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Interview With Former U.S. Ambassador To NATO And Former Special U.S. Envoy To Ukraine Kurt Volker; Interview With Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani; Interview With Acting U.S. Deputy Secretary Of State Victoria Nuland; Interview With "The Curse Of Bigness" Author Tim Wu. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired September 21, 2023 - 13:00:00   ET




CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR. Here's what's coming up.

Poland suspends weapons shipments to Kyiv. Is that a spat or a sign that support for Ukraine's counteroffensive is waning among its fiercest allies?

I asked former U.S. ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker.

And Zelenskyy appeals to world leaders at the U.N., now he's in Washington to shore up support for more aid from Congress. I speak to Acting Deputy

Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.

Then --


MOHAMMED BIN ABDULRAHMAN BIN JASSIM AL THANI, QATARI PRIME MINISTER: The only way forward is a political resolution.


AMANPOUR: -- the Syrian president back on the world stage. In part two of my exclusive interview with the Qatar prime minister, I asked him about his

state's crucial role, mediating from Syria to Afghanistan and much more.

Also, ahead --


TIM WU, AUTHOR, "THE CURSE OF BIGNESS": We're in a better world where Google is forced to fight fair.


AMANPOUR: -- the United States versus Google. Hari Sreenivasan talks to Columbia law professor, author of "The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the

New Gilded Age."

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour if New York, where world leaders are wrapping up another U.N. General Assembly. A summit

that was all about finding unity and solidarity amid a torrent of crisis, from climate change to the war in Ukraine. President Zelenskyy has appealed

to the U.N. And today, he did the same with congressional leaders at the Pentagon and he will with the White House meeting with President Biden.

And closer to home, one of Ukraine's most ardent supporters, its neighbor own Poland, says that it's going to stop sending weapons across the border

right at a critical time in Kyiv's counteroffensive against Russian occupation. And as if on cue, Russia bombarded the capitol and elsewhere

with a barrage of missiles overnight.

Joining me is the former U.N. ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker. Welcome back to the program from Washington. Can I start by asking you, Ambassador

Volker, what do you make of the Polish move? What is it actually mean? Is it stopping new weapons? Is it stopping the transfer of other weapons from

other countries? What's happening?

KURT VOLKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO AND FORMER SPECIAL U.S. ENVOY TO UKRAINE: Well, I think it is intended to be a signal to Ukrainian that

Poland is unhappy about grain exports through Poland that are leaking out and depressing prices in the Polish market.

So, it's a shout across the battle to Ukraine saying, take this seriously. We are trying to take it seriously. We need you to do so as well. And it is

a little bit for domestic consumption. What it actually means is I believe Polish weapons themselves, Poland's own weaponry, they're going to put on

ice for now until they get some progress on this grain issue. I don't believe it's going to result in the stoppage of transshipments across


AMANPOUR: Well, just quickly then, the grain issue is fundamental. I mean, it's a huge part of the Ukrainian economy. Russia has blockaded its normal

export routes in the Black Sea. And, you know, the E.U. has allowed this train transport to other countries. How is that going to be resolve?

VOLKER: Well, I think it's going to have to take joint effort by Poland and Ukraine to do a better job policing the shipments. Ukraine is not

taking any responsibility for what happens after it crosses the Polish border and I think it is probably Ukrainian and Polish businessmen working

together to get the stuff on to the Polish market rather than pay the extra cost to ship it elsewhere. That's got to be something that the two sides

work together on to stop.

AMANPOUR: OK. I can read between the lines, a little corruption, a little black marketeering going on there. And I see what you're saying. And

clearly, that's an important issue. But how about this though, the Polish president compared Ukraine to a drowning person? This is what he says, a

drowning person is extremely dangerous, he can pull you down to the depths, simply drown the rescuer.

This, of course, was roundly and warmly welcomed by the Russian foreign ministry. But that goes beyond, you know, a spat over grain. That's like,

are we getting too far into this rescue effort? Do we need to reassess it? And we can see that happening around, not just NATO countries, but in the

U.S. Congress.

VOLKER: Yes. Well, I think -- turning it to the U.S. side, I think there is a growing sense that we don't see an end in sight. And you hear that

from members of Congress. How much is this going to cost? How long is it going to go on? So, there's a frustration there. But the reality is, as

much as people would like to see Putin stop, they'd like to see a negotiated solution, they'd like to see Russia withdraw its forces, Putin

is doing this on purpose. He is fighting and taking territory, killing Ukrainians in order to rebuild a Russian empire.


And even though we may be tired, he is not going to stop. And the only way this really ends is for Ukraine to get the armaments that it needs in order

to stop the Russians themselves. They've been making good progress, but they need to keep going.

AMANPOUR: I'd like to play a bit of a -- my interview with Jens Stoltenberg this week, the NATO secretary general, who essentially, you

know, reenforced what many are worried about, that this could go on with no end in sight. Listen to what he said.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: We need to be prepared for a long war, for a long haul. Nobody knows how long this war will last. Wars

are by nature unpredictable. But the brute reality is that it tends to last longer than we expect them they start. And we have to send a clear message

to Moscow that President Putin cannot wait this out. We need to be there for as long as it takes.


