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Fareed Zakaria GPS

World Banks Work To Tame Inflation; What Is The Real Reason for Biden's Visit to Saudi Arabia; District of Columbia Changes Name of Part of Street for Murdered Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi; The Battle for Control of Eastern Ukraine; Central Banks Work to Whip Inflation. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 19, 2022 - 10:00   ET



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): Today on the program, what would it take for Ukraine to win this war? I'll put that question to two of America's top former military officials, General David Petraeus and Admiral James Stavridis.

Also, did the commander-in- chief do an about-face on Saudi Arabia? Do gas prices trump human rights? I'll ask an expert.

And the Federal Reserve acts boldly to try to get inflation under control. Will it work? I will ask Rana Faroohar.


ZAKARIA: But first, here's "My Take." In 1942, Winston Churchill tried to ready the British people for a long conflict. Referring to the Allied victory in Egypt he said this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

When we think of it in those terms, what phase are we witnessing in the war in Ukraine? We are likely me in the middle, explains Gideon Rose, a scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of an excellent book, "How Wards End." He points out that every war begins like a chess game with a dramatic attack and a defense. If those opening salvos do not produce a decisive victory, the war enters a middle phase in which both sides try to slog it out to gain advantage on the battle field.

He told me during the middle phase, neither side is interested in negotiating because each side is trying to win outright, enhance their position on the battle field, and thus have a stronger position from which to negotiate. This is the period when emotions run high, making it hard to compromise. Finally, at some point, the combatants enter the final phase through

one of two paths. Either the tide of war turns irreversibly in one side's favor as happened in 1918 and 1944. Or an exhausted stalemate emerges as in Korea in mid-1951. Rose said at that point, the parties enter the endgame and they start jockeying over the final settlement.

In this middle phase that we're in the West must help Ukraine strengthen its position. Kyiv needs more weapons and training, and while there are real limits to how much the Ukrainians can absorb, Washington and its allies must re-double their efforts.

They also need to help Ukraine break the Russian blockade around Odessa. People have focused on the collapse of the Russian economy which will probably shrink by about 11% this year. But Ukraine's economy is likely to contract by a staggering 45% in 2022. Unless the country can export its grain out of its Black Sea ports, it could face economic calamities for years to come.

Most likely, this middle phase of the war will last for a while. Neither Russian nor Ukraine has the capacity to win decisively, and neither is likely to surrender easily. In the short term this favors Russia. It has taken control of much of the Donbas. And because the West hasn't completely banned Russia's energy exports, the Russian government has actually profited during this war.

Bloomberg projects Russia's oil and gas revenues for this year will be about $285 million compared with $236 billion last year. Meanwhile, Moscow can now thwart Ukraine's ability to export. In the longer term, one has to hope that the sanctions will hit Russia harder as the war goes on. And at the same time, Ukraine has massive Western assistance, high morale, and a willingness to fight to the end.

Even though we're not in the final phase yet, it would be smart for Ukraine to start thinking about the endgame now. That way it can develop a coherent position, align its strategy around it and gain international support for it.

Henry Kissinger was criticized for suggesting that Kyiv should not seek to go beyond the pre-February 24th lines on the battlefield. In fact at this point, it seems highly unlikely that Ukraine would even be able to regain all that territory by force, though it should keep trying.


But it does seem wise to make those February 24th lines the goal, which is, in other words, to reverse Russia's territorial gains from this year, then Kyiv can try to get back territories lost before in 2014 through negotiations. And President Zelenskyy has several times suggested something similar. The goal of return to the pre-invasion lines of this year would also garner the more international support.

In the final phase of the war, the West and the United States in particular become the pivotal players. Right now, Russia is battling Ukraine directly. But if and when the conflict becomes some of a stalemate, the real struggle will be between Russia and the West. What will Russia give to get a relaxation of sanctions and what will the West demand to end Russia's isolation?

So far, Washington has punted on this. Explaining that it is up to the Ukrainians to decide what they want and that Washington will not negotiate over their heads. That is the right message of public support. But Ukraine and its Western partners need to privately formulate a set of common war goals. Coordinating strategy around them, gaining international support, and using all the leverage they have to succeed.

