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Fareed Zakaria GPS
Ukrainians Reacting to Russia's Military Movement in Crimea; Analysis with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Madeleine Albright; Interview with Vitali Klitschko; Director of "The Square Movie" Talks about Results of Egyptian Revolution and Her Film
Aired March 02, 2014 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the Global Public Square. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria, coming to you live today from New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA (voice-over): Dramatic developments: first up, Ukraine calls Russia's actions a declaration of war. Secretary of State John Kerry calls it an invasion and occupation.
So just how bad is it and what can be done? We will cover all the angles: Vitaly Klitschko, a leader of the Ukrainian revolution, on his country's response to Russian aggression; Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state; Brzezinski Zbigniew, the former national security adviser on what the United States can and should do.
Then, is Vladimir Putin really the bad guy in all of this?
I will introduce you to a very prominent expert who says nyet.
And foreign policy at the Oscars, one of the films up for Best Documentary tells the story of Egypt's revolution brilliantly. I will speak with the director of the movie, "The Square."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: But first, here's my take.
In a strange act of historical coincidence, it was 60 years ago this week that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev handed the Crimea over to the Ukraine. It might not have seemed a big deal in those days; everyone was part of one, big, unhappy Soviet Union.
But that has created today's geopolitical crisis. Russia has now made its move. It has essentially detached Crimea from the Ukrainian government's control. What remains unclear is what Vladimir Putin wants to do with it.
Incorporate it into Russia, use it as leverage to negotiate a deal with Kiev, both?
In any event, Washington's response should be clear and forceful. Russia has violated all kinds of laws and norms, including most crucially a treaty that it signed with Ukraine, guaranteeing that country's borders, in return for which Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons.
For Washington, for Americans, really for people around the world, it would be a terrible precedent to allow issues like these to be resolved not by negotiations or diplomacy, but by force.
If Russia can detach parts of neighboring countries with impunity, won't other great powers like China decide that they, too, can act in similar ways?
So what can be done?
For starters, President Obama should cancel entirely his attendance at the G8 summit to be held in Sochi in June. He should try to persuade the other major powers to follow suit.
Russia's membership in the G8 should be suspended. Remember, the G8 was created to recognize that post-soviet Russia was behaving like an honorable member of the international community, not a rogue state. If the behavior has changed, Russia's status should also change.
Militarily there is less that can be done. Russia's defense budget is about 18 times that of Ukraine, but NATO should restart talks on providing assurances to countries like Poland, including perhaps building the missile defense system that was abandoned.
In economic terms, Washington and the E.U. should consider sanctions that would be effective, ones targeted specifically at individuals who could be held responsible for these acts of aggression against Ukraine.
Washington cannot stop Vladimir Putin as he creates facts on the ground in Crimea. But step back and consider what a strategic disaster this is for him.
Ukraine has slipped out of Russia's orbit and most of the population there is going to be hostile toward Russia for generations. Countries like Poland that had eased up relations with Moscow will now view it with great suspicion. All European countries will put their relations with Russia under review.
Even China will surely oppose the brazen violation of national sovereignty, something Beijing is always concerned about. Within Russia, people have now seen that Putin is terrified of a democracy movement and will brutally oppose it, not really the image he wants to present.
Putin gets Crimea, which, by the way, is only 60 percent Russian; parts of it will be deeply hostile to this Russian takeover, including the population of Crimean Tartars, who are Muslim and getting radicalized. Remember, Crimea is in the Northern Caucasus, the area where Russia has been battling a ferocious Muslim insurgency. So even as he lines up one more piece or half-piece on his chessboard, Vladimir Putin will find that the price he has paid for it is quite high.
Let's get started.
ZAKARIA: Now for the latest on the ground in the region. We'll take you in just a moment to the Russian capital, Moscow, to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. But first let's go to the contested territory, Crimea.
CNN's Diana Magnay is at the Crimean coastal city of Simferopol, where she says people on the streets are saying something remarkable.
Diana, tell us.
