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Fareed Zakaria GPS
Interview With Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo About Biden's Infrastructure Bill; U.S. And Iran Hold Talks On Restoring Nuclear Deal; Diane von Furstenberg's New Book, "Own It: The Secret To Life." Aired 10-11a ET
Aired April 11, 2021 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: 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.
ZAKARIA (voice-over): We'll begin today's show with the world's biggest global companies. Many of them paying little in taxes and many of the nations where they do business. The Biden administration has a plan to change that.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced.
ZAKARIA: Some companies say bring it on. Others are upset.
I'll talk to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo about that, about infrastructure and much more.
Then, can the U.S. and Iran get back to the negotiating table to talk about the nuclear deal? Well, the first steps in the process actually happened this week in Vienna. We'll have a debate on whether the U.S. should even reengage.
Also, the incredibly awkward game of musical chairs in Turkey this week that left one female official without a seat. What that scene says about Turkey's continuing slide away from democracy.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
ZAKARIA: But first here is my take. A few months after COVID-19 burst on to the world stage, it seemed clear why some countries were doing well and others poorly. Places that had strong effective governments, China, Taiwan, Singapore, the UAE, Germany suffered few deaths from the virus. Places with weak leadership and dysfunctional bureaucracies -- America, Britain, Italy, Brazil -- did poorly.
But now one year into the pandemic, the situation is somewhat more complicated. Many European countries that have gotten the virus under control have now seen sharp spikes in cases. Some countries that were pummeled by the virus have done very well with vaccinations. How to make sense of these new facts.
Well, it remains true that the single strongest ingredient to successfully handle the pandemic has been strong and effective governmental institutions particularly in the public health domain. But it turns out that's not enough. In addition to the state, we should take a look at society.
Michele Gelfand, the cultural psychologist of the University of Maryland, has long argued that key distinction among countries is whether they have tight or loose cultures. She recently wrote a book on the subject called "Rule Makers, Rule Breakers." Tight cultures like China tend to be highly respectful of rules and norms. Loose ones like the U.S. tend to defy and break them.
In a January 2021 paper in the Lancet Planetary Health, she and several colleagues studied 57 countries and concluded that loose countries have five times the rate of COVID cases and nine times the rate of COVID deaths as tight countries. Gelfand points out that this distinction between rule observant versus rule-breaking societies was first observed Herodotus and has been noted by many scholars over the centuries.
But she has tried to study the phenomenon systematically and determine the consequences of these cultural traits. In March 2020, as the pandemic was growing, she presciently warned that loose cultures like the U.S. will likely to have a hard time unless they managed to tighten up. The numbers speak for themselves.
When looking at cumulative deaths per million among large countries, loose cultures such as the U.K., U.S., Brazil and Mexico have been some of the worst performers. Tight cultures like those in East Asia -- China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam -- wouldn't even register on that graph.
Now Gelfand wisely does not claim that these cultural differences are rooted in some innate differences between East and West but rather are a rational product of historical realities. Societies that have faced chronic threats -- war, invasion, famine, plagues -- tend to develop tight cultures in which following rules becomes a mode of survival.
Think of Taiwan, constantly under the threat of Chinese military intervention, versus the United States, sheltered by two vast oceans and two benign neighbors. Places have that been secure and prosperous for a long time tend to become more lax about observing norms. This distinction between state and society sheds light on Europe.
In many European countries like Germany and France, the state functions well. As a result, they were able to crush the curve after the first wave but eventually people got weary of following the rules in Emmanuel Macron's phrase. In France, social distancing broke down during the country's August vacation period.
In Germany people decided to gather for festivities a few months later. The result, COVID spikes. The vaccine rollout highlights another dimension of this phenomenon. Some of the loosest countries which fared poorly in managing the pandemic through measures like social distancing -- the U.S., Britain, Israel, Chile -- were the most and innovative and dynamic at developing, procuring and distributing the vaccine.
So the very traits that made it hard to follow social distancing rules were the ones that helped generate the technology solution to the problem and now these countries are benefitting from that creativity, risk-taking and rule-breaking.
