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Fareed Zakaria GPS

Interview with 'Newsweek' Reporter Maziar Bahari; Interview With Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Aired November 29, 2009 - 13:00   ET


FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.

We have a fascinating show for you today, a continuation of our conversation with Maziar Bahari, the NEWSWEEK reporter who spent four months in a prison in Tehran. This week, we hear of his release and his thoughts on the regime that jailed him.

The main event is a conversation with Eric Schmidt, the CEO of what is surely the company most associated with the cutting edge of technology, Google. We talk about innovation, technology and more.

Eric is perfectly qualified to discuss it all. A Princeton- trained engineer, he was chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems, then the CEO of Novell, before he took on the challenge of running Google.

Innovation has actually been on my mind. I've always assumed that this was an area that America remained head and shoulders ahead of the world. That's where our future lies. That's how we will move up the value chain and create new jobs for the future.

But over the last few months, I've been having some second thoughts. I've been reading these two new studies that use not polls of experts, but hard data. And they suggest that America's lead is slipping.

In fact, one of them looks at the degree to which countries are adjusting and improving their research technology and regulatory policies to stay competitive. And it finds that the United States has made the least progress of the 36 nations in four regions studied. You can go to our Web site for the actual studies.

Consider the three most important technologies in alternative energy that are likely to yield big payoffs -- solar, wind and battery power. America doesn't measure up to Asia in any of the three. Take solar energy. Japan and China each have three of the top 10 companies in that field. America has only two.

Let's be clear. America still dominates the world of innovation by any measure. But the rest of the world is on the move, and America is not doing enough in research, education, investment to stay ahead. Like the star that shines brightest in the farthest reaches of the universe, but has burned out at the core, America's reputation worldwide may be stronger than the facts warrant.

One sign of this, in my "Question of the Week" last week, I asked what you thought about American innovation. A majority of foreign viewers saw America as still dominating the future. A majority of Americans had their doubts about America's innovative powers.

So, let's get started.


ZAKARIA: "Everyone has forgotten you."

If you watched this program last week, you will recall those were the words that Maziar Bahari heard from his interrogator during the four months he spent in Iran's Evin Prison.

Maziar is the NEWSWEEK journalist and independent filmmaker who was arrested after the election protests in Iran last June. The charges against him were nebulous at best. The chief one seemed to be that he had masterminded an international media conspiracy whose membership included his NEWSWEEK editor -- me.

During his months in custody, Maziar was kept in solitary confinement and was tortured. At moments, he even considered suicide.

Last week, he and I spoke in detail about his terrible ordeal. You can see that conversation on our Web page,

This week, we'll go over a bit of what he said, and then, what happened next -- how his imprisonment ended, how we got out of the country, and his thoughts about Iran and its future.


ZAKARIA: What was it like to be in solitary confinement?

MAZIAR BAHARI, FILMMAKER AND JOURNALIST, NEWSWEEK: It might be the most difficult part of prison, to be in solitary confinement.

You know in the Koran, Allah says that one of the punishments for sinners is to contract their grace, to make their grace smaller. When you are in solitary confinement, you just see the walls approaching each other, and they're becoming smaller. And it's as if you are in a grave.

It was just -- and you start to hallucinated after a while, because of -- you know, you cannot do anything.

ZAKARIA: When you're in prison and you think that you might get executed, and this guard is constantly -- this interrogator -- is constantly staying that to you, it's such a rare experience to be that close to death.

What is going on in your head?

BAHARI: Actually, after a few weeks, when he threatened me with execution, I thought that, you know, so what? I can be executed, and that's the end of it.

And sometimes I thought, you know, it's better than being in solitary confinement for I don't know how long. For people, they had to spend there, you know, three, four years in solitary confinement in Islamic Republic.

And I contemplated committing suicide twice. I had my glasses -- the same glasses -- in jail. And a couple of times I just looked at these glasses and I thought, well, I can always break the lens, and I just can cut my wrist. And I was just thinking that how long it's going to take to bleed to death, how long it's going to take to bleed to death. And I started to think about it.

