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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
Analysis of GOP Presidential Field; Interview With Henry Kissinger
Aired June 12, 2011 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST: This is GPS, THE GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.
We have a great show for you today. First up, we'll take our first look here on GPS at the 2012 Presidential Race. We'll analyze the GOP field, what are the issues that will dominate the election?
Then, events in Pakistan often seem like fiction. The wonderful journalist David Ignatius has written a spy novel set in that country. How much of it is true?
Next up, a look deep inside the psyche of the emerging global power, China, with the man who perhaps knows it best, Dr. Henry Kissinger.
And finally, how does President Obama go from heads and shoulders above Chancellor Merkel to just about even? We'll show you.
Now, here's my take. Those of you who watched the show last week know that I talked about the need to tackle America's unemployment crisis. Twenty-four million Americans unemployed or underemployed. Well, I'm going to talk about this again, because it really is the crucial problem underlying all others.
President Obama has proposed a number of specific policies to tackle the jobs crisis, but they have gone nowhere because Republicans say that their top concern is the deficit and debt. Well, those of you worried about the debt, I should say those of us, because I would strongly include myself, let's please remember that if unemployment doesn't go down fast, the deficit is going to get much worse. If you're serious about deficit reduction, the single most important factor that will shrink it is to have more people working and paying taxes.
I want to focus on one of Obama's proposals, because it actually would add very little to the deficit, it has some Republican supporters, and would have an immediate effect on boosting employment and growth - and it's good for the country anyway. We need a national infrastructure bank to repair and rebuild America's crumbling infrastructure. The House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, has played down this proposal as just more stimulus, but if Republicans set aside ideology, they would actually see this is an opportunity to push for two of their favorite ideas - privatization and the elimination of earmarks. That's why Republicans like Kay Bailey Hutchison and Chuck Hagel are strongly in favor of such a bank.
The United States builds its infrastructure in a remarkably socialist manner. The government funds bills and operates almost all American infrastructure. Now, in many countries, in Europe, in Asia, the private sector plays a much larger role in financing and operating roads, highways, railroads, airports as well as other public resources. An infrastructure bank would create a mechanism by which you could have private sector participation.
Yes, there would be some public money involved, though mostly through issuing bonds. But with interest rates at historic lows, this is the time to use those low interest rates to borrow money and rebuild America's infrastructure. Such projects have huge long-term payoffs and can genuinely be thought of as investments, not expenditures.
A national infrastructure bank would also address a legitimate complaint of the Tea Party - earmark spending. One of the reasons federal spending has been inefficient is that Congress wants to spread the money around in ways that might make political sense but are economic nonsense. An infrastructure bank would make those decisions using cost benefit analysis, in a meritocratic system rather than spreading the wealth around and basing these decisions on patronage, politics and whimsy.
Let's face it, America's infrastructure is in a shambles. Just a decade ago, we ranked sixth in infrastructure in the world according to the World Economic Forum. Today we rank 23rd and dropping. We will not be able to compete with the nations of the world if we cannot fix this problem.
Is it too much to ask that Republicans and Democrats find a way to come together on this? That moment of bipartisanship might actually be the biggest payoff of all.
Let's get started.
ZAKARIA: Election Day 2012 is amazingly more than 500 days away, but there is no denying the campaign has begun. Here to talk about it, a great and greatly opinionated GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE panel.
Fulfilling the global part of our mission, British historian and conservative, Andrew Roberts, the author of "The Storm of War," just out. Chrystia Freeland is Thomson Reuters' Global-Editor-at-Large. Eliot Spitzer, of course, is the host of CNN's "IN THE ARENA" and the former governor of New York State. And, new to GPS, Ann Coulter is a writer and author of the recently released book, "Demonic."
Welcome to you all. You'll explain the title later.
Eliot, first, let me ask you, you're the only one among us who's run for dog catcher.
ELIOT SPITZER, HOST, CNN'S "IN THE ARENA": Sure. ZAKARIA: Is it - is it possible for somebody to enter at this point or is the Republican nominee likely to be somebody who is already declared for president?
SPITZER: Well, if you mean technically declared, I include Jon Huntsman among those established candidates. I think if you include Huntsman among the names Romney, Pawlenty, and then the lesser candidates whom I don't think have a real shot at it - Santorum, Palin, Gingrich, I think that is the field.
