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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 4, 2011 5:15pm-6:00pm EST

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just a bunch of -- there only a few men sometimes behind each particular flight. at a distance it looks like a column of flights coming towards them. anyway, so here comes a man named john b. gordon who was a confederate general, and another example of a man who had been a mining engineer, no previous military experience. he would've been terrific terrific confederate general. so he was leading up the army in northern virginia, and chamberlain on his horse was waiting on his horse comes john b. gordon. gordon said a sort of hanging down, and though they will have to come up, have to turn, facing these men who they have been fighting, and lay down their arms, step four, lay down their arms and march off. that's what was on schedule to happen. and apparently chamberlain turns and says to his buglers, you know, just start a salute. everybody is going, everybody of
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the thousands of union troops are going to put up their arms -- sorry, sorry. present arms. and once gordon down there got it and his men got it, they all straightened out. they marched up very, very smartly, and anything called a thing called a marching salute. it was their form of walking present arms. and they turned and this wonderful stuff that chamberlain wrote. he was a terrific writer. and he said gazing into each other's eyes from 12 feet away, 24 feet away, whatever, you know, and just, and he said there was a bond between them like no other bond. you know, between the main. they understood what they both have been through. he said there were guys crying on both sides. it was just a remarkable thing that has been said since, a grandson, if only we could have kept that spirit we could have all been cured within a year or
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so. so that's a great question and he's a great figure, and i'm very, very glad you mentioned him. he went on to be governor of maine and a very important figure. i guess we have to make one of these the last. back there. >> did grant having a relationship with jefferson davis at all? >> none. to the best of my knowledge they never saw each other. sorry to end on that note. [laughter] and maybe it's just as well that they didn't. and, in fact, i think, you mention jefferson davis but it may be a great, i mean if you want to do the what-if's of history, and i'm not much of it what is man, but if they had, jefferson davis not going to west point, he thought he knew more about military matters than he really did, and he made bold lee in the beginning and said
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you're the commander of the whole federal army, i don't know. but he kept fooling around with the signing and reassigning generals and this and that, and it probably was to the north's advantage they had a man who really was not really competent. also a man who long after other people in the south were ready to sign some kind of surrender, just went on blindly to the end. so i think that should be it. thank you very, very much, all of you. [applause] >> that was hosted by carmichael's bookstore in legal kentucky. >> is for a nonfiction author of book you'd like to see featured on booktv? and as an e-mail at or tweet us at
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>> author fred wilcox previous book, "waiting for an army to die," looked at the effects of agent orange on u.s. soldiers who served in transcendent in his latest book he turns his attention to the impact of agent orange on the vietnamese. next, during this event from new york city, mr. wilcox discusses his book with author noam chomsky. this is about 40 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the new housing works store that opened in april. lisa, manager and her staff did a great job making room for us all. [applause] >> i'm dick hughes, the loose cannon come one of the people who thought up this conspiracy to get us all together to think about agent orange and to do
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something about. those two great books that were published by seven stories press, the first book of richard came out in 1989 get it was by fred wilcox, of course, and it was about the impact agent orange had on american veterans. the second book which just is new, "scorched earth," is about the vietnamese and the impact on vietnam. so we i'll seven stories press, who do so many books, nobody else would do, and housing works and a few loose cannons, all our thanks. this is an important event to make a breakthrough on a horrible tragedy of many decades. agent orange which still persists but if you ideas about doing something when you see the books, please do it. after colloquy with our guest, we will have a q&a. please wait until you get a microphone in hand. we all want to hear your question. we all want to hear your answer.
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thank you so much for coming, and it gives me great pleasure to introduce two very special people, noam chomsky, without rhetoric and just the facts ma'am, just the facts, dragnet fan. and he is still doing it. and fred wilcox who has been out in the vineyards writing these two books, feeling the pain of knowing people directly affected by agent orange, and seeing them pass away, were they to survive to suffer terribly. so i believe it now to our two guests, and then your questions. thank you for coming. i hope we can all hear, and when you step out of your, please try to do something about people suffering from agent orange.