And then I just thought that, no, I'm not going to do that. Why should I do their job for them? If they want to kill me, they can do it themselves. I'm not going to be their executioner for myself.

And I had so much to lose. I have my family, of course. I have my wife, I have my child and I have my mother, my family and friends.

And it just -- but they are masters of psychological torture. They know exactly what to do.

ZAKARIA: So, Maziar, the last phase of your imprisonment, 20 days before you're released, something begins to seem to change, you said.

BAHARI: After -- yes, 20 days before my release I started to get treated better. There was no beating 20 days before my release. And then, 11 days before my release, they put me in a communal cell with four reformist leaders.

ZAKARIA: And at this point, do you have any inkling that you're going to be released? Or, no, it just seems like they're treating you better?

BAHARI: I was -- I mean, when the -- 20 days before my release, my interrogator started to talk to me about the possibility of my release. But he was coming up with all these different excuses to stop it. He was saying that, "No, you didn't mention any names, so we cannot release you. were this close to freedom, but we cannot release you now."

And then he would come back another day and say that, "We may release you tomorrow -- if you sign this or that document."

And I just gave up. I would sign anything, you know, that they would give me. And...

ZAKARIA: Do you break at the end after a while, no matter how strong your resolve is? After a while you just are -- does one -- are you willing to do anything?

BAHARI: I was willing to do anything. I was willing to talk about all their nonsense about Velvet Revolutions, Western imperialism, evil foreign media -- as long as I didn't have to mention any names or mention the names of individuals. That was my red line, that I didn't want to ruin anyone's life with my words.

ZAKARIA: The day you are released, what happens?

BAHARI: I did not know that I was going to be released -- maybe half-an-hour before my release. They kept on delaying. We had given them my house date (ph) to be put against my bail.

And then they told me that they were going to release me at 12 o'clock noon time. And my interrogator came at around 12:30 and said that, "No, it's not going to happen. We cannot release you. There are some problems."

And then he came back at 1:30. He said, two o'clock. And he kept on going like that until 8:30 p.m.

And finally, at 8:54, I was released, and I went home. And, of course, I didn't know what to do. It was just so unreal.

But I knew what -- I mean, I knew exactly what to do. I knew that the next morning I had to get my ticket and get out of Iran and never go back until -- while (ph) the Islamic Republic is in power, which I don't know how long it's going to be. But that was what I knew.

ZAKARIA: But the first thing you did was, of course, you saw your mother.

BAHARI: I saw my mother. I saw the rest of my family. And yes, that was a very emotional moment, of course, to be reunited with them.

ZAKARIA: And your mother is 84.

BAHARI: My mother is 84. And the saddest moment that I had when I left Iran was when I said goodbye to my mother, because I used to be able to go to Iran much more often -- to see her, primarily. But I cannot do that anymore. So, it was very sad.

ZAKARIA: So, this is, in a sense, the end of a certain journey for you. You will not go back to Iran again for a long time.

BAHARI: Otherwise -- I mean, there are 11 charges against me, 11 outlandish charges against me. And they're going to set a court date for me, I don't know, within the next two months or so. And they may sentence me to 15 years in prison, then to a life sentence, because of those charges. I talked to several lawyers, and they said that with these charges you can be sentenced to between 15 years to life imprisonment.

And I really don't want to risk it and go back and see what's going to happen.

ZAKARIA: So, let's talk about some of the broader issues.

Who are the people who took you? Because there's a story in and of itself here. Who were these people? What was their age? And what part of the government did they come from? BAHARI: I didn't know who arrested me until 107 days into my imprisonment. When I went to the communal cell, other people told me that we were arrested by the Revolutionary Guards.

Of course, you know, Revolutionary Guards, they are an army that was created in the beginning of the revolution as an alternative to the Iranian army, because the Islamic government really could not trust the Iranian army. And then, the Revolutionary Guards, they evolved into this giant monster.

