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Fareed Zakaria GPS
CNN Witnesses Mass Grave Near Kyiv; Civilian Bodies Seen Strew Across Ukrainian Town; Former NATO Commander On Putin's Strategy. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired April 03, 2022 - 13:00 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 from New York.
Today on the program, just what is the Russian military doing in Ukraine? Is it drastically reducing its assault on Kyiv as the Kremlin flames? Or is it simply repositioning? I'll talk to NATO's former Supreme Allied Commander, Admiral James Stavridis.
Also, at the heart of this conflict lies one man, Vladimir Putin. I will talk to the person who came closest to challenge in Putin's (ph) grip on power and paid dearly for it. Russia's oligarchy turn dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Finally, a brief respite from war in music. I talked to Jon Batiste, and Billy Joel.
But first, here's my take. "All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory." That's what the Vietnamese American novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen once wrote. In the case of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the start of the fighting also launched a battle over the history that caused the war. It's worth understanding this intellectual conflict, because it will likely shed light on the end game of the actual conflict.
At the heart of this historical debate, is the question of NATO expansion. Some have argued that the Western decision to admit several countries from the former Soviet Empire created a deep and lasting resentment in Moscow that morphed into full scale aggression. That case has been made most sharply by the University of Chicago Scholar John Mearsheimer, as well as many others over the years.
As it happens when NATO first started considering expansion, I was one of those advocating caution. While I was not entirely opposed to it, I argued that even as NATO admitted Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, it should also begin serious negotiations with Russia to ensure that any further expansion was part of a stable security arrangement that took Moscow's concerns into account.
And I think it's pretty clear that NATO's 2008 Bucharest declaration was a disaster, dangling NATO membership in front of Ukraine and Georgia without actually setting them on a course to get it. It was enough to enrage Putin, but not enough to actually protect those two countries.
And yet, as time has passed, I've wondered what Europe would look like with no NATO expansion. The reality is that the vast majority of the countries that were part of the Soviet sphere, and many that were in the Soviet Union itself, utterly traumatized by that experience. It was an even greater trauma than having been defeated in a war by Russia.
These nations from Bulgaria and Hungary to Ukraine and Georgia had their entire military, political, economic and cultural lives dominated by Moscow for many decades. They were desperate to free themselves to have left these people unmoored and insecure. In a no man's land between Russia and Europe would have only heightened the level of instability in the region, as Russia would have tried to control them, and they would have resisted.
Moscow's efforts to control were actions of a former superpower, humiliated by its declining fortunes grasping for some symbol of greatness. And as I argued at the time, the West should have tried much harder to aid and rebuild Russia. Though it's worth noting that the critics sometimes exaggerate the extent to which the West was guilty of neglecting the country, the U.S. and Europe did provide Moscow with huge aid packages, and created a new G8 grouping to give Moscow a seat at the table in the 1990s.
But the largest problem might be that we're viewing the Ukraine crisis through the prism of great power politics, when the more appropriate framework might be imperialism. The Soviet Union was history's last great multinational empire.
In the early 1990s, I participated in discussions at Harvard inspired by Samuel Huntington about what history taught us about the collapse of such empires.
The answer was clear, they were always accompanied by bloody efforts by the imperial powers to hold on to their former territories. The French waged brutal wars in Algeria and Vietnam, and the British killed perhaps tens of thousands of people in Kenya during the Mau Mau rebellion. They did this simply because in their view, the idea of being a great power on the world stage required that they hold on to these colonial prizes.
Viewed through this prism, Russia's actions in Ukraine perfectly predictable. After a period of weakness in the 1990s when Russia still waged a bloody war to keep Chechnya, Moscow set itself the goal of retaking its most cherished former colonies. Putin describes Ukraine as inseparable from Russia, in much the same way that France described Algeria in the 1950s. That cause keeping Algeria part of France was wildly popular for many so-called French nationalists.
There was just one problem, then and now, the Algerians then, like the Ukrainians now had no desire to continue to be colonial subjects. This resistance from the ground is the key piece of the narrative that we sometimes neglect. Whatever Washington, London, Berlin and Moscow may have decided in gilded meeting rooms, the people in the former Soviet Empire clearly wanted a political, military, economic and cultural association with the West. And they were willing to do what it took to get it.