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thank you. [applause] >> well, hello. thank you for all coming out this afternoon on this beautiful afternoon. my name is fred wilcox. dick hughes has done magnificent, incredible work. he's help people who have suffered agent orange and he is a range of this whole thing with his family. they worked very for hard come somewhat to express by. want to express my appreciate my fantasy, my children, my friends from ithaca, and professor noam chomsky who is taken out of his busy schedule to come here. it's wonderful, thank you, noam, very much. [applause] >> i would just like to talk a little bit briefing and that alternate over to know about what i have been trying to do for about the last 30 years. and that is tell people about what i consider to be the main a
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tragic company historical tragedy in the world, but this is a great tragedy. outages began by saying that 3 million vietnamese people are suffering from the effects of chemical warfare. that is, the default action campaign that united states government waged in vietnam for at least 10 years. 3 million adults have 500,000 children. so one of things i'd like to do today is really dedicate this whole thing, the whole meeting today to the children, to the vietnamese children, to the children of u.s. vets, korean vets, australian vets, all of these people who have fathered by women have given birth to seriously deformed children, legless children, blind children, seriously retarded children, all the same result. as a result of having been exposed to something called tcd dioxin which was the contaminate in agent orange or so i really don't think you can overestimate this strategy. i don't think you can exaggerate.
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i have never tried to exaggerate it as a tragedy because it is not necessary. its ongoing. it's a tragic that just doesn't seem to have any in. that is to say if you go to vietnam today one of the things that refines the vietnamese people is that they are saying the third and fourth and sometimes a generation of agent orange children. so a lot of people say, that war ended, it ended in 1975. i've been asked is, why do you keep talking about it, like you keep writing about? and i say because it hasn't ended but it hasn't ended for the children but it hasn't ended for the vietnamese people. it hasn't ended for american vets are reaching about the age of the late '50s and early '60s, our vets come and dine. many, many people don't know about this like is michael has been and continues to be to tell as many people as possible about this ongoing incredible tragedy that is a direct result of chemical warfare. no?
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>> well, as all of you know, most of you know, this is the 50th anniversary, almost to the day in fact, of some very significant decisions that were made in washington in the kennedy administration. john f. kennedy and his advisers basically decided to sharply escalate the war in south vietnam, which had been going on for sometime. and to essentially turn it into a u.s. invasion of south vietnam at that meeting, kennedy, those meetings can be authorized the u.s. air force to start bombing south vietnam. pretty soon they were apparently on in, carrying out about a third of the missions under south vietnamese markings, but it didn't fool anybody except those who wanted to be fooled. authorized napalm and what we're
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discussing here, authorize what out to be called chemical warfare, defoliation it was called. the bombing, as you all know, expanded, let half-million american troops invading the south. within a couple years, by 1966-67, the leading specialist on vietnam, the military historian, in his last right before he was killed in combat wrote that he thought that vietnam might not survive as a cultural and historical entity under the impact of the most severe bombing, severe attack ever launched against an area that size. it went on, not only in south
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vietnam, north vietnam, at least where nobody was looking, the area around hanoi was somewhat spared because there were a lot of lies there, foreign embassies, but the south, southern part of north vietnam, south vietnam itself, they never recovered. the bombings extended to northern laos which had nothing to do with the war in vietnam but it was mainly because a lot of air force planes were idle during arming causes. you they virtually destroyed what a manager a virtually stone age society, primitive society in northern laos. littered with unexploded ordnance. people still dying. people were living in caves for several years trying to survive. i interviewed a lot of them back
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around 1970. then it expanded to cambodia, which is actually the most intense bombing in history. following henry kissinger's immortal phrase, anything -- anything that flies against anything that moves, those were the orders handed down by kissinger from his boss to the air force, and the bombing, brief period, just a couple years, we now know reached the level of all allied bombing in the pacific region, the entire pacific region during world war ii, including the two atom bombs, all on a remote peasants poor, peasant society. a lot of consequences to that. very ugly ones, but finally more or less ended. but it didn't end, as fred
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pointed out. the effects of the chemical warfare continued, and will continue. soon turned very quickly, turned into crop destruction. major war crimes. fred can take a lot more about this than i can, so i won't go on with it. just add one more word about it. there are serious consequences for not paying attention to what we have done in the past. one of them is just moral. if we are incapable of facing up to our own history, we are in trouble morally, a serious problem. but it's also quite practical because if you don't face up to it you continue doing it. and, in fact, that's happening. people are dying right now from the american chemical warfare. one of the many things that i've done over the years is a number of visits to southern colombia
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to isolate, endangered peasant villages here sometimes when i go down it's too dangerous even to go to the countryside, so they bring people in to the local town to give testimonies about what's happening to them. these are people who have been subjected to some of the worst terror anywhere. colombia now has displaced probably i think the second largest displaced persons population in the world, i think after afghanistan, millions of people driven off their lands. these are isolated, poor villages. last time a whit about a year ago, you know, driving with a truck given to us by the ombudsman's office of the region traveled around almost impassable road.
