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Fareed Zakaria GPS
The Battle for Iraq; Interview with Mexican Finance Minister; Positive Side of Slums and Urbanization
Aired June 15, 2014 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FAREED ZAKARIA, 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 from New York.
We'll start the show today with the possible fall of Iraq. ISIS, the al Qaeda offshoot, has taken over city after city and is on the march to Baghdad. Can the terrorists be stopped? And just who are they?
I'll talk to a man who knows the region well. Former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker.
And what could America do? I'll talk to Richard Haass about Washington's options.
Also, any hope of immigration reform is dead on arrival in Congress. What does that mean for America's neighbors in Mexico? I will ask that nation's finance minister.
And the World Cup, FIFA, is under attack for making money off the backs of Brazilians, but really it's part of a much larger problem, even here in the United States. Call it the business of sports.
Finally, Thailand may be in turmoil. But the general still wants people to just be happy.
But first, here's my take.
Inevitably in Washington, the question has surfaced, who lost Iraq? Whenever America has asked this question as it did with China in the 1950s or Vietnam in the 1970s, the most important point to remember is the local rulers stayed. The Chinese nationalists, the South Vietnamese government, were corrupt, inefficient and weak, unable to be inclusive and unwilling to fight with the dedication of their opponents.
That same story is true of Iraq only much more so. So the first answer to the question is, Nouri al-Maliki lost Iraq. The Shiite prime minister and his ruling party have behaved like thugs. Excluding the Sunnis using the army police forces and militias to terrorize their opponents.
But let's remember how Nouri al-Maliki came to be prime minister of Iraq in the first place. He was the product of a series of momentous decisions made by the Bush administration. Having invaded Iraq with a small force, what the expert Tom Ricks called the worst war plan in American history, the administration needed to find local allies fast. It quickly decided to destroy Iraq's Sunni ruling establishment and empower the hard-line Shiite religious parties that had opposed Saddam Hussein.
This meant that a structure of Sunni power that have under guarded the area for better or worse for centuries quickly collapsed. These moves to disband the army, dismantle the bureaucracy, and purge Sunnis in general might have been more consequential than the actual decision to invade the country.
If the Bush administration deserves a fair share of blame for losing Iraq, what about the Obama administration and its decision to withdraw all American forces from the country by the end of 2011?
I would have preferred to see a small American force left in Iraq to try to prevent the country's collapse. But let's remember why this force is not in Iraq. Prime Minister Maliki refused to provide the guarantees that every other country in the world that host U.S. forces provides.
Some commentators have blamed the Obama administration for negotiating badly or half heartedly. And perhaps this is true. But here's what a senior Iraqi politician told me in the days the American deal was being discussed. It will not happen, he said. Maliki cannot allow American troops to stay on. Iran has made very clear to Maliki that its number one demand is that there'd be no American troops remaining in Iraq and Maliki owes them.
This Iraqi politician reminded me that Maliki had spent more than two decades in exile, most of it Tehran and Damascus. And his party had been funded by Iran for most of its existence. And in fact, Maliki's government has followed policies that have been broadly speaking pro- Iranian and pro-Syrian.
Washington is debating whether airstrikes would work or training forces would be more effective. But its real problem is much larger and is a decade in the making. In Iraq, it is defending the indefensible.
For more go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week.
Let's get started.
Let's go straight to Baghdad right now to get the latest on the war between ISIS and the government of Iraq.
CNN's Nic Robertson is there.
Nic, the latest newspaper accounts that we had seen seemed to suggest Baghdad was secure but you are hearing something somewhat different?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And I think the evidence supports something different at the moment, Fareed. Look, yesterday it seems that perhaps the government had slowed down ISIS' advance towards the city. Maliki had drawn a line in the sand in Samarra, about two hours' drive north of here, but overnight the government called on the Iraqi Army to pull out of the base in Baqubah.
Baqubah is well south of Samarra. It's about 45 minutes by northeast of Baghdad, much closer to Baghdad than Samarra. And the army was told to pull out. It went out, it took its weapons out and ISIS moved in within the hour. ISIS is still on the advance coming towards Baghdad. From what we understand from Saudi intelligence sources and as well from Sunni tribesman who are fighting alongside ISIS -- I talked to one of them two days ago.