AMANPOUR: So, first of all, do you think that this current sort of political hand ringing in the West and amongst NATO countries is, you know,

what Putin has been waiting for? Is this the moment he's just been hoping to capitalize on?

VOLKER: Well, I think he's hoping for even more. I think that, yes, he's looking for the West to get tired and to suspend support for Ukraine. He's

hoping for political changes, such as in Slovakia, for example, where nations then turn against aid to Ukraine. He may be hoping for the same

thing in a U.S. election. So, he's trying to ride this out.

But the reality is, there's two things that people have to keep in mind. One of them, Putin is losing the war as it is. Ukraine is taking back more

than half the territory that Russia took at the beginning. They're making progress in the south. And the Russians are not able to advance and take

more territory anymore. They're bombing cities and making lives miserable and killing people, but they're not able to advance. So, that's why he's

turning up the pressure the way he is.

The second is that if we give Putin time to regroup, he will. He's not going to end the fighting in Europe. He's not going to stop trying to take

over Ukraine. And he will then threaten Poland, Baltic States, other in Europe if he's not stopped in Ukraine. So, we actually have an interest

ourselves in making sure he's stopped there so that we don't have to go to war to defend NATO allies.

AMANPOUR: What do you think the next few months will bring? You just talked about bombing cities. Well, there was a huge barrage overnight and

the winter, the fall. The winter is coming up. The worry about infrastructure, heat, electricity, et cetera, like last year. We understand

from General Milley, the retiring, you know, top general, that the Ukrainians may only have six weeks or so of good fighting weather left

before it gets impossible to move around on that terrain.

From a military perspective, do you think anything -- like should there be a surge in deliveries now? Should there be, I don't know, a consolidation

until the next fighting season? What do you see happening?

VOLKER: Well, first off, I don't think we should overstate the impact of the weather. There is an impact. Of course, there's rains, there's mud. You

can't put tracked vehicles in the mud that way. But there are other ways the Ukrainians will continue to keep fighting.

And as we've seen the last few weeks, they're getting increasingly effective with the use of drones, both air and sea drones. So, they're

going to keep the pressure on the Russians regardless. Also, with the longer-range artillery systems to take out Russia, the logistical supplies.

So, that's where I think this goes. It doesn't just stop after six weeks. It changes and it continues over time.

As far as, you know, what to expect, you know, again, I think we have to focus on the outcome, which is if you -- if Russia is not defeated, they

will continue to fight and kill, and it's just going to go on that way. And that -- when you talk about the cities and the power outages and so forth

as we saw last winter, that's what Russia is going to do again.

So, yes, we should be accelerating the aid to Ukraine so that they can push the Russian forces further back and make it more difficult for them to do


AMANPOUR: So, outcome is one of the things that the house speaker, Kevin McCarthy, has asked about, what is the end game, right? And the

administration is being conspicuously silent on an actual end game beyond the generalities that Ukraine has to be defended, its sovereignty, et

cetera, Russia should be defeated. But what exactly does that mean? They haven't said total victory. They haven't signed up on Zelenskyy's 10-point

plan, which calls, first and foremost, for the removal of all Russian occupation forces. What do you see as the U.S. and NATO's end game?

VOLKER: Well, I think, first there has to be a military defeat of the Russian forces inside Ukraine. And that principally takes the form of

cutting off the lines of communication that Russia is using to supply forces in Southern Ukraine and Crimea.


There's a land bridge that connects Rostov to Crimea itself. There's the Kerch Strait Bridge, which is damaged and there is the naval base at

Sevastopol. Those are the three key things that Ukraine needs to take on to disrupt the supplies to those forces.

If they do this successfully, Russia is going to have to pull back those forces. And I think that will cause some change inside Russia. They will

realize that the military effort isn't going to succeed the way they had wanted to. And if we can help the Ukrainians get through that phase, I

think it's going to cause change in Moscow and then the opportunity to finally bring the fighting to a stop.

AMANPOUR: You were, you know, named NATO ambassador by President Trump. You've worked closely with President Bush, with John McCain, Senator

McCain, so you know what goes on in sort of the Republican circles and especially at a time where a poll by CNN says, should Congress authorize

additional funding to support Ukraine in the war with Russia? 55 percent say no. 45 percent say yes. That's a shift in public opinion. So, what does

President Zelenskyy have to say when he's up on Capitol Hill?

VOLKER: Well, I think there are a couple things here. First, you know, you mentioned John McCain, you mentioned George Bush, they would be out there

leading this in view of the American public. They would be making the case to explain America's interest in this. We don't see enough of that right


Second, what Zelenskyy needs to do, he needs to convey appreciation for the support that's given. Sometimes they're so desperate that they need more

and they need to keep fighting that they are not making clear that they do appreciate what the American people and the Congress have provided already.

That's important.

Second is accountability. People take seriously this concern about possible corruption or where is the money going? They need to convey that they take

seriously responsibility for assuring the assistance is well used and that it's into the siphoned off for any type of corruption.

