November 17th, 2015
12:24 PM ET

Former jihadi: apologies of far left, sensationalism of far right blind us to ending "global Jihadist insurgency" #FZGPS

Sunday's CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS featured an interview with former jihadi and counter-extremism expert Maajid Nawaz, co-founder of Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism group. Nawaz discusses how partisan politics in the U.S. and Europe are blinding the world from effectively fighting what he describes as a "global Jihadist insurgency."  Nawaz also discusses why religious extremism is attractive to young people born and raised in the West, and his own journey from extremist to a founder of an organization working to stop radicalization and promote tolerance and democracy.  Below, is a full transcript of the interview – Nawaz also appears in Fareed Zakaria's special one-hour investigation into the origins and aims of the terror group known as "ISIS" or "Daesh," that airs tonight,Tuesday, Nov. 17.  Blindsided: How ISIS Shook the World airs at 9:00pm Eastern on CNN/U.S.

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Topics: 2016 Election • Breaking News • CNN • CNN Intenational Shows • CNN U.S. • Fareed Zakaria • Fareed Zakaria GPS • France • Iraq • ISIS • Syria
November 15th, 2015
03:15 PM ET

Secretary of State John Kerry on the Obama Administration’s approach to ISIL #FZGPS

Today's CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS featured Secretary of State John Kerry discussing the next steps for the U.S. response to the crisis in Syria and Iraq. This interview took place in the Benjamin Franklin room at the U.S. State Department on Wednesday, Nov. 11.

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State: I mean there is a concerted strategy here, Fareed.  You know, I keep hearing people say well, what's the strategy, what's the strategy? The strategy is clear. President Obama, at the very beginning, said we're going to degrade and defeat ISIL.  We're going to stabilize the countries in the region - Jordan, Lebanon, work with Turkey - and we are going to seek a political settlement.

That is exactly the strategy today and it is working, to a degree, not as fast as we would like, perhaps, but we are making gains.  We have liberated major communities. About 75 percent of the border between northern Syria and Turkey has been secured.  You have another piece where we are engaging in an operation with the Turks to secure the final piece west of the Euphrates River.

There is pressure being put on Raqqa. There are major disruptions to the leadership and command and control of ISIL. Their territory has been shrunk by some 17,000 square kilometers.

There's a difference in the way they have to operate as a result of our operations.  And I believe that when you combine what is happening in Iraq with what is happening in Syria, there's an enormous amount of pressure that is continually being ramped up with respect to ISIL.

Now, ultimately, we want more forces on the ground to be able to - not ours - they're going to have to be people on the ground...

ZAKARIA:  But isn't that the key, which is in Syria, you can defeat ISIL or Daesh, but then somebody has to govern that real estate?

KERRY: Correct.

ZAKARIA: And what has tended to happen is, you know, there - we don't have local partners other than the Kurds.  You leave - or the victorious forces leave, and ISIL will come back or Assad comes back. There aren't - those moderate Syrians, just by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs' own admission - there just aren't many of them.

KERRY:  We understand that. But on the other hand, if - if you can move rapidly towards a political settlement, rapidly, over the next six months, towards an election, etc.; if you could have a ceasefire, if - these are all ifs; I understand that. But you have to have several strategies. And we do.

One is the military pressure against ISIL, the military pressure that has taken place from the moderate opposition against Assad, and the political track, where we're trying to get the parties united.  And in - two weeks ago in Vienna, we had a major step forward where everybody, including Iran and Russia, signed on to a unified secular Syria, to maintaining the structures of the government, to all opposing ISIL, and to protecting minorities, coming up with a - with a process that leads to an election.  And now we're working at doing that.

Iran and Russia and all of the rest of our partners - Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, etc.  - are committed to driving this political process that will have a transitional council that will begin to take over management of certain activities in Syria yet to be defined and determined in the negotiation, and that will lead to a sort of transitional process.

And ultimately, that is where we hope the issue of Assad and his future will be resolved.

### END ###

November 13th, 2015
03:36 PM ET

#FZGPS Preview: Secretary of State John Kerry on U.S. strategy against ISIS

On Sunday, Nov. 15, CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS will feature an exclusive interview with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the next steps for the U.S. response to the crisis in Syria and Iraq, whether there is still hope for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, if Iran’s actions towards the West have improved since the P5+1 nuclear deal, and what to expect from next week’s global conference on climate change.