This plan that they are following through right now is the plan that they had all along. To move swiftly through the country, to get to Baghdad, to encircle Baghdad, to put pressure on Maliki to resign, or form a government of national unity, to take Baghdad's international airport and the latest we're hearing from this Saudi sources that there is an intention potentially to shell the northern outskirts of Baghdad to put pressure on it.
The Sunni tribesman I talked to said we don't want casualties in Baghdad. We want to avoid that.
There are different factions fighting towards the city here. It's not unclear which ones are going to have the upper hand when they arrive -- Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Nic, the Iraqi army on paper has -- the Iraqi government on paper has 800,000 troops between the internal security forces and the actual army. What are they doing? What happens in these circumstances, and why do they flee?
ROBERTSON: There's multiple reasons why they flee. Some, certainly troops based in Sunni areas, feel afraid from behind because they know that the Sunnis in the area, the tribesman are against Maliki and will acquiesce to the arrival of ISIS. Some of the people in the army themselves are Sunnis and are fed up with Nouri al-Maliki.
The Sunni tribesman who is a senior figure in the Coalition of Tribes that is fighting along ISIS right now told me that there was a deal with senior Iraqi military commanders to convince them to put down weapons, to take their uniforms off and they would be treated fairly. That was something they passed down to their subordinates.
There's another strand in this as well. That is that these well- trained Iraqi troops, well-trained and equipped by U.S. forces, I've been told by people who train them that they are, that they are very capable of taking on ISIS, but these younger soldiers, junior soldiers are diseffective with more senior officers who they say they've been handpicked by Maliki and his cronies, in it for prestige for their families to be commanding strong units.
These men don't respect their commanders. They're not going fight for them. So there's many reasons why the army is breaking down. The assessment from Saudi intelligence is that command and control in the army is breaking down at the moment. I would suggest that perhaps not command and control, but confidence
in that structure is breaking down and Baghdad, we're told, that the faces on the checkpoints are changing. That means there is less -- less faith in the men on the checkpoints who were there a few days ago. The government feels it needs to put in much more toughened fighters to keep control of the city. It's a complicated picture but that's the way it appears at the moment -- Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Fascinating reporting as always, Nic. Stay safe.
Up next, what should the United States be doing in Iraq? What can it do? I will ask two former officials who dealt with this at the highest levels. The former ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, and the former State Department director of Policy Planning, Richard Haass. You will want to hear this.
ZAKARIA: Let's dig deeper into the Iraq crisis. Joining me now are two men, both have held senior positions, both with deep experience on Iraq.
Ryan Crocker was the U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2007 to 2009. He's now the dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M.
Richard Haass was director of Policy Planning at the State Department during George W. Bush's first term. He is now the president of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ambassador Crocker, John McCain has said that one of the things he would do is send you back to Baghdad. I want to know what you would do were you there. And I want to ask you specifically, why you think that Maliki would listen to you? You were telling him to be inclusive and to do all the things that people now want him to do and there were 100,000 American troops there at the time.
Do you think you will be able to do anything if you were to go?
RYAN CROCKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: Fareed, we have a very, very good ambassador there right now, in the person of Steve Beecroft. But ambassadors can't do it all. You need heavy fire support on the diplomatic front. So if I were asked to return to Iraq, the first thing I would request is that Secretary Kerry get on a plane immediately. We have lacked that high-level engagement with the Iraqis that was so crucial during my term in office.
So we -- we need the secretary of state out there in Baghdad right now. We need the president on the phone to the Iraqi leadership because the reality is the Iraqis are not in a position. They were not in a position when I was there, they are not in a position now, to work out hard compromises on their own. It's zero sum politics, and there are a lot of strong historical reasons for that. It is not all Maliki's fault, although he does bear substantial blame.
We are the essential middleman among Sunni, Shia and Kurds. Ambassadors can go just so far.
ZAKARIA: Would you -- would you, Ambassador, use airstrikes? You heard Nic Robertson said that the Sunni tribes, a lost Sunnis, would feel, it appears to me, that these were airstrikes by the United States in support of a Shia government. Would you still support the airstrikes?
CROCKER: I would support very carefully targeted airstrikes but they would have to be in conjunction with a serious high-level diplomatic effort that would engage the Shia, the Sunni and the Kurdish leadership. We have got to help the Iraqis come together in a unified fashion to confront a common threat.
