Return to Transcripts main page
Connect the World
Recap of Republican Debate; African Startup: Tumbzup's Payment Pebble; Report from Russia's Staging Area in Latakia, Russia; Saudi Arabia Announces 34 Arab Country Anti-Terrorism Coalition. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired December 16, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:12] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HSOT: After the fireworks, life in Las Vegas where the spoke has cleared from the Republican presidential debate.
This hour, we'll have what was said and reaction to it from around the globe.
Plus, I'm joined tonight by a panel of young Muslim men and women. What does this region think about the heated rhetoric coming out of the race for
the White House?
Also, poised for a rate hike? Is the U.S. Federal Reserve ready to increase interest rates after almost a decade?
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
Well, the heated accusations and fiery retorts marked the last Republican presidential debate of the year.
It is 8:00 here in the UAE. Welcome.
But few candidates seemed willing to directly confront Donald Trump, that is except Jeb Bush. He came out swinging at Trump's proposed ban on
Muslims entering the United States saying cooperation with moderate Muslims is crucial to defeating ISIS.
Now, this debate was focused almost entirely on national security and foreign policy challenges. Trump and his biggest contender for the moment,
Ted Cruz, agreed on the question of regime change in Syria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: If we topple Assad, the result will be ISIS will take over Syria, and it will worsen U.S. national security interests and
the approach instead of being a Woodrow Wilson democracy promoter --
BLITZER: Thank you.
CRUZ: -- we ought to hunt down our enemies and kill ISIS rather than creating opportunities for ISIS to take control of the country.
BLITZER: Thank you, senator.
DONALD TRUMP, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE; I think Assad is a bad guy, very bad guy, all right? Lots of people killed. I think we're
backing people we have no idea who they are -- the rebels, we call them, the patriotic rebels. We have no idea. A lot think that they're ISIS. We
have to do one thing at a time. We can't be fighting ISIS and fighting Assad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: That is Donald Trump. His proposal to temporarily ban Muslim visitors to the U.S., has drawn scorn from around the world.
British Prime Minister David Cameron stood up in parliament to slam the plans as, quote, "divisive, stupid and wrong."
For more, I want to bring in our London correspondent Max Foster. An unequivocal response to a man with quite some investment actually in the
United Kingdom. Tell us more, Max.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, David Cameron was speaking in parliament today and it's the talking point, isn't it, in your
region but also in this region, the U.S., around the world, you know, this idea that there
could be a blanket ban against a whole group of society, so David Cameron standing up in parliament saying I think his remarks are divisive, stupid
and wrong as you say. And I think if he came to visit our country he said that he'd you unite us all again him.
And what he's alluding to there is this petition, which has now been signed by more than half a million people to try to ban Donald Trump from the UK
based on those remarks that he made about Muslims.
ANDERSON: Sorry, Max, I thought you were -- because somebody else talking in my ear, apologies.
We're going to be be debating Donald Trump, his rhetoric, and a lot of what else went on in that debate last night, with some youngsters from this
region, a little later in this hour. If you go out into the streets of London, Manchester,
Birmingham, what's the current discussion, if at all, about the Republican debate and about the sort of rhetoric we're hearing from the likes of
FOSTER: I think it's a similar issue you probably got there in that he probably has the best name recognition of all of the presidential
candidates, apart from Hillary Clinton, so people do know him and they are hearing about his
views. I think he really did break out, though, with these Muslim comments, they've made so much news here and they were in all of the
newspapers and people are talking about it a lot. And David Cameron talking about it as well.
I think certainly those views are out there, and they sound quite alien here because you wouldn't hear that coming from a politician, and all the
politicians in this country have roundly criticized those comments as well.
So, certainly they think that they have an issue with blanket bans on any sort of communities, it's not the culture here.
And speaking to the Scottish first minister today as well, Becky, the former one, Alex Hammond, who I know you have spoken to several times and
he's had run-ins with Donald Trump over this golf course in Scotland, which Donald Trump owns and is
quite a controversial figure there.
