Salient to Investors:
Fareed Zakaria said:
- The US has put its credibility on the line and will find it extremely difficult to keep its actions limited in a volatile situation.
- Ousting Assad would almost certainly lead to chaos and the ethnic cleansing of the Alawite sect and perhaps of other minorities, as happened in Iraq.
Nicholas Burns at Harvard said the US has every reason and right to act to preserve its credibility in the world while the Security Council is frozen because of the cynical policies of Russia and China.
General Wesley Clark said we need to bring the nations of the world together to say you cannot use chemical weapons. It will be a Goldilocks kind of strike: Syria won’t be able to say it didn’t hurt but or say it destroyed the country.
Paul Wolfowitz at AEI said it is not possible to end this civil war peacefully with Assad in power and to have some influence over the final outcome, we need allies on the ground in Syria, and that means the Free Syrian Army.
Fareed Zakaria said Sweden is very different from the Socialist Sweden of the past, with:
- No inheritance tax.
- Very free markets: freer and less regulated than the US in many sectors.
- High income taxes that fund things like health care and pensions that are far more efficiently run than their counterparts in America. Sweden tends to be near the top of most rankings on quality of life and competitiveness.
- Government spending in 2012 down by a fifth from the 65 percent of GDP in 1995; to sixth place, behind even France.
- A budget deficit of 0.5 percent of GDP versus 5.7 percent in the US.
- Policies that allowed Saab to go bankrupt in 2011, and Volvo to be acquired by the Chinese.
- Lower corporate tax rates than in the US.
Zakaria said Scandinavian countries are slowly moving away from big government to smart government. The leader expected to win next week’s Norway’s elections is a conservative, running on a campaign to cut taxes.
Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1309/01/fzgps.01.html