ZAKARIA: The military ruling elite of the country that now has its tentacles spread widely throughout the country.

BAHARI: Exactly.

ZAKARIA: And many of these people are young?

BAHARI: Many of them are between 40 to 50 years old. They are a new generation of the guards. Many of them are corrupt. But some of them are very clean, but, at the same time, they are ideological and extremists. And they are very powerful. They have arms, and they have money. And they have political influence.

ZAKARIA: So, in a way, this is the big story of what's happened to Iran in the last 10 years. The power has shifted from the mullahs to the Revolutionary Guard that has become more and more extreme and radical.

BAHARI: Yes. Basically, Iran has become a military dictatorship and not a clerical regime anymore.

It has become more like, let's say, the Chilean, the Pinochet dictatorship. Or it's going to become more similar to North Korea and some of the Middle Eastern dictatorships than what's supposed to be the Islamic Republic, or what the Islamic Republic was maybe five years ago.

ZAKARIA: And this was one of the reasons, also, where some of your friends in government were not able to help you, because it turns out that, while they were in government, they had no influence over this increasingly powerful Revolutionary Guard.

BAHARI: Actually, many of my friends in the Iranian government tell me that one of the reasons that the Revolutionary Guards arrested me was to show the other parts of the Iranian government that we can do whatever we want, and you cannot do anything. We can imprison Maziar Bahari, who you respect as a journalist, and you will not be able to help him. And I think a lot of people learned that lesson.

But the Revolutionary Guard's power is on the rise. They are becoming more powerful. And one of the reasons that they released me finally was because of the internal pressure. But I don't think that in two or three years' time, when they have consolidated their power, they would release people like me. They would just keep us in jail as much as -- as long as they want.

ZAKARIA: What does this mean for the opposition movement in Iran?

BAHARI: Unfortunately, the opposition movement in Iran -- we cannot really talk about an opposition movement in Iran, because they call the Green Movement in Iran right now is just a collection of different groups coming together against the government. Some of them are monarchists, some of them are communists, some of them are terrorists.

The majority, of course, they want the peaceful -- they wanted a peaceful reform in the government. But since the government crackdown, which has started in June, people are just questioning themselves what should be the next step.

At the moment, most of the slogans are political and cultural. But soon, these slogans will be economic. Factory workers were not paid. They will ask for their salaries. So, they will join the opposition movement. Farmers who cannot sell their products, they will join the opposition movement. And then we will see a serious change in Iran.

At the moment, I don't think that really someone can talk about the opposition movement, a cohesive opposition movement in Iran, but soon there will be a more united opposition movement.

But the danger really is that both the opposition and the government is becoming more militarized. The terrorists, both within the regime and in the opposition, they are taking over.

As we saw in Baluchistan, there was a suicide attack. Suicide attacks are not common in Iran. It was the first time. But I'm sure that we will see more of it. And that is exactly because of what the Revolutionary Guards are doing.

ZAKARIA: What should Obama and his administration do?

BAHARI: I think Obama is on the right track right now. I think the world community, they have to stop a nuclear Iran by any means possible, but most importantly through smart sanctions.

But the Obama administration, they also have to -- it also has to respect the Iranian people. I think, through smart sanctions, through keeping the lines of dialogue open with the Iranian government -- but at the same time talking about human rights abuses in Iran, helping the human rights organizations in Iran, talking about freedom of expression and helping the alternative media -- I think the Obama administration will have a more successful.

I know it's easy to talk about these things, but Americans, they have made so many mistakes, especially during the eight years of Bush administration, that Obama will have a very difficult task in the future in terms of relationship with Iran.

ZAKARIA: Now, you've written this extraordinary cover story in NEWSWEEK. You're now thinking about other things. Or is the priority right now your newborn girl? BAHARI: The priority is the newborn girl, actually. I think in the near future, I will just concentrate on family, and we'll see what happens.

ZAKARIA: Maziar Bahari, a great pleasure to have you back...