But I asking him, you know, what about the Scottish lobby in Washington, D.C.? And he said actually these Muslim comments are very damaging,
because what it does is -- if you want a whole community and if you can have a whole view on the Muslim community, then he can have a whole view on
a he Scottish community as well so perhaps the Scottish lobby in Washington in lobby as well have an issue with that. He certainly thinks that that's
a growing sort of feeling.
So, it's a damaging process that he's going through internationally speaking and certainly if David Cameron is standing up in parliament
criticizing someone that could be president, it just shows that it would be a real problem when
it does come across as President Bush (sic), if that indeed transpires.
ANDERSON: Max Foster is in London for you this evening. Max, thanks for that.
And Tuesday's debate, then, several of the Republican candidates brought a new level of intensity, including Jeb Bush, who has been somewhat trailing
in the polls I have to say.
Here's a look at some of the most heated exchanges of the night.
JEB BUSH, FRM. GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: Donald, you know, is great at the one- liners, but he's a chaos candidate, and he'd be a chaos president.
SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: So Marco can't have it both ways. He thinks he wants to be oh I'm great and strong on national defense, but he's the
weakest of all the candidates on immigration.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: If your eyes are glazing over like mine, this is what it's like to be on the floor of the United States
Senate. I mean, endless debates about how many angels on the head of a pin from people who have never had to make a consequential decision in an
TRUMP: I think Jeb is a very nice person, he's a very nice person, but we need tough people. We need toughness. We need intelligence and we need
Jeb said when they come across the southern border, they come as an act ov love.
BUSH: You said on September 30 that ISIS was not a --
TRUMP: Am I talking or are you talking, Jeb.
BUSH: I'm talking right now.
TRUMP: You can go back. You're not talking.
RUBIO: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's strategy is to lead from behind. It sounds like what he's outlining is not to lead at all.
PAUL: Well, I think if you're in favor of World War III, you have your candidate.
CARLY FIORINA, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTAIL CANDIDATE: Talking tough is not the same as being strong. And to wage war, we need a commander in
chief who has made tough calls in tough times and stood up to be held accountable over and over, not first term senators who never made an
executive decision in their life.
BUSH: The simple fact is if you think this is tough and you're not being treated fairly.
TRUMP: This isn't tough. I wish it was always as easy as you, Jeb.
BUSH: -- Presidnent Xi or dealing with the Islamic terrorism that exists. This is a tough business to run for president.
TRUMP: Oh, no, you're a tough guy, Jeb, I know.
BUSH: And we need to have a leader -- you're never going to be president of the United States by insulting your way to the presidency.
TRUMP: Let's see, I'm at 42 and you're at 3, so, so far I'm doing bet per.
BUSH: Doesn't matter. Doesn't matter.
ANDERSON: Our Athena Jones joining me from Las Vegas.
Foreign policy, national security, lots of fireworks both outside and on the stage. Who won last night's debate?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Who won? That depends on who you ask, Becky.
Certainly several candidates can be proud of their performances, certainly to their base. You saw Jeb Bush really go after Donald Trump and maybe
land some punches for the first time in any of these debates. He's had to really show his
supporters he has the fire in the belly to fight for this nomination. He got into it with Trump several times. If you're a Bush supporter that's
something you wanted to see.
When it comes to Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, they also did a good job getting across their arguments, trying to draw a contrast with one another.
Chris Christie had a strong performance as well, trying to argue that he's the governor, he's made executive decisions. He should be chosen over the
senators who are vying for the nomination.
So depending on who you ask I guess they'll say who won.
I don't think there really was a clear winner. When it comes to losers, however, Ben Carson certainly did not do much to allay the concerns of
supporters and others who were worried about his foreign policy credentials, worried if he has the proper experience to become commander in
chief. He did not do much to reassure people that he does last night.
