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Fareed Zakaria GPS

French Elections; Syrian Standoff; India's Nuclear Missile Test; Interview with Ruchir Sharma; Interview With Andrew Sullivan

Aired April 22, 2012 - 10:00   ET


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the Global Public Square. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria. We have a wonderful show for you today. We begin with a tour of the world from the French elections to the Syrian stand-off to India's nuclear missile test; all with a great panel.

Also, you've heard of the BRICS? One of the world's top investors says Brazil, Russia, India and China have hit a brick wall. Why and who will take their place as the next hot emerging markets?

Then, Andrew Sullivan, on why he had to wait almost 20 years to get a green card in the United States. It's a fascinating, troubling story.

We'll also look at the war on drugs in Mexico. Could it actually be working?

But, first, here's my take. A new poll in the United States shows that Americans are still deeply frustrated at the slow pace of the economic recovery. That's understandable. Unemployment stays stubbornly high. But I was just in Europe, and they think America is booming.

Consider this: the U.S. economy is on track to grow between 2 and 3 percent this year. In Europe, by contrast, half the eurozone economies are going to actually shrink this year and not one major European country will grow over 1 percent.

Last Thursday, Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, and former French Finance Minister of France, said there were "dark clouds" hanging over the global recovery and that the eurozone was at the "epicenter of potential risk." Borrowing costs for countries like Spain, Italy and Greece are rising again.

What is going on? Didn't it look like the Europeans had managed to avert a crisis only a few weeks ago? Yes it did. Mario Draghi, Europe's new Central banker, had adopted a version of Ben Bernanke's policies and injected money into the European financial system and economy.

But his efforts are now being undercut by the German Bundesbank, which reflects Germany's obsession about inflation even at the cost of growth.

The larger failure, shared across Europe, has been too much austerity. Consider that data we started with. The U.S. economy, which received monetary and fiscal stimulus, will grow at well over 2 percent this year.

European economies that have followed the path of cutting spending and raising taxes to reduce deficits are finding themselves in a downward spiral: cutting spending means laying off people, which means less demand for goods and services, which means the economy shrinks, which, ironically, means lower tax revenues and thus larger budget deficits.

Take a look at Britain. Britain has followed a brave austerity plan, cutting government spending across the board and raising taxes. The result, British growth has stalled. The economy will grow barely 0.8 percent this year. And while its budget deficit was predicted to be under $13 billion in February, it was in fact $24 billion for that month alone.

After its austerity program, Spain has hit 20 percent unemployment, 50 percent youth unemployment, and now has a much larger budget deficit than projected.

Europe needs structural reforms that will cut spending over the long term - by raising retirement ages and cutting benefits. But it also needs pro-growth reforms that open up its labor market.

And, most importantly, for now, it needs to stop imposing austerity in a depressed economy and learn from something from the example across the Atlantic. Two or 2.5 percent growth might not look so great in America, but it a lot better than negative 0.3 percent, which is the current estimate for the eurozone's economic growth.

Let's get started.

And we will start with the world tour. Joining me now are:

Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former director of policy planning at the State Department now back teaching and Princeton.

Edward Luce, the Washington columnist for the Financial Times and the author of an excellent new book, "Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent."

Bret Stephens, the foreign affairs columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

And Emmanuel Saint-Martin, the New York correspondent for France 24.

Emmanuel, tell us, it appears that Francois Hollande continues to gain strength and from -- I was in Europe last week, from all indications, he is likely to be, at the very least, a very strong challenger or perhaps even defeat President Sarkozy.

He proposes a 75 percent tax on all income over a million euros. He is outflanked on the left by somebody who is proposing 100 percent tax on all income over 500,000 euros. What is going on? EMMANUEL SAINT-MARTIN, NEW YORK CORRESPONDENT FOR FRANCE 24: You have to remember, it's a two-round election so what we're talking about here is the first round. So it's like a primary here on the left side.

So, you have -- in a way, you have to be on the left to make sure that you're going to be in the second round. You know every side has to gather their forces. So that's what's going on right now.

And Francois Hollande, himself, said that 75 percent is symbolic. It's not going to change anything. And we have -- we have the real election two weeks later in the second round, presumably, between Francois Holland and Nicolas Sarkozy.