Gelfand told me this is not a case of one trait being better than the other. Whether you are a country, a company or even a family, sometimes you want to be tight, sometimes loose. The key is, do you know how to move from one side of the spectrum to the other?
She points out that New Zealand, generally considered a loose country, tightened up when confronting COVID. Greece under the leadership of an extremely able prime minister did the same.
Gelfand added the goal should be to be ambidextrous, tight or lose depending on the problem we face.
Go to CNN.com/fareed for a link to my "Washington Post" this week. And let's get started.
When Donald Trump was inaugurated, America had one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world. He slashed the rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Trump did it he said to make the U.S. more competitive against other countries, Europe, for example, has an average corporate tax rate of just 20 percent.
But Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said this week the world needs to get out of this race to the bottom on taxes. She wants rich nations to agree on a global minimum corporate tax rate so companies can't shop around for low tax rates or stash profits overseas.
Wally Adeyemo is my guest. He is the Nigerian born former president of the Obama Foundation who is now the deputy secretary of the United States Department of Treasury. He's the first black person to hold that office.
Mr. Deputy Secretary, pleasure to have you on. Let me begin by asking you first about the infrastructure bill. There are people who have argued, Larry Summers among them, whom you know well, that the COVID relief package was much larger than was necessary for it to fill the outward gap the U.S. economy faced.
The infrastructure bill most people agree is right size or even too small given the massive deferred maintenance on American infrastructure. And yet this is the one on which the administration has signaled it is willing to compromise.
How low are you going to go? Is there a red line below which you will not agree to have it -- this infrastructure bill whittled down?
WALLY ADEYEMO, U.S. DEPUTY TREASURY SECRETARY: Fareed, let me start out by saying thank you for having me. It's good to be with you today. And the president has been very clear in terms of his desire to do two things. One, make sure that we defeat COVID-19, and that is why the rescue plan was so critical to the U.S. economy. And we're already starting to see the impact of the rescue plan on the economy as we see job growth in the United States return, but there is still a long way to go.
We recognize that in addition to making sure that we rescue the United States economy from COVID-19, that we start to plan for an economy post the pandemic. And think about how we grow jobs going forward. The infrastructure plan or the job to build the president is introducing has three primary goals. One, creating good-paying jobs in America.
Two, improving our competitiveness and three, expanding our economic potential. The president has laid out his plan for both what this looks like and how we pay for it, and we're interested in talking to Congress about how we do this.
The one thing the president knows and is committed to doing is that we cannot not do this. We need to focus on investing in infrastructure which will make sure that we unluck our economic potential going forward, and we'll also make sure that we plan for the 21st century.
Traditionally people have thought about infrastructure as roads and bridges, but in talking to CEOs over the last several weeks they've also made clear that it's critical that we invest in infrastructure in 21st century like broadband technology, which will help our small business grow, and in semiconductors which are critical to every gadget that we use in the United States today.
In addition to investing in infrastructure, it's critical that we invest in research and development in order to make sure that America continues to lead the world in innovation, and finally we need to take steps to unlock the potential of American workers by investing in our care economy and in our apprenticeship. The president has made clear that we need to make these investments. He looks forward to working with the members of Congress to make sure we do this.
ZAKARIA: OK, well, that didn't really answer my question which was, you said no compromise on the COVID relief but the president has signaled that he will compromise on the infrastructure. How low is he willing to go?
ADEYEMO: So, Fareed, the president has said that he's willing to work with members of Congress to invest in infrastructure. I don't think it's a question of how low we're willing to go. It really comes down to a question of composition. As you well know, and you've written about this in "The Washington Post," investing in infrastructure is critical to the U.S. economy. We need to do this well, and I think that the reality is that this is bipartisan.
Republicans and Democrats have talked about the need to invest in infrastructure and the key really is how do we do this, not if we do this. And I think members across the aisle agree with this. Over the course of the last several days I've had a chance to talk to members of Congress and their question is about what can we do to do more in terms of infrastructure. And then the question is how do we pay for this. The president has laid out a plan to do that, and he looks forward to working with Congress to implement it.