I think that that is probably the universe we will look at. Nobody else has either the name recognition - I guess Herman Cain maybe will make a dent in this, but nobody else has the name recognition or the capacity to launch a campaign at this point.
ZAKARIA: Except Giuliani.
SPITZER: Perhaps, although I don't think, at the end of the day, he does. I mean, (INAUDIBLE) about that.
ZAKARIA: So who do you like among these people?
ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, "DEMONIC": Someone who is not in the - one of those that's named - Chris Christie, and I think he could still jump in after Labor Day. And, in fact, a lot of big - I mean, part of the reason you don't want to wait so long is you lose money. Big Republican donors, people who want him to have influence on the process, are already committing generally by this point.
They aren't this year, because they're hoping Chris Christie will jump in, and a lot of Republicans are waiting to see - if he doesn't declare soon after Labor Day, I suspect early this fall, then that money will go to Romney, and I - I would predict he will be the nominee if Chris Christie doesn't jump in, and I don't think Palin's running. I mean, I guess we'll see.
ZAKARIA: Do you think Romney is sort of in it? To me, it seems this way - Romney would be the logical choice. The Republicans tend to be a pretty hierarchical party. I mean, this is a party that five times nominated Richard Nixon on his presidential ticket. If you look at the last 30 years, there's been a Bush on for basically the whole 30 years, right?
Romney's waited his turn. But the Tea Party really doesn't like him because of - of his health care plan.
CHRYSTIA FREELAND, GLOBAL EDITOR-AT-LARGE, REUTERS: That's true. Nonetheless, I agree with Ann. You know, I think that Chris Christie would be a very tough challenger for Romney. Absent Christie, I think it's hard not to see Romney getting it.
And, the thing is, Romney would be a very, very credible candidate. I agree with you, Fareed, there is a Tea Party issue. I think, more fundamentally, there's sort of a flip-flop issue that in a way Romney, as a governor, has been, I think, a better leader than Romney as a candidate. And - and that is his difficulty, is how does he persuade people he is actually authentic when so far he's been running against his record of I think some significant accomplishments.
ZAKARIA: I presume you hate his accomplishments, so you've - the health care -
ZAKARIA: -- health care plan.
COULTER: Obviously - and it isn't just the Tea Party. I mean, conservatives were never wild about the Republican candidate, with the exception of Ronald Reagan. I think we had a problem with all of them.
ZAKARIA: But - but to be fair -
COULTER: Romney Care, definitely conservatives don't like.
ZAKARIA: Except that at the time it was seen as Bob Dole's health care plan. It was - Newt Gingrich supported - enthusiastically supported the individual mandate. Something has changed where people decided when - if Obama likes it, it must be - you know, it must be evil.
COULTER: No, no, no, no. Do not cite Newt Gingrich as the voice of the Republican Party. Let's take the first vote.
COULTER: And we'll find out how - how right that is. He is, according to the media, not according to us.
SPITZER: Fareed, and Chrystia's points are - are well taken. The most articulate, most reasoned defense of the individual mandate has come from Mitt Romney. Over and over again, even his health care speech a few weeks ago, as I was listening to him deliver it, I said, wow, he - he's not running away from this intellectually.
I'm not sure if this is smart politics for him, but he is right, in his defense. I mean, it is a very conservative notion, how to eliminate the free rider (ph) problems in economics. And so I think his accomplishments - and Chrystia is right here - his accomplishments as governor were not insubstantial. I know they're - he's carping - I had Mike Dukakis on our show the other, very critical of him.
In health care, he was smart, he was - he compromised. I think the issue for the Republican Party is what is the argument they're going to make?
COULTER: But if I could say -
SPITZER: As a CEO, I think he can make an argument -
(CROSSTALK) COULTER: I'm sorry. I know you haven't spoken yet. But the people who like Romney's health care plan, like you, are Democrats. He needs to get Republicans to vote for him.
SPITZER: Clearly. Clearly. But -
COULTER: That's his problem.
ANDREW ROBERTS, AUTHOR, "THE STORM OF WAR": Nobody had - nobody had -
ROBERTS: No, no, no. Nobody's mentioned Rick Perry. He has said - he's been making noises now.
