tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 20, 2013 7:00am-10:01am EDT
militaristic, as hard-core as they came. he was also a pretty nasty piece of work. he was the brains behind the midget sub attack at pearl harbor. as well as some of the worst atrocities committed by japan's sixth fleet submarines during the war. you can't really tell from this photograph but he had straight hair, limp straight hair, a tiny little mustache and skimmed that more than one person described as being oily, saying he had an oily sheen. i came across that several times from people i interviewed. he's definitely the villain of our peace. he was a martinet, as you would expect, and he was a heavy, heavy drinker which is really saying something. he didn't hesitate to discipline his men by slapping or kicking them. in fact, the crew, of its flagship, call him gangster because of his ruthlessness. and they used the term gangsta
in japanese. amy what a gangster was. he believed that to die on behalf of the emperor was glorious, and the crew of the sub knew he would not hesitate to sacrifice them on half of the cost. so surrender was not in arhzumi's vocabulary. in other words, this guy was the boss from hell. now, this is the lieutenant commander. he was captain of arhzumi's flagship. so in other words, is in the reporting relationship to arhzumi who was squadron commander was also aboard the flagship. he was different from his boss. first of all commuters over six fee tall and he was railfan. he was so handsome, his crew used to gaza behind his back
they look like this particular famous japanese movie star. and as you'll see in this photograph, he's got quite a full mustache which was considered very stylish in the day. now, nambu's crew trusted him. they knew that he had their best interests at heart. whereas arhzumi intend to commend restrict -- respect through command and intimidation. i could see what is collected about them but i interviewed nambu several times for operation storm. he still alive today. he's i think about 101 at this point. he was very charming, very articulate, very internationally minded. and 70 years after the fact, a number of its former officers and crew sought me out to tell me that they felt they owed their lives to the way lieutenant commander nambu conducted himself at the end of the war. the other amazing thing about
nambu was he was one of the few sub captains to survive the war in the japanese navy. and that's pretty remarkable considering that he served aboard a submarine at pearl harbor, he told me i looked through his periscope waiting for you as capital ship to escape the you attack so he could sink them. he was also the executive officer aboard b-17 which was the sub and the shelled the storage facility north of santa barbara in february 1942. this guy really got to run. i think he was in war for something like 1800 days. that's a long time. so it's a miracle he survived the war given the casualty rate of japan's sixth fleet, the submarine force but it's also my place by the were given the fact he served under arhzumi. okay, so what you may not know was that the e-400 subs were on their way to complete the mission when the war ended.
win emperor hirohito accepted the allies surrender terms on august 15, 1945, arhzumi was so outraged that he refused to tell the crew of the surrender. in fact, arhzumi refused to surrender. and instead he decided to go rogue and continue with the mission. now, this was an unprecedented situation, of course, and nothing had prepared arhzumi for defeat or surrender. situation aboard the e-401 was about to get very, very bad. because these guys, u.s. combat subs, the uss segundo, was breathing down their neck. and the segundo is having some of our own command-and-control problems, though for different reasons, and we will get into that wanted to a section from reading of the book. but the encounter between the e-401 and the segundo is the scene outside to read to you now for my book "operation storm,"
then after i'm done, if there's time left, i'll take a few questions. everybody still with me? okay. okay, this is chapter one, face off. and i promise not to redo the whole chapter. [laughter] >> the uss segundo was five days out of midway heading towards japan winner crew received news that the japanese government had accepted peace terms. as the submarines executive officer, lieutenant john paulson noted in the boats fifth were patrol report, heard the good news -- heard the good word of the surrender and in 11 languages, too. he was second-in-command of the sub, one of the newest u.s. fleet boats nicknamed silentio for his retirement -- reticent manner, he was responsible for
ensuring that the captain's orders were carried out in a correct and timely manner. he'd been with the segundo since before commissioning and that served and all five of her war patrols. 28 years old and already balding, he was a man of sly wit if keywords. is all capped entry was an uncharacteristic display of emotion for the normally phlegmatic officer. then again, the war with japan was finally over. the segundo had been patrolling the islands when the cease-fire was announced. she hadn't seen much yet to be except for a few russian vessels. nevertheless, it was august 24, 1945 and the segundo was ordered to tokyo bay to represent the u.s. submarine force at the upcoming surrender ceremony. the invitation was an honor for the segundo's crew, but they weren't ready to relax just yet. they were still in enemy territory, and though the cease-fire agreement specified
that the japanese military were delayed down arms, some units hadn't gotten the message. it was two weeks since the japanese empero emperor had asks subjects to endure the unendurable, and the segundo is heading to tokyo with orders to mop up remnants of the once formidable japanese fleet. not much was left of the infield japanese navy, and what was, wasn't expected this far north. there was isolated resistance though so the segundo continued on a wartime footing. the segundo had been an aggressive vote despite the diminishing number of enemy target for her first skipper, had been assigned to the sub while she was still under construction at the portsmouth navy yard in new hampshire. he had put an indelible stamp on the boat's crew while commending her first for war patrols. during that time, he'd suck to japanese warships, eight merchants, and seven sampans and
earned the segundo a total of four battle stars. these results were surprising given the fact that he was an experienced sub captain. tall, athletic, and met me i will handsome, he redid the kind of confidence his men had come to respect. he was 34, which was over a sub captain, and quiet by nature. but that only contributed to his command presence. fulp prosecuted the war with just the right balance of aggressiveness and caution. is crew knew he was somebody they could count on to sink a combatant ship and get them home safely. though he could be remote, that wasn't unusual for a ceo. it was better for fulp to be distant and overly familiar, since the cruise lives depended on his objectivity. in other words, the segundo's first skipper had everything a crew liked in a sub captain.
he was mature, steady, and reliable. all the set change, however, before the segundo departed on her fifth and final were patrol. the sub was still in the undergoing refit when fulp received orders transferring him to pearl harbor. he had eight work with those under his belt and was due for rotation. but fulp had built the segundo into a formidable fighting machine. and if it's true that a combat submarine operates like a family, then fulp's departure was like depriving the crew of their father. unfortunately, the boats new skipper, johnson, was a different breed of captain. he was younger than fulp and brash with a cockiness that put his crew on edge. the first time richard saw johnson at midweek of his new skipper was shooting dice with the men.