And, then, presumably, you know, people from the center are going to decide this election. So you're going to see, I guess, a shift from this maybe radical position to something more -- maybe more central.

BRET STEPHENS, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COLUMNIST, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: I mean it's remarkable -- I mean it's the most important election that's taken place in Europe since the economic crisis began. But what's remarkable about it is also so feckless it is, both right and left.

You have a Europe in which countries like Spain, Italy, needless to say Greece and Portugal radically restructuring, downsizing the size of their state, imposing austerity budgets because they realize they can't go on as before.

In France, you have Holland with promising 60,000 new jobs for teachers and, then, Sarkozy promising another sort of form of handouts.

And France seems to be, at least judging by the rhetoric coming out of this election, living in a different age as if their still at an age of plenty and prosperity where the welfare state can continue to grow and the continent isn't in the middle of this seismic economic and generational crisis.

ZAKARIA: And this is, of course, The Economist cover of France -- of Europe's most frivolous election. Ed, what do you think is going on?

EDWARD LUCE, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST, FINANCIAL TIMES: The age of denial. The candidate that, to me, symbolizes it is a guy called Cheminade.

SAINT-MARTIN: Cheminade.

LUCE: Cheminade, sorry, that shows how well known he is, who wants to colonize Mars. He's sort of the French Next Gingrich. And I think he kind of symbolizes the unreality, the age of denial of this election.

But, you know, in two weeks' time, it's going to become a very real election and there's going to be two very real choices. I do agree with Bret though that neither of the platforms put forward by Sarkozy or Hollande are remotely realistic to the situation France finds itself in.

It's got almost -- it's got plus 90 percent debt as a proportion of GDP. It's made no efforts to rein in its budget over the duration of this crisis. It's lost its triple-A credit rating. It might not be the next Spain. Spain's the next Spain, but it's not that far off.

And France has lost that sort of Franco-German motor control of Europe in the last few years.

ZAKARIA: Anne-Marie, if Holland wins, does it -- will it make left-wing politicians everywhere in Europe or politicians everywhere in Europe say, "This is the way to win election. Be a left-wing populist, promise taxes on the rich."

You know, there's a sense in which people have been trying to figure out which way is the wind blowing in the Western World, ideologically. And Holland's wind could be a big moment if he wins.

ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF POLICY PLANNING, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: I'm not sure there's one template for left politicians across Europe at this point. I can't imagine a German politician winning on that platform on the left. And the British have their own configuration.

So I'm not certain that that's going to be true across Europe. The main thing if Hollande wins, it's going to make U.S. foreign policy a lot harder. All right, Sarkozy has been hugely important on Iran. He was on Libya, on Syria. He is really stood very, very firm indeed as hard as President Obama.

And if he's replaced by someone who is going to look inward, who is not going to be willing to really get out there and take a hard line on countries like Iran, the U.S. is going to have a harder time.

SAINT MARTIN: I'm not that sure about that. There is a remarkable constant in foreign policy in France. I mean, left, right, it's pretty much always some kind of foreign policy.

And Hollande sent the president of the French Senate, who is a socialist, a few weeks ago, here and in Washington (INAUDIBLE) precisely say that nothing is going to change.

ZAKARIA: I got to ask about Syria. This is another decision point that France, the United States and others will have to take. Is anything going to happen?

SLAUGHTER: Something's going to happen, but not fast. I think the Annan plan is not working. The administration is moving toward recognizing that publicly. The Secretary of Defense Panetta testified last week that planning is ongoing. Secretary Clinton is moving toward other measures.

But it's going to be slow. And it's going to be slow because we're still not ready. The U.S. is still certainly not going to take unilateral actions so that takes you with the U.S., Turkey still, the Arab League.

It's this game of "after you." You know, we're not going to move unless the Turks and Arabs are with us. They need us to support. Everybody wants the U.N. Security Council to authorize us.

So I think we're going to see action, but I don't think it's going to be fast.

ZAKARIA: Should we go faster?

STEPHENS: Of course we should because we run the risk that Assad will roll up the opposition before we have a chance to decide whether intervention is worthwhile.

