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Clinton Attacks Trump on Foreign Policy; Germany Labels Turkish Attacks on Armenians Genocide; Sudan Protestor Held Incommunicado by Security. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired June 2, 2016 - 14:00:00   ET


[14:00:00] CLARISSA WARD, CNN HOST: Tonight. Hillary Clinton homes in on Donald Trump's foreign policy or lack thereof. We'll explore with Former

Assistant Secretary of State, Jamie Rubin, and political commentator, Michael Weiss.

Also ahead, Germany labels the massacre of Armenians a genocide. Turkey calls that decision null and void. Why does the word provoke so much

controversy? Author and international human rights lawyer, Philippe Sands, joins us live.

And later in the program a call for reform met with a heavy hand. An inside report on Sudan's summer of protest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We warned him about the consequences and of different outcomes. We used to tell him, "Be careful. Don't go. Don't protest."


WARD: Good evening everyone and welcome to the program. I'm Clarissa Ward, in for Christiane Amanpour. Donald Trump's foreign policy rhetoric

has become all too familiar.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me. I would bomb the -- out of them. And we're going

to build a wall, the wall. We're going to build the wall. We're going to build the wall. Latinos for Trump, I love you. You know, build the wall.


WARD: Nervous, Democrats are trying to figure out their path to the White House. And Hillary Clinton thinks she has the answer, taking Trump to



HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, based on what we have already heard, Donald Trump is an unqualified loose cannon who cannot

get near the most powerful job in the world. It is up to us to say no.


WARD: She's still fighting to seal the Democratic nomination. Polls for next week's California primary put her neck and neck with Bernie Sanders

but she's already focused on the next battle. Just moments from now, she'll go after Trump's foreign policy proposals in what Clinton aides

promise will be a scathing speech. Polls suggest the issue is a winner with 61 percent of registered voters saying Clinton would handle foreign

policy better than Trump.

For a deep dive into these issues, I turned to Jamie Rubin, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, and "The Daily Beast" Senior Editor, Michael

Weiss, who has written a best-selling book about ISIS.

Jamie Rubin, Michael Weiss, thank you both for being on the program. Jamie, let me start with you. What do we expect to hear from Clinton

today? Is she going to go for the jugular?

JAMIE RUBIN, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, I think so. It's been a long time coming. We've seen Donald Trump, who's going to be the

Republican nominee, say some outrageous and troubling things about America's role in the world. Whether it's attacking our allies and making

nice with our adversaries, whether its loose talk about the most solemn question a commander in chief could face, the release authority for the use

of thermonuclear weapons. These are outrageous things, they're dangerous things and I hope and expect Secretary Clinton to call him out on them and

make absolutely clear that this person has no business sitting in the Oval Office or having the power of war and peace or the control authority for

nuclear weapons.

WARD: So Michael, I mean, you've written a book on ISIS. When you're looking at Donald Trump's foreign policy, some of which seems to be, I

might add, contradictory at one isolationist, at another time, interventionist. Where do you think he's most vulnerable?

MICHAEL WEISS, "THE DAILY BEAST": I think he's the national security threat, to put it quite starkly. And I think somebody, as Jamie put it, we

know, in the position of commander in chief, who says things like, you know, we need to ban immigration of Muslims temporarily, you know, this is

setting a new mood music for ISIS' ideology. They have depicted this as a global conspiracy led by the United States, Russia, Iran, Bashar al-Assad

and now the Kurds against Sunni Islam.

Added to which, I mean, this is a guy who clearly doesn't know a damn thing about the Middle East. He was interviewed by Hugh Hewitt a few months ago

and he got the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps confused with the Kurdish Peshmerga.

[14:05:10] One is an American enemy with American blood on its hands, the other is a stalwart American ally now leading the fight against ISIS in

Northern Iraq. This is dangerous stuff and I think, you know, Secretary Clinton's strongest point here is on foreign policy. She's vulnerable

herself of course, there's a public perception about the Benghazi attack, the intervention in Libya but Donald Trump, anything goes. What he says on

Tuesday will not apply on Wednesday, what he says on Wednesday certainly won't apply on Thursday. And I think that's where it's most toxic and


WARD: I mean, but isn't that exactly the issue here. No matter what Clinton says today will any of it stick?

RUBIN: Well, I think there are some things, he's put forward this idea that he is a magic deal maker. Not only is that not true in his real

estate business but in the real world, not on reality television but in the real world the job of the commander-in-chief, the job of America's leaders

in foreign affairs is to calculate the different interests of different foreign countries to try to make tradeoffs between those countries who have

an interesting doing one thing and those who may have an interest in doing other things. That's a very complicated process. You can't wave a magic

wand and make a deal the way Donald Trumps says he can.