We're talking about an election which is going to be very strongly based on jobs, and 30 percent - 37 percent of all net new American jobs since the beginning of the recession have happened in Texas. They were created in Texas, and that's not his number. That's the Federal Reserve in Texas number.
I really think that it's impossible to just ignore that he might step in as well.
ZAKARIA: The argument is that Texas has been a low-tax, low- regulation, business-friendly state, without unions -
ROBERTS: It's got rid of - it's got rid of - it's got very strong tort reform and, of course, as you say, there's no state income tax.
Now, this is something that's very attractive to people at the moment.
ZAKARIA: All right. We will talk about all this and more when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COULTER: No, no, no. Ronald Reagan wouldn't even hold the (inaudible). It's not part of his taking a Keynesian approach -
SPITZER: And it would be nice if it were true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: And we are back with our star-studded panel, Eliot Spitzer, Chrystia Freeland, the British historian Andrew Roberts, and Ann Coulter. Both Roberts and Coulter out with new books.
Andrew, let me ask you, your book is about leadership. It's about World War II. So when you look at all this, do you think that, you know, it's a moment of terrible crisis in a sense? I mean, the economies of the Western world are not doing well. Are there people who stand out for you as - as great leaders? I mean, do you think that David Cameron in your home country is -
ROBERTS: David Cameron is a very impressive man, and he has the ability to be a great leader. Really, in order to be a truly great leader, you pretty much always need a war. It's a terrible thing to have to say, but it's - it's very often true.
ZAKARIA: But we've got three of them. We can give him one.
ROBERTS: But I think, actually - well, actually, we started one of them, and you're - and you're coming in slightly late.
Well, President Roosevelt, of course, had the Depression and a war, so, in a sense, he - he was lucky in that regard.
FREELAND: Yes, but it's dumb (ph) luck.
ROBERTS: No, with regard to the great leaders of the Second World War, we do have Roosevelt and Churchill, of course, who stand - de Gaulle, to an extent - who stand head and shoulders above the rest. But today, when one looks around the world, I think it's - it would be easier for the west if you didn't have this looming threat of China coming up to - to tread on everybody's toes.
ZAKARIA: Eliot, you write that - that you wish Obama were more Rooseveltian. You -
ZAKARIA: -- and said you think that you need to see a much more unapologetic kind of defense of government and defense of -
SPITZER: Well, because I think it worked. I think - again, just so it's clear before Ann starts jumping up and down, I actually believe Keynes was right. I believed that the Keynesian economics works and it's also true of the constitution, something the Tea Party may not agree with.
And I think the president needs to defend not just in the context of the auto bailout, where it's easier to point to GM and Chrysler and say look what we accomplished, but the entire economy would have been so much worse, that the implosion of both confidence, the financial system, job creation would have been devastating had we not put in place that cushion of the stimulus package.
Now, your argument, counterintuitive, you're saying it would have been worse but for, and that's not an appeal in a political argument. But it's economically beyond question, and I think the president now as - at this moment of intense weakness, lack of job creation needs to bring all of this oratorical and intellectual skills to bear to say here's what the record shows us.
David Cameron, if you're a (ph) great leader, the British economy is not faring terribly well because of those cuts. I mean, there is a certain mathematical reality -
ROBERTS: But at least we're trying to - in Britain, we're trying to deal with this deficit.
FREELAND: But maybe you're - maybe you're doing the wrong thing. Maybe -
ROBERTS: Maybe we are, but - but he has been elected to try and see this through and he is seeing it through. And if he does turn out, as I believe, to actually to - to get away with it, then the anti-Keynesian view will be proven right and -
ZAKARIA: But, Ann, would you agree that -
ROBERTS: This next election is going to be a classic (INAUDIBLE) versus Keynesian election.
FREELAND: In the U.S.?
ROBERTS: In the U.S.
COULTER: We've run this experiment at different times in this country, over and over and over again, and every time nothing is done. There is no Keynesian spending. The economy recovers like that, and we have a wound. It did in the '20s, it did in the '80s, and every time -
FREELAND: It did in the '20s?
ZAKARIA: The '80s, I recall a massive increase in defense spending in the Cold War.
