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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  January 30, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm EST

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people. they have resources that we don't, but how can you closely study the life of jesus christ who was turned on by the crowd, abandoned by all us ransom strips, hung on a cross with criminals and left to die and not get it? that is the price for the moral life. as martin luther king said in one of his great sermons, jesus didn't come to bring peace of mind. and my sadness over the church is they forgot the radical message of the gospel itself. and they allowed the rise -- i wrote a book about the christian right called american fascists, the christian right in the war on america. i was going to reach out to them. [laughter]
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.. >> i saw what happened during the great depression, and, you know, it wasn't the wonderfulness of fdr, it was the sit-down -- >> of course. >> and whole cities being shut down. >> that's right. >> how do we get back there? >> we have to stop trusting in
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bankrupt institutions, and we have to, you know, we have to go out and, look, i'm not, i've held anti-war rallies in lafayette park. i don't expect to go down there and see thousands of people. i'm not going to pretend that being handcuffed is a pleasant experience. but that's the kind of thing we have to begin to do. and, you know, i've watched in war zones how solitary acts of defiance have an immense power that ripple outwards. across a society. and at the moment are often seemed futile. 1968 in prague you have a czech student to protest the occupation who walks, i believe, in the square, joe, and burns himself to death. hushed up in the state media. nothing said. and yet in the velvet revolution which i covered, a poster with
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his face is everywhere. and i tell this story in my first book, "war is the force that gives us meaning," which for me exemplifies the power of rebellion or defiance. and it is the story of a muslim farmer. i heard this story from a serbian couple, draga and rosa. they had live inside a safe area -- lived in a safe area that was under intense bombardment, there was a great book written about it. and like many ethnic serbs, they threw their lot in with the muslim-led government and did not join the besieging serb forces. but as the surge tightened and the paranoia rose, the muslim police came one night and took their eldest son away, and in the parly minneapolis of the
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dirty water, he never returned. he was executed. their second son died in a car accident, they were left childless. zoran's wife was pregnant, and she gave birth to an infant girl. and because there was no food and because of the stress, she was unable to nurse the child, and the child was dying. they were feeding it weak cups of tea trying to keep it alive. and after ten days at dawn there was a knock on their apartment door, and it was faisal, an illiterate muslim farmer in a pair of rubber boots with a liter of milk. he had three great brown and white milk cows that he milked at night to avoid sniper fire. and he came back the next morning and the morning after that and the morning after that and the morning after that. for a year.
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and all of the muslim neighbors when they saw that he was giving milk which was precious, was worth a lot of money to keep alive of a serbian infant began to spit on him and insult him and revile him. and i heard this story. they said, we hate the serb, we hate the muslims, and yet it is our duty to tell you that not all muslims are bad. and so, of course, i went into the city, and i found faisal. his cows had been slaughtered for the meat, his apartment block had been bombed into rubble. he was sleeping on a cement floor on newspapers and by day collecting with several other older men -- [inaudible] and selling them on a sidewalk. and when i told him i had seen the family, he said, and the
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baby, how is she? now, in that act lies an ocean of hope. he stood up and shamed everyone around him to defend, protect and champion the sanctity of all life. that little girl will grow up up, and she may never meet that man, but she will know as a serb that she is alive because of a muslim farmer. that kind of activity and moments of extremity ripples outward is with an undeniable power. and i think we have to regain that form of resistance. and it's lonely, and it's hard. martin luther king writes about it at the end of his strength to love where he breaks down in the kitchen, and he thinks he can't go on with one more death threat
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on the phone. and we have to remove our trust in rotten institutions that speak a language which no longer reflects the ultimate concern of those institutions and trust, finally, in ourselves. and maybe by the end of your life and my life things will be worse. probably they will be worse. but that does not invalidate what we have done. we trust in the good. we believe the good attracts the good. we cannot know where the good knows, but faith is finally believing that it goes somewhere. [applause] >> chris, having read all your books, i deeply respect what you've done tonight and what you did this afternoon.
