Pope's pessimism is useful and important even to an optimist like me.
For more go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.
The Obama administration has proudly announced big successes on the war on terror over the course of just over a month. The first was a raid that killed Abu Sayyaf, a key commander of ISIS. The raid also resulted in what U.S. officials call a trove of information. Then a drone strike killed Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al Qaeda's Yemeni off shoot, and now there are reports that one of North Africa's most notorious terrorists, Mukhtar Belmukhtar is dead, too.
Three big kills for us but aren't there three people to take their place? Will this kind of war stop ISIS as it consolidates power?
Let's talk about current U.S. counter terror strategy with the former U.S. counter terror czar, Richard Clarke. Clarke is the author of the new novel, "Pinnacle Event."
So, Richard, straight to it. How significant is this kind of targeted killing?
RICHARD CLARKE, FORMER U.S. NATIONAL COORDINATOR FOR SECURITY AND COUNTER TERRORISM: Fareed, this is a debate that's been going on now for 10 years. And in Washington it's called the whack-a-mole strategy. You knock down a leader and he is replaced. And some people say the fact that he is replaced means it's valueless to do this. It's not valueless.
It does have some disruptive value. Particularly with someone like Belmukhtar who was a charismatic figure who really created that organization and held it together in the Sahara. But it's only a small piece of what we need to be successful. So yes, we should continue to do it. And if you do it persistently it has value, but if that's all you're doing that's working, you're in trouble. And frankly --
ZAKARIA: What else do you need to do?
CLARKE: So you need multiple solutions. And you need to build popular support for an opposition to al Qaeda or to ISIS or the Daesh, as the Arabs call them. And we're not being very successful with that. And until we have a political solution which involves an ideological counter weigh to their view of Islam, we'll be doing this forever.
ZAKARIA: But do you support the greater use of American military power including American soldiers in this struggle?
CLARKE: I don't support the notion of large number of American forces going back. But it's not a major American military operation that's required. What's required is getting all of the other players to act together. And if that means we have to arm directly the Kurds despite the fact that the Baghdad government knows that, then we have to do that. If it means that we have to provide air support to Iranian- backed militias holding our nose, then we have to do that.
ZAKARIA: But you -- do you think that ISIS is a sufficiently large threat for this to become a major American preoccupation for the next few years?
CLARKE: Not a major American preoccupation. And I draw the line on returning large numbers of American combat forces. I think the debate in Washington has been this either stay where we are and do nothing or send in tens of thousands of American forces. Those are both false choices. The real debate should be about how much in the middle can we do? And is there a slippery slope that will inevitably draw us back?
I think there's a way forward. It is not a slippery slope. But we told ourselves after 9/11, we would never allow a terrorist sanctuary to exist again as it had in Afghanistan. And here we have the greatest terror sanctuary.
[13:10:11] There is an ISIS, there is an Islamic State that runs a big chuck of territory and millions of people are under its control. That's the terrorist sanctuary we said we would never let happen. Well, if we're still serious about that, then we have to do something. Is that a major American preoccupation? I don't think so.
ZAKARIA: Since I have you, I have to ask you about cyber terrorism. You did it in the White House. You wrote a book about it. What do you make of this most recent Chinese attack?
CLARKE: Well, I think government intelligence services do this sort of thing and I'm sure if the United States could do it to China we would or probably have. Where I find the blame to lie is in the American government.
Fareed, the state of security in the Office of Personnel Management, on security investigations of millions of Americans including me is pathetic. They might as well have not bothered at all. Security was that bad. I think the United States government isn't serious about securing its own networks. If the security records of investigations of top secret clearances of millions of Americans could be handled in the way it was handled, then there's no one in charge. There's no one at home. There's no one in charge in the White House with sufficient authority to mandate that governmental agencies fix their security.
ZAKARIA: This is surprising because this is now -- at this point we know that this is a top priority, this has been happening for years, wise if not galvanizing attention.
CLARKE: Because a lot of lawmakers and a lot of people in the White House and elsewhere don't understand the issue completely. They think it's technical and they run away from things technical, and because there are no body bags. And it's a drip, drip, drip kind of problem. Not one major event. But there's a criminal negligence involved here in allowing these millions of security clearance forms to be still on.