The goal must be an independent Ukraine in full control of at least as much territory as it had before February 24th and with some security commitments from the West. The alternative to a negotiated settlement of some sort would be an unending war in Ukraine which would further devastate that country and its people more than five million of whom have already fled.

And the resulting disruptions to energy supplies, food, and the economy would spiral everywhere and political turmoil would intensify across the globe. Surely it is worth searching for an endgame that avoids this bleak future.

Go to for a link to my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.

Vladimir Putin speaking at a conference in St. Petersburg on Friday vowed that Russia would meet all of its objectives and what he called Russia's special military operation in Ukraine. Then this morning, both NATO Secretary Jen Stoltenberg and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that this war may drag on for a long time.

I want to dig into what's still to come in this conflict with two of America's most distinguished former military leaders. Admiral James Stavridis was the Supreme Allied commander at NATO, he is now vice chair of global affairs at the Carlyle Group and the author of a new book, "To Risk It All." General David Petraeus was CENTCOM commander and commander of Allied Forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He also served as CIA director. He is now chair of the KKR Global Institute.

Jim, let me start with you and ask you, do you agree we're in this kind of middle phase of the war and what is its nature? What will -- you know, who's going to break out?

ADM. JAMES STAVRIDIS (RET), FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: We are in a middle phase. It's a good way to describe it, Fareed. And I think it will depend on the support from the West most crucially. And by the way, how does this come out? I want to start with three simple words. I don't know. Nobody does. War is the most unpredictable of human activities.

But what really is happening here in this middle phase is you've got two burn rates going on, if you will. Vladimir Putin's burn rate is the killed in action, the equipment destroyed, the impact on his home front, the impact of sanctions. That's burning along. And over on the Ukrainian side, it's the patience and the support in the West.

So, Fareed, if we do the right thing in terms of additional military support, keeping the sanctions on, keeping the diplomatic pressure, I think the sketch math that you laid out of pushing back to those pre- invasion, current invasion lines is a pretty good place to start thinking about when those two burn rates will bring the two actors to the table to negotiate.

ZAKARIA: Dave, this is a -- the Russian strategy after plan A failed, plan B is a pretty brutal strategy. As far as I can figure it out it's use a lot of artillery, essentially destroy these towns and cities, and then, you know, walk into the ruins and claim conquests. But it does feel like it's working in the sense that very slowly they are gaining ground in parts of the Donbas. Explain to me how you see the battle right now?


GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS (RET), FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well, this is a grinding, bloody, costly war of attrition right now. And as you point out, it is just artillery, rockets, bombs, missiles. Destroying the defenses especially if they are in a built-up area as is the case with Severodonetsk, the current focus of their war machine, and they then do essentially walk in and take over the rubble after they have essentially depopulated it of both people and defenders.

The question really is whether they can sustain this. Have they put so much into this one area that they can't do much elsewhere? And that would enable the Ukrainians who are absorbing this enormous quantity of weapons and ammunition, and other materiel, building units that can counter -- could not counter offenses from the southwest towards the city of Kherson, and then pushing south from Kharkiv, the second largest city.

And then in the weeks that lie ahead, we will see which side can generate forces the fastest. Whether Russia really can replace the personnel weapons systems and ammunition that they are losing, and the same on the Ukrainian side. And I should just note for some perspective here that the Russians are losing more in a single day, every single day on average, than we lost in all of U.S. and coalition forces in the worst month of the surge in Iraq. And the Ukrainian casualties are very high as well.

ZAKARIA: Dave, can I just ask you to expand on this in the sense that who has the possibility in the stalemate to break out? You know, who would you put your money on in the sense that can the Ukrainians actually recapture some of those cities like Kherson? Or will the Russians perhaps even be able to expand out of them when you look at this balance of forces?