ZAKARIA: So do you commit that if this effort at bipartisanship doesn't seem to be going somewhere, if Republicans end up saying that they're going to oppose it no matter which, which frankly seems highly likely, will the administration push that this be done through a reconciliation process and will it push Joe Manchin to vote for it?
ADEYEMO: So, Fareed, the president looks forward to working closely with the members of Congress to try and implement this on a bipartisan basis. In terms of the legislative strategy, I know that a number of my colleagues are working with members to figure that out. But what I'm here to talk to you about is our economic strategy and our economic strategy is to try to grow the economy going forward by making these investments.
He's committed to taking the time -- the president is committed to talking the time to talk to members of Congress about what this plan looks like, but he's also made clear that the thing we're also committed doing is making sure that we make these investments in the American economy because they're critical to our growth not only today but into the future. These are the same investments that our counterparts in China are making and if we don't make these investments, the American economy will fall behind.
ZAKARIA: Is it fair to say that if this infrastructure bill does not go through in something like the president has planned, it would be a serious blow to his vision for the United States, for his presidency?
ADEYEMO: Fareed, I think it's fair to say that if we do not put together an infrastructure package that unleashes the potential of the United States economy, invests in our workers and ensures that we make the American economy more competitive, that will mean that American will -- America will be less competitive on the global stage.
Fundamentally the infrastructure bill is underwritten by the tenet of the fact that we know that in order for America to compete in the 21st century we need to make investments today.
These are investments that Republicans and Democrats have called for over the years. The president has laid out a plan to do this and he looks forward to working with Congress to make sure that this happens.
ZAKARIA: Let me ask you about the global tax proposal, which, you know, a number of people argue it's a fine idea, it will not happen because countries like Ireland will not actually raise their corporate tax rates because they want to attract all those companies, and the result will be the U.S. will have raised its rates, other countries like Ireland or Luxembourg or Liechtenstein won't and we will end up being uncompetitive.
ADEYEMO: So, Fareed, I think the competitiveness is something the president cares deeply about. Our tax proposal is underwritten by the idea that he wants to create an international tax system that rewards companies that create jobs, not rewards companies that come up with innovative strategies for avoiding taxation.
The global minimum tax is an idea that, you are right, has been around for a long time but this week Secretary Yellen gave a speech in which she made clear that we want to reach an agreement with our international counterparts to come up with a regime that make sure that companies have to pay their fair share around the world.
In order to accomplish that, we need to come to an international agreement. We know that's critical to United States' competitiveness. We're assured by the fact that in our conversations with our international counterparts they've made clear to us that they agree that it's important to reach an agreement on an international global minimum tax. You've seen the statements that I've seen as well from our counterparts in Germany and in France and around the world saying that they support the U.S. proposal to do this.
We recognize that it's going to be -- take a negotiation to get there. But we also know that every country in the world recognizes the need to have more revenues in order to support their growth going forward. And we think that the proposal that we've made is a serious one, that countries are considering.
And we also think that in working with Congress we can lay out a case for why the United States is taking these steps to make our economy more competitive and instead of participating on a race to the bottom on international taxation, actually we need a race to creating a level playing field in which we no longer compete on who has the lowest tax rate, but we compete on who's creating the most jobs, who has the best infrastructure and who has the most innovative economy going forward.
ZAKARIA: Mr. Deputy Secretary, pleasure to have you on, sir.
ADEYEMO: Thank you so much for having me, Fareed. Take care.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, is it in the United States' best interest to get back into the nuclear deal with Iran? A debate when we come back.
ZAKARIA: It was shuttle diplomacy of a different kind in Vienna this week as top diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia went back and forth from meetings with the Iranian delegation to meetings with the American delegation. Negotiators are hoping that they'll able to bring the U.S. back into the deal and Iran back into full compliance. Will it work?
Let's bring on today's panel, Kim Ghattas covered the Middle East for 20 years at the BBC. She is now contributing writer at the "Atlantic" and non-resident fellow at the Carnegie Endowment. Reuel Mark Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He was a Middle East specialist for the CIA. And Vali Nasr is a professor at the John Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies. He was a senior adviser to the State Department under President Obama.