I don't want to get into the details, but the counter intelligence problem that this creates for us and for our intelligence assets and other assets around the world is immense. It's much worse than anything perhaps than Snowden did. And it was done by the United States government to itself.
ZAKARIA: Richard Clarke, a pleasure to have you on.
Next up, the main event. My exclusive interview with the secretary of the United States Treasury, Jack Lew. What woman will be on the $10 bill? We will ask him when we come back.
[13:17:03] ZAKARIA: My next guest needs no introduction so all I will say is Jack Lew is secretary of Treasury of the United States of America.
Jack, pleasure to have you on.
JACK LEW, TREASURY SECRETARY: Good to be with you today, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: So tell me. Who is it going to be? Who is the woman who is going to -- not completely replace but join Alexander Hamilton?
LEW: You know, Fareed, we've quite deliberately not made a decision. Have not made a decision yet. There are a number -- a number of candidates and I think in our history there a number of very strong candidates. But we've deliberately opened that conversation and gotten quite a lot of response even in the first days, getting ideas from the American people about the symbols and ideas, the things that they think represent democracy and what they think should be on our $10 bill.
LEW: So I'm going to wait --
ZAKARIA: You're getting a lot of pushback -- you're getting a lot of pushback, though, on the -- or some pushback on taking Hamilton down a peg. A number of people have said why not Andrew Jackson? Andrew Jackson didn't even like the idea of a national currency, he didn't like the idea of a national bank. He's the guy you should have replaced.
LEW: So let me start by saying in our pantheon of founders, Hamilton has a special place. Our economy, many of the institutions of our democracy are really attributable to his contributions. He will continue to be represented on our currency, he will continue to be represented on the $10 bill. We have a lot of ideas and design. How to incorporate it in a way that honors his contribution and legacy.
But, you know, this is a moment in time where it's been over hundred years since a woman has -- the image of a woman has been on our currency. The reason the $10 bill is chosen is because we make the decision based on security criteria. How do we make sure our currency is safe and sound, that it has the technology and it really is technology in our currency to make sure we stay a step ahead of counterfeiters.
For years now, the next piece of currency that's been in development is the $10 bill. We're going to unveil the $10 bill by 20. The 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. I don't think we should wait any longer before we put a woman on our currency.
ZAKARIA: Are you going to make the decision of who the woman will be?
LEW: Yes, I will. It's actually one of -- kind of unique powers and decisions that you have as secretary of the Treasury to make decisions regarding the design of our paper currency. And I take it very seriously.
ZAKARIA: It's a lot of pressure. Your wife is going to be weighing in on this one so.
LEW: A lot of people are weighing in on it. You know, and our currency is not just something that's important here in the United States. Obviously we use currency in our daily life. We touch it, it connects us to our history, but around the world it's a symbol of the values of the United States and the safety and soundness of the United States.
So it really is a -- it's a high obligation to make responsible good decisions on how we manage the design of our currency and it starts with security. And we are really looking forward to hearing from the American people and making a decision that will put a woman on our currency who represents our traditions of democracy, our history and our goals for the future.
[13:20:05] ZAKARIA: A tougher subject. Why is the president not able to convince enough Democrats to support him on the Transpacific partnership? You know, without getting into the legislative, you know, arcane TA and TPP, but fundamental problem. Is there are a lot of Democrats who simply don't support the president on this and he hasn't been able to convince them.
LEW: You know, Fareed, I've worked on trade issues for over three decades. It has always been an area where it takes bipartisan support for Congress to enact trade legislation. And it's no secret that it requires more Republicans than Democrats.
ZAKARIA: What do you say to those Democrats who are on the fence or are wavering? How do you convince them? What is the argument that makes sense?
LEW: Look, I make the argument that this is all about creating a better economy for American workers. Creating a better future for our young people. We look at --
ZAKARIA: But do you say the jobs are all going to be outsourced to these countries. So the growth in the future in terms of demand and markets is not mostly in the United States, it's mostly in other parts of the world. The question is, will the United States be able to compete to sell goods and services in the rest of the world and will other countries be adhering to the kinds of standards that we adhere to so that the level playing field works in our favor as opposed to us having high standard and them having low standards, making it uncompetitive.
