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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
Interview With Thomas Friedman; Interview With Andrew Sullivan; Interview With Shah Rukh Khan
Aired April 4, 2010 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST: This is GPS, THE GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.
When Barack Obama was campaigning for president before the global economic crisis hit, he was once asked if he could only accomplish three things as president, what would they be? His answer was withdrawal of troops in a responsible manner from Iraq; two, reform health care; and three, put in place a new energy policy for America.
In the first two areas, Obama can point to real markers, the Iraqi elections and the continued troop withdrawal. And, of course, the health care bill in the - on the second front. But on the third, energy, there is no such signature achievement.
Still, we might look back on the early Obama years as the time when America finally woke up and began investing in the future. $36 billion of the fiscal stimulus was earmarked for energy policy. Some of that spending has been criticized because it's small-bore and complicated, for example, insulating buildings.
But, in fact, achieving energy efficiency is probably the biggest way to both lower carbon emissions and cut costs in America. It's a win/win for business and the environment.
But there are also investments in the smart grid that moves power and electricity around the country. This will be the Interstate Highway System of the 21st century. Like the original Interstate Highway System, it will be hugely expensive and take decades to build. But what's happening now is a good start.
The Department of Energy, which is led ably by the brilliant Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Chu, is now funding basic science innovation and applied technology. In all cases, it is taking risks and swinging for the fences. We will strike out many times, Chu said to me, but we hope to also get a few homeruns. That is exactly the spirit that has driven the best government investment in science and technology in the past.
No one has spent more time trying to talk to the public about energy and climate change than the "New York Times" columnist Thomas Friedman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) THOMAS FRIEDMAN, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: So let's see, we have two future paths. One is to say, let's have a future that's built around a commodity that's controlled by the worst authoritarian government, some of whom have drawn a bull's eye on our back. Or, let's build a future controlled by a technology which we specialize in, which is really good at innovating, that we would control and also produce a much more pollution and climate - free and climate-friendly world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: And finally, the biggest movie star you've never heard of - India's sensation, Shah Rukh Khan. You wouldn't want to miss it.
Let's get started.
ZAKARIA: And joining me now, three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and "New York Times" columnist, Tom Friedman.
Tom, you look at the situation now. One of the things that is very clear is when the American economy is doing badly, the support for being environmental in any sense of the word -
ZAKARIA: -- declines. So are you pessimistic about the prospects of really far reaching - the kind of far-reaching change you talk about in the book, to have a new energy future for us?
FRIEDMAN: You'll get the most revolution you can get, Fareed, from a kind of Cash for Clunkers. It'll be cash for green. We will buy and do some subsidized people to move there, but you wouldn't get scale change.
And -- and that's, I think, going to be really one of the challenges that one of the former G.M. executives, you know, said this, and it shows you the kind of weird world we're in. On the one hand, we just -- taxpayers, they bought General Motors. We own General Motors now. We said to them, make more fuel-efficient cars, cars of the 21st Century.
But then we said, no gasoline tax. No gasoline tax, Fareed, to consumers who'd want to buy those cars. And this guys said, well, that -- that's like telling every shirt maker in America to only make size smalls but never asking anyone to go on a diet.
You're not going to sell a lot of size smalls, and -- and that's really what I worry with, (INAUDIBLE).
ZAKARIA: But isn't part of the problem with this revolution -- and, you know, a lot of people listen, hear you and other people who say how can you have a technological revolution that is entirely produced by government regulation --
FRIEDMAN: Right. ZAKARIA: -- government subsidies, government taxes? And -- and you're trying to give people the same product they already have, which is electricity.
FRIEDMAN: Right. Right. Which is light, mobility or heating and cooling. That's the -- that is the challenge.
I don't think it's impossible at all. Look at the Europeans. Denmark has -- what's gasoline in Denmark? Around $9, $10 a gallon. But see, Denmark, one out of every three wind turbines in the world come from Denmark. The two leading biofuel companies in the world, Novozymes and Danesco, Danish companies.
They created an environment where it was hugely -- there's huge incentive to invest in these alternatives, and now they've created homegrown export industries on the basis of these technologies.
ZAKARIA: And we are -- and we, the United States, is behind in all these -- these areas?
FRIEDMAN: Yes, we -- we are. We are behind. You know, Lazard investment bank did a study of the top 10 wind, solar and battery companies in the world by market cap, and, as I recall five of them were American. Five out of the top 30.
