tv Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN October 27, 2013 7:00am-8:01am PDT
"state of the union." i'm candy crowley in washington. head to the website for analysis. if you missed any part of the show, find us on itunes just search for state of the un. this is "gps." welcome to all of you from around the world. we have a great show for you today. we will start with anner against america from our friends, the frerchl, germans, saudis, pakistanis, all have complaints against america. what's the united states to do? i have a panel of experts to talk about it. also, rewriting the bible. is it possible that for two millenia the world has misunderstood the lessons of david and goliath? that is malcolm gladwell's controversy claim in a new bestselling book, and he applies this lesson to life today. and why in the world can't we get consensus on climate change? a new study, a game, actually,
shows fascinating light. then, anti-american signs are old hat in tehran, but there's a new batch targeting nuclear negotiations. we'll show you what iranian citizens are seeing. first, "here's my take." i was in malaysia this week and i expected a volley of complaints. the country was one of the stops on president obama's planned trip to asia this month that was cancelled because of washington's manufactured budget crisis. the country's prime minister told me we were disappointed, but we understood the situation. others were des diplomatic, pointing to the evidence of political dysfunction and general decline. but many in malaysia and southeast asia told me they were mostly puzzling not about what's happening in washington, but rather in beijing. this is partly the product of power. as china has grown in importance, its neighbors have become increasingly attentive to
the middle kingdom. in the past, the only politics that these countries followed outside of their own was in washington. today, they feel they must also understand beijing. and there's much to understand. china is in the midst of great political change. last month, the country watched on national television as kping xi pin sat in on the meeting where they engaged in criticism and self-criticism. it is part of the communist party's mass line campaign designed to address concerns that the party is out of touch, elitist, and corrupt. the campaign includes a strong anti-corruption drive, most visibly involving the humiliation of the former communist party boss of chong chen. many in china have worried that anti-corruption is a mechanism that is being used to eliminate political opponents. there is so much corruption in
china, that whom you choose to prosecute is really a political decision. those are the words of a beijing businessman to me. most surprisingly to many, the new leadership has begun a sweeping crackdown on descent. chinese media and human rights groups say hundreds of journalists, bloggers, and intereleinte intellectuals have been detained since august. they have noted in recent years that the communist party is deeply concerned about its legitimacy and grassroots appeal. that led many to believe it would address these issues by opening up its political system with political reforms that would accompany economic reforms. instead, it appears, that the communist party's choosing older, mao-era methods, crackdowns, public confessions, purification campaigns. the people i spoke with in southeast asia were not approaching these issues from the perspective of the human
rights aspect. they were trying to understand what's going on in china. above all, they wonder what the internal changes meant for beijing's policy. more so than a few years ago. it still pushes its own interests very strongly. diplomats have worried that china has been circulating new maps of the region in which a previous dotted line demarcating beijing's claims in the south china seas now appears as a solid line. last month, the foreign minister denied any such change in its claims when he was publicly asked about it at a brookings institution forum by the former u.s. defense secretary, william cohen. yet the concerns highlight the nervousness felt in the region. the united states washes its dirty linen vigorously and in public. when washington messes up, it does so in prime time with politicians, journalists,
commentators describing every gory detail. china has an opaque system, which make it is far more mysterious. but china has its share of crises and controversies and change. because of its newfound clout, the world is now watching and wondering what to make of the black box that is beijing. for more, go to cnn.com/fareed, and read my "washington post" column this week. let's get started. ♪ germany and france, two of america's closest allies, summoned the u.s. ambassadors this week to protest alleged spying by the national security agency. saudi arabia, perhaps america's most important arab ally, turned down a u.n. security council seat, but the nation's real complaint is not with the u.n., but with the u.s. over inaction in syria and iran, and america's
relations with pakistan already strained since the bin laden raid, took center stage this week as prime minister sharif visited the white house. what to make of it all and what, if anything, to do about it? joining me now, richard haass, karen elliott house, retired as the publisher of the "wall street journal," where she'd also been foreign editor and diplomatic correspondent. brett stevens is the pulitzer prize winning foreign affairs column i colu come imnist. let me ask you. is what we're witnessing with france and germany and ya zil, you know, every country -- >> mexico. >> is this sort of an inevitable consequence of america being this global superpower? is there anything we could have given that snowden happened, and we had this data dump, is there anything one could do about it?