PETRAEUS: I'd put my money on the Ukrainians. I think they have -- they've got tens of thousands, if not over 100,000 of potential soldiers, if you will, that they have recruited are in the process of training. They are bringing in enormous quantities of weapons from the U.S. and other NATO and Western countries. I mean, 126 155- millimeters, these are heavy artillery pieces alone. 260,000 rounds of 155-millimeter Howitzer ammunition.

These are staggering quantities. Yes, there should be more. We should give more multiple launch rocket systems, and I think we will. We should provide the predator drones as quickly as we can. Get all of this in there. I think they have the possibility of doing this. Having absorbed so much of what the Russians have thrown at them in Severodonetsk and still having not yielded there. So the Russians are impaling themselves on that location, consuming enormous quantities of, again, men and materiel.

And I think when that's done, they are going to have to hunker down and it will be the turn of the Ukrainians who are already pushing in the southwest trying to liberate the city of Kherson which is really one of the first cities taken by the Russians when they pushed north out of the Crimean Peninsula.

ZAKARIA: Stay with us. When we come back, I'm going to ask Admiral James Stavridis what possibilities there are to make it possible for the Ukrainians to start moving their grain and other goods out of Odessa. Jim Stavridis has a plant to help Ukraine. I'm going to ask him to explain it when we come back.



ZAKARIA: We are back talking about the war in Ukraine with two of the smartest military leaders I know, retired Admiral James Stavridis and retired General David Petraeus.

Jim, as you know the crucial issue for Ukraine's economy is can they get their goods into the Black Sea and through that to the world? Right now, essentially the Russians control the Black Sea. Odessa is impossible to use because the Ukrainians have minded. The Russians are blockading it. Ukraine (INAUDIBLE) to prevent Russians from attacking.

What is the way out? You and I have talked about this a lot and you have some really interesting proposals.

STAVRIDIS: I'll go to sea with you in one minute, Fareed, but first I want to simply agree with Dave Petraeus. My money is on the Ukrainians also for another factor besides the heavy materiel from West and the burn rate of Vladimir Putin. The other reason is motivation. If you're on the frontlines of the Ukrainian war and you're a Ukrainian, you look over your shoulder and you see your spouse, your children, your parents, your elders, your civilization, your language. All of that gives great motivators to these troops.

Let's go to sea for a minute because, Fareed, it's not just an economic lifeline for the Ukraine. This has global impact. If we can't get that grain out we're looking at remarkable and terrible food scarcity, food security issues. Notably in North Africa and the Middle East, already not the most stable regions in the world. If that grain can't get out, we're looking at knock-on effects that are truly terrible.

So what we do? We have to get the grain out. We begin I think by taking a page from history. Go back to the 1980s, look at the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Gulf, I should say, where the Iranians were trying to block the Strait of Hormuz and bottle up Kuwaiti oil.


We the United States reflagged those Kuwaiti tankers. We could do something similar here. And then escorted them with U.S. Navy warships in and out. We'd have to clear the mines. We have the capability to do that. Many of the mines are Ukrainian anyway. This would be in international waters and Ukrainian waters.

I think it is risky but unlikely Putin would take a shot at a U.S. Navy warship escorting grain, humanitarian, through a humanitarian corridor. So that would be a quick sketch of it. A lot of risk, a lot of planning would have to go into it. But we need to do something to get the grain out. Not just for Ukraine, but for food globally.

ZAKARIA: Dave, you also were talking to me about something which I think is worth bringing up, which is we haven't talked a lot about what happens in the areas that Russia controls. Is it possible for the Ukrainians to mount an insurgency because as you well know from Iraq and Afghanistan, if they can mount an effective insurgency, that could bog the Russians down in many serious ways.

PETRAEUS: No, it's a wonderful point, Fareed. And first, let me just agree with my old shipmate Jim that the sheer morale, the resourcefulness, the determination, the heart of the Ukrainian forces is extraordinary and has been all along. And that's also what's going to go on in the areas that the Russians have taken control of where there are still Ukrainians citizens. Those citizens hate the Russians at this point in time. No one has done more to spur Ukrainian nationalism than Vladimir Putin.