And, you know, the --
ZAKARIA: With more Japanese, more Chinese --
FRIEDMAN: Exactly. More European. Exactly.
And, Fareed, imagine if -- imagine if Microsoft were a Swiss company, if IBM were a Japanese company, if Google were a Chinese company, if Intel were a Spanish company, what would our economy look like?
Well, you know, one of the things that -- that I've really been trying to argue and argue in my book, you know, whenever I speak to an audience, they say, well, we're -- we're skeptical about climate change, you know? (INAUDIBLE) my book and say, oh, you don't believe in hot? No problem. Anyone here got an eraser? Let's just take off hot.
In a flat and crowded world, what does that mean? In a world where more and more people can see how we live and aspire to how we live, a middle-class lifestyle, American sized houses, cars and Big Macs, OK? In a -- in a flat world and a crowded world, a world we know, I mean, barring a pandemic, is going to go from 6.7 billion today to 9.2 billion by 2050.
In a flat and crowded world, where do you think the demand for -- and where's oil going to go? It's going to go through the roof. Who is empowered by that? So let's see, we have two future paths. One is to say, let's have a future that's built around a commodity that's controlled by the worst authoritarian government, some of whom have drawn a bull's eye on our back. Or, let's build a future controlled by a technology which we specialize in, which is really good at innovating, that we would control and also produce a much more pollution and climate -- free and climate-friendly world.
ZAKARIA: But let's talk about the -- the climate change crisis.
ZAKARIA: Is -- is it fair to say that there is greater uncertainty around the issue of global warming and that there has been some effort to kind of simplify the data and to give people a simpler picture about it?
FRIEDMAN: Here's the way I personally look at it. The way I look at it is that, one, we know there's a greenhouse blanket around the earth. You know, that's why with this greenhouse effect keeps the earth at this wonderfully moderate temperature. It's made up of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and methane.
If you pump more greenhouse gasses into it, that blanket will get thicker. It will trap more heat. That heat will melt ice and raise average temperatures.
Now, where the climate skepticism comes in and -- and the climate variability comes in is we don't know -- because the climate system is so complicated, we don't know how fast that will happen. We don't know what other changes will come to moderate that, et cetera.
But we know there's a chance that it could actually heat things up quickly, and, if it does, that CO2 in the atmosphere, Fareed, stays there for about 3,000 years. So if it gets hot, it's going to get real hot for a long time.
So why do you have insurance on your house? Why do I -- because I think there's a 5 percent chance that a storm may come and blow the roof off. Well, on the climate thing, let's say the skeptics and deniers are right. Let's say there's a 50 percent chance, OK? That not -- it's not what the IPCC -- the U.N. report said 90 percent. It's 50 -- 50 percent chance that we could trigger, you know, a world where you have runaway warming? I don't know, I'd kind of buy some insurance myself.
And so what I fear we find is that a lot of these people are Conservatives. The same people said if there's a 1 percent chance that someone has a nuclear weapon after 9/11, if there's just a 1 percent chance, we need to go into their country. We need -- if there's just a 1 percent chance. But here on climate, when there's better than a -- some people think a 90 percent chance, but let's call it 50 percent, let's call it 30 percent. They say, no, no. I'm going to shake the dice. I don't know. It strikes me as kind of reckless.
I myself, Fareed, am an innovation guy, you know? And I'm not against Copenhagen. It's wonderful. I hope people make good promises and I hope it gives momentum. But, ultimately, to me it's about that price signal, does it trigger innovation here in America?
And, you know, one of the points I try to make in -- in the new edition of the book is that we have to understand, the financial crisis and the economic crisis -- I'm sorry, in the environmental crisis, that what happened in 2008, that's actually one crisis. That's -- actually, we wrote the first chapter. It's now called why Citibank, Iceland's banks and the ice banks of Antarctica all melted at the same time.
Or, if you don't like that, why Bear Stearns and the polar bear both faced extinction at the same time. Because they were actually one crisis. Why? They're both based on the same accounting. We allowed people in the financial realm to massively under price risk, privatize the gains and socialize the losses.
And, you know what? We do the same in the environment. We allow people to massively under price the risk of carbon emissions, privatize the gains, cheap coal base to energy or gas, and then socialize the losses by putting all of those CO2 molecules in the atmosphere, charging them on our kids' visa cards that will be paid in the future in the form of climate change.