>> well, i think you could ask some of our allies to drop the clawed brains, shock-shock routine. i think most people in senior reaches of government have understood that governments spy on both enemies and allies alike. and sometimes they do so with -- for mutual benefits. i mean, the french have security concerns about jihadists in their territory. the germans do, too. muhammad atta came from hamburg. there are reasons the national security agency would be monitoring or covering metadata for calls placed. this is obviously a political problem, in that european politicians are answerable to publics who simply see a case of this big, bad america, spying on them for whatever nefarious purposes they imagined, that america spies on them.
it would be better to have an explanation from the united states, but also with these government, but why the u.s. does these sorts of things. someone needs to say, joe, you're not that important, we really don't care what your -- what you're e-mailing to your friends. these are broad collection programs that serve clearly defined security purposes. so there's a political problem. but i don't think there's a civil liberties problem. >> you worked in the state department. you've had to deal with this kind of fallout. would you do anything differently than the obama administration? >> you have to ask yourself, first of all, is whether the risk of spying on your friends is worth it. it's one of the diciest areas of espionage and what we do. you have to be sure the potential benefits outweigh the potential costs. i'm not persuaded. >> when you were ambassador in washington for pakistan, i'm assuming that you -- you assumed that the pakistani military was listening to what you were saying and the u.s. national security agency was. how did you do business in that
environment? >> not on the foreign office. yes, people in countries like pakistan, always assume a long history of military intervention and politics, authorities will be listened to by the intelligence service. we don't like it, but we live with it. as far as the u.s. listening is concerned, i agree with brett that some of this has to be explained. i think that this administration has been relatively weak in dealing both with allies and adversaries. it has not been able to tell the adversaries it means business with them, and being able to confront them. and it has not been able to reassure allies about many things, and, therefore, something like this becomes a bigger problem in the absence of communication. >> let's talk about the biggest ally, saudi arabia. in the arab world. did something bizarre, because after lobbying for the seat on the security council, they abruptly turned around and said, we don't want it. ostensibly protesting syria, iran, the lack of a palestinian state. what do you think is really
going on? you wrote a wonderful book about saudi arabia. >> i think they have given up on us. they understand in a tribal society like saudi arabia weakness brings not only contempt, but the risk of aggression. and they don't want to walk around that nasty neighborhood holding hands with the cowardly united states. i mean, that's their view. we haven't -- we let mubarak go. we ditherred for weeks over was the coup in egypt that threw out the muslim brotherhood a coup, and should we end military assistance. and then, finally, did. and then, in syria, we sort of said we're going to help them, but we haven't. and then the president said he was going to bomb them, retaliate for their use of chemical weapons, and whipped around and hugged the russians and hoped that they can get rid of the chemical weapons.
