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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
A Look at Pollution's Global Effect; Trumps's Asia Trip Previewed. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired November 5, 2017 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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TAPPER: Thanks for spending your Sunday morning with us. "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" starts right now.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria, coming to you live from New York.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my god.
ZAKARIA: We'll start today's show with terror in downtown Manhattan again. What does this attack tell us about terrorists' abilities today and should the suspect be shipped off to Gitmo?
Also Robert Mueller catches former Trump team members in his net. Manafort, Gates, Papadopoulos. What does this week's big news mean for the larger case?
Michael Hayden and Preet Bharara will join me to talk about both terror and the Russia investigation.
Also, Mr. Trump goes to Asia. How does the president see this crucial continent? Will the North Korean problem get solved? I have a terrific panel to discuss.
ZAKARIA: But first here's my take. This week's tragic terror attack in New York was the kind of isolated incident by one troubled man that shouldn't lead to grand generalizations. In the 16 years since 9/11, the city has proved astonishingly safe from jihadists, and yet speaking about it to officials 10,000 miles away when I was in Singapore this week, the conclusions they reach are worrying. The Home minister, K. Shanmugam, said to me, "The New York attack
might be a way to remind us all that while ISIS is being defeated militarily, the ideological threat from radical Islam is spreading."
The military battle against jihadi groups is a tough struggle but it has always favored the mighty United States and its allies. On the other hand, the ideological challenge from ISIS has proved to be far more intractable. Western countries remain susceptible to the occasional lone wolf, but the new breeding grounds of radicalism are once moderate Muslim societies in Central, South and Southeast Asia.
Consider Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country which used to be seen as a modern bull wart. This year the governor of Jakarta lost his bid for re-election after he was painted by Muslim hard liners as unfit for office simply because he's Christian. Worse, he was then jailed after being convicted on a dubious and unfair blasphemy charge.
And look at Bangladesh, another country with a staunchly secular past. Founded as a breakaway from Pakistan on explicitly non-religion grounds, Bangladesh has increasing become extreme in recent years. In this nation of almost 150 million Muslims, atheists, seculars and intellectuals have been targeted and even killed. Blasphemy laws enforced and a spate of terror attacks have left dozens dead.
Why is this happening?
There are many explanations. Poverty, economic hardship and change all produce anxieties. People are disgusted by the corruption and incompetence of politicians. They are easily seduced by the idea that Islam is the answer, a Singaporean politician explained to me. And then local leaders make alliances with clerics and give platforms to extremists, all in the search for easy votes.
In Southeast Asia, almost all observers that I have spoken with believe there is another crucial cause -- exported money and ideology from the Middle East, chiefly Saudi Arabia. A Singaporean official told me, "Travel around Asia and you will see so many new mosques and madrassas built in the last 30 years that have been funded from the Gulf. They are modern, clean, air-conditioned, well-equipped, and Wahhabi. That's Saudi Arabia's puritanical version of Islam."
How to turn this trend around? Singapore's Home minister says that the city state's population, 15 percent of which is Muslim, has stayed relatively moderate because state and society work very hard at integration. He said, "We have zero tolerance for any kind of militancy, but we also try to make sure Muslims don't feel marginalized."
Asia continues to rise, but so does Islamist radicalism there. This worrying trend can only be reversed by leaders who are less corrupt, more competent and crucially more willing to stand up to the clerics and the extremists.
[10:05:05] Saudi Arabia's new crowned prince spoke last week of turning his kingdom to moderate Islam. Many have mocked this as a public relations strategy, pointing to the continued dominance of the kingdom's ultra-orthodox religious establishment. A better approach would be to encourage the crowned prince, hold him to his words and urge him to follow up with concrete actions.
This after all is the prize. Were Saudi Arabia to begin religious reform at home, it would be a far larger victory against radical Islam than all the advances on the battlefield so far.
For more, go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.
On Tuesday, New York City experienced its worst terror attack since 9/11 just blocks away from where the Twin Towers once stood. The suspect is in custody and on Thursday ISIS claimed him as a soldier of the caliphate. Today just five days later the city is holding one of its biggest annual events, the New York marathon. Over the course of the day some 50,000 runners hope to finish right there in Central Park.