johnson didn't make a good impression. he acted more like a crew member and officer, not the kind of captain he was used to serving under. lieutenant victor horrigan also had concerns about his new ceo. he had overheard the tall, lanky johnson tells officers, when we get off this patrol, they will be throwing medals down our hatch. was this the kind of guy you could respect? he wasn't sure. in fact, the more the crew saw of johnson, the more they worried he was a hollywood skipper. he may have had other capabilities that he was noticeably lacking in fulp's gravitas. it almost seemed as if the segundo was between and joe johnson's first command. it wasn't. it was his third. but if his officers had known that, it would avoid them all the more. ballston remained as the
executive officer after fulp love. he recognized that the new captain was different. johnson was a smooth talker, highly polished and well dressed. even his nickname was slick, which wasn't always a complime compliment. but also knew a change in command was nothing to worry about. he had seen his share of sub captains, and no two were a life. given time, most cruise adjusted to a new skipper. if not, the u.s. air force was 100% volunteer. you could always ask off the boat. the biggest issue captain johnson faced was the segundo's tightknit crew. most of the men had been aboard since the boats commissioning 15 months earlier, and they've been shaped by fulp's commands do. importantly, fulp had gotten out of some pretty tight spots. would their new skipper be as talented? of course, captain johnson's presumed impetuosity was less of an issue now that the war was over. the one thing that men didn't want to see though was for
something stupid happen. sailors are a superstitious lot, and now they cease-fire was in place, they didn't want any last minute scripts sending them to the bottom. home was the preferred direction. in the meantime, anything could happen. it was 15 minutes before midnight on august 28, 1945, when lieutenant johnson, no relation to captain johnson, related lieutenant mclaughlin as officer of the deck. the segundo was on the surface about 100 miles heading south towards tokyo. it was the 14th day of the cease-fire, and not one in a warship had been cited such a patrol has begun. it was a cold night and visibility was poor, but the ocean was calm, and lieutenant johnson decided to take advantage of a little advantage of a little moonlight it was to scan the horizon.
when he first spotted an object south of sub, johnson thought his eyes are playing tricks on them. with the more he looked the more certain he became that something was out there. meanwhile, alex was sipping coffee in the conning tower when a clip appeared on his radar screen. he was surprised at how large the object was. something that size should been picked up at 15,000 yards, yet it hadn't appeared until it was within a third of the distance. leaping the few steps to get other the project, leitch shouted radar contact, 5500-yard. at first nobody was sure what they were dealing with. now use ships were reported in the area, and it was unlikely to be an enemy vessel this far north. there was no mistaking the blip though, which was sizable and doing 15 knots. if it was an american, fine. but it was japanese, they had a
problem. captain johnson flew into the conning tower demanding the targets range in there and. determined to take a closer look, he called for tracking stations. when the segundo closed within 3000 yards, the dark silhouette materialized into the shape of a gigantic submarine. the sub was so big it easily door to the segundo. since the allies had nothing remotely close in size, the sub had to be japanese. before johnson could declare battle stations, sparks begin flying out of the mistress subs easily exhaust. clearly, they had been spotted as johnson scribbled his name, the japanese sub rapid into the night at flank speed. lieutenant horrigan was in the control room plotting the enemy scores as the chase ensued. he knew fighting was still going on in the pacific but he couldn't understand why i get sub would run away. after all, the war had been over for 14 days. nevertheless, the situation
seemed dangerous as hell. as the chase extend into the early morning hours, johnson pushed the segundo to 20 knots. every time he tried drawing near the japanese sub all the way. johnson didn't trust the enemy not to fire, so he settled -- settled off 4000 yards to make sure his torpedo tubes were loaded and ready but if the chaps tried anything funny, he would sink her. first one hour pass, then another. the pursuit dragged on, the crew began worrying but as dawn approached something unusual happened. johnson wasn't sure what she was okay but the enemy sub suddenly began to slow. maybe she was readying to surrender, or maybe she was getting into firing position. shortly after 4:00 in the morning, august 29, johnson called quartermaster third class to the bridge. it was his first war patrol, the
tough kid from the bronx whose accent was like a punch in the face, he had been sleeping when the segundo first spotted the japanese sub. he was wide awake now though, as the course the cast on signal lamp to the bridge. rapidly flickering its shutters, he bounded out the international code for stop. the enemy sub fail to acknowledge the message even though it was impossible to understand its meaning. the sub may have slowed, but she showed no signs of stopping. finally, after a few minutes, he received an affirmative reply. two minutes later the enemy sub lay dead in the water. as dawn slowly illuminated the japanese boat, johnson and his men were in for a big surprise. they were facing a typical submarine. it was, in fact, the largest submarine the segundo's crew had ever seen. he thought she was cute, was
twice as big as the segundo. some were convinced she was three times as large. whatever her actual size, the japanese sub loomed over the boat. johnson knew that stumbled across something unusual. but what he didn't realize was that he faced the largest submarine in the world, a sub so huge she would remain the largest until the uss trident was commissioned in 1959. johnson senate every reason to feel small. it wasn't just the chaps subset size that made for such a menacing spectacle. she also bristled with weaponry. but the five and a half inch gun on her aft deck, free triple barreled 25-millimeter antiaircraft guns and a single 25-millimeter mount on the bridge, the japanese sub was all business. there were also a torpedo tubes
in her bow, to more than the segundo had come and it was reasonable to assume she carried the deadliest torpedoes of the war, the 95, the long lance, which packed way more punch than the segundo's mark 14th and had nearly three times the range and were faster to boot. if captain johnson felt alarmed at the enemy subs contradictory behavior, he didn't show it. you could never underestimate the ferocity of the japanese military, even in defeat. if johnson misjudged the situation even slightly, the segundo was going to be in for trouble. to ensure that didn't happen, he brought his torpedo tubes to bear on his average and ordered his helmsmen to slowly close the distance. by all rights the japanese sub should surrender, but her decision to flee under reluctance to stop, especially after being chased, suggested
they didn't intend to give up easily. after all, she still flew her naval ensign with the red and white rays of the rising sun. one thing was for sure, nobody in the united states navy had ever seen a sub like this. for the submarine the segundo now confronted was the e-401, the largest, most powerful class of seven built by japan during world war ii. she had been designed for emission so secretive that the u.s. military didn't know anything about it, a nation that the admiral, the architect of the attack on pearl harbor, had planned himself. a mission so audacious that the imperial japanese navy saw it as a way to change the course of the war in their favor. what captain johnson also didn't appreciate was just how reluctant the e-401 was to surrender. not only was the sub part of a top secret squadron of
underwater aircraft carriers, it was the flagship that carried the squadron commander, arhzumi. commander arhzumi been involved with the development of the e-401 sounds almost from the beginning. and given her pedigree, the e-401 wasn't going to surrender without a fight. in fact, surrendering to the enemy would be more than unacceptable to commander arhzumi the it would be an embarrassment and a disgrace. it went against all his years of training as a loyal subject of the emperor, and the command in the imperial japanese navy. and so, much to their surprise, the men of the uss segundo are about to learn that world war ii wasn't over just yet. because along with their unproven skipper, the crew found themselves in the middle of what promised to be the last great shooting match of the pacific war.