So a very substantive debate, a lot of the important issues discussed and a chance for the candidates to show where they stand on those issues --
ANDERSON: And what -- if you have to name one or two take-out moments, Athena, what would they have been?
JONES: Well, I think certainly a lot of people going into this debate expected to see Trump and Cruz get into it. Trump seemed to telegraph
heading into last night that he was expecting incoming fire from Cruz and was ready to hit back, but last night, neither one of them would go after
Trump backed off of his earlier statements about Cruz being something of a maniac, and Cruz tried to pretend he hadn't earlier questioned Donald
Trump's judgment to be commander in chief.
So the highlights in terms of candidates sparring would have to be Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, at least three heated exchanges there.
And then of course the exchanges between Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, both of them are vying to be the Donald Trump alternative. They're both
doing very well in the polls. Donald Trump still far ahead in many of these national polls, but Cruz surging to the top in Iowa. Rubio has
maintained a strong third or sometimes second or fourth place position in national polls and in these important early states.
And so they are trying to show their supporters that they are the ones who deserve the support of voters who may want an alternative to Donald Trump.
So, that's why you heard Ted Cruz attacking Rubio on his past support for a comprehensive immigration bill. And you heard Rubio attacking Ted Cruz
saying he's soft on national security for voting, for instance, to limit the U.S.'s ability to
collect phone data.
So, very, very interesting substantive exchanges last night, Becky.
[11:10:54] ANDERSON: Let's remind our viewers we are just into what, 11 months before the vote at this point. And we are moving towards what is
the sort of nomination process, the primaries and the caucuses.
Just explain very briefly what happens -- a little hiatus as we are going into the sort of festive season. Then what happens next?
JONES: Right, well the next big contest, the first contest I should say is at the beginning of February, February 1, the Iowa caucuses. That's now
less than seven weeks away and that's one reason this debate was so important, it's
the last chance for these candidates to make an impression on voters headed into the holiday season when lots of folks will be tuning out. But it's
very, very close.
Yes, the whole nomination process is very long, but it's going to be getting started just a little under seven weeks from now and then it's
going to be a real race. You've got Iowa, then New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada,
all of the states voting in March, so it's going to get under way any second now -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Athena is in Vegas, it's been a very long night for the team out there. Athena, thank you for effectively staying up for us.
Still to come, what are young Muslims in this region make of the Republican rhetoric? This is only one side of the U.S. political story of course.
But we want to hear from four students about how they see the race for the White House, in
Plus, just hours from now we'll find out if the U.S. Federal Reserve is going to hike a key interest rate. Why that is important, up next.
[11:15:45] ANDERSON: You're back with CNN and Connect the World with me Becky Anderson at 15 minutes past 8:00 here in the UAE.
Now, while Republican candidates debated strategy in Syria and how to win the fight against ISIS. Top U.S. diplomats and defense officials are
pursuing solutions on the ground.
Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, the latest on his shuttle diplomacy to find a political solution
to the Syrian war and the U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is in Iraq. He met with Prime Minister Haider al Abadi and other top officials to
review progress on the war on ISIS.
Well, CNN's Matthew Chance is giving us an up close look now at Russian military operations in Syria. He's at an airbase in Latakia, which is the
staging ground for all of those Russian air strikes.
And Moscow squarely in support of Assad regime on the ground there, evidenced by the activity where you are. Matthew, describe what you are
seeing and hearing.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you can see, darkness has fallen now, Becky, but throughout the whole of this day, and
we've been here since the early hours of this morning, Russian war planes have been taking off from this airbase in Latakia in northwestern Syria
striking targets around the country, targets of ISIS, targets of other rebel groups as well.
In fact, the Russian foreign ministry has given us a -- sorry, the defense ministry has given us a list of the kind of targets they've been hitting
over the course of the past 24 hours, saying there have been 59 combat missions in the course of the last day with 212 targets that have been
struck by Russian war planes, that they're saying that 320 militants belonging to ISIS and other rebel groups have been killed in the course of
the past 24-hour period, over 100 oil fields, for instance -- not oil fields but oil facilities that have been destroyed according to the Russian
defense ministry over the course of the past 24 hours.