So I think these are arguments that are real and would've obviously persuaded enough Democrats to put a majority together. You know, I obviously never give up. I try to convince people who are, you know, convince there's no argument to be made, but I think it will pass and one thing I can say is the president spared no effort on this. He's talked to more members that I can count, more senators than I can count, and everyone in the Cabinet including myself is doing their job to try and get this across the finish line.
And it's been complicated and there's been a lot of noise along the way. I take the long view on things like this in the end when we succeed and when we have a good agreement that builds a better and stronger U.S. economy and the global economy. It will be seen as a major, major accomplishment and something that lays a foundation for a strong future.
ZAKARIA: You're meeting with the top Chinese officials, your counterparts, as part of this strategic dialogue that takes place. Are you going to raise the issue of cyber hacking and the fact that this extraordinary situation where they've hacked what appears to be millions and millions of government workers' identities?
LEW: Fareed, the strategic and economic dialogue is a very important part of our engagement between the United States and China. On the economic side, we've used it to do important work like bringing their exchange rate policy into a place where they're making progress, where they've been moving slowly but moving to open their markets and where we've been able to raise tough issues like their policies that restrict their market because their requirements, say, in the area of national security or information requirements. We need to use the S&ED as a place to raise both the issues where we can work together and the issues that are of conflict between us.
And in the area of cyber security we're the two largest economies in the world. We should work together to have rules of the world that makes sense for the future, but we've also been clear that China does things that we don't do. And in the past we've been very clear confronting them on issues about effective intellectual property and trade secrets.
(CROSSTALK) ZAKARIA: Are you getting anywhere?
LEW: You know, it is a tough issue. I'm not going to say that we have resolved it. But it's a tough issue. We need to be able to talk about it. We need to be able to work together where we can but we need to be able to deal with the tough issues. I'm not going to comment on the current situation. It's a matter of investigation by the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security. But the strategic economic dialogue is a very important place for us to try and work through tough issues, and as we look ahead to September when the leaders meet to lay a foundation for us to continue to be able to make progress.
ZAKARIA: Jack Lew, pleasure to have you on. Come back soon.
LEW: Great to be with you, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, perhaps Washington politicians could take a cue from the nation's largest city. New York is executing on a plan to ensure its economic future by funding high tech research and development, and growing its next generation of business leaders.
ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment.
Hillary Clinton's big speech last weekend was not the most interesting thing to happen recently on Roosevelt Island. The sleepy bedroom community of just 14,000 people who live in the shadow of Manhattan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR: New York became the greatest city in the world because we dared to dream bigger than anyone else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: On Tuesday, New York City officials past and present were on the island to celebrate that ground had been broken on a groundbreaking new school there. In 2017, the site will look like this, the home of an Ivy League graduate school focused on applied sciences. The hope is that the school called Cornell Tech will become what Stanford is to Silicon Valley, attracting the best technology talent to New York's tech scene Silicon Alley.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLOOMBERG: It's getting funded. It's getting built out. And started producing results.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Former New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, was the driving force behind the project. We first spoke about it just before his final term in city hall ended in 2013.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: You've made this huge public investment in applied science.
ZAKARIA: And more than -- you know, and the federal government is cutting back on --
BLOOMBERG: Well, that's -- don't start me there. That -- you know, if you want to have a future the time to make the investments is every day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: The idea came about in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. With the city reeling, Bloomberg's steam held a month's long brainstorming session to come up with big idea to improve and diversify the city's economy, focusing in on the fact that New York had many fewer engineers per capita than, say, Northern California.
[13:30:12] Out of those discussions came a bold idea, a competition would be held to create a new high-tech mecca, inviting the best universities to make proposals for a new school, the school that one would get for free, what Bloomberg calls half of an island in the middle of the East River and also $100 million to help pay for construction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER MAYOR OF NYC: We could offer a school a new chance to be in the biggest city in America and the most exciting and diversified city in America.
ZAKARIA (voice-over): Schools jumped at the opportunity. There were pictures from the heavyweights like the University of Chicago and Stanford.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Mayor, thank you for this wonderful opportunity.