okay, so before -- [applause] you are too kind. so, before we open the floor to questions i wanted to acknowledge that one of the segundo plaint owners -- a plant owner some who served on all of its sub patrols. so the uss segundo that i just ready about had five were patrols and the family of one of its owners, karl, who is alive and was a chief petty officer aboard the segundo is here tonight. i want to thank you, guys for coming out and want to particularly thank you for your father's support in the research of my book. so if you have any questions, we ask that you come up to the microphone right behind the projector, otherwise you won't get on c-span tv which is filming and i won't be
obliterated because i'm as deaf as a post. so if you in questions taken to the mic, so i can do. don't be shy. every go, excellent. >> i don't have a question. i the comment. i read the first quarter of the book, and it's just a great book. i can't wait to get through the entire thing, but what i wanted to comment and ask you to maybe share with the audience, i found fasting for those of us on the pacific coast, the west coast here, your very, very elaborate and detailed chronology of exactly how people responded to the very limited but highly effective attacks of the japanese submarines on the west coast. the reaction seems to me would
lend one to believe that the projection that perhaps this attack that he had foreseen and planned for mike about the psychological impact and might have resulted in what he anticipated and hoped for. so i thought that evidence that you put in the first half of the book about how we reacted on the pacific coast went to validate yamamoto's theory. >> thank you for that. you're absolutely right. few people realize that the west coast was lousy with japanese submarines between december 1941, right up until about september, october 1942. they were sinking our coastal shipping. they actually did launch the first attack on the mainland united states since the war of 1812. and at the time there was a tremendous invasions here. people didn't quite understand what they're dealing with.
they thought japan was preparing for an invasion of the training. in retrospect that's ridiculous. they weren't planning an invasion but that part of yamamoto's strategy was quite effective for the first six months of the war, up until about june 1942. but there were a number of merchant ships that were sunk off the coast of california, actually from vancouver right down to san diego. and as i said, i interviewed someone for the book, described to me what it was like in february 1942 to surface in the waters off of san diego, and to be so close that he could hear people talking onshore. i remember when i initially was indeed doing him for the book just to understand what was going on with the e-401 subs, and he said, he was telling me about this trip he made recently tenured city. and i just said in passing, that's interested, was that your first visit to the united
states? he said no. i've been before. i said when was the first time? that's when he looked at me and he said pearl harbor. >> i haven't read the book, but i wonder, did you include the bombing that occurred, the plane that took off from the submarine, i'm not sure that brookings or -- >> yes. in fact, that the chapter in the book. t-boned oregon and northern telephone with two flights off its sub. this is another one of the things that my started to do the research, i kept asking the question, why would the japanese want to bomb the forest, redwood forests in northern california and oregon? it just sounded so crazy.
all of the western accounts about that dismiss it. but when i started to interview the japanese and i listen to what their logic was, well, they had quite a clever idea which was they knew that in some timber the forest in oregon and northern telephone are usually tender drive. so they expected the weather, the dryness, to be a supply for these bombs that they dropped. they anticipated setting on fire a good part of northern california and southern oregon. now, what happened there, lucky for us, was that it was the most unseasonably rainy september in 100 years. and so when they dropped incendiaries, they went off but they didn't have the effect the japanese intended. so we tended to just can't dismiss that. that was a crazy japanese plan but the truth of the matter was they got unlucky and we were tremendously lucky. >> one of the question.a show oa
year or two ago. i think they mentioned that yamamoto was a proponent of this, and after he was killed early in the war, 1942 -- >> i think it was 43 actually. >> the development of these thugs really slowed -- these subs really slowed. it was so late they didn't have a chance to do much. >> right. you're talking about the documentary japanese super sub, which appeared on pbs. and i was actually the producer and a technical writer on that show. that was based on an article i had written. so yeah, when yamamoto was killed, he was like any other bureaucracy. yamamoto, first of all, as far as pearl harbor goes, the imperial japanese navy did not want to do pearl harbor. they thought it was the craziest thing they've ever seen.
they wanted to stop the but the only reason perl harbor happened was yamamoto was the commander-in-chief, he said if you don't accept this plan i will resign. so he forced pearl harbor. when pearl harbor succeeded, and as far as the japanese were concerned it succeeded tremendously, he was a god. he could do whatever he wanted. when he came up with this idea of 18 gigantic underwater aircraft carriers and 44 place, nobody was going to stand in his way at that point. a day were factions in the staff who did not want this plan. they did not think, they just thought, they were very conservative and they thought, you know, a bridge too far so to speak. so when she died, they came out of the woodwork with a long knife and the almost killed the plan. at one point they had scaled back. another point another faction of. there was this tug-of-war just as there is in any bureaucracy. but they stayed with the plan right through the war, even
though there were so many men involved in the construction of the sub links but it was like two, 3000 people involved. it's not a small operation. and at great cost. they were committed right up until the end. >> i would like your confirmation or correction, if i'm not mistaken, doolittle and yamamoto have something in common as far as the date. if i'm not mistaken, doolittle plane bombed tokyo in fortitude and i believe yamamoto shot on the same day, correct sequence yes. >> thank you. >> this is perhaps slightly tangential. for a lot of us, the most recent
exposure to that war was the movie emperor. and i was just wondering if from their perspective it was a somewhat you know of those personalities, whether it was more or less accurate? >> i'm sorry, i'm not sure i completely understood the question. what was more or less -- >> the movie emperor, in terms of portrayal of the person i was involved? >> what was the tidal? >> emperor. >> i've not seen that movie. >> it was recently released in the last month or two. >> okay, that's one that's on my list than to see. [laughter] you know, it's funny, the way american history was taught to me during one or two, the japanese were very kind of one dimensional and monolithic and fanatical. i got a different perspective when i went over there and had a chance to interview in real japanese navy officers. i mean, one of the guys in defeat, a squadron leader, i
thought he was ready to get back on his plane and come back and finish the job. but the rest of them, they were quite logical and rational. it was a poignant view that i had never in a million years encountered and assassinated to hear what the reasoning was, why did they think was a just war, why did he do with the did? i can't find out these great little incidents like bombing oregon. they ended up making a lot more sense than i ever was taught. so i think if you read the book you will find that part of it is the u.s. submariners experience any other part of it talks about what the war was like from a japanese submarine and what the world was like from their point of view. okay, i think we should stop its getting late and want to thank you so much for coming out tonight. out the ogre signing books after for anybody. i will be right here signing books for anybody who wants me to sign them. thank you. [applause]
