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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
Trump Immigration Policy Examined; Lokking at Foreign Policy Issues. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired January 29, 2017 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:20] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: 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 in New York.
We'll start by tackling all aspects of President Trump's immigrant ban, barring citizens from seven Muslim majority nations from coming into the United States. Is it legal? Is it moral? Is it American? And will it work?
I will talk to the head of the ACLU, then a great panel, and then we will broaden out to examine Donald Trump's radical shift of American foreign policy. What does it mean when America walks away from the world?
But first, here's my take. Donald Trump's executive order suspending the entry of Syrian refugees and of anyone from seven Muslim countries is filled with requests for reports and information. The Department of Homeland Security, the State Department are asked to provide information on the numbers of foreign terrorists and then to issue progress reports on the policy with more data within one and three months.
So let me save the government some money and offer the data right now. Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank, has tallied the number of Americans killed by citizens of the seven countries banned from 1975 to 2015.
They are as followed. From Iraq, zero. From Iran, zero. From Syria, zero. From Yemen, zero. From Libya, zero. From Somalia, zero. And from Sudan, you guessed it, zero. Incidentally that number from Saudi Arabia is 2,369. From the UAE it's 314. From Egypt it's 162, according to Cato.
Why certain countries are on or off this list is truly mysterious. Some newspapers have noted correctly that none of the Muslim majority countries that have a Trump hotel, building or office are on the list. More broadly, Cato's Nowrasteh points out, that including 9/11, the chance of an American being killed by foreign terrorists on U.S. soil over that 41-year period is 1 in 3.6 million per year. Be killed by a refugee, your chances are 1 in 3.64 billion per year.
So there's really no rational basis for this policy. What explains it then? I suppose what's explained so much of Donald Trump's political career, the exploitation of fear. From the birther campaign to the talk of Mexican rapist, Trump has always trafficked in fear-mongering. This time to stoke those fears and present himself as the country's protector, he chose to punish ordinary men, women and children who are fleeing terrorism and violence, who are willing to brave the odds, bear the hardships and separate from family and home, all to try to come to America.
These people are the road kill of Trump's posturing. But something else is being destroyed along with it, the image, reputation and goodwill of the United States as the beacon of the world. As someone noted over the past few days, Donald Trump seems to want to turn off that lamp on the Statue of Liberty. And let's get started.
Let's get straight to the legal challenge to President Trump's executive order on immigration. For that I am joined by Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU. His organization has been at the tip of the spear fighting against the president's ban.
ANTHONY ROMERO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ACLU: Hi, Fareed. How are you?
ZAKARIA: So where do we stand? This is like a movie.
ZAKARIA: The drama is that you filed --
ROMERO: Somewhat breathless. Yes.
ZAKARIA: You filed and a court upheld -- put a stay order in place on the ban.
ROMERO: Right. Yesterday the court ruled about 8:00 p.m. in the evening to preserve the status quo. To prohibit the government from deporting or putting individuals back on planes from countries from whence they came. It's a preliminary stay. She wants to more fully engage the merits of our injunction. Basically we're arguing that the executive order is unconstitutional and that it's unlawful. The merits of that will be fully broached in coming weeks.
ZAKARIA: Parse that out for me. You're saying that it's unconstitutional and unlawful, why?
ROMERO: The executive order does a couple of things. You know, it tells the -- it's a moratorium on all refugees.
[10:05:03] It prohibits the entry of Syrian refugees. It bans the entry of individuals from seven countries. That includes even green card holders. That includes individuals who have lawful visas. And then it carves out an exception for minority religions.
Taken together, the four components of the executive order, we think violate the due process protections of the Constitution, the equal protection clauses of the Constitution, violates some federal statues, the Immigration Nationality Act. We think also violates some of our international treaties and conventions and violates the First Amendment.
The First Amendment is one of the core principles of our Constitution. It prohibits the government from either favoring or discriminating against any one particular religion. And here you have Mr. Trump saying that we're going to exclude individuals from predominantly Muslim countries and then he carves out an exception for minority religions. And the executive order is a smoking gun that violates against -- that violates the First Amendment.
ZAKARIA: So what do you think is likely to happen here? She's going to -- as you say, she wants to hear the full argument then she will rule. If she rules in your favor, what recourse does the Trump administration have?