SPITZER: And that would be -
COULTER: You had massive -
ZAKARIA: Tax cuts -
COULTER: -- cuts in taxes which brought more revenue in.
ZAKARIA: But Keynes was - Keynes was in favor of taxing. He never made a particular distinction between government spending or taxes. His point was you need demand in the economy. You need to stimulate demand.
COULTER: No, no, no. Ronald Reagan wouldn't even hold the (inaudible). It's not part of his taking a Keynesian approach -
SPITZER: And it would be nice if it were true, but it's not. The - the reality is, if you look at the economics and you look at what the impact is of both cutting the marginal rates, government spending, the incentives you create to job creation, Keynes has been right at every turn, in terms of understanding - if you actually sat down and either were a business person, making capital allocation decisions, hiring, you would understand that what you look at is your return. Right now, there's a demand crisis of enormous volume.
That's why we need to create demand in this economy to generate things that we can buy.
COULTER: And Obama's been following your policies. And that's why we have a crisis.
SPITZER: The executives are sitting on $2 trillion of capital. The key to getting that capital back into the economy, to hire people, is demand for the products that are being made. There is not but a whole lot of ambiguity about that.
COULTER: We've been creating the demand with the stimulus money and, oddly enough, it hasn't worked. And what the businessmen themselves are asking for is releases from tax -
SPITZER: -- what they wanted for 20 years, which is deregulation.
ROBERTS: What Mr. Pawlenty is talking about, huge tax cuts that Mr. Pawlenty is talking about, and indeed cutting back the GDP, the amount spent in GDP from the 24 percent it is now to the 20 percent that Mr. Romney wants or the 18 percent, is going to allow money to come back into the economy through tax cuts.
SPITZER: People were sitting on capital, who are sitting on capital right now, who are not investing because capital gains rates are 15 percent. You're saying if you take that 15 to zero, suddenly they're going to invest even when there's no demand for the product?
FREELAND: Right. What Eliot's pointing out, there's a lot of money. There's a lot of money -
SPITZER: Have you ever made - have you been in business?
ROBERTS: Not myself.
SPITZER: OK. You don't - you don't understand that these capital allocation decisions are made. You really don't.
ROBERTS: OK. How many - I'm sorry, how many of President Obama's actual - of which he now only has one left, Mr. Geithner from his original team, they all have - how many of them actually did business themselves? Very few. Most of them were academics. So don't just attack people just because -
COULTER: What business are you in? You're a governor. You've been in politics your whole life. You're haranguing us?
SPITZER: No, no. What I'm saying is that -
COULTER: If you're a businessman, that's the strangest conversation I've ever seen (ph).
SPITZER: No, Ann, you - because you're making statements that are so completely counterfactual.
ROBERTS: I'm a historian. I didn't live (ph) in Ancient Rome.
SPITZER: Well, you know, I've heard people say - yes -
SPITZER: Your statements about the economy are simply counterfactual, counter every piece of evidence about jobs -
COULTER: Right. You're right. The economy is just booming right now that Keynesian economics that Obama gave us has been a -
FREELAND: You know, I'm going to - I'm going to find, Fareed, a point of agreement between Ann and Eliot.
ZAKARIA: Which is?
FREELAND: I can actually do it.
So Ann's point about the need for the ideologues, the thinkers in the party, to keep the party true to its principles, I think is where Eliot started off in talking about Barack Obama.
ROBERTS: Just for his party and his -
FREELAND: Yes, just for his party. And really, I think the tragedy for Democrats right now is that Barack Obama has not been making the strong Keynesian Democratic case he should be making, which Eliot has made right now.
ZAKARIA: OK, let me ask - let me ask - we've got to go, but I have to ask Ann this, which is there's - there is a strong case that he has made - Obama has made, which is about Medicare. And, on that issue, I want to know whether you think it will work. Not - I know that you wish that he didn't say it and that the Democrats' took entitlement reform more seriously, and I happen to agree with you there.
But, when you ask the American people, should - are you willing to deal with the budget deficit by cutting Medicare, 78 percent say no. I mean, I don't think you can get 78 percent of Americans to agree on the time of day.