Below is an excerpt from this exclusive interview which took place in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the U.S. State Department on Thursday.

This interview will air in its entirety on November 15, 2015 at 10am &1pm ET on CNN/U.S.

MANDATORY CREDIT for reference and usage: “CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS”

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State: I mean there is a concerted strategy here, Fareed.  You know, I keep hearing people say well, what's the strategy, what's the strategy? The strategy is clear. 

President Obama, at the very beginning, said we're going to degrade and defeat ISIL.  We're going to stabilize the countries in the region - Jordan, Lebanon, work with Turkey - and we are going to seek a political settlement.

That is exactly the strategy today and it is working, to a degree, not as fast as we would like, perhaps, but we are making gains.  We have liberated major communities. About 75 percent of the border between northern Syria and Turkey has been secured.  You have another piece where we are engaging in an operation with the Turks to secure the final piece west of the Euphrates River. 

There is pressure being put on Raqqa.  There are major disruptions to the, uh, leadership, the command and control of ISIL.  Their territory has been shrunk by some 17,000 square kilometers.

There is a difference in the way they have to operate as a result of our operations.  And I believe that when you combine what is happening in Iraq with what is happening in Syria, uh, there's an enormous amount of pressure that is continually being ramped up with respect to ISIL. 

Now, ultimately, we want more forces on the ground to be able to - not ours.  They're going to have to be people on the ground.

###


Topics: Breaking News • CNN • CNN International • CNN U.S. • Fareed Zakaria • Fareed Zakaria GPS • Iraq • ISIS • Syria
November 3rd, 2015
12:41 PM ET

Dr. Richard Dawkins on Dr. Ben Carson: "he clearly doesn't understand the fundamental theorem of his own subject"

Sunday’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS on CNN/U.S. features an interview with renowned evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, DPhil.  He discussed the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and the beliefs of the candidates and the influence of those beliefs upon their policy positions.

MANDATORY CREDIT for reference and usage: “CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS”

Dr. Dawkins explains why he says “the most powerful evidence [for evolution] is probably not fossils: http://cnn.it/1XMDE1P

Dr. Dawkins on why the GOP fills him “with despair”:  http://cnn.it/1LOpRm2

FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST: In 1859, Charles Darwin published his seminal book, On the Origin of Species.  In it, he laid out his theory of evolution – eventually applying it to all animals from finches to human beings. The opposing theory, of course, is creationism – which states that God created men and women in his own image, as the Bible states.

According to the Pew Research Center, 98 percent of the professional scientists who are members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science believe that humans and other living things have evolved over time. But when the American public was polled, just 65 percent said they believed that. And of the GOP candidates? Well, as you'll find out in a moment, almost none of them seem to believe it.

I wanted to learn about evolution from one of the greatest scientific thinkers out there. Richard Dawkins is a British evolutionary biologist. He's a long-time Oxford professor who has written prolifically - on science and atheism, which he espouses. He has a new memoir out called, Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science (2015).   Listen in.  (more after the jump)

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November 2nd, 2015
09:08 AM ET

#FZGPS: Ann Selzer & Nate Cohn deconstruct the meaning of national polls to the 2017 Iowa caucuses

Sunday’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS on CNN/U.S. featured an interview with polling experts, Ann Selzer, Selzer & Company, and Nate Cohn, The New York Times.  They discussed the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign polls and what they mean at this stage of the campaign.

MANDATORY CREDIT for reference and usage: “CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS”

FULL POST

October 26th, 2015
05:06 PM ET

#LongRoadtoHell America in Iraq hosted by @Fareed Zakaria debuts TONIGHT at 9p on CNN & CNN International

Tonight at 9:00pm, CNN's Fareed Zakaria looks for answers to who is responsible for the chaos in Iraq.  The special hour, Long Road to Hell: America in Iraq debuts tonight at 9:00pm on CNN and CNN International.

Providing new insights and commentary are: former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Presidential Envoy to Iraq Paul Bremer, president of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass, Gen. David Petraeus (ret.), former Undersecretary for Defense Douglas Feith, former Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke, and former U.S. diplomat Peter Galbraith.