You have 10,000 Syrians dead. There's an assumption that the Syrian's are always going to come out in the street to oppose the regime, but, at a certain point, you kill enough people in the street, they become afraid to come out.

ZAKARIA: Well, I have the opposite question. Can this insurgency really succeed? Are there -- they haven't been able to hold any territory.

STEPHENS: Well, the Libya examples gives us hope that if NATO or an outside power intervenes, even in a limited way, they can corral strength because they, obviously, enjoy massive public support and they enjoy safe haven in Turkey.

But that requires American leadership and I think it requires it soon. And I understand the reluctance of the Pentagon to get itself involved in another Middle Eastern war, but that has to be balanced against the stakes involved here.

I mean, if Assad stays in power -- we should consider what happens to American interests in the Middle East if Assad stays, not least of them this touches on our negotiations with Iran because we have said, repeatedly, that the fall of the Assad regime -- and this is right -- would be a major strategic setback to the Iranians.

Where do we stand vis-a-vis Iran in the nuclear negotiations if, in six months' time, Assad is still comfortably in power, the opposition is in disarray or in exile?

ZAKARIA: When we come back, we are going to talk about the Indian missile tests, about China, whatever else comes up when we come back.


ZAKARIA: And we're back with Anne-Marie Slaughter, Bret Stephens, Ed Luce, and Emmanuel Saint-Martin.

Ed, you used to be the correspondent in India. India just announced a bit nuclear missile test and they make absolutely clear that it was a missile that could reach China. It could reach Shanghai and Beijing and its purpose was deterrence.

Do you think that we're witnessing the beginnings of a kind of Asian arms race?

LUCE: I think we're already in the Asian arms race. I mean, India could have chosen to conduct this Agni fired missile test at any stage in the last two, three years.

The timing of this is quite interesting though given the fact that, you know, China it does have a more assertive role in the last two years, but China's also in a transition phase.

And I think you have weak government in India and this is one way of showing that it's still got strength, can flex its muscles and, of course, the Agni is the god of fire. It can reach Shanghai.

For the first time, India is in parity, therefore, in nuclear terms with China. And I suspect we're going to be seeing a lot more of this.

I do suspect though, as has always been the case with an Indian test, whether it's a nuclear or missile test, we're going to see a -- some Pakistan version sometime in the very new future.

STEPHENS: Well, what I find interesting about the test isn't so much what it says about India, it's what it says about China and really, I think, the failure of Chinese foreign policy over the past decade.

I mean now, just in the last year, you've had Burma turn very sharply away from its Chinese patron towards the West. The Vietnamese, next week, will be conducting naval exercises with the United States. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the entire rim --

LUCE: Australia.

STEPHENS: Australia, where we're going to be deploying Marines. The entire Asian rim has decided that their fate -- or their future isn't better married to an ascendant China, it's containing the rise because of a very aggressive and somewhat scary state.

LUCE: And, of course, some of these countries old -- well, most of these countries hold regular naval exercise in the war games with India as well. India's relations with those around China's rim --

ZAKARIA: And they certainly do well with the United States. They all want the insurance policy of the U.S. Navy.

SLAUGHTER: I don't disagree with you about China's -- the failure of China's policy, but I don't think this was exactly a brilliant move for India's foreign policy.

India does that right when we're in the midst of, once again, having talks with the Iranians where they've been extremely unhelpful with respect to sanctions on the Iranians and where we've got a real problem with North Korea again. And North Korea has just launched a rocket that fails. So just at this moment India really needs to test a --

STEPHENS: I actually think that's a wonderful --

LUCE: India is not Britain. That's the thing and it keeps wanting to demonstrate that.

ZAKARIA: What does that mean?

LUCE: That it's not going to be a global lieutenant of the United States. There is no treaty there. And, I mean, I understand your frustration. The timing is not helpful from an American point- of-view.

ZAKARIA: Your point being that we are clearly --

LUCE: But it's never going to be.

ZAKARIA: We're winking at the Indian nuclear program while --

SLAUGHTER: Or just that it makes it so much harder to talk to the Iranians or the North Koreans when they're pointing to another country that is, in fact, a nuclear power that, of course didn't sign a nuclear treaty.