And then, finally, to make the stakes clear that Ukraine is going to continue fighting no matter what because they don't have a choice. These

are homes, these are their lives, their relatives, their families, they can't just give them up.

And so, the better thing for the U.S. is to help them actually get through this and do it quickly rather than be slow with assistance, drag it out,

see more lives lost. Because the Ukrainians are going to fight anyway, we may as well give them as much as we can to help them end it sooner.

AMANPOUR: And certainly, that's what they say. I mean, just to your point about accountability, you saw that President Zelenskyy fired a whole raft

deputy ministers before he came to the U.N., before he went to Capitol Hill to make sure that they get that he's taking corruption seriously. The other

question is, there is a sort of a gathering sound of noise towards pushing Ukraine to negotiations.

The foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, told me that -- and he said publicly, the idea of taking Russia's word, which by the way, they didn't want to sit

down seriously at any time, must have been disproven by the alleged assassination of Prigozhin, who took Putin's guarantee of safe passage and

then was blown out of the air. Of course, the Kremlin denies that, but most people believe it.

So, what do you think when it comes to the idea of it's time to negotiate or some time to negotiate?

VOLKER: Well, I fundamentally don't see any reason why Vladimir Putin is going to negotiate. He's made very clear he doesn't believe Ukraine has a

right to exist as a country, that it's not a separate nationality, a separate identity, doesn't believe in the Ukrainian language.

His idea is to exterminate Ukraine and he's committed himself to this path. So, I don't see him turning around and I don't see him being willing to

negotiate. So, as much as others would like to see a negotiated solution, we don't have a negotiating partner. And I don't think you really get to

any negotiations until the Russian forces are actually defeated, then you can have a point where you can say, all right, now, we need to build a new

stable border that Russia will respect.

AMANPOUR: And finally, on the idea of the Global South and trying to get more countries on board to the narrative of the defense of Ukraine.

President Biden had a good meeting with President Lula, one of the main BRICS nations, and President Zelenskyy has also met with President Lula on

the sidelines.

What do you think is the best that can be hoped for many countries who have not yet fully bought in to the, you know, western and Ukrainian narrative

of necessary defense of democracy?


VOLKER: Yes. I don't think that that argument is the one that's going to work the best with the Global South, because they will look at this and

say, look, you were colonial powers, you colonized us. Your wars are not necessarily our wars. We don't need this war. You know, you guys do this.

It doesn't mean they're unsympathetic to Ukraine, they just don't think it's their cause.

The argument that is more important is that Russia's war against Ukraine is impacting them already in a negative way. It is causing interruption of

supply lines, and supply chains for business, it's causing a spike in energy prices, it's causing inflation and it is interrupting global food

supplies. So, these are serious impacts that Russia's war has caused and they also have an interest in seeing it ended sooner rather than later.

AMANPOUR: Ambassador Volker, thank you very much, indeed.

And in a moment, we hope to hear from Victoria Nuland. She is the acting deputy secretary of state. But first, turning now to part two of my

exclusive interview with the Qatari prime minister, where I ask him now stability and possible new deals in the Middle East and Qatar's take on

Syria's Bashar Assad rejoining the Arab League.


AMANPOUR: You just mentioned Syria and it just strikes me that Syria was the victim of a war over many, many years. I mean, terrible human rights

violations. Iran was involved. Russia was involved. And at one point, you, the Qataris said -- the emir said in 2018 that the region couldn't tolerate

a war criminal like Bashar Assad. And yet, at the Arab summit in May he received a warm welcome.

MOHAMMED BIN ABDULRAHMAN BIN JASSIM AL THANI, QATARI PRIME MINISTER: Well, actually, our position on Syria, we said very clearly when there was a

decision on bringing back Syria to the Arab League, our position stand the same. We see that still we don't see anything that makes him eligible to

come back to the Arab League.

We cannot -- we don't want break the consensus on the decision because at the end of the day, one vote won't matter in that and we try to explain our

position, the Arab countries -- the other Arab countries have different prospective than us. So, we didn't want to object that decision in the

session itself. But we came very clear that normalization between countries and Syria, it will be the decision of each country and we stand with the

same position. His highness just mentioned that in his speech, we cannot tolerate war criminals. We cannot see Syrian people are still suffering.

And we just give the government their waiver to move in and be normalized.

We see that the only way forward is a political solution. There as per (ph) the International Community resolutions to fight for is highlighting very

clearly political transition and political resolution, and this is not happening. And we cannot reward someone for not implementing Security

Council resolutions.

AMANPOUR: In Qatar, in Doha, under the auspices of yourself, your government, you know, there were meetings which basically ended up two

years ago with the United States handing back Afghanistan to the Taliban, and they haven't met any of their promises, especially on women and girls

and education. You went to Kandahar and met with the fundamentalist leader there, Akhundzada. What did get out of him? What did he say? How did you

try to explain?

AL THANI: Well, I think there are two aspects in this, Christiane. When you look at the agreement itself, the agreement is the safe withdrawal of

the U.S. troops in exchange of commitments to fight terrorism and commitments not to provide a safe haven for terrorist groups and represent

a threat for the United States or for any other country in the world. And that was the entire deal build around.