Joining me to discuss it all, in Washington, D.C., we have Michael Hayden, the former director of both the CIA and the NSA. He's a CNN national security analyst. And here in New York, Preet Bharara, makes his inaugural appearance on GPS. He was the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York until Donald Trump fired him. And he is also a CNN analyst -- a senior legal analyst.
Mike, let me start with you. This terror attack does feel like a classic lone wolf attack because the Uzbeks are not particularly known for this. Uzbekistan is a country that's very hard lined on terrorists so I'm wondering, did you draw any conclusion from this lone wolf?
MICHAEL HAYDEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, a couple of things almost immediately came to mind, Fareed. First of all, there are Islamic extremists from Uzbekistan. We find the IMU, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, totally prominent in the tribal regions of Pakistan. But you're right, they don't have a free hand at home.
And with regard to this particular tact, the word that comes to mind for me, Fareed, is limits. It shows the limits of what a battered -- physically battered Islamic State might be able to do here in the United States. As bad as this was, it wasn't Paris and it wasn't Brussels, but it also shows the limits of how much we can do to prevent these kinds of attacks.
I just don't think there are an awful lot more tools available to American security that would significantly increase our ability to detect and prevent this kind of assault.
ZAKARIA: I mean, the one thing one could talk about, Mike, would be something like looking at what radicalized him, but then you bump up very hard against issues of freedom of speech, don't you?
HAYDEN: You really do. And when I said not many more things we could do, the parenthesis is, and remain the kind of people we want to be. But, Fareed, you suggest something really important here. We have him
alive. We can talk to him in great depth. John Miller who does this analytic work for the NYPD is a really smart man on these subjects. And I expect John will delve into this process of radicalization. We'll learn more.
But what I can read from the press now, Fareed, is this young man got unhappy well before he got radicalized. In other words, the recruiting process was someone unhappy with his personal existence and trying to reach for something beyond himself with which he could identify and unfortunately in this case, it wasn't the Boy's Club of America or even the Crips and the Bloods or some other gang. It was ISIS. So it does matter what gang you join, but it's important to find that basil motivation.
ZAKARIA: Preet, when Donald Trump was on the campaign trail, one of the things he hammered home and it's sort of a Republican article of faith that the Obama administration has been soft, wimpy, by wanting to try these terrorists through the civilian court procedure. Instead, these guys should be thrown into the military court system, sent to Guantanamo, and yet, this time around Donald Trump has exceeded in the decision that he go through the civilian court system. Why?
[10:10:03] PREET BHARARA, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Because history has shown and the track record has shown it's the best way to go about bringing these people to justice and getting closure for the victims and getting the public to understand the process.
This person who engaged in that horrible deadly attack from last week was charged within a day by my old office. My successor, Joon Kim, you know, filed charges against him in federal court. There have been some musings I guess by the president of the United States on Twitter that he should go to Guantanamo Bay, saying something about how you can be tried quickly there. The next morning he recanted that because I guess someone told him what the facts were.
The fact of the matter is over the last 10 years we have brought to justice terrorist after terrorist after terrorist, most of whom are serving life prison sentences, and did it in a way that was true to our system, true to the public's I think understanding of what our system is supposed to be. Meanwhile, in Guantanamo Bay, not one person has gone to trial.
And some years ago when I first became the U.S. attorney, we were supposed to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others in civilian court here and that got derailed by people who were way above my pay grade for political reasons and those people still have not been brought to justice. And that -- I don't think that's good for the rule of law ultimately in any event.
ZAKARIA: It's important to underscore what you're saying. We have taken this enormous public relations beating all over the world for Guantanamo and what you're pointing out is nobody ever gets convicted in Guantanamo. So in terms of just the -- it seems like a terrible tradeoff where we have this huge public relations disaster and yet there's no benefit.
BHARARA: There's no benefit in terms of getting justice done and getting closure on a case. The last person who was tried in Guantanamo Bay was a guy named Ahmed (INAUDIBLE), who was responsible for the terrorist bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The embassy -- American embassies there. He was the last person brought from Guantanamo Bay to the courthouse in my old district and tried and convicted there.
ZAKARIA: Do you think that with the president constantly making these comments he's undermining the judicial process itself?