But it nevertheless is saying we can do it just as it's got other countries around that want to say, we, too, are on the --

STEPHENS: But it's actually a moment of clarity. I don't think anyone's going to go to sleep tonight, lying awake thinking oh my goodness, the Indians now have a new missile that can reach China.

Why? Because India is basically responsible and a very democratic power. That's the real issue here. We talk about our problems with Iran and North Korea as essentially legal problems. They're potentially in breach of NPT.

Our problems with these regimes is that they're awful regime with barbarous intentions. And it might help clear up some thinking about the nature of proliferation when we saw, you know, we don't really mind when India acquires this kind of capability. What we fear is an Iran or a North Korea doing that.

SLAUGHTER: So, Bret, wait a minute. Why exactly was this wonderful, responsible power not willing to impose sanctions on Iran when everybody else is, actually giving Iran a major out.

I mean if they're so great and they're so noble --

LUCE: It needs the gas. They need the gas.


STEPHENS: They don't want to be Britain, but they do like to be France. That is to say, the sort of -- (CROSSTALK)

SLAUGHTER: I rest my case.


SAINT-MARTIN: Why France? Thank you. You could make the case of (INAUDIBLE). You could make the case that, actually, this was not aimed at China as much as the United States in terms of, you know, trying to --

STEPHENS: Good point.

SAINT-MARTIN: -- say that they have power. And when you look and following the U.N. here in New York among other things, and when you look at that what India is doing in the Security Council. They've been in the Security Council for one year.

And they align themselves with China, not with the U.S. The ambassador of India and ambassador on the Security Council on Syria is actually the most defendant --

LUCE: He's the most pro-Syrian --

SAINT-MARTIN: -- pro-Syrian ambassador among the 15. Even, I mean, even -- you know, even the Russian ambassador is not that sometimes. So, yes, they are on -- maybe they're not going to use their nuclear bomb against the U.S., but they're not aligning themselves with the U.S.

LUCE: It's totally a measure of how much the U.S. wants India's friendship that it now backs India's permanent membership to the U.N. Security Council even though it has a voting record against U.S. resolutions bar none, I think. I might be wrong, it's probably Cuba and a few others, but India is pretty --

ZAKARIA: (INAUDIBLE) is all good things don't go together.

SLAUGHTER: That's exactly right.

ZAKARIA: You've got a wonderful democracy, but the foreign policy is (INAUDIBLE) to say the least.

STEPHENS: Even if they opposed us on the tactical -- the values of the state are basically consonant with America ones and we could live with our differences -- our diplomatic ones even if they're --

ZAKARIA: So even grudgingly we are willing to say that, in fact, France's independence is a great thing.

STEPHENS: France's independence is a marvelous thing. I wish our separate prosperity.

ZAKARIA: On that new note of Franco-American friendship, Bret Stephens, Emmanuel Saint-Martin, Ed Luce, Anne-Marie Slaughter, thank you all very much. Up next, "What in the World?" Despite 50,000 drug-related killings in six years, Mexico is winning its war on the cartels. I'll explain.


ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment. I saw something that got me thinking last week. Yet another drug bust in Mexico. Bricks of cocaine and cash are exposed as the cartel leaders are lead away.

It seems like what you've come to expect from Mexico, but the scenes you're looking at are not real. The actors are actually children. The video was part of a campaign to get Mexico's presidential candidates to think about the future, meaning Mexico's children, get it?

The drug wars dominate the discussion in Mexico and in many border states in America as well. There have been nearly 50,000 drug- related killings in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon began his six-year term.

That's more than twice as many civilian deaths in the same period in Afghanistan. Calderon is widely viewed as having blundered in taking on the drug cartels.

But I have always admired his courage in doing so. And it might just be paying rewards. Robert Bonner is a former U.S. drug enforcement official and he's also served as a commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

In a recent Internal Herald Tribune Op-Ed as well as a forthcoming foreign affairs assay, Bonner argues that despite the negative headlines, President Calderon has made huge gains against the drug lords.

Bonner's point is that when Calderon came to power, Mexico's half-dozen cartels were making up to $10 billion in annual revenue from drugs alone. They bribed officials and the police. Those they could not bribe, they killed.