ZAKARIA (voice-over): After a fierce competition, Cornell's proposal, in partnership with Israel's Teknion Institute, the MIT of the Holy Land, won the day. Cornell Tech, which has already started classes at Google's Manhattan headquarters, is a university designed for the information age.
Students create their own startup companies and there is lots of collaboration with the tech industry. Former Mayor Bloomberg hopes that the school's graduates will found the next Apple, Google, Facebook or Twitter right here in New York City.
This week he doubled down on his bet, adding $100 million as a donation from his foundation to make that dream come true.
Sadly this kind of bold investment in big science is the exception these days in America, not the rule. Federal spending on research and development in 2011 was half what it was in 1960 as a percentage of GDP. In 2001, the U.S. accounted for 37 percent of the world's R&D spending; in 2011 its share was down to 30 percent, according to the National Science Foundation. China is projected to pass the United States as the world's leading funder of R&D by 2019.
Its government plans to invest in a slew of big science projects like a $330 million high-tech zone in Huizhou province and a $1 billion cloud computing center, as "The Washington Post" points out.
And China is not alone. Singapore's government has been making massive investments in science and technology with research helps for fields like biomedicine. America's extraordinary dominance in technology has been the product of large government investments in research and development, the funding of universities, public-private partnerships and more.
The world is copying the U.S. model but just as Washington has lost the smarts or the will to keep up.
Next on GPS, the face for space: is China about to beat the United States at this as well?
ZAKARIA: On May 5th, 1961, Alan Shepard blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in his Freedom 7 capsule atop a military rocket. That day he would fly 116 miles high, becoming the first American in space.
Forty-two years, five months and 10 days later, Yang Liwei blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Shenzhou 5 spacecraft. That day he would orbit the Earth 14 times and become the first Chinese citizen in space.
Today NASA has no ability to independently put an astronaut into space. It has relied on private companies or foreign governments like Russia.
But China does. Today NASA has no plans to go back to the moon and the space station is slated to be mothballed in 2024. NASA's human space flight efforts are concentrated on getting to Mars.
Meanwhile, China intends to go to the moon, build a new space station and go to Mars.
So is the United States getting beaten in space? I asked Leroy Chiao to come and talk to me about this because he knows about both programs. He is a former NASA astronaut who flew on four space missions, a former commander of the International Space Station and, most pertinent to this discussion, Chiao was the first American astronaut granted access to China's space program, which he visited in 2006.
ZAKARIA: Leroy Chiao, wonderful to have you on.
LEROY CHIAO, FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT: Great to be here, thanks.
ZAKARIA: You came out of this experience feeling that the Chinese are very serious about a space program.
CHIAO: Yes. Right. They are definitely in this for the long haul, which is culturally consistent with other views that they take. They definitely take the long view. And so over the past 12 years, since 2003, when they launched Yang Liwei on that first flight, they have only flown about seven missions. So if you compare that to the flight rate that we had with the space shuttle, we used to fly five or six space shuttle missions a year.
And even during Gemini, in the early days of the U.S. program, we flew a whole bunch of missions in just a short number of years. And so they are taking it very deliberately, very slow, steady and making advances on each mission.
ZAKARIA: You think that they could essentially beat us in space.
CHIAO: Well, I think that they -- it's kind of an open secret that they want to go put astronauts on the moon. And so the critics would say, well, so what? The U.S. did that back in 1969 through '72. But the point is, we can't do it today. We don't have the ability to do that today.
We could do it. And I think that we should lead an international effort to do that just like we are doing on the international space station. To me, it makes all the sense in the world to preserve our place, the Americans, as the leaders --
CHIAO: -- in space exploration. And there a number of reasons I think we need to go to the moon. First of all, the Chinese are going whether we go or now. Second of all, for us, if we have Mars aspirations, which we do, it makes the perfect place to test all your hardware, your habitats, rovers, space suits, even to train crews. You don't necessarily want your first crew on Mars to have zero experience on another planet, planetary body. So it makes sense to get some experience --
ZAKARIA: But let me present the counter argument. The counter argument is we know a lot about the moon. We have done in the meantime, as you say, a lot. Shuttling in and out of lower Earth orbit or even up to the moon doesn't get you that much. The moon is very different from Mars and therefore you actually don't learn very much.