ZAKARIA: Where do (ph) -
COULTER: It's the utter irresponsibility of former Democrats. It's hard to take treats away from people, and that's what we've done. And Democrats set up a Ponzi scheme with social security and Medicare, and it's running out now. And, yes, it's very hard to take the treats away once you start giving them away, which is why it was utterly irresponsible for Democrats long dead and gone to set up these systems that could never last.
But, you know, it would be very helpful -
ZAKARIA: But will it work? That's what I'm asking.
COULTER: -- if we could get Democrats to acknowledge the system's about to go bankrupt rather than showing commercials of Paul Ryan -
ZAKARIA: But will it - OK.
COULTER: -- pushing an old lady in a wheelchair off a cliff.
ZAKARIA: All right. We've got to go. Chrystia, last word on Medicare and the rest (ph).
FREELAND: The last word is you are absolutely right. I think this is the single strongest point for the Democrats, and what it shows, actually, is that Americans don't see successful government programs as treats, which they are childish for enjoying. They see successful government programs as what the government should be doing.
COULTER: A program that's about to go bankrupt is not successful.
FREELAND: But -
ZAKARIA: I have your - I have your - also, your Republican nominee, because I think everyone else here seems to think it would be Romney. Would you agree?
ROBERTS: I'm going for Pawlenty.
COULTER: And I'm Christie. I want to clarify that.
ZAKARIA: Oh - you. I'm sorry, you're right.
All right, we have all the bets on the table. We'll - we'll have a show to collect.
Thank you very much. We will be right back.
ZAKARIA: Time now for our "What In the World?" segment.
What caught my eye this week was an interesting twist in the story we all keep reading about - the rise of China. But, this time, it's not about China's growing power and confidence, but of a China that realized it might have overplayed its hand and correcting itself. It all played out at a small conference in Singapore's fancy Shangri- La Hotel.
First, let's go back to 2010, last year. Beijing had emerged relatively unscathed from the financial crisis. It had put on the greatest show on earth, the Beijing Olympics. Countries from around the world were courting it like never before.
And then, China's confidence turned into overconfidence, even arrogance. In quick succession, Beijing picked separate fights around the South China Seas with Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan. China angered South Korea by not condemning aggression from the North, from Pyongyang, which sunk a South Korean ship.
All these Asian countries have been relatively sanguine about the rise of China. Suddenly, they began to realize that it presented not just economic opportunities of big market for them but challenges, even threats. So they spoke out against what they saw as Chinese bullying and aggression and they became far more solicitous of America, far more friendly to Washington.
Now, this could not have pleased China. This was not the peaceful rise strategy that Beijing have long talked about. But Chinese officials said little about all this publicly, so no one knew if they believed they had overplayed their hand. After all, they could just as easily have taken the view that the world was envious and was ganging up on them and they would just bide their time.
Which brings us back to that hotel in Singapore. Every year for the last 10 years the Shangri-La dialogue is the place where defense representatives from 28 Asia-Pacific nations meet. For the first time ever, China sent its defense minister, General Liang Guanglie.
Liang repeatedly told his audience that China was a peace-loving country, with a defense policy that is purely defensive in nature. So we constructed a word cloud around his speech. The words he used the most appear biggest on your screen. Liang focused on cooperation, peace and security.
The speech was a clear affirmation of the peaceful rise strategy that had also been affirmed by China's top foreign policy official. But to hear it from the military, which is far more hawkish, was something quite new. China's neighbors were still nervous. At the same summit, the defense secretaries from the Philippines and Vietnam both said they were worried about maritime challenges from other countries. Of course, they meant China. And their words were bolstered by rare anti-China demonstrations in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Now, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates also attended the Shangri-La dialogue. The American speech was one of reassurance to China's neighbors. Look at Gates's word cloud. It shows a focus on commitment, relationships and talk of a presence in the region.
So, China pushed too hard and then drew back. The United States signaled to other Asian countries that it was not going anywhere. The great game of Asian geopolitics has just begun. I have a feeling we're all going to be watching these moves and countermoves for years to come.
And we will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID IGNATIUS, AUTHOR, "BLOODMONEY": It's been the case that most CIA officers sought what was called official covers, embassy representatives, other official international organizations. That was acceptable when the target you were chasing was Soviet diplomats, you'd meet them at cocktail parties, spot them, try to develop them. But the targets are so different now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Candy Crowley, and here are today's top stories.