Calderon had no existing means to defeat them so he enlisted the military, a group force that could target cartel leaders and win in an all out gun battle.

Fifty thousand lives is a heavy price to pay, but this was never going to be an easy war. The cartels had almost taken over Mexico. The data proves Bonner's point.

It seems the tide is finally turning. Using Calderon's strategy, the Mexican government has killed more than 40 major cartel members. The Economist magazine points out that between 2007 and 2008, the number of drug-related killings in Mexico rose by 29 percent.

In the next two years, it rose by 22 percent, then by 28 percent. Last year, however, there were signs of a plateau, only an 8 percent rise.

With many cartels now severely weakened, that number could fall further. A Pew poll conducted last spring shows that 45 percent of Mexicans believe the government is making progress against the cartels, 83 percent support Calderon's strategy of using the army to fight them.

When a government forcefully commits to take on an internal terrorist or drug group, it usually wins. This is what happened in Columbia over the last decade and it will likely happen in Mexico over the next few years as long as Calderon's successor stays with the fight.

The Mexican elections begin in July and Calderon steps down in December. If Mexico's children are indeed to grow up in safer conditions, then its leaders need to continue to press on in the war on drugs.

Even Mexicans who have live with the violence agree on one thing, some action is better than the previous policy of no action at all. Of course, success in Mexico probably means the cartels will move to Central America. Guatemala is already becoming the next frontier.

You see, then the richest country in the world has an insatiable demand for drugs, someone is going to produce them and meet that demand, but that's for another week.

Up next, why the global economy is going to hit a brick wall, BRIC as in Brazil, Russia, India and China? Coming up.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST: I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. FAREED ZAKARIA GPS will be back in 90 seconds. First, a check of the top stories.

Iran says it has reverse engineered an American spy drone captured by its armed forces last year and has begun building a copy. U.S. officials have acknowledged losing the drone, but they say it would be difficult to exploit any of the technology from the aerial vehicle.

China and Russia began their first-ever joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea. Chinese state-run media says the war games will include 16 Chinese vessels, submarines, and Russian supply ships. The exercises run through Friday.

In France voters are casting ballots in the first round of a presidential election that pits President Nicolas Sarkozy against nine other candidates. The economy and jobs have been key election issues as France struggles to overcome a 10 percent unemployment rate.

Those are your top stories. Now back to FAREED ZAKARIA GPS.

ZAKARIA: The big economic story of the last decade has been the emerging markets, the rise of China, India, Brazil, and others. Well, one of the world's leading emerging market investors says the party is over. Ruchir Sharma is the director of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley and the author of a terrific new book, "Breakout Nations." He joins me now.

Why, to use your phrase -- why have things hit a BRIC wall? B-R- I-C wall?

RUCHIR SHARMA, MORGAN STANLEY EMERGING MARKETS: Fareed, you know, If you look back at the history of investments in the last four to five decades, economic patterns, what you would see is that every decade there is some popular thing which captures the imagination of everyone.

In the 1990s it was tech. 1980s was Japan. Last decade I think what really caught the imagination of investors was this term called BRIC. And it's not just investors, but political people, business people.

ZAKARIA: Brazil, China, India, Russia.

SHARMA: Yes. And I think it's very important how this term came into being and as to why I think this is looking like a bit of a spent force. I don't think it's still (ph) for all emerging markets. I think this concept is looking quite tired to me, and here's why I think. That if you saw the previous decade, it was an exceptionally freaky decade for emerging markets.

Every single emerging market last decade did really well. At the peak here in 2007 the average growth rate of emerging markets was close to 8 percent.

The average growth rate I'm talking about here. And what happened that year was quite significant, that typically in any year in history around 20 percent of economies grow at about 5 percent. In that year more than 50 percent of the world's economies grew at more than 5 percent.

ZAKARIA: So what are you saying basically is you had, you know, cheap capital, benign conditions, low interest rates, and this was fueling growth almost indiscriminately around the world.