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and i was so glad, i've been trying to talk to the unitarians about getting you to town, and it kind of fell flat, but here you are. and i just barely found out you were here. thanks. i know that you deeply respect nome chum sky. i wonder if, all in all, when you rejected 9/11 as a false claim in this country whether or not you had any question about his ability to question, you know, the corporate fascism we live under? >> i don't want to get into 9/11. it's a little close to home because i covered al-qaeda for a year. i am willing to concede that i didn't do the structural studies that is used to talk about how the buildings collapses. on the other hand, by the end of that year much of my work was retracing every step mohamed atta took including in spain the last ten days when he went.
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and it is my belief that 9/11 would not have happened without atta, that it didn't come -- that government was asleep at the switch which is pretty much defines eight years of george bush. [laughter] but that's not -- i know it's a long -- and i have friends who are as passionate about it as you, but it's a long and difficult argument that i don't want to descend into here. >> well, chris, we have a bill before congress for the last four years. this young lady next to me and i have put together a bill with a third party, and we've presented it to 19 congressional officers to get a new investigation of 9/11 because i wanted to ask you, this is really my question -- >> all right, let's talk about it afterwards because we have a limited time. all right, very quickly. [applause] i don't want to get into the 9/11 stuff. it's a long and -- it's long and complicated, and i get it from david, a friend of mine. in the end i'm enough of a reporter not to be an absolutist. and i didn't report it.
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so, i mean, ultimately, i don't know. but, okay, go ahead. who's next? go ahead. okay, over here. sure. okay, the right side. [laughter] oh, that's true. that's right. definitely the left side. [laughter] i really do enjoy, i haven't read your other books, but i've been enjoying this one and seeing the youtube videos of you and learning about your analysis. and it's very helpful. but i try to share your ideas with my children and young people, and some of your despair and hopelessness is hard, is hard for people to take. and what comes back to me in these conversations are people,
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the kids raising things about institutions that maybe don't look like the liberal institutions that you and i are familiar with and that you write about. but a whole range of grassroots, local things that are going on today not out of labor, not out of anti-war, not out of poverty. but that have hope for young people. and they see this as a mechanism maybe to bring about change with some of the institutions that we've embraced over the years are collapsing. could you talk a little bit more about that? >> well, i fully support, i mean, i think the argument is that i begin the last chapter by quoting the great anarchist, alexander, who tells a bunch of anarchists trying to overthrow the czar, you think we're the doctors, we're the disease. it's not our job to save a dying system, it's our job to kill it. and i think these movements which are attempting to sever themselves from the grip of the
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corporate state are signs of hope. on the other hand, i don't like as a war correspondent the words pessimism and optimism. people who had a very polly anish view of wars did not live very long. there was a very well known correspondent in sarajevo who drove a thin-skinned vehicle, and he paints, spray painted on the side of his car save your bullets, i'm immortal. and in the morning he would -- well, you've got to admire the sort of hubris of it. he would drive across the tarmac, the airport which was controlled by the french who we all referred to as the forty warring faction -- fourth warring faction in the war in bosnia to buy cigars and then would smoke them on the way back. he's a cripple now. i had another friend who somehow believed he couldn't get hit, and he stood up in a fire fight and shot through the head and killed. look, it was our job to coldly
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assess reality, to determine what weapons systems were at the end of the road and then to act. if we can't understand the reality around us no matter how bleak it is, we can't even use the word hope because we're not responding to the real. we're responding to the fictional. and of course it's bleak, but i didn't make it up. i don't make up climate science. i don't make up the vie marrization of the american working class. i don't make up the fact that one in four children in this country depend on food stamps to eat or that 2.8 million people were driven from their homes because of foreclosure and bank repossessions matched again by this year, that's about 8,000 people a day. none of this is made up. it's just that the pain has become because of corporatetized commercial media, largely invisible to the rest of us. we don't hear the cries of our own people. and so i'm with, i'm with these
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kids, and i think everything they're doing is important and great. on the other hand, i think we also have to understand what's about to befall us and to be prepared. i mean, the secret of surviving in a war zone is to know how bad it is and how bad it's going to be. and, in in fact, that makes survival both in a physical sense and a psychological sense far more, you're far more able to endure. >> i was wondering in be your -- >> wait for the -- >> oh. i was wondering if there was something in your research since you're so well versed that you found profound or awakening to something that you had not been aware of. >> well, you know, it's always humbling to be a reader. and i found a lot of amazing stuff.