On my discussions in Kandahar, we've been very clear. If you want to be part of the International Community, you need to cooperate with us. You

need to walk with us together in order to have your country as a Muslim modern country as Qatar. Qatar is a Muslim country where women are allowed

and proud. They are active part of the community. They are very productive. They are leaders, ministers, ambassadors, they are on all levels in the

work order schools. They are outnumbering the men in the higher education even.

So -- and we agreed with them that we need to -- at least on smaller scale, to have things moving. Reallowing women to work again in the NGOs and

delivering assistance to other families in Afghanistan.

AMANPOUR: They promised they would let women work and continue with the rights they had. And then, of course, they didn't.


And the leader, Akhundzada, seems to think that he's the -- you know, the living embodiment of true Islam. So, I see you smiling somewhat. When you

tell him that actually Islam does not prevent women from working and all the other activities that they are able to do, what do they say? I mean, do

they even get it? Are they in the 21th century?

AL THANI: Well, I'm not a religious leader to argue with him on religion, but I can argue on Islamic countries' policies, which is my country is a

proud Muslim country and we have -- the women are allowed and not prevented from going to work or to school or to universities. I think Muslim scholars

have a model role to engage with him and to talk with him.

I think we have a responsibility as Muslim countries, as countries in the region to be vocal on that end, to talk to him. Because we are the best

people who can explain for them that we are all the Muslim countries, and we are acting as like normal societies.

AMANPOUR: Are you hopeful?

AL THANI: We are always hopeful.

AMANPOUR: Realistic?

AL THANI: Always hopeful.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you about LGBTQ? There seems to be -- the Global South, a lot of it, resents western morals, values, rights when it comes to

LGBTQ. They say that, you know, why should they abide? And I'm talking about yourself as well, by western notions of rights? And that also came up

in the World Cup heavy-handed attempts to get people not to fly rainbow flag, et cetera, et cetera. And there's a feeling that it's a bit of a sort

of don't ask don't tell situation in Qatar.

But people live scared. LGBTQ people lived scared in your region, all over the Gulf region. I mean, it's not very modern. What is wrong? You know,

you've already said that a Muslim country shouldn't be afraid of women, shouldn't be afraid of, you know, all these other things, and you're not.

What is it going to take to make LGBTQ accepted, given their rights, and treated like other people?

AL THANI: Well, there are -- I think that, first of all, this debate and argument that's not happening on what so-called Global South only, it's

happening even in the West, happening in America, it's happening elsewhere. It's everywhere.

AMANPOUR: But that doesn't make it right.

AL THANI: Just to finish my point here. Qatar is a country that our society like to preserve the tradition and they are very proud about their

faith. And this is something not acceptable in our faith. Comparing that to the woman participating in the community. this is different. There is

nothing in our faith that preventing women --

AMANPOUR: No, but the Kandaharis say there is. So, yes, it's you --

AL THANI: It's their interruption. But it's -- and what we know and what we know in our history that we're proud of --

AMANPOUR: Would you agree that these people have a right to be safe?

AL THANI: None of them safety -- their safe have been subject, you know, as well as they are respecting the law in public areas. No one -- they're

safety is in question. I mean, you don't see hate crimes happening in Qatar because of LGBT or because of this or because of that.

Look at Qatar history track record in the last 50 years, and just compare it to any other country in Europe. You can see hate crimes in Europe

against the LGBT in thousands last year happening in some modern European countries. I won't name them. In Qatar it was zero. What we are saying is

these are our laws, our rules, our culture. Anyone who wants to come here, he is welcomed as long as he respects it, as they expect from us and the

Qatari people to respect their laws and their norms.

I mean, we are working in Europe and in the western country, if we did something to disrespect their laws, we say to our people that you will be

held accountable for it, because your job there is to respect the country, the host country that you are on, that's what we expect from others.

AMANPOUR: Prime Minister, thank you very much, indeed.

AL THANI: Thank you. Thank you very much, Christiane.


AMANPOUR: And of course, I conducted that interview shortly after the release of the American hostages from Iran and the prisoner swap, a deal

that Qatar was central to mediating.

And returning now to Ukraine. Hanging over all the diplomatic maneuvering is the possibility of a government shutdown in the United States and the

contentious issue for funding for Ukraine in general. So, what are the political implications for Kyiv? Acting deputy secretary of state, Victoria

Newman, joins me now. Welcome back to the program.


I wonder what your views are -- first and foremost, let's talk about Mr. Zelenskyy goes to Washington. He's doing a full core press charm offensive

with Congress, the Pentagon and going again to his main backup, President Biden. What has he got to do today?

VICTORIA NULAND, ACTING U.S. DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, Christiane, great to be back with you. It is a very important visit by President

Zelenskyy, first here to New York, to talk to the world about the importance of staying with this, continuing to support Ukraine so that Mr.