BHARARA: It's not good for the judicial process, it's not good for the Department of Justice when he calls it a laughing stock. It's not a laughing stock. It's the -- I think the pride of the American government, the way that we handle cases, whether they're terrorist cases, public corruption cases, you name it, I think we have the best system in the world.
The good news is that it seems that some of what Donald Trump does from where I sit as a private citizen now is to engage in a lot of rhetoric to please some people on Twitter and when he does these quick interviews on television. But the professionals, the career professionals like the folks in my old office and the National Security Division at the department don't seem to be paying him much mind.
So even though there was this immediate sort of quick talk about sending him to Guantanamo Bay and he should get the death penalty, the sober-minded professional career, experienced people in the Justice Department do that which they're supposed to do which is do it the proper way.
ZAKARIA: And to be fair to him, he didn't contradict or overrule them in some way. So, you know, at least the right decision ended up being made.
Next on GPS, the other big news of the week, Monday's Mueller announcements, two indictments and a plea deal. Where does the investigation go from here?
Michael Hayden and Preet Bharara will be back with me in a moment.
[10:17:37] ZAKARIA: Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's dealings with Russia made some big moves this week. On Monday it was announced that former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his protege, Rick Gates, had been indicted and that foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos had pled guilty to lying to the FBI.
Where will this lead? Joining me again is Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, and Michael Hayden, the former director of both the CIA and the NSA.
Preet, let me start with you. And for all the viewers, you're getting the correct pronunciation here, Bharara, aspirated H.
BHARARA: It's a pleasure to have my name pronounced correctly.
ZAKARIA: Tell me about Manafort. Because a lot of people including the president of the United States say this has nothing to do with collusion. This is, you know, money laundering. It was a while ago. Is Robert Mueller doing this as a way to squeeze Manafort to get him to be more cooperative on issues of collusion?
BHARARA: I think the first thing to remember is that Robert Mueller is a prosecutor's prosecutor. He's a professional, he's been doing this for a long time. And in the same way that we used to do it in our office, the first thing that you do is you hold people accountable for crimes that they commit. And if there's evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that you can prove to a unanimous jury like they believe they can here on this money laundering and other charges, they bring it.
Now a consequence of that can be if there are other charges they want to bring against someone else, then maybe Paul Manafort will, in the parlance that we use in law enforcement, flip and cooperate with the government. Now sometimes that happens even before a charge is brought like it looks like happened with the other individual charged last week, George Papadopoulos.
Prosecutors and investigators will make an approach, will say, we have good evidence against you. They probably did that with Paul Manafort and with George Papadopoulos. In the case of George Papadopoulos he said OK and he cooperated. With Paul Manafort, he did not. Sometimes, though, after people's minds get focused because a criminal charge is brought to bear on them, they have to retain counsel, they go to court.
They're confronted with the enormity of what is facing them, meaning the loss of their liberty. They sometimes flip then.
ZAKARIA: Do you think there's a good chance Manafort will go to jail?
BHARARA: I mean, look, I haven't -- I don't know all the evidence that the special counsel's office has, but they're pretty straight forward charges that you can prove without many witnesses. You can do it through the documents and through the financial records, and some of the charges I think are very clear. It's not, you know, a lifetime in prison but it's a substantial prison sentence.
[10:20:04] And I expect that Paul Manafort and his lawyers are talking about the idea of cooperating with Bob Mueller. They may never do it. Some people do it, some people don't. And it may be the case that he doesn't have significant things to say that are worth the time on the part of the special counsel's office but I think all of those things are still in play and we haven't heard the end of it.
ZAKARIA: If the president pardons Papadopoulos or Manafort, is that obstruction of justice? BHARARA: I think that's an open question. I think it's certainly a
terrible thing for the rule of law. It's a terrible thing for what law and order are supposed to be about and it sends a terrible message to every prosecutor in the country who's trying to do his or her job without fear or favor and in a neutral way.
I also think that regardless of whether or not it's provable obstruction, and there's an argument that it could depending on the surrounding circumstances, that that then becomes something that Congress can think about with respect to impeachment. I'm not saying it is impeachable but, you know, for Congress to take action, for the House of Representatives to take action, they don't have to show that every element of a particular statute was met in order to vote for Articles of Impeachment.