And most important it's the loose talk. You know, he's a vulgar man. He speaks a language of crudeness and, you know, our commander-in-chief when

talking about the most solemn issues our nation or the world could face. Let's remember he's talked about using nuclear weapons casually when voters

really have to vote. Not in the primaries when they have to actually think where they're going to put in charge. I think it will make a difference.

WARD: But that's the real question here, isn't it Jamie? I mean who is the target of the speech because you just give a very scathing assessment

but at the end of the day the Donald Trump voters care about that. Is foreign policy their priority?

RUBIN: Well, clearly the people that voted for Donald Trump in the primaries will continue to vote for him and -- but that's a very small

sliver at the American public. The people who voted in primaries is a small fraction of those who vote in the general election.

WARD: But let me ask you about this, Michael Weiss, because there are some people who are saying hold on a second. Don't take Donald Trump at his

word in terms of everything he said up until this point. Do you believe Michael that maybe what we've seen up until now is showmanship and that he

will develop a more pragmatic tone?

WEISS: Well, I think there's certainly an element of showmanship and I mean, look all politicians say things that they just simply don't mean or

will not deliver on once they get elected to office. The problem here is this is an enormous gamble. You can make the argument that he will be more

pragmatic and sensible until he'll be surrounded by the right kind of advisers in office. Although I frankly I've seen that movie before too and

it always doesn't work out quite as we plan, right? That stupid as a campaign platform usually winds up a stupid as a policy making.

WARD: Let's be clear, Hillary Clinton has also come under fire for some of her policies. She's considered by many Democrats to be rather hawkish and

interventionist in some of her policies. Do you think that she's somehow alienated some of the core Democratic vote?

RUBIN: Well, I'm sure there are some Democrats who will never forgive the fact that she like Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Kerry and

many other Democratic politicians voted for the Iraq war. There were some people who will never get beyond that. But I think when it comes to ISIS

which we we're just discussing, I think there is a broader, a growing concerns in the United States and the west that we need firmer action

rather than less form of action. And I think Secretary Clinton is going talk to that today not just from a perspective of why Donald Trump's the

wrong person to lead such an effort but why she is the right person.

WARD: Michael, I guess my final question. You are in the US, do you think that there is a strand of maybe more independent Republican voter who would

be attempted now to vote to Hillary Clinton based solely on foreign policy issues?

WEISS: Oh, we know that. I mean, and you've seen this sort of the intellectual class of the Republican Party come out. I mean, almost to a

man at this point. Max Boot at the Council and Foreign Relations, you know, Fred Kagan writing this blistering op-ed saying, look, you know, this

is either dissolution of the Republican Party or at the very least, we have to put a pause on supporting this party if this man is going to be the

standard bearer.

There's another phenomenon here too which I find very darkly abusing and ironic which is I'm seeing a lot of people on the far left, the kind of

element that votes for say Jeremy Corbin in the Labor Party or (inaudible) in Greece. If not quite come out and endorse Donald Trump then certainly

start to apologize and make excuses for him for the very reason that you alluded to before which is that Hillary Clinton is seemed to be quite


[14:10:03] And sort of hearkens back to a pre-Obama era of the Democratic establishment where the United States could be a force from good in terms

of foreign intervention and the use of military power and also a kind of hyperactive diplomacy apparatus.

Donald Trump is seen to be for the very isolationism that you mention a better alternative because there is an element in this country and this is

where we kind of get into the realm of liquid ideology. What is left wing what is right wing anymore and just frankly just fed up with America's role

as it has been since the end of World War II. No more wars abroad, it doesn't matter even in some cases if Americans are being killed abroad or

being declared war on and we should just cut deals with everybody including Russia, Iran, Syria under Bashar al-Assad and even frankly, a lot, you

know, you hear mutterings about people saying, "Hey, you should cut a deal with ISIS too. We're doing it with the Taliban why not with ISIS?"

So, I think, you know, what we're using is a kind of breakdown of some of the classic categories of what constitutes, you know, left wing liberal

thought and classical conservatism. I mean, these things don't apply anymore.

WARD: Michael Weiss, Jamie Rubin thank you both so much for appearing on the program.

RUBIN: Thank you.

WARD: Coming up, we turn from foreign policy to moral history. As I talk to human rights lawyer Philippe Sand about his new book, "On the Origins of

Genocide". That's next.


WARD: Welcome back to the program. After 101 years, Germany has taken a stand. In 1915, more than a million Armenians were killed by Ottoman

Turks. Today, the German parliament declared the mass killing a genocide joining over 20 nations and the pope in applying that term. It's a word

that is angrily denied by Turkey. Well, today recalled their ambassador in Berlin in protest. So, why is genocide such a controversial term and what

are its origins?