Vali, give us a sense of what is the state of play right now. Why is it that what seemed like something that could be very simple, Joe Biden said we'll be back in the Iran deal because we thought it was a good way to keep Iran and, you know, contained and not developing nuclear weapons. The Iranians have said if the U.S. comes back, we will return to the deal. That seemed like a fairly simple thing to happen and here we are, neither side is in the deal.
VALI NASR, PROFESSOR, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Well, first of all, Joe Biden did not go back to the deal very quickly. He essentially sat on the Trump sanctions and demanded that Iran go into compliance first. The Iranians saw this as additional U.S. pressure to get concessions from them and then they dug in by saying that they're going to enrich further and perhaps escalate in the region.
But the problematic is that the nuclear deal -- some aspects of it will expire during President Biden's tenure of office, by 2023. And the United States is facing a dilemma of how to lift sanctions on Iran and yet get Iran incentivized to negotiate to follow on deals or other issues that are of concern to the United States. The Iranians don't want to do that. Each side is contemplating how to respond to the other's position, and both of them have very difficult domestic situations to deal with.
So as a result, the process is very slow. Vienna was a very good step forward but it's only the first step. We'll see how it moves from there.
ZAKARIA: Meanwhile, something very strange has happened just in the last few hours. A suspicious blackout has struck in Iran's Natanz nuclear site. This is a very important site in Iran for its nuclear program and one that people suspected was the one that kind of had the closest or fastest pathway to nuclear weapons if they were ever to decide to convert from nuclear energy to nuclear weapons.
Kim, what does this mean? People are suspicious and suspect that this is an Israeli operation that is designed to sabotage the Natanz site. What is your thought?
KIM GHATTAS, SENIOR FELLOW, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: There have been a lot of similar accidents over the last year or so during the Trump administration, particularly and of course this one now, which we all assume and there's been illusions including from Israeli officials that this is the work of Israeli sabotage.
What complicates the negotiations with Iran as Vali was indicating, for the U.S. is that it is operating now in a region that is very different from when the Obama administration was there and you will have players like Israel try to put extra pressure on Iran while the U.S. is negotiating in Vienna.
Similarly I also expect the Iranians to up the pressure in the region and use their leverage, wherever they have it, and that includes Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.
ZAKARIA: Reuel, explain to us why you suspect is your point of view, which is that the United States should not reengage. Which is -- which was the Trump strategy in a sense here, the Biden administration right now is, you know, in a very similar position. And so as you know, the simple argument for it has been Iran was on a path to developing nuclear energy sufficient to be able to weaponize.
The nuclear deal did arrest that path, and nobody disagrees with that. Enrichment went way down, and shift efforts enriched uranium, it has, you know, removed those constraints from itself. So aren't we back in a situation where the Iranians are now maybe not racing, but ambling towards greater nuclear capacity and what -- you know, how would you stop that?
REUEL MARC GERECHT, SENIOR FELLOW, FOUNDATION FOR THE DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES: Well, I mean, absolutely the Iranians are moving forward. It's an excellent pressure tactic. They want the sanctions lifted. Listen, a nuclear deal was -- had many, many weaknesses. It was far from ideal. That's why Secretary of State Tony Blinken says there needs to be an addendum which is stronger and longer. The Iranians of course aren't going to do that.
I don't see a happy ending to this. I suspect the Americans want this new deal or resumption of the JCPOA more than the Iranians do so they're just going to make lots of concessions.
However, when they make those concessions, as Vali said, they lose any leverage whatsoever for follow-on deal and the sunset clause is particularly on the construction of advanced centrifuges are coming out as rapidly. So it's a very untenable situation for the Biden administration.
You've got to remember, the Obama administration premised I think the entire negotiation strategy on a hope, a belief that if the United States were nicer, that Tehran would be nicer, that engagement particularly commercial engagement would somehow moderate the regime.
And I think the events since 2012 have dispatched that illusion, which makes this very transactional, which is why I think the Biden administration is hesitating.
ZAKARIA: Vali, how would you respond to rules pointed out about the hopes for the deal?