ZAKARIA: Mike Hayden, you say that the tragedy here is that whether or not there's collusion, there's been kind of a lot of stupidity in the way in which -- in which the president has handled this, welcoming the WikiLeaks, you know, stuff and things like that.
HAYDEN: Yes. Exactly, Fareed. In fact, perhaps all the help that the Russians needed was the president to do what he did during the campaign with regard to highlighting WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks, and using WikiLeaks as a campaign tool.
But to come back to what happened this past weekend with regard to Mr. Papadopoulos, you know, obviously the legal case here is very important. But my personal background looks at what the foreign services are trying to do to the United States.
And, Fareed, we teach our case officers a step-by-step process to recruit someone. Spot, assess, develop, recruit. And now we've got two instances, one with Papadopoulos, the other one during the summer in Trump Tower where it appears as if agents of the Russian services already got through steps one and two. They were spotting and assessing key people in the Trump campaign.
That should make every American nervous and should make us demand, whatever the legal issue is over here, that at the political level, at the level of defending ourselves, that we learn an awful lot about this and make sure this can never happen again.
ZAKARIA: Let me just make sure I understand what you're saying. What you're saying is it now appears clear with two separate examples that the Russian government through its intelligence services approach the Trump campaign to collude, to offer some kind of support. We know from -- you know, in the case of Donald Trump's e-mail and we know from Papadopoulos there was initial ascent on the part of the Trump campaign. We then don't know what happened.
HAYDEN: That's exactly right. That's why I stopped at spot and assess. We may or may not find evidence that other things happened after that.
But this is absolutely classic, Fareed, in terms of a soft, indirect approach by a foreign service, always maintaining the possibility of plausible deniability, but to find out whether or not the individual they were approaching is someone worth their time.
ZAKARIA: Do you think that the reports we have that Papadopoulos briefed Trump on this are significant?
HAYDEN: I think they're significant, at least at one level and perhaps not at the criminal level but at the political level and at the ethical level. I mean, what were people thinking? How much indifference, how much stupidity, how much arrogance is required not to recognize what's going on here and to take steps to prevent it?
It may have just have been massive naivete, Fareed, but that has implications, too.
ZAKARIA: Thirty seconds, collusion is not quite a legal term. This is partly political. But is there a deeper legal morass that this places the Trump campaign in?
BHARARA: Any time you have charges against people who are close to the president, and it's unclear how close Papadopoulos was, he may not have been particularly high up, that's a problem. That's a legal problem for the president, not just a political problem. And all these people who thought, you know, Bob Mueller was on a fishing expedition and nothing would potentially come of it, he has shown in the short space of five months in bringing three charges against folks that he is aggressive, thorough, quick and he's far from finished.
ZAKARIA: Preet Bharara, Michael Hayden, pleasure to have you both on.
BHARARA: Thanks, Fareed.
HAYDEN: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, what kills three times more people every year than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined?
[10:25:06] Find out when we come back.
ZAKARIA: And now for our "What in the World" segment. You often hear about the people killed by terrorism, civil conflicts and wars across the world, but let me tell you about a scourge that kills 15 times more people every year than all of the world's violence.
It's a problem that Donald Trump will likely encounter this week in Asia. The killer is responsible for three times more deaths globally than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.
I'm talking about something that is responsible for the deaths of 9 million people every year. It ends up costing $4.6 trillion a year.
So what is this mass killer? Pollution.
President Trump will travel to Beijing this week where pollution is so bad that the U.S. embassy monitors air quality levels and publishes them on a Web site. China has the second most pollution-related deaths in the world and now a new report released in the Lancet shows just how deadly and costly the world's dirty skies, water and soil are. It hits the poorest hardest, low and middle-income countries account for almost 92 percent of the deaths. India tops the list with over 2.5 million dead in 2015 from pollution-linked diseases. That's nearly a quarter of all deaths in the country that year.
But pollution emanating from India and China doesn't stay in India and China. It affects the whole region, even the world. Airborne pollutants from Chinese factories have been detected in Los Angeles and vaporized mercury from gold-mining in Africa can be found in tuna fish in America.
Pollution mostly doesn't kill you; it makes you sick. Diseases like diabetes, autism in children and dementia in adults are all associated with forms of pollution. The study found that a total of 14 million years of productive life have been lost due to pollution-related disabilities.