So, it gives you an indication of the kind of level of intensity that the Russian authorities, the Russian military are throwing at this air war
inside Syria. It's very intense, indeed, and really the whole base, really, the whole day, has been reverberating with the war planes taking
off and landing again.
ANDERSON: You described this intensity. Is this a fight that those that you have been talking to believe that they are winning? And if so, who are
they beating at this point?
CHANCE: Well, they certainly believe they're winning. I was speaking to a Russian defense official earlier today here at the airbase. And he was
saying look, I mean, the results, the actions of the Russian air force speak for themselves.
Over the past three months they say they've been able to degrade significantly the capabilities of ISIS, and other terrorist groups as well.
They mentioned specifically the al Nusra Front which is an al Qaeda affiliate here in Syria, that they've been targeting.
And they contrast that progress with the progress they say has been made by the U.S.-led coalition, the so-called coalition as they call it here.
During the two years, this defense official said to me, the coalition has been fighting ISIS, carrying out its air strikes against, rebel territory
in Syria has grown dozens of times in size. That progress, that rebel progress, is essentially been stopped in its tracks in three months of
Russian air strikes. And now -- there's some discussion as to whether territory of the Russian, of the Syrian government has actually expanded in
that three months. Some say it has, and others say that that's been exaggerated. But at the very least that loss of territory has been stopped
by this Russian intervention.
ANDERSON: So it was intervention that started what was it the end of September, just after the very big meeting, the UN G8 meeting in New York.
At that stage the Russians pointing out and making it very specific this was not going to be open-ended, this was a short-term intervention.
Is there any sense speaking to there that this -- there is a conclusion to this? What is the end game as well at this point?
[11:20:14] CHANCE: Well, it's a really good question. And the Russians aren't specifying what they regard as the conclusive moment in all of this.
But they're saying that they will be here for as long as the legitimate Syrian government, which is what they call the regime of Bashar al Assad,
wants them to be here and that's as far as they'll go in terms of public statements. But I think the general understanding is that, look, they want
to halt the slide of the Syrian government, they want to prevent it from falling to ISIS or any other
western-backed rebel group, they want to resist regime change, if you like, inside Syria. They have got lots of vested interests here, political,
military, economic interests that they want to protect and at the very least you get the sense that Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin wants to
strengthen the hand of the Syrian government. So if there is any peace deal, if there are any negotiations in the future, about the future of
Syria, then Russian interests and perhaps the Bashar al Assad interests will be protected.
ANDERSON: Matthew, fantastic. Thank you. Very rare that we are able to get
this sort of access to the environment, where Matthew is, so great optics for our viewers. Thank you, Matthew, very much indeed.
Matthew is at the Russian airbase in Syria Latakia.
Live from Abu Dhabi this is Connect the World.
Coming up we head to South Africa to discover what is so special about this pay as you go system, your African Startup, up next.
[11:24:59] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: High unemployment figures in South Africa can act as a catalyst for an increasing number of young entrepreneurs
entering the markets. While this has brought with it greater creativity and enterprise, many small business people face the challenge of how to
accept payments by credit card that is not only affordable, but safe and secure.
Meet the Payment Pebble, a mobile point of sale device that allows small and medium enterprises to safely accept credit card payments on the go.
STAFFORD MASIE, FOUNDER, THUMBZUP: So, essentially anyone out there that has a smartphone can take the Payment Pebble, plug it into the audio jack
and it becomes a credit card machine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Payment Pebble joins other similar products on the market, but with a starting fee of $10 and monthly fee of $4, it's a low-
cost payment acceptance solution that's simple to use.
MASIE: It's a product that you take out the box when you get it, you plug it in, you launch a mobile application and it just works.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Payment Pebble is the creation of tech entrepreneur Stafford Masie, CEO and Founder of Tumbzup Innovations.