The airstrikes, again, properly targeted could help back up that we are serious about this, we are engaged. The politics have to take the forefront, but as we have seen in the past, they've got to be backed up by, you know, the second D which is defense.
ZAKARIA: Richard Haass, what are the dangers here and what would you do?
RICHARD HAASS, PRESIDENT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS: I think the horse has left the barn. And by that I mean, Fareed, I think it's too late for the kind of diplomacy that Ryan Crocker is talking about as desirable as it might have been months or years ago. I also think essentially the idea of a Iraq that's a united functioning country, good idea but again I think that's essentially over.
So at this point, what I would focus on is making the best of a terrible situation. I would put pressure on this ISIS group in Syria. It's long since time to provide serious help to alternative opposition elements in Syria so they don't have the luxury of just focusing on Iraq.
I would accept the fact that the Kurdish area of the north is now effectively an independent state. I would make sure they had essentially what they need. I would provide economic support for Jordan, which is staggering under the enormous refugee burden. I would rethink our policy towards Afghanistan, the last thing we want to do now is not have a residual force there. We ought to have learned the lesson here in Iraq.
And I think we -- you know, we could use airstrikes, as Ryan says, but quite honestly, the most it's going to delay things. It's not going to be decisive, it's not going to be lasting. Maybe we can bring on a bad serious government of national unity. But it hasn't worked now for over a decade. So quite frankly I'm skeptical.
ZAKARIA: Ryan, what would you do within the Syria? I know that, you know, on this program you have been very cautious about intervening, seeing it as a -- you called it a forest fire that one would just had to let burn out. Do you think there's anything one can do in Syria that would be meaningful?
CROCKER: Fareed, I've been saying for months that our main effort has got to be on Syria's neighbors. Richard rightly points out that Jordan is under tremendous pressure, so is Lebanon, and, again I've been saying for months. We need to be doing more in Iraq. And we're now seeing, I think, the consequences of not doing more.
I would -- I would disagree with Richard in saying that it's too late for diplomacy. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But I think the Iraqis, Sunni, Shia, and Kurds, are all badly frightened here. There is a moment for us to step in.
The Iranians are heavily engaged. Qasim Sulaimani is in Baghdad, headed the Quds force. Well, you know, the American secretary of state needs to be in Baghdad, too, to see what can be done because the stakes are very high here. This is Al Qaeda 6.0. And if they consolidate their territorial gains, they will be in a stronger position than they ever were in Afghanistan prior to 9/11. And we know how that turned out.
ZAKARIA: Richard, describe what you see as the new Middle East then, because what you're describing, as far as I can tell, is the United States strategy that really shores up the islands of stability, Jordan, Turkey, Kurdistan, other -- the Gulf States, of course. And excepts that there's going to be a very -- going to be very messy badlands in the Middle East.
HAASS: Alas, Fareed, I think that's where we are. The Middle East we know was essentially drawn up or designed 100 years ago by the British and French foreign minister. And that Middle East is unraveling. If there's a historical analog here and it's not going to make you or anyone watching this program feel very happy, it's Europe in the early part of the 17th century, where you had, you know, political religious wars within and across boundaries that lasted for 30 years.
And I think we're into that sort of a situation in the Middle East. There's no boundary anymore between, say, Syria and Iraq. It may exist on a map on paper but not in reality. So we have identities now that don't in any way line up with where the formal borders are. So what we have to do is preserve those areas, as you say, where we have friends, where we have real interest, where we see some reason to believe that American involvement would pay off.
Other areas, I think we simply have to try to contain. So that might mean treating parts of the Middle East the same way now we have to treat parts of Africa, say, or, say, parts of Pakistan. These are no- go lands. These are bad lands. We need to have counter terrorism strategies, use drones, use aircraft maybe even special forces on occasion. But we can't put humpty dumpty back together again.
And if 100,000 American troops -- you know, on war, for a decade in Iraq, couldn't it, we had several problems in Afghanistan. I think we've got to accept the limits of what it is we can accomplish. Sometimes in foreign policy you try to create. Other times in foreign policy, you try to prevent. And I think right now with the Middle East we need to focus more on what it is we prevent rather than what we create.
ZAKARIA: Thank you, both, fascinating perspectives. Greatly appreciate your wisdom. Next on GPS the World Cup. FIFA has come under a lot of fire for how
much tax-free money it is going to make while Brazil foots the bill for the World Cup. But the soccer federation is just one of many such groups with deals like this. Including some powerful ones in the United States.