Putin and any other would be authoritarian around the world who wants to bite off a piece of his neighbor knows that we will stand up and defend


In Washington, we continue to have very strong bipartisan support in the Congress and across the country. But it is important for Zelenskyy to speak

directly to the president about the period ahead as we head towards winter. Just overnight, the Russians again attacked critical infrastructure in

Ukraine, trying to break the economy, trying to break the people, but it's equally important for him to speak directly to the Congress and to explain

his theory of the case going forward. So, this is going to be an important day in Washington.

AMANPOUR: So, clearly, he does have the support of the Senate bipartisan. He met all the senators, but not so in Congress. And Speaker McCarthy has

been voicing more and more skepticism about continuing this aid.

What happens? Are you prepared for Congress to cut back aid or cut it off altogether?

NULAND: Well, of course, the Congress is looking not just at support for Ukraine, it's also looking at the entire budget for the U.S. government.

And whenever we have these wrangles, as Secretary Blinken has said, should we have a government shutdown, it will certainly make our job harder.

But I think the point here is that this is not simply about Ukraine, it is about the planet that we want to live on, it is about the rules of the road

that favor freedom and if we allow these global bullies to do whatever they want, then the whole U.N. charter is shredded and we're going to live in a

world of hurt where this happens all over the place, and that is more expensive for the American people, more dangerous for the American people.

The president has been making that point. I think that President Zelenskyy will also make that point.

So, the investment we make here is an investment in our own future and in the planet's future in terms of freedom and prosperity. So, we have to

broaden the lens and look at it that way.

AMANPOUR: So, you've made a very compelling case. And in fact, Ambassador Volker, former NATO ambassador under the Trump administration said the same

thing, that the president needs to keep putting it in those terms. But more importantly, that the Congress actually needs to give more weapons now

precisely to achieve what you're talking about, a much more rapid victory and a much more rapid conclusion to this global threat that you're talking


So, it's a bit worrying that Congress is talking about actually the opposite, cutting off or cutting back.

NULAND: Again, we are working through this through now and the fact that President Zelenskyy is going to talk to a broad cross-section of

congressional leaders is important. I think the other point here to make is that countries around the world are watching whether the United States

continues to lead, continues to be able to rally allies and partners, some 29 countries now willing to do long-term security support for Ukraine,

which is another way to handle this problem, so that we can make Ukraine strong enough to stand up on its own feet, both in security and economic

terms no matter what Russia throws at it.

So, we're talking about the now, but we're also talking about the way to transition this to a more sustainable path. And there's plenty of concern

in Congress about other countries, including China. And everybody is watching what we do here to decide what they will do next and whether the

U.S. will stand up for our own security, for our allies and partners' securities and for the rules of the road that favor freedom on this planet.

AMANPOUR: So, which I guess leads me to the idea of the Global South. And we know that President Biden met with -- again, with President Lula.

President Zelenskyy met with President Lula of Brazil, and there's this feeling that the Global South, certainly the BRICS nations, are not as

full-throated to Ukraine's defense as they might be.


I spoke to a key member of the E.U., the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, about why it seems to be difficult to get some of these countries on side.

This is what he said.


LEO VARADKAR, IRISH PRIME MINISTER: But there are also a lot of countries in the global south that feel that some European countries are

hypocritical, you know, given what happened in terms of the war in Iraq, are given what European countries have done as part of their colonial

enterprises, supporting coups, for example. What I always say to them coming from Ireland, a country that has never had any colonies, a country

that have to fight for their own independence, don't blame the Ukrainians for what others may have done in the past.


AMANPOUR: So, it is complicated. And, of course, you were there during the run-up to the Iraq war. Do you think that has a lingering effect?

NULAND: I don't it's about that Christiane. I think it's about the fact that many of our global partners outside of Europe have challenges of their

own. And they want to see us, they want to see the other democracies, they want to see the U.N. system deliver for them. And, you know, some of their

issues have actually been made worse by Russia's brutal aggression in Ukraine. So, food insecurity, energy insecurity. The fact that they need

infrastructure investment. They need the U.N. system to deliver for them.

And this was the point that President Biden was trying to make in his presentation which is that the U.S. is not just investing in Ukraine

security, we're also investing in new infrastructure ideas. We have been the leading donor of food security, and trying to address some of these

problems that have trickled down. But none of us can work together in collective action to solve the world's problems that are central in Brazil

and in South Africa and in Indonesia and around the world if we allow the U.N. Charter to be completed shredded by a permanent member like Russia,

and for Russia to block other things that we're trying to do.

So, everything is linked. We need to address all of these global problems together. And we need to do it in a way that favors prosperity, favors

openness that supports the rules of the road so that neighbors are not attacking each other. We need to get on and do that business, and in order

to do that, we have to say no to Russia's brutal aggression and no to it ripping up the charter.

AMANPOUR: Let's just quickly focus on not -- I mean, it shouldn't be quick, but climate change obviously, somewhat overshadowed by the war in

Ukraine and by the attention that it gets. I spoke to Former Vice President Al Gore in this program. And, you know, he, you know, realizes clearly that

the situation is getting much worse as we see with the weather and the climate crisis. And you know, he's talked about how also there needs to be

a stronger global convening to mitigate this. Let's just play what he said.