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fareed, I'm in the main square at Simferopol. It's the capital really of Crimea. And here -- and this may certainly be staged for the various cameras that have been here; people have been chanting, "Putin, thank you; Russia, Putin," waving Russian flags.
And in fact, the flags that used to surround the square, which were Crimean, Russia, and Ukrainian, all the Ukrainian ones have been taken away. These people are saying, we are not represented by the Maidan movement or the new government. We fear that they will take away our rights.
And when you say that the Ukrainian government has promised not to do away with the Russian language and is looking to try and incorporate delegates from the East, from Crimea, they haven't heard anything about it.
So it almost seems as though -- this, by the way, is a Communist song; there have been convoys of cars waving the Russian flag, coming up and down in front of the cameras all day.
It would almost seem as though propaganda has been fed to them, which they are putting out for us. As you said, this is a culturally, ethnically diverse region. What I hear in the square is not necessarily what you hear when you talk to the ethnic Tartars, who are far more worried about this military presence on their streets, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Fascinating, Diana.
Let us go to Moscow where, just yesterday, the Russian parliament rubber-stamped Putin's request for authority to send in troops, citing a threat to Russian lives.
Phil, what is Putin's next move going to be, in your view?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we only have Putin's own words and the language of the Kremlin to make any sort of analysis from, Fareed. And at the moment, Putin is not speaking publicly.
But we know that when he spoke with President Obama, he spoke of Russia's right to defend its national interests, Russian citizens and speaking people, not just in Crimea, but in the east of Ukraine itself.
When he went to parliament and sought permission for the use of force, he talked about using force on the territory of Ukraine, again, not confined to Crimea itself. So it would seem, at the very least, it is opening the possibility of a further military incursion into that eastern region of Ukraine itself.
When it comes to Crimea, it becomes increasingly difficult to imagine a scenario where Vladimir Putin is prepared to allow that to fall under the direct control of Kiev once again and ultimately risk losing the naval base at Sevastopol, which is so strategically important to Russia to protect power into the Black Sea and the Mediterranean and beyond, which leaves only a few options, really.
You touched on the possibility of using this as leverage for a negotiated settlement but, at the moment, the acting Ukrainian president can't even get Vladimir Putin on the phone. There is, then, the possibility of stoking and enforcing separatism or perhaps the ultimate conclusion of this thinking, which is annexation into the Russian Federation, Fareed.
Joining me now, Madeleine Albright, who is, of course, secretary of state in the Clinton administration and Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President Carter's national security adviser.
Welcome back, both.
Zbigniew, let me start with you; this is about as tense a situation.
What can Washington or the world do to stop Putin from doing what Phil Black was suggesting, which is moving even further and actually moving Russian troops into Ukraine proper?
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, FMR. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: That prospect, in my view, is by far the more serious one because, in effect, Putin has claimed the right to intervene in Ukraine itself, to intervene militarily by force.
And the Crimean scenario may be a preview of what he's planning, namely that in some of the eastern regions of Ukraine, which are inhabited by Russian-speaking Ukrainians, some of whom are favorable to Moscow, riots could be staged, they could be provoked by Moscow.
And then Russian troops would enter. And that envisions (ph) what we have to now deter, prevent, discourage.
And it seems to me that we have to take a stand publicly, offering Russia some sort of participation in an overall international effort to help stabilize the Ukrainian economy and so forth; but privately, at the same time, we have to warn Russia very explicitly as to what might be the negative consequences of Russia in effect attacking Ukraine.
And these consequences have to be very serious because, otherwise, some years from now, we will be regretting failure to act the way we regretted the failure to act after Munich in 1938 and 1939, and we know what followed.
ZAKARIA: Madeleine Albright, you have often said Munich was the powerful analogy for you in your life.
What can Washington do?
You know, as I say, Russia's military is much, much larger than Ukraine's. The United States and the West are not going to send troops.
How do we deter?
How do we do what Zbigniew was talking about?