So we're actually behaving in both the market and Mother Nature in the same way. And that's why we need sustainability, the ethic and concept of sustainability, both in the market and Mother Nature.
ZAKARIA: I have to ask you this before I let you go.
ZAKARIA: If you were to -- if you really do believe what you say about climate change and what you say in the book about climate change --
FRIEDMAN: Right. Yes, yes.
ZAKARIA: -- you've got to be pretty gloomy and pessimistic, because a lot of this has already happened.
Fareed, you know, if you woke me up at 2:00 in the morning, said Tom, do we have a chance? Are we cooked? I'd probably tell you, just (INAUDIBLE), we're cooked. We're cooked. Let me go back to sleep.
If you then gave me about 20 minutes for my eyes to clear and see the picture of my girls, you know, in our bedroom, I'd say, no, we're not cooked. There's no way you can be a parent now -- I don't live my life that way. People call me a congenital optimist. Yes I am. Optimism has its own energy.
I believe you never know. I am -- I'm not a technological determinist, but I do believe in the power of technology and the power of -- of human ingenuity, and I -- I will not surrender to the -- to the pessimisms.
ZAKARIA: Tom Friedman, always a pleasure.
FRIEDMAN: Thanks, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: And we will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW SULLIVAN, "THE DAILY DISH": I mean, people keep saying they don't want any tax increases, but they don't want to have their Medicare cut, they don't want to have their Medicaid or they don't want to have their Social Security touched an inch.
Well, it's about time someone tells them, you can't have it, baby. You know, it's done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Andrew Sullivan, the super blogger, is insightful and always opinionated. He plies his trade for the Atlantic, both online and on paper. His blog is very well known. He has described himself sometimes as a gay Roman Catholic conservative.
Welcome, Andrew Sullivan.
SULLIVAN: Thank you, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Where is Obama right now? You know the argument. A lot of people say he -- he hasn't governed from the center, the health care bill was written by the very Liberal forces in the House of Representatives, and that he should have tried to govern in a way that bridged the gap between the two parties.
SULLIVAN: Look, the health care bill is far more Conservative than Clinton's, certainly more conservative than Nixon's was. It gives the entire health care industry to the insurance companies. It does not have a public option. It allows drug companies 40 million new consumers, and it actually manages by CBO, if it is enforced, to reduce the deficit.
It has the first cuts in Medicare, real cuts in Medicare that have been proposed forever. ZAKARIA: That board that would cut cost in Medicare is probably one of the most important pieces of this.
SULLIVAN: Yes, and that -- I mean, I don't know about you, but that's a Conservative idea --
SULLIVAN: -- to actually cut entitlements. And this is allegedly a Left Liberal president doing that.
There are also important pre-market idea like health care exchanges, which can also be expanded.
I think it's dead center --
ZAKARIA: So why do you think -- why do you think --
SULLIVAN: -- dead center of whether you reform (INAUDIBLE) --
ZAKARIA: So why does the public feel so differently about it?
SULLIVAN: Because I think they've been -- it's -- that's a -- everything I've said is a very complicated and wonkish debate. And -- and frankly, it bores you to tears.
But the government's taking over your health care is a -- is a very clear and old thing, and it taps into people's fears of government control, which I -- which I feel too. And if, frankly, we were not in a crisis on the subject, if this wasn't going to bankrupt private industry, if it weren't repressing wages very profoundly, if our actual outcomes were anywhere near the amount of expenditure we're putting on this, I would be fine with the status quo.
But I think it's a reasonable centrist proposal. I think the more people hear about it, I think they'll see that. And also, I -- look, Fareed, I know what socialist medicine is. I grew up in a country with socialist medicine. This is not socialism by any means.
For example, it's extremely similar to Mitt Romney's proposal in Massachusetts. A Republican governor and leader trying to govern a Liberal state, and this is a -- a sort of Liberal president trying to accommodate a Conservative country. I think they're very similar.
ZAKARIA: But no tort reform for -- on, you know, medical malpractice issues. There are lots of people who feel the consumer doesn't pay enough, which -- which is part of what adds to this constant inflation, so you don't have consumers, you need (ph) there the high deductibles or some kind of --
SULLIVAN: And you need to get rid of the -- the subsidy for employer.