BAHARI: Thank you very much.

ZAKARIA: ... and to have you on my show.

BAHARI: Thanks very much.

ZAKARIA: Thank you.

BAHARI: Thank you.

ZAKARIA: And we will be back.



ZAKARIA: When thinking about the issue that you can know everything, or we can all know everything, it scares people. Some people are unsettled by the idea that you know all this stuff about me. What do you say to them?



ZAKARIA: Google is an entity so omnipresent in most of our lives that it really requires no television-style exposition. Google's power and reach, in fact, are so vast that it's even a little scary. So, it is perhaps reassuring that employees there have an unofficial motto: Don't be evil.

Eric Schmidt is the chairman and CEO of Google. He was educated at Princeton and Berkeley. He holds a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science. Among many positions he held before coming to Google, he was chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems.


ERIC SCHMIDT, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, GOOGLE: Thank you for having me on.

ZAKARIA: So, what is Google? I mean, at one level it's a search engine, and another level it is becoming -- if it is not already -- the world's largest advertising company. It's a cultural phenomenon.

If somebody were to ask you very simply, what is Google?

SCHMIDT: Well, we think of ourselves as a product company. Our whole idea is to build products that really make your life a lot better. And we've built a system where technical people from all walks of life can invent completely new ways of doing things -- things that you would never be able to do by yourself.

ZAKARIA: But give me an example that shows how it is not just a search engine?

SCHMIDT: Well, the most obvious has to do with mobile phones. And you think of a mobile phone as a phone, but it really isn't. It's really a camera. It's really a computer. It's really a GPS. It will tell you what happened here at this location 100 years ago.

We can predict where you're going to be. We can predict where your friends will be. There's all sorts of things that we can do with all the information that we've collected -- with your permission, of course.

ZAKARIA: So, what is this next phase? You know, five, seven, 10 years from now, what does it mean to me? I'm using this mobile phone, and what can I do now that I can't do? Because that has been the power of computers.

SCHMIDT: In 10 years, your mobile phone will be 100 times faster and more powerful than it is today, simply because of a law called Moore's Law. We already know that that device will have more...

ZAKARIA: Moore's Law says that every 18 months...

SCHMIDT: Computer power doubles, which is roughly a factor of 100 in 10 years.

ZAKARIA: And the price comes down, also.

SCHMIDT: And the price, of course, comes down, as well.

We also know that these new networks can handle all of the world's information, literally on the pipes that are in the ground and the fiber optic that's being laid now. So, it'll be possible to literally know everything, to measure everything. That has a lot of implications for public policy and how governments work, and how we sense society.

ZAKARIA: You said something, "We will know everything."

That sounds to a philosopher or to a political -- that would sound like a statement of extreme hubris. Do you really think we will know everything?

SCHMIDT: Well, knowledge in the sense of facts, yes. Knowledge in terms of insights, I think that will be in the realm of humans.

But the fact of the matter is that, in the future, humans will be very good at doing what we do best, which is to be human. And computers will be very good at doing the things that we're not very good at.

They'll remember everything. They'll be able to figure out things across large collections of data and say, this is the most likely outcome that we can't do, because our brains can't process at that speed. We just can't have billions of pieces of information all at the same time. Computers are very good at that.

ZAKARIA: When thinking about the issue that you can know everything, or we can all know everything, it scares people.


ZAKARIA: And some people are unsettled by the idea that you know all this stuff about me. What do you say to them?

SCHMIDT: I think the most important thing to remember is that there is an off button on your phone. It is actually possible to turn this information off. It's very important that these systems are opt- in, that you can choose to participate.

What happens is people say, well, I won't choose to participate, but I also don't want to allow other people to have that choice. We at Google try not to make the choice for people.

These large collections of data get very, very interesting. A classic example is, if you wish, you can turn on a product called Latitude that Google provides for your mobile device. And with that, we can not only predict where you are, but we can predict where your friends are and connect you to that.