Some 200 military helicopters armed with machine guns stormed a town in Northwest Syria today, a local activist said. U.N. Secretary- General Ban Ki-Moon condemned Syria's use of force against its own civilians. Syrian State Television says military units entered the town to cleanse the national hospital of armed gangs.
A top al Qaeda operative in East Africa has been killed in a gunfight at a checkpoint in Somalia. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed is believed to be behind the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The United States was offering a $5 million reward for his capture.
Those are your top stories. Up next, more FAREED ZAKARIA GPS, and then "RELIABLE SOURCES" at the top of the hour.
ZAKARIA: Spy agencies are the stuff of fantasy and fiction. So it is fitting that one of our best journalists on the spooky world of foreign affairs has used his vast travels and knowledge to write a novel.
"Washington Post" columnist David Ignatius has followed up his book "Body of Lies," which was turned into a Hollywood blockbuster, with a new offering, this one is called "Bloodmoney." It spans the CIA's operations here in the murky world of Pakistan's powerful interservices intelligence. The key really is figuring out where the facts end and where the fiction begins. David Ignatius joins me now.
So I loved this book, as I did, by the way, the other book which was "The Increment," which was about Iran's nuclear program. You really choose these - these topics that jump off the front pages. And when one's reading it, because I know how much you know about the CIA and how much time you spend talking to people, I have to believe lots of it is true.
IGNATIUS: Like, I don't want to play games with you, my friend, or the reader, I - I am painting on a canvas of fiction with - with the colors of life. I have spent lots of time with the ISI. I've traveled with them to South Waziristan. I've met with their director general, General Pasha. As I said in "Time" magazine the other week, I even have an e-mail correspondence with ISI officers. So I do know the real-life subject.
And I've tried, in "Bloodmoney," to tell a story that gets at the crazy relationship between the ISI and the CIA, this absolutely fascinating, often mutually destructive two scorpions in a bottle kind of relationship that they have. That said, I do have to say this is a novel. It wouldn't be fun to read if it wasn't reinvented, if it wasn't real life reinvented in the mind of the author.
ZAKARIA: So - but let's start with the CIA, because you've got a CIA operation. And you have these guys often on their own, often in businesses as fronts. You know, I always thought with CIA officers were at the U.S. Embassy. And that while you didn't know who they were, you could kind of make some guesses about them. Is it in fact true that there are lots of CIA officers around who have covers in private business and trading companies and things like that all over the world?
IGNATIUS: It's increasingly true. When you and I were getting started as journalists and for the - for the past decades, it's been the case that most CIA officers sought what was called official covers, embassy representatives, other official international organizations. That was acceptable when the target you were chasing was Soviet diplomats, you'd meet them at cocktail parties, spot them, try to develop them. But the targets are so different now.
And so there's a feeling that you need genuinely clandestine platforms. So there's been a lot of experimentation in the areas that I'm imagining in my book, in the book I invent this goofy entertainment company based in Studio City, California, which is called the Hit Parade, which is a platform for CIA officers to do completely secret operations overseas.
Are they doing that kind of thing? Not to the extent that I write in my book, but I'm sure that they're experimenting with what they call nonofficial cover or N.O.C. operations. The problem is, they're really hard to manage and they're really expensive. And so there's still a big cadre of naysayers at Langley who say don't do this.
ZAKARIA: All right. Now, Pakistan. And so you've painted a picture of the Interservices Intelligence Directory. That, from what I can tell, is very true to life. In this particular sense, they have lots of connections with all these militant groups. They've always had them, and at some level they don't even deny they have them. They say these are elements of Pakistani society. And yet they are quite reluctant to do anything about them, to shut them off in any way. Do you think that that part of the book that you described is true to life?
IGNATIUS: Yes. I think the tragedy of the ISS - ISI and arguably of Pakistan as a whole is that it's caught in a web that it's spun with our help, it must be said, that it now can't escape from. It's a web first of connections with Jihadi organizations. The ISI is above all a paramilitary organization. It doesn't do all that much collection of intelligence. It's not a very good spy agency, but it's good at running covert action.