So this would be symbolically important but kind of rationally, it doesn't make any sense. CHIAO: Well, actually, operationally, it makes a lot of sense because, you know, once you do that trans-Mars burn, once you start on your way onto Mars, you are traveling at somewhere, 40,000, 50,000 miles an hour or even faster. And you don't have the fuel to turn around if you have an issue, if something goes wrong.
So you want to make sure everything is going to work very well. You want to make sure you test it as much as possible and as close of an operational environment as you can.
Now the moon does that for us. The moon is only three days away. And so you can test your habitat, test your life support system, run it for a long time. Rovers, you know, there is dust on the moon just like there is on Mars. The environment is not perfectly -- it's not a perfect analog, but it's only three days away so that if you do have an incident, you can get the crew back pretty quickly. And so I think you want to really make sure that your stuff works before you send it off to Mars because there is no turning around once you head off to Mars.
ZAKARIA: Do you think that there is an appetite in this country, like there is in China?
And China, it feels like they want to prove something.
ZAKARIA: Have we lost that sense of adventure about space?
CHIAO: Well, a country gets into the human space flight business for the primary reason -- and the first reason is national prestige. That's why the Russians did it and why the Americans followed. In a way we are a little bit of victims of our own success. We made the shuttle program look pretty easy. We all got used to shuttles flying five or six times a year. And people kind of stopped paying attention.
Oh, yes; the astronauts are up again or they're up on the space station now. So in a sense, we have kind of gotten a little bit used to that success. But since we retired the shuttle four years ago, we've had no capability of launching our own astronauts at the space station. We've had to launch with the Russians.
Now with the commercial crew efforts, with SpaceX and Boeing, they are under contract to launch the first astronauts to the station in 2017. So hopefully we will get that capability back soon. But the Orion vehicle, the spacecraft that is going to take us farther than the space station, its first mission with astronauts on board is not even scheduled until 2022. So that's another seven years away. And that's a long time. And if history is any judge, it's not going to be 2022. It's going to be a few years later than that.
ZAKARIA: Pleasure to have you on.
CHIAO: Great to be here.
ZAKARIA: Best of luck.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA (voice-over): Up next, the unusual unsung stories of the Arab Spring. A group of people who were instrumental in the revolution, but whose tales were mostly left untold especially in the West -- until now. Revolutionary women: stay tuned.
ZAKARIA: Women in the Arab world are covered up -- literally. In many Arab countries they are asked to wear veils and the perception across the region is that women are in the background, ensuring the family is fed, taking care of the household, but not taking the credit. This was true even in the Arab Spring. The names you remember are those of men -- Mohamed Bouazizi, the food vendor, whose self-immolation was the spark that erupted across the region.
Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian dictator who was overthrown, Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who briefly took his place. The names you may not know are the names of the women who inspired the revolution, mothered the revolutionaries and were revolutionaries themselves, many of whom were brutalized in the process.
My next two guests were determined not to let those tales go untold. So filmmakers Abigail Disney and Gini Reticker have spent the last few years documenting the Arab Spring stories of nine women in countries across the region for a multimedia project called "Trials of Spring."
You say that women were part of the front lines but they were not heard from as much as men. Now the leaders of the parties were men; the leaders of the countries were men.
So what role were the women playing?
ABIGAIL DISNEY, FILMMAKER: Well, the women were also in the front. They just weren't getting recognized first of all by media and they weren't being credited. Then when push came to shove, when it came time to say -- write the constitutions or decide who got the finance ministry, they were shoved to the side. So when the rubber meets the road, very often they are either not acknowledged or not credited with enough seriousness to be in those conversations.
ZAKARIA: You spent a lot of time in Egypt and you had this incredible story about this one woman. Tell that story.
DISNEY: Well, Hend Nafea is this amazing young woman who grew up in the countryside in a humble family and who really made the choice to sneak out and be part of everything that was happening in Tahrir (ph). She is kind of an extraordinarily brave young woman. She runs afoul
of pretty much everyone, first Morsi and then Sisi. She's been sentenced to life in prison as a 25-year-old woman for participating in protests. And she was actually in prison while they happened.
And so she is looking down the barrel of her life being completely destroyed in a mass verdict with 200-plus other people in obviously a process that wasn't -- didn't have a lot of integrity.