SULLIVAN: I agree with all of that. That can be done. That can be added. I mean, what people seem to forget is the legislation can be changed, and this legislation can be amended in the future.
But I think it's the framework to show that we can tackle this problem, and I think Obama was elected by many -- by many of us to tackle these problems pragmatically.
So I think the Conservatives should say, fine, but we -- and I do agree to tort reform, but, you and I know that tort reform in terms of cost control is trivial. It's totally trivial. And I -- I think he's done a really much better job than people have acknowledged in incorporating much of that -- much of the Conservative critique within the actual proposal.
It's not perfect. Getting anything through the Congress isn't perfect. But look, the other thing he's doing is restoring the Constitutional order. He's taking --
ZAKARIA: This is very important to you. You've been blogging about this a great deal. Why is it so important to you?
SULLIVAN: Because it -- its bottom -- this country is a Constitution. That's the meaning of America. It's not a -- it's not a -- it's not a physical territory, it's an idea. And the idea is that it should protect individual freedom, and one of the fundamental principles of that is the power in the government should be separated and minimalized.
And the way that President Bush, for example, with a majority, managed to ram through huge legislation, to give you a simple example, the Medicare Prescription Drug Act, which in the imposition violated almost every parliamentary procedure by the hammer, Tom DeLay, which added $32 trillion of unfunded liabilities to the future generations. That was -- that was a violation of the Constitution.
What Obama is doing is trying to allow -- surprise, surprise -- the Congress to legislate. This is what it's supposed to do.
ZAKARIA: Let's talk about the political moment, because I remember when you were editor of "The New Republic" many years ago and Clinton came into office and Blair came into the office.
You wrote very eloquently about how there was a kind of post ideological politics that was developing in the Western world, end of the Cold War meant that the old Left/Right divide didn't make any sense. And while we've had a lot of ideological fire and brimstone, it does seem, to me at least, that the center of the country is still roughly where you described, the kind of pragmatic, moderate center that wants most of these problems solved and isn't too worried about the ideological kind of litmus test.
But yet, that doesn't seem to be what Washington looks like -- very polarized, very partisan. What's going on?
SULLIVAN: Part of it I think is gerrymandering, to be honest with you, in which the vast majority of congressmen and senator are in seats -- well, congressmen particularly -- are in seats that have been fixed so they're so safe. So that, in fact, the main thing they have to fear is a primary opponent from their right or their left.
ZAKARIA: So they worry about the extremes of their party, not the center --
ZAKARIA: -- that they've --
SULLIVAN: Because they -- they know they've got the seat. They don't have to appeal for center (ph).
Then you also have what I think has been a Conservative media industrial complex, which has found it very lucrative to really get more and more extreme on the Right, and I'm thinking of FOX News in this respect, in which -- or CPAC, these places, which have really gotten out of hand, I think, in terms of the extreme rhetoric they're doing. So they're narrowcasting to that base, and those base tends to be the activist of the party.
Now, Obama is refusing to take the bait, which is a very ballsy move. It requires -- you seem, I think he's underestimated in this sense. I think restraint is sometimes much stronger than hitting back, and I think his greatest strength as president is responding to anger and emotion with reason and argument.
Now, I know people say it wouldn't work, and that, in fact, emotion, especially in these economic times, is going to work. But, at the same time, Obama is still out there, like at this health care summit, still want his -- when he's given the opportunity to make the case, I think most people in the middle realize he's a good guy.
I think most people do think, apart from the 30 percent that think he's the antichrist, the 70 percent, I think, think -- even when they disagree with him, he's a good guy. His favorables are pretty high. His approval rating is -- is, really, at 50 percent in this -- in this kind of economic crisis, pretty high. And, in fact, his approval ratings are exactly where Reagan's were at this point. They chart and mirror Reagan's exactly.
I think he's making a gamble that in the long run the American people will understand that they have some serious problems, especially on the debt, and that they want a grown up to deal with it. They don't want to watch a cable show on FOX News in which some grown- up tells them they've got to eat their vegetables, because I think, frankly, Fareed, the biggest problem in this country is not -- they are post ideological, but they're big babies.
I mean, people keep saying they don't want any tax increases, but they don't want to have their Medicare cut, they don't want to have their Medicaid or they don't want to have their Social Security touched an inch. Well, it's about time someone tells them, you can't have it, baby. You know, it's done. You have to make a choice.