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FMR. SECY. OF STATE: Well, I think we do have quite a few tools. The problem is, we -- how to use them all simultaneously. I do think that it is very important to try to deescalate this. This is a very, very dangerous situation.
The pictures you showed and the reporting shows how this is on a razor's edge and I think that it could turn into a civil war.
There are a lot of arms floating around Ukraine. People are, in fact, really not just demonstrating, but getting angrier and angrier.
I think what is important, though, is to make absolutely clear Europe's and America's support for the people of Ukraine, their possibility of having a functioning government, helping them with economic assistance.
The problem of Munich was that the United States was not paying attention and the agreements were made over the head of the Czechoslovaks; they were not part of anything. And I think that what has to happen here is there has to be respect for the views of the Ukrainians. We have to be supportive of them.
And there are ways that we can ramp up the pressure in terms of, as you suggested, Fareed, in terms of the G8, the G20, looking at what can be done with NATO and basically looking at all the tools that we have in our toolbox.
ZAKARIA: Zbigniew, what could be done with NATO?
Ukraine is, after all, a member of something called the Partnership for Peace, which is a kind of associate member, if you will, of NATO. Should we in some way try to engage in consultations with Ukraine to provide some assurances about its defense and to suggest in a sense that NATO might militarily help Ukraine, were something to happen?
BRZEZINSKI: Well, first of all, I think we have to grant recognition to the new government in Ukraine, which expresses the will of the people. I think a number of countries are ready to do that and the United States should be among them. This is now the legitimate government of Ukraine and it has to be recognized as such. And Russian interference in Ukrainian affairs would be a hostile act.
Secondly and informally, I think we should be putting some NATO plans into operation regarding the deployment of forces in Central Europe, making certain that we're in a position to respond if the war should spread.
And we should be prepared to indicate to Russia that we're not going to be totally passive, but we would prefer a peaceful accommodation involving Russia as well. Leave that option open.
And then, of course, in addition to that, NATO itself can invite the Russians, who are occasionally participating in some committee discussions in NATO, to discuss making sure that the situation doesn't get out of hand.
In other words, on several levels, complicate Moscow's planning, give them an option, and, very quietly, make them aware of the massive consequences, very negative for Russia, that would follow the outbreak.
ZAKARIA: Madeleine, one of the things Russians often say is that the West set the precedent by detaching Kosovo from Serbia, that, at the end of the day, when U.S. secretary of state, you decided that you were going to allow the Kosovars, who wanted to be free and live in an independent state, to go their own way, and we provided military support.
Can they not say that what they're doing in Crimea is simply the same?
ALBRIGHT: Absolutely not. I mean, it's a completely different situation. Yugoslavia fell apart as a result of the actions of Milosevic. It had been going on for a number of years with Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina. And there is no question that that is something that came internally.
The Russians never understood what was going in Kosovo and did everything they could to block the fact that people there wanted to have their own independence. So I think it's a completely different situation and an excuse.
I think what is important is to realize that the Russians, something that you said, in many ways, might be buying something that will cause them incredible internal problems with the variety of ethnic groups that are in Crimea and are, in effect, some of the issues in Dagestan and various places. So I think that Putin may have deeply miscalculated and we have to make sure that it is clear to him that he miscalculated.
What is interesting is I think we were on our way to trying to figure out how to make Russia a responsible member of the international community. What has happened, if this goes forward, is they will become -- we will make sure that they become isolated and that they really are not part of solutions.
And I -- so I do think that we have many options here; preferably it would be to develop some of the things that Zbigniew said in terms of trying to work with them, giving every kind of support we possibly can to the Ukrainians, because one of the tragedies here is this action in Crimea has diverted attention from what is the major issue in Ukraine, which is their economic, very disastrous situation. And they need a lot of help.
ZAKARIA: Zbigniew, one final thought, and I've only got 30 seconds, but do you think that the Chinese, who would be crucial here, will view this in the way that I suggested, that is, as a violation of another country's sovereignty?