And they are very, very good at again all kinds of resourceful activities behind lines. And you already see this again in that area around Kherson where they're starting to carry out essentially guerrilla operations and partisan attacks and so forth, and we're still very early on. There's some still no real organization of that behind the lines to speak of.

So the prospects of that for the Russians have to be pretty daunting I would think because that could really unhinge what they're trying to do behind lines. Even as of course Vladimir Putin would really like to absorb these areas. He'd like to have a referendum and they say that they all want to desperately be part of the Russian Federation and he then graciously brings them in as new republics in the federation in some fashion.

So that is another aspect of this war that I think we will see increasingly, literally in the weeks and months that lie ahead that has not been a feature of the war so far.

ZAKARIA: Jim, finally, we have a little bit of time but I've got to ask you. You have this terrific new book out that actually Dave Petraeus blurbs at the back. And it's all about taking risks under pressure. So I want to ask you about the guy we're all interested in, his risk profile, Vladimir Putin. Seemed to be a cautious calculating, incremental guy, and then went for this, you know, this all-out strategy in Ukraine. What do you think explains that?

STAVRIDIS: Massive miscalculations and a leader who has isolated himself. Dave and I both know leadership pretty well. And we both know the last thing you want to do as a leader is cut yourself off from input from your juniors, your intelligence officers, your generals who could come to you and tell you honestly what's going wrong.

And if you cut yourself off and think of Vladimir Putin sitting at that long gondola-like table, with a cluster of his acolytes at the other end, he's isolated himself and I think that has led to massive miscalculation. And finally, look at the other side of the risk equation here. Zelenskyy. Here's a Churchillian figure who is the one looking over his shoulder. He is risking it all every day. I salute him.

ZAKARIA: Well, I salute both of you. I really think this is such an intelligent conversation. I very much hope that the Biden administration is talking to both of you which I suspect it is.

Thanks, both.

Next, on GPS, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden blame each other for inflation and high gas prices. Who's really to blame? I'll ask that question when we come back.



ZAKARIA: On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by three quarters of a percentage point. That's the biggest hike since 1994. Then the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank raised their own rates. As we enter a period of high interest rates around the globe, will it help tame inflation?

Joining me now is Rana Faroohar, CNN's global economic analyst and global business columnist for the "Financial Times." She has a new book out, it's called "Homecoming: The Path to Prosperity in a Post- Global World."

Rana, welcome. First, let me ask you, what do you think is the crux of the inflation we've got? Because for many, many years people predicted that there'd be inflation. Most famously after the global financial crisis. They said don't do quantitative easing, you know, it cause inflation. This time around, Larry Summers said to do all this quantitative easing and to have done these big COVID stimulus packages and to do another one under Biden was just going to be too much. And it was going to trigger inflation. He did seem to get the timing right. What do you think is behind this inflation?

RANA FAROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: So, I think that there are two things happening. The first thing is in the real world. And that's COVID and the war in Ukraine.

[10:30:00] You know, we started to see throughout the pandemic supply chains

breaking down, the world becoming a much more regional, in some way, local in some ways. That's inflationary, you know, when you add, sort of, time and stress to the system you get inflationary pressures. At the same time, you then have the war in Ukraine. This is, you know, taking Russian energy out of the global market which is an immediate, huge deal for energy inflation but it's also taking Ukrainian wheat, Ukrainian grain. This is one of the key breadbaskets of the world off the global market or directing it in some cases with food piracy.

In -- in -- into places where it's -- it's not about market forces. So you immediately get those things colliding to produce real world inflation. Now I would go back and say that the second factor is not just the quantitative easing we've seen since the financial crisis, which was huge, I mean, really unprecedented. And I think, by the way, the first couple of rounds of that were necessary but you can say that round three, round four were really just adding too much fuel to the fire. But this reflects a deeper point which is for decades now, politicians of both stripes have really passed the ball to the Fed. So even before the financial crisis, you would see politicians really encouraging the Fed to keep rates low.