>> the care institute is hosting a forum today on the cost of social security this bill interest. live coverage on c-span at noon eastern. >> columnist stanley crouch, what's on your summer reading list? >> well, i'm working on a screenplay of my novel, "don't the moon look lonesome," so i have to reread it to i should figure out how to make a screenplay work. because the very complex story of an interracial romance and the protagonists, this blind woman from south dakota. and my greatest achievement in my entire life for was i was at
a bar. i was talking to this guy and he mentioned my novel. and i said -- he didn't know who i was. so he said, have you read that? i said i've heard about. i don't know, did you read it? yeah, i read it and i said, why did you read it? he said i'm from south dakota. i said really? he said, in fact i know every person in that woman's family. i've met all of them growing up. and i said really? he said yes. i didn't even tell him i had written the book. no novice can ever get better price than that, to have somebody from a state that you guys should never been to, delay the characters so much that they're convinced that you knew
the people. so that's what i'm trying to actually figure out how to translate. >> let us know what you're reading this summer. tweet us at booktv. posted on a facebook page or send us an e-mail at email@example.com. >> up the next a discussion of the history of guerrilla warfare. author max boot was at the heritage foundation in january to discuss his book, "invisible armies." the event began with comments. >> good afternoon, welcome to the heritage foundation into our louis lehrman auditorium. we are of course welcome those are joining us on all of these occasions on a heritage.org website. for those of in house as we prepare to begin, please make sure cell phones have been
turned off. it's a courtesy that our speakers to appreciate. we will post the program within 24 hours on a heritage homepage for further reference as well. hosting our vet today is steven bucci. dr. bucci is director of our douglas and sarah allison center for foreign policy studies. he praises her heritage as senior research fellow for defense, defense and homeland security. he is well-versed in the special area operations and cybersecurity areas, as well as defense support to civil authorities. he served for three decades as an army special forces officer and top pentagon official. in july 2000 he assumed the duties of military assistant to secretary rumsfeld and worked daily with the secretary for the next five and half years. and upon retirement from the army he continued at the pentagon as deputy assistant secretary of defense homeland defense and american security affairs. please join me in welcoming steve bucci.
steve? [applause] >> him let me add my welcome to all of you. i think we'll have a real treat this morning. as john mentioned i'm a special forces officer by profession, and so this area is near and dear to my heart. this is kind of what we do. or did. they won't let me do it anymore. [laughter] i mentioned to max when he came in, as a historical artifact in that when i was a cadet at west point i bought a book that had just been published. it's a two volume set called war in the shadows, guerrilla in history. that book from 1975 intel now really has been the sort of benchmark for this kind of historical review of the subject area. that's a long time for a book to keep that sort of position.
well, with apologies to him, i think his book is being replaced now. and maxis.net. with this book which is on sale outside, "invisible armies." he i think i set a new benchmark for the subject area. his book is very, very comprehensive. him and it's somewhat chronological but not entirely. and it's somewhat regional but not entirely, and it's somewhat -- not functional is the right word, but topical but not entirely. but that sounds like it's not organized well, i don't want to give that impression but it works very well. it flows well. max is a really, really fine writer. group i say that from the standpoint of a reader. it's very easy to read in a way that sometimes the store courts are not.
so i would recommend it highly. what we're going to do this morning is, when i get and introducing them, max is going to get some opening remarks for a little bit, then we will it open it up to questions answered. when he's done with his prepared remarks i will come back up and play moderator. i will tell you now, when you ask a question i would like you to stand up, identify yourself very briefly. and if by the end of the second sentence i don't hear a question mark and i'm going to ask you to sit down very politely. because the object of this exercise is for you to ask questions and draw from maxis knowledge and from the information he presents about the book, not to give a speech. if you want to give a speech, comes in afterwards and we will see two ranged get your own program. but that's what we're going this morning. for those of you who don't know, max boot is one of america's leading historians in military
history, and one of our best historical writers. he is presently in the kilpatrick senior fellow for national security studies at the council on foreign relations. he continues to write extensively in "the weekly standard," the "los angeles times." is a record contributor to "the new york times," "the wall street journal." he's been an editor and a journalist for "the wall street journal" for "christian science monitor." he has written two other major books in the past that are of interest to me, then 17 -- "the savage wars of peace" and "war made new: technology, warfare, and the course of history 1500 to today." max tends to write really big bucks. -- big books. this morning he will talk to us
about his latest, "invisible armies." max, turn it over to you. [applause] >> thank you very much for that warm and generous introduction. thank you also for your many decades of service. i see a lot of folks here who are either current active duty or retired military, and i think all of you for your years of service to the nation. what i am here to talk about today is the contents of my new book, which as steve mentioned, is a history of guerrilla warfare and although it may seem they can daunting at first glance i did try to tell a good story by encapsulating 5000 years of guerrilla warfare history into one book. now, that may seem like a formidable undertaking, but here today in front of your very eyes i'm going to do something that i think is even harder. i'm going to try to encapsulate the entire book into about a 25 minute talk pics of that's going
to work out to about 200 years for many. so fasten your seatbelts. we are going to go for the historical journey here. what i'm going to get his first talk about the origins of guerrilla warfare, then going to talk about how to counter guerrilla warfare and find ongoing to conclude that why it's incredibly important that we figure out how to counter guerrilla warfare but the question i most often asked why tell people i been writing a book on the history of guerrilla warfare is, what's the first guerrilla war? and the answer is, guerrilla warfare is as old as mankind itself but it's impossible to say when the first guerrilla war took place because that is essentially tribal war. tribal war going back to the dawn of mankind, fighting with hit and run tactics. they been staging ambushes, they've been attacking enemy villages and fling before the main force of the enemy can arise. they don't stand to do so and slug it out like the way the
greek, the conventional armies. so in essence, tribal wars have been taking part in guerrilla warfare for countless years. by contrast in counterinsurgency warfare and conventional warfare are both relatively recent invention but they were only made possible by the rise of the first city state in mesopotamia about 5000 years ago. by definition, you could not have a conventional army without a state. so until united states you know conventional armies which had officers and enlisted and ranks and a bureaucracy and logistics and all these other things we associate with conventional armed forces. but guess what? as soon as you had the very first city state in mesopotamia, they were immediately being attacked by nomads from the persian iran's, essentially guerrilla's. and so from the very start, organized military have always been a lot of their time fighting unconventional irregular warfare.