Or are they, at the end of the day, going to back Russia or abstain?
BRZEZINSKI: Oh, I think they certainly should have that view. I think it's in their interests to have that view.
But to have them have that interest, we have to act in a way that is clear, consistent and decisive. And I think we have to make it very clear there is a legitimate government in power in Kiev and any action attempting to detach parts of Ukraine from Ukraine using Russian military force is an attack on peace in an era in which there is a sense that we have a collective responsibility for security and the maintenance of peace.
ZAKARIA: Thank you to the two of you, this is absolutely important and urgent. Thank you.
Stay with us. We have got a very different perspective coming up next, a man who says we have got it all wrong on Putin. We're demonizing him. A very distinguished scholar coming up.
ZAKARIA: Russia's President Vladimir Putin is often seen is an iron man, a throwback who wants to return Russia to its former imperial glory. But this week's cover story of "The Nation" magazine makes the claim that the America media has distorted Putin's image.
How and why? Well, I brought the author of that essay on today, Stephen Cohen, who teaches Russian studies at both New York University and Princeton.
Steve, you say that this -- this guy is not the rank imperialist and rank dictator we see him as. Explain why he isn't those things.
STEPHEN F. COHEN, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY AND PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Nor is he, as Secretary Albright and Professor Brzezinski suggested, Hitler with their references to Munich.
Putin is not a thug. He's not a neo-Soviet imperialist who's trying to create -- recreate the Soviet Union. He's not even anti- American.
What he is is intensely historically pro-Russian. He's been in power nearly 14 years. And his mission, as he sees it and many Russians see it, is to restore Russia from the disaster of 1991, the collapse of the Russian state.
Remember that was the second time in the 20th century that the Russian state had collapsed, the first time in 1917. So to recreate stability, prosperity, greatness, whatever that means in Russia at home and, in the process, restore Russia's traditional zones of national security on its borders, that means Ukraine as well.
He did not create this Ukrainian crisis. It was imposed on him and he had no choice to react. That's where we stand today.
ZAKARIA: You say he's actually one of the most liberal rulers of Russia in its history.
COHEN: I wouldn't put it that way. I mean, I wouldn't use the word "liberal." What I would say is, is if we view Putin in the context of the last 400 years of Russian history, with the exception of Gorbachev and possibly the first post-Soviet president, Yeltsin, well, there's an argument there.
Putin is the least authoritarian; let's call him the most soft authoritarian of Russian rulers in centuries.
And by the way, so far as it matters, because Jews and the status of Jews in Russia is often a barometer of how Russian rulership treats its society, Putin has been better for Russian Jews than any leader in Russian history. And if you want evidence of that, just ask Israel.
ZAKARIA: What about this -- the new imperialism? I mean, you -- but why should it be taken as a natural, given that Russia would send troops into parts of Georgia and to parts of Ukraine every time it feels that its interests are being adversely affected?
That does seem neo-imperialist, no?
COHEN: Well, I mean, you know, Fareed, you and -- we could argue this for hours, but, I mean, we could do the analogy.
What if, suddenly, Russian power showed up in Canada and Mexico and provinces of Canada and Mexico said they were going to join Putin's Eurasian economic union and maybe even his military bloc? Surely the American president would have to react at least as forcefully as Putin has. ZAKARIA: I don't think that -- if Canada were to say it wanted to start a trade relationship with Russia, I do not believe the American president would send troops into Canada.
COHEN: Well, but if it was a trade relationship that excluded preferential trade with the United States, it would certainly create a crisis.
But let's go back to Ukraine. Brzezinski and Albright said, for example, that the current government -- excuse me -- in Kiev is legitimate. Putin says it's not legitimate.
I would argue that if you had on your show a panel of constitutional and international lawyers, they would hard -- be hard put to explain how a government, which a week ago overthrew the entire Ukrainian constitutional order, deposed the elected president and has been passing anti-Russian legislation in Kiev and which is at least partially controlled by very extremist forces in the streets, is legitimate. That would be hard to explain.