ZAKARIA: The judge who sentenced her was the same judge who sentenced those Al Jazeera journalists, who were, most people think, entirely innocent of anything.
DISNEY: Exactly. And 400-plus Muslim Brotherhood activists, who were sentenced to death in a mass verdict.
Talk about the woman in Bahrain, this dentist.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, (INAUDIBLE), she's a --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- woman who was not politically engaged ever; she's very, you know, a family woman, doctor. And when the revolution started in Bahrain, there was a call for doctors to come down to Pearl Square (ph), where all the protests were taking place because people were being injured. So she went down to take place in helping people.
ZAKARIA: Let's take a look at a clip from the show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will sleep with my husband and my kids in the bedrooms. There are about two dozens of masked men fully armed and they told my husband, we're here to take her. In the first two months I was in solitary confinement. I was beaten all the time, kicked at, spit at. After the two months, I was released.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: So what happens after she's released?
GINI RETICKER, FILMMAKER: So she decides that she realizes that what happened to her was torture and all the people that she talked to about being under arrest, also the same thing happened. She decides to start a program to help people come to terms with what happened and get over the psychological effects, the trauma that they had been through.
So she's helping victims of torture. And very much so in a way that she feels like helping people take responsibility to realize that they can change their lives. And in doing that, they can eventually change the regime. ZAKARIA: You talk about patriarchy and certainly Arab societies are patriarchal. But I'm struck by the fact that when you go there and you talk to women, they're often not very keen on women's lib. They view this as some kind of Western imposition.
Did you encounter that?
DISNEY: Absolutely, and more than once. And I have to say I understand it, I really do. I've had women say to me I don't understand why you women in the West think you have it so good. I've seen your media, I've seen the way you're treated. So that's a fair point.
But even the women who are leery about Western feminism are very clear and assertive that they need to have a voice, that they need to be heard in political processes. So de facto, they're feminists whether they want to use the F word for themselves or not because they're asserting themselves as viable political actors in an environment where others aren't understanding them that way.
ZAKARIA: Thank you both very much.
Next on GPS, 14 years ago, the Taliban tore down the 1,500-year-old Buddhas of Bamiyan. Last weekend, Buddha was back for two nights only. We'll show you how.
ZAKARIA: This week, Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States. The brash businessman said at his announcement that he's worth more than $8.7 billion.
It brings me to my question of the week.
Which of the following U.S. presidents had the highest comparative net worth?
A, George Washington, B, Thomas Jefferson, C, teddy Roosevelt or. D, Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.
This week's book is "Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution."
If you were interested in the discussion of Arab women revolutionaries, this book will take you deeper and unsettle you even more. It is a chilling account of the repression, formal and informal, that pervades the Arab world as far as women are concerned.
It's also a touching, personal account of the author's own experiences.
It's worth noting that, as of today, this book has not been translated into Arabic. And now for the last look.
ZAKARIA (voice-over): When ISIS entered the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, the world braced for the utter destruction of the city known as Venice of the Sands. After all, ISIS has already proudly demolished ancient artifacts this year, from smashing statues with sledge hammers in Mosul to blowing up the ancient city of Nimrud. Once these historic treasures are so mindlessly vandalized, they are gone forever.
Do you remember the Buddhas of Bamiyan, these two massive Buddhas stood nestled in the sandstone cliffs of Afghanistan for more than 15 centuries. The tallest was 180 feet tall, more than 55 feet taller than the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio.
That is, until the Taliban did this in 2001. The Buddhas were broken into thousands of pieces.
ZAKARIA: Well, 14 years later, one of the Buddhas stood again last weekend, but just for two nights. A Chinese couple projected a 3-D hologram of the Bamiyan Buddha into the niche where he lived for so long. It was, according to onlookers and these pictures, a beautiful sight to behold.
When looking at these stunning images, a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. comes to mind.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that."
A small beam of solace, perhaps, to lovers of civilization when we watch the barbaric acts of today's terrorists.
The correct answer to the GPS challenge question is A, George Washington. According to "The Atlantic" and "24/7 Wall Street," which calculated presidential net worths at their peaks based on assets, life savings, inheritance and any money earned, George Washington would be worth more than half a billion dollars today.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.