NASR: I agree that the hopes are not -- are not great. Largely because this is the situation that President Trump put us in. I mean, we don't know how things would have unfolded had the United States followed a different course. I also would say that Iran did not get everything that it expected under the deal.
It also thought that that was a bad deal. And also after the deal was signed, the United States gave the tens of billion dollars of weaponry to Iran's main regional rivals which actually accelerated an arms race in the region.
But we are at a point where the United States has certain foreign policy priorities that are not about the Middle East. It needs to focus on China, the White House says that the domestic scene is a priority even for national security.
It wants to extricate itself from Afghanistan, from forever wars in the Middle East, and Iran remains the most urgent reason that might keep the United States in the Middle East or get it involved in another war in the region, particularly over its nuclear program.
So yes, that is Iran's leverage. Iran can make itself a bigger problem and then the United States is going to face a question. Does it want to stay in this region and get engaged in another war or does it want to deescalate and move forward? And to deescalate it needs to get Iran's nuclear program in some kind of a constraint, it may not be ideal but that's necessary for the United States extricating itself from this region.
And Vienna is the first step towards that. And I think the urgency that the United States is feeling in Vienna is exactly because of what Reuel said, that the United States could just apply pressure to Iran and expect Iran to fold has not happened. The U.S. changed strategy because it realized that Iranians are happy to sit where they are for another two years, the United States isn't.
ZAKARIA: When we come back, I'm going to ask this excellent panel what to make of two other wars, Afghanistan and Yemen, when we come back.
ZAKARIA: And we are back with Kim Ghattas, Reuel Marc Gerecht and Vali Nasr.
Kim, one of the things American forget is Yemen, which is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world right now, millions people on the verge of starvation. Hundreds of thousands have died. What is the state of play in Yemen right now? Is there any hope of a resolution?
GHATTAS: You know, Fareed, the Middle East is -- is definitely a region that the Biden administration would like to extricate itself from.
As Vali pointed out, it has other priorities, China, climate change, domestic issues. But I do think that, unless it manages to put certain things back on the right track, including Yemen, including Iran and Iran's containing -- trying to contain Iran's regional behavior and its proxy militias, the Middle East will keep -- the U.S. will keep finding itself being dragged back into the Middle East.
So what we're seeing at the moment is an effort to try to bring peace to Yemen, with a peace process led by the U.N., with the U.S. envoy to Yemen being involved as well, that is just getting under way and which is one step forward. It should also involve pressure on Saudi Arabia to end the blockade,
with security guarantees for Saudi Arabia. Because as you put pressure on the Saudis and you use a tougher tone, if needed, to get concessions from the Saudis, you also need to get concessions from the Houthis, of course. And you need to be mindful of the context in which this is happening.
Because, when you put pressure on the Saudis, while you're negotiating with the Iranians in Vienna and not asking the Iranians to moderate their behavior in the region, then you risk making the same mistake that the Obama administration did when it engaged with Iran in 2012, 2015, which is to swing from one side to the other.
And what I believe this administration is trying to do is to find a better balance in the way it approaches both Iran and Saudi Arabia, in what has really become a relationship between three countries, like a menage a trois.
FAREED ZAKARIA: Ruel, it seems unlikely that you will get a deal in Yemen before you get a deal with Iran. In other words, the Iranians do seem to have enough influence that they will be able to keep the pressure on Yemen until they feel the United States is accommodating them.
I want to ask you a point that Vali made, which was that the policy of maximum pressure toward Iran, which has really been tried by the United States for 35 years now and was tried -- you know, was doubled- down on by the Trump administration on the theory that they were going to collapse, that the economy was going to collapse, the regime would collapse.
It's never really worked out, right? So why do we -- why don't we seem to learn something from there?
I would argue, if you look at Cuba, Venezuela, I mean, there are so many of these countries where you tighten the sanctions and it seems like the regime and the hardliners get more comfortable because they are -- they are empowered in that process.
GERECHT: Well, actually, I don't think maximum pressure campaign has been the American policy for 35 years. I mean, we have not even engaged in a containment strategy of the Islamic Republic. Usually, the Islamic Republic strikes out, engages in terrorism and the United States does nothing.