ROMERO: They could of course appeal it. I think ultimately this will be a case that will be broached before the U.S. Supreme Court. But ultimately I think what it underscores is the fact that our courts serve as a check and balance on the power of the executive. And this effort is not just un-constitutional and un-American and wrongheaded, we think it's also something that will go down in history as one of the worst moments for American foreign policy and American immigration policy.
Our nation is a nation of immigrants. We have welcomed refugees to our shores. Refugees in particular are among the most vulnerable individuals and the idea that we would try to shut them out because of the fear-mongering, the xenophobia that President Trump is now engaged in, we find very troubling.
ZAKARIA: You mentioned that it violates international treaties. It violates the Geneva Convention. I thought we really had entered a new world.
ZAKARIA: When we got a report that the chancellor of Germany had to teach the president of the United States the Geneva Convention and the fact that the Geneva Convention to which we are a signatory requires that you take in some refugees.
ROMERO: It's great that she's teaching him but she may not have the best pupil. And frankly he will be taught by our courts. Our judges. It's already rather remarkable that within 24 hours of issuing the executive order he's been rebuked by a federal judge and has stayed the implementation of this executive order nationwide. And so it clearly will lay out for the Trump administration the need for them to be much more thoughtful.
This executive order, in addition to being unconstitutional, the way in which they went about it, Fareed, was just -- was just amateur night at the Apollo. They had not fully briefed their own Customs and Border Patrol agents. They had not briefed the embassies. They had briefed business leaders. You had literally individuals who got on airplanes thinking that they had had a valid visa to enter the U.S. and they were turned away at the airports. And so it was the messiness in which they did this I think will also play out over time. ZAKARIA: Fascinating. Stay with us, Anthony Romero. When we come
back I will bring the rest of my panel to further discuss Donald Trump's immigration ban. We'll be back.
[10:12:40] ZAKARIA: The reaction was fast and often furious to President Trump's travel immigration ban. Americans stormed the country's major airports to protest. Taxi drivers went on strike and across the world governments reacted. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement this morning that she deeply regrets Trump's executive order. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted, "To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength." Hashtag, WelcometoCanada.
Meanwhile, many of the countries on the banned list considered fighting back against Trump by instituting their own ban against U.S. citizens. To consider all these considerations let me bring in a terrific panel.
David Miliband was the United Kingdom's Foreign secretary. He is now the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. Jonathan Turley is a constitutional law scholar who works as a professor at the George Washington Law School. Rula Jebreal joins us from Rome where she is a visiting professor at the American University. She is a foreign policy analyst and has worked in the Middle East, Italy and in the United States. And of course Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, is back with us.
David Miliband, you have dealt with policy at the highest levels. You're a foreign minister. You're in the British Cabinet. How does -- just the implementation, the execution of this policy look to you and where do you think the Trump administration goes from here?
DANA MILIBAND, FORMER UK FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, hasty process always produces harmful policy and you're seeing that in this case. The confusion of the immigration issue that's affecting 100 Google employees, that's affecting British MPs, that's affecting green card holders is being confused with the policy on refugees. 60,000 refugees, we think, around the world have passed the extensive security vetting system that exist for anyone wanting to enter the U.S. as a refugee. It was the most -- the toughest way to get to the U.S. is a refugee. They are left in limbo. And they will be knocking on the doors of embassies around the world saying, where do I stand? Many of them will --
ZAKARIA: Just expand on that for a minute. The toughest way to get into the U.S. is to apply to be a refugee because it's a two to three years process.
MILIBAND: Exactly. The average is 12 to 18 months of intensive interviews and study. 12 to 15 government departments scrutinize every aspect of your background. Biometric testing is included.
[10:15:02] It's very tough to get here as a refugee. And that's why the security record of refugees in this country, one reason, is so strong and so safe. They become productive and patriotic not just residents but citizens.
And in the context of a 25 million global refugee crisis, the U.S. refugee resettlement contribution is relatively small. It was 100,000 proposed under the Obama administration. President Trump tried to take that down to 50,000. But there are already 60,000 people in the pipeline who've been through this process and now left in limbo. And I think that's what happens when a policy is turned from a campaign slogan into an executive order without the kind of interagency discussion on process, expert input that is so important.
ZAKARIA: What would you do?
MILIBAND: I think the obvious thing to do is to allow the existing system to remain in place while the reviews take place. Remember, the only people celebrating today are extremists around the world who want to tell Muslims around the world that America is shutting their doors to them. The only people celebrating this propaganda gift are ISIS and al Qaeda who -- for whom this plays into their core narrative of a clash of civilization.