Although initially founded by Masie, he says that the company has secured venture capital in excess of $10 million to date.
Developing a device that requires rigorous security features, presented the Thumbzup team with initial stumbling blocks.
MASIE: The big challenge with a product like the Payment Pebble is to build it at scale with a reliable quality yield. We failed many, many
times. We changed engineering teams several times. We now have the engineering team that's the uber team.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Product refinement had to accommodate Africa's added energy, cost, and network constraints.
MASIE: We are now at a point where we can say that we can deliver on any scale requirement that any client in any geography may throw at us. We
weren't able to say that a year ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to Masie, more than 30,000 merchants are now using the Payment Pebble in South Africa and Australia.
MASIE: We are growing anywhere between 2,000 to 5,000 merchants per month. Even that's not the threshold we believe we can achieve.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thumbzup's latest iteration, the Payment Pebble handset comes with software preloaded and requires no external smartphone.
Entrepreneur Fred Unlovu (ph) said he's seen a 500 percent increase in monthly turnover since introducing the device to his car wash business.
MASIE: What I'm proud of with the Payment Pebble is it is made in Africa.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Future plans for plans including growing their footprint into the rest of Africa, Southeast Asia and the U.S.
They also hope to broaden their portfolio of product innovations.
MASIE: We're very, very excited about the new technologies that will imminently be coming out of our company about innovation.
[11:33:14] ANDERSON: Well, for the final time this year, the U.S. Republican
presidential candidates went head-to-head in a CNN debate. It was the first time they came together since the terror assaults in Paris and San
Bernardino in California, so terrorism, particularly the rise of ISIS, featured prominently.
Now, Marco Rubio had a strong message directed at this region.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Well, let me begin by saying that we have to understand who ISIS is. ISIS is a radical Sunni group. They cannot just be defeated through
air strikes. Air strikes are a key component of defeating them, but they must be defeated by a
ground by a ground force and that ground force must be primarily made up of Sunni
Arabs themselves, Sunni Arabs that reject them ideologically and confront them
We will have to embed additional American special operators alongside them to help them with training, to help conduct special missions and to help improve the air strikes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Saudi Arabia has been flexing its military power in the region and now seems to be forging its own ideological path.
This week it made what was rather a surprise announcement that it is bringing
together 34 mainly Sunni Islamic nations to form its own broad anti-terror coalition. But that coalition doesn't include majority Shiite countries,
even major ones like Iran. So a short while ago I spoke to CNN's international
diplomatic editor, my colleague Nic Robertson, to find out why that is the case.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is an alliance that will, if you will, stand up for the Saudis, stand up for the other Gulf
states, stand up for the other Arab states that have signed onto this, in the face of what they say is growing Iranian dominance.
Look, the fundamentals of this, and when you look at where the changing thinking came from in the part of Saudi Arabia and the part of some of the
others, after the Arab Spring, the Saudis and others could see that the United States wasn't backing its allies in Tunisia and Egypt. Hosni
Mubarak allowed to fall. They realized they were going to have to stand on their own two feet and look for their own defenses.
And add on top of this deal with Iran, the nuclear deal with Iran, they're absolutely incredibly uncomfortable with that deal.
So this is really their response, quite how it grows, how it manifests itself from here.
And you have to throw one other piece into this sort of puzzle and picture here as well, you have a defense minister, the son of the king, who is
quite assertive in Saudi Arabia and the way that he has used the security buildup in Yemen has been in quite an assertive way, and I think we're
seeing a shape of things to come from him on that account as well.
[11:35:54] ANDERSON: To be fair, there are other Arab nations who have been to a certain extent pushing for more Arab involvement and I think of
the Jordanians working tirelessly to get more Arab involvement in what they will say is an Arab war.
The problem at this stage, though, is that Saudi is heavily invested in Yemen, as you have just suggested. Where are we in these Yemen talks? And
is this the end of the coalition, as it were, fighting in Yemen as we see a switch by Mohamed bin Salman towards this -- leading this Islamic coalition
to fight ISIS?