Viewers can interact with the producers via Twitter during the broadcast by using #LongRoadtoHell.

The one-hour special encores at 12:00am on CNN International.  Global airtimes:

+ Monday October 26 at 9:00pm ET CNN International in North America / 1:00am in UK (Tuesday, October 27) / 2:00am in Europe (Tuesday, October 27)

+ Friday, October 30 at 2:00pmET CNN International in North America / 6:00pm in UK / 7:00pm in Europe

+ Sunday November 1 at 1:00am ET CNN International in North America / 6:00am in UK / 7:00am in Europe

All times Eastern.

###

October 26th, 2015
11:09 AM ET

Long Road to Hell – Facebook Live Chat with CNN's Fareed Zakaria at noon #FZGPS

Social-Fareed-Facebook-Chat

Long Road to Hell: America in Iraq, hosted by Fareed Zakaria, debuts tonight on CNN/U.S. and CNN International at 9:00pm.  Prior to the special, at noon today, Zakaria will be answering questions about this topic via CNN’s Facebook page.  All times Eastern.

###

October 21st, 2015
03:41 PM ET

Long Road to Hell: America in Iraq hosted by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria airs Monday on CNN and CNN International

RTL_end_page_sd

President George W. Bush had a dream that Iraq would become a beacon of hope in the Middle East.   Now, with the region wracked by chaos, civil war, and violence, some U.S. presidential candidates are pledging to order American “boots on the ground” again in Iraq – this time to fight ISIS.  The crucial question is:  do we understand the Iraq we would be going back to?  CNN’s Fareed Zakaria will take a timely look at the reality of what is left of Iraq in Long Road to Hell: America in Iraq.

Zakaria asks tough questions of many of the key architects of America’s military intervention in Iraq over the last dozen years: Who is responsible for the unraveling of Iraq?  Do those who want to send American troops to Iraq again understand the mistakes of the past?  And, is Iraq even a country anymore?

Zakaria was himself an early supporter of the 2003 military intervention in Iraq. Explaining how his views evolved over time, Zakaria points out the consequences of the major strategic choices. He argues there were too few troops sent to maintain post-war order once the American-led coalition had conquered Saddam’s army. And, greater inclusion of the sectarian groups in Iraq could have meant more regional support for the nation-building efforts that followed the collapse of the Baathist regime.

In Long Road to Hell, Zakaria examines these vital pivot points and mistakes – some previously unknown until now. Offering answers and exploring the challenges are:

  • Tony Blair, U.K. Prime Minister (1997 – 2007), Quartet Representative for the Middle East (2007 – 2015);
  • Antony Blinken, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State (2014 – present);
  • Paul Bremer, Presidential Envoy to Iraq (2003 – 2004);
  • Richard Clarke, Special Advisor to the President for Cyberspace (2001 – 2003); National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism Czar (1998 – 2003); Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence (Ronald Reagan Administration);
  • Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (2001 – 2005);
  • Peter Galbraith, former U.S. diplomat;
  • Richard Haass, PhD, president, Council on Foreign Relations (2003 – present); former lead U.S. official on Afghanistan and Northern Ireland (2001 – 2003); and
  • Gen. David Petraeus (ret.), Commander, Multi-National Force in Iraq (2007 – 2008); Commander, International Security Assistance Force and Commander, U.S. Forces in Afghanistan (2010 – 2011); Commander, U.S. Central Command (2008 – 2010).

The one-hour primetime special, Long Road to Hell: America in Iraq, hosted by Fareed Zakaria, is scheduled to premiere in simulcast on Monday, Oct. 26 at 9:00pm on CNN/U.S. and CNN International. It will also encore on CNN/U.S. at 12:00am.  Zakaria will be answering questions about this topic via CNN’s Facebook page prior to the special at noon on Monday, Oct. 26. All times Eastern.

###

October 18th, 2015
04:22 PM ET

#FZGPS: President Poroshenko on MH17 and whether Ukraine is ready to join NATO

On Sunday’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS on CNN/U.S. features an exclusive interview with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who spoke about the Dutch investigation this week that concluded last year’s Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot from the sky by a Russian-made missile and whether Ukraine is ready to join NATO.