ZAKARIA: Well, Stephen Cohen, that is a fascinating contrarian point of view.
Lots more ahead. We are going to go to Kiev and talk to people there to get their views on the subject.
ZAKARIA: OK. So we've heard from our reporters in Moscow and from Crimea. We were going to talk to Vitaly Klitschko. But he couldn't make it.
Instead, to get a feel of the mood in Kiev, I have Ian lee standing by there.
Ian, there has been much talk out of Kiev about actually preparing for war. Is that what it feels like there?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it definitely has that sort of feel here, Fareed, especially in Independence Square behind me all day. They're talking about the situation in the Crimea and the Russians moving in also talking about those military bases in the Crimea that have been blockaded by Russian forces unwilling to give up, surrender to the Russians there. These are people who are still mourning though, mind you, after the bloody weeks that they had during the unrest here in this city. Also, this is a new government with less than a week old, so there's a lot of scrambling there too trying to get a path forward on what to deal with, not only Russia, but also the rest of the needs of the country, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Do you get the sense that there are people there who are -- who feel otherwise? You know, because Kiev is overwhelmingly pro-Western, but, you know, it's a mixed country. Do you see any evidence of that division within -- in Kiev behind you?
LEE: No, not really. You don't see any of that division and you're right, this is very much a mixed country. And yesterday, we were watching a lot of pro-Russia demonstrators in the east in the cities like Kharkov, which is the second largest city, and it's kind of interesting to point out today that we're watching in some of these cities, especially in Kharkov, we're watching pro-European demonstrators out there in the streets today. You know, it's really hard to get a feel for it, yes, while the east has Russian leanings, how many of those people now, since the Russians have moved into the Crimea, are backing the Russians and how much are feeling a bit of nationalism, a bit of patriotic fever, toward Ukraine during this crisis, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Ian Lee, thank you very much. Fascinating. When we come back we have been able to find Vitally Klitschko and we will have him when we come back.
ZAKARIA: Imagine being in Ukraine's position now.
Is there anything it can do?
My next guest says yes. Vitali Klitschko is not one to back down from a fight. He is the former world champion boxer. He's also one of the leaders of the revolution that toppled the Ukrainian government just one week ago. Now he's ready to fight the Russians.
Vitali Klitschko, welcome.
And let me ask you very simply, do you believe that there is a likelihood of war between Russia and Ukraine?
VITALI KLITSCHKO, UKRAINIAN DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE FOR REFORM: Right now it's a very difficult situation for Ukraine. This Russian expansion into Crimea has bring a lot of bad feeling for all Ukrainians, as everybody have said. That is right now is main point.
We have to unite it all together, it's united all country and the question right now about the independence of Ukraine -- because it's not a question about Crimea, some part of -- part of East Ukrainian cities starting to bring Russian flags and put the flags on government building.
And meetings going on right now in -- meetings starting right in the Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnieperpetrovsk, in some of the other cities.
And very important point right now, keep in the control whole situation for Ukrainians, because I am more than sure it's the old scenario, create not from Ukraine outside of Ukraine.
ZAKARIA: You believe that most of what is happening in Ukraine is being created from outside, which means by Russia.
Do you think that Ukraine, the Ukrainian government needs military help from the West, from NATO?
Do you -- do you call on the West to intervene to help Ukraine militarily?
KLITSCHKO: We call right now to support because it's a negotiation in Budapest between United States, Great Britain and Russia, regarding independence Ukraine and the Ukraine, leave all nuclear weapons from the country. And right now United States and Great Britain have to be guaranteed of -- for Ukraine as independent country.
ZAKARIA: You want the United States -- you want United States and Britain to guarantee the independence of Ukraine, including Crimea?
Does that mean you want America to help in getting Russian forces out of Crimea?
KLITSCHKO: Yes, of course. It's the main point right now the Russians have to put -- take away their Russian forces from Crimea. It's the main point. It's Crimea, Ukraine territory. It's -- if we talk independence of Ukraine, it's all military forces have to remove from Ukrainian territory. It's crystal clear.