And I fear that -- and I always thought, you see, that that was the Conservative position. The Conservative is the Grinch who says no. And, in some ways, I think this in the long run, looking back in history, was Reagan's greatest bad legacy, which is he tried to tell people you can have it all. We can't have it all.
ZAKARIA: And we can't have it all because we're out of time.
Andrew Sullivan, always a pleasure. Stop by again.
SULLIVAN: Always a great pleasure to see you, Fareed, after all these years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHAH RUKH KHAN, INDIA'S BIGGEST MOVIE STAR: My name is Khan, and I'm not a terrorist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: He's been called the world's biggest movie star, with almost 70 blockbusters to his credit. His box office stake is said to be comparable to that of his Hollywood counterparts Tom Cruise and Will Smith, and you may never have heard of him.
But his contributions to the bottom line are so prodigious, he was invited to ring the opening bell at the NASDAQ. My magazine, "Newsweek", has named him one of the 50 most powerful people in the world, and he stirs up such passion that his fans burned a U.S. flag after he was detained at Newark Airport last summer. Perhaps the TSA agents have never heard of him either.
The film he is here in the United States to promote when he was questioned is called "My Name is Khan", and, ironically, it's about racial profiling of Muslims after 9/11.
Shah Rukh Khan, welcome.
KHAN: Thank you very much, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: First, tell us about this incident. So you are, without any question, the biggest movie star in India, a billion fans some people say, and you get to Newark Airport and what happens?
KHAN: You know, normally I am kind of used to being -- having extra security checks, perhaps because of the name or the way profiling is done, even my kids, so I'm used to it. It's not something new. So --
ZAKARIA: They thought your fans were sort of being unruly or --
KHAN: Yes, I guess -- suddenly they started asking questions, what are you doing here and do you have a telephone number? I was going to give yours. Yes? I was going to -- you know, I took out my phone and they were a little angry about me taking out my phone. So I said, I can't give you a number until I find them out.
So I sort of -- I gave a few numbers and then they would go in, check, then they came and said what are you doing here? And so I said I've came here for a film. There were some strange questions like if you're a film actor -- I've come for a live talk, and they said if you have come for a talk, how can you be a movie star? So I said, you know, I talk also. (INAUDIBLE) acting films.
So it just got out of hand, and I guess it was a process, so they went on and on -- and it took a couple of hours.
ZAKARIA: But you -- you feel like you have had experiences like this before?
KHAN: Not quite like this, but -- not at the immigrations, but at security. I'm -- you know, initially, when -- post 9/11, I think, yes, there were instances when -- I guess your boarding pass gets SSS (ph) written on it, so you're taken on to the other side and you take off your shoes and stuff, yes?
ZAKARIA: Even your kids?
KHAN: Oh, yes, yes. They get very excited, because, you know, they get to put their feet on those little marks and stand like that. So they think they're being special.
ZAKARIA: Now, you're very -- you're relaxed about it. Does it -- does it not anger you, I mean, that you're -- I mean, you're --
KHAN: No. I said it before, Fareed. Like, you know, if I'm planning to come to your house, I have to follow the rules. It's as simple as that. I'm very practical like that. So I'm like, OK. I said, if I have to come to your house and you have a rule that I need to take off my shoes before I walk into your study, then I do that.
But I just -- just had an issue that, you know, for a country which has such outstanding processes and systems for everything, and they have a process and system for, you know, profiling people who are perhaps on a marked list, they should also have a system where people who come regularly, they should also be marked positively. And so OK, you know, you can go --
ZAKARIA: Do you think this affects America's image in -- I mean, you're -- you're somebody who understands the power of images.
ZAKARIA: Does it affect America's image in a country like India?
KHAN: Oh, yes. I think so. Yes. I think all over the world.
I think, specifically, if I can just take one -- because I'm an entertainer, so I would take, say, tourism, you know? Just that way. You come to have fun, you want to go to Orlando, you know, go to the Disney or whatever, when you think about it, like I do now, I take them to Europe now, my kids, if I need to. Unlike -- (INAUDIBLE) and she was traveling domestically more than internationally, to be honest, because I think domestic travel is even more strict. So you do think twice. I think it does affect the image, and I'm sure it's in a lot of spaces (ph) also, not just wanting to come to Disney. I'm sure it goes beyond that also.
