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NATO Holds Emergency Meeting on Russian Jet; Conflict through the Eyes of Those Who Cover It; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired November 24, 2015 - 14:00:00   ET




CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: President Obama calls Russia the outlier in the coalition over Syria and calls for de-

escalation while the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, warns Turkey about downing its jet.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): Today's loss for us was a stab in the back from terrorist accomplices. I cannot describe it

in any other way.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): And also ahead, conflict overseas and at home. We'll speak to the photographers recording that for history.


AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York.

Furious words and angry warnings but also calls for calm and cool heads after Turkey shoots down a Russian warplane near its border with Syria.

Ankara says that it was violating its airspace and warned Moscow 10 times to get out but Russia's president say the plane was flying over Syria to

launch airstrikes on terror targets.

The U.S. president, Barack Obama, the crash highlights the problem with Russia's attempts to prop up Bashar al-Assad.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do think that this points to a ongoing problem with the Russian operations in the sense that they are

operating very close to a Turkish border and they are going after moderate opposition that are supported by not only Turkey by a wide range of



AMANPOUR: Now standing shoulder to shoulder at that press conference was the French president, Francois Hollande. He is on his first foreign trip

since the deadly terror attacks in Paris earlier this month to push for a stronger international alliance to defeat the Islamic State.


FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): The priority is to take back key locations in the hands of daish in Syria. It is also a

matter of urgency to close the border between Turkey and Syria and prevent terrorists from crossing the border and coming to Europe or other places

and then to take such terrible attacks.


AMANPOUR: So what is ahead in the fight against ISIS?

We spoke to Nicholas Burns, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to NATO and is undersecretary of state. He joined me earlier from his post at

Harvard's Kennedy's School of Government about this unprecedented drama between NATO and Russia now.


AMANPOUR: Ambassador Burns, welcome to the program tonight.


AMANPOUR: This is really an extraordinary day. The sort of developments that who knew could have happened. Let me just read you some of the


First of all, President Putin saying, "Downing of Russian jet over Syria is stab in the back."

Donald Tusk, the E.U. Commission president, "In this dangerous moment after downing of Russian jet, all should remain cool-headed and calm."

From your vantage point, as a former ambassador to NATO, what do you think happened?

And what is going to happen?

BURNS: If the Turks can convince the NATO countries that the Russian jet did, in fact, enter Turkish airspace, then I think the NATO countries,

including the United States, will have no option but to support Turkey's right to defend its territorial integrity because, as you know, President

Erdogan publicly warned the Russian government more than 30 days ago about previous incursions into Turkish airspace by the Russian aircraft.

And the Turkish government called in the Russian ambassador last week to complain about Russian bombing of Syrian Turkman villages in the northern

part of Syria near the Turkish border. So there's a history here.

And I think it's important for the Turks to be able to validate what they claimed. But as you can imagine, there's another side to the coin.

Even if the Russians did violate the Turkish border -- and that is a very serious violation in international law -- I think the United States and the

other NATO countries will try to urge both Russia and Turkey to deescalate the crisis and to have some communications between their militaries so that

this does not happen again. In other words, to contain this crisis.

AMANPOUR: And what does NATO need to do at this meeting?

What kind of message does it need to come out with in order to make sure that Russia doesn't retaliate?

Do you think --


AMANPOUR: -- that Russia might choose to retaliate for this?

BURNS: Well, I think the retaliation by the Russian Federation in the short term, the immediate term is coming in the form of Foreign Minister

Sergey Lavrov canceling his visit to Ankara tomorrow.

There's also a big economic relationship. Turkey receives about 60 percent of its natural gas supplies from Russia. So there are things the Russians

could do to make their displeasure felt.

I'd be very surprised, Christiane, if the Russians tried to take an escalatory measure in the military sense, to ratchet up the crisis from a

military perspective because President Putin may be cynical and he is certainly a bully but he's also rational and he understands that Turkey is

a core member of the NATO alliance and that what NATO is all about, of course, is the defense of the borders of each of the member states.

So no one wants to see this escalate. And there'll be a lot of work in many capitals to try to lower the temperature today. But I don't think

that the NATO countries, including the United States, can back away from this core commitment to the Turks. We do recognize your right to defend

your own border in a hostile situation like this.

AMANPOUR: So Vladimir Putin, the president, has also tweeted, he's tweeted several things regarding this, but also that this will have a very negative

consequences for Russian-Turkish relations. Now you've mentioned some of them.