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go along the road, there's this tiny clearing on the side, stop and go out. there's just a row of simple crosses. that's a place where not long before a bus had been stopped by paramilitaries to work very close with the military, and everybody in it was shot. that's life. but the worst part of life in many ways is the chemical warfare. we don't collect defoliation now. we call it fumigation. but the same thing. leafless absences sprayed from the skies. i suppose most contractors by now, and you see the effects are striking. first destroys the crops, not just opium, destroys everything. it poisons the land. there are people being coffee farmers is not easy this day, but there are people who have
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managed to kind of develop a niche market for organic high quality organic coffee that they can sell in germany and so one. that's finished because the land is poisoned. you can't do anything more. people with horrible scars all over their arms, children dying. you know, the kinds of things you see in vietnam. and that's today, just in the last couple of years according to the attorney general's office, about 140,000 people have been killed, paramilitaries and military, among other things, too. but this is going on before our eyes. we regard it as our right to carry out -- [inaudible] pardon? should have said that earlier. >> louder. can't hear you. >> we regard it as our right to carry out --
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[inaudible] still louder? >> yes. >> i don't think i can manage anything louder. [laughter] >> we regard it as our right. to carry out a chemical warfare in another country because they are producing something that american government doesn't like, actually the president of bolivia asked a pertinent -- pertinent question, how would we feel if they were to carry out chemical warfare in north carolina and kentucky to destroy a crop that is far more lethal than cocaine. in fact, just take a look at the death tolls. well, it's our right, not their right. this goes on before our eyes your and part of the reason is a failure to pay attention to similar atrocities in the past but and this is not the end by any means. just yesterday i got a letter from an ex-marine who fought in
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iraq, and he was, for some years he was part of the military force that invaded falluja in november 2004. that was a horrible massacre him a kind of like -- except worse in many respects. one of the respects in which it is worse is the kind of weaponry they used. there have been studies now by epidemiologists and other scientists in the falluja area, and it turns out that the level of radiation, persistent radiation in that area is actually higher than a russian mob -- hiroshima. this young man after he got out has been devoting his life to trying to compensate for those horrors. this was a scientific article that just appeared, a study,
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hair samples of people there, and the hair samples have extremely high level evidence of radiation poisoning. and it again has the usual a facts at the same time. permanent. unless we face up to these things is going to continue. there's no barrier to it except internally to the united states. nobody else can do anything about it. these are two examples, and you can add others. and american veterans suffer from it, too. also the effects of heavy metals, and probably depleted uranium, others that has plenty effect on american veterans, but, of course, as always the major lethal effects are on the victims. and as fred said, this can go on indefinitely.