When we come back, we will name names right here in America.
ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment. Almost half of humanity will tune in to watch some part of the World Cup spectacle which kicked off this week in Brazil. The football, by which I mean the soccer, will be spectacular but the group that put it together has come under some fire.
Like other big-time sports organizations FIFA, international football's governing body, is a self-appointed, self-regulated body with little accountability and massive revenues, it demands that countries adhere to its every whim when they agree to host the World Cup. Brazil has spent an astounding $11 billion to host the FIFA tournament. FIFA officials have to be treated like royalty. And there have been accusations of bribery and other forms of corruption.
Accusations that are also clouding Qatar's winning bid for the 2022 World Cup. The demands can sometimes be simply grotesque. In 2003 Brazil's government banned the sale of alcohol in stadiums due to the rise in alcohol-related deaths. But HBO's John Oliver points out that law is no match for FIFA. Budweiser is one of its main sponsors and FIFA demanded that Brazil's booze ban be overturned, which led to this outburst from John Oliver on HBO.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN OLIVER, HBO: And at this point you can either be horrified by that or relieved that FIFA wasn't also sponsored by cocaine and chainsaws.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: This sort of pandering and preferential treatment extends well beyond Budweiser. According to Brazil's Internal Revenue Service, FIFA is getting tax exemptions worth nearly $250 million. Other estimates out even higher.
Why is an organization with a reported reserve of more than $1.4 billion receiving such huge tax benefits? Well, because FIFA is a nonprofit organization and, guess what, it's not just FIFA. The International Olympic Committee also has nonprofit status. The IOC generated $5 billion in revenue between 2009 and 2012, and right here at home the NCAA is tax exempt, too.
According to Bloomberg, its tax break on ticket prices alone cost the U.S. Treasury $100 million annually in uncollected revenue and it isn't just the amateurs. Professional Americans, sports leagues in on the game as well. Amazingly the National Football League, the National Hockey League, and the PGA Tour are all non-profits. And thus have tax exempt states.
The PGA tour generated nearly one billion dollars in revenues in 2011. The NFL made $9.2 in revenue in 2013, according to "Forbes." that makes it the most league in the entire world. The NFL's commissioner, Roger Goodell, took home $44 million in 2012.
Why in the world are these leagues considered nonprofits? In September, Oklahoma's Republican Senator Tom Coburn asked just that question. Coburn introduced the Pro Sports Act which would strip professional sports leagues of their federal tax exemption if they earn more than $10 million. The NFL obviously makes much more than that, but to be clear, the organization does point out that only the league office is tax exempt. The 32 member teams do pay taxes on their income. But the chances that Coburn's Bill will pass are slim to none. If you want to know just how powerful these leagues are, listen to this. This week the Minneapolis "Star Tribune" published what it said was a confidential list of demands provided by its sources, demands that the city had to meet in order for the NFL to award Minneapolis the 2018 Super Bowl. The "Star Tribune" said the NFL and the Super Bowl host committee declined to comment on the document. Elite document was 153 pages and it requested, among other things, all travel costs for 180 league officials to take a familiarization trip before the game. Police escorts for all team owners, as if they're heads of state or something and, of course, exemptions from city, county, and state taxes. This, on top of the massive subsidy already in place. Minneapolis taxpayers forked over nearly $1 billion in public funds to help build a new stadium for the game.
This is worse than crony capitalism, it's crony socialism. The NFL, FIFA, the IOC, are all large multibillion dollar global organizations that make their decisions mostly to maximize their revenues. There's nothing wrong with that. But there is a word to describe them, businesses. And they shouldn't be exempt from the rules, regulations, and taxes that other businesses around the world have to pay. Next on "GPS." Eric Cantor's downfall means the death of any hope of immigration reform in Congress. What does that mean for the U.S. economy? How about Mexico. Let get the perspective from there. I will talk to Mexico's finance minister.
ZAKARIA: The news on Tuesday night shocked the United States. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, one of the most powerful Republicans in the land have been defeated in the primary by a Tea Party candidate. A man to the right of Cantor politically. The strongest attacks against Eric Cantor were on the issue of immigration reform. Cantor had come out in favor of legal status for the children of undocumented immigrants, just the children. Now the topic is radioactive and any hope of an immigration reform bill passing Congress is dead. What does this mean for the United States and as importantly, what does it mean for its key neighbor? Joining me now is Mexico's finance minister, Luis Videgaray.