But just give me a sense of the history of this because this is obviously a NATO country against Russia, which used to be the Soviet Union, which used

to be the Warsaw Pact. This is the first time in -- since the '50s that there has been this kind of incident, right?

BURNS: Yes. This is a very serious incident. I don't think anyone's trying to minimize that today, Christiane. We haven't seen this kind of

incident in historical memory, going back many, many decades. It's always what you want to avoid.

I think it is important. I know there's been some -- I've heard even on CNN some criticism from the Russians, much criticism from the Russians, and

others that the Turks should not have taken such a harsh measure.

But I think you do have to go review the history of the last two months, repeated warnings, both public and private, to Moscow by the Turkish

government. Do not transgress our border. For any country, particularly a country as proud and nationalistic as the Turks, defending your border, not

seeing it violated by a foreign power is a very important principle and a very important national interest.

So a lot will come down, Christiane, to which of these two governments, Turkey and Russia, is more effective in convincing the rest of the world

where those planes were this morning.

AMANPOUR: And now let's drill down on the actual war in Syria. Obviously, Turkey and Russia are on different sides of the war. I mean, Russia and

the Turks are pretty angry about it; seems to be backing up Assad. And apparently the Turks have said that actually Russia has been pounding

certain positions which have allowed the Assad forces to move closer up to the Turkish border.

But the very fact that they are on different sides of this, what does this mean for prosecuting this war going forward, whether it's against ISIS or

whether it's against Assad eventually?

BURNS: Well, you're right to ask the question, Christiane, because I think it's the key question to ask today when Francois Hollande, the French

president, is in Washington, meeting with President Obama.

What President Hollande is trying to do is form a united -- a big, international coalition to fight and eventually defeat the Islamic State

forces. He doesn't have that principally because of two countries, Turkey and Russia.

Turkey appears to be more concerned by Kurdish nationalism. It, several weeks ago, bombed the position of the major Syrian Kurdish group, which has

been the most effective fighting force against the Islamic State.

Russia of course, famously, infamously over the last two months, it says it wants to defeat the Islamic State but the great majority of its firepower

is turned against the Syrian Turkman population, the Syrian Sunni population, those opposed to President Assad. They're trying to protect


And it is supremely ironic that those Russian planes were in a part of Syria far from Islamic State forces again this morning. And so if

President Hollande and President Obama are to form a bigger coalition, they need Turkey and Russia to join it and they don't have that now, especially

after this disaster today.

AMANPOUR: Do you think the Turks are trying to make sure that the U.S. doesn't form a coalition or whatever kind of working agreement with the

Russians on the ground?

BURNS: We really do need a leader of this international coalition. I think the only realistic leader at this point is the United States, a

leader that would come in and try to deconflict the military operations, say, between -- help between Turkey and Russia, between Russia and the

United States but also --


BURNS: -- unify from a political and military point of view, a united front of countries against the Islamic State. And you don't see President

Obama grasping for that role. You see him laying back a little bit. And it may be that that's what President Hollande has in mind, a bigger role

for the United States.

With so much at stake and with this collision of interests by Turkey and Russia and the U.S. and France, you do need a more effective center to this

coalition. I think it has to be our country.

AMANPOUR: That's if they can get all their objectives straight, right?

BURNS: Well, that's exactly right. You have to have a unifying set of objectives and principles.

And there's one more thought here. Today's incident between Turkey and Russia underscores another point, a no-flight zone in Northern Syria.

A no-flight zone would help to defend the Turkish border. It would also help civilians under attack by the Syrian government. It would stem the

flow of refugees out of Syria.

Secretary Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state, has suggested that that's the right way to go. I think she's right. And I think the United

States ought to work with Turkey and work with the Russians and others to see if that's possible. The Russian instinct will be to oppose this.

But after this morning's incident, better to deconflict and better to try to construct an international policy that actually helps the people on the

ground who are suffering, the Syrian people.

AMANPOUR: So much to think about. So interesting. Ambassador Nicholas Burns, thank you very much indeed for joining us on this day.

BURNS: Thank you, Christiane.


AMANPOUR: And indeed, President Hollande did say that the U.S.. as the world's only superpower, must help it intensify the attacks against ISIS.

Now Russia is looking right back at the world from its gigantic new command center.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): This new footage that has just been released shows Russia's national control defense center to be a three-tiered monster of a

war room, manned by a huge staff with a cinema-sized screen to keep an eye on the country's conflicts.

After a break, narrowing the focus: the conflict photographers, capturing global and personal acts of violence. That's when we come back.





AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

Now from nations waging war to domestic violence, conflict is all around us.


EROS HOAGLAND, PHOTOGRAPHER (voice-over): We have a grown man, unarmed, running around someone else's war zone, taking pictures.

Explain that to a child to see if it makes any sense to them.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): That is veteran war photographer Eros Hoagland, In Conflict," a new miniseries that premieres today.

If there's a major publication, Hoagland has been published in it, from "The New York Times" to "The Times" of London.


AMANPOUR: And while he's been covering the most extreme violence in foreign lands, Donna Ferrato has documented what is often the most hidden

war: domestic violence, a husband beating his wife, a woman too scared to press charges.


DONNA FERRATO, PHOTOGRAPHER (voice-over): When he went to hit her again, I grabbed his arm and I said, "What the hell are you doing? You're going to



FERRATO (voice-over): -- hurt her. Stop it, what are you doing?"

And he just threw me off and said, "Lookit, she's my wife."


AMANPOUR: This is conflict through the eyes of those who cover it, both on the battlefield and at home.


AMANPOUR: Eros Hoagland and Donna Ferrato join me now in the studio.

Welcome to you both.

HOAGLAND: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: The little clips that we played are quite dramatic because it kind of sums up everything.

Eros, you said how could you even explain to a kid, a teenager, what you're doing, running towards this violence, doing all of this?

And you have just had your own child.

How has that affected and impacted how you plan to continue your work?

HOAGLAND: Well, it's certainly made me think long and hard about rushing to the front line of any war zone. And I think maybe my time is running

short on that kind of thing.

AMANPOUR: Do you feel that you're going to keep doing it?

HOAGLAND: I don't at this point. I can't say what will happen in the future but it just doesn't really seem worth it anymore, now that I have

someone who is completely dependent on me.

AMANPOUR: OK, so that's very interesting. I'm going to come back to that.

Because, Donna, I'm going to ask you, Eros has said that he doesn't necessarily feel that pictures make the world a better place or change the


What do you feel, as the witness of some of the worst kind of violence, that domestic violence which we've seen that goes on in so many homes

against women?

FERRATO: I've -- I believe that photographs have the power to change many things, change laws, change the minds of society, change people.

And so I feel that a photographer really has to dig in there and spend a lot of time and put more of themselves into the photographs. It's not just

about go in, take some pictures and then move away. I spend usually two or three years at a time with my subjects.

AMANPOUR: We saw that clip, where this person who -- this couple who you were covering then turned violent and basically the man said, hey, it's my

property, it's my wife.

But there's also an amazing sound bite from this series that I want to play, where you were covering another instance and the son was -- he

intervened to defend his mother. Let's just play that.


FERRATO (voice-over): When I took that picture, I was in a dark room. I couldn't see anything. I was focusing in the dark, calculating the

distance to his voice.

When I heard him say to his dad, "I hate you for hitting my mother," they were the strongest words that I had ever heard anybody say.


AMANPOUR: That's pretty powerful.

What impact did that have on you?

And you also have, I think, a teenager daughter.

FERRATO: I'm actually a grandmother now, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Who would have known?

FERRATO: I started this work when I was pregnant with Fanny. So that was some 33 years ago. And now my grandson lives in the house and everything

is about this kind of work and photography.


AMANPOUR: You're trying to -- you've done a hotline, right?

FERRATO: I'd had a hotline going for many -- in my house, yes. And everybody who was living in the home was part of that reception, for women

who were calling all over the world.

I know that it's really hard for women to get the help and support that they need when they are in a very dangerous situation. Sometimes the

shelters are not -- they just have a recording on the line, so women are not getting the attention that they need. And so I would usually intervene

and call the shelters directly.

AMANPOUR: So it's real activism.

Tell me, though, Eros, because it's sort of two sides of the same coin, you and Donna, covering different things and with different feelings about how

they impact and what kind of effect they have.

Your father was killed. He was a war correspondent, war photographer, and you inherited his cameras. You must have inherited a mission as well.

HOAGLAND: Oh, without a doubt. I mean, I think not long after he was killed -- I was 15 years old -- I knew that that's what I needed to do.

And at that point I had a much more kind of ideological track that was traveling on. And I think just years of doing war coverage got me a little

bit -- a little bit jaded, a little bit -- a loss of empathy and hope.

And then I kind of decided that maybe this isn't the healthiest thing for me to be doing.

AMANPOUR: And you describe in the series, you describe panic attacks. You describe, you know, at your worst, having anger outbursts.

