Axios (2018) s04e13 Episode Script

Season 4, Episode 13

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan - WASHINGTON, D.
So this is your office? Yeah, I have a perfect view of the flag.
What does the flag mean to you? That's what I grew up with.
That's how I know I'm Afghan.
Afghanistan's last ambassador? / an interview with Amb.
Adela Raz Twenty days before the fall of Kabul, Her Excellency Adela Raz became Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States.
She was previously Afghanistan's first female ambassador to the UN.
Ambassador Raz has defied the Taliban and kept the embassy open under the Afghan tricolor flag.
Do you still think of yourself as Afghanistan's ambassador to the US? I do.
I do.
I do.
I do.
What was it like growing up as a girl in Afghanistan when the Taliban took over? It was hard.
It was really, really difficult.
I remember very clearly the afternoon I was preparing to go to school.
And my dad came from work, and he said, "Don't go to school.
" And I said, "Why?" He said, "Outside, it's not safe.
It's not secure.
" And we were hearing these rumors the Taliban are arriving.
What do you remember about after 9/11 when the U.
invaded? The first thing I remember was the air bombs.
And the second image I remember from the Americans' arrival, "This is the end of miseries of Afghanistan because U.
is the superpower.
When it arrives, that's it.
It's the end of it.
" And for me, I think the best part was it didn't take too long when the schools started to open.
- You believed in the United States.
- We all believed.
So you were Afghanistan's ambassador to the United Nations while the Trump administration was negotiating with the Taliban.
When and how did you first learn about the negotiations that led to that February 2020 deal? I don't remember exactly when and how, but because, keep in mind, I was also the deputy foreign minister.
And what do you think of that deal that Trump struck with the Taliban? We legitimized them even when they were in Doha with that deal.
When they get the political legitimacy from the international community, they almost felt, "Okay, there is no need to more even negotiate.
" Which meant that they are the same Taliban that they were before.
President Biden comes into office, and he decides not to renegotiate with the Taliban.
How did you feel when he made that decision? Look, when he first came to office, we were all super excited that he won't withdraw or he will change the deal.
And I even reached out to some of my principals, and I said, "We should not really buy into this la-la land.
We should really be serious because prepared Because he said he was going to withdraw.
I think everybody hoped that he will put stronger conditions.
- Which he didn't.
- Which he didn't.
Which he did not.
It was very well accepted.
To me and to a lot of us, we said, "The U.
troops will withdraw.
" But there has to be conditions on Taliban that they commit to the achievements that the Afghan society has made.
Did you get the sense that President Biden cared about the fate of Afghan women? I don't think so.
He said U.
could not be the police of the world to protect women in any other country.
I've got a quote that he said which I want to get your reaction to.
So this is when President Biden gave his speech marking the final withdrawal of U.
I'll just read you.
Quote, "We'll continue to speak out for basic rights of the Afghan people, especially women and girls.
I've been clear that human rights will be the center of our foreign policy.
But the way we do that is not through endless military deployments but through diplomacy, economic tools, and rallying the rest of the world for support.
" What type of tools are left right now to pressure Taliban that they respect the human rights? Does President Ghani deserve any blame for what happened? Of course he does.
He was the president of the country.
What were his biggest mistakes? He made his circle way too small, and he knows that.
He heavily relied only on two people to give him the answers what he wanted to hear.
Do you think he was in denial about what was happening? I don't know if he was in denial or he was misinformed, given the wrong information, or a combination of all.
But did you get the sense he thought things were better than they were? Yes, yes, yes.
He thought things were much better.
What did it feel like on August 15th when you learned that the Taliban had entered Kabul and the president you served, Ashraf Ghani, had secretly escaped? I was I think the first feeling that morning was betrayal.
Literally, I woke up, my phone had so many messages and calls.
I just saw it.
And I knew something is wrong.
My family was all in Kabul.
And so I called my husband right away.
And he picked up, and the first thing he said is, "Don't worry.
I'm safe.
" And I knew something was wrong when he's starting with this line.
And then he told me that the president has left.
Your husband works for the President Ghani as well, right? Yes.
His recent role was the chief of staff.
Your husband was in the palace on the day Ghani escaped.