The good news is much of pollution can be prevented and solved at little cost. The study found that because pollution is such a drain on the economy, every dollar spent on curbing air pollution since the Clean Air Act of 1970 has yielded a return to the U.S. economy of around $30.
And with a $65 billion investment in pollution control, the U.S. has accumulated well over $1 trillion in benefits. There's also evidence that encouraging the public to become eco-friendly improves people's health. An effort to upgrade household stoves in rural China, for example, showed a link to reducing lung cancer by more than 30 percent.
So even if you don't accept the facts about global warming, moving to clean energy and eco-friendly policies is a simple, powerful way to save lives and improve the health of human beings and the planet which we inhabit.
Next on "GPS," President Trump is in Japan right now, the first stop of many on his first trip to Asia in office. How does Trump feel about the other side of the world? And how do they feel about him?
I have a great panel to discuss when we come back.
ZAKARIA: "Donald and Shinzo Make Alliance Even Greater." Those were the words emblazoned on caps that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presented to President Trump today. Trump had landed in Japan hours earlier to start the longest trip of his presidency thus far, an almost two-week-long, five-nation trip through Asia. His other stops are South Korea, China, the Philippines and Vietnam. Trump plans to meet with Vladimir Putin during the trip and North Korea will be a top topic of conversation with the Russian leader, as with all leaders.
Joining me now to talk about the trip and what it might bring are Kurt Campbell, who was an architect of President Obama's "pivot to Asia" when he served as assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He is now the CEO and chair of the Asia Group. He and Elise Hu join us from Tokyo. Elise covers Japan and the Koreas for NPR.
From Singapore, Kishore Mahbubani is dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University there. He was previously permanent secretary of that country's foreign ministry.
Elise, let me start with you. You tweeted and reminded us that President Trump is arriving in Japan and then South Korea against a backdrop of a really staggering loss in confidence in the U.S. president. Remind us what those numbers are, and why is that drop so precipitous, do you think?
HU: That's right. The Pew Research Center takes the temperature of citizens in various countries around the world and did so with U.S. alliance partners South Korea and Japan.
In South Korea, when polled in the spring of 2015, South Koreans expressed 88 percent confidence in the American president, in terms of making a good decision or good decisions on world affairs. That was 88 percent in 2015. When polled again in 2017, that number dropped down to 17 percent confidence. It was very much the same picture in Japan, where the Japanese registered numbers up in the -- upper 70 percent range in terms of confidence in the U.S. president. That has dropped, now, down to 24 percent.
And it reflects a wariness among the South Koreans and the Japanese in the U.S. president now and the direction of Asia policy in general following the pullout of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and also some of the rhetoric we've seen on North Korea throughout the year.
ZAKARIA: So, Kurt, the president, with this backdrop, is going to try to solve one of the thorniest problems ever. I think you coined the phrase that North Korea is "the land of lousy options." What is he possibly going to be able to do?
CAMPBELL: Well, look, I think there are two things that the president is going to try to do on this trip. One is to really ratchet up pressure on North Korea. And he is going to do that in -- particularly in Japan and in China.
What he really wants are new measures that will cut off energy supplies to North Korea and also make it more difficult for their diplomats and other international businessmen to operate.
But at the same time, he's also going to try to address the thorny problem of bilateral trade imbalances. And so these are two of the most difficult, challenging issues. And so, despite the fact that he's going to be extremely warmly welcomed in all these capitals, you can be certain that his interlocutors in each of them are anxious about what he's going to demand.
ZAKARIA: But, Kurt, in South Korea in particular, those work at complete cross-purposes, right? I mean, you have a South Korean government that came in, first of all, wanting a less confrontational policy toward North Korea, and Trump says "I want you to take a more hardline view, and, by the way, I want to tear up the free trade agreement that we have between the United States and South Korea." That -- I mean, behind the scenes, that's got to be a fairly difficult negotiation.
CAMPBELL: I think it's very clear that relations between Seoul and Washington are trending very badly. It's made worse by the fact that there are no senior officials, really, in the U.S. government that are responsible for reassuring or engaging South Korea. And at the same time, as you suggest, on almost every issue the two governments are really taking very different views.