Luis, pleasure to have you on.
LUIS VIDEGARAY CASO, MEXICO'S FINANCE MINISTER: Thank you, Fareed, such a pleasure.
ZAKARIA: What was your reaction when you heard this news coming out of Washington?
CASO: I think it's surprising. It's something that's quite unexpected, and particularly for immigration reform, which is something for the U.S. to decide. This is not a Mexico issue, this is a U.S. issue. Immigration reform, and we understand it that way.
ZAKARIA: Do you look at it with some puzzlement? Because as you know, net Mexican immigration to the United States over the last year or two, has been essentially zero.
CASO: I should - that's a fact that is little known in the U.S. But it's a very important fact. Over many years, of course, many - the net migration was positive into the U.S., but in the past four years, the net migration has been zero. That means that the number of Mexicans then coming to the U.S. has been the same that the number of people that come from the U.S. into Mexico. And what is increasing is not the flow of people, but it's the flow of the goods and services. Every year, we have -- we have an increasing amount of trade. We do $1 million of trade per minute between Mexico and the U.S. We have 1 million crossings of the border legally every day. That means that the integration of these two economies is happening regardless of what people say in Washington or in Mexico City. Just -- it makes so much sense to have value changed linked, produce things together as we do in the auto industry for every dollar that we export as Mexico to the rest of the world, 30 cents are U.S. content and U.S. production.
ZAKARIA: Explain that again for a second. So, every dollar that Mexico exports, 30 cents of that dollar is something you've bought in America?
CASO: We bought in America. So, every time we export America is exporting with us. And it happens also when - on the U.S. exports to the rest of the world, because many components are coming from Mexico.
ZAKARIA: Why do you think the Mexican immigration to the United States has stopped or as you say, the number of people coming from Mexico to the U.S. is now equal to the number of people going from the U.S. to Mexico? So, net migration is zero. Is that the cause -- there are enough good-paying jobs in Mexico? Is that because of the U.S. recession? In other words, when our economy starts growing even faster will the old pattern re-emerge and you'll see more Mexicans coming across the border?
CASO: That's quite unlikely. A U.S. recovery will mean more jobs in Mexico, and better paying jobs in Mexico. So, it's not at all projected for these to change. In fact we expend this trend to continue.
ZAKARIA: So, we are in a sense, in Washington, we're fighting yesterday's war. In other words, there isn't going to be a big problem of Mexican migration into the U.S. in the future?
CASO: Certainly not. And I think - I think it's framing the problem - it's framing the future with the lens of the past. It's not - immigration right now is going to be more about students coming to the U.S. makes - even U.S. students going into Mexico to learn Spanish, to get different skills. It's going to be of high qualified workers, either U.S. coming into Mexico or Mexicans going to the U.S. Remember, there are already over 1 million U.S. citizens live in Mexico and they are doing jobs throughout the country, they are being quite productive. Some people are retiring into Mexico and that's going to grow as well.
ZAKARIA: Why we have this conversation about bashing Mexico or electrified fences. People like George Shultz, Ronald Reagan's Secretary of State, Richard Nixon's Secretary of Treasury. George Shultz says, the real conversation we should be having is how we can have freedom movement of people from Mexico to the U.S. and U.S. to Mexico to complete and deepen the integration of these two economies. Do you think that's even remotely possible?
CASO: Well, let me tell you an example of where we should put more attention, which is infrastructuring the border. As I said, this is a very active border. Trade has quadrupled since - the best 20 years and we haven't invested in either side of the border anything substantial to improve the crossings, so the cues are getting longer, wait times are getting longer and these are the kind of things that we should be focusing on. How can we make sure that something that is produced in -- within Mexico, and then goes to a factory in North Carolina, and -- then it would be exported to Europe, how we can stream line that process to make it more productive, more competitive for the good of both countries? And that means infrastructure. That means logistics, and that's where the factors of U.S. Mexican relationships should be on.
ZAKARIA: So, we should be planning for the opportunities, not the problems.
CASO: So, it's only - I perceive that the U.S. government is focusing strongly on that, so as we.