ROBERTSON: No, I think what we're seeing, we're seeing another sort of facet of what's happening in Yemen in this announcement. I don't think
we'll see an immediate end to that. I think the talks are getting off to a very sort of fragile
start. The cease-fire was delayed, that was immediately before the cease- fire was delayed key important Saudi Arabian special forces commander and Emirati special forces commander were both killed by the Houthis. That
really did not go down well a day before the talks were due to begin.
So this started off from a bad footing there.
Certainly, if you look at what the Saudis were saying internally in their own media, just weeks after they began the intervention in Yemen earlier
this year, they're already saying job done in Yemen, now let's do the same thing, build a coalition, have a coalition to take on the situation in
Obviously the Syria -- the Syria situation is much more complicated. They can pretty go at it as they wanted in Yemen. Ther's a more international
players, the United States and Russia to name but two, involved in Syria. So there's a lot more balancing to be done on the Syrian front than there
is in the Yemen front.
But if you looking at this from an aspirational point of view, from a projection of power point of view, what the Saudis are doing in Yemen, they
would like to see done in Syria as well.
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson for you.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up, a Middle Eastern take on last night's U.S. presidential debate.
I asked these four young Muslims for their views to the Republican rhetoric and race for the White House. Do stay with us.
[11:41:37] ANDERSON: Right, you're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson out of the UAE. Welcome back.
We have been gauging reaction this hour to the last U.S. Republican debate of
the year. GOP presidential hopefuls faced off in Las Vegas in a discussion dominated by foreign policy and security issues. It was the first debate
since the ISIS-inspired attacks in Paris and California that shocked the world.
It was also the first debate since Donald Trump's controversial comments about banning Muslims from the U.S. that made international headlines, of
course, a provoked a very strong response, including right here in the UAE.
Tonight, we are going to get the reaction of some young Muslims who live and study here.
So joining me now is Nada al Menhali, an Emirati media studies student, Yahya John Scaccia is American student pursuing Middle Eastern studies
here, Noura al Hamli from Abu Dhabi is an international relations student at Zayed University and
Mohammad Amine Belarbi is a Moroccan student of economics at NYU Abu Dhabi.
You, Mohammad, I want to start with you, were a supporter of Mr. Trump in the past, why and what changed?
MOHAMMED AMINE BELARBI, MOROCCAN STUDENT: I indeed, I supported Donald Trump, I even wrote in support of Donald Trump for many publications as he
announced his running for the U.S. presidential candidate. And I mean, seeing like he's a businessman, you know, set on challenging the status
quo, here is someone who is self-funded, as someone who is against political correctness was a breath of fresh air in the U.S. political
And I'm an entrepreneur before being a student, so I'm concerned with like corporate tax rates on the U.S. since I have a business in the United
States. So, having this kind of figure for me was really kind of the main reason.
ANDERSON: So, what happened?
BELARBI: What happened, unfortunately Donald Trump kind of changed his political platform. He started running on a pro-business platform and now
become a bigot, really a demagogue.
I understand businessmen can have a flexible moral compass, but what Donald Trump did was throw the moral compass out the window all together. You
can't really traffic on people's fear and stereotypes just to gain like more air time and rise in the polls. That's not the candidate I saw at the
ANDERSON: Do you agree, Noura?
NOURA AL HAMLI, EMIRATI STUDENT: I agree. I think Donald Trump is just playing on people's fears and maybe he feels like that's going to give him
more votes, but really what he's coming off as he's discriminating against Muslims and just the fact that he's starting to want to add policies that
treat Muslims like the Jews in World War II have been treated under Hitler's regime, giving them IDs, banning them.
I mean, these people are running away from the same terror as you're trying to avoid. Why would you try to push them out to keep them there?
ANDERSON: Yahya, whipping up votes, Noura says. He may be a pantomime villain or he could be a serious contender. You're an American citizen.