and you know what, those terms don't make a heckuva lot of sense. that's one of the big takeaways that i had from doing six years of reading and research for this book. the way we think about this entire subject is all messed up. we think that somehow conventional warfare is the norm, that the way you ought to fight is to these conventional armies slogging it out in the open, but the reality is those of always been the exception. just think about the more modern world. what was the last conventional war that we saw? this is a hard question to answer because, in fact, it was the russian invasion of georgia in 2008 which didn't last very long. and yet all over the world today they are people are dying in more whether it's in afghanistan or syria or congo or columbia or many of the country. all these people are victims of being ravaged by unconventional warfare. but the term is often does this is, in fact, been is, in fact, the more. where to adjust our thinking.
we have to understand that unconventional warfare is the dominant base of warfare am always has been, always will be. every great power throughout history, every great general including the great generals of antiquity had to deal with the threat of unconventional warfare, including of course the greatest army of all, the roman legions. a pretty formidable force, even when you're not led by russell crowe. they bested every power in the neighborhood. grown, as we also know, was ultimately brought down, sat in the fifth century. and what was responsible for the downfall of rome? well, wrong was much like the united states in that it did not have great power rivals. it was not surrounded by great state, other than the parthian or persian empire. ultimately, it was basically surrounded by those that get labeled as barbarians. and how did therbarians
fight? well, they did not have organized military. they did not have centurions but they did not have all the infrastructure of the roman legion. they fought in a very different style. yet ultimately they were successful. the fall of rome was precipitated by the invasion of europe in the fourth century by a fierce group of warriors known as the hunt. a fourth century roman historian left a very interesting and perceptive description of how the huns thought. he said, they are very quick in their operations of exceeding speed and fond of surprising there anything this ugly dispersed and reunite, and again after having inflicted vast loss upon him, scatter themselves over the whole planes in a regular formation, always avoiding and entrenchment. now, think about that prescription. that sounds a lot like guerrilla warfare to me. that's essentially what the huns
for practicing under their formal -- former leader, a telethon. -- a telethon. so in many ways there's truly nothing new under the sun about the threat posed by guerrillas. they have been around longer than civilization itself. and the fact the u.s. army and marine corps and other modern militaries including the french have to do with the threat today is absolutely unsurprising. i don't mean to suggest that so and nothing has changed over the course of the last 5000 years. there have, in fact, been some significant changes. the biggest one has to do with the power of public opinion and propaganda. this was something that was demonstrated in our very own war of independence. when we think of the war of american independence we tend to think about is like lexington and concord, where the yankees
slithered on their bellies and shot at the red coats from behind trees and rocks in ways the red coats considered to be ungentlemanly and not quite cricket. these were no doubt effective tactics, but in the end what's striking to me about the american revolution is to the extent to which decided not by so much wha would happen on the battlefield, but what actually happened in the house of parliament, in the commons in england. when you read conventional accounts, if i may use that word, they usually conclude with the battle of yorktown in 1781, at which lord cornwallis surrendered about 7000 troops to general washington. there is no doubt this was a massive setback for the british war effort. but the fact remains that even surrendering 7000 troops to washington, the british still and tens of thousands of more troops in north america and they could have somebody tens of thousands of more troops from
other parts of the empir empiref they had decided to do so. but they were not able to do so because of the power of a new force in insurgent warfare, a term that was only going to faithfully in 1776, the power of public opinion. now, if the founding fathers had been battling the roman empire i can assure you that the romans, no matter how many battlefield defeats they would've suffered, would have come back and george washington, the founders, would have been crucified quite literally. the fact that this did not happen is because of what happened in an institution that the roamers did not have to worry about, at least not after the rise of the empire. and that was the house of commons, parliament. in 1782, a year, in the year after the battle of yorktown it was a very close vote in the house of commons to discontinue offensive operations in north
america. the vote was 234-215. it was a nail biter, but because lord knows, the hardline premise you want to prosecute the war against the mcenroe post, he lost the vote and, therefore, he had to resign office. and lord rockingham are committed to a policy of conciliation, was their american brothers, took office. and that i would submit to you was truly where the american revolution was one. that was something the founding fathers were very where -- were very well aware. when you think about documents such as thomas paine's common sense, or our very own declaration of independence, as much as anything, these were propaganda weapons used against the british, and ed impact over the course of several years, volunteers of war. they wore down the british will to fight, which resulted in this vote to discontinue the war in north america.
that's something new in warfare. that's something that was completely different. that was something that, you know, the huns and the romans did not have to worry about the power of public opinion. all of a sudden with the rise of democracy or the spread of media, that becomes a major force. and, in fact, many others in the future would seek to emulate what the american rebels dead, including some such as the vietcong or the iraqi or afghan insurgents who have tried to use the power of propaganda and public against -- public opinion against us. all these factors are especially important in the theories of mao zedong was one of the great of course and the most influential theorist of guerrilla warfare that there ever was, and get a very different view of guerrilla warfare than that as practiced by the nomadic warriors of old. he wrote an incredibly
influential book in 1938 called on protracted warfare, which he wrote sitting in a cave in northern china after the long march, he did notice that a firefight and was burning a hole in his sock. and what kind to emphasize was committee famously said, that people are like water. and the army is like fish. he said that it was essential to keep the closest possible relationship with the common people, that a guerrilla warfare had to be extremely cognizant of winning the support of the public upon whom it was operating. he gave instructions to soldiers to be courteous and polite, establish a safe distance from people's houses. now believe in, this was not something the huns worried about thousands of years before. the idea that think their idea of public relations was in the coming as many people as they could. but mao understood in this new
age you have to pay attention to public opinion, and that something that has been incredibly influential ever since, especially been influential even more so with terrorist organizations. because terrorism, as the anarchist set in 19th century is, propaganda by deed. even more than guerrilla warfare, terrorism is really about selling a public relations point. in fact, osama bin laden, obviously the most famous terrace of our age, went so far as to say that the media war is 90% of waging jihad. he place the emphasis not on battlefield attacks but on the perception that he could foster among his enemies. now, the very fact that meeting has becomthemedia has become son the very back of public opinion has become so incredibly important puts a great power like the united states, especially a great democratic powers like the united states, at a disadvantage.