The Fed, sort of, stretching out the business cycle. This is nothing nefarious. Central bankers are trying to do what they need to do, which is create price stability, you know, keep unemployment low, keep prices stable. But the problem is they have limited tools, they can only inflate asset prices. They can't change the real story on the ground for business, so in lieu of fiscal policy, you get this, sort of, what I would call a financialzed growth over the last 40 years, a saccharine growth, where asset prices are rising but real incomes aren't changing. You know, since the mid-1990s', so those two things, the real pressures of today, war and pandemic start to collide with the financialization of certainly the last 15 years if not the last 40.

ZAKARIA: I want to pick-up on what -- what you were saying at the end there. Because it seems to be very powerful inside the depressing point, which is that the American political system has been so broken, really for decades now. That Congress can almost never actually do what it's meant to do which is to spend money during a recession to maybe pair back in boom times, and instead Congress is deadlocked. All the responsibility for managing the economy goes to the Fed, and as you say, the Fed can only do one thing which is lower interest rates in these crisis, which does help the economy but disproportionately helps rich people. People who own assets, exacerbating inequality and creating the sugar high. Is there any prospect that the, you know, the Infrastructure Bill that Biden is doing, are we -- are we missing a bit of turn in that?

FOROOHAR : I think we are starting to see at the margins some things being done. You know, COVID really was like scrim that was raised on all these problems in the real economy and one of them is the fact that along with that financialization that I talked about, you've seen a concentration of power. You have very, very highly concentrated global supply chains which are meant to be efficient, but as we see and they break down their resiliency is not strong in crisis. So that has the administration, for example, looking at anti-trust issues in areas like food and technology. You're also starting to see, not just in the U.S., but in Europe and in Asia more regionalization of supply chains and regional sourcings.

So the idea of getting passed some funding for a chips bill, you know, and -- and really supporting what companies say, like Intel are starting to do. Putting a new foundry in America to create semi- conductor chips for the first time in half a century. I think that these are vectoral changes and it's going to be slow and steady but I don't think that we're going to see the world going back to the mid- 1990s'. You know, the world is not flat. It's bumpy. I think it's going to get bumpier for a while. It will be inflationary, but I think ultimately we're going to come out to a more balanced place where production and consumption is going to be a more closely hubbed. Not just in the U.S. but in Europe and Asia.

ZAKARIA: Quickly, finally, I have to ask you for most people they're single biggest asset is their house. Do you think that this collapse in the Stock Market is going to followed by a collapse in the housing market? What's going on there?

FOROOHAR: Yes, it's really interesting. Two things happening in the housing market. Again, one real, one financial, certainly low rates, some of that monetary stimulus that you saw following COVID helped. Right? You know, low rates encourage buying. You know, you're trying push people into the market, but that's only about a third of what's going on. If you look at mortgage rates, we're not back in 2008. You're not seeing a ton of -- of bad lending going on. The pandemic was an incredible shift in the American housing market. You suddenly could work two or three hours away from the cities that you might have lived in, a lot of people moved from expensive coastal cities to the south and to the west. And so in some ways, that's a real structural shift that's still playing out. It might be more --

[10:35:09] FOROOHAR: --like the adoption of the automobile in the post World War II period, which allowed people to travel in new ways. It created the suburbs. It pushed people out to California. I think that some of those shifts are going to last for another year, two years, maybe five years, and so you won't see the, sort of, collapse in the housing market that you might see in asset markets except in very, very frothy areas.

ZAKARIA: Rana Foroohar, always so -- so smart to talk to you. Thank you so much. Next on GPS, Biden goes to Saudi Arabia. We're going to flat out ask what he will do there.


ZAKARIA: On Wednesday the District of Columbia renamed part of the street in front of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia. It's now called Jamal Khashoggi Way. Khashoggi was the Saudi journalist who's murder, U.S. intelligence --

[10:40:10] ZAKARIA: -- says was sanctioned by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Biden condemned the journalist's murder, vowed to make Saudi Arabia a pariah nation and even refused to speak with MBS on the phone. But next month, President Biden will meet with him in Jeddah, as part of what senior administration officials say is a reset in relations. To find out what's behind the about face, let me bring in Tarek Masoud, a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Tarek, first, let's just talk about the country that Biden is going to visit, because everything I have heard tells me that Saudi Arabia in the last few years has really experienced a, kind of, revolution.