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i think dwight mcdonald's incredible, and i urge you all to read him. a really great thinker, beautiful writer. unrepentant anarchist thrown out of -- he was briefly a trot skyite, but he wouldn't follow the orthodoxy of the party, and trot sky sent a message to the party in new york and said everyone has a right to their own stupidity, but comrade mcdonald abuses the privilege. [laughter] he was invited up to columbia in 1968, and everybody was wearing little mao buttons, and he goes, where are the black flags, where are the anarchists? i rely on the writers of the '50s, mills, riceman, jacobs because i think -- and they resonate with me with a tremendous power. there's a beautiful book, by the way, by malcolm cowley called
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"exile's return," which is an intellectual history of the bohemian movement after world war i. it's a brilliant and kind of sering analysis of how the bo with hemoyangs and, ultimately, the new left essentially embrace the corporate values of here donism. really stunning book. again, beautifully written. so, yeah, there are a lot of books that, you know, when you begin and when you write a book you read around a book that are very, very humbling. and they're out there. but i think that that '50s generation is important to me because they still remember what was destroyed. they remember what was dismantled. and when you sit down with a figure like riceman, the lonely crowd or mills, what's stunning is not only how prescient their analysis is, but how they knew the consequences.
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it's just almost eerie that they saw what that disintegration would bring. so those last great public individuals who actually wrote to be read unlike most academics -- i'm not sure who they write for, but certainly it's not to be read -- [laughter] but people who understood that louis sid, clear language is a form of lucid, clear thought. go ahead. >> yeah, i'd like to quote a definition of a liberal that i saw on a bathroom wall in wisconsin in 970. a liberal is someone who listens to both sides of the argument and then cuts the baby in half. anyway, my question is i'm glad to see the regular use of the a as an anarchist word, and i was wondering, has something changed in your thinking? because you generally seem uncritical of the authoritarian
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currents within, certainly, the religious left and generally sort of a critique of authority does not, other than, you know, a right authority -- >> oh, i'm very critical of the institutional church. i wrote a book -- >> no, but, i mean, the real problems with authoritarianism of the black church, i mean, this is an argument that some people have made. >> paul tillik wrote that all institutions including the christian church are demonic. and i'll buy that. [laughter] i was the only member of the reporting staff of the new york times to have a seminary degree, so they kept trying to recruit me to cover religion. well, you can imagine how that went over having watched 40 years of the church persecute my dad. and i kept telling them, i'm the last person that you want to, like, go to a convention of southern baptists.
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[laughter] i've got so much emotional baggage that i carry into the room. so i do make a huge division between loyalty to religious values and religious institutions which, like all institutions, serve human power. and i think that, you know, julian benda's great work in the 1920s, "treason of the intellectuals," talks about in order to maintain not only intellectual independence, but intellectual honesty, one must be perpetually alienuated from all forms of institutional power. and i do differentiate between institutions and movements. movements have, when they're right, specific goals. they're hardly free from the kind of antagonisms, jealousies, back stabbing and read the biography of king if you want to know what king went through.
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but movements are different in that they don't seek to perpetuate themselves. institutions can never achieve the morality of individuals because under pressure institutions always retreat into mechanisms which insure their own survival. and you see that with the press. i think part of the failure of the dwindling print-based media is that as advertising revenues decline, as circulation declines, as this monopoly that once newsprint had of connecting sellers with buyers vanisheses, they become even more craven in their service to the power elite. so "the new york times" is running story after story about lifestyle stories about, you know, the house in the hamptons or $40,000 a year kindergarten. well, not your lifestyle, it's not mine, but it is the life lifestyle of the person they want to reach and who their
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advertisers want to reach. and i think it's a perfect example of how dying institutions very swiftly walk away from the very principles that once made them important in the society, and the church is certainly no exception. >> john nicholss was recently talking about voter turnout, and he made the statement that if we came above more than, say, 55% or 58% of voter turnout, we would have a more socially democratic country. do you believe that if we could get what is essentially the understood -- under class to turn out and vote that our political institutions could become more of the will? >> no. [laughter] look at 2006. the democrats retook control of congress based on the issue of the iraq war. and what did they do? they continued to fund the war and increase troop levels by 30 million.