So when we tell the story of Russia and the West, let's not forget to include Ukraine's desire, its determination to be free and independent, and to fight and die for it. For perhaps that is the real driver of this story.
Go to cnn.com/fareed for a link to my Washington Post column this week. And let's get started.
This weekend, the world has gotten a dark window into the horrors of this war. It's all come out after Russian forces withdrew from Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv. First came shocking and disturbing images of what the Russians allegedly did there. A warning we're going to show you some of those images.
Photos document at least 20 civilian bodies strewn across the streets of this town. The Russian Defense Ministry denies that it kills civilians, and calls the pictures fake, but more urgently, CNN's Fred Pleitgen has just witnessed a mass grave in Bucha. He joins me now to tell us what he saw.
Fred, without further ado, what just -- give us a sense of what you came up on.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there Fareed. Yes, we were traveling through Bucha, which is, as you rightly point out, is absolutely destroyed and saw a lot of destroyed Russian military vehicles. And then the local folks that are took us to a church and behind the churches where we found this mass grave. And we asked a local police officer, he said he believed that maybe around 152 people were already buried in that grave.
But no one really knows exactly because, basically, the people there had started filling this mass grave because somebody -- civilians had been killed during Russia's occupation of this area. They said they started shortly after the Russians came there. And then the bodies just kept mounting. You know, what we saw was bodies in black plastic that, in some cases, also limbs still sort of sticking out.
And there were people standing in front of the mass grave and breaking down in tears. There was one gentleman who could barely speak who said he'd been looking for his younger brother for such a long period of time, that hope that maybe the brother was still alive. Now, of course, that hope was shattered. Other people were saying prayers.
It was it was an awful scene. And it's one, unfortunately, that, you know, in many ways, tells the tale of not just Bucha but the higher area there Northwest of Kyiv. Again, we saw a lot of destruction in Bucha, but first, as we went to another district also --
ZAKARIA: Fred, do we have sense of the story behind this brutality? It appears to be when you add it up the the people who have been found one man with his arms tied behind his back executed these mass graves, it seems some kind of brutal reprisal or something like that. Do we have a sense of whether there was a method to this madness and brutality?
PLEITGEN: Yes, you know, I think it's hard to say and I do think that there was definitely a very brutal regime that was at work there. It seems as though that at the very least, the -- were in control of that area, were very loose with their guns.
But, you know, for instance, the body that we found, we didn't find a body with his hands tied behind his back. And there were some pretty severe bruises on that body as well. Hands tied, big tied, severe bruises on it. And then we found a shell casing next to the head. So it certainly seemed to us as though that person had been tortured and then executed with a bag over his head.
How big the system is, I mean, you were saying before that there were, you know, at least 20 on those social media photos that we're seeing. There's obviously other social media footage also, like bodies (INAUDIBLE) on their back.
You know, it's very difficult to say I'm sure there's going to be a big investigation. But from what we saw there, it definitely seems as though that was a very, very brutal regime that was in control of that area that was very, very loose with the use of firearms, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Fred, thank you so much. Stay safe. Terrific reporting.
Next on GPS, the Russian military is withdrawing from Bucha and other towns but what is it doing? Where is it going? I will talk about that with the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO James Stavridis in one moment.
ZAKARIA: As Russian troops withdraw from the area around Kyiv, many in the West have wondered exactly what they are up to. A possible answer is emerging out of Washington. CNN sources say U.S. intelligence now believes that Russia's new strategy is to focus its efforts on the Donbas and other areas of eastern Ukraine, and to plan to take those by May 9th, a Russian national holiday called Victory Day which celebrates the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.
What to make of this? Retired Admiral James Stavridis was NATO's Supreme Allied commander from 2009 to 2013. He is the co-author of "2034" a novel of the next world war which is newly out in paperback.
Welcome, Jim. Let me ask you something. We're all impressed by the Ukraine -- Ukrainian army's incredible resistance by the people of Ukraine. We noticed that the Russians are doing poorly, logistical supplies, but what I worry about is Russia is still huge. I mean, they have a 10 to 1 advantage in terms of defense spending and army. So if you were to be watching this, and I know this is an awkward position for you to be in.
If you were advising the Russians, what are they likely to do next? How are they going to deal with this set back given that they do have the resources to come back again?