i mean, it would scare you to death if you're security-dependent on us. and so, i think they've decided they're safer to go it alone. >> quickly, let me get you a reaction before the break, which is, how much of this is also the saudis may have recognized that being on the security council places you in an awkward position. you have to vote on these thing, and saudi policy has tended to be to give money to everyone and hope problems go away. >> exactly. security council seats can be awfully uncomfortable places. you can't be duckish. you have to vote for or against them, or abstain it. there wasn't much upside, and it goes against the broader critique that the u.n. wasn't doing what it is they wanted them to do, in places like syria. partially, a protest against the u.s. but i think people are underestimating your argument that it was not that hot of a ticket for the saudis. >> when we come back, we'll talk about saudi arabia, and what to do with pakistan and afghanistan, where u.s. troops are supposed to get out of there soon. [ male announcer ] at northrop grumman,
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saudi arabiaens a lot. saudi arabia is the principle ally. a huge amount of money flows. what did you make of the saudi decision? after lobbying for it, they turned around and said they -- >> the saudis were disturbed by something more than just that related to the u.n. security council seat. i think that if the united states was going to make an opening to iran, it should have taken it into confidence. that wasn't done. the saudis feel they do not have the kind of rapport with president obama, the leaders don't have the rapport with president obama that they're used to having in the white house. they don't like being taken for granted. >> when you look at saudi arabia these days, and what it's doing in syria in other places, there does seem to be something almost reckless, though, in saudi policy, with the funding all kinds of jihaddies. they're funding a huge -- a huge amount of instability in syria. this can't be -- and it's all part of this sunni-shia schism
they are, in many ways, contributing to. what's going on? why do you think they suddenly -- part of it, the mystery to me, is they've suddenly gotten very active and activist in these ways. >> they've tried to be active in syria. this has been going on for the last couple of years they are afraid to death of iran. they saw syria as an opportunity to give the -- an ally a black nose, or a bloody nose, and they thought we were going to help them. fund the rebels against assad. so they have, as we would say in texas, they put their foot on the head of a rattlesnake. assad. and we're not helping them. so they can't take their foot off, and they can't crush him. they're caught, i think, in a bad trap. i think for the saudis, things haven't looked as dangerous as they do now, probably since the
founding of the modern state in 1932. >> you've argued, though, that the united states needs to actually be somewhat less involved in all of these middle eastern machinations. >> we've done quite a trick. the asians, and pacific countries, are worried we're doing too much in the middle east. they're complaining the president doesn't show up and so forth. and now you have the people and leaders in the middle east saying we're not doing enough there. so we've basically now alienated two groups of friends and all s allies, and, look, you wrote a book about a post-american world. i actually think what we're beginning to see signs of in the middle east, asia, a post-american world, where people are increasingly discounting the views and actions of the united states. and what the saudis are doing, we're going to take matters more into our own hands. that's what you're seeing in the united arab emirates. japan is doing that. this has the elements or the features of a post-american world, where it's not that people are lining up with everybody else. nobody is lining up with
anybody. there's a lot of freelancing going on. it's a degree of disarray of messiness, and this ought to worry us. >> that's exactly the word. we're entering the world of foreign policy freelancers. we had a world where america set down the basic lines and people understood what they were. now, we don't know what the israelis are going to calculate, because they're not sure about american security guarantees, the saudis are talking openly about buying arms and making alliances with other countries. look, the american insurance group, if you will, strategically speaking, is no longer providing the kind of insurance that we used to have, and that's dangerous because it means a potential for miscalculation that didn't exist before. >> but this is recoverable with presidential leadership. you can remember that jimmy carter period when we also lost not as much credibility as now, but we lost a lot, and we recovered from that. >> so the most important recovery, or the moment the administration will face is afghanistan.
u.s. troops draw down. david petraeus has told me that he doesn't believe that there is any prospect that you could truly defeat the taliban or defeat any kind of insurgency, as long as it has a safehaven in pakistan and support from the pakistani military. will the pakistani military, you think, in light of all of this, as american troops draw down, is it going to want to maintain its equities in afghanistan by funding the taliban? >> they will. and has a reason. they've pursued this policy for many years. they saw the american intervention as a short-term intervention. they didn't realize america was going to be in afghanistan as long, that's what musharraf said after he announced support of the operation after 9/11. they have continued to hedge their bets. and, in fact, not hedge, but bet on the taliban. but the question then is, the united states by announcing a date for control has already made them feel that they just need to wait -- the american withdrawal date out. and the only way the pakistani
military and intelligence services are going to change their policy is when it is proven to them that their policies will fail. but if they feel that they're succeeding, why should they back off? >> how do you prove that the policies will fail? >> by letting the impact of it land on pakistan. civilians are already divided. most of us feel that pakistan is not becoming more of a victim of terrorism because we have ended supporting these various groups and having them in our country is not good for us. if pakistan is going to change its policy, it won't be in return for $1 billion of american aid. it's going to be when they really fear that the blowback will be far more severe, that their relationship with india is going to really go worse than it is. basically assuming that aid will just turn them around is not the right thing to do. >> solve afghanistan-pakistan for me. >> it's a condition not to be managed at most. it's not a problem to be solved. it's interesting, we used the words the other day with
pakistan, "an enduring partnership." this is not an enduring partnership. pakistan is not a partner. this is the example of the country we're living in. they're somewhere in between. they'll pursue their self-interests, which particularly ironic about pakistan, it doesn't pursue its own self-interests. it's setting in motion trends that will set back and undermine the stability of the country with 200 million people and 200 muk ya nuclear weapons. one of the things we can do is help pakistan from collapsing. the efforts to build up the state will have little to show for it. it probably won't collapse, but you'll see once again a partitioned country. >> lots more ahead, including malcolm gladwell on his new book, "david and goliath." next, what in the world, a new way of dealing with climate change? it begins with a game that explains why we act the way we do. right back.