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30,000 in iraq. in issue after issue after issue, all of the promises that are made are utterly repealed once they get to washington which is run by corporate lobbyists. i don't think -- i think until we have serious campaign finance reform, until corporations are not allowed to game the system, i mean, what is the -- what do 45,000 lobbyists do in washington aside from write our legislation? well, they grease the palms. there's a word for it, it's called corruption. and the system is so far gone that we can't depend on the system to reform itself. it's a kind of toetology. why do you become the head of the banking committee? because you want the money from the banking committee. it works. the whole system is so rotten that i think to place faith in electoral politics is extremely
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naive. >> i'd like to hear your take on wikileaks and our government's war on assange. >> well, thank god for wikileaks. [cheers and applause] he's done us a great service. and famed the -- shamed the american press into actually practicing a little journalism. [applause] so i'm all for him. okay, i guess we can move -- okay, go ahead. we'll do the back. >> hi. in the last part of your book, you talked about the importance of movements as a mechanism to protect democracy. and 11 years ago today, actually, a convergence of social movements in the united
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states led by youth primarily shut down the wgo ministerial in seattle. [cheers and applause] anybody remember that one? out of that came a social forum movement in the united states that formed itself after katrina, organized itself for a social forum in atlanta in '07 where 10,000 activists many of which i would say probably have anarchist tendencies were there discussing significant events and how to deal with neoliberalism. they did that again in detroit just recently in july where something like 11,000 activists registered from all across the country. so i'm kind of hopeful that you would address those types of social movements in your discussions because i, i knew dan baragan. i'm not dan. most people are not dan.
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we have to fight within groups and social movements. and i mow you know that, i just -- i know you know that, i just didn't see it addressed in your book. >> i think it's a good point. i mean, i think it's probably a fair criticism. i don't, i don't know that there's one root to fight -- route to fight back. my personal constitution is one that doesn't make me particularly amenable to groups. [laughter] i covered the first gulf war in which i defied all of the pool restrictions, went out, spent most of the time with the marine corps. the public relations campaign, the pool system was run by the army and the marine corps in their infinite wisdom understood this was just one more conspiracy by by the army against the marine corps. [laughter] let me into first battalion, first marines and i shaved off all my hair and had a uniform and never used my press corps
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credentials until dick cheney sent a list of 14 journalists that he wanted expelled of which i was a prominent member. but unfortunately for them, they couldn't find me. [laughter] the end of the war r.w. apple, johnny apples said, look, i just have one question for you. he said, what is it about you and authority? i said, johnny, i don't have any problem with authority as lock as they don't -- long as they don't try and tell me what to do. [laughter] he said, you dumb, f. that's what authority does. and so i think that there are many ways to resist. i think movements are really important. but as you know from coming out of movements they require a lot of emotional maintenance. that's, you know, we're all limited in terms of what we can do, and my focus is as a writer which, ultimately, is a solitary
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form of protest. and so we need the baragans, and we need the activists who show up at the g-20. we need both. we need ferg. and i think it's incumbent upon all of us to search within our own conscious, our own consciousness for how we respond. but i'm with you. and i think that, you know, i think you pointed out probably a fair failing at the end of the book that i probably should have focused a little more more on t. thank you. where's the mic? i guess over there, over there. >> thank you. >> yeah. wait for the mic. wait for the mic. >> ralph nader said that he thinks now the way things have gone with the rich owning the media message that our only salvation is a good kauai that's -- guy that's rich. so my question is do you know any really good rich guys like teddy roosevelt or fdr?
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[laughter] >> oh, teddy roosevelt's awful. >> well, he -- >> well, i love ralph, and i actually slogged my way through the book. and i, but i did ask him when in human history the oligarchic class had ever stopped in to -- stepped in to save anyone, and he sort of mumbled something about fighting robber-barons, and then he said something that sort of broke my heart. he said, look, it's all we have left. and, and ralph who has a kind of eternal optimism maybe that i don't share, i think, was really seriously trying to appeal to enlightened figures of the oligarchic class which is why he names them, although i can't figure out why yoko ono was in there. [laughter] but i, it's not worked.