ZAKARIA: Jonathan Turley, take us through the next stage of Anthony Romero's legal struggle. Anthony, I assume you're going to just keep going? It will get to the Supreme Court. This court is 4-4 right now. Is it possible that you'd be able to get a real decision out of a 4-4 court?
ROMERO: Well, I think so. And I'm not sure how Jonathan thinks. But --
ZAKARIA: Jonathan, what do you think?
JONATHAN TURLEY, PROFESSOR, GWU SCHOOL OF LAW: I have a great deal of respect for Anthony Romero and the ACLU. We're all exceptional lawyers. On this one it pains me to say I would have to bet against them. I don't think that the stay was necessarily a rebuke of the administration. She essentially froze the action of the parties in this case because she believed there would the reparable damage unless she did so. So she had a chance to look at the merits.
The law does favor President Trump in this regard. I don't like this order. I think it's a terrible mistake. But that doesn't go into the legal analysis. The court has been extremely deferential to presidents on the border. In fact President Obama just last year was telling the court that courts shouldn't be second guessing the decisions based on national security or immigration from the president. In 1882, you had the really infamous Chinese Exclusion Act which was upheld and then you have things like Section 1182 of the federal law that gives sweeping authority to the president to withhold either individual aliens or groups of aliens.
All of that works to the advantage of President Trump. What is not going to happen, I don't think, is that I do not believe a federal court will view this as a Muslim ban. I don't think the court can. Regardless of what the court may think of President Trump's motivation, the fact that other Muslim countries are not included is going to move that off the table. And what's going to be left is whether the president has this type of authority. Historically courts have said that he does.
ZAKARIA: Anthony, let me ask you because David Bier, the Cato Institute again.
ZAKARIA: A conservative think tank makes the very good point that whether or not it's constitutional, the current law of the land is the 1965 Act which Congress passed which specifically says you cannot exclude people on the basis of national origin.
ROMERO: Origin. Exactly. And with all due respect, Jonathan, I think that this is a case of first impression. And I think the courts, while they do grant great deference to the executive branch, it's also true that there are moments in which the executive branch just goes a step too far. And frankly, this is a Muslim ban. When he's targeting seven countries in particular and the most damming language in the executive order is the carve out, the exception for minority religions and the statements of President Trump contemporaneously with the executive order saying that he wants to favor Christians.
So we say bring it on. We think we have a very good chance of standing this up in court. I think ultimately the merits will be decided by our federal court system and even the Supreme Court that's been predominantly conservative has served as an important rebuke to the Bush administration. We think this will be a time when the courts play an essential bull work in the checks and balances function.
TURLEY: You know, I think part of the --
ZAKARIA: Go ahead, Jonathan. Quickly.
TURLEY: Well, part of the problem is that, you know, President Obama required secondary reviews of majority Muslim nations. Presidents have done this for a long time. Jimmy Carter used his power to essentially deport thousands of Iranian students. So this is going to be a long road to hoe for the ACLU.
ZAKARIA: All right. We're going to have to leave it right there. When we come back, I will ask Rula Jebreal who I believe is on a visa whether she's going to be able to get back into the United States and what she thinks of all this, when we come back.
[10:23:50] ZAKARIA: We are back with David Miliband, Jonathan Turley, Rula Jebreal and Anthony Romero.
Rula, from Rome, you are -- I know you grew up in Israel, worked in Egypt and Italy and now in the United States. What do you make of this and by the way what happens to you? You're in Rome. Are you going to come back?
RULA JEBREAL, VISITING PROFESSOR, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF ROME: Well, if they will allow me. If they will not deport me. Obviously I'm a European Muslim. So there would be a religious test. Probably you and I, Fareed, will be on that list. So be careful if you leave, actually. It's not only ordinary Muslim.
So I heard the conversation before and I want to tell Jonathan, any law that is divorce from justice, it's not a law. It's an (INAUDIBLE) tyranny. This is sanctions, government sanctions, religious persecution and it will not keep America safe. It's not about national security. This is about white supremacists. And it's clear. In the executive order that the president signed he mentioned 9/11 three times. However, none of the countries that were on that list had citizens who were involved in 9/11. They were Saudis, and Iraqis and others. So it's not really about national security.
[10:20:06] He's using immigrants, refugees as a human shield to advance his, I would say, clash of civilization, white supremacists agenda. When he talks about voter fraud, he's talking about people like you, Fareed, and other brown people who arrived in this country legally and basically have an American citizen and voted. This is a guy that called President Obama non-American or he wasn't born there.