MANDATORY CREDIT for reference and usage: “CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS”

FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST:  When Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine 15 months ago, 193 Dutch citizens perished. This week, their nation, the Netherlands, released a damning investigative report on how and why its citizens and 105 others died. The report pointed fingers in two different directions. It said that a Russian-made Bukh missile fired from territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists is what downed the airliner. But the report also put some lesser blame on Ukraine, saying the nation had sufficient reason to close its air space before the shoot down occurred. Joining me now for an exclusive interview is Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko. Thank you for joining me, Mr. President.

PETRO POROSHENKO, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE: Thank you for the invitation.

ZAKARIA: Do you believe that Ukraine should have shut down its air space, given the knowledge you had, the violence that was already afoot?

POROSHENKO: Yeah, of course, Ukraine is strictly follow all the recommendations of the ICAO and at that time we closed the air space at the height, it seems to me, 9,725 meters. We don't have any information which give us the necessity to close the air spot above this echelon and we strictly followed the recommendation of the ICAO.

We cannot imagine that the Russia will transfer these highly sophisticated and very technological weapons to the hands of the terrorists and they don't have any background, any–basis for making this decision.

ZAKARIA: One of the things people are trying to figure out in the West is, is Vladimir Putin searching for a negotiated settlement in Ukraine? Is he searching for a way to deescalate the situation, to stabilize the situation because he faces a shrinking economy, sanctions, a collapse of oil prices, and now, of course, he has this intervention in Syria? Do you believe that Putin is looking for some kind of settlement?

Do you see any signs of that?

POROSHENKO: I wish, but unfortunately, no. Unfortunately, the - until the September, we have an active committed operation and only now, we have a cease-fire. But unfortunately we don't have any continuation of the implementation of the Minsk process. The same as I told you, the first decision which Putin should make is withdraw his troops from Ukrainian territory. And I think that the absolutely irresponsible behavior of Russia in Syria, when he launched this operation, this is simply continued the logic, logic which we said even last year, at first, it was the Crimea, second, it was Donbass, third, it is Syria, fourth maybe, I don't know, Afghanistan.

And nobody knows where the Russian green soldiers can appear in the very next moment.

ZAKARIA: Mr. President, you were seen recently in a Ukrainian plane that has been outfitted to NATO standards. And so I wonder do you want Ukraine to become a member of NATO?

POROSHENKO: This is a very important question. Of course, I want peace, security as a president for my country and for my people, especially in this situation, where we are under attack of Russia, when we are the object of aggression. And NATO today is maybe the only most effective mechanism to provide security, because after Russian aggression in my country, they completely destroyed all the post-war security systems based on the statute and charter and principles of the United Nations, because when we have a situation, one of the permanent members of the Security Council is an aggressor, that - and he's using his veto right, that means that the old mechanism which was created is not working.

And now it is my responsibility to provide and implement reform in my country, to transform the country to the NATO. And then we will have this discussion. I think I need for that at least five, six years.

ZAKARIA: Mr. President, a pleasure to have you on.

POROSHENKO: Thank you very much indeed.

END

October 18th, 2015
12:38 PM ET

President Kenyatta on gay rights in Kenya

On today’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS (10:00am and 1:00pm in North America) Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke about domestic homeland security and the state of rights for homosexuals in Kenya.

MANDATORY CREDIT for reference and usage: “CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS”

FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST:  The East African nation of Kenya has seen great highs and great lows of late. In April, Al Shabaab militants stormed across the porous border from Somalia and killed almost 150 people at a Kenyan university. That followed the infamous Westgate Mall siege – also by Al Shabaab – that killed 67 people and lasted 4 days. In July, President Obama made his first trip as President to his father's native land. In the weeks leading up the President's arrival, the U.S. conducted drone strikes against Al Shabaab in their sanctuary of Somalia. I recently had the chance to sit down with Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss terror, economics, and playing host to President Obama.

ZAKARIA: President Kenyatta, pleasure to have you on.

UHURU KENYATTA, PRESIDENT OF KENYA: Happy to see you.

ZAKARIA: Let's talk first about terrorism. The world has been astonished over the last few years to see the rise of – first it was Al Qaeda type affiliates, now it appears to be ISIS type affiliates in Africa, Why is this happening?