ZAKARIA: Pleasure to have you on.
CASO: Thank you, Fareed, such an honor.
ZAKARIA: Up next, if we while watching the World Cup you see pictures of the slums of Rio and Wince, my next guest will give us the case for slums and he's a Harvard professor.
ZAKARIA: Slums, the word invokes thoughts of people packed in like sardines and the stench of rotting garbage and waste of joblessness and idol hands of abject poverty. But my next guest has spent a lot of time studying such places, in particular the favelas that are in spotlight right now in Brazil. And he sees a bright side to slums. Ed Glaeser, he's a professor of economics at Harvard who studies the economics of cities in particular. He joins me now. Terrific book "The Triumph of the City," in which you have a chapter called, "What's good about slums?" So, when we look at those - those slums in Brazil, in India, what are we missing?
EDWARD GLAESER, AUTHOR: We're missing the alternative. We are missing the fact that while we would never want to spend a week or a month of our lives in these slums the people who come there are not fools, they are moving from places that are far worse. And slums are giving them opportunity, the ability to find a brighter future. Yes, they're hellish by the standards that we're used to, but they are not hellish relative to rural northeast of Brazil. And there's far more future in the city than there is in the dispersed and unproductive farmland of much of the world.
ZAKARIA: You say somewhere that it's not that the people in slums are poor, it's that cities attract poor people because they want to stop being poor?
GLAESER: Absolutely. Urban poverty is actually more of a sign of urban strength than urban weakness. Cities don't make people poor, at least not most of the time. Cities attract poor people with a promise of a better life. With a better social safety net, with the ability to get around without a car for every adult in the United States. My own work together with Matthew Kahn of UCLA finds that poverty rates go up in the United States near new subway stops. That doesn't mean that those subway stops are impoverishing the local residents. It means they are attracting people who aren't able to afford the multicar life style that is American suburbia.
ZAKARIA: So, when we look at those favelas, are we missing, you know, there's kind of enormous having grown up in India, there's an enormous amount of economic activity going on there. It's just all informal. Nobody pays any taxes. You know, is that something that one should celebrate?
GLAESER: I think so. I mean, I think there are things also to hate about slum, certainly. But I think the first order of things when I walk through a place like Duravi (ph), like, which to me is in many case the magical place just filled with the enormous energy of Indian talent, right? You walk in one room, and there's a guy who was sewing braziers, and you think you're in the lower side of Manhattan in 1905. And then you look across the street, and there's recycling boxes which means chopping it up and turning them inside out so you can see all the old labels. And then there's a ceramics potter- making pot, and they are so proud of them, they won't even taking money from before. And then there are people recycling plastics. All sorts of things, which you just want to - we have to - do they come up with this?
But, of course you also walk down the street and you see a kid defecating on an unpaved road and it reminds you that cities require management and that even though these slums are in some sense places of opportunity they are also places of public failure, much of the time. And that very much is the challenge of the 21st century making the megacities that develop in the world livable and humane.
ZAKARIA: What is the solution to American cities, when you look at something like Detroit? What do you think - you know, what went wrong and how can you fix it? GLAESER: Well, the epic of Detroit is, of course, one of the world's great urban tragedies. And above all, it's just enormous head winds of economic change. But Detroit is an example of an industrial city whose age has come and gone. In some sense, these great factor cities work odds that what is natural in cities, right? The successful cities of the 21 century are marked by three things, smart people, small firms and connections to the outside world. Actually the same three things made New York great at the time of (INAUDIBLE) and Hamilton. Right? Because in fact small firms talk to each other, connect with each other in cities. Smart people are able to use the density, to learn from one another and, of course, connections to the outside world are what cities are all about. Think about how far from that the industrial city model came. Right, became? And you had vast vertically integrated factories like Ford's River (ph), world off from the outside world. It's not that these things weren't amazingly productive in their time. But when cost conditions change you just move the factories off to a far cheaper location. To right to work states in the South, across the oceans and the cities didn't have the wherewithal to re-invent themselves? So, ask yourself which older colder cities in America have been able to come back? It'd education, above all. It's human capital. And I think the tragedy of Detroit also is that when U.S. government looked at reinventing cities it followed a Potemkin village strategy that made it seem its structures and infrastructure what Detroit needed. That Detroit was a city built for 1.85 million people. But now it has less than half of that amount. The last thing it needed was more housing, the last thing it needed was people move in monorail to glide over empty streets. And yet that's what the federal government gave them.