SHARMA: Yes. Yes, that's right, in a way that's never been done before. Now following the 2008-2009 financial crisis, I think we have all understood that for the western world what this mean, that this means a new normal, lower growth rates because of debt. I don't think we've quite comprehended what this means for the emerging market (inaudible).

And my point here is that the previous decade was a freaky decade for emerging markets, and now they will return back to a more normalized growth path, which will last 50 years, is a growth rate of around 5 percent or so.

And some of the big economic stars of the previous decade are looking quite tired. And this starts off with China. I think that it's such China's (inaudible) is at a very critical point just now, even though they're officially still reporting GDP data in the 8 to 9 percent corridor, all the word from the ground is that things are slowing down considerably.

And that's only to be expected. China's economy now has matured. It's a truly middle income economy. Its per capita income is $6,000, an economy can sprint, but its per capita income is $1,000 to $2,000. But at $6,000, the ability of an economy to grow at 8 percent to 9 percent is very limited. That's the lesson from history.

ZAKARIA: You travel around the world a lot, of course, trying to figure out investments. And you began to sense that the way we were looking at all these emerging markets wasn't quite right, and you came up with some simple ways of thinking about it. So you have this thing called the Four Seasons Index. Explain what it is and what's the conclusion?

SHARMA: Well, Fareed, you know, one thing I've tried to do in the book is to sort of make it as accessible as possible, and I find that economists use a lot of complicated metrics to try and say some basic truths, so one of them is extreme (inaudible) valuations.

Just look at the Four Seasons Hotels in the various emerging markets or the sort of equally high-end hotels that gives you a sense whether a country is expensive or cheap for doing business.

And it sort of conforms with my general thinking here about these emerging markets. If you look at this Four Seasons Index, the most expensive places to stay in emerging markets are Brazil and Russia. And the places which are quite cheap are in Asia, such is Indonesia, Thailand, or even in Eastern Europe, such as Poland.

And I think what this tells you is something, that the currencies in places such as Brazil and Russia are extremely uncompetitive today, because they've benefited a lot from commodity flows, but that has really done a lot of damage to the manufacturing sector.

ZAKARIA: All right. The Billionaires Index, you look at the number of billionaires in a country, but you look at also the total net worth as a percentage of GDP, and what do you do -- what do you find and what are you trying to get at?

SHARMA: You want new wealth to be created, and you don't want too much wealth to be concentrated in a few hands, because that sort of leads to the perception that reforms or opening up the economy is only benefiting a few people, and it leads to a backlash, in fact, against economic reforms.

And if you look at the economic success stories of Korea, Taiwan, one thing that you find, which is very noticeable about them, is that the number of billionaires they have as a share of the total sort of economy is sort of fairly reasonable.

But if you -- but the problem I find in places such as Russia is exactly the opposite, which is the number of billionaires you have, the highest number of billionaires in the world, even though their economy is nowhere near the size of a U.S. or even China, and the more disturbing point about Russia I find is that if you look at the number of millionaires, Russia doesn't even feature in the top 15 in the world. So when it comes to billionaires, top two. When it comes to millionaires, not even the top 15 in the world.

ZAKARIA: So the title of your book is "Breakout Nations." So there is good news here, because you're saying that the old emerging markets, the leader is Brazil, Russia, China, India are perhaps going to slow down. So what are the new ones and why are they thriving?

SHARMA: Well, I think that the most important point here is about expectations. That you have got to have reasonable expectations about countries. And the second thing is to do with per capita income.

Now, if a country like Korea, which I identify as still a break- out nation -- Korea is a remarkable economic success story along with Taiwan. It's the only economy in the world to have grown at 5 percent or more for five decades in a row.

ZAKARIA: Five decades.

SHARMA: Five decades in a row. Only two did in the world grew at more than 5 percent on average each decade. The other country where I think that expectations can be surpassed versus what the consensus is are Indonesia, Turkey, Philippines. I think even Thailand has a chance of doing so. Then a bunch of frontier markets such as Nigeria, Sri Lanka. I think all these countries have a chance of surpassing expectations.

ZAKARIA: And you're bullish on Poland as I remember in the book.