ZAKARIA: And this is a big change, right? Because, I mean, 20 years ago, 30 years ago when I was growing up in India, America was the land of openness, of freedom, a sense of adventure.
KHAN: Absolutely. I think, it still is looked upon like that. And, you know, everybody wants to come to America, everybody loves America and has all the nicest things. Whether it's technology or businesses, whatever. It's the land of opportunity. And suddenly, the opportunity gets a little curtailed because of this. And you do think twice. And you know, would it affect me negatively, would it affect the family negatively?
ZAKARIA: So, now talk about this movie. Because the movie is really about this problem.
KHAN: The film is about a man's message or I wouldn't like to make it as strong as saying a Muslim's message, but an American who has been living here for years and who is married here, and post-9/11 how the lives of this couple gets affected. You know, it's like a butterfly effect. It's not directly related to the incident of 9/11. So, the film is not about terrorism or -- it's not dealing with 9/11. Or the sadness that followed around the world. But it's dealing with how some of the people we don't even know and some of the far corner of the world or in America affected without being directly linked to it.
And how, just the love gets completely disrupted because he's a Muslim man, married to a Hindu girl, both American, both have been living here for 20, 25 years. And how he has to go on a journey to explain to everybody that, guys, just because "My Name is Khan" doesn't mean I'm a terrorist. So, it's an emotional trip across America to convince the world. And I feel the film's relevance is that there is an issue as far as religions and ideologies are concerned in terms of the west and Islam and everywhere.
And we have to accept it. But the thing is, I think as a Muslim, I've not been able to explain my religion to you well enough. So unless I do that, I don't have an excuse of saying, uh-oh, one second, these guys are taking it wrong. Maybe they don't know him. So, I think it's my duty as an actor.
ZAKARIA: Do you feel that Muslims have a special responsibility to explain their religion?
KHAN: See, if you were to look at it from one side and turn around and say, listen, you better know my religion. I think that's not fair. I think, we need to -- I think, not only do they need to explain their religion, they need to understand other religions also. And it's a dual process, just because somebody doesn't understand, of course they will take it wrongly or react to it wrongly. And I think it's a duty of every educated, maybe a little liberal Muslim to go out in the world and if he has the opportunity, like I think I have as an actor, I think we need to make sure, that's yes, this is what it stands for, this is what Jihad means, this is what tolerance means and this is what Islam means. And whatever little knowledge I had, and I am not fully knowledgeable, and so I find out and try to promote that and tell people. And if you understand it, maybe you'll say it, actually no, it's exactly like how our discipline is. I think it's a reason for every Muslim to think about.
ZAKARIA: You know when George Bush saw Manmohan Singh at some event, the first time he had an opportunity chance to introduce his wife, Laura Bush, to Manmohan Singh, he said to her, honey, this is the prime minister of India. This is a country that has 150 million Muslims and not one member of Al-Qaeda. That was the way he thought of Indian Muslims. Why do you think Indian Muslims are not so radicalized? When you look, think about Pakistan, Afghanistan, you know, there's so much Jihad and terrorism in the Arabic. Indian Muslims have not succumbed as much. This is the second largest Muslim population in the world by some count. What, is there a secret?
KHAN: I think the secret lies within the way Indians are. We as people are more compromising and understanding. We do give a chance to everyone to say their point of view, listen to it, and not react really radically. Of course there will be sections which do it. And that permeates to the Muslims, to the Hindus, to the Christians, to every, you know, section in our society. I would like to believe it's like that. But I think that's the main reason. I think Indians by nature like people and they're compromising and understanding. Is what I'd like to believe, really.
ZAKARIA: Do you think that there is a tendency towards radicalism, violence, within Islam right now that worries you? Because, let's be honest, when you look around the world and you see terrorism, it is basically being committed by radical Muslims. And there is something either within the, you know, some of these fringe groups, but they all tend to come from one religion by and large.
KHAN: Yes, of course. I mean, somewhere down the line, you know, religion can be very easily misused. And I think I would like to really believe as a modern person that it's the lack of education that is being -- that is there in large sections of the Islamic world. I think the youth needs to be educated in world matters, apart from their religion. I mean, it's really wonderful to learn your religion. I think it's fantastic for everyone to have a discipline whichever that maybe, and respect each other that way.