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the rich take care of the rich. and, boy, human history has borne that out. so i would break, i'm a huge admirer and friend of ralph, but i would break with him on that one. i don't think the super rich are going to save us. >> [inaudible] >> okay. right over here with the red hat. >> [inaudible] >> purple. [laughter] >> [inaudible] >> so thank you for coming. i heard you on the radio this morning, first time i've listened in a long time. i have a question regarding to the fact that every time i send money, we're voting to keep those things in business, right? is. >> yeah. >> and christmas is right around the corner. so my thought, i'm 23, a lot of family i could buy presents for. and if we're spending money which is, obviously, like, supporting these big businesses which support, like, the propaganda and the media and support all of these things that keeps us down as, you know, the
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lower class people why is it that this group, like, what can we do especially, like, us young people? how are we supposed to, like, overturn this? is it just, like, giving up on, like, spending money? i mean, is that an answer? spending money on what we want? >> well, i always tell my students when they get out of school, i say, don't get in debt. i mean, a lot of them already have tremendous debt because in this country -- can you imagine in france if they told university students they'd have to pay $50,000 a year to go to college? [laughter] they'd shut the damn country down. [laughter] what are we doing? i mean, you people from your generation are graduating, and that's what they want. >> [inaudible] chose not to go to college until i was 24 because then i'm not on my taxes. but then i thought, well, ultimately, i have a luxury. i can read, and that is something that the majority of the world women can't do. and if we can self-educate, then
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we should be educating the people around us because, obviously, like-minded people create the most social change -- >> have you met wendell berry? is. >> who? >> wendell berry. >> will after you buy my book. [laughter] wendell berry is one of the great prophets, and he's an amazing forget, and he writes on precisely this issue. we have to learn to live with a new simplicity. 70 president of the -- 70% of the american company is driven by wasteful and profligate consumption. and you're right, the more we can sever ourselves from that consumer society, the freer we become. and i recommend berry to you. he's a great, great writer. >> one more thing. i think we should all talk to each other more. we should be spreading the news and let people know that we're here because like-minded people stick together and change things. >> all right.
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thanks. [applause] >> this event was hosted by powell's books in portland, oregon. to find out more visit >> up next, retired major general ira hunt recounts the u.s. army ninth infantry operations in the mekong river region of vietnam from 1968 to 1969. major general hunt, former chief of staff of the ninth infan industry division, recalls the division's mission and details plans that were used to combat guerrilla warfare. he presents his book at the 2010 association of the u.s. army meeting held at the washington convention center in washington d.c. >> thank you for coming. my book is the story of how i the ninth division employed all
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sorts of intelligence coupled with an aggressive, innovative night and day operations was able to beat in combat operations. it also includes examples of the bravery and dedication of the ninth division soldiers. the ninth division used operations research. we concentrated on obtaining results. the key is results in all activity. administration tactics, etc. each activity, input, had a result, output. and can so the ratio of the input to the output were normally measurable, quantifiable, and we used those, then, to measure how effective we with would be. the war in vietnam was always about land and people. the north vietnamese and all of their papers said we want to have land and people. the government of vietnam, south vietnam, wanted people to maintain their sovereignty. so if that's the case, and it was, then the focus of the north seat vietnamese, the primary focus
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was always on the delta. the delta is a flat bit of land that's covered with rice. water everywhere. you couldn't walk 400 yards without crossing a stream. in 1965 the government of south vietnam said things are going bad in the delta. the north koreans are taking our rice crop, security's bad, we want an american unit there. that was approved by the government with two stipulations. one, you have to locate this group deep in viet cong territory, and two, it would have to be on the water. because they wanted river operations. so in 1966, the first of february, the ninth division was formed under general george eckhardt, and one year later they came to vietnam. at the same time the u.s. navy was told, come up with a
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river -- [inaudible] so the ninth division closed in vietnam in first of february, 1967, one year to the day. they were originally located at bearcat. bearcat was located 15 mile east of saigon. they had responsibility for eight provinces. they had a lot of static requirements. they laid because you have to protect -- [inaudible] communications. so that held back your ability to control -- [inaudible] also the second brigade was in kenwa was where the national liberation front came from. that is the heart of the vietnamese navy's movement. in june of that year the navy arrived. this is their assault craft, we call -- they're married up with
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the navy, and they had fantastic results. why? the viet cong had always made their defenses of expect an attack by land. they used the water to escape. they didn't know what to do. for six months they cleaned up down on the delta. about that time the north vietnamese said we're going to have a change in tactics. we're going to go on the offensive. they thought when they went on the offensive that people would rise up. the first phase of that was on 30th of yawn, 1968, where they attacked all the cities in vietnam. many of the major cities were in the delta, so the only unit south of saigon had their work cut autofor them. the military installations, get the enemy out of there.