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english word. airpocolypse. the city was impacted by terrible visible and pollution. highways and schools were closed. airport was shut down. pedestrians could barely get around. the images are a vivid reminder of the impacts of industrial growth, especially when powered by dirty fuels like coal, which accelerates not only pollution but also climate change. the latest report from the u.n. scientific panel says it is, quote, extremely likely more than a 95% probability that human activity was the dominant cause of the temperature increases of the last few decades. another study published in "nature" magazine showed that we are on track to reach unprecedented highs of temperature by 2047. findings showed the coldest year in the future would be warmer than the hottest year of the past.
so if the science is not really in dispute, why is it so difficult for us to actually do something about it? there's a clever explanation. to understand it, i need to tell you about one more study. this one is, again, the played with real money. participants get 40 euros each to invest in a climate account. every round, they get to pick one of three options. either they put 4 euro, 2 euros, or zero money into the account. the investments are anonymous, but the participants can see the total amount going into the pot. here's the objective. if at the end of ten rounds the pot of money gross to 120 euros, which is about 20 euros a person, then the team has successfully averted dangerous climate change. [ bell rings ] in other words, it wins the game. each participant then gets a 45 euro price, in addition to the money they each have left over. but if the pot does not grow big enough, the team loses the game
[ buzzer sounds ] and they don't get the prize. remember, this is real money, so the players have a real incentive to win. the game was played with three different sets of rules. in the first scenario, the 45 euro award would be handed to participants the next day. 7 out of 10 groups won the game. in scenario two, the cash would be paid out seven weeks later. this time, only 4 of the 11 groups succeeded. in the third, the prize money would go toward planting oak trees, which would sequester carbon, and, thus, provide the greater benefit to future generations. what happened? 0 of the 11 group s reached the target. it was published in "nature: climate change." we've linked to it. jennifer jacket of new york university expanded on the findings when we spoke with her. first, people instinctively seek instant rewards. they don't want them later, and
certainly not when the rewards would be reaped much later by future generations. second, it was important that the participants were anonymous. if their contributions were known, they'd likely be shamed into contributing more. it's a simple idea, but it highlights why dealing with climate change is hard. and, also, why many economic reforms are hard. people are very reluctant to accept short-term pain for long-term gain. to apply that to climate change, what immediate incentive do nations have to say tax carbon, or invest in infrastructure that would make cities more resilient to storms and floods? no matter what the strategy, adaptation, clean energy, carbon taxes, someone has problems with them, and few actually get done. simil similarly, look at entitlement or pension reform. they involve specific costs today for broad benefits in the out years, and they're all very hard.