I think you could argue that the real reason that the Trump administration is trying to dial up pressure is to convince China that we are prepared to take draconian steps, even premeditated military steps, to get China to try to rein in North Korea more.
ZAKARIA: Kishore Mahbubani, you follow China very carefully. At the end of the day, it is the only country with real influence in North Korea. Do you think that the Trump administration strategy of ratcheting up this pressure of almost putting China in a box will force it to act and turn off the switch or turn off the energy supplies to its -- to its ally?
MAHBUBANI: No, I think it's important to emphasize that China actually is as frustrated with North Korea as the United States is. And, frankly, if China could find an effective way of reining in North Korea, they would do so. They've been trying to do so and they haven't succeeded. But they cannot go for what is called the "nuclear option" of cutting off North Korea completely because the collapse of North Korea will mean very painful consequences for China also.
So I agree with Kurt that North Korea is a land of lousy options. But military option is off the cards because the price that the South Koreans would pay would be enormous. So, in the land of lousy options, possibly the least lousy option is actually more talking involving the United States, China and North Korea and the rest to see whether you can find a way of at least containing the problem. Because North Korea cannot be solved, but it can be contained.
ZAKARIA: Stay there, all of you. We'll get right back to you.
While America has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and signaled its desire to spend less abroad, China is ramping up its aid and its ambitions. Is there a new superpower rivalry in Asia, when we come back.
ZAKARIA: And we are back with Kurt Campbell and Elise Hu in Tokyo and Kishore Mahbubani in Singapore, talking about the president's trip to Asia, in which China is clearly on the rise.
Kishore, I was just in Singapore. I had a chance to visit with you. And my sense was that people in Asia believe that the United States is resigning from its leadership role in the world and China is rushing to fill in, but not to fill in the old role but to do its own thing, with its own institutions, its own methods, its own initiatives.
Do you think that's true and if so, why?
MAHBUBANI: Well, I think -- first, let me mention something important. It's actually very good that Donald Trump is coming to the region and spending two weeks because it's very important for the United States to register that it is still interested in this region.
But at the same time, this is clearly -- the game between the United States and China is a long game. And the difference between the United States and China is that China is playing a long game and the United States is playing a short game. And the Chinese clearly have a very clear, long-term vision of where they want to be 10 years, 20 years from now. They have a vision of where they want to go domestically. And they also have a vision for the region.
And that's why the Belt and Road initiative is a truly brilliant initiative to tie all their neighbors to China's economy in a kind of, sort of, win-win fashion, where everybody wants to have fast trains, new highways, new bridges and so on and so forth.
So it's important to try and understand the long game of the Chinese if the United States wants to try and match it in the long run.
ZAKARIA: Kurt Campbell, can the United States match it?
CAMPBELL: Look, I -- I agree with much of what Kishore suggests, but I do think the United States has had more success historically in Asia than many of us -- than many give us credit for. We have sponsored and supported an operating system of sorts that have built strong trade links, defense partnerships, allowing for problems to be settled peacefully. That's our biggest contribution and it's been supported by a bipartisan manner in the United States for decades.
I think the question is, from here, is President Trump and his team supported to playing an enduring role in the Asia-Pacific region, much in the way that we've done in the past?
I think there are a lot of questions about that. I will say, however, for the last 30 years, every several years after Vietnam, after the Cold War, there are lots of questions about Americans' staying power, lots of belief in American decline. And each time, we've come roaring back.
And so I'm not terribly pessimistic. I think we can suffer a little bit over the next course of the next couple of years, but we're going to have to understand that the challenge that China presents is much greater and we have to step up our game very substantially.
ZAKARIA: Elise, one of the places that the president is going to go to is the Philippines, where he confronts somebody who is -- President Duterte, who is accused of massive violations of human rights, you know, many ways, kind of, destroying or eroding Philippine democracy.
Do you -- historically, this has come up when the president of the United States goes to countries like that, he meets with human rights activists, he reads the riot act to the president or the regime, at least privately. Do you think any of that is going to happen?
HU: I think that's an open question, because President Trump has actually praised President Duterte in the past for his drug war, which has arguably been against due process and the rule of law. But that's an interesting contrast to what President Trump is doing tomorrow in Japan, which is meeting with families of abductees by North Korea from Japan, precisely to highlight North Korea's human rights abuses.