But I think it's also very important to be educated in worldly affairs. If they do, they will not be misled. I think, most of these places that we'll talk about and radicals coming from, you would know this, that there's a huge gap between the educated and uneducated. And most of the uneducated may be falling in the category of, you know, having a religion, by religion being Muslims. So, I think that is the main reason.
ZAKARIA: We will be right back with Shah Rukh Khan. And we will talk about Bollywood, globalization and much else. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: People say you have a billion fans, but as you point out, the dollar value is lower because a ticket costs less in India than it does in the States. But do you imagine there may be a time when Indian stars will be truly global in that sense?
KHAN: Much sooner than anyone would expect. Most certainly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: And we are back with Shah Rukh Khan, by many measures the world's biggest movie star. Talk about Bollywood and what it's like. When I was growing up in India, Bollywood was, you know, much, much smaller than Hollywood. It was low production qualities, wonderful movies, but always, you know, very different. Often copying trends that came directly out of Hollywood, often copying stories as the stars were big in India, but very small on a global scale. That's all seemed to have changed in the last few years.
KHAN: The younger filmmakers, I think are completely new- thinking people...
ZAKARIA: In what sense?
KHAN: To be exposed to western cinema, western culture. They have learned the technique and technology, and writing from the western world, which is a more developed science. As far as screenplay writing, it is a more developed science in the west. And they have been able to take those ideas and say OK, we can bring them into our films. Many times failing at it, but the youth here in our country now is also understanding different kind of cinema, because they're also exposed to because of television, Internet. So, they're like, OK, we can compare. And somehow Indians at this juncture feel, you know what? To be really proud, we need to make films which make a mark in the world.
ZAKARIA: When you think about movie stars, you know, the biggest movie stars in the world remain all Hollywood movie stars.
ZAKARIA: You know, Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise or something like that. Do you imagine that, I mean, you have probably more fans than those people, you know, people say you have a billion fans. But as you point out, the dollar value is lower because a ticket costs less in India than it does in the States. Could you imagine there maybe a time when Indian stars will be truly global in that sense?
KHAN: Much sooner than anyone would expect, most certainly. You know, of course, all the main standard in the world becomes how much dollar value that finally the business brings, and that's how you're big. But I can see it happening in the next five or six years, very easily. Because see, also the problem is that the language that we use in our films is Hindi. So, I don't think Hollywood, that's the only advantage that they have is that they speak in English -- they're great filmmakers also -- but I think that's a big advantage, that we don't make films in English yet. But the time is coming now, because I have kids and they're all watching, you know, language in Hindi films, if you see a new Indian film, you'll realize that the language is more English (ph). You know, we're using, and we don't have to translate it anymore, everyone understands it. And everyone uses it every day.
ZAKARIA: Do you think that we're, you know, at the rise of something truly called world cinema that, you know, the United States has have this privileged position of being cinema the only global cinema, but now it's not just India, maybe China and maybe other countries will be able to present their own world cinema?
KAHN: Absolutely. You know, I mean, everybody uses these words in business parlance, everyone talks about globalization and everybody talks about globalization and everyone talks about global village and coming together. But yes, one of the biggest things about globalization and this global village scenario that we're going through, communication and information, is going to be very clearly that the, you know, the language as a barrier will start breaking down. Culture as a barrier will start breaking down. And you go on to the Internet -- I go on Twitter or you know, I hang with kids and chat with them. And I'm realizing that, you know, they're trying to figure out what my culture is and talking about it. So, all that will break down and other cinemas will come over, will come, and they'll use the technology -- and a lot of technicians from here. But stories, every country has a story to tell. And once it reaches a certain standard in terms of technique, I think the world would like to watch it.
ZAKARIA: Shah Rukh Khan, pleasure to have you on.
KHAN: Thank you so much, Fareed, thanks a lot.
ZAKARIA: Now, we will be back.
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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So today, I state clearly and with conviction, America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Candy Crowley. And here are stories breaking this Sunday morning. Three blasts rocked Baghdad this morning. The seemingly coordinated explosions occurred on a busy workday when casualties would be the highest. At least 30 people were killed, 200 wounded according to Iraq's Interior Ministry. One of the explosions was outside the Iranian embassy.
Renewed violence raises fears that insurgents will try to take advantage of the political instability. It has been almost a month since elections failed to determine a decisive winner.