something very interesting comes up when you look at what's changed in guerrilla warfare, and as part of this book we did a database of insurgencies in 1775, which in is included as an appendix. what we found was that the wind weight for insurgents have gone up since 1945. prior to 1945, the insurgents won about 20% of their wars. since 1945, about 40% of their wars. so the win rate has roughly doubled. what accounts for that? i would argue it's the power of public opinion and propaganda, the ability of even relatively weak groups to bring down stronger adversaries are marshaling public opinion against them. that's something that all insurgents tried to do these days, and sometimes very successfully. but, and we should not swing too far from one extreme to the other. we should not underestimate the
power of guerrillas, nor should we over estimate the power of guerrillas and terrorists. because they are not invincible and i think there has been a fallacy and a tendency in the post-world war ii era to focus on a handful of successes, and think wow, these gorillas are 10-foot tall superhumans. they could not possibly be defeated. that's in fact not the case because if you go back to the figure i cited to come even if insurgents are winning roughly 40%, that means they are losing 60%. the reality is, just as most businesses start adobe, apple or microsoft, so most insurgent groups don't become the vietcong or the chinese red army. and to make that point i would refer you to one of the most famous insurgents of all time, cejka better -- he became a legend because of the success
that he and fidel castro had in overthrowing the batista regime in cuba in the 1950s. a very impressive campaign but it was made possible by the fact that batista had no legitimacy. he lost the support of the entire society. and that's my couch with only a few hundred followers was able to overthrow this state that was definitely tens of thousands of soldiers who had american supplied aircraft and takes in all sorts of heavy armor. they were only successful in cuba, but when he got cocky and decided tried to export the cuban revolution, it didn't work out for them. what i did in 1966 is he went to bolivia particularly discovered in bolivia was not i counter with an unpopular to get. what he discovered was a country that have a popular elected president. and he did not have much success in trying to change the nature of bolivian politics because he himself had no legitimacy because he came in as an
outsider, originally this argentinian who became a cuban citizen come in from the outside with a handful of followers. they didn't even speak the languages on the local indians. in fact, his best friend when he was in bolivia was chico. so it's no surprise that by 1967 he was hunted down i these guys, the bolivian army rangers, trained by u.s. army special forces. and this is how he wound up, with his corpse being poked out by his enemies. so even the icon of revolution, he could be defeated and killed. then i don't hear any of you suggest it's impossible to defeat any group of insurgents. you can do it. you just have to have the right strategy. the question is, what is the right strategy? there have been many different approaches, but essentially they come down to either what i would call scorched-earth, or what is
often known today as the population counterinsurgency, or more properly as hearts and minds. there was kind of a controlled experiment that was unwittingly run by two of the great nations of europe, britain and france, in the 1950s to show which of these approaches is more successful. because britain and france were each fighting counterinsurgency in different colonies on different sides of the world. the french were fighting in nigeria in 1954-1962. the british were fighting in malaya from 1940-19 safety. they adopted very different methods of hiding with a french accent on the scorched earth approach. now, what is the scorched earth approach mean in practice? well, we found out from -- if you want to find out, one good
way of doing it is by simply renting this wonderful movie, the battle of algiers, which i recommend to anybody who's interested in what happened in a just because it's pretty accurate. what it depicts is what happened in 1957 when the french tried to break up an insurgent cell in the city of algiers which was planting bombs that were killing civilians. and especially european civilians. what they did was, they rounded up tens of thousands of muslim men in the casbah, the native quarter of algiers, and they sent them in for interrogation. to find out what they need. and how did the interrogation process worked? well, we know because of what happened to this gentleman, who is not an algerian. it was french. is actually a french jew arantxa republican newspaper in algiers. and it was for this sin that he was picked up by paratroopers from the division in 1957. and he was taken to an interrogation center.
we all know about medieval torture like iraq or the iron maiden. but he was discover a newfangled, a modern instrument of torture known as -- french slang for this hand crank dynamo. which has as you can see two clips and to attach the clips to the appendages of whoever you're interrogating and then you turn the crank and the faster you turn, the more electricity comes out. so what happened in? he was taken to this interrogation center by paratroopers. he was stripped. he was put on a wooden board, strapped in with leather straps, and yet initially the clips applied to visit your and to his finger. and what he later wrote his express was that a flash of lightning exploded next to my ear. i struggled, screening. but he did not give up the
>> resonating around the interrogation center. now, that that's a very tough approach to doing counterinsurgency. now, we sometimes hear that torture doesn't work. well, don't you believe it. however morally questionable or reprehensible it may be, it can be be tactically effective and, in fact, it was tactically effective for the french in the battle of algiers. within nine months, they had rolled up the entire insurgent network in algiers, and by the end of 1957, algiers was safe. so you could argue in a tactical sense, the french had won the battle of algiers. the problem was the publicity that attended their practices. and they could not keep secret the way they were treating detainees. hen rhoderi was allowed to lived he wrote a book called "the
question" which became a bestseller in france. and there were others who spilled the beans on what was happening in algeria, and that caused a huge public backlash, and ultimately, that cost france the algerian war. by 1962 they had to grant independence, and so the tactics which had been very effective already them backfired and led to eventual defeat in algeria. now, on the other side of the world at virtually the same time, the british were fighting in malaya. and the war effort there starting in 1952 was led by this hand, general sir gerald templer who should not be confused with this man, the actor, david niven, for whom he is a dead ringer. so this man, not this man, but this man, was the british commander in malaya, and when he arrived this 1952, he found a
deeply entrenched insurgency, much as in algeria a few years later. the one in malaya was being waged by the army one of many communist groups that were trying to take over. they dynamited trains, they even killed the previous high commissioner. in fact, gerald templer drove in the same rolls royce in which his principled successor had been -- predecessor had been shot months before. it would have been understandable if he had terrorized the population. but that's not what he did, because he understood the key to success was not terrorizing the population, it was securing the population. and he went about it in a variety of ways. one of his most effective programs was setting up what were known as new villages because he understood that the heart of the communist appeal
lay among the chinese squatters, roughly half a million of them, who were not citizens, who were outcasts, who had no real jobs, and they were a prime breeding ground for insurgency. so he relocated them to villages where they would have fields to work, where they would have medical clinics, schools and, oh, by the way, they would also have fences and armed guards around them to keep them away there the insurgents. essentially, what he was doing was drying up the sea in which the insurgents swam, preventing is squatters from continuing to support the insurgency. for example, he sent overcraft to fly and drop leaflets urging surrender. another innovation was to actually have loud speakers equipped to these aircraft so they could call out individual insurgents by name and tell individuals to surrender by name, a pretty spooky tactic. general templer also ended the
indiscriminate jungle bashing, sending large formations thrashing through the jungle in search of insurgents as the u.s. armed forces would later do in vietnam. instead what he did was he emphasized the gathering of intelligence, and he placed the everyone sis on expanding -- emphasis on expanding actionable intelligence and sending specially-trained units of knowledge to get their hideouts. he even employed headhunters from borneo to act as trackers. but ultimately, he knew it came back to the population. he's associated with two very famous sayings. he said the shooting side of the business is only 25% of the trouble, and the other 75 percent lies in getting the people of the country behind us. he also said the answer lies not in pouring more troops into the cup, but in the hearts and minds of the people. now, that's a very famous phrase which is often misunderstood.