HOAGLAND: Oh, without a doubt. And it's classic symptoms of PTSD. And it's not about one specific traumatic incident affecting you but a

culmination of everything that you've been through in the war zone. And it comes out in ways that you really don't expect.

AMANPOUR: And I wonder --


AMANPOUR: -- if people realize just how much this stuff that we all witness impacts everybody.

Obviously, some of our colleagues have been wounded, some of them have been killed covering this; you've lost friends, I've lost friends.

But I wonder if there's sort of psychological drama that goes on in the minds of the witness, is as easily understood by the people who read and

look at your pictures.

HOAGLAND: I don't think that we, as participants, really understand it. And it's something that I always kind of brushed aside, you know, this idea

of PTSD. And then just slowly and slowly it would come out in all these very textbook fashions. And -- yes.

AMANPOUR: And what do you think you'll do next?

HOAGLAND: Well, presently I'm raising a child. So that's kind of a full- time job right now.

AMANPOUR: That's great. That will give you something totally different to focus on.

And who knows, you may come out of that the other end, feeling differently about your work.

What about you, Donna?

You have said that you want your work to deliver a message of empowerment to women. I do want to play a little sound bite from what we had in the

series and get you to comment on it.


FERRATO: I want women to start thinking in their own brains, I don't deserve to be beaten up -- ever. I am a woman. I am powerful. I am good.

I am strong. You can't do this to me. I am unbeatable.


AMANPOUR: How difficult -- I mean, you know, I guess for people like us, who are strong and empowered, we would have no hesitation reporting

domestic abuse or whatever it might be.

But the number of people who you photograph and who you've witnessed being beaten up, who think it's their fault or who just simply won't stand up for


FERRATO: Well, it's hard to stand up for themselves when society doesn't back them up, when the courts don't really understand and the judges will

always side with the abusers.

AMANPOUR: Is that really the case?

FERRATO: That's really the case. And -- but I think, why I'm so hopeful with every picture that I take is because I believe that these stories are

about breaking the cycle of abuse. And that's why I get so deeply involved with every family.

And I work with the children as well. It's everybody that I want to see changing. And I'm there with them for years and years and years. This --

the woman, Elizabeth, I've been photographing her for 33 years. And I know all of her children very well.

AMANPOUR: So you're a little bit like a therapist, too.

FERRATO: I'm a social activist.

AMANPOUR: What do you hope this series will say to the people who watch it?

Because there are lots of photographers who are profiled and a range of different ideas about their mission and about what they think they're doing

in the world.

HOAGLAND: I think it's important to show the different points of view from different photographers. And the work is certainly different.

What Donna's doing is very different than what I have done. And I respect her work very much.

It's -- but it's a whole other ballgame. I mean, I've been working on front lines and she's, like she said, a social activist. And I think that

there's a great value in what she's doing.


AMANPOUR: What were some of the most difficult places that you worked?

HOAGLAND: I think that Iraq was probably the most difficult. Access was incredibly difficult. The threat of kidnapping was very high. It was just

-- and the heat. It was a very difficult place to work.

AMANPOUR: When we see ISIS and all the horrors that are going on now, we can barely even cover that war.

HOAGLAND: Well, we have seen what's happened to journalists who have tried. It's horrible. It's -- there's -- it's not like it used to be.

AMANPOUR: It's a different battlefield, really, for all of us.

Eros Hoagland, Donna Ferrato, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

HOAGLAND: Thank you, Christiane.

FERRATO: Thank you for having us.


AMANPOUR: And after a break, we also focus in on a sad story, imagining an ancient melting pot emptied by war, the journey of Aleppo's last Jews,

that's next.





AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, we imagine a world witnessing the end of a 3,000-year tradition.

In a desperate escape, the last Jews in Northern Syria have now fled Aleppo.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): Eighty-eight-year-old Mariam Halabi and her two daughters, Gilda and Sarah, have long been living in fear of both Assad and

ISIS until an Israeli American businessman and a group of Syrian opposition fighters joined forces and helped them escape across the border into

Turkey, with Gilda's young family in tow.

Now while Gilda's sister and mother did get asylum in Israel, she herself was denied for converting to Islam and marrying her Muslim Syrian husband.

So with no other choice, she and her Muslim family returned to Aleppo.

But this story marks the end of an era. There were once tens of thousands of Syrian Jews. But now it's reported only around 18 remain in the entire



AMANPOUR: The cost of war.

And that is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can also now listen to our show as a podcast. Just search your favorite app store or you can

always see all our interviews online at and you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for watching. And goodbye from New