ZAKARIA: You know, a lot of Russians say that Crimea is really originally part of Russia and that it would be OK if Crimea were to go to Russia.
Do you believe that would be OK?
Would it be acceptable to the Ukrainian people to -- for Crimea to become part of Russia?
KLITSCHKO: It's not acceptable. Crimea always was a part of Ukraine's country and right now Russia try to create new territory. And it's all situations, what happens right now is Crimea create not from Ukraine, not in Crimea. It's created outside. And we are more than sure it's creating internal (ph).
ZAKARIA: Thank you very much, Mr. Klitschko. Best of luck.
Lots more ahead. It is Oscar night tonight. So we have found a way to get to the movies. The director of "The Square" an amazing Oscar- nominated film about Egypt's uprising, the director joins me to talk about her country and, of course, there are some lessons here for Ukraine.
ZAKARIA: Egypt's revolution has gone from hope to euphoria to utter confusion. But should Egyptians despair? Not so. That is the message from a new film nominated for best documentary Oscar this year. It is called "The Square" and it captures in stunning detail the violent twists and turns of that country's revolution. Take a look.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE (SPEAKING ARABIC)
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ZAKARIA: That is from "The Square" up for an Oscar this year. The director Jehane Noujaim joins me now. So the first, most interesting thing about this movie is that it was made and then remade, right? Because you finished the movie about the -- what I suppose what you now call the first Egyptian revolution.
JEHANE NOUJAIM, DIRECTOR, "THE SQUARE": Right.
ZAKARIA: That was the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak after his 30 years in office. You were about to release it, right, at Sundance, it does well, and then there is another Egyptian revolution taking place.
ZAKARIA: So you go back?
NOUJAIM: Yes. We -- it was a very interesting process and I guess this is why, you know, this is about making a film as things are ongoing, right? It's an exciting process, but you're constantly reediting. The first time that we were sort of allowed to end the film, was when Morsy was elected and this was a story line that went from the bringing down of a president to the election of a new president. But this was the political story line. And not necessarily the most interesting story line because as we were on our way to Sundance with the finished film, all of our characters were back in the streets again saying, this is our first freely elected president, but he's using the tools of democracy to create another dictatorship and we need to hold government accountable. And so, it became a much deeper, more interesting complex story about what it means to be a citizen holding your government accountable.
ZAKARIA: What I'm struck by, though, if one were to take a darker interpretation of the film and it may not be what you've intended, but like any great piece of art it can be looked that way, it shows you how ambiguous or amorphous this idea of the people is. Because you start the movie and you have these guys, Ahmad, this great character, and they're so full of hope, and full of the kind of sense of freedom. You know, they talk - he talks about this is the first time in 30 years I feel as though my voice can be heard. I feel as though, you know, there's a sense of which my dignity is returning. And that's all about getting rid of Mubarak and the army. And then, you know, flash to the end where you're showings those demonstrations against the elected president Mohamed Morsy. They now want the army to come in and essentially stage what, you know, we can call it whatever we want, but depose the elected government and have an army takeover. And it's the same feeling of hope and expectation and so you say to yourself, well, what is it - you know, what is the will of the people? On one hand it seemed to be for elections, on the other hand it's against an elected president.
NOUJAIM: Well, I think that what's happening in Egypt is, you know, similar to any movement in the world, the civil rights movement, the fight against Apartheid. Things take a long time. And we're going through many mistakes and we figured out how to remove leaders. We haven't become so good at figuring out how to elect leaders yet and stick with them. And we'll see where we go in this next phase, but ultimately I feel that people have to get to a point where they realize that we need to move towards pluralism.