ADM. JAMES STAVRIDIS (RET.), FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: Well, let's remember plan A was to sweep across Ukraine, a blitzkrieg, decapitate Zelenskyy's government, probably decapitate him personally from what we've seen of the Russians lately, and install a puppet regime.
Plan A failed miserably so they're on plan B now. And if I were giving them advice, I'd say, you know, that's a pretty smart plan B, which is to consolidate your forces, get them in one area of the country where you've got sympathetic followers to a degree, there are ethnic Russians in that southeastern corner that kind of runs from Crimea through Mariupol up to Russia itself.
Try and consolidate that land bridge. Above all consolidate your forces because, to conclude here, Fareed, you know, plan A would not have gotten a passing grade at any war college in the West. It was a dumb plan. You know, admirals love to criticize generals, right? But this was badly constructed, hampered by logistics and it's a failure.
Putin, if you're going to win this thing, to some degree, get your forces consolidated in the southeast.
ZAKARIA: And should we worry, should the Ukrainians worry about potential amphibious landings? Should they worry about the reports we hear that Chechen forces are being put to task? You know, I'm thinking the Russians have their back against the wall, what are they going to think about as a counterpunch?
STAVRIDIS: Put yourself in the mind of Vladimir Putin, he's an intelligence officer who loves to turn inside the decision cycle of his opponent, meaning do the unexpected. I think an amphibious assault is a distinct possibility, perhaps directed toward Odessa, which would further choke off the Ukrainian economy. Secondly, you mentioned Chechens, it's not just Chechens, as you know it's Syrians, it's the Wagner Group, this horrific group of mercenaries.
They look like Mad Max from the Thunderdome. Flood them in and do the kind of terrorism that we're seeing evidence of right now. And third and finally, Fareed, again, do the unexpected. Dark side of the spectrum, use chemical weapons. There was a flutter of conversation about that about a week ago. Putin was clearly signaling the use of them, but he would try and false flag it to the Ukrainians and to the U.S.
He's building a narrative of these crazy bio warfare labs, nonexistent. I think those are three probably dirty tricks, if you will, kicking around in his brain.
ZAKARIA: And now tell the Ukrainians what should they do when they think about these kind of possible maneuvers?
What is the best Ukrainian strategy going forward?
STAVRIDIS: Continue to take and push the West to give you everything.
I was quite heartened over the last 48 hours to see indications the U.S. will help facilitate the transfer of tanks, Russian tanks, which the Ukrainians know how to operate into their hands, because that battle in the southeast will turn more back toward conventional warfare in the sense of watch for the Russians to dig in along with the, quote, "armies" of these tiny foe states of Luhansk and Donetsk. Build some defensive structure. That's where tanks can help you.
So push the West, President Zelenskyy, to continue to give you what you need.
And I have to say, Fareed, the use of the Javelin on the battlefield, destroying Russian armor, is breathtaking. The Biden administration should get a lot of credit for moving as quickly as they did to get those weapons in the hands of the Ukrainians.
I'll finish with a quote from Winston Churchill, most quotable man in history who said in the run up to World War II to FDR, give us the tools, we'll finish the job.
ZAKARIA: And very quickly, would you agree that Ukraine's real killer weapon is nationalism? I mean, you know, it seems to me that the rule here is do not -- when you have nationalism on your side it's a force multiplier. The U.S. discovered this when fighting, you know, in Iraq and Afghanistan and now the Russians are discovering this. The Ukrainians seem ready to fight and die.
STAVRIDIS: They are indeed, and we ought to recognize it's not just that spirit of resistance, that sense of nation, but it's also the catalyst named President Zelenskyy who has risen to the occasion. Hard to remember someone who has stood and delivered more for his nation and his people, going back to our own history, Fareed, to someone like George Washington. We had nationhood on our side then, let's hope the Ukrainians can capitalize on the charisma and the leadership of Zelenskyy, the weapons of the West and defeat the Russians.
ZAKARIA: Jim, always a pleasure to have you on. Thank you so much.
STAVRIDIS: Thanks, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, Russia's former richest man who once tussled with Putin will tell me what, if anything, will make Putin end this war. Back in a moment.