by hearts and minds he didn't mean we're going to hand out a lot of goodies, what he meant was we're going to control the people, and first of all it requires establishing security for the people, which hely did. but it also requires having legitimacy to make people act acquiesce to what your security forces are doing, and the most powerful weapon he had was independence for the people of malaya. he told them we will make you free, we will make you an independent nation, and that's exactly what he did. well, this was not something the french understood in algeria, because they were trying to fight for the continuation of the french colonial empire inial inial -- in algeria, and not surprisingly, there were not a lot of algerians who were eager to fight for a continued french role. templer understood the importance of legitimacy, and that's something which has also
proven important in places like norb ireland -- northern ireland or colombia or iraq. many of them have followed pretty closely on the templer playbook, combining security and legitimacy to create a winning formula that can blunt the appeal of insurgents. now, this is not just a matter of historical interest, because, in fact, just as insurgency has always been the dominant form of warfare, it remains so today, and it's something we have to worry about as the attack on our colons late in benghazi -- consulate in benghazi should remind us. this is not a threat that's going away. in many ways it could actually, i hate to say it, it could get worse. because one of the may sure trends over -- major trends is that the firepower available to insurgents has been increasing. a century ago western armies battled insurgents who had nothing more than a few russ key
muskets and spears and bows be and arrows. today there is no corner of the world that doesn't have access to an ak-47, rocket-propelled explosives, very hard to deal with even though they're basic weapons. what does the future hold? unfortunately, we have to con temperate the possibility that insurgents could ultimately get their hands on weapons of mass destruction and, alas, we may not have george clooney around to save us. now, i don't mean to be overly alarmist here, but this is something we have to think about seriously, and what would happen if insurgents did get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction? this is a map that comes from a magazine that i'm sure all of you are avid readers of called the international journal of health geographics. you can check out your copy at home when you leave here today. what that map demonstrates is what would happen if a 20-kill
ton device were to go off in downtown manhattan. now, it's not a very big nuke. it's about the same size as the one that flattened nagasaki a long, long time ago. the arsenals of the united states and russia are full of many, many, nuclear weapons many, many times bigger than this. but this is a rough and ready nuke of the kind that it would not be hard for the iranians or north koreans or pakistanis or others to design. what would happen if one of these things was popped off in downtown manhattan? well, the map shows certain assumptions about wind speed and other factors what the devastation would be and, of course, it's worst around ground zero, and it's slowly getting a little bit better as you go farther be out. but the estimate in this scientific journal is that this rell rell -- relatively small device would kill over 600,000 people just from being set off in lower manhattan.
and, of course, similar devastation if one were to be set off here in washington. now, i don't mean to alarm anybody here, but we need to think about these kinds of dangers because they are not going away, and as the iranian nuclear program decelerates, pakistan destabilizes, these are very real possibilities that we have to think about. rome was brought down by barbarians. we have to be careful that we ourselves are not brought down by barbarians, and i think the first offense is to understand the nature of the problem, and that's what i've tried to contribute to with this book to show the kind of strategies that insurgents have employed over the centuries as well as the strategies used to counter them. this is something we need to think about. insurgency is not going away, even after we're out of afghanistan. this is going to remain the number one threat that we face. thank you. [applause] >> okay, ladies and gentlemen.
we will now take questions. we have folks with microphones, don't we? all right. please, raise your hand, and as i acknowledge you, let the folks get to you with. [audio difficulty] >> even when you're willing to be as brutal as the nazis, they still didn't manage to pacify the balkans in world war ii, as cruel as the soviets, they didn't pacify afghanistan in the 1980s even though they were willing to kill a million people. because the nazis and the soviets, they offered nothing
positive, no reason why the people of yugoslavia or the people of afghanistan would support them. they offered death and desolation and that, ultimately, was not a winning strategy. i think what people do want to see is they want to see the rule of law. not necessarily our law, but their law. that's something i think people respond positively to, and if they see the soldiers around them are enforcing the law rather than preying upon them, rather than stealing there them, raping their daughters, if they see that the soldiers are upholding the law, they're going to be much more likely to support those soldiers. so upholding the rule of law is actually, i would argue, a crucial element of successful counterinsurgency. >> right here. >> robert price, osd. secretary of defense. how do we do this cheap and easy? we've done this before here now twice in iraq and afghanistan, protective periods of
counterinsurgency long term even after some of the immediate threats were taken down followed by extensive amounts of nation building, etc. do we have to do that every time, or is there a cheaper and easier way to do this? >> well, ideally, you will will not have to wage future counterinsurgencies by sending hundreds of thousands of american troops to foreign lands. ideally, you would be able to partner with troops in their own countries to enable them to get better which is something we've done in colombia or the philippines. we've seen that strategy backfire more recently in mali where it turned out the troops we were training overthrew the elected government. but to my mind, a great template comes from somebody we tend to forget these days but we should remember, edward lansdale, the quiet american who was once a legendary figure. he was a former advertising man who joined the air force and the
cia, and he was sent to the philippines in the late 1940s when they were facing the he huk rebellion. and what he did was he didn't send an army to back him up, he similarly drove out to get to know the people of the philippines. he didn't sit in the embassy like so many american officials do today. he went out there to figure out what was really going on, and he identified a great leader who could lead the fill peeps out of this morass with some -- the philippines out of this morass with some support, and that was a filipino senator when he encountered him. lansdale pushed to make him the defense minister and then the president. and he was this great leader who rooted out a lot of the corruption which was causing people to turn away from the philippine be government. he ended the brutality on the part of the filipino army which was causing villagers to flee into the hands of the hucks. he established clean elections
and basically took away all of the ideological appeal that the hucks could possibly have. this was an incredibly effective strategy, and it's something that we need to think about today because, for example, in afghanistan, i think afghanistan has really suffered over the course of the last decade by not having great leadership, not having -- as the previous questioner reminded us -- the rule of law. afghanistan, however, is going to have another election in 2014, and we have a huge, huge stake in the outcome. who's going to succeed hamid karzai? is it going to be somebody as weak and ply bl as karzai, or is it going to be somebody more in the mold who will be honest, uncorrupt, tough, a true leader that the people of afghanistan can respect? i would suggest to you that we need our mod be earn day edward lansdales who can truly understand the situation in afghanistan to win the trust and loyalty of key afghans and find an honest man and, yes, they do exist be, even in afghanistan.