ZAKARIA: How can you know where my friends are?

SCHMIDT: Because you've told us who your friends are, and your friends have told you who your friends are. You get a friends list, and so forth.

It's easy for us. It's shared. People love to share information about themselves.

ZAKARIA: So, a sort of Google Earth meets Facebook.

SCHMIDT: Yes. Most people -- it's interesting that about 90 percent of the people seem to love to tell everyone things -- everything about them. They are -- if you will, they want to know everything. Where am I? What I am doing, and so forth.

And about 10 percent recoil at that idea. So, it's important that people have a choice as to whether they want to participate.

But especially for this next generation who have grown up in a world where everybody knows everything about them, they're not at all shy about using these tools and using the impact to find each other. In this case, for example, here I am in New York City. With this technology, I can find out who my friends are who happen to be in New York also, that I did not know were in town. But I can look them up, if I want to see them.

ZAKARIA: But isn't it the case that a lot of this information is acquired, not because you've consciously opted in, but because you buy some stuff, you read some stuff. It's not that you're opting in or opting out, but that information is now out there. SCHMIDT: In those cases, we actually have very precise restrictions on where that information can be used. And we actually forget it. We literally delete the information between 12 and 18 months.

The reason we do that, by the way, as opposed to zero, is that there are legitimate law enforcement needs. And, in fact, there are laws driven primarily in Europe, which require us to keep a certain amount of information for a certain period of time, in case there are bad people using the Internet.

ZAKARIA: What about doing business around the world? What is the sort of Google -- or your personal vision -- of the world? Are you finding that countries that are Western, that have Western rules, are easier to do business with? Do you find China a very difficult place?

I mean, you know, what's your map look like?

SCHMIDT: China, of course, is very important and very difficult to do business with, because it's highly regulated. And we had a very controversial decision as to whether we should accept their laws of censorship, which we despise. We ultimately figured out a way to do it where we inform the Chinese citizen of the censorship, which seemed like a good compromise on that, and allowed us to serve the Chinese citizen.

It's better to engage than to be estranged. It's better to talk to countries. It's better to be in there. It's better to help their middle class, help their people rise to the occasion and...

ZAKARIA: But you know what a lot of people say. Look, you're facilitating a Chinese dictatorship that spends enormous money, energy and effort censoring.

SCHMIDT: The citizens are the customer. And the citizens are better off when they have more information.

Citizens who are empowered will ultimately keep their government -- even if it's a monopoly, even if it's a dictatorship, even if it's a king -- under some level of control. There are some limits to absolute power. And you see that around the world now.

So, from our perspective, our biggest concern is the lack of transparency in some countries. Countries are becoming concerned that free speech and conflict and conversation is not good for them. And they're putting restrictions in, similar to what China does. And that's not good.

We are better off as a society with more voices and dealing with the way people think, and hearing them, and then deciding if we care about them.

ZAKARIA: Eric, when you look at the future of computing, the future of servers, the future information, where does the United States fit into all this? Are we at the absolute forefront of this next phase of the computer and information revolution, as we were 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago?

SCHMIDT: We are with respect to the Internet and with key parts of software. Much of the harder manufacturing is now being done in Asian countries. And the rise of China means that low-cost, high- quality competitors are really entering the global marketplace.

As the technology is invented largely in the United States, it is commoditized, if you will, globally. Probably a good thing, because it drives prices down very rapidly.

For me, it's important to say that the rise of China, the rise of India, the rise of globalization is a hugely positive thing. It means millions of people are no longer starving. And I think it also makes it much less likely that we're going to have major wars. As we become more interdependent in commerce, it's much less likely that politicians will start pressing buttons.

ZAKARIA: All right. But let's push that for a second.

All these countries are rising. That means they're getting economically more powerful. They're becoming more confident. It means they can have larger and larger defense budgets. China's defense budget goes up double digits every year. Indonesia's is going up double digits. India's is going up double digits.