ZAKARIA: A key part of the West's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been to target the wealth of the elites close to Putin. The idea seems to be to get those oligarchs to pressure Putin to end the war or possibly to mount a palace coup.
I'm joined now by Mikhail Khodorkovsky who was once Russia's richest man. In the early years of Putin's reign Khodorkovsky became a prominent critic of the Kremlin before he was imprisoned for fraud and tax evasion, charges he says were politically motivated. He was released in 2013 and has been living outside Russia since then.
Welcome, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. But before we begin I want people to understand why I think you have real insight into how the Kremlin works. In 2003 you were the richest man in Russia, brilliant businessman, you had run a whole bunch of businesses, and then you start criticizing the regime and you say you may run against Putin for president.
Within six months your company has been taken away from you, the largest company in Russia, you are in prison and you spent 10 years in prison. And the company is taken away through a complicated series of maneuvers where they claim tax fraud and stuff. So you know how Putin operates and who has power in that system.
Is it possible that the oligarchs have enough power that they can pressure Putin to change course to withdraw from Ukraine?
MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY, PUTIN CRITIC (through translator): This is a mistake, a mistaken presumption about how Russian power is arranged. Russian power is not an oligarchy, it's a dictatorship and the oligarchs are merely, actually, not oligarchs, but merely agents of the Kremlin who are used by the Kremlin as a tool. So there is no feedback in the other direction to influence the dictator. They cannot do that in a practical sense.
ZAKARIA: What about the military or other parts of the ruling elite, maybe the KGB, what is now the FSB? Are the intelligence services or the army -- does anyone have power other than, you know, Putin? He calls himself the vertical of power. Is there anybody outside of that vertical of power?
KHODORKOVSKY (through translator): Most likely -- it's not so much a vertical of power, it's Putin power. Putin holds on to power by taking parts of the people around him and setting them off against each other. Of course, there are people that do have some influence on his mental perceptions, people such as Yuri Kovalchuk and those people who are around Yuri Kovalchuk.
And of course, the military can tell Putin.
And they are indeed telling him now, that we, in the current conditions, cannot do the task that we've been assigned.
KHODORKOVSKY (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): And Putin has to take that into account. But the decision is made by him, of course.
ZAKARIA: So what is the way to pressure Russia to get serious at the negotiating table?
KHODORKOVSKY (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Unfortunately, no other advice can be given here, other than the courage of the Ukrainians and the sanctions that undercut the opportunities for Putin to buy new weapons and to hire mercenaries.
ZAKARIA: So only force?
Putin will only understand if there is pressure, if there is resistance from Ukraine, if there are sanctions from the West?
KHODORKOVSKY (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Unfortunately, he's that kind of a person. All his life he's always dealt with the criminal elements and was indeed himself part of that criminal world. He doesn't treat the law seriously, or state institutions, for that matter. In his world, the main thing is force. And if you don't show him force, if he senses that you're weak, as he does, for example, about Mr. Macron, he simply takes advantage of you. When he feels force, when he's afraid of force, he's ready to talk.
ZAKARIA: We're going to come back in a second. I will ask Mikhail Khodorkovsky what he thinks of Joe Biden's expressed wish that Putin no longer be in power in Russia, when we come back.
ZAKARIA: And we are back with Russia's once richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky -- before he fell afoul of the Kremlin.
A lot of people have criticized Joe Biden for saying that he wished Vladimir Putin were no longer in power. The argument is, you have to negotiate with him; you're going to have to sign a deal with him, and so this would complicate things. How do you see it?
KHODORKOVSKY (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I have also done a lot of criticizing of Mr. Biden, but from a different perspective. I think that his words are absolutely correct and very important. First of all, they're important because people in the world, all over the world, are waiting, are expecting an ethical assessment from the leader of the free world. And when this leader gives this ethical assessment, that is important, his assessment that such people should not be in power.
It's understandable that only the Kremlin and maybe the White House interpreted these words as Mr. Biden being ready to personally remove the Russian president. Everybody else understood it correctly. It was an ethical assessment. Russians are going to remove Russia's president.
Another, second, important thing is that Mr. Putin perceives this approach without the show of force as weakness. And so when Mr. Biden said that using weapons -- that there's going to be an appropriate response to the use of weapons of mass -- mass destruction, that's not a provocation for Putin; that's something that puts the brakes on his -- on his desires.