- Yes.
- And he had no idea? He had no idea.
He gets a call from outside, and he's told the president left.
And he says, "No, you're joking.
'Cause I just saw the president went to have lunch at home.
" "No, he left.
" And my husband still says, "No, no, no.
He hasn't.
" He's looking around the palace, and there's no one there? There are people, but he says it felt empty.
And that's when it hits him.
So I said, "What are you doing? You need to leave as soon as possible.
" Do you consider President Ghani to be a traitor? He needs to answer the Afghan society.
He was the president of the country.
He should just come and answer the public, you know more bravely.
I think I've watched almost all your interviews.
One thing you would always do would be to try to say, "Yes, I know you read all the bad stuff.
But, listen, there is" like, you are always trying to tell people a different story.
A different story.
Because that different story was my inspiration.
But at the same time, I also question this part that I had encouraged a lot of young woman to join the government.
I had because I you know, I did.
And I said, if we want to make the change, it's part of the change we will make within.
Let's be part of it.
" I also question those who I encouraged to stay in Afghanistan.
And one of them was a young woman that was assassinated.
She was a human rights advocate.
I knew her sister really well.
But I think these parts, I do question, "Did I do the right thing or the wrong?" Tell me about those days after the fall of Kabul here and how you made this decision to keep this embassy open.
So it was that Sunday when it happened.
And the next morning, I'm getting messages from colleagues.
Yeah, asking me, "What should we do? Can we meet?" And I think it was the moment I started to realize that it's not me as an individual, what is good for me or what I feel comfortable.
And I said, "I can't exactly repeat what my president did," walk away from all of this.
Said, "This is my job, and this is my responsibility.
I need to see my colleagues, and I need to meet them.
" And I did.
The Taliban has not allowed women into their government.
No, no, no.
So have they tried to fire you? Or have they reached out to you? There was a call for a meeting by the current new minister for all ambassadors overseas on a Zoom meeting.
Wait, sorry.
So the Taliban foreign minister wanted to do a Zoom call? Yes.
Yes, he wanted to do a Zoom call.
- You didn't get on the Zoom? - No.
I did not get on the Zoom at all.
No, no, no.
Not at all.
What communication have you had with the Biden administration since they withdrew their forces and allowed the Taliban to take over Afghanistan? Formally, no communication.
My office had back-and-forth with them so I have to be When was that? After August 15th, my office had back-and-forth with them, the entities to the State Department and to DoD.
Initially meetings were scheduled, and then they were canceled.
Did both the Pentagon and State cancel? Yes.
But then they didn't give us another date.
This is my takeaway.
Yeah, I think they don't want to legitimize my position because by meeting me formally probably they will legitimize position, and that probably will upset the Taliban.
Do you still believe in the United States? Do you still trust the US? No.
Sorry, I I trust and believe the people.
I've lost trust in in the U.
policies and I think probbaly government policies, including my own leadership and government policies.
And I'm reflecting and saying, "How effective I was or I wasn't?" I think it is a big question that I don't have the right type of answer.
Do you still think of America as the leader of the free world? If you talk about democracy I will question it and laugh at it because Why do you say that? Because you were engaged in building one in Afghanistan, and the people believed in it.
They fought for it.
But when the negotiation survived with Taliban, that was not a priority to renegotiate it.
Do you think Afghans will ever trust an American president again? Not soon probably.
I'm sorry to say that.
I don't think so.
You're keeping the embassy open for the moment at least.
It's almost like you're a refugee in your own embassy, you know? It's an extraordinary situation.
Yes, yes.
I am, and we are.
Myself and my team, all of us.
We know there will be a day it will be closed.
But we definitely don't want to be the ones to close it down.
Has the thought crossed your mind that there might never be another female ambassador of Afghanistan? - Yes.
No, it has.
- How does that make you feel? Terrible.
'Cause I didn't wanted to be the last one.
I had agreed to be the first one, but not the last one.
Dimon in the rough / the CEO of JPMorgan Chase Anacostia WASHINGTON, D.
I am so proud of you and opening these branches.
And you've heard we hire local people.
We have local art.
We want it to be very welcoming.
We're gonna use this room to do financial education for mothers, and ex-felons, and small businesses.