Has the rhetoric from Trump and the Republicans changed the way that you might vote?
YAHYA JOHN SCACCIA, AMERICAN STUDENT: Well, clearly I don't think I am I'm going to vote for a party that's going to run on a platform that isolates
not only the Muslim community in America but abroad.
So, I have to look at other things when they're trying to really isolate the Muslim community there if I want to vote on somebody who is supposed to
care for the country and foreign policy abroad.
NADA AL MENHALI, EMIRATI STUDENT: Honestly, I feel he's a little bit arrogant and ignorant about it, because like it's the 21st Century. Why
would you say something that like -- he's being stereotypical and racist.
[11:45:09] ANDERSON: This man who has business here.
ANDERSON: I mean, there were some very strong anti-Trump comments, weren't they, just a week or so ago.
MENHALI: Like nowadays, like you know how the UAE is not a small community anymore, it's like international. So we import and export from each other.
How could you just say something, well it's just --
ANDERSON: OK. So you all agree on the fact that these anti-Islam, anti- Muslim words, and I think we can go with that line because I think that's effectively what it was, I think we all agree with that, right.
Jeb Bush, meanwhile, had this to say about Donald Trump's vow to temporarily ban Muslims from are entering the U.S. This was during the
debate last night. Let's have a listen to this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: This is not a serious proposal. In fact, it will push the Muslim world, the Arab world away from us at a time when we need to reengage with
them to be able to create a strategy to destroy ISIS. So Donald, you know, is great at the one-liners, but he's a chaos candidate, and he'd be a chaos
president. He would not be the commander in chief we need to keep our country safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: A chaos candidate, a chaos president. The Bush family doesn't have a great reputation, it has to be said, on the Middle Eastern street.
In fact, you hear a lot of criticism here about Americans across the board. Some of you
are nodding, some of you aren't -- Mohamed?
BELARBI: I'm not a big fan of Bush either, but this is probably the first time I would agree with a Bush family member, because even like Trump's
plan is really unrealistic. How are you going to screen even in the first place for Muslims. Are you going to ask them are you a Muslim or not? I
mean, that's not really a fail proof system.
And finally you're talking about like employees, employers, you talking about Muslims are programmers, startup founders so it's really like a big
part of the U.S. community that makes up its business fabric, its social fabric. You cannot just like alienate a whole part of the nation because
you're thinking of some -- I found a fear sometimes.
ANDERSON: I'm coming to you Yahya now because you know as an American citizen, that what he is looking for here, one assumes, is the popular
vote, and polls show that Americans, some Americans, quite a lot of Americans, agree with him.
Did that surprise you?
SCACCIA: It absolutely surprised me. When I went back to the U.S. for a break, I thought it was a joke that people were supporting this kind of rhetoric and comments against a whole community of people, so when I think
about it, I wonder, you know, does this signal an even greater problem that exists within the American society as to how we view other people and the
ANDERSON: Noura, Americans, if you ask them, are worried about their security at present. There is a fear in the States post Paris, post San
Bernardino. Do you understand that? Do you feel that here as a youngster? You're closer to the action, as it were here, aren't you?
HAMLI: Yes, I feel frustrated just as a Muslim I have to go out and apologize on behalf of other Muslims or try to justify, not justify, but
like just be like no, us other Muslims are not terrorists. It's frustrating, because you don't expect people like the Westboro Baptist
Church if they did something you don't expect other Christians to come out and be like -- you don't go to them and be like oh, what do you think about
the Westboro Baptist Church? They're from your religion.
No, you need to know that this is a different faction, this is a different sect and terrorism has no religion whatsoever.
ANDERSON: Let's have a listen to one of the other candidates last night, Rick Santorum. This debate took place after an ISIS inspired attack of
course in California, terror threats and how to combat them featuring heavily. This is what Rick Santorum said and how he framed the issue. And
I'm going to come to you, Nada, after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SANTORUM, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The fact of the matter is not all Muslims are jihadists and no one, including I suspect
Donald Trump, would say that.