We've only had really severe sanctions -- and again, with great resistance during the Obama administration, for a few years. So I'm not a big fan of economics beating ideology. I think ideology trumps economics every time.
That's why, in Yemen, for example, the Iranians won't yield. They're in a perfect situation in Yemen, with limited assistance to the Houthis, the -- the Shiites, the Zaidi Shiites, who are been Hezbollah-ized -- they are becoming much more radicalized. We can argue about the reasons for that, but they're able to torment the Saudis. And the Saudis -- you know, they're not very good at warfare. They're
-- a blockade could be a lot more humane, but they're not capable of doing a lot down there without American assistance. And you remove that blockade and the Iranians are going to do what they're already doing, which is bringing in heavier missilery. And they're going to shoot it at the Saudis.
So the Saudis are in a real pickle. I mean, Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, isn't particularly talented geostrategically. He's a bit of a, you know, rhetorical and a mess.
But he had also shown himself fairly weak towards the Iranians after what happened in 2019 when they attacked the oil -- Iranians attacked the oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais.
So the only way this is going to get better is the American presence has to increase. We have to get more involved, not less involved. And I think that is highly unlikely under the Biden administration. The Trump administration didn't want to do it, either.
FAREED ZAKARIA: Vali, I don't want to let you go. We only have a minute left, but I want to ask you, Joe Biden has always thought that the Afghan War was -- was not worth doubling down on. It seems as though, you know, he's right in the sense that, no matter what we've done, 20 years later, the Taliban remains very strong.
Is the best strategy to just find an honorable way to, kind of, pare down? Again, just to remind you, I only have a minute.
NASR: So, again, it goes down to what is America's foreign policy priority? Where does it want to put its diplomatic and military resources, in Afghanistan or to focus on China and other issues?
If it wants to fight the Taliban for another 20 years, it can -- it can continue in the region. And I think Afghanistan is also a window onto the Middle East. In other words, there are a lot of conflicts in the Middle East, but the -- but the United States has to decide what is it willing to live with and when is it going to give up the -- the perfect for the good?
FAREED ZAKARIA: Very well said.
NASR: Or the good enough.
FAREED ZAKARIA: Vali Nasr, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Kim Ghattas, thank you so much.
GERECHT: Thank you.
FAREED ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS," in less than a quarter century, Turkey went from being the shining example of a nation striving to be a full- fledged democracy to the perfect example of illiberal democracy. "What In the World," when we back.
FAREED ZAKARIA: Now for out "What In the World" segment. An awkward scene unfolded at an Ankara summit this week between the European Union and Turkey.
When it was time to get comfortable, E.U. Council President Charles Michel had a seat, as did Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But in this game of not-so-musical chairs, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was relegated to a nearby couch. Among the topics discussed at the very same meeting, Turkey's handling of women's rights.
The incident may just have been an embarrassing mix-up, but it's emblematic of the increasingly contemptuous relations that Turkey now has towards the West.
Not so long ago, the two were almost in lockstep. After joining a customs union with the European Union in the mid-1990s, Turkey, a member of NATO, officially began negotiations to become a full member of the European Union in 2005.
But 15 years later, in 2019, the European parliament voted to suspend the negotiations on Turkey's accession, citing the country's all- powerful presidential system, as well as human rights abuses there.
In just a decade and a half, Turkey went from being an icon of liberal democratic progress to a democracy in name only. What in the world happened?
In many ways, the story of Turkey's authoritarian turn is the story of President Erdogan. Back in the early 2000s, Erdogan, then prime minister, was commended in the West as a reformer, eager to make his country's democratic institutions more open.
In his first term as P.M., healthcare and infrastructure improved and new laws brought Turkish institutions closer to European standards. GDP growth soared, as did the hype around Turkey's man with a plan.
But that plan didn't end up the way the West had hoped. As Steven Cook wrote in The Atlantic, Erdogan won a 2007 political standoff with his country's powerful military, a sign of huge popular support.
Shortly thereafter, French president Nicolas Sarkozy was elected after he had made opposition to Turkish accession to the E.U. a key part of his campaign. Before Sarkozy, Germany's Angela Merkel had already poured cold water on Turkey's European aspirations.