And that's what it is, tryin' to just build a community place by place.
And, you know, this is the beginning.
In 2020, JPMorgan Chase announced a $30 billion investment in racial equity, including building new bank locations in under-resourced areas.
This fall, CEO Jamie Dimon traveled to Anacostia, in Washington, D.
, to open one of the company's newest branches.
You're here in D.
We're in Anacostia.
You're here as part of this $30 billion racial equality fund to build a bank? A physical bank? I thought the future of banking was digital.
Why are you building a 1960s-style branch? People still use branches.
They're smaller, but they give advice on mortgages, small business, managing your money, retirement.
After COVID-19 and the murder of George Floyd, we kinda doubled down on, "What can we do to help the Black community?" 'Cause those things highlight something we already knew.
This branch is a community branch.
We're gonna make mortgages in the community, we're gonna have wealth managers in the community, and we're gonna advise people how to build and invest in that communities.
It's hard to argue with putting $30 billion into racial equality.
The cynics might scoff and say, "Whatever.
You're just tryin' to give give a nice image to JPMorgan while you make a lot of money.
" I can't stand naysayers, okay? The Black we are a for-profit company, but we also do good.
And there's nothing wrong with that.
I read your 66-page shareholder letter.
You have to talk about diversity and inclusion.
You're talking about climate.
You're talking about race.
Your shareholders, your employees, society, they want you to take stands.
Like, how do you think about that? I try to answer the question, "Why have we grown so slowly for the last 20 or 30 years, and why have the bottom-30%-of-income folks not gone anywhere for 20 or 30 years?" And I came up with this long list.
And it was infrastructure, taxation, regulation, health care, litigation, affordable housing.
And I think it's incumbent upon all of us to have a healthy growth agenda.
That is what helps most people the most.
You love capitalism.
But when people look at this and I think part of the issue and from, like, "Okay, I make 20 bucks an hour," whether that's fair or not.
And then they look at you.
And you're like you make $30 million a year.
And they can't even get their head around that.
Why is that okay, and why is that a nature of capitalism? We have a free market in this country, which everyone should applaud.
So every single person go work where they want.
Is it fair that you make 400 times what the average JPMorgan employee does? - My board decides what I make.
- But I'm the chairman of my board.
If I told my wage committee to lower it, they'd lower it, right? From a fairness standpoint, is it fair? They would be offended.
They look at my comp as part of an umbrella.
We have a lot of high-paid people.
We pay people to do a great job.
They could all sell their services elsewhere.
I need to maintain the best team on the playing field, and I need to pay them fairly to do their role.
You may or may not like that.
That's what it is.
You've sat before Congress, and Tim Scott said, "Woke capitalism seems to be running amok throughout the financial institutions of America.
" There is this critique.
Republicans feel like, "Whatever.
You keep coming out on all these topics, and you're against us.
" - Is Jamie Dimon woke? - No.
I mean, I don't even know what that means.
I have enormous respect for Tim Scott, Democrats and Republicans.
I just look at the issues.
Is it right? Is it wrong? Should you do somethin' about it? Is it proper for your company to do? How do you pick and choose when as a CEO you're gonna get involved in a social issue? Recently, Texas bans abortions after six weeks.
I think Apple came out and said, "We'll cover your insurance to help you get out-of-state abortions.
" Salesforce came out and said, "We'll actually pay for you to move physically out of the state.
" You have three daughters at home.
Were you under pressure, for instance, either internally or at home to take a position on that? Yeah, look, I get a lot of stuff to take positions on.
And some we do and some we don't.
Some we can't.
- So we try to be kinda careful.
- Abortion fall into that bucket.
I love my daughters.
But after I went in Trump's business council, one wrote me a long, elegant, nasty letter, "How could you, Dad?" I wrote her saying, "You got everything right except the conclusion.
" Martin Luther King would be going, seeing President Trump every time to fight for his people.
But then there's some topics you can't really touch, right? You guys aren't that outspoken about some of the atrocities in China or may be the most existential threat to the country.
We do business in a hundred countries.
And we don't comment all the time on foreign policies of foreign countries.
I follow American for foreign policy in China.