KENYATTA: I think the best way to put this is that this is really, this is an argument I've been putting, this is not really a Kenyan situation. You've first of all got to recognize the neighborhood that we live in. You know we had a failed state right next to our border, a state where there was no rule of law, there was no government, it was just open vastland. So when Al Qaeda sort of took root and they didn't take root in Kenya, they found in Somalia, a haven where they could do their training, they could do almost anything.

ZAKARIA: You must have studied though this issue of why some Muslims get radicalized because you have a Muslim population in Kenya and some have gotten radicalized. You must look at Boko Haram in Nigeria and think about the same thing.  What is the answer? What is – what seems to be attractive to young men particularly?

KENYATTA: One let's put it that first and foremost let's say that there may be genuine grievances, they may have.

But then on top of it you've got this group of radical preachers who come and give a very warped view of religion you know at Friday – at Friday Mosque. You know start telling them that what you're doing you know you're doing for god, you're doing for you know, it's for your religion and for God, right?

Now this is what we've really got to focus ourselves on. You know how do you make this not so attractive? We got to start creating the Muslim leadership in the world to start saying “no” Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda do not represent the true faith; this is the true faith.

ZAKARIA: Let me ask you about economics. For a while Africa was seen as this great hope but a lot of investors I talk to and a lot of businessmen say much of the reform that they had hoped would take place in Africa has stalled.

Because at the – you know between corruption and dysfunction and bad government there is still so much of it in Africa that it's blocking progress. Would you agree with that?

KENYATTA: I would look at it differently. I would look at it and say that the African renaissance is still on. I would say that yes indeed we do have challenges and challenges have been there. There is actual true realization that we need to reform our system to match the growth and to sustain the growth trajectory that we've taken.

This is why Kenyans chose for themselves a new constitution in 2010 that sought to reorganize the way we manage our business as a country. That's why they removed certain powers from the President, and gave them to independent institutions to remove that personality driven cult that one man controls the entire system.  And I believe this is working.

ZAKARIA: But people still say you are supremely powerful, you personally.

KENYATTA: Well I don't know about supremely powerful but if you – if you actually look at the situation that we have today in Kenya and compare it to where we were before that is actually you know not the case. I have no power to appoint or fire judges any more. Really my role is more or less an understand of saying that whatever the commission does you know the judiciary has gained its independence.

The same applies to the legislature. Now where the issue of power comes from is where they say oh but you control Parliament. But yes it's true, we have a majority in Parliament, we have that majority because the people chose to give that majority to the party to which I belong to.

ZAKARIA: When people talk about gay rights to you and President Obama did this on his visit there. You say look, we have our culture we have our traditions, don't try to impose your values on us. The problem for many in the west is that it's not really seen as a matter of cultural values it's seen as a matter of innate human rights that these people are – you know that you are in effect depriving people of their rights merely because of something that is God-given. That is – that they were born with, that there is increasing scientific evidence that this is the case. And why would you persecute people for something that they have ultimately no control over?

KENYATTA: Let me make it clear to you and put it this way, right. I think first and foremost we're all saying that whatever society you come from right, the principal aim is that you must give the people you know their right to choose, all right?

Now where we are and at the level of development that we are in, I am not saying that these people don't have their rights, that's not what I'm saying. I am just saying that the majority – the majority in our society yes, do not wish to legalize, yes, this issue of gay rights.

ZAKARIA: Can you persuade them?

KENYATTA: The people in Kenya are not, at this point in time, and that's exactly what I said when we were with President Obama, yes. To them this is not an issue that they are going to put at the center. They have more pressing issues.

However, that said and done I am also, right, and will not allow people to persecute any individuals yes. Or just to beat them, or to you know torture them, you know.

ZAKARIA: But you do allow persecution because they're – because they're criminalized.

KENYATTA: What I'm saying witch hunts - what I am saying is witch hunts. You know we won't allow people to take the law into their own hands and harass and no we won't. All right. Every individual has a right to be protected by the law and that's stated in our constitution, all right.

But what we are saying is that as a society, right, we do not accept some of these values, right. And this is where I am saying we have to get synergies. You’re not going to create the United States or Great Britain or the Netherlands in Kenya, or in Nigeria or Senegal overnight. We have to understand that these are processes and they take time.

ZAKARIA: President Kenyatta, pleasure to have you on.

KENYATTA: Been great.

END

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