This is the same agenda while he's doing this actually it's using refugees and whatever he's using as a distraction. Yesterday he approved -- he actually forced an important general, John Dunford, to resign and he replaced him with a white supremacist guy called Stephen Bannon who actually tell all of us journalists to shut up. So I would challenge anybody that would tell me that this is about national security. There's not one serious analyst that can prove that.
TURLEY: Can I respond, please?
ZAKARIA: Rula, let me just ask you, though, what is the reaction in Italy? I understand that's how you feel and you express it passionately. What are you hearing in Italy about this?
JEBREAL: Not only in Italy, all over Europe. Look, the fact -- the most baffling thing and also the most painful thing, as you mentioned I was born in Israel, and he mentioned and he signed that order on the Holocaust Memorial Day. I mean, we have -- Americans has a shameful history of rejecting and sending back Jewish refugees and immigrant who came to escape World War II. They were sent back on the same basis that we have a Muslim ban and they were killed in the -- during the holocaust in Dahaw (PH) and in Auschwitz and elsewhere.
We are acting more or less the same, oppressive mind set and inhumane, unconstitutional. I would say un-American. I covered the Middle East for a long time. I was a reporter everywhere. Visited Beirut. I worked in Egypt, as you said before. Iraq. Every war torn country. And when I heard that one of the guys that was stopped yesterday at JFK was a guy that actually helped American troops, he was an interpreter, the message we're sending by sending back these people who helped America win the war on terror, who actually stood up and stands up every day fight ISIS and al Qaeda, we are actually handing -- we're handing a victory to all these extremist groups because most Muslims -- and that's why we have less foreign fighters in America than in Europe, most Muslims in America, all of them, I would say, feel that they are first and foremost American.
This executive, I would say, order would have not prevented 9/11, Orlando, San Bernardino or even Paris attacks.
JEBREAL: Paris attacks and many European attacks happen because European citizens carried them, not refugees, not immigrants.
ZAKARIA: David Miliband, when you were foreign minister, you visited Iraq and, you know, one of the things I'm struck by here is if our goal is to defeat ISIS, if the Trump administration's goal is to defeat ISIS, the country that is fighting ISIS most fiercely is Iraq and the Iraqi government. And yet Iraq is on this list. So it makes me think -- it's sort of weird that Iraqi soldiers who are fighting ISIS, who are risking their lives in service of an American foreign policy objective couldn't even come and visit this country to go to Disneyland.
MILIBAND: Look, there are many perversities in this executive order. My organization isn't just an international humanitarian aid organization. We also resettle people in the U.S. A quarter of the people we're due to resettle are those on special immigrant visas because they have helped American forces especially in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan.
Today, outside Mosul there are American forces supporting the Iraqi troops and planning the retake of Mosul from ISIS. We're there on the ground looking after the civilians. There is tight intertwining between different parts of this coalition. And that involves civilians as well. And they are going to be asking very fundamental question of the people they're working with, am I safe working with you? Will I be able to get refuge afterwards? Because even the man yesterday who Anthony's organization really tried to help, 10 years working for the U.S., two assassination attempts on him and his family.
These people are literally risking their lives and they being told but we are not going to be welcome here. That's a terrible message.
ZAKARIA: OK. Jonathan, you wanted to say something about this issue. I want people to understand. You're saying that the president has legal authority. You're not approving of his actions.
TURLEY: Right. I mean, first of all, putting the passions aside, the way -- there's plenty of reasons to object to this order on policy humanitarian ground. It's not necessary to pretend it's something it's not or to suggest that our host or that the earlier speaker would not be allowed in the country. I see no evidence to suggest that that would be true. I think if you want to oppose this, you need to oppose this, you need to oppose it for what it is. And what it is, is not currently a Muslim ban. That's not going to happen in the federal court, if that's going to be how the court's going to frame it. I just don't see how a court can do that.
And in terms of tyranny, we also -- understand, we don't have a single-branch government here. We have three branches. And they all are heard on these subjects. But tyranny is when the democratic process does not have an effect. I don't believe that 47 percent of the United States are white supremacists. I think, if we're going to reach any type of resolution, we have got to stop calling each other names and to pretend that we're worse than we are. There are people on the other side that support this who are not white supremacists. In my view, they're wrong to support it. But the way to convince them is not to suggest that they're all white supremacists or that this is a Muslim ban. It is not.