SHARMA: Yes. Eastern Europe. I think that Europe today gets a lot of flack for the fact that you talk about Europe today, and you only think about debt crises and boom-bust cycles, and yet you've got countries such as Poland with very good macroeconomic finances, and a pretty stable growth rate, solid institutions, and some very good companies.

And I think Czech is also in a similar league, even though its economy tends to be a bit more cyclical, because of its exports exposure.

So I think there are a whole bunch of countries out there which can be break-out nations, which can be the countries that emerge as the new economic stars.

ZAKARIA: Ruchir Sharma, pleasure to have on you. If you want detailed investment advice or just a great read, you have to look at the book -- you have to go and buy the book. We'll be back.


ANDREW SULLIVAN, POLITICAL COLUMNIST: I had no idea. I really didn't expect it. And I found out I had HIV, and back in '93 that was a pretty -- it was a death sentence. But I will tell you in all candid, the thing that I grieved most about that day was the fact that I had to withdraw my green card application, which had been approved in every other respect.



ZAKARIA: My next guest lives a life of contradictions, and I wanted to dwell on some of those contradictions here. He is British, but he writes about American politics. He is a political conservative, self-identified, but he was named one of the 25 most influential liberals in America by Forbes magazine. Andrew Sullivan is a blogger for The Daily Beast. He is a former editor of the New Republic.

He joins me now.

Andrew, one of the things I wanted to talk to you about is I have known you for almost 30 years now, and you were always passionately interested in America, in American politics. Like me, you are an immigrant, but you have only very recently been able to get a green card. You have identified this with country. Why?

SULLIVAN: For two reasons. One, because I'm HIV positive, and have been for -- since 1993. And secondly, because I'm gay.

My marriage, which is legal in both my resident states, both Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., is not recognized by the federal government, so I am not granted automatic green card by virtue of marriage along with everybody who happens to be -- who happens to be in a same-sex marriage.

ZAKARIA: And of course, if you were straight and you were married, you would automatically...

SULLIVAN: I would be automatically granted because people understand that if you fall in love with someone and you want to build your life with them. And if you have been married as we have been for four years, together for eight, that that's something to tear people apart like that. It's an injustice to the American involved.

American citizens, I don't think, ever thought that the right, the pursuit of happiness did not include the right to marry the person you love. But for a whole number of Americans, gay Americans, that happens to be true. And you see it most explicitly with immigration because it's a federal issue.

The marriages in the states that are legal are not recognized by the federal government because of Defense of Marriage Act. And, therefore, immigration law does not apply to them as it would to heterosexual married couples.

The other reason is that -- and this is how I found out just before my medical they take blood from you in 1993 I found out that -- I did my own private medical. Just, I had no idea, I really didn't expect it, and found out I had HIV. And back in 1993 that was a pretty -- it was a death sentence.

But I will tell you, in all candid, the thing that I grieved most about that day was the fact that I had to withdraw my green card application, which had been approved in every other respect. It was about to become an American as I had long dreamed of, and it was dashed because of this.

I was more crushed by being excluded from America for that than I was fearful of dying.

ZAKARIA: But when you would talk to politicians, because you are so well connected in Washington, I mean, as you say, this is the only disease which is -- you know, it seems so obviously just an anti- -- it is discriminatory and cruel towards one set of people, what was the defense that people would give you.

SULLIVAN: There is no defense. They just weren't interested in it. Foreigners don't have a constituency in America. And gays have even less of one. And so -- I was amazed -- I mean, I actually had dinner with one of these dinners with Bill Gates, who runs the AIDS Foundation. He was not even aware that this ban was in place. And naturally, I mean, he is now and helped to actually get the law changed.

People didn't know. Gay people didn't know. Because the people affected couldn't come out and say I have HIV and I have been affected by this without automatically rendering them liable to deportation or not being able to get in, so there was also this enormous stigma that the federal government was attaching to HIV, which was, of course, the opposite of when you are trying to do in getting treatment and prevention.

I mean, we're in a much better place now. It's all resolved.

There was a point in which it was just the United States, Iran, Saudi Arabia -- China lifted this thing before the United States did. If the United States as a funder of AIDS research, as a philanthropist around the world, is by far the biggest actor, so it was -- we couldn't have an AIDS conference in America for 18 years because of this, because none of the people coming, none of the people who were activists who were HIV positive from Africa or elsewhere were able to come into the country.