TAREK MASOUD, PROFESSOR AT HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT: I think that's exactly right Fareed. I mean, it's, you know, if I we summarize the state of Saudi Arabia today. I'd say it is a country that's undergoing one of the most dramatic transformations that we've seen any country go through in living memory. It's transforming from a place that was really at least had it's social life in the grip of a, kind of, 13th century religious reaction, to joining the modern world. The problem, of course, is that that very positive transformation is happening at the hands of a leader who is, kind of, an Arab autocrat out of central casting.

ZAKARIA: So one of the reasons this trip was so hard for Biden is that he faced criticism. He -- he himself had expressed some of it, about the Saudi regime, not just on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi but also more generally of the autocracy of Mohammad bin Salman. Is this just a case that, you know, economic interest are trumping human rights? How to think about America's relationship with Saudi Arabia in that context?

MASOUD: Yes. Certainly Fareed, a lot of people feel that what's happening now by President Biden visiting Saudi Arabia and seeming to let bygones be bygones is that Mohammad bin Salman is being allowed to quite literally get away with murder. I think that what President Biden is coming around to is the fact that we have a lot of interests in this part of the world, and the solution for a lot of the problems that we seek to solve, the roads run through Riyadh or at least they have a stop in Riyadh. You know, if you want to combat, you know, Iranian adventurism in the region. If you want to break the Palestinian-Israeli impasse. If you want to end the tragic bloodshed in Yemen, you know, all of these roads have a stop in Saudi Arabia, and you could potentially skip that stop sometimes but you couldn't do it without making life a lot more difficult for yourself.

In addition, remember Fareed, let's come back to the fact that Saudi Arabia is really undergoing this transformation. It's a positive transformation. It's one that we've wanted to see in that part of the world for a long time, and it has ripple effects elsewhere in the Muslim world. The fact that Saudi Arabia is no longer exporting that particular brand of (inaudible) that we found so troublesome is a very positive development. So you want to encourage that, and when I think of the U.S.-Saudi relationship, I think of this line from an early Arab leader who said, the relationship between me and my people is like a thread. I hold one end, my people hold the other. Now, when they tug on the thread, I loosen a little bit, when they loosen their grip on the thread, I tighten. But above all, I don't let the thread break, I think that's a pretty good metaphor for how our relationship with Saudi Arabia should be conducted.

ZAKARIA: Now we know what Biden wants from MBS. He wants Saudi Arabia to pump more gas, more oil to get prices down. My question is what is Saudi Arabia want, because, you know, presumably there is something that the Saudis feel they need to get from the U.S.

MASOUD: Well remember that Saudi Arabia has been treated by this administration, or they've at least felt treated by this administration as if they are, in fact, what President Biden labeled them on the campaign trail, a pariah. What Saudi's are also very concerned with is the fact that the United States seems to be running headlong into trying to restart a relationship with Iran, which the Saudis see as the major miscreant in their region. So I think the Saudis would definitely like the reset to involve the United States being much more committed to limiting Iranian ambitions in -- in the region, but I think basically the Saudis want to as much of a reset with this relationship as the Americans do. And they want the U.S. to talk about Saudi Arabia as an ally and to deepen the ties with that country.

ZAKARIA: And finally, can the Saudi's deliver on what Biden wants? Can they pump out more oil? They are what is often called the largest swing producer in the world. They have the capacity to increase production.

[10:45:10] MASOUD: Certainly President Biden has access to much better economic advisors than I do, but the fact of the matter is, that there are a lot of reasons why oil prices are high right now. One of which is the tightening supply as a result of the war in Ukraine, but let's remember the International Energy Agency says that Russian oil production is going to decline by 3 million barrels a day by July. Saudi Arabia's excess capacity is about a third of that, so every little bit helps of course, but I'm not sure the entirety of the solution to the high oil price problem lies in Riyadh. And I'm sure that President Biden wants more from this visit to Saudi Arabia than just more Saudi oil production, there's a lot of issues on which the United States needs and wants Saudi Arabian cooperation. And so I think President Biden will want to come out of this visit with much more than just a commitment to pump some more oil.