Not Jamie Dimon or JPMorgan Chase foreign policy.
But I've made it very clear: We believe in human rights.
We believe in free enterprise.
We believe in the capitalist system.
That's all counter to China.
policy, U.
government has said that the imprisonment and what they're doing with Uyghurs in China is undoubtedly genocide, but you make a choinot that you have to weigh in on everything, but it's not like you've said, "It's genocide," and talked to the Chinese government and said, "Stop the madness.
Stop the killing.
Stop the imprisonment.
" But the government needs to do that, okay? - But you could do it, right? - I could do whatever I want.
Not gonna do whatever I want without my board with somethin' like that.
But we believe in human rights.
We don't believe in genocide or anything like that.
But for me to gratuitously make public statements, I think it's a mistake.
You being here today, you've gone through a lot in life, right? You were fired at one point sorta famously.
You've gone through hell scares.
You had throat cancer.
You had, like, a near-death experience.
How much could you draw a through-line between that and this today in terms of, like, you putting this as a focus of your leadership as CEO being here, making this investment? How did you change from going through that? I'm not quite sure yet.
But here's what I do know, okay? I love what I do.
I'm not gonna go play golf and smell the flowers.
I don't play golf.
I have hobbies.
I read.
I love history.
I love wine.
I love hanging out with my family.
I like traveling.
But I also like having a purpose.
And my purpose is JPMorgan.
So, you know, to me that's what I do.
And I like doin' it, and I'm gonna do it till the day I die.
Cardinal Peter Turkson / Vatican Secretary of Immigration, the Environment & Civil Rights Rome, Italy - Jonathan, welcome to Rome.
- Look at you.
- So, Mikey, where are you? - So we're very close to the Vatican.
And tomorrow, we're gonna be talking to Cardinal Peter Turkson.
- Can you tell me: Who is he? - So he's from Ghana.
Back in 2013, he was widely thought that he was going to be the pope.
But now, he's one of the most powerful people in the Vatican.
He is in the Pope's literal inner sanctum.
Mikey, why are you interested in the Catholic Church right now? We have a real phenomenon at this moment.
The heads of all three branches of the U.
government are headed by practicing Catholics.
You of course have President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and a solid majority of the Supreme Court.
Catholicism is really central to Joe Biden's identity.
I'll be curious to see what he says.
Palazzo San Callisto Cardinal Turkson, we welcome you right here.
Thank you.
Cardinal Turkson, you have a long title and a big job.
You're basically the Catholic Church's social conscience.
So you head a department that oversees the Church's handling of the sick, the poor, migrants, unemployed, victims of armed conflict, torture, slavery, natural disasters, and you're the point cardinal on climate.
- That's a lot.
- That's true.
All of that is part of it.
But that doesn't make me the Church's social conscience though.
I would say give that title to the Holy Father.
Cardinal, the Global Conference on Climate is coming up in Scotland at the beginning of November.
How can the Church prod commitment from countries that have resisted or have made commitments and not followed through? We talk more than we do.
We talk a lot, and we do very little.
Some president, some head of state said, "When I go back, every parliamentarian in my country will use electric car.
" It's not happened.
How does the Church use its considerable muscle, resources, connections around the world to move people from talking to doing? We do that always by appeal and encouragement.
We're gonna try to bring the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth there.
So Pope Francis is gonna say, "The earth is crying"? He said it already.
I think he's gonna repeat it.
And it's not only the earth but also the poor.
Okay? The poor are also crying to us.
You're the head of the Vatican's COVID commission, and you've talked about the need to overcome vaccine nationalism.
What is vaccine nationalism? When it comes to the therapies, then everybody begins to recognize that they're part of a nation.
The saying is that, "As long as there's one infected person in the world, the world is still not safe.
" Cardinal, is the U.
hogging too many COVID vaccines? Their president made promises about how many people in the U.
were gonna get vaccinated, and he's trying to deliver on that promise.
Then the G7 and the G20 conferences began.
So at this conference, a lot of promises were made about how many doses of vaccines were gonna be made available for Africa and other countries.
The big countries need to do more.
They can and they need to do more.
I put the blame on the other side, too.
I would wish to encourage heads of state and leaders in Africa to also explore traditional therapies for this.