And on the other hand, when Mr. Scholz or Mr. Macron says that "There's no way that we should take part in a clash with Putin's forces," that actually encourages Putin to use weapons of mass destruction. This is a fundamental lack of understanding of the mentality of a person who has been among criminals all his life.
ZAKARIA: So Putin is now facing obstacles in Ukraine. What -- given what you know of his mentality, what is he going to do? Is he going to -- is he going to turn Ukraine into Chechnya, destroy it? Is he going to back away?
What do you think his options are?
KHODORKOVSKY (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): For him, the situation today is very complicated. At first what he wanted was to change the power in Kyiv, put in his puppet, and was expecting that -- that this would be met with flowers thrown in the streets by the Ukrainian people. When this did not happen, he went crazy.
The fact that the people in Kharkiv did not meet him with flowers, it not only just angered him, I really think it drove him literally insane. That's when he started bombing Kharkiv and Kyiv.
Right now, he has three options that face him, three ways out. First way out is to continue pressuring Ukraine and probably losing troops in this process because the Ukrainians are fighting back ever more strongly with every day.
Secondly, he could use weapons of mass destruction in the hope that this would force the Ukrainians to retreat.
And the third option is to start actual negotiations. When Mr. Biden, when NATO officials say that -- in one voice -- that, if Mr. Putin use -- "If you use WMDs, you will get an appropriate response from NATO," that actually gives Putin only one choice, to sit down for real at the negotiating table.
ZAKARIA: Let me ask you, we're not thinking a lot about this, but if Putin somehow comes out of this stronger; if the Ukrainians have to concede on a number of issues, do you think he has greater ambitions, that he could at some point attack the Baltic states or Poland?
KHODORKOVSKY (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We must understand that, in his head, Putin is at war not with Ukraine; he's at war with -- with the United States and NATO. He's said this more than once. His propagandists have already started to prepare Russian society for an attack on NATO countries. They're constantly talking about this, and this is the preparation of Russian public opinion for this.
I am absolutely convinced that, if Putin decides that he has won in Ukraine, this is not going to be the last step, the last war. The next steps will be the Baltic countries. ZAKARIA: I have always wanted to ask you this question because I
figure you probably can answer it better than almost anybody. What do you think Vladimir Putin is worth, in terms of all the money he has been able to take out of Russia personally?
KHODORKOVSKY (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): For a long time Putin was a person that was money-oriented, but as with many elderly criminals, he now has a mission in his head, and that is actually way more scary. His mission, under which he has to show the whole world that he is great, that he is leaving the world a legacy. That's a lot scarier than when he was just gathering money. Right now, I think money is not going to stop him.
ZAKARIA: Mikhail Khodorkovsky, pleasure to have you on.
Next on "GPS," from war to peace, how strife and struggles impact music, and vice versa. I'll talk to two of the musical greats, Billy Joel and Jon Batiste.
ZAKARIA: Let's face it, the news has been heavy in recent years and months and weeks, first with the pandemic, now with the war in Ukraine. So I wanted to pivot to something that, at least for me, lifts us up in dark times, music.
I'm going to let you listen in on fascinating conversations I've had recently with two amazing musicians.
The first is the great Billy Joel, whose extraordinary career has lasted more than 50 years. I sat down with him for a film that premiered this week on "CNN+." It's part of a series I'm doing for the brand-new streaming service, all about extraordinary people.
ZAKARIA: A lot of times when you write, you're moved by events. You know, your music is, kind of, rich with history and culture. So you hear about New York going bankrupt...
BILLY JOEL, SINGER: Yes.
ZAKARIA: ... and you -- you hear about Ford saying to New York City, "Drop Dead," that famous Daily News headline. And that motivates you to write "Miami 2017", right?
(SONG PLAYING, "MIAMI 2017 (SEEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT ON BROADWAY)")
JOEL: I mean, I'm part of the world. Also, aside from being a musician, I'm affected by events. If you think about it, right before the Beatles hit, which was in -- on "The Ed Sullivan Show," February of 1964, what happened? What major event happened just prior to that? ZAKARIA: The assassination of JFK.