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even win the war is technically over, and even more so when we carry out similar operations elsewhere, as we are doing right now. >> thank you, noam. i would just like is a couple things real fast and then open it up to question. and that is that i really like the way you brought it to now. because people, sometimes ask me why do you talk about something that happened so long ago? the last mission in vietnam was 1970. we left there, theoretically at least in 1975, the reason why i keep talking about this is because it's a cancer epidemic in this country, many other parts of the world. the cancer epidemic is directly related to the toxic chemicals in our air, food and water supply. i have fortune. i'm sure a lot of you have children but i have grandchildren. i do not want my children or anybody's children to develop cancer. i don't want to watch them lose their hair and i slowly and painfully, beautiful children, from cancer. that could be prevented. is not a matter of when for the
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next 50 years until he come up with a bill or treatment for cancer. it's a matter of cleaning up our environment and stopping the compass that poison vietnam and poison cambodia and other parts, and colombia, other parts of the world, for profit. they do for profit. they do for money. they claim that they were doing it, welcome in the name of patriotism. they poisoned vietnam, they would destroy the forest because they're doing their patriotic duty. no, they're doing it to make money. they were making agent orange. they knew what was in it but in those poisoned and he didn't have a government. so one of the things that i hope i could accomplish through this book, "scorched earth," is to say look, it's time to clean up the world come and find. it's time to clean out and find. it is a summit about happen 20, 30, 40 years ago. it's happening right now. and that is that we're all being exposed to these toxic chemicals and we're all at risk. so the tragedy in vietnam is the tragedy here and in europe and in many other places. and it's a tragedy that he believes that we can all get
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together and do something to prevent. people always asked me what should we do? i would say one thing you could do would be to call dow chemical and monsanto and say we know. we know what to do in vietnam. we know what you're doing here and stop. stop lying and stop saying this though evidence that agent orange causes cancer in human beings. the world scientific community knows that isn't too. the world's scientific committee has done studies. they know that dioxin is carcinogenic. they know that. we all know that. so with that i would like to just open the floor to questions, and comments and whatever you want to say. i'd like to hear what everybody has to say. >> are we on? can you hear me? >> there you go. >> so we are going to have questions and answers, and wait until we get the mic there. i wanted to let you know with
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several books up here. two of them by fred which are $10 apiece, bottom price your and he will sign them for you. we have one of the train once book, 9/11, 9/11 and there's also philip jones griffiths book, photography book, which is on basic sale for $20, a gorgeous photography book at so it's hard to beat those prices. here's the mic that lisa will get over to you. ask your question and let's see if we can get as many and as we can, and lisa, here is one. >> yes. thank you for your commentary. but i was just a thing as listened, because i had recently found out about the matter of fracking, which is what i'm going to talk about it and i was thinking out and hearing your commentary that perhaps if the people in these countries is the victims that you mentioned were
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seek revenge, they would say we have found a way of doing ourselves in, because a friend of mine said, and if you're not the mother with fracking, i'll mention it in a minute, fracking is not spelled f-r-a-c-k-i-n-g. it is spilled -- because what we're doing is already showing up in places like pennsylvania, we can wipe out the water supply, and that's not something you can replace. repeat, that's not something you can replace. many people live in the city don't understand that their 13 inches of topsoil in the water supply that stand between us and what? oblivion. for those of you who don't know what fracking is, they are about to have some hearings, and that's happening october 21. they're trying to get people on
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buses if you want to find out about that, see me later. the problem is, the problem is that people are unaware of where they stand, and if you have any comment on the subject of fracking, i think the idea that it is suicide is really on the button. >> thank you. and honor to be here with both of you. noam, a hero of mine for 30 years, thank you. so fred, you implied, among towards the end of your talk that the government was unaware of the consequences or citizens of agent orange, or did i misunderstand what you said? and did so, when did they find out, the government? >> that's a controversy ever
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since people started talking about this. as far as i know, the chemical companies that did not tell, particularly the military commanders in vietnam, what they knew about the effects of dioxin in laboratory animals the and in 1965, this is a memo that was in "waiting for an army to die," dow chemical said, and i'm quoting, i often is potentially deadly to human beings. i do not believe that they they must have and the rest of these wonderful corporations making a loss of profits went to the nazis government, military oriented elson said we will say this but we want you to note that is potentially deadly to human beings, that your troops, our troops into the news people and the rest are going to be exposed to something. the chemical companies insist they did tell someone, but exactly who that someone might have been, i don't know. and i don't think they did. i don't believe it. i haven't uncovered any information to that effect. >> i think there's a concept
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that applies here, and in many other cases that is called intentional ignorance. so yes, you can choose to be ignorant of something, but you do know about, and that applies all over the place. there's no way the government couldn't have known this. >> just doesn't make sense in terms of the profit system, you know? army, temple tasha chemical copies, or the gas companies telling people what's in the fracking water? no, they're not. >> energy corporations that supplies you with oil, do they put in a notice saying we are helping to destroy the world? no. you know it and they know it. and if we don't pay attention, it's intentional ignorance. >> are we on? can you hear?
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>> sort of. >> so first of all, thank you so much from ithaca. professor thompson, you've been a role model for me for so long, and i think, when i first learned about your work, you know come with something called liquid acquisition device, and i'm wondering, you know, what the plan for the communication acquisition device is but because they think, you know, we have language and we use it, like you said for intentional omission. you know, the note this as we are killing ourselves quickly or slowly is not included in any of our packaging right now. so how do we, you know, globally or locally communicate that to each other? and how do we do passion how do we unite from today on? how do we help? how do we do this? >> its particularly significant in the united states.