AL GORE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Look what's happening around world, I mean, every night on the TV news is like a nature hike through the book of

revelation. Look at the catastrophe in Libya made 50 times more likely by the climate crisis. And that same day there were other catastrophes related

to the climate crisis all around the world.


AMANPOUR: So, do you worry that, you know, as much as it's so important to defend Ukraine, that some of the energy is going out of the room on


NULAND: I have to say I see the opposite. When I travel around the world and when the secretary and president travel around the world, we have

countries on every continent who are making their own green transition, aided and supported by us and by our companies. Understanding that they

have to get themselves to the extent that they can, off of fossil fuel and on to solar and on to wind. And I think the fact that Russia used energy

fossil fuels as a weapon has actually accelerated people's understanding that this is not only a climate vulnerability, it's a national security


Now, there are big countries that have to make difficult choices, China being one of them. And as we talk intensively with the Chinese, we are

trying to encourage them to do more to contribute on the climate side. We have new solutions with some of the other bigger (ph) meters like India

where we're working together on new solar and wind solutions.

But this is a difficult thing. And if you just look at Europe alone, Putin's war actually forced them to accelerate their own transition, not

only away from Russian oil, but to cleaner, greener solutions. And Ukraine itself wants to be part of that transition and part of the solution.


So, we're working on all of these things, but you're not wrong it's a biblical season.

AMANPOUR: Indeed. And just on another issue talking about biblical. President Biden has met with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel for the

first time in, you know, since he came back to power. And they are talking also about potentially normalizing relations between Israel and Saudi

Arabia. So, the Qatari prime minister who I spoke to said that for them and for the region, the only issue is the issue of Palestinian statehood.

Urging, you know, that to be front and center if any such normalization were to take place.

Where is the administration on that? We hear nothing about the two-state solution anymore. And look what's happening in Israel with the assault on

democracy there and no attention being paid to the rights of the Palestinians for statehood.

NULAND: Well, Christiane, I would say that we completely agree. And I had a chance to have the same conversation today with the -- his majesty that

as we work on this very difficult but potentially transformative agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, there has to be improvement in the quality

of life for Palestinians as part of this. We have to strengthen again all of the conditions that are necessary for two states living side by side.

And some of that has been going in the wrong direction in recent months and years. And we need to ensure that there is a strong piece of this that

allows us to get back into those conversations on two-state, which have been difficult on both sides as you know.

AMANPOUR: Yes, I mean, more abound. Victoria Nuland, thank you so much for joining us.

And now, does Google have too much power? The United States government thinks so. A high stakes legal battle is taking place right now between the

U.S. and the tech giant. Columbia law professor Tim Wu breaks it all down with Hari Sreenivasan now.



Tim Wu, thanks so much for joining us. So, last week, a pretty big case kicked off. It's the United States versus Google about antitrust issues,

something you are an expert on. I'm going to break this down for our audience, what's at the center of the case?

TIM WU, COLUMBIA LAW PROFESSOR AND AUTHOR, "THE CURSE OF BIGNESS": Center of this case, a big case against Google, first big antitrust case in the

last 20 years for monopolization claim. And at the core is the argument that Google has been maintaining its monopoly over general search using a

number of agreements and other techniques.

SREENIVASAN: And so, what are those agreements? What are those techniques that they've been doing that scream out antitrust?

WU: I think the core of the case revolves around the idea that Google has been spending its money to escape competition. Most clearly through a -- an

agreement to spend $10 billion or more every year with Apple. To give Apple $10 billion or more a year in order make Google the default search on the

iPhone. And also, at least the Justice Department alleges to keep Apple out of search.

So, their argument is without these payoffs, there's other payoffs to Samsung, payoffs to company named Mozilla, other android phone companies.

Without all these payoffs, Google would have faced significantly more competition but they've been buying their way out of competition.

SREENIVASAN: You know, I'm old enough to remember reporting on the last antitrust case against Microsoft. And back then, we had internet explorer

that was bundled into the windows operating system, that seemed to be the, sort of, unfair practice. This, on the other hand, what is the crime in

having what Google would call partnerships with companies like Apple and saying, you know what? I'm giving them money. I mean, this is just a deal

between two companies?

WU: You know, in this case in some ways is a little bit like Microsoft. Microsoft was worried about losing its monopoly over operating systems. And

it used a stick. It threatened anyone who dealt with Netscape, a navigator, all the intermediaries with loss of its operating system.

Google has been using the carrot. The argument the Justice Department makes is they were worried about competition. Worried about particularly another

search engine showing up on mobile and becoming heavily used. Worried about Apple going into search and decided that they would spend the money to try

to avoid that.


Now, why is that anti-competitive? I think the antitrust laws say that you're supposed to stand your ground and fight. Particularly, if you're a

monopolist. It has different rules for the dominant companies than say, you're, you know, local bakery or something that might make a deal with the

local croissant maker or the local bread maker. You know, Microsoft and Google are in a different category of company and they're not supposed to

be allowed to spend money to get away from competition.

SREENIVASAN: OK. So, one of the things that people are going to wonder is, is this bad for consumers? Am I using an inferior product? Am I being

forced to do something that otherwise I wouldn't want to do?

