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Joining me now for his take on everything that's happening -- -- right now including Libya.
As ambassador David -- he served as.
Our ambassador both in Yemen and Iraq in both -- Republican and democratic and administrations he's now a scholar at the Middle East Institute ambassadors nice to have you with us today.
-- like to go back did senator Gramm's first comment about.
The region about to explode in reference in the Middle East how would you characterize what's happening and that part of the world.
Well since the beginning of Arab Spring we're in a period of tremendous turbulence and change.
In the Middle East much like we had in the sixties and seventies it could easily go on for an entire decade.
And this is not that.
-- determined from people outside the region these -- revolutions from the inside.
The United States has limited influence in this situation and it's going to have to react try to plan as best as it can.
But we have to be prepared for a lot of surprises.
And a lot of problems.
Quite -- that we have to be prepared to react.
Rather then potentially having a more proactive.
Approach to the changes that are happening in the region.
Well we will have proactive approaches but there will be a lot of surprises there are a lot of unknowns.
And there could be violence.
But this is a basically still we hope.
A democratic movement and the people of the region will determine what happens and the level of prediction is going to be.
Pretty low -- -- so hopeful of.
That there is I democratic under current to some of the changes that we're seeing in the Middle East others of course are doubtful of that.
And one of the things that senator Graham brought -- is is his comparison to the Bush Administration.
For the very reason that he feels that there's a difference in a narrative that we're hearing from the Obama administration.
And the reality that's actually happening on the ground.
How -- and that's similar to he says what what we -- the Bush Administration with a mission accomplished sign.
And not getting the realities of what was happening on the ground in Iraq how would you.
How do you feel about that comparison do you think there's a difference in near -- at the what we would hope or like to see there in the region -- of reality of what's actually happening.
Well in the case of the Bush Administration we created the situation.
Did determining that we would go to war against Saddam Hussein this was not an event cause by events in the region itself.
In this case we're dealing with -- -- in the region.
Which we cannot.
Easily predict we know they're dangerous but they're going to be a lot of surprise.
Ambassador in your tiny sent more than twenty years living in the Middle East as we mentioned ambassador in Yemen.
And Iraq were you with your security ever threat and was a security at the end this year conversely you -- Eighty playing your career ever under attack.
Well at various times as a junior officer also in Yemen we had.
People coming over the wall against vulnerable building fortunately.
Security forces beat them back.
And in the end of my career in Yemen -- had a very serious security threat and ended up with two American bodyguards.
But one point I think important to make is.
In the final analysis we are always dependent on the local security forces the local government to protect us.
Even in very dangerous posts where you might have.
An American bodyguard.
You're not going to be able to be safe in the final analysis.
Unless the host government is able to protect.
She's in and on that point then what do you make of the repeated requests.
That we heard in the hearing last week on Capitol Hill the repeated requests by the regional.
And that that security.
-- from the State Department -- security official.
Asking for more security and he says not getting it what do you make of that exchange -- what -- we know about that.
I don't find -- terribly surprising after all -- is a finite.
New York Times this morning reported that.
Congressman -- himself.
Voted to cut the number of diplomatic security personnel in the past.
You have to make choices that what you have.
And in diplomatic security.
I think there are always more threats and every request then you can handle.
Sometimes you make -- good decision sometimes it turns out to be a bad decision and I know of one case in which show.
The department sent an ambassador are often he was killed.
Those things happen.
That's a dangerous profession.
We're not armed.
Even do you -- -- do you think you should be.
No capital no absolutely not.
-- no way you can defend yourself and we're not there we're supposed to be promoting peace not war.
Ambassador nice have your prospectus today thank you so much for the time.
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