JOEL: The assassination of John F. Kennedy, who was the young, vital, vigorous man who was the president, who, kind of, represented youth and the future. And he was taken away from us. And the country had the blues, and big time. Everybody was depressed over the Kennedy assassination. And it lasted for a long time.
Who took us out of that depression? The Beatles. They represented youth; they represented the future; they represented vitality, something new, something which was of us, our age group, the baby boomers.
ZAKARIA: My series, "Extraordinary With Fareed Zakaria," is available only on CNN+. Go to cnnplus.com to subscribe.
Actually, if you sign on now, it is half price for the rest of your life, which sounded like such a great deal that I took it.
ZAKARIA (voice over): But now, Jon Batiste, who may be just the person to take us out of this malaise.
He has the most nominations for tonight's Grammy awards, 11.
Jon grew up in a musical family in Louisiana. He is the band leader and musical director for CBS's "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" and will debut a symphony in Carnegie Hall next month.
His nominations run the gamut from record of the year, album of the year, best improvised jazz solo, best contemporary classical composition and more.
I sat down with Jon at Carnegie Hall in New York City, where we talked about the power of music to help us through strife.
JON BATISTE, MUSICIAN: Music comes from life experiences. I truly believe the experience that I had and that many musicians had will make our music stronger. It has given us something to push back against. You don't ever want to have things be too easy. If everybody is -- is doing great and everybody's saying great things about you, then something's wrong.
You're doing something very wrong.
ZAKARIA (on camera): And in some ways, that's always been true. I mean, Beethoven's Eroica is written, inspired by the French Revolution. BATISTE: Absolutely, and -- and, there, a great example. So -- so
"Eroica," in the way that the music came from a visceral experience that he lived through, that a nation lived through, and his pride, his passion, you can hear it in that piece. If you look at the manuscript -- sometimes I examine the manuscript -- you can see there may be blood on the manuscript.
Think about that. What -- what drives a person to get there? It's not an idea of music or some sort of preservation of something arbitrary and superficial at its depth. It's something that's much, much grander, that's tied to humanity and tied to how we have certain things that affirm our humanity, that when they're trying to take them from us or trying to strip us of that, we have this innate desire to reaffirm it.
ZAKARIA: So -- so it's fascinating, for you, the -- participating in protests and civil rights work, it's not separate from the music; it actually feeds into it?
BATISTE: It should, and it is. And whether you know it or not, it is. People who are speaking and living as activists who are also musicians, one of my -- my great friends, we collaborated on the album, Mavis Staples, a perfect example of someone who marched with Dr. King and also was an incredible innovator in R&B and soul music, it's not separate for her. It's not any different when someone lives a life as the person that they are and performs as the musician that they are.
ZAKARIA: Is the song "Freedom" inspired by it?
BATISTE: "Freedom" is a -- is a funny blend of a social and sexual revolution in a song, and the idea of childlike zeal and expression of freedom that comes from being completely uninhibited but living in -- in the fullness of who you are.
There's something about a person that makes them the only version that exists. You're the only version. You -- you should -- why do we try to be like other people?
Everything that's led into you existing today is so, so unique; it's so special. You're the only one that will ever exist. So "Freedom," to me, was this -- this thought of, how do I, without saying that, you know, to get very philosophical, how do I, in a -- in a song that could be on pop radio, how do I say that?
How do I convey that feeling?
ZAKARIA: How did you? Show me. What do you think of as the...
BATISTE: Dance. I -- you know, I -- I'm a dancer as well. And this is something that, when you hear, "When I move my body just like this, I don't know why, but it feels like freedom. I hear a song that take me back, and I let go with so much free..."
Just the -- when people hear that, they start to want to move. And when you start... ZAKARIA: Yeah.
BATISTE: ... to move, the physiology of that kind of movement puts you in a space where you're already letting go of inhibitions.
ZAKARIA: Do you want to play a final closing thought?
If you were to -- if you were to end this, what would -- how do you end it musically?
BATISTE: Oh, wow. Let's see.
(JON BATISTE PLAYING MUSIC ON PIANO)
ZAKARIA: That's incredible.
BATISTE: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Wishing Jon all the best at tonight's Grammys. For more of my interview, go to cnn.com/fareed. And don't forget to subscribe to CNN+ to watch my film on Billy Joel.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.