WU: No one doubts that they came to market with a great product that people love. It's just the spending money to stay there that's been the

problem. I mean, imagine there was an Apple search, for example, a lot of people like Apple phones, Apple stuff. You know, maybe the Apple search

will be a lot more privacy protective than Google. But people like Google, they don't like the fact that they spy on you all the time. So, why isn't

there a more privacy protective alternative? That's the kind of things that I think the Justice Department is saying when they -- when the consumers

are better off with more competition.

SREENIVASAN: So, you know, one of the defenses that Google has made for quite some time is that competition is a click away, right? It doesn't cost

the consumer much time to change the default search if that's what they want to do, or literally use a browser to go to some other search engine.

So, we couldn't possibly be anti-competitive because we're not constraining the ability of the consumer to use a competitive product.

WU: It's a good point. And in fact, it's one that Google has been using as a defense in this trial. The Justice Department's response has been put on

the stand a number of behavioral economists who make the point that, you know, Google understood how important the default was than most people,

when a product is shipped with a search engine never change it. You know, whether it's good, bad you might like. Maybe they like something more

privacy protected. Maybe they just never really bothered to change it.

And so, Google knew it. Google was battling for the defaults. If search was only one click away or choice, why were they spending billions and billions

of dollars to make sure that people had this thing installed as the default? Made sure that other companies didn't go into the market. So, I

think that's the response. I won't say it has no appeal, but I think the human psychology suggests that, frankly, when we get locked into something,

we don't want to switch.

SREENIVASAN: You know, there's also a question that the judge is going to have to consider of intent or did they know what they were doing? And just

-- I know it's only been in the first week and this is a trial that could take months, but are there any kind of smoking guns? Are there e-mails? Are

there -- is there something within Google that shows that they knew this is what they were carrying out?

WU: Yes. I mean, I think that's what has been effective about the Justice Department's presentation. You know, Google has a great image, it's a

friendly company. You know, it has a nice, colorful logo and an inspiring story, the garage start-up. But I think what the Justice Department's case

is showing is kind of different Google. A very calculating. A lot of e- mails that recognize that they're concerned about Apple, naturally. They're very worried they want to spend this money to try to make sure they don't

face serious competitive forces.

So, I think what you see and what emerges from this trial is a much more calculating Google. A Google that knows what it's doing and knows what it

wants to do and has been, in some ways, planning on maintaining dominance all along.

SREENIVASAN: You know, I wonder if this case would be different if it was, say, starting a year ago. And why I say that is before, kind of, the rise

of these OpenAI or these kind of large language models using artificial intelligence. Google has their own. Microsoft is partnered with a big one

named OpenAI. And I wonder if that's not a significant enough threat to the existing search business where Google can say, look -- I mean, look at all

these people that are using these A.I. tools. They're not coming to Google or we're trying to, you know, stay competitive. We're kind of the underdog

almost here.

WU: Yes, I think it's an important point that A.I. has become significant. And it seems like something, no one knows exactly what, is on the horizon.

But in my view, that makes the case more important. We have an opportunity here for, you know, technological succession. And if there's anything,

history of tech suggests is that companies try and prevent the next thing from coming along and replacing them.

Now, there's some chance it will happen naturally, but I think we were in a better world where Google is forced to fight fair.


Where, you know, the strategy of using defaults, spending tens of billions of dollars to make sure your product is in front of everybody and not other

people's is actually more important. Scrutiny on mergers, you don't want Google to buy out its greatest and most dangerous competitors. Now is the

time, in fact, for enhanced scrutiny.

You know, one of the important things about the Microsoft trial back in the 90's is that it came at a point where Microsoft was facing incredible

competitive pressure. And in fact, it created a lot of room for companies like Google to emerge because Microsoft was handcuffed, was under a consent

decree and had just been beaten up by the Justice Department for five years.

So, I think in these moments of technical succession, it's very important that companies feel pressure from the government to fight fair. And that's

why I think the timing actually of A.I. makes this more important that we have this case now.

SREENIVASAN: So, what does the government have to prove to the judge? I mean, it's a bench trial. There's not a jury here. What do they have to

say, all right, this is our case. Open and shut. What does a judge have to completely understand?

WU: They have to have two things. First, that Google had a monopoly over general search, which I think they should be able to prove. And second, to

prove that Google used its monopoly to maintain its position -- used its economic power to maintain its position. And I think that's the more

challenging question. You know, there's large jurisprudence as to what exactly it means to effectively fight unfair versus fight fair.

And, as you said, Google will just say, look, we made good product. People liked it. And the core of the Justice Department's case will be you had a

monopoly. You maintained your monopoly by making deals to keep competitors out. I think the strongest argument in that, sort of, on the street, kind

of, argument is the idea that they paid Apple in particular to stay out, to not develop itself into a search. Apple was starting to handle search

traffic. Google said, listen if you still want this money, you need to stay out. And I think that doesn't sound like fair competition to me.

SREENIVASAN: What is Google's defense going to be in this case? What have they said so far? What are they likely to say?