ZAKARIA: What do you think happens to the characters in your movie who are the Muslim Brotherhood characters? Because the thing I'm struck by, you know, looking at Egypt from afar is, we see all these young liberals, Tahrir Square, frankly people like you, you grew up in Egypt, and there are talk about pluralism and liberalism, but then you look at the polls that are done by Pew and places like that and Egypt is in many ways the most conservative Muslim society in the Middle East. So you ask the poll as Pew did, should your be governed by Sharia law? 74 percent of Egyptians say yes, higher than most Arab countries. You know, I look at that and I think to myself, what has happened to that 51 percent of the country that voted for Morsy that believes in this stuff. Clearly other polling data suggests that these guys do. Because they're in jail or they're being oppressed. How do your young liberals like -- not liberals, young people like Ahmad feel about that. They now have an army regime in place that is suppressing freedom of speech that is oppressing this large part of the population that voted for the Muslim Brotherhood.
NOUJAIM: Well, they also saw as they went through the Muslim Brotherhood the suppression of freedom of speech and the attack on human rights. So ...
ZAKARIA: Does that make them despair, though, that both sides seem - you know, you're caught between a rock and a hard place.
NOUJAIM: We're stuck between this binary that's existed for a long time. Do we need a religious leadership that's going to come in to clean and purify the government or is it going to be a military man that comes in that uses strength and is our strong man that we look to, the pharaoh that we've had for 5,000 years. And I think what this revolution was about was trying to create a space for an alternative. And I think we're still going along that struggle.
ZAKARIA: And an interesting test for Egypt's level of openness and political future will be quite simply, will they allow this film to be shown officially in Egypt?
NOUJAIM: Well, definitely. And I mean I think that's what's been so fantastic about the Oscar nomination, about the international attention that the film has received, is because it's been on newspapers in Cairo. People have seen it. People are aware of it. And so as Ahmad said when we were nominated he said, you know, this means that our story and our voice will never be able to be silenced. Releasing a film like this, which looks authentically at the human beings, at the personal stories of the people that are involved in fighting for their human rights, social justice and dignity, to look at what they are struggling through in a very deeply personal way, humanizes these people. And that's such an important thing for most -- for all Egyptians to see right now.
ZAKARIA: Jehane, best of luck.
NOUJAIM: Thank you very much.
ZAKARIA: Hope you win the Oscar.
NOUJAIM: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Up next, 347,000 mirrors and a clean energy milestone. Where is it happening? I'll tell you.
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GEORGE H.W. BUSH: This is a victory for the United Nations, for all mankind, for the rule of law and for what is right.
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ZAKARIA: 23 years ago this week, President George H.W. Bush declared a ceasefire during the First Gulf War. It brings me to my question, how many days were U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq before the ceasefire was declared? A, five, B, 25, C, 44, D, 88? Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer. This week's book of the week is "The Up Side of Down, Why Failing Well is the Key to Success" by Megan McArdle. This is a well-written and smart treatise on why trying lots of things and embracing failure is the key to success. For people, companies and countries.
And now for the last look. Take a look at this remarkable development in renewable energy. It is said to be the world's largest solar thermal power plant. 347,000 mirrors covering around 5.5 square miles, moves with the Sun as it crosses the sky, reflecting solar heat to three towers, each taller than the Statute of Liberty. The towers have boilers filled with water which turns to steam, spinning a turbine that then produces electricity. It is a clean tech version of the "Lord of the Rings" as one reporter put it. What's notable here is that this contraption is not located in China or Germany or in any other traditional solar power house. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating system as it's called sits in the Mojave Desert in California and it's expected to power 140,000 American homes. The economics of the installation have been questioned, but the project cap what many are calling a banner year for American solar power, 2013. The U.S. installed more solar capacity than Germany the world leader. This is for the first time in over 15 years according to GTM research. More solar capacity has been installed in the last 18 months in America according to the industry than in the previous 30 years. Of course, American solar power has still a long way to go. It provides less than one percent of the nation's electricity according to the government.
The correct answer to our question is, a, five days. Although the air strikes had been going on for weeks, the allied ground assault began on February 24TH, 1991, the cease-fire was announced after just 100 hours of fighting. Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.