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you may have seen an article in "the new york times" i think maybe yesterday which reported once been an open secret for a long time, that the united states is simply off the planet on this issue. just about every country in some fashion or another is trying to do something about the very serious problem of environmental, global warming and environmental catastrophe. doing it in different ways. we should be perhaps ashamed of the fact that the country that is in the lead on this is the poorest country in south america, bolivia. they've gone to the extent of passing legislation, that nature has rights and we have to observe the rights of nature. sophisticated westerners can laugh about this, but the last laugh will be on a. the poorest country in south
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america is taken to the international league. other countries are doing various things. we are only not taking the lead as we should but we are dragging it down or the united states is alone in tearing apart and restricting the very limited devices that have been available to do something about the problem. it's pretty striking to look at congress now and see that congress is trying to dismantle legislation and institutions which were instituted by a person who is, in fact, our last liberal president, richard nixon. [laughter] is not a joke incidentally. take a look at the legislation and. so they are turning about the epa, trying to restrict other limited environment restrictions. and while the whole world is haltingly moving forward, we are
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racing backwards that and what the united states does is of course of enormous significance. far and away the richest and most powerful country in history, if we don't take the lead nothing much is going to happen. and if we are pulling the train backwards, it's going to be -- so here's where the problem is. and there are a lot of reasons for it. this is the only country that i know of at least where the major centers of power are carrying out quite openly, they tell us, carrying out a large-scale propaganda programs to convince the population that it's all a liberal hoax. the chamber of commerce, the biggest business organization, american petroleum institute and others, have made quite public that they're carrying out these programs.
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well, yeah, they have a lot of people confused. if you take a look at the way the media handled it, it's kind of he said she said a thing. i can once i get 99% of serious scientists, on the other hand you have jim inhofe or somebody else out and we have a sort of work it out for ourselves. well you know, individuals work it out for themselves. and as a kind of background of trust for reason and science which is itself very lethal. i mean, you shouldn't worship size. they can make mistakes and do awful things, but still it makes sense to study things seriously and carefully. and that's a serious cultural and institutional problem here, which has to be dealt with, just sort of a fundamental way. so how do we communicate it and
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study a language can take anything about that. but people have to be out there trying to get others to understand what's really happening to our society, and do you want your grandchildren to have a decent world to live in. or is it better for the petroleum company to make profit today, and they'll have an environment which you can survive. those are real choices. fracking is a case in point. fracking is actually a dual problem. one problem is, as this person mentioned, there's a direct problem in destroying water resources and land and so on. but the longer-term problem of increasing the use of fossil fuels, no matter how you get them, which is going to have a lethal effect on human society. in fact, all living things. >> i just want to thank mr. chomsky for coming, and i
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just really wanted to talk about south american countries how economy is being affected and how the dictatorships were planned out in the best states and there so that they can distribute democracy in a way. so, in a way it's all part of the conspiracy so that they can control south american countries. but i want to talk about what do you think about international monetary fund? is it a fraud to control the economy? >> i didn't get the last part. is it a fraud of? >> is it a scam? >> a scaled? >> a scam. >> no, is not not a scam. i mean, they do their work. in fact, they're basically an
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offshoot of the u.s. treasury. i mean, it's not literally true that the u.s. treasury has an enormous amount of control in what they do. and there are the same programs that are kind of turning the united states into a sort of third world society. are applied much more forcefully in weaker countries and having terrible a facts. so the international monetary fund has over the past several decades been pressing very hard the so-called neoliberal programs which have been a social and economic disaster almost everywhere. and not for everyone. take each of which is right on the front pages. a part of the source of the uprising in egypt, qatar for a long time, but is peaking because of the disastrous effects of imf structural
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adjustment programs, which have increased growth, but kind of the way they do here with well for going into very few pockets. and most of the population suffering. and that's been true in place after place to going, latin america, as long as accepting these programs, i went through several decades of sharp decline, economic decline, that is now cast out to programs and is a quite successful growth. that we see the same thing here. we have been through, it's not as rigid here as it is important is, but because, the wealthy protect themselves. it's part of the reason why over the past essentially 30 years the u.s. has become, has been in a vicious cycle of sharp concentration of wealth, really