Joining me now to discuss this is Philippe Sand, International Human rights lawyer and author of the new book "East West Street on The Origins of

Genocide and Crimes against Humanity. Philippe Sand, thank you so much for being on the program. I guess the first question is how significant is it

that after a 101 years Germany has finally come out and ruled this a genocide?

PHILIPPE SAND, AUTHOR EAST WEST STREET: What's interesting is the people really care about these things. I mean, these were events took place in

1915 but they are still hotly debated today. I was in Istanbul a month ago and we we're talking about Armenia and what happened. And I was wondering

what should I call it, in polite company in Turkey. And the fact that the German parliament has now vouchered for this indicates a strong sickle

about the extent of the atrocity. But the reason people care about it so much is that in all of the crimes, war crimes, crimes against humanity, the

crime of crimes is thought of as genocide.

WARD: I mean, but this is what's interesting is the semantics of it, it's not the atrocity that's being debated, its the use of this very specific

heavily charged word, genocide.

SAND: It's -- Well, what most people don't know when I describe in the book is a very personal book, it's about my family, it's about of the man

who invented the concept of genocide and crimes against humanity is I've come to appreciate that words really matter.

[14:15:03] Words have their own life. If you compare the words of the terms crimes against humanity on the one hand, it seems sort of technical

and legalistic. The word genocide evokes something in the imagination. It was invented by a Polish-Jewish lawyer. His name was Raphael Lemkin. He

plowed away on his own for decades. He coins the world in 1944 in a book and for several years he had little success and he devoted the rest of his

life to making that word take off.

WARD: And did you get a sense as to what inspired him to do this? I mean, obviously I'm assuming it's the legacy of -- for atrocities but what -- It

must have been a personal crusade as well.

SAND: Absolutely! It was a personal crusade. Remarkably, as I uncovered in writing in the book, the concepts of crimes against humanity and

genocide both have origins in a single town. The city of Lviv in the Ukraine, indeed what .

WARD: How is that possible?

SAND: It's amazing. They originate from the same law school. I get invited to give a lecture in 2010 at the University of Lviv Law School on

my work on "Crimes Against Humanity In Genocide". Those who invite me do not know what I uncover namely that the man who invented the word, Hersh

Lauterpacht and Raphael Lemkin went to the very law school that invited me. They invent that word in 1944, '45.

Story gets even better or worse and they then get hired by the prosecution teams at Nuremberg. Lauterpacht for the British, Lemkin with the Americans

and they prosecute a man called Hans Frank who had bid Adolph Hitler's personal lawyer. And only in the last month of the trial do they learn,

remarkably, that the man they are prosecuting for crimes against humanity and genocide is the man who has killed their entire families. And my

interest in it of course was that their families were killed with my grandfather's families. So, there's a connection there.

WARD: There is. And I wanted to ask you what made you write this book? Because it's not everyday someone wakes up and says, "I want to write a

book about genocide," I mean, it's an intense topic and it's a very personal book for you as well.

SAND: I have no intentional desire to write the book that I wrote. I get this invitation from the University of Far Away Place, where these issues

are still hotly contested. And I arrived there. I only accept the request to give the lecture because I want to see where my grandfather was born.

In the city of Lviv, it was then called Lemberg after it was its called Lvov. I find his house and it gets me interested in that city. And I

start picking a way who were Lauterpacht's teachers. Who were Lemkin's teachers? And the strands slowly come together. It sort of like a

detective story which is probably why it's done well that I think we could have ever imagined.

WARD: If Lemkin could look at today's world and the attempts that have been made to prosecute genocide. Do you think he would be disheartened?

Would he be encouraged?

SAND: It'd be both. He'd be totally thrilled that his work has taken off. He would probably weep. He was a big crybaby. He like to cry a lot and

the idea of the German parliament at making this declaration using his word would send him into sort of spasms of sort of ecstatic weeping. On the

other hand, he would be deeply depressed. He's hope was that by creating this new crime. It would somehow stop and it hasn't stop. We've seen that

in Yugoslavia. We've seen that in Rwanda and we've seen that historic horrors continue to exercise the mind even if they took place 100 years


WARD: From a legal point of view. Why is it so difficult to prosecute? Because we've seen many attempts in The Hague and elsewhere and it doesn't

seem to stick often.

SAND: So, the essential difference. Crimes against humanity is killing a lot of individuals. If I kill you and a thousand other people,

systematically, that's likely to be a crime against humanity. But to prove a genocide, I have to show that I have killed you and a thousand other

people with the intent to destroy the group of which you are a member. And proving that is very difficult. The individuals, government, states, tend

not to leave around pieces of paper which say, "Oh, I'm going to kill these thousand people or a hundred thousand people because I'm going to destroy

their group." And so you're left doing third. I do genocide cases I'm sorry to say and it is almost impossible to prove that genocide has


So, you get real curiosities in the form of Yugoslavia. On one side of the border, in Bosnia, you can prove the intention to destroy a group and

Srebenica is genocide. A few kilometers away, on the other side of the border, in Vukovar you can't prove the intention to destroy a group and so

Vukovar is just a crime against humanities.