ZAKARIA: So, tell the story of the food truck.
GLAESER: So, I have a personal agenda for working to free the food truck. You know, as a young man and ubiquitous assistant professor, I fed myself from food trucks for many years. And in part of this cause and I ended up on a radio program several years ago, with this cause of this - poor woman who've been starting - trying to start her food truck in Detroit for 18 months. And she's been facing, you know, regulatory barriers at every turn.
ZAKARIA: In Detroit, of all places.
GLAESER: And Detroit, of all places, right? The idea that Detroit should be saying no to any entrepreneur who wants to get started there, seems to me, you know, mind-boggling. The great thing is, the city ombudsmen, who showed the degree of pragmatism that you've got to admire, ended the hour by saying, look, look, lady, just start your food truck, we'll never catch you.
GLAESER: Which is one model towards urban freedom.
ZAKARIA: Ed Glaeser, pleasure to have you on.
GLAESER: Pleasure to be on.
Up next after the recent coupe in Thailand, the new military chief has an unlikely message for his people. Let's just say it seems he's been inspired by Pharrell.
ZAKARIA: The World Cup kickoff brings me to my question of the week. What country is making its World Cup debut this year? Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Singapore or South Sudan. Stay tuned. We'll tell you the correct answer. And if you like the show, maybe even love it, please don't forget to DVR or TiVo the show so you never miss an installment. This week's book of the week is Dexter Filkins. "The Forever War." Filkins has reported on Iraq and Afghanistan for the "New York Times" and "The New Yorker." His writing is not opinionated or policy oriented. He just takes you inside the war, the occupation, the insurgency. And makes you understand it in human terms. Vividly reported and beautifully written.
Now for the last look. The Thailand national team may not be in the World Cup, but thanks to the military government that was installed after the recent coup, Thai citizens will be able to watch the tournament for free. Since the coup, the junta has increased surveillance, sensor TV and radio station, crack down on protests and detained critics. Despite all of this. They also have a message for the Thai people. "Be happy and free broadcasts of all 64 World Cup games is just part of this attempt to return happiness to the people. They're also giving away movie tickets, throwing free concerts in Bangkok with singing soldiers and scantily clad women and even brought horses with bales of hay downtown for people to pet. The army chief general Prayuth Chan-ocha wants to return happiness to Thailand, so much so, that he wrote a ballad about it.
ZAKARIA: It's set to music buy by the Royal Thai Army Band and has more than 200,000 hits on YouTube. With lyrics like "We offer to guard and protect you with our hearts and to bring back love how long will it take. Please, will you wait? It isn't quite as catchy as that other happy song.
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ZAKARIA: The correct answer to our GPS Challenge question was "A." Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only country making its debut during the 2014 games. Bosnia and Herzegovina was, of course, formed in 1992 after the breakup of Yugoslavia and is one of the smallest countries with a team in the World Cup this year. While its unemployment rate is high in GDP stagnant, the nation is trying to integrate itself into organizations like the European Union and the World Trading Organization. It may be an underdog, but it does have a world-class striker, Edin Dzeko, who was the second highest scorer in the European qualifying matches. Best of luck in its first ever World Cup match against Argentina tonight. Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Alexandra Field. Here's the big stories we're following this hour. Israel has launched a massive search operation for three missing teenagers. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today accused Hamas of kidnapping the young men. Hamas spokesman tells us the accusation is "stupid and baseless." The teenagers were last seen late Thursday or Friday in Jewish settlement in West Bank. One of them is said to be an Israeli-American with dual citizenship. Israel's military has detained about 80 Palestinians in their search for the teens. A two star Army general has been appointed to investigate how and why Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl left his base in Afghanistan. Bergdahl was freed two weeks ago after being held nearly five years by the Taliban. Our senior defense official declined to name the general before a formal announcement, but he will begin working on the case this week. Since Bergdahl's release, some soldiers have blamed him for the death of at least six soldiers who they say were killed while looking for him. And a huge upset. Saturday night, the World Cup, Costa Rica came storming back on a one oh deficit with three second half goal to shock Uruguay. Three to one. The U.S. will play its World Cup opener tomorrow against Ghana.
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