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the second -- went far south, and so at the end of a month they had driven them all out. it sorely defeated the north vietnamese and seat coming. and they'd done it by land, by air, by water over about 200 kilometers. to me that was a very major piece in what went on in vietnam. three things. of one, there was no uprising. two, if vietnam infrastructure was eradicated. from that time on there was no problem with infrastructure. the third thing was that the people were unhappy. they said why don't you protect us? why don't you give us some arms to protect yourself. teams of 14 people, two leaders, four teams of three. you won't e believe this in a year and a half they had two million people -- this helps out
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because the government says we better upgrade the regional popular forces. so now you go out and secure an area, these people could maintain security and let the community development people come in and help them. this is a second phase of what happened at the general uprising. i was in a talk one night at 11:00 in early may. the around tilley commander came rushing in. they go south of saigon. the second and the 47th had strict orders, secure the wide ring. the only winner of the house. and that started when we called the battle of saigon. now, the enemy had been defeated
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solely by praise 1 and praise 2. they want to go on the defensive. you had to dig them out. you had to find them. and that was difficult for us. we only had about a thousand men in the field. we had 4500 casualties, we had all these static defenses. in vietnam you need add four-company pal on, and we were stuck with a three-company battalion. of in uniwe got rid of all the static offenses. in june we only had responsibility for four provinces. and so that able o build up the -- build up the troops. we told our companies you've got to have 120 men in the field every today. the company is 164 people, 15 president you can have on leave
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but 70% you in the field. when we went from 27 to 39 ip fan try -- infantry companies. the cutting edge, the infran try man. i we had to get rid of the overhead in the division headquarters. we've hat one at dogtown. we were surprised to find this overhead was all support -- not support troops but infantry troops. a little research showed us the biggest problem. everybody has problems. the french when they were there had 500,000 hospital admissions for foot problems. so we had to soft that. we took two months to solve it. the solution was simple. whenever you keep a troop in the field for over 40 hours, the curve went up exponentially.
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the next thing we did as far as people go, we wanted to increase our -- this is a sign. i wanted to show the water. if you wanted to go after the enemy, you had to cross the rivers and streams. the other thing we want to do is want an increase in our tiger scout. these were the hoist, the people people -- these were the host. we want one per squad and one perma toon. so we said now that we have the troops in the field, we have to support them. an intelligence who had all sorts of the support -- see how this thing works -- and centers.
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we could respond b to that within 12, 15 minutes. it was what we called the people sniffer. it was cared in aircraft. carried in aircraft. the other thought that we have was that i integrated civic action programs. what was that? we required all of our medics to go out every day, every day and be treat the family individualers. we're trying to get balance for the government, and we'll also get a lot of intelligence. the reason for that was there were no men in the village, and the women would not talk to the soldiers. so we said give i some women tiger scouts. they laughed on on on the phone.
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but they're the ones who gave me all this information. so that's the result we have. the other way we can support the troops, of course, is with aircraft. you couldn't do a thing in the area without an airplane. we could use it over the level plains of the delta. people couldn't move during the date time. the rest we with did was look at tactics. you had to have artillery prep. you put it in, they scoot away although we must admit, we always had a stable platform to put out in the water and vet so that the men were always under an artillery fan.