ZAKARIA: Right. The general framework of the book is that the CIA and the ISI are cooperating. But the CIA is running effectively covert ops against the ISI. And the ISI is at least allowing these Jihadi groups to attack and - and infiltrate the CIA, and that spider's web seems very real.
IGNATIUS: That - that is drawn from life. I mean, the truth is that these intelligence services operate against each other. That happens more in real life, not just with Pakistan. We have a complicated intelligence relationship with France. We have a complicated intelligence relationship with other - with other allies.
But there's a way in which the CIA and ISI both absolutely need each other and absolutely don't trust each other. And it's been a particularly volatile combination because they're always marching in tandem, which you can imagine a situation where one guy is, you know, trying to trip the other, nudging him or, you know, up - up to some kind of horseplay. That's what it's like.
And I used to think, you know, that these two should get a marriage counselor and - and figure it out. I've kind of given up on that. I mean, the reality is, intelligence services lie. That's what their job is. These guys are going to keep lying to each other. They just - they need political control to get them going in the same direction for the national interests of both countries. And if they can do that, I'd have some hope this - this story will turn out excitably.
ZAKARIA: Somebody you know well, General Petraeus, is going to move over from the military to head the CIA. What would he bring to the agency? What is going on particularly on the covert operations side, because in a sense, that will be the most critical part of the - of the mission, running covert operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan to a lesser extent in Yemen? IGNATIUS: Well, interestingly, the Pakistanis are afraid of Petraeus. They don't like him. They - they feel that he has a harsher edge than General McChrystal did. So his appointment was seen as bad news in Islamabad.
General Petraeus has a stronger force of will than any military officer I think I have ever encountered. We saw that in Iraq where he really bent that story around his determination and President Bush's. He has had less success, frankly, in Afghanistan.
One thing that Petraeus is very good at, I've seen this over many years of traveling with him, is using often unlikely back channels. He's good at finding people who can get him access to people and places that are important to him as a commander. It's a skill that's quite unusual. And in truth, it's a skill that is not found widely in this administration. So I think the ability to be operational, to head out on - on quiet missions, to meet with heads of state, heads of other intelligence services, to get business done on that level, I think General Petraeus will be quite good at.
ZAKARIA: David Ignatius, thank you so much, and a great book.
IGNATIUS: Thank you, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: I thoroughly enjoyed it.
IGNATIUS: And we will be back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: When you went to China 40 years ago, could you have imagined that this nation that you were helping bring in from peasant backwardness would be the principal competitor to the United States?
HENRY KISSINGER, KISSINGER FOUNDATION: Would it be inconceivable?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: America's relationship to China can be traced directly back to the work of one man. That man is Henry Kissinger. Almost exactly 40 years ago, Kissinger, then the National Security Adviser, made a secret trip to confer with the Chinese. This paved the way for the normalization of relations between Communist Beijing and Washington.
So how did we get from there to here? That is the subject of Dr. Kissinger's new book, "On China." And he joins me now to talk about that nation and much more. So when you went to China 40 years ago, could you have imagined that you would - that this nation that you were helping bring in from peasant backwardness would be the principal competitor to the United States economically, technologically, about to become the most powerful nation economically?
KISSINGER: Would it be inconceivable? That nobody had any such perception or expectation.
ZAKARIA: Now, since you opened the door, the relations between the United States and China had been strikingly stable. I mean, we've had lots of variation in almost every other part of the world. But if you look at president after president from both parties and the Chinese have also had a pretty stable relationship, which has been basically to try and get America's help in modernizing their economy, tacitly supporting a lot of American foreign policy.
There are lots of people who believe that this is all changing now. That the Chinese have become powerful. That they are now feeling the confidence particularly in the wake of the financial crisis, and that you're going to see a new chapter in Chinese foreign policy. What do you think?
KISSINGER: There are elements in China who particularly after the financial crisis feel that there has been a fundamental shift in the balance of power and that the international conduct of China and the results of its conduct should reflect this. But one shouldn't think that all of this is America's fault because the Chinese - we have been dominant in the last 50 years. They've been dominant in 1,800 of the last 2,000 years. And, you know, I think America is entering a world in which we are neither dominant, nor can we withdraw. But we are still the most powerful country.