it wasn't always thus. the great sociologist daniel bell once wrote, the best way to produce the protestant ethic, that produced the rise of the west, was one phrase, two words -- delayed gratification. but there are few calvinists left today, and the spirit of our age might be better described with one word change -- instant gratification. up next, some instant gratification. one of our favorite thinkers, malcolm gladwell. he will explain why david was really always going to beat goliath. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪
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trust icy hot for powerful relief. [ male announcer ] the icy hot patch. goes on icy to dull pain, hot to relax it away. so you're back to full speed. [ male announcer ] icy hot. power past pain. i'm candy crowley in washington with a check of the headlines. german spy chief also travel to the united states this week demanding answers following allegations that the u.s. has been tapping chancellor angela merkel's mobile phone. the trip comes amid a report from the german magazine ""der spiegel"" saying it's been monitored by the nsa for more than 10 years. a series of explosions rocked the city of baghdad early sunday morning. iraq's state-run tv is reporting that in one incident, a car bomb killed five people and wounded 11 when it exploded at a marketplace. more than 6,000 people have been
killed in iraq this year. at least 350 deaths so far this month. five people in a brooklyn home were fatally stabbed last night, including four children. one man has been taken into custody for the killings which also claimed the life of a 37-year-old woman. it is not clear what led to the stabbings, and investigators have not released the names of the victims. those are your "top stories." now back to from a reed zakaria, "gps." we all know the biblical story of david and goliath. david fights a giant named goliath. and perhaps the most famous underdog in history kills goliath in the unlikeliest of victories. but for all these years, have we gotten the story and its lessons all wrong? that's what malcolm gladwell says. gladwell, whose book sales are perhaps second only to the bible, has a new book out on the subject.
it's called "david and goliath: underdogs, misfits and the art of battling giants." malcolm, thank you for joining me. >> glad to be here. >> dave and goliath, one of the most famous stories in the world. you retell it. explain why. what is the real story? >> well, i think we have -- we have exaggerated the extent to which david is an underdog in that situation. and i think that feeds into a very dangerous line of thinking, which suggests the only way that we can ever drive his is by some improbable miracle. in fact, this is an insanely fun thing to do when i was doing my book, you talk to the endocrinologists, rabbis, israeli defense force people, anyone you want to talk to about the david and goliath story, the sling in david's hand is not a child's toy. it is one of the most devastating weapons in ancient
warfare. david has superior technology, right? once he decided to break the rule, he's the guy in charge. and then, there's goliath, this -- all of these hints in the biblical story, in samuel, that goliath is not what he appears to be. in fact, this is where the rabbis come in. the rabbis have been putting this out for years. he doesn't sound like a big, terrifying warrior. he is led down onto the valley floor by an attendant. he moves really slowly. takes him forever to figure out that david is not intending to fight him in a sword fight. and he says these strange things as if he's not perceiving the situation properly, and all of these endocrinologists have solved the puzzle by, look, he sounds like a guy with acromegaly, which is why he's so big, but often has a side effect of constricting your optic nerves. goliath can't see. he has restrictive vision.
so here you have a kid with superior technology up against a lumbering giant who can't see this far in front of his face. that's not underdog versus favorite. that's something very different. and i love the reconfiguration of the advantage, i guess. >> the point you're trying to make is the people who are seemingly underdogs can actually have surprising strength? >> yeah, the categories -- i mean, the large intellectual project of the book is to try to figure out -- we have intuitive categories of what an advantage is and what a disadvantage is. and i want to suggest those categories are faulty, that we're putting all kinds of things in the wrong box. and so, in case of the story of david and goliath, we are infat ra -- infatuated with goliath's size, and the audacity, the ability of one party to change the rules. and gain the upper hand. i don't know why we would underestimate the latter set of
characteristics and overestimate the former. >> let's take another one you look at, which will strike most people as highly implausible. you're saying that in many circumstances it might make sense for somebody not to go to harvard, or to a fancy ivy league. >> yes, yes. >> and if america is anything, it is the holy grail of american achievement, is to go to a fancy ivy league university. >> not just america. it is the holy grail of fareed zakaria. you are a graduate of two of the finest. >> yes, but tell me why it might not make sense. this woman, caroline sax. >> yeah, the same line of thinking, are two intuitive categories of advantage/faulty. i look at, this is a chapter concern, with whether you want to be a big fish in a little bond, or a little fish in a big pond. and i use the specific case of kids who go to college intending to study science, math, and engineering.