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the last thing we said was you have to have ten slicks. one slick, a huey, would carry seven troops. you had to have 170 troops, and we said, no, we want five. what we would do was have five troops go after the target. if it was hot, you put the other five there. the ones who ran it first would go to the next target. we call that our jitterbugging, and the hueys were a great help. so now we had the area covered by air, but in the night everything moved. a rot a lot of energy there. they couldn't talk on the radio or reset and hit them. and they couldn't, the people were dug in. they were hiding out, they couldn't stay in the same place long because they did wrowd kind
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him with your people sniffer. we had to get some kind of tactic, ambushes at night. one of our great demanders says, let's use the bushmaster. pick out three platoon ambush sites, we're going to assert the company at dusk. that would be the same thing only with a checkerboard. so the nine squaws will coffer a square cropper the. we went to work at night with the infantry men was to hire -- this is sergeant walden which is our most famous band we had for our snipers. we got 44 sniper rifles to come over and train our troops.
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when they first went out in december of a of '68, it's raising the whole el vague of whale -- whole elevation. now we have the night covered in a small part, so we said how can you cover the whole area at night? and we decided we'd go with what we called our aviation thing that we, we put a night vision device into a helicopter, and we had the man looking down, and when you find the enemy down below, the air crab will come in and p zap them. it's a night search, as we call it. and i had the j-be come down with me at night, and he said, we killed sl, we killed he said, look, if men aren't in the
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village, the vc during the day, they come in at night. let's go get 'em at night. >> so we corked out a plan with a c and c standing off and a light fire team, and they'd land in the middle of the night. now we had it covered by night, we had it,ed what does that mean in if a one year period we had 28,330 operations of which 22,550 made no contact. 35.5% -- 85.5%. seven b out of eight made no damage. people said the reason you had such results is that you had pressure with your
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resulted-oriented -- they had to come up with nothing. that's not true. we had great results because we had a lot of enemy there. we had great leaders and good company commanders. we had innovative tactics, and we also had a good plan, this constant pressure plan. so when general abrams came down in april of 1969 at change of command, this is what he told to the assembled division. if a decision has been magnificent, and i would say in the last three months it's an unparalleled and unaway led -- unequaled performance. every man in our division helped. the cooks and bakers would go out on the perimeter for you, the s&p people, sign and transport, were sent every day down roads that were ambushed. medics in particular. the medics were wonderful.
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and so the idea of talking about how we maintain security with the end game we wanted to get the people, so we had the land and the people. and if you did that, how do you measure pacification? they came up with an survey that took care of military, political -- 165 questions. they went out every month to 10,000 hamlets and villages. they wanted to find out who was under government control, who was under vietnam control. and so here's the -- the first of january 31st, this is before -- [inaudible] i just want you to see that in our area we had 1.7 million people. it was 662,000. finish they didn't have the upsiding. they took a terrible beating.
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a pundit would say, well, you lost 24,000 people. it's true, we did. but let me keep your eye on this 662,000 people. that's what the war was about. these were the people who wanted to get into the goth, and these are the people d.c. wanted to keep. how do we get them into the government? well, we worked with the army. we went on operations where there was big time control. we taught them air mobile, we taught them rifle, we taught them basic training, they gave us intelligence. we builtty penceers -- dispensers, we gave food and money. the government of vietnam noticed what we were doing, and -- [inaudible] we trained, i should tell you, 500,000 -- we did not change, we mad medical treatment $5,000 people in one year and in a five
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months period or we had 550 of those i cap. adds up, what, to 5,300 and 1278 -- i wanted to tell you 45 times a day our or doctors went out to treat the vc. and so the government of vietnam gave the ninth division its civil yax -- [inaudible] the first time in history that a military unit has ever been given the congressional medal. we left in july to go back to the states. 603 viet cong villages, 420,000 people were not. that was the 420,000 people that they could not get to prim --
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the political and social aspects of the pacification could perform. the south vietnamese said so. but i also want to tell you the north vietnamese said so. the j-2 classified, top secret document out of hanoi. that shouldn't surprise you. there were leaks all over the place. they knew everything we did, the south seat ma news now. this is what the media had to say about the uprising between '67 and '69. they committed an error in strategy and launch these o for examplive -- offensives without careful preparations. was very successful in the pacification of the mekong river. the chief of of staff had this to say in 1991: what sets the record is it not only totally
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dominated the enemy but in a period of -- this book categorizes what i've been telling you about. of it's an interesting read of how to fight a guerrilla war in the delta, and if you have any questions, we'll answer them now. [applause] >> any questions? >> my husband was in the delta, he did 180 assaults and he did the marine thing as well. he loved his tiger scouts, and my question is he's always had, wanted to be, to find out what the fate of the tiger scouts is. did the ninth division or the army or anybody keep up with -- >> they do not, unfortunately. because we -- [inaudible] tiger scouts from 1975, and the north vietnamese were finish that was the whole time we've pulled people out of vietnam.