Pope Benedict celebrated Easter mass at the Vatican and delivered his message without mention of the scandal that has overshadowed Holy Week. At the start of the mass, the dean of the College of Cardinals said, the pope is head of a flock that disregards what he called petty gossip.
A Supreme Court changing of the guard could be close at hand. Liberal Justice John Paul Stevens is talking retirement after almost 35 years on the bench. He tells two newspapers, he'll make a decision in the next month or so. Stevens says, he'll surely depart during President Obama's term. He, meaning Stevens, is set to turn 90 later this month. Those are your top stories.
Up next, much more "Fareed Zakaria: GPS" and then "Reliable Sources" at the top of the hour.
ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment. What got my attention this week was a drop from about 5,000 to 311. No, it's not a crash in the often, stock market. It was a proposal from a United States Air Force colonel, the chief of the strategic plans and policy division at Air Force Headquarters. He says that United States can safely go from its current estimated stockpile of more than 5,000 nuclear weapons down to 311. Colonel B. Chance Saltzman and two professors at the Air Force's Air University says that's all the country needs. That includes 100 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles like the minutemen three, 192 sea, land ballistic missiles, carry it on Ohio class submarines like these. Nineteen air- launch cruise missiles and b-2 bombers like these.
The report says that with that specific number of weapons in that specific configuration, America's nuclear security can rest easily. Now, you have to remember that the Commander in Chief that these three men worked for has very strong faults of his own on how many nuclear weapons we should have. Take a look at the speech made in Prague almost exactly one year ago.
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OBAMA: So today, I state clearly and with conviction, America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Now, I personally don't think it's realistic to believe we will ever get to a nuclear free world or that we even should. We have had no major conflicts between any of the world's major powers since 1945. That is in some measure because of the caution induced by nuclear deterrents. The cold war, for example, never became a hot war between the United States and the Soviet Union because both sides feared the consequences of going nuclear. But we have always wondered just how many nukes would be enough to fulfill the basic mission of deterrence. And this study says, a pretty small number. Interestingly, the study's authors claim that the U.S. could actually go to 311 unilaterally, that we don't even need the other nuclear powers to come down to that number. Why? Because even if, say the Russians, were to strike first, they could only take out our land-based missiles. That would still leave 211 sea and air-based missiles for the U.S. to use against the Russians and thus have retaliatory capacity. All in all, it's an intriguing idea. An idea that might gain some traction and it's a number 311 that you might hear again in the future. We will be right back.
ZAKARIA: Now for our question of the week. Here's what I want to know. Who do you trust more these days? Government or big business? Simple question. Let me know what you think. As always, you can go to our website to see some great answers from last week's question. Now, as I do every week, I'd like to recommend a book, it's by Atul Gawande, he's the brilliant doctor/New Yorker writer and his latest book is called "The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right," in it he explains a very simple thing, the checklist can help us avoid failure and challenging tasks from flying an airplane to cooking a meal to hundreds to buildings skyscraper towers.
Wearing his half of doctor and writer, Gawande explains in great detail how checklists have helped in medicine. In one study, reducing deaths by 1/3 in hospitals around the world. Forced to put a check in a box, he says, and you can avoid the inevitable small errors that cost lives. It's a fascinating look at something we all take for granted.
Now, the last look. We recently came across a treasure-trove of pictures of Kim Jong-il. Out of his so called on the spot visit in North Korea. He make upwards of 100 such visits a year to factories, and stores, and libraries. While on site, the dear leader is said to offer his suggestions on how those places of business can improve their trade. News of these visits will almost always lead the national newscast with descriptions that can best be called unique. Take a look. Here he is visiting a fenelon (ph) plant. Fenelon is known as the national fiber of North Korea used instead of cotton or other synthetics. It has one drawback, it is not comfortable.
Next, here is the dear leader visiting a corn starch factory. Here's Kim Jong-il at an army cattle farm. And at a steel factory. The excitement there was apparently palpable. Here's what the state radio said. "On this day the iron and steel complex was afire with great emotions and joy as it was receiving the respected and beloved general. At present, a hot wind of increasing production is blowing like at an erupting volcano." And here he is at an Army pig farm.
Now, you would think that one of the advantages of being a rapacious tyrant is that you don't need to do photo ops. All of those photos you just saw came from a great photo blog called "The Big Picture." And they have more Kim Jong-il photographs if you want to see more. Go to our website to see a link to it.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.
Stay tuned for "Reliable Sources."