and we know the vast majority of students who start out in the -- pursuing the three fields drop out. over 50%. the question is, who drops out? and the answer is, so some -- 50% of the kids are thwarted in their ambition to become -- have a science, math, engineering degree. who gets thwarted? well, it's not the least-intellectually capable students who drop out t is rather the students who happen to be at the bottom of their class, regardless of what school they're at. so the bottom half of the class at harvard in science and math drops out. and the bottom hart of the class at east tennessee state in science and math drops out. even though there's a vast difference in their ability, it's the, what matters is the -- is their relative sense of their own accomplishment relative to the classroom they're a part of. so in other words, when you go to an elite school, you increase your risk of falling in the bottom half of the class.
and, thereby, you increase your risk of failing to get the degree you intended to get. if you're going to tackle a difficult subject like science and math, you should attend the school where you have the greatest chances of finishing in the top third. now, for some people, that is harvard. if you're a genius, fine. >> but does that mean in general that you find there is a surprising degree of success that comes out of people who have been big fish in small ponds? >> yeah, so there's some really fascinating research that looks at the publication rates of economics ph.d.s within seven years after they attend -- they get their ph.d. and what you find is that the very, very top students at harvard, yale, m.i.t., chicago economics, they publish enormous amounts of papers, superstars. but it drops off quickly. in other words, even the 70 -- the kid in the 75th percentile
isn't publishing that much post-graduation. why? they've had their confidence shaken in grad school. they look around and they see this cohort of people who are clearly more able than they are. by contrast, the top students at relatively mediocre schools publish a huge amount in the tom journals after getting their ph.d. in other words, their experience of being at a school where they were top of the hill was so profound and so empowering that they entered their academic career with much greater confidence. >> when we come back, we'll talk about why dyslexia may be good for you, but also, malcolm gladwell is enchanter and entertaining to millions and millions of many people. infuriating to others. we'll ask him about his critics. . hp is helping ups do just that. soon, the world's most intelligent servers, designed by hp, will give ups over twice the performance,
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fascinating phenomena with dyslexia, which is the distribution of people with dyslexia is very clearly bimodal. there's a large group who are clearly hampered in their future life prospects by having a disability that prevents them from reading easily. but there's another yup group who appeared to massively overachieve. if you look at groups of -- there's been some studies on this, of successful entrepreneurs, you will find that among that group, much higher-than-expected percentage, very high percentage, have a disability like dyslexia. and if you talk to those people -- and this is what i did. i was able to track down the kind of winners with dyslexia, and asked them how did you overcome this disability. they all said, i didn't overcome it. i succeeded because of my disability. in other words, the fact that i had to cope from the get-go with something that made it impossible or not impossible, but difficult for me to read, forced me to learn all kinds of other skills that proved to be
more important than reading. >> david boies -- >> david boies, he was the one i followed the most closely. here's the greatest trial lawyer in america. he has dyslexia. he told me he reads at most a book a year. he's a lawyer, right? so it's, like, how on earth did you do that? he said, well, because i couldn't read, what i did was i learned how to listen. really listen. and he said, i developed my memory so i have an extraordinary memory now. and he got through law school by sitting in class, didn't take notes, sat, and listened to what the law professor had to say, and memorized it. where everyone else was distracted and catching every third sent, he was -- and then when he becomes a trial lawyer, what is he famous for? he's the guy who will cross-examine you over six days, and on the sixth day he will say to you, "wait a minute, you just said x on, you know, on day one, you said something that contradicted that," right? so the very things he spent his life learning, as a result of
his dyslexia turned out to be enormously fruitful in his chosen career. >> so now, on a number of the reviews -- and in particular, one in the "wall street journal" -- say here's the problem with malcolm gladwell. he presents these things as kind of -- as explanations for how the world works and what you should do. but he -- he's very selective about what evidence he uses. >> yeah. >> with the dyslexia, you're only looking at the winner, presumably, lots and millions of people with dyslexia who don't do very well. >> yeah. >> and doesn't that mean, it's not a good thing to have dyslexia? on balance, it's a bad thing. yes, there are a few people who manage to, the herculean means to succeed, but most don't? >> yeah, i talk about that, and it's a curious criticism, because in the book, i go into that fact and make it absolutely plain that what we're see something this curious divergence between these two groups. the majority of whom find this
problem to be a handicap, and a small majority of whom who don't. but it's really -- one is, i'm responding to a world in which we've spent a lot of time of just focusing on those for whom it's a handicap. and secondly, it is in observing the differences in the strategies that these two groups have taken. that you can learn how to help the group for whom it's a handicap, right? >> and what do you think? so what determines whether somebody with dyslexia succeeds or fails? >> so many things. and i don't know whether we have a good answer yet. it's clearly the case that it helps to be intelligent. it was really interesting in talking to -- so i interviewed about 20 of these successful dislexics. and by the way, you know -- i didn't interview him, but people like richard branson, the guy who runs cisco, gary cohen at sachs.