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in one-tenth of 1% of the population that is hedge fund managers, ceos and so on who don't do anything constructive for the society. in fact, they probably harmed, for the economy, but gained enormous wealth and with that comes political power, and that makes it possible to accelerate the cycle. so we have a situation in which we are, in the richest country in the world with, you know, 30 years of pretty much stagnation or decline, and incomes for the majority of the population, while a small tiny group is getting fabulously wealthy. and the country is seriously declining. but no, i should say about the imf that more than the other global institutions, they have become, begun to recognize this. in fact, it's kind of striking
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that the imf, chief economist, has been criticizing europe for carrying out the kind of policies that they have advocated. europe is in a recession, and it is carrying out austerity policies which is the worst possible thing to do in the recession. and the imf has actually counseled them not to do that and it turned into try to sting the economy, which we should be doing, too. so they are not just devils and they're coming out of a background tradition, which is rooted right here mostly in economic planning and economic policies, which have had pretty ugly consequences over decades. countries have been casting them aside, point themselves out of
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this, sometimes beginning to prosper. that's one of the reasons why latin america has a substantial improvement over the past decade also. but it's not a scam by any means. >> i'd like to say before him a question, if you haven't been down to wall street, the occupy wall street, please go down and say hello. [cheers and applause] >> to me it's really inspiring. i was down to the other day and what wonderful people and i think we should all support them in every way we can. >> what way? [inaudible] >> i think you better wait for the mic. >> so i have a question. >> we have to get the mic's. >> the way that we continue to fight our wars have pretty devastating effects for the countries that we're fighting with with, or occupy. as well as members of the
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military that are coming home. so i'm wondering if you can speak a bit about what lessons we should take away from what you know about the struggle for justice, agent orange both members of the military and people in vietnam. and what lessons can we take away from that, those of us that want to make sure that there is justice for those who are returning, for the people who are suffering? >> i think that's an important question because one of things, probably talk about agent orange, vietnam veterans, people somehow assume that's news. it's the person we've ever mistreated veterans, we've ever ignore them come with her failed to taken seriously when they are complaining about their element. and it isn't that. as part of american history. we send people off to work, pounding the drums, waving the flag. when they come home we say oh, i don't recognize you, i really don't know you. so do just as some people have come it's too bad about the vietnam veterans, they got hurt, we didn't help them. but we're doing a better job, my
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own argument is, and i come from a working-class poor family, people join the military. you joined the military because it's a job and it's a way of getting out of poverty. bubut on the other hand, i would encourage anybody to join military until the military decides to treat people with respect and decency after they come home from the killing zone. [applause] >> hello? i'm very sorry, but professor chomsky has an appointment is already a little bit late for in colombia -- columbia. we have to give up their pickup is going to mention that the books that are here for sale, we donate them to housing works. so any books that you purchase even at this low price, all the proceeds will go to housing works. so we -- [applause] >> we are serving two purposes, and he can afford to do it we
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would much appreciate it. our apologies for those who didn't get their questions in. thank you so much for coming out, and our thanks again to noam chomsky and fred wilcox. [applause] >> you're watching the tv on c-span2. 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books every weekend. >> hear what the candidates are saying from the campaign trail at the newly designed c-span website or campaign 2012. >> and in my view this is a time for us to get serious about our challenges. and i've will go to all of them but the big one is our budget and are spending. spit if your auditors are not active, it's investment is not landing in your marketplace, then it is leading somewhere else. so capital is a coward, you got to argue, and he will flee were ever a proceeds are to be risk of market place but it's not
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landing in your market like it's going somewhere else spent i think is a very interesting concept, the idea of having a consumption-based tax as opposed to income-based tax. that's an interesting theory come it makes a lot of sense, but to go to that debate right now and have a two-year debate on a fair tax, we need to do something now. >> read the latest comments and link to c-span to media partners in the early primary and caucus states, all at spent up next on the tv, afterwards, an hour-long program where we invite guest host to interview authors. this week max hastings and his latest book, inferno, the world at war, 1939-1945. his latest one on world war ii explores the great conflicts and the personal point of view. using detailed stories of the lives of everyday people. he reveals the individual hardships of s


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