So it's interesting that he's going to be highlighting human rights abuses by North Korea and may not highlight human rights abuses of a different kind in the Philippines. So that remains to be seen, what happens there.
ZAKARIA: And in Vietnam, what kind of a reception do you expect he'll get, Elise?
Because, again there, a controlled regime but one that has, over the last few years, been mending ties with the United States at a rather dramatic pace.
HU: Well, they just added a state dinner in Hanoi that was, kind of, tacked on in the last couple of days. So that was unexpected, which will be, kind of, pomp and circumstance, but, again, signaling of mending of ties between the United States and Vietnam.
And also, this back end of the trip in the Philippines and Vietnam are for these multi-lateral conferences, APEC and ASEAN, which is also important for the U.S. president to be at for signaling purposes, to say, you know, "We haven't abandoned our multi-lateral commitment."
ZAKARIA: Kishore, one of the places the president is not going to be is the East Asia Summit...
CAMPBELL: Fareed, can I just...
ZAKARIA: Sorry -- sorry, Kurt, go ahead.
CAMPBELL: I was just going to say, Fareed, it's interesting, as you travel around the region, the one thing you hear coming up a lot is the idea of the Saudi -- the Saudi model, lots of pomp and circumstance, big purchase of American equipment and defense sales. That is what we will see in each of these stops as a way to try to make pleasant with President Trump.
ZAKARIA: But that is, of course, easier to do in some ways in the more controlled societies, right, than in the more open democracies?
CAMPBELL: Very much. The only place he's going to meet with real demonstrations is going to be in South Korea.
ZAKARIA: Kishore, let me finally ask you, the thing he's not going to go to is the East Asian summit -- or, I'm sorry, I didn't realize he is going to go. And that's where he's going to see Putin. Is that -- is that a place where the United States can make its mark? It is a Chinese-sponsored -- or Chinese kind of forum?
MAHBUBANI: Well, I've got good news for you, Fareed.
The East Asian summit is an ASEAN initiative. And one word that has not been mentioned in the entire program so far is ASEAN. It's a pity. I wrote a book called "The ASEAN Miracle," to point out that, actually, ASEAN has played a very valuable geopolitical role by providing the only platform in the region where the great powers can talk to each other when they have difficulties with each other -- like, when China and Japan have difficulties, they come to an ASEAN forum to talk over there.
So I'm actually very happy that President Trump decided to extend his stay by one day to attend the East Asian summit. And it's not just about Putin. It's about a region, Southeast Asia, which has 650 million people, where there are huge reservoirs of good will towards America in this region.
Kurt is right. America has been investing in the region for a long time, has been doing the right thing in the region for a long time. There are reservoirs of good will here. And the fact that President Donald Trump decided to extend his stay by one day and to carry on with the ASEAN East Asian summit is actually a very big deal and I'm delighted that he's doing it because that will make a difference, too.
ZAKARIA: Kurt, you've got the last word. Do you think that, at the end of the day, this counters some of the Chinese initiatives, or do we need to see something more -- does Trump need to announce something on this trip, something to combat the Belt and Road initiative or something like that?
CAMPBELL: The truth is, Fareed, as a person who has planned many of these trips in the past, this is a planner's dream. The president has given everything that you could want in terms of times with leaders, time on the ground. This is the longest trip, I think, we've ever seen -- also starting in Hawaii, getting briefed by our commanders.
So the question is now, how will he perform; will he be able to build some personal rapport? Will he get the Chinese to acknowledge that they need to work with the United States, not just compete with them? Will we be able to underscore that our commitment to the region is enduring, that we want to trade with the region, that we're not seeking simply to cut off trade agreements with Asian nations? Really, all of this hangs in the balance.
I will say that there is a real prospect of securing our position, at least in the short term, and it all rides on one person, President Trump. And just as -- the same thing in the United States, I see here in Japan. He's not terribly popular, but people are obsessed with every step he's making here in country.
ZAKARIA: As all over the world. Thank you all very much. We will be back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAKARIA: This is Fareed Zakaria, back here on "GPS." Thanks to all of the guests who joined me on the show today and thank you for being part of my program this week. I'll see you next week.