The Turkish public reacted to the European hostility. One study found that the share of Turkey's population enthusiastic about joining the E.U. fell from 73 percent in 2004 to just 38 percent in 2010.
With E.U. membership seemingly out of reach, Cook writes that Erdogan abandoned his efforts to please European powers through reforms and started to consolidate his personal power.
Emboldened by his popularity, Erdogan prosecuted deep-state opponents and jailed opposition figures and journalists. His party took over state media. Constitutional reforms allowed him to pack courts with judges loyal to him.
All this was before the 2016 coup attempt when a faction of the Turkish military tried and failed to overthrow Erdogan and his government.
The Turkish president responded with a Stalinist purge. Turkish government institutions from the military to universities were culled of employees deemed insufficiently loyal. The Wall Street Journal put the number of civil servants dismissed or suspended after the coup attempt at close to 150,000.
Today Erdogan has a stranglehold over the political life, the judiciary, the media and more. The democracy-focused group Freedom House has rated Turkey "not free" since 2018.
I first coined the term "illiberal democracy" in the late 1990s, when I warned that elections and individual liberties and rights were being de-coupled in parts of the world. I worried about the Philippines, Pakistan and Peru, and wrote that "illiberal democracy was a growth industry."
Back then, Turkey still seemed like a rare example of a nation successfully reforming to become a genuine liberal democracy. In the space of two decades, it has become one of that growth industry's most notorious heavyweights. Today, it is the poster child for illiberal democracy.
Next on "GPS", life lessons from the great fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, when we come back.
FAREED ZAKARIA: What a life. Diane von Furstenberg was born in Belgium in 1946 to a mother who had been liberated from Auschwitz just 18 months earlier.
DVF, as she is known, rose to become one of the most famous fashion designers in the world and an extremely successful businesswomen. In the process, she became a principal mover in a different kind of liberation, women's lib.
And now she has important lessons to impart to us all. Her new book is titled "Own It: The Secret to Life."
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG, FASHION DESIGNER AND AUTHOR: Thank you. Thank you so much, Fareed, to have me.
FAREED ZAKARIA: Why did you write this book? You've done so many things over a long life. What prompted this book?
VON FURSTENBERG: Well, I think that I have reached an age where it's important for me to use my voice, my experience, my knowledge and everything I know in order to have other women be the women they want to be.
So I wrote it -- I picked 268 words that mean -- that speak to me. And -- and I realize -- because, to be in charge is first and foremost a commitment to ourselves. It's owning who we are. We own our imperfections. They become our assets. We own our vulnerability. It becomes our strength.
So all these words go back to "own it." Because I think that I realize that the secret to life, to everything, is to own it. Just be responsible.
FAREED ZAKARIA: When I saw your book, I thought of a moment that has happened recently with you that seemed to highlight it. So the New York Times decided, in the middle of COVID, to write an article on your company and how it was facing a lot of difficulties.
And what I was struck by was that your interview in it, when you talked to the reporter, you were completely frank; you didn't try to do what many CEOs would do, which is to spin it well.
You said, "No, we're going through a lot of really difficult troubles and" -- so in a sense, was that a conscience decision to own those failures?
VON FURSTENBERG: I mean, there are -- there is no other way to do it. First of all, when they called me, I was at the beginning of resetting everything. I said to the reporter, I could tell you something this morning. By the afternoon, it won't be valuable anymore, because it's constantly changing.
But the reason why I did speak to the reporter is to have other designers, to have other people who are facing the same difficulties and for them to know that owning it is what you have to do, whatever it is.
FAREED ZAKARIA: What do you think happens to fashion after COVID? Post-pandemic, do we just return back to normal? Has it changed?
VON FURSTENBERG: Well, you know, no one knows. I mean, two things -- two huge energies happened during COVID. On one side, we all love nature so much more. And on the other side, we have accelerated into the virtual world by five to 10 years.