So how to conduct ourselves in such a way is a huge - it's a huge test for us. And China, it's the most closely (ph) approximate country in terms of power and one with such a complex history. It's - it's a big challenge. On the other hand, if one conceives of it as if it were a Cold War, which is what domestic debates encourage with winners and losers all the time, it would lead to confrontations over an extended period of time that would be draining to both societies and draining to the countries that have to deal with both societies.
ZAKARIA: Do you think President Obama's approach to China is - is fundamentally correct?
KISSINGER: I think it's fundamentally correct, yes. What we fundamentally need with the Chinese is to come to an understanding of where we both think we're going. And I believe the best thing that Nixon did, that we in the Nixon administration, was not that we were super skillful on practical problems, but we were willing to spend many hours explaining how we thought in the middle and long-run terms, and so did the Chinese.
ZAKARIA: So there was a kind of meeting of strategic minds.
KISSINGER: It didn't help us on the day we had the conversation, but then when something came up, you could have some feeling that the other side, when it was reported to them, would have a framework within which to interpret it. This is still not adequately done.
ZAKARIA: People have been trying to get you to criticize China more publicly on human rights for 40 years. Do you feel that not criticizing China on human rights actually allows for more progress? Or why - why are you reluctant? I know that you -
KISSINGER: I'm - I'm not reluctant at all. And I insist on affirming my preference for democracy and my rejection of autocratic and dictatorial institutions. At the same time, there are a number of people, very few, who have, over a period of decades, established the confidence of Chinese leadership. And we think that we are in a better position to bring about the achievement of these objectives by using our influence in such a way that there is no demonstrated victor or loser.
I have said that when I engage myself in China as I do periodically on individual cases, I do not do it in a public confrontation, but in a personal dialogue. But that is really the nature of the - of the disagreement. It is not a disagreement that's to the importance of the objective.
ZAKARIA: Final question. There are a number of people who say that Obama's policy, his world view, is somewhat realist, is real polity for people he admires are George Bush Sr., who's he's spoken about the Nixon/Kissinger diplomacy. So do you think Obama is Kissingerian, and do you view that as a compliment?
KISSINGER: My impression of Obama is that he would like to believe that you can sweep the world by the power of ideas. And that the ideas alone will dominate the world and that you can ignore the equilibrium part of the equation and that you can do it with rhetoric. And that's what he'd like to believe. But he's also a good mind.
And so he looks at the world and sees what's actually happening. So when he - when he speaks, he often sounds as if he were in the world of ideas alone. When he acts, he is very conscious of reality. But I think he's basically very close if you put his actions together to the - to the objectives that I affirm.
ZAKARIA: I don't know whether he's going to view that as a compliment or not.
KISSINGER: No. He - he may view it as a private compliment, but he will not want to - to advertise it.
ZAKARIA: Henry Kissinger, a pleasure to have you on.
ZAKARIA: Our question this week from the "GPS Challenge" is Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah donated three million blanks to Yemen this week. Fill in the blank. Is it, A) rounds of ammunition; B) bars of gold; C) barrels of oil; or D) bushels of wheat?
Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer. Make sure you go to CNN.com/GPS for 10 more questions. And while you're there, make sure you check out our website, the Global Public Square where you'll find lots of smart interviews and takes by some of our favorite experts. Also, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
This week's "Book of the Week" has been called provocative and relentlessly intelligent. I wouldn't tell you what I think about it, though, because it's my book. The 2.0 Edition of "My Post-American World" is just out in bookstores. It's fully revised. I'm a little biased, obviously, but I think this would be the perfect Father's Day gift. And if you all buy it, I would stop pestering you about it.
Now, for a last look at very lofty matters, the heights of heads of state. You would be surprised at how much import is given to physical stature when it comes to international affairs. So take a look at these revealing photographs we found from Chancellor Angela Merkel's state visit to the U.S. this week.
As you see here, President Obama is almost a full head taller than his German counterpart. So I was amazed to see this picture that showed them looking eye to eye - at least physically. How did it happen? Trick photography? Fast-acting growth hormones? No. Just a little help from the president.
The correct answer to our "GPS Challenge" question was "C." Saudi Arabia donated three million barrels of oil to its neighbor to the south this week in an effort to try to stave off all-out anarchy there.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.