You've got to have -- is there a fundamental theory as to why making you -- becoming rich means you will be more peaceful?

SCHMIDT: Ultimately, these societies will face the same choices that America did. America still controls one-half of the global military budget. So, let's not think that America is not very powerful in a military sense.

The fact that the rise of China, India and Europe as, if you will, antipodes, or alternatives to America, is not a bad thing. It makes it more difficult. It means that we have to have complex negotiations. It also means that we have to operate in an era of ambiguity.

I'd love it to be -- I'd love the old world, where we knew exactly what to do and who the bad guys were, and let's go do this and go do that -- that's not this new world. This new world of information is shades of gray.

And it's important that we develop the diplomatic skills, the educational skills and the culture where we end up in long, painful negotiations, to try to make the world a better place.

I fundamentally believe -- and most people that I know believe -- that every person is the same. Everybody still wants health care for their children, their children to go to schools. They want safety. And they want the consumer world that's been built in the West.

ZAKARIA: You and I once talked about this, and you said that you thought a lot of it had to do with giving young men something to do, so that they don't go and fight each other. SCHMIDT: If you look at the demographics, many of the conflict areas fundamentally have a surplus of young men in poor economics. And if you are 12, 13, 14, you have a difficult family situation and in a country which is in distress, you might be tempted to join these sort of horrific groups.

Let's solve the problem of terrorism and this kind of military by building economies, by building jobs, by getting these people employed, by building a culture that they like and that they're proud to be part of. If we can do that, at least during our lifetimes, I think we can actually make a significant that -- and push the threat level really down.

ZAKARIA: We will have more with Eric Schmidt of Google right after this.


ZAKARIA: You know, I wonder about how we educate kids. I watch, you know, my kids go to school. And one of the things they have to learn to do with great -- what takes a lot of time is to learn to spell properly.

Is it worth teaching people how to spell properly in a world in which every -- there's spell checks everywhere?



ZAKARIA: And we are back with Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google.

You know, I wonder about how we educate kids. I watch, you know, my kids go to school. And one of the things they have to do with great -- what takes a lot of time is to learn to spell properly.

Is it worth teaching people how to spell properly in a world in which every -- there's spell checks everywhere?

SCHMIDT: You can imagine education changing a lot. After all, when I was growing up, they forced me to memorize everything. But now, why do I need to remember that? I just need to learn how to search for it.

So, whether it's Google or your other choices for getting information, teaching will be learning about how to ask the right question, and then sorting through the choices and answer.

Most people now believe that the right way to think about education is, rather than a fixed textbook, rather here's a subject, here's a subject, here's a subject. You guys go figure it out. All the information is out there now.

What you really need to do is to teach people to be curious.

When people say things to me now, I say, well, that might be true. And then I go to Google, and I check. And I become a little bit of an expert on that one thing. And then, if they're really off, I might even say, you might check, because I don't want you saying that wrong thing to other people.

It really changes your life when you have access so instantaneously to everything.

ZAKARIA: But, you know, if you look at -- if you do go onto Google, you're checking a site that somebody has put up -- Wikipedia is a good example -- which may or may not be right. And Wikipedia has lots of people helping out -- lots of people, hundreds of thousands of people doing it.

But I can tell you, my Wikipedia entry has many mistakes in it.

SCHMIDT: Of course.

Not everything written on the Internet is true. But also, not everything written on the Internet is false. Google's primary goal is to rank that information.

We don't know exactly how to prove something. But we're very, very good at taking all of this information and inferring what's the one that's most likely true and the one that's second. And we make our algorithms better and better. Many, many people have tried to advantage themselves in various techniques, which we can detect and push down.

So, we think that not only is the problem not solved, but to some degree it will never be solved, because there's so much new information being created. It's a race between all of the people creating information -- and, by the way, misinformation and disinformation -- as well as the people trying to get accurate information.

It's in corporations' benefit, for example, to spin. It's in politicians' interest to spin. How do you sort that out? You need some kind of a ranking algorithm, and that's what Google does.