Now, I agree that this is a mistake.
JEBREAL: It is a Muslim ban, sir. It is a Muslim ban.
ZAKARIA: All right. We...
JEBREAL: It is a Muslim ban, sir, and it's outrageous. It's baffling that you are -- try to normalize it...
TURLEY: My point exactly.
JEBREAL: ... or even defend it or justify it. You're betraying American values. This is outrageous. It's not about passion. This is about fact. Read the executive order. It talks clearly about Muslims and about certain minorities that are welcome.
TURLEY: Sorry, you're making my point.
JEBREAL: However, if you're Shia -- if you're Shia, you're not allowed even if you were raped, tortured by ISIS. I'm not making your point. Read my lips and try to hear what I'm saying. You are trying to justify something that not only courts in the past actually repealed, but they are not considered actually Americans. If you understand what America stands for, you're telling that interpreter that he does not belong there because of his religion.
Read the executive order very well and then try to explain to your part of the aisle or your political group that -- when you have Michael Flynn, General Flynn, who says that Islam is a political ideology, it's a sick ideology; when you have Bannon saying what he's saying, you're really trying to tell me and the audience that this is not about political-religious persecution. Give me a break.
ZAKARIA: All right. I -- I want to get -- Anthony, I want to -- but you think it is a Muslim ban?
ROMERO: It will be broached. We'll see. We promised Donald Trump we'll see him in court. And, Jonathan, the judge will decide. I think you're wrong. But we'll see at the end of the day.
ZAKARIA: But, in any event, David Miliband, you think that the -- the important thing to remember is we've got -- you've got to win this not just legally but politically? MILIBAND: Let me make the broader point here. Because, yes, this is a nation of laws but it's also a nation of policy. And, frankly, we have a policy that is untenable. You can see that at airports. You will see that at embassies.
And I think the question for Americans is not just about them, the refugees; it's about us. Who are we as Americans; who are we as the Western world?
And what are we willing to stand for?
That's why this issue goes to the core of questions of identity, not just questions of law. It's important to do the right thing in this area but also the smart thing, given the geopolitics.
ZAKARIA: How would you -- how would you try to win the political argument?
MILIBAND: I think you win the political argument by saying it's not just right to help refugees. It's also practical. There is a vetting system that does work. Refugee resettlement in America is a success story. Immigration into America is a success story.
And, finally, it's smart to be a country that welcomes people of different faiths because that's the way we win the big arguments over the next decades about what kind of world we want to live in.
ZAKARIA: Do you think, Anthony -- a final word from you -- that these kind of issues, these broader political issues, ideological issues, do they play in the court -- when the Supreme Court hears this, do you think they will think about this question of is this a betrayal of American ideals, rather than the liberalism of the law?
ROMERO: There were over -- there were over 500 people who amassed at the courthouse last night in less than half an hour. Our judges live in our communities. They -- they drink coffee at Starbucks; they talk to their neighbors. They are very much influenced by the people power and the context around them.
And, ultimately, the -- the massive outpouring of support for immigrants and refugees at airports, at the courthouse, all across this country, unorganized, spontaneously, I think sets the groundwork for other action.
ZAKARIA: All right. We're going to have to leave it there. Absolutely fascinating conversation. And it will be an absolutely fascinating next few weeks and months.
Next on "GPS," remember Donald Trump has been president for just nine days. But he has already radically changed America's relations with much of the world. We will take a look at those broader changes when we come back.
ZAKARIA: Let's get right into this new world order and this week's upending of foreign policy with today's terrific panel. In Mexico City, Jorge Castaneda joins me. He was Mexico's foreign minister. He is now a professor at NYU. Fawaz Gerges and Anne Applebaum join me from London. Fawaz is a professor at the London School of Economics and is a columnist for The Washington Post. And Conrad Black is in Toronto today. He was a financier and media mogul. He is now a columnist and commentator.
Jorge, let me begin with you. Mexico and the United States historically had very bad relations. The United States militarily intervened many times. Mexico had a very anti-American attitude and a kind of fiery revolutionary spirit. All that changed over the last 20 years. And in fact, this was one of the great success stories of American foreign policy, a Mexico that is pro-American, become a valuable ally.
Is all that likely to change?
What is the mood in Mexico today after the events of the last couple of days?
CASTANEDA: Well, Fareed, for those of us who believe that this change in Mexican attitude -- and American attitude also -- from, let's say, the late '80s onward, was a positive thing.