But the reality is all jihadists are Muslims. That's a reality. And we have to stop worrying about offending some people and start defending all
Americans, because we're not right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: He says the States isn't defending -- is anything in what he just said there that you would agree with?
MENHALI: No, not at all.
ANDERSON: Go on.
MENHALI: Honestly, I just don't know what to say about that because like, all jihadis are Muslims, like doesn't make sense. And we, too, want
security. We're not harming anybody, and us Muslims we are being targeted, too. Like ISIS targets us, too. Actually ISIS targets Muslims more than
Americans. So we want security, too. What is he saying, you know?
ANDERSON: Any of you? Mohamed?
BELARBI: Well to be honest, I feel this kind of rhetoric is a big surprise or a big gift to ISIS itself, because this helps them recruit even better
in the regions where they control.
When you try and kind of -- it is an easy argument, like Americans are anti-Muslim, if an ISIS commander says this, a lot of young frustrated
people of course this is an incentive for them to join the ranks of these kind of sort of terrorist groups.
ANDERSON: I want you to hear another one of the candidates last night, because she was talking about whose fault it is effectively, who is behind
the as it were the rise of ISIS. This is really interesting. Carly Fiorina
repeating a claim that's been heard in this part of the world that the U.S. is partly responsible for the rise of ISIS. Again, let's have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FIORINA: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are responsible for the growth of ISIS because they precipitously withdrew from Iraq in 2011 against the
advice of every single general and for political expediency. It's not these
people up here, it's Hillary Clinton.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: You study in this region, many of you come from this region, when you talk amongst yourselves, who is responsible for ISIS? And what
can be done about it -- Noura
HAMLI: There are too many -- you can literally virtually blame anyone for ISIS. You can blame George Bush for entering Iraq in the first place, or
you can blame Barack Obama for pulling out, or you can blame the people who are financing the campaign against Bashar al Assad.
ANDERSON: It's not just the Americans.
HAMLI: It's not just the Americans. You can literally blame virtually anyone. There are so many factors that come to play in this specific, you
know, incident, so really who is to blame? You can't just say Obama, because you're the person coming sup after him who will fix everything.
ANDERSON: You hear what I might describe as a lot of conspiracy theories in this region, many of which point to straight to Washington ofttimes.
As an American, does that upset you?
SCACCIA: Well, you can't be upset when sometimes these things have truth in them. You know, it's a global issue at this point, it's not just the
fault of the east, it's not just the fault of the west. It's the fault of every human being.
The fact that a few months ago I was in Lebanon, and people are living in houses that are literally just two sets of bricks and a tarp, this is a
problem that all of humanity should get behind.
ANDERSON: Mohamed, very quickly, who is to blame, and what is the answer? What is the solution?
BELARBI: Well, to be honest, I trace it back to George W. Bush's intervention in Iraq. One, you take down a whole regime and it creates a
power vacuum, of course you are going to have factions vying for that power.
When even like more channel like logistical support and financial support to these factions you'll have like of (inaudible) and creating terrorist
groups, that's what happens.
ANDERSON: From the perspective from four youngsters in this region, it's been a pleasure having you on. Thank you very much indeed. We'll have you
This is a conversation that won't be ending any time soon. And we want all of our viewers to help us continue online. The team here at Connect the
World wants to hear from you. Do get in touch with us by going to our Facebook page. And we're going to get these guys to do the same thing and
offer some thoughts and further ideas, that is Facebook.com/CNNConnect.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, CNN's debate, the big debate as it were, Vegas through a lens, we hand over our Instagram
account to a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer. See some of those images in just a few minutes. Taking a very short break. Back after this.
[11:56:45] ANDERSON: Right, parting shots tonight. We give you a look at CNN's Republican debate from a different angle, seven actually. CNN teamed
up with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laferriere and armed him with seven still cameras positioned throughout the debate hall.
I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. Thank you for watch. From the team here, it's a very good evening.