ZAKARIA: When you look forward, do you think -- when you look forward, what are the great moral issues that you think we will face with all this information, all this access? What should we be thinking about in terms of the conflicts, the tradeoffs?

SCHMIDT: We're in a situation where we're going from a model where everything you saw was true and was highly metered -- that is, highly controlled -- to an explosion of information where not everything you see is true. And it's very difficult for humans to sort out what's true and what's false.

This will be the bane of politicians. It will be the bane of people like yourself, people everywhere. How do I know that this is true?

And the problem gets worse with real-time information and the fact that people are willing to say things that aren't true, and so forth and so on.

So, moving to a world where everyone has a voice also means that we've lost the people in the middle, the people who were judging it for us. They were saying, well, that guy's a crank, and that guy's legitimate.

And it's going to be important for people to recognize that, just because you see it on television doesn't make it true. Just because you don't see it on television doesn't make it false. And people will learn to be a little bit more suspicious, which is a good thing.

I also believe that one of the things that happens when you get all of this information is you have faster bubbles, faster booms. It's not flat. In fact, it's more up and down. You're famous more quickly, and you're less -- and you also lose your fame more quickly.

And I also believe that, as a result of all of this volatility, it gives people headaches. Literally, it changes so fast, it's very difficult to really know everything anymore. And that's a loss of comfort.

On the other hand, it means that you can truly be a global citizen, which I know you aspire to. You really can get a sense of what's going on, everyone in the world, which is very exciting.

ZAKARIA: And fundamentally, you're an optimist in all this.

SCHMIDT: Absolutely. Because ultimately, if you look, people want the same thing. They want a better world. They'll use these technologies to cure cancer, right, to help with the terrorist problem, to help with all of their problems, to make their local world a better place. And we all benefit when that occurs.

ZAKARIA: Eric Schmidt, a pleasure to have you on.

SCHMIDT: Well, thank you very much.

ZAKARIA: And we will be back.


ZAKARIA: October 28th, 118 dead. November 2nd, 35 dead. November 10th, at least 34 dead. November 13th, at least 17 dead.



ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World?" segment.

What got my attention this week was this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That (ph) this might be Blackwater.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Under (ph) Blackwater.


ZAKARIA: You remember Blackwater. Right? That's the American military contractor infamous for a shooting in Iraq that left 17 civilians dead.

Well, this Pakistani man was laying blame on them for the spate of bombings in Pakistan in recent weeks.

October 28th, 118 dead. November 2nd, 35 dead. November 10th, at least 34 dead. November 13th, at least 17 dead. November 16th, six dead. November 19th, at least 20 dead. And the list goes on.

And the idea persists in Pakistan that somebody outside the country is to blame for this.

Like this fashion model, who CNN caught up with as she prepared to strut the catwalks of Karachi.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The truth about the militants is that they are not Pakistani.

ZAKARIA (voice-over): And these students on a college campus in Islamabad, itself the site of a recent attack.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Non-Muslim forces who don't want Islam to be over the world -- they are doing it.

ZAKARIA: And these men in a shopping plaza.


ZAKARIA: This survivor of one of the attacks had a more nuanced view. It may be locals who are perpetrating the crimes, he says, but those same old external forces are behind it all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone are supporting them. India, RAW. Mossad, Israel. These agencies are supporting our terrorists who are living in our country.


ZAKARIA (on camera): And these people are far from alone when they place blame elsewhere for the country's turmoil.

And in a poll conducted over the summer, when Gallup asked Pakistanis who was the biggest threat to their nation, six out of 10 said the U.S., while only one out of 10 named the Taliban.

Interestingly, though the population seems to be turning a blind eye towards the Taliban, the Taliban itself is more than happy to claim credit for most of this chaos and the killings. This Taliban spokesman went on camera earlier this month to note that his group was responsible for most of these bombings, especially the ones that attacked police officers, the military and the Pakistani government.