Society will change. Will people wear clothes? Of course they will wear clothes. I mean, fashion is always a reflection of our time. So fashion will change, for sure. Everything will change, the way we shop, the way we -- the way we live, the way we work. And I don't think any of us can really predict it. But of course fashion will go on. FAREED ZAKARIA: What do you think has changed about young women in the
-- in the decades you've watched?
Do you -- do you think, has women's lib succeeded in all respects? What does a young woman today look like compared to when you were starting out?
VON FURSTENBERG: You know, it's very funny. For me, I mean, I surround myself with very young people because I have an established brand, an older brand, so it is very huge libraries, huge archive, so it's very important that the people who design for me are very young. Because then they look at the archives, they look at the codes (ph), they look at all the -- all the libraries that we have, but they give it their -- their touch.
Young women today love the '70s, and that's when I was a young woman. So I guess that women today, I mean, this -- they are much more -- they are, again, very happy to -- about liberation. I was a feminist. I was really a feminist. The generation after me, they took it for granted. But the generation now, they are true feminists and they are true advocates. And they -- I love that.
FAREED ZAKARIA: Well, I can give you an endorsement of the book that is more important than mine. My 18-year-old daughter, who has just graduated from high school, read it and absolutely loved it, read it cover to cover in one sitting. So...
VON FURSTENBERG: I know. That was -- that was a surprise. I didn't expect that -- the reaction from young people. And that's a huge compliment.
FAREED ZAKARIA: Diane von Furstenberg, pleasure to have you on.
VON FURSTENBERG: Thank you, Fareed.
FAREED ZAKARIA: And we will be back.
FAREED ZAKARIA: For the last look this week, I will ask your indulgence to talk about something very personal. We are approaching three million COVID deaths worldwide, and people have often pointed out that behind these statistics are individual human beings.
This week, my mother, Fatma Zakaria, became one of those statistics. She died of complications related to COVID in the Bajaj hospital in Aurangabad, India. She was 85.
If there's a single person most responsible for who I am today and the things that I have achieved in the world, large or small, it's my mother. So I thought I would tell you a little bit about her.
FATMA ZAKARIA: We have lived in Bombay, my parents, my grandparents, my children and -- and I.
FAREED ZAKARIA: She was born in 1936 in what was then Bombay, in what was then British India. She grew up in a large, loving family with a father she adored but who passed away when she was just eight years old.
She went to Isabella Thoburn College in northern India, an American- style liberal arts campus that inculcated a lifelong affection for America and Americans.
She became a social worker, working to educate underprivileged children. But soon after marrying my father and at his urging, she moved into journalism, starting out as a children's columnist.
She moved up fast. By the 1970s she was one of a handful of women with a senior role in the Indian media. It was a man's world, and she had to endure all kinds of double standards. She never complained, just worked harder and kept moving up.
She interviewed figures like Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi and wrote a cover story on Islam that became a legendary best-seller. She also wrote a cover story about dropping off my brother Arshad at his college, a love letter to American higher education, that defends it against all its critics.
After decades as a journalist, she returned to her first love and ran the large educational campus that my father and she had set up, tripling the number of students served, which now stands at 17,000.
FATMA ZAKARIA: Education is an important medium of social transformation. The benefits of education and training ultimately accrue to multiple sectors of society.
FAREED ZAKARIA: For all her accomplishments, when asked what she was proudest of, she would say, unhesitatingly, her role as a mother.
She was utterly devoted to that job, staying up until the wee hours to help us with homework, but also, crucially, taking us seriously. I remember us kids around the dinner table, arguing with her about what should go on the cover of the magazine that week.
I was probably 10, had strong opinions even then. The greatest sign of her love for her children was that she encouraged all of us to go to America for college, even though she knew that it could well mean that we would end up staying here. She wanted the best for us, even at the cost of her own happiness.
People talk about the story of immigration as one big happy tale. But in every immigrant story, there is sadness as well, the sadness of a country, a culture, a family left behind, a mother who would quietly weep at night, distant from the child she loved.
I feel that sorrow of distance this week because, thanks to the pandemic, I was not able to see my mother for the last time, nor bury her, which is why I thought I might take this opportunity and say "Goodbye, Ma, I love you." Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week, and I will see you next week.