WARD: So, does it become almost more important on a symbolic level? Is that why we see this unbelievably polarizing reaction to the very word


SAND: Yes, because victims want their crime to be treated as the worst of all crimes. If you are a victim of a mass killing and your crimes

perpetrated against you are only characterized as war crimes or crimes against humanity. You're not in the premier league. You're not in the

best position.

[14:20:08] WARD: So, it's kind of catharsis in using the word.

SAND: There is. But there is something more important. I've been working recently, in fact I spoke about with your program recently a program, I am

making a film. I'm making about a German doctor, Jan Kizilhan who is treating 1,100 Yazidi women and girls that have been raped, enslaved,

tortured by ISIS. He has brought them to Germany with the help of state of the State of Baden-Wurttemberg. And as part of their psychological

treatment, he's explained to me, it's very important that the crimes that have been perpetrated against them are characterized as a genocide rather

than a crime against humanity. Why? Because as a genocide, it reenforces the legitimacy of their sense of belonging to a group that is valued and

that is protected as a group. So, it's -- there's catharsis but there's also psychological well-being that comes with that term being attached to

your state as a victim.

WARD: I have to ask you my final question just in a word. Did it leave you feeling optimistic, if that's possible writing this book, did it leave

you feeling heartbroken?

SAND: I'm a perennially optimistic person. I deal with mass murder on a daily basis for the cases that I do. It's a long game. What Lauterpacht

and Lemkin did in 1945 will take centuries to bear fruit. The crime of murder continues to exist. The law will never stop at human wrongdoing but

it's an important step.

WARD: Philippe Sands, an extraordinary book. Thank you so much for coming to talk to us about it.

Well, coming up. We look to the only country that is led by a president who is charged with genocide. We take you to Sudan to meet university

students who are suffering the consequences of speaking out. That's after the break.


WARDS: And finally tonight. Imagine a world attacking its own future. Sudan is still ruled with an iron fist by President Omar al-Bashir, the

only sitting head of state with an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity. Now, his security forces are clamping down on what they is the

latest threat to the regime. Khartoum University, our Nima Elbagir takes this rare look inside.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a parent to go 12 days without seeing their child is a crisis. To not know if he's dead or alive.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For 12 days Arsim Omar (ph) has been held by Sudanese security incommunicado. Just a day prior to (inaudible) Armin

and his wife were finally allowed to visit him at a local police station.

[14:25:05] Assam, a student leader seen here protesting in Sudan capital April shortly before his arrest. He's accused of killing a police officer

in face of the death penalty. His family denies the charges saying he was just protesting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were scared for him. We warned him about the consequences and of different outcomes. We used to tell him, "Be careful.

Don't go. Don't protest." But of course in the end, it was young people, you can't control them.

ELBAGIR: The protest began last month over the government's proposed sale of Khartoum University's historic central campus and has now become about

much, much more.

In the face of a government imposed local media blackout, the students have been documenting the still unfolding process and the government's response.

More student activists recently detained by Sudanese security forces agreed to speak to us. We agreed to conceal his identity for his safety.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We came out chanting "Peaceful, peaceful." As our chanting grew louder, they gave the orders and released tear gas to

separate the crowd.

ELBAGIR: He took these pictures in the early morning hours after his release. On his back he says, "You can see the marks left by the

electricity wires that were used to whip him".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They throw you against the wall and keep your face against it. Take off your T-shirt and cover eyes. So, that you can't see

anything, they hit and hit and hit and with it come the questions, questions where it doesn't matter whether or not you're giving them the

right answers. Blows and blows and blows and blows.

ELBAGIR: CNN has reached out to the Sudanese government for comment but has not received a response. The government has previously linked these

protests to opposition groups. Accusing them of stirring unrest but there's no word of any charges against any opposition figures.

To date, a number of students have been killed and several former and current students are being held by the authorities. Incommunicado their

family is saying. They're families and friends provide CNN with these pictures. They hope that they like Arsim Omar's (ph) parents will finally

get to at least see their love ones.

Arsim's case has become something of a rally in crime. Attracting a number of prominent Sudanese lawyers to his defense team and the lawyers have yet

to meet him.

As lawyers and loved ones push for his release, the unrest continues. So, too, thus uncertainty over the face of the other detained and missing

students. Nima Elbagir, CNN, Khartoum, Sudan.


WARD: That's it for our program tonight, and remember you can listen to our podcast, see us online at and follow me on Twitter

@clarrisaward. Thank you for watching and good bye from London.