What has happened in the last few days is really terrifying because what could -- where this could lead us is to a revival or rebirth of this anti-American sentiment in Mexico, which was not unjustified. It was not something that came from nothing; it came from real historical facts. But now, with what Trump has been doing, I'm afraid that this sentiment will overtake any government, whether it's the President Pena-Nieto's government today or the next one of 2018. It's very difficult to continue to be friends with the United States when the president of the United States pretty much humiliates you in public on Twitter.
ZAKARIA: Do you think Mexico will retaliate?
After all, Mexico is -- most people probably don't realize this -- Mexico is, I think, the second largest market for American exports.
CASTANEDA: Well, Mexico has a lot of negotiating chips in this matter, Fareed. But it also has measures we could take in other areas. For example, the drugs that come through Mexico from South America or the drugs that are produced here in Mexico all go to the United States. This is not our problem. We have been cooperating with the United States for many years on these issues because they've asked us to and because we have a friendly, trustful relationship. If that relationship disappears, the reasons for cooperation also disappear.
ZAKARIA: Conrad Black, let me ask you about the retaliation that Donald Trump has threatened, which is a 20 percent tariff. I was always taught by conservative commentators and conservative intellectuals that tariffs, taxes, are eventually passed on to the consumer. So this would not be a tax that would be paid by Mexico. It would be paid by companies, Mexican or American, that are selling Mexican goods in the United States, but they would pass that cost on to the consumer.
So, in other words, the American consumer would pay for this, for Trump's foreign policy. Am I -- am I missing something?
BLACK: Well, I think we'd want to know more about -- I mean, you really need to be a trade wonk to judge these things. So you'd need more detail. In principle, I agree with what you just said. But it was always clear during the campaign that Mr. Trump, in saying that he would build the wall and he intended that Mexico would pay for it, that he expected to extract that payment by reducing the trade imbalance between the two countries.
There are less ham-handed ways of doing that than the straight imposition of -- of an increased tariff like this. And I assume and I hope and I share the -- the wishes that Mr. Castaneda expressed that relations can be put back together.
ZAKARIA: But, Conrad, do you celebrate this -- this talk of tariffs and, you know, potential trade wars?
It's happening with Mexico. It's happening with China. I'm wondering -- you've historically been a free trader. You supported Brian Mulroney when he negotiated NAFTA. Are you comfortable with this new world we're going into?
BLACK: I don't think we're going into such a world. I think your president has stated clearly that he's in favor of trade. He's not particularly a protectionist, but he has reservations about some trade agreements that he feels are one-sided and were incompetently negotiated from the American side.
ZAKARIA: Anne Applebaum, let me ask you about -- we have to do a kind of tour de raison here, but Theresa May and Donald Trump -- are they ideological soul mates?
Theresa May says she wants a global Britain; Trump, of course, attacks globalism every chance he gets.
APPLEBAUM: I think, in your exchange with Conrad Black, you've just hinted at one of the really profound problems we have here, which is that Theresa May's idea of global Britain, which is something she's come to over a number of months, looking for a new role for Britain outside of the European Union, clashes fundamentally with everything that Trump has said since he's taken office.
In his speech, he was pretty clear -- in his speech at the inauguration, he was pretty clear about his protectionism. He said "hire American and buy American." You know, that doesn't sound like somebody who's in favor of free trade of any kind, whether it's free trade or fair trade or anything involving foreign countries.
She -- she has come to the United States with a message that she would like to nevertheless sell, which is that Britain and the U.S. should nevertheless go ahead and promote free trade and promote an idea of a rules-based global order.
And Trump has said pretty clearly that he doesn't believe in any of that anymore and that he's willing to throw much of it overboard.
And for Theresa May, as for the rest of Europe, this is a fundamental stumbling block. That's how they -- that system, that system of rules- based international world order, that's made them prosperous. That's made them safe, and they would like to continue it. And this seems to be in direct conflict with what Trump says he wants.
ZAKARIA: When we come back, I will ask Fawaz Gerges what he makes of the ban on many Muslim-majority countries and the policy of extreme vetting -- when we come back.
ZAKARIA: And we are back with Jorge Castaneda, Fawaz Gerges, Anne Applebaum and Conrad Black.