ZAKARIA: Tarek Masoud, pleasure to have you on as always.

MASOUD: Thank you Fareed.

ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, we'll look at two nations. At one time they were both great symbols of how diversity might thrive in democracy. Now both are riding down dangerous roads of liberalism.



[10:51:06] ZAKARIA: And now for the last look, when one looks at the strengths and vibrancies of democracies around the world, among the most promising trends in recent decades have been two unusual success stories, India and South Africa. Both have managed to forge diverse democracies, despite huge obstacles, for India it's widespread poverty. For South Africa, the horrible legacy of apartheid, both countries have managed to do this through the leadership of towering founding fathers like Nelson Mandela, and Jawaharlal Nehru. Men who inspired admiration, not just in their own countries but all over the world. So it's been startling and disappointing to see in both countries a rising degree of liberalism.

In South Africa, political parties have begun to ramp up rhetoric against migrants, blaming them for everything from the country's widespread unemployment to crime. Whether the politicians are igniting these attitudes or reflecting them is unclear, but xenophobia is clearly on the rise. As The Economist notes, vigilante groups like Operation Dudula or Pushback in (inaudible), march on townships, demonstrating against illegal immigration. These kinds of marches have led to violent attacks in the past, a Zimbabwean migrant was burnt alive by a mob while he was unable to produce documents proving his legal status in the country.

As the economist notes, more than 120,000 people have been displaced and more than 600 have been killed in violent attacks on migrants since 1994 and most have occurred in the past 10 years. Nearly half of South Africans polled in 2020 said, they found migrants dishonest and violent. Another poll from 2021 found that three percent said, they had committed violence against migrants and an astounding 12 percent said they might do so. Even the government of Cyril Ramaphosa, which has so far avoided scapegoating migrants appears nonetheless to be bending to anti-migrant sentiment through policy. In November it decided the Zimbabwean exemption permit, which allowed almost 200,000 migrants to settle in South Africa over the past decade. The program will expire at the end of the year. And then there is India, where the social divide manipulated by opportunistic politicians centers not on migration but religion.

Thousands of Indians came out in protest last week over derogatory comments made about the profit Mohammad by two senior officials in Narendra Modi's (inaudible). Muslims in Modi's India have long faced vigilante violence from mobs, often provoked by the divisive rhetoric of BJP politicians as organizations like Humans Rights Watch have noted in the past. But rarely do officials so plainly utter discriminatory remarks, as The Economist reports, after an outcry from rich, oil producing Gulf countries, Napur Sharma, the National Spokesperson who made her comment in a prime time television debate was suspended from the party. Another spokesperson, Naveen Jindal, who made is comments on social media was expelled from the party, but that didn't satisfy many Indians who came out on the streets demanding that Sharma and Jindal be arrested.

Videos have circulated on social media of violent unrest, including some of protestors being beaten by police with sticks, and most shocking (inaudible), authorities in the state of (inaudible) have bulldozed the homes of Muslim activists suspected of participating in the protests. One official in the state tweeted a photo of a demolition last Saturday which took place after Friday protests and wrote, unruly elements remember. Every Friday is followed by a Saturday, it appeared to be a veiled reference to Islam's Friday prayers. Amnesty International said in a statement released Tuesday, that the government of India --

[10:55:10] ZAKARIA: -- is selectively and viciously cracking down on Muslims who dare to speak up and peacefully express their decent against discrimination. This latest episode is sadly not an aberration according to Human Rights Watch, discrimination against religious minorities have been codified and violent Hindu nationalism enabled under two consecutive terms of the Modi regime. What we're seeing in both India and South Africa is politicians choosing to scapegoat and divide, rather than unify. We've seen that elsewhere. That it's all the more tragic in two countries that have for so long, refuted the idea that democracy is for the rich, but that a bleak history cannot be overcome. It's a sad reminder that we are living in troubled times for democracy. Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.