And you might wonder, who does he think is responsible for the rest of the attacks? What he calls Pakistan's sinister, secret organizations -- and Blackwater.

Perhaps the Pakistani people need to spend some time looking inward.

And we'll be right back.


ZAKARIA: Last week I had the rare opportunity to speak with India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh. He came to the United States this week to meet with President Obama. This is a broad-based effort on both sides to build a closer relationship.

But for India, the specific short-term objective remains to break through all the constraints that have boxed it in, because it has nuclear weapons.

Despite its status as a nuclear nation, it has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. India's ultimate goal is actually to sign the treaty, but it does not have official status as a nuclear weapons state yet. China was given that status in 1992, and that's what India wants.

How do I know this? Well, Manmohan Singh told me. So, I'm going to play to you that bit of the interview -- and we were not able to play this last week.


ZAKARIA: Is it fair to say that one of the ultimate objectives of India would perhaps be to become a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty system, but to be invited in as a nuclear weapons state in the way that China was?

MANMOHAN SINGH, PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA: Well, if we were to go that way, that would be a very positive development from our point of view. And we are a nuclear weapons state, but we are a responsible nuclear power. We have an impeccable record of not having contributed to unauthorized proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction.

So, I think India does require, I think, greater consideration of the global community.

ZAKARIA: Do you think that the United States should try to press the issue and have India brought into the system as a nuclear weapons state?

SINGH: Well, I hope it will happen.


ZAKARIA: We also had an exchange about Manmohan Singh's personal legacy as the man who introduced India's economic reforms in 1992.


ZAKARIA: You're the father of reform in India. Many people have called you that.

And many of your admirers have been somewhat disappointed by the pace of economic reform in India. People feel that in various areas, from power to education, they were hoping for some big, bold package of reforms.

They say to me, this is Manmohan Singh's great opportunity to leave a big legacy. Why is he not taking it?

SINGH: Well, I think we cannot produce the reforms like rabbits out of a hat. Reforms have to respond to the political climate, what is sellable, what I can sell to our coalition partners. And you know the compulsions of managing a coalition in which there are several parties, the left parties. And that, naturally, restrained our -- constrained our ability to move forward.

Also, I think the big-ticket reforms were completed by us while we were in office, from '91 to '96.

Now it is a question of improving the quality of administration, quality of delivery of services, improving infrastructure. And the bulk of this infrastructure is in the public sector. Those issues we are going to attend. We are paying a lot more attention to improving the quality and the management of our infrastructure than ever before.

ZAKARIA: What do you think your legacy will be as prime minister of India?

SINGH: Well, my legacy may be the fact that four years before the international economic crisis erupted, our country's economy grew at the rate of 9 percent per annum. Now, people do not think whether we can grow at the rate of 5 or 6 percent. Nine percent or 8 percent is considered the normal rate of growth. And this is true of both the opposition and the tragedy (ph) benchers (ph).

That is a big change (ph).


ZAKARIA: And we will be right back.


ZAKARIA: Now for our "Question of the Week."

I told you at the start of the show about your answers to last week's question. So, here's what I want to know this week. Does Google scare you? Or does it fascinate you? Do you distrust its omnipresence in our lives, its vast database of information? Or are you fascinated by the brave new world of technology and all the information that will make your life easier in many ways?

Let us know what you think.

And, please, when you e-mail us, don't forget to tell us your name and where you're from. We're not going to use that information in any way.

And as always, I'd like to recommend a book. This one is called "The Fourth Star: Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army." It's a fascinating insight into today's Army, written by two people who would know. Greg Jaffe is the Pentagon correspondent for the "Washington Post," and David Cloud has covered military affairs for the "New York Times" and

The book looks at the four generals who turned the Iraq War from a quagmire into something resembling a success. It's a kind of intricately detailed portrait of this quartet, their management styles, their philosophies, and how they rose to the top of the military establishment -- a real window into the military mind.

Now, don't forget GPS has joined the social networking revolution. Go to to find out how to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.