Other people, I think if the blogger Glenn Greenwald who is an American, he has to live -- he is a very influential American blogger, he has to live in Rio de Janeiro because his spouse can't be -- can't get a visa to live in the United States.

ZAKARIA: Because he is...

SULLIVAN: Because he is not recognized as a spouse. If the Defense of Marriage Act were to end, then this would end too.

But this is the first time in history, including interracial marriage, that the federal government in terms of immigration, has tried to split couples up. They didn't do it even with interracial. It recognized those states where interracial marriage was legal and didn't recognize them in those states where it was illegal. It deferred to the states.

This is the first time in American history the federal government decided we will split couples up.

ZAKARIA: You have the green card, which means you automatically at what point can apply for citizenship?

SULLIVAN: I think it's five years. And I will do so as soon as I can. I've always felt to be a participant in this country's amazing debate, you really -- I mean, I have to say this, though, no one -- no actual American ever treated me any differently for being HIV positive, gay, or British.

ZAKARIA: Well, maybe the third.

SULLIVAN: Well no, but in the third, they actually kind of gave me this ridiculous affirmation for being British. I think it's one reason I consciously lost my accent. I couldn't stand that.

But to be an active participant in this debate as an American, you know, it makes a difference. It allows you to say we. And as a writer, you know, a daily writer, that's a breakthrough. I can't tell you -- I mean, it was the happiest day of my life when that came through. And I just -- I want to very much end the Defense of Marriage Act or pass the American Families Act, which will allow the spouses of gay couples, who are legally married in the United States, not to be forced, if they're bi-national to have to live elsewhere.

No American should be forced to choose between their spouse and their country. And yet, a large number -- increasing numbers of Americans are facing that.

ZAKARIA: When you become a citizen, as one naturalized American to another, I will send you a bottle of champagne.

SULLIVAN: Thank you very much. Maybe we'll drink it together.

ZAKARIA: Andrew Sullivan, always a pleasure.

And we will be right back.


ZAKARIA: After North Korea's failed rocket test, the nation's young dictator Kim Jong-un did something extraordinary. He spoke. In public. And that brings us to our question of the week, how many times did his father Kim Jong-il, who ruled North Korea for 17 years, speak in public?

A, once.

B, once a year.

C, twice a year. D, three times.

Stay tuned. We'll tell you the correct answer. Go to for more of the GPS challenge and lots of insight and analysis. And follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Also, remember, if you miss a show, go to iTunes. You can get the audio podcast for free or you can now buy the video version. Go to

This week's book of the week is the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. One of the New York Times' reporters. The book looks at the great power that our routines have over us and how some companies and people have changed the bad habits that they have. It's really fascinating with lots of great examples. Just promise me you won't change your habit of watching GPS.

And now for the last look. A new danger for politicians, not only do they have to be careful of whom they consort with, what they say, and the promises they don't keep, they now need to look out for what they wear on their wrists.

Take a look at Nicolas Sarkozy at what should have been a standard political event shaking hands at a rope line. But it turned into a scandal thanks to this little move. You see, he has a watch in this photo, and in this one taken just after he has no watch. What happened? He took off his watch and he put it in his pocket. The French press speculated whether he was worried about somebody stealing it or whether he was worried that he would get flack for its reported $75,000 price tag. Well, he got flack all right.

Then there's this one from Russia with bad luck. Seems the Russian Orthodox Church Photoshopped a $30,000 watch off the wrist of its patriarch. But they forgot to Photoshop off the reflection of the watch. Oops.

And you have to be especially careful if you are in China. There's a blogger there who is set to scour the internet for images of politicians and oddly enough, monks as well, to determine what kind of watches they wear and how much more than their annual salary those watches cost.

His site is, of course, frequently taken down by the Chinese government censors.

The correct answer to our GPS challenge question was, A, Kim Jong-il only made one public address to his people, only spoke publicly once in his 17 years of ruling North Korea. He said just one sentence, "glory to the heroic soldiers of the People's Army." Some say he had a squeaky voice and was a bit ashamed of it. I guess we'll never know now.

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