So if local heads of state were to promote local herbal medication, our dependence will not be 100% on vaccines, We need to diversify our therapies.
But you don't have any doubt that for most people taking the vaccine is wise and healthful.
No, certainly.
Certainly, to date.
To date.
We've written about that.
Pope Francis has changed Church law to give more rights to women, and yet they still can't become priests or even a cardinal.
Do you ever personally struggle with that issue? Personal struggle, no.
The struggle will be there if that kind of thing became an issue of denial of rights, okay? - Now they can't become a priest.
- Is that a question of rights? Not even men who are ordained consider that to be a right.
- But you're ruling out half of humans.
- How? If women are roughly half of humanity, and they can't become priests.
Are we denying them rights? So that for me would be the big question.
If anybody would answer that to me and say, "You're depriving them of rights," then I would be worried about denying anybody, right? Because to deny anybody's right, it also diminishes dignity.
Last year after the report about sexual abuse by Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, Pope Francis said that he wanted to eradicate this evil from the Church.
What has changed since then? I know that since then a lot of structures like the Congregation for Doctrine of Faith has been is very kind of if you want what you may refer to as zero tolerance.
What still needs to be done? Do you think more still needs to be done? You know, all the young people, even nuns, okay, who enter our seminaries and enter our convents, they're products of a society.
But you're not blaming society for crimes committed against children.
I'm not blaming society for crime.
I'm just drawing attention to the fact that we do not need to be oblivious of factors that influence the lives of people who come to become priests.
They come from certain backgrounds, and we don't know what has contaminated them from that background.
We don't know whether they've been abused themselves or victims of abuse.
We need to create space to make the characters of people come out a bit before it gets too late, ordained priests and then begin to manifest to the embarrassment of the Church.
Cardinal Turkson, you spoke out last year after the killing of George Floyd.
You said racism goes against everything we believe about individuals as they come from their creator.
Some people say the Church needs to do more about systemic racism.
Have you experienced systemic racism in the Church? I know what racism is.
So somebody who's not given their due dignity because of his race.
Do you think that the Church can, should do more? Certainly.
Certainly the Church can do more.
There was a time when Church institutions owned slaves because it was the turn of the time, as it were.
What do you think the Church should do to make up for that? What is past is past.
Reparation if it can be made can be made.
But then it's also a call for the resolve to not repeat past errors and all of that.
Bishops in the United States are debating whether politicians, including President Biden, who support abortion rights should be able to take holy communion.
The way that one bishop put it is, "The Eucharist is being weaponized.
" What can you do about that? The Eucharist should not in any way become a weapon.
Do you have any question that President Biden is a Catholic in good standing? Should he be served communion? If you say somebody cannot receive communion, you are basically doing a judgment that you are in a state of sin.
Sounds like you don't think that should happen in the case of President Biden.
You know, if a priest who's distributing communion see unexpected all of a sudden somebody he knows to have committed murder, he's meant to protect their dignity and the respect of that person.
- So it's for extreme cases? - Yeah.
Those for extreme cases, okay? In Afghanistan, you've said that you won't judge but that not all eventualities were taken into account.
Your Eminence, that is an understatement.
- I'm not judging anybody.
- But what happened? So U.
went in there with vengeance, okay, going to get the culprit.
So that was a war posture.
President Bush would tell you that it was also to prevent a future attack.
If U.
had gone in first not even with a militant posture but to talk, we'd be living with a complete different situation now.
So you're saying it was messed up from day one.
- Yeah, okay.
But it teaches a - No, it sounds like that's your view.
That it was mistake from day one, mishandled from day one.
Again but I recognize the complexity of the situation.
But this becomes a lesson for international diplomacy.
- And what's the lesson? - We should be able learn to talk more.
And fight less? Yeah.
Talk more and get reconciled more.
Cardinal, do you believe that lesson was learned? There's still time to learn it.
Cardinal Turkson, thank you for mixing it up with Axios on HBO.
- Thank you.
Thank you.
- Thank you so much, Cardinal.
Really appreciate it.
Let's hope that this flag will be there forever and that the partnership between the American and Afghan people will be forever.
That is what the Afghan people have been asking for.

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