Fawaz, talk about this ban on several Muslim-majority countries, a kind of an odd collection. It includes Iraq, which is supposedly an ally of the United States and where many -- you know, there are many people in Iraq who worked for the American government in the American occupation. But it does not include Saudi Arabia, of course, where the majority of the hijackers from -- the terrorists from 9/11 originated.
What do you make of it and what do you think the effect will be in the Muslim Middle East?
GERGES: Well, I mean, it's very toxic, Fareed. It's very poisonous. I mean, if Trump does act on his promises in terms of lumping Islam and Muslims with this so-called radical Islamism, preventing Muslims from, as you said, several countries from entering the United States, delivering Syria on a silver platter to Putin, this would inflame anti-American sentiments throughout the world, not just in the Muslim world, anger U.S. allies and of course trigger (inaudible) to Russia. It would really basically unleash tremendous anti-American storms in the Middle East.
ZAKARIA: Conrad, let me ask you about this issue. I am perhaps fixated on the Iraq War, one, which is we went into Iraq, the United States went into Iraq, got tens of thousands of people to work and ally with the United States.
I remember talking to you on previous occasions about how you felt that it was dishonorable for the United States to have not done more for the South Vietnamese, who were our allies. We abandoned them. Well, here, wouldn't that situation be comparable?
There will be thousands of Iraqis who had worked for the Americans, who had supported the American occupation, and you're now saying to them, "You will be rewarded by having a blanket ban that you couldn't even come and visit this country that you worked for and supported at -- you know, at great personal peril?"
BLACK: Yes. I think that the American attitude to reception of refugees, as a concept, has been ungenerous and unsuitable. I, however, cannot blame the government of that country, any government, this administration or the previous one, to the extent that they wish to take all the reasonable precautions they can to prevent the admission into the country of those who will be destructive of it once admitted.
And, I mean, you have to -- you have to handle this, I think, with more diplomacy than it has been in the first week of this administration. I think, if the Senate gets on with confirming the nominees to the senior posts in the administration, it will smooth out a good deal from what we've seen this week. It's been a bumpy week, but I think things will get better.
ZAKARIA: Fawaz, you wanted to say something?
GERGES: I doubt it very much. I fear that things are going to get much worse. Remember, Donald Trump traffics in a clash of civilizations narrative. He talks about "Islam hates us, all Americans." He lumps radical Islamism of the Al Qaida and ISIS variety with Islam and Muslims. He has this bipolar attitude toward the Muslim world.
I fear myself that, if, again, Donald Trump keeps acting the way he does, that this really, basically, the Trump administration might speed up the end of America's moment in the Middle East and unleash also -- I mean, this violates American values. You're talking here about American values, lumping all refugees with terrorists. Imagine just the idea itself.
So it does not look good. And I also fear that there are many contradictions and big holes in Trump's pronouncements on the Middle East and the Muslim world. He wants to defeat ISIS, yet he lumps Islam and Muslims, 1.3 billion Muslims with radical Islamism. How do you bridge this particular, I mean, conceptual divide?
It looks very bad from where I am sitting here in Europe, and the Middle East as well.
ZAKARIA: Anne Applebaum, the Trump-Putin connection. You spend a lot of time in Eastern Europe. You have a house in Poland. How do Poles, for example -- how much are they worried that, in hoping for some kind of deal between -- between Trump and Putin, Poland and its security, Ukraine and its security, the Baltic states and their security, will be sacrificed?
APPLEBAUM: I think there is a palpable fear of exactly what you've just described. And the expression that people are using is "Will there be a new Yalta?"
In other words, will Putin convince Trump to divide the world, perhaps Europe, perhaps the Middle East as well, into spheres of influence that allow him to impose his political system on one part of it and keep the rest for -- for some -- whatever remains of democracy or of Western civilization.
There's talk of that in Russia. It's bleeded over and seeped over into Ukraine. People are hearing it and they're very worried about it. This is a part of the world also -- you mentioned allies. Poland, the Baltic states, much of Central Europe, you know, even Georgia, these are countries that contributed soldiers and troops to U.S. missions in the past, that feel very much themselves to be part of NATO. They're supporters of NATO. They have been supporters of American foreign policy for 25 years. They've -- they've supported, you know, both Democratic and American presidents. And they will feel incredibly betrayed and left alone if they're -- if they're cut out of some new division or some new redrawing of borders in Europe.
ZAKARIA: I -- we're going to have to leave it at that. We will have many opportunities, I think, to discuss this new foreign policy going forward. And we will be back.
ZAKARIA: Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.