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we've pulled people out of saigon. and some of the troops that we had they've had tattooed on their arms, you know, kill communists. and also what happened to those people but what happens is tiger scouts they were people who surrendered and then fought back. any other questions? well, thank you very much for your time. [applause] >> this event was part of the annual association of the u.s. army meeting. for more information visit >> a new book out by bloomsbury publishing, "blur: how to know what's true in the age of information overload." the co-authors, bill covalve and
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tom rosenstiel. mr. kovach, in be your book one of the chapters is we've been here before. what does that mean? >> that means that we've gone through this dislocation created by an expansion of information time and again throughout history. in fact, newspapers were born at such a time when printing press came into being and distributed information to people who had never had information about the people and the institutions that, you know, controlled their lives. and it took decades for the public and the industry of information sharing to develop what we call newspapers to create a basis on which people could find information they could trust. and we've gone through this time after time with each new major change in technology.
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we've gone through a period exactly like this. >> mr. rosenstiel, why the name, "blur"? >> i think because information moves so fast now and there's so much of it that people feel confused. when information is in greater supply, knowledge is actually harder to create. because you have to sift through more things to make sense of it. so there's a feeling that things are more of a blur, are more confusing even though we have more information at our fingertips. >> so how do we cut through that blur and find what we need? >> well, we hope that the way that consumers will do it, and consumers are more in charge now than they've ever been. we're in control of our own media in a way that we've never been. so we hope people will develop the skills to know what's reliable and what's not.
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and that's what the book is about. t the tread -- trade craft shared with consumers. but it's also true that when things are uncertain and confusing that a lot of people just dpraf tate to news that they agree with. so part of what we're looking at in the information culture now is something of a war between people who want to be empire call and gather evidence and people who want to just assert what they believe, offer opinion and amass an audience that way. >> bill kovach, you're also the co-authors of the elements of journalism. what's your background? >> excuse me. my background is going on 60 years in print journalism. i began at a little town in upper east tennessee and covers the civil rights movement and appalachian poverty and then
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worked for "the new york times"es for 20 years, eight years as chief of the washington bureau. and then i was editor of the "atlanta journal-constitution", spent the last ten years of my active life as curator of the nieman foundation at harvard, journalism program at harvard, and i'm now retired by working -- but working with tom off and on and running an organization that he and i created called the committee of concerned journalists, trying to preserve the values of journalism that we can all trust. >> mr. rosenstiel, your background. >> well, i was a newspaper man also. i spent 12 years at the l.a. times, ten as a press critic for the paper. i worked briefly for "newsweek," and i was approached by the pew charitable trust about creating a think tank, a research institute on the press which we
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created in 1996 called for excellence in journalism. that's part of the pew research center here in washington. and we have the largest content analysis operation in the unite saying what they actually produced on the theory of conventional press you wag your finger at the press and say, you shouldn't do that. but if you offer an empirical look and say, this is what you're doing, you decide whether it's what you want to do. that that has more leverage. >> mr. kovach. isn't it an advantage, though, that people can get any kind of news they want, when they want rather than wait for the morning paper? >> oh, absolutely, it's marvelous. it's a wonderful system we have now. the only problem is people are now, as tom said, what they're going to bring in to their report and their o


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