WU: You know, I think their defense is straightforward. People like our product because we have a better product. Given the choice, over and over,

we've seen that people choose Google over Bing, over DuckDuckGo. So, it's really -- all of our so-called power is really about consumer choice. I

think that's the core of their argument. Nothing else matters. And if people really wanted to switch, they would have switched.

SREENIVASAN: So, what are the remedies that the judge could hand down? Let's say the government makes its case and proves those two things. What

can the judge -- what kind of power does the judge have?

WU: You know, the judge has the power and equity, at least traditionally, to go as far as to break Google up, or cause it to divest or parts of

Google. At an extreme, it could ask it to divest, sell the Chrome browser, sell the android operating system. Those would be strong remedies, kind of,

a mini breakup. At lesser degrees of intensity, it could ask Google to stop doing deals like this. It could put it, in some ways, under parole.

Traditionally, at least in other cases, the justice or judges have ordered companies to stay out of certain businesses. Might be weird to order Google

to stay out of A.I. search or something, but things like that had been done. AT&T was ordered to stay out of computing in 1956, which had enormous

consequences for all of computing, obviously.

And so, there's a large range. It's a court of equity. And if the Justice Department wins, I think it will be a very interesting and hard question to

figure out what the right remedy is.

SREENIVASAN: You know, when you talk about antitrust cases going back into say, the AT&T days back in the 80's. What was the consequence of breaking

up a big company like this? I mean, what were the things that consumers felt? What were the things that businesses felt? How did the ecosystem or

landscape change if Google is to be broken up or Microsoft or anybody else in the tech space? What do we know from history that happens?

WU: Yes, it's a good question because we've been down this route before, frankly starting the '50s with initial antitrust cases against and IBM,

AT&T, and a company called RCA.


In the '70s and '80s IBM, AT&T, again leading to that AT&T breakup. The 90's with Microsoft. And now we're in the current generation, it's not just

Google, there's also a significant case against Facebook, seeking a break up. And another big Google advertising case. So, we're in something --

we're in a repeat of something that has happened every 20 or 30 years or so.

I would say, looking at history, the short-term consequence has been chaos and uncertainty. But the long-term consequence is almost always been a big

jump in technological development and the birth of new companies and new industries. It kind of stirs the pot. You know, monopolies have their

positive features, they're very familiar. And often they have strong research laboratories. But they have a tendency, unsurprisingly, towards

stagnation. They usually have an existing business model that they don't want to cannibalize.

You know, you take Google right now, one of the challenges with AI. for it is it challenges the advertising model that it's the core of Google. So,

something emerging that somehow isn't quite that model for them is very, very dangerous.

AT&T was always concerned about the rise of an internet or -- what later became known as the internet that it didn't control. That is businesses

that were on top of the phone lines. AT&T wanted everything to be operated by AT&T, that was their way of doing business. And if -- I don't know. I

think we're old enough to really remember AT&T at its glory days, but it controlled everything. The phones were sold by AT&T, Western Electric. The

long-distance service was AT&T, the local service -- everything had to be AT&T. Business services.

So, you know, long story short, it makes a lot of room for other companies. It has jump started some of the most important computer revolutions,

antitrust break-ups and antitrust attacks, including software industries, the internet industries. Frankly, the American economy would not look the

way it does without some of the big antitrust cases we've had.

And so, you know, it's obviously too early to say whether the current attack on big tech will have similar effects. But if history is any guide,

relaxing the grip of the monopolist usually leads in good directions.

SREENIVASAN: Given the amount of money that large tech companies are able to spend, lobbying the legislative branch certainly. It has been really

difficult to try and get what might be common sense measures about privacy or antitrust further down the road. Even when there's some bipartisan

agreement on these things. So, is there actually possibility here that what this judge decides on Google can do what Congress doesn't seem to be able


WU: I guess I'd say yes and no. First, I will agree with your sediments that passing what seemed like very obvious piece of legislation, privacy,

children's privacy has been almost impossible in ways that are frustrating, embarrassing, frankly shameful for this country. You know, who you would

think that Congress -- anyone in Congress would be opposed to better privacy for children? But we couldn't get it done. I was in the government

until earlier this year and we just could not get things through Congress. So, you're right about that.

Fortunately, in the United States, we have courts as well as Congress. We have Justice Department and independent prosecution. And I think that is

ending up being very important. You know, the influence of large companies over the legislature is well-known, well-documented, and make certain

things almost impossible.

But I would say that Justice Department and the courts are just less, you know, you can higher extremely good lawyers. You can try and influence

them, but they have a certain level of independence and have always had a level of independence. It had a tradition of taking on the biggest

monopolist ever in the antitrust division in justice. And I think that's very important, frankly, for American democracy.

SREENIVASAN: Tim Wu, thanks so much for joining us.

WU: Pleasure. Thanks for having me on.


AMANPOUR: And finally, join us tomorrow when I'll wrap a busy week for diplomacy here in New York with the prime minister of Malaysia, Anwar

Ibrahim. And the beloved novelist Ann Patchett on her latest book, exploring young love in "Tom Lake."

That's it for now, and remember you can always catch us online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as our podcast. Thanks for watching. Goodbye

from New York.