and every single person dislexic i talked to, when i was describing their upbringing, when they had one very close family member who never gave up on them. who always believed that they were going to be -- make something of themselves. and that was the one -- the two constants i found in the winners were intelligence, but that seems to be less important th than -- gary cohn, everyone had given up on him except his grandfather. his grandfathered had observed that when little gary who was this kind of problem kid, bouncing from school to school, would go and work in the family plumbing supplies store, he had the inventory of the store in his head. he's 8 years old. he can't read. but he's got it all in his head. his grandfather was, like, don't worry what they say about you, you're going to be fine, right? and that is what keeps him going through some very, very dark times. and i think you can learn from -- there's an enormous amount, in other words, to be learned from looking at this
admittedly small, but incredibly successful and fascinating group of people. >> malcolm gladwell, pleasure as always. >> thank you. up next, signs that while the iranian system may have changed, public sentiment in iran might remain the same. i'll explain. i got this. [thinking] is it that time? the son picks up the check? [thinking] i'm still working. he's retired. i hope he's saving. i hope he saved enough. who matters most to you says the most about you. at massmutual we're owned by our policyowners, and they matter most to us. whether you're just starting your 401(k) or you are ready for retirement, we'll help you get there.
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muslims around the world celebrated last week, one of the two most important events of the muslim calendar. it brings me to my question of the week about islam. indonesia has the most muslims in the world at 209 million. which country has the second-most? is it, a, india? b, turkey? c, egypt? or, d, pakistan? stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer. go to cnn.com/fareed for more of
the challenge. this book of the week is "the forgotten ally." if you want to understand how history has shaped china, the most important and strangely mostly forgotten story is about its role in world war ii. as america's ally. mitter, an oxford don, describes how its communism, anti-japanese nationalism, was forged in the fires of that terrible conflict. now, for "the last look." six months ago, nobody would have guessed that u.s.-iranian relations would be at the held tivly high point they are today. if you thought iranians would be pleased with the productive talks with the u.s. think again. these billboards have recently popped up around tehran. there are a couple of different version, all showing an iranian and an american seated at a negotiating table.
above the table, both men are dressed in business-like jackets, but below the table, the american seems to have a different agenda. here he is wearing fatigues and combat boots, holding a shotgun, pointed at his counterpart. here he carries an army bag while the iranian has an innocent briefcase. and here he has a menacing dog. the badly written english tag line is constant on all of them. "the u.s. government styles honesty." whoever's behind this, go ahead, put up odd, inflammatory billboards with incorrect grammar, we're in free speech around here. but this is an important reminder that president rowhani has noisy critics back home. the correct answer to our question is "a," india, with 176 million muslims. pakistan is next with 167 million, and then bangladesh.
according to the pew research country, no arab country makes the top five. nigeria has 77 million, just behind by a few hundred thousand in sixth place. is egypt. thank you for being a part of my program this week. stay tuned for "reliable sources." the dust finally settles in washington as the government gets back to work. lurking behind that cloud is a new story of government dysfunction. >> lawmakers from both parties are calling for someone to be held accountable over the flawed rollout of healthcare.gov. >> the botched rollout of obama care on its website that's left thousands of americans angry and frustrated. >> the administration say it is will be almost december before the obama care website is mostly fixed. >> but the confusion extended to some news organizations, as well, as they struggled to make sense of the system. >> broadcast tonight, breaking news on the topic of obama care. nbc news h l