find an honest man and promote him as much as possible into the office of the presidency, because that kind of leadership can be worth more than entire divisions of american troops. >> here and then -- [inaudible] >> wanted to return to a point you made a few seconds ago about rule of law, debating whether it's arguably rule of law or the public's view of rule of law and how that rolls into probably the biggest war we're seeing right now which is in mali and more broadly across the islamic world because you now have organizations like al-qaeda in the islamic maghreb that are portraying themselves as rule of law organizations, but they claim it's culturally more appropriate to the region, obviously, is a hard core interpretation of sharia that involves cutting peoples hands off. so then the question becomes is
there a universal rule of law that's humane, or should we just accept that what they're saying is a form of rule of law we high to go another way? because, obviously, they portray themself themselves as a rule of law-centered organization. >> well, what we've found in recent years is when you have these fundamentalist islamist groups take over areas and try to impose their rule of law, the salafist code which is extremely puritanical, in fact, makes the puritans look like, you know, easy going vacationers by comparison, when they actually try to impose this salafist code even in diehard, very conservative muslim areas, it proves very unpopular. that was why al-qaeda in iraq suffered a major back be lash in 2007, because the people of anbar province did not like being ruled by people who told them they would be executed for smoking a cigarette.
the people of afghanistan turned against this barbaric code that the taliban were trying to impose. and this is, you know, in iraq and in afghanistan hardly two of the most liberal, cosmopolitan countries in the world. today i suspect you're seeing much the same thing happen in northern mali where the islamists have tried to impose a very brutal code, and i suspect it's not proving popular. however, the reason why these groups can have enduring appeal is because there's not a good alternative, and the problem that we face, for example, in afghanistan is that brutal and unpopular as the taliban are, the government has often been worse because the government has not delivered any kind of justice. what the government delivers is a decision that dose to the highst -- dose to the highest bidder. so bad as the taliban may be, they're less corrupt, and you will get a new orleans honest judgment out of them which will then be enforced with barbaric severity. it may be better than the alternative, so i think the
challenge that we face in countries such as mali or afghanistan or elsewhere is to try to build up nonfundamentallist institutions of governance and rule of law that will, in fact, deliver a modicum of justice which is what the people want but not to do it with the kind of barbaric severity that these islamist groups do it with. if we can do that, i think we will be successful. >> okay. the gentleman down there. >> thank you. hi name is -- [inaudible] voice of america. russian service. what about the syria? we see the scorched earth policy and little success from -- [inaudible] >> be well, it's interesting what's happened because as the power of the media has grown, scorched earth strategies are becoming less successful. these days they can only work in places where nobody's paying attention. so it works in surrey lanka in putting down the tam ill tigers,
it more or less worked for russia and chechnya because the world's attention was not focused on what was happening there. but look at what happened in libya. gadhafi was trying to put down a rebellion in his inimitable style, and there's no doubt in my mind that 100 years ago he would have succeeded. he did not this time because all these international organizations focused on what he was doing. and is before he could come in and torch benghazi and kill all the rebels, we and our nato allies intervened to stop that. now, in the case of syria we have not intervened, but certainly other outside powers have. and the rebels have been able to get support, for example, from the gulf states which keeps them there being simply swept off the board. bashar assad if turn gets support -- in turn gets support from iran. so at the moment the war has stalemated because both sides have some degree of support, but it's not overwhelming. assad is very unpopular, be but
the insurgents have not pushed him out all the way. but assad, and this goes back to the point of legitimacy, i would say assad lacks legitimacy especially for the sunni majority of the country because he's annal white -- annal to white because they're afraid of what would happen if the sunnis would take over. so he's able to cling to power with a small degree of legitimacy left. the rebels in turn are arguably forfeiting some of their legitimacy by some of their excesses, by allowing extremist islamists to take a prominent role in their ranks. and so, you know, the conflict is stalemated. but this is, you know, this is a classic insurgency and counterinsurgency which i suspect at the end of the day will end as a victory for the insurgency. what's the country going to look like afterwards? governments are not that hard to
overthrow, what's hard is to establish security afterwards. that's the big challenge. that's where we struggle inside iraq and afghanistan, and we're going to struggle even more in syria. >> gentleman right here. >> thank you very much. my name is tyler o'neill, i'm a freelance writer with the washington freebie con, and i worked on the romney campaign in the fall. and i was wondering, mitt romney talks in his book, "no apology," about soft power. and be he mentions specifically as a weapon we can use against al-qaeda. we send a lot of must be to foreign countries -- of money to foreign countries, and we're sending money to help hospitals where al-qaeda builds them, gets all the credit for helping the commitment, -- the communit, and we're stuck in the back. so can we use soft power to our advantage to combat insurgency? >> we can, but we have to do it more intelligently than we've done it today. it's mind-boggling how many tens
of millions of dollars we've wasted in countries like iraq and afghanistan being -- building white elephant projects of no earthly use in actually battling the insurgency. we would build hospitals or schools or electricity plants or water treatment plants, and i'm not really sure why we were doing all this. i think it's something i call the gratitude theory which is that if you give them really cool stuff, they will like you. well, a, if you give them really cool stuff and you're not actually in control of that area, the other side is going to claim credit for it. so if you build stuff in sadr city but you don't control sadr city, guess what? they're going to claim credit for it, but the largest part is if you don't have security, it doesn't matter how much people like you. they're not suicidal, they're not going to commit suicide because they love a water treatment plant. so you've got to have basic security. and to establish basic security, you've got to have men with guns
on the streets 24/7. i mean, it's kind of obvious, but this is the essence of the surge that was imelemented in 2007 -- implemented in 2007. you can't just do drive-byes. you've got to be able to control the neighborhoods, protect the people, and at that point they're going to come to your side. sure, there's some spending that can be helpful to that, jobs programs to put unemployed young men to work so they're not planting bombs. but at the the end of the day, it comes down to security butt rested by legitimacy. and a lot of runaway spending on public works projects is not going to win a lot of counterinsurgencies. >> okay. in the back, the gentleman in the first row in the back, and then we'll get the guy behind you, then we'll get you, and we're probably going to run out of time. >> nick -- [inaudible] former enlisted special forces in iraq, 2006-2008. i was wondering if you could comment at all on some of the internal conflicts we experience
within the military on the strategy going forward because i know, for instance be, being a part of an oda and being responsible for the same area that maybe a conventional brigade would handle and having to deal with -- [inaudible] in different places and very different approaches to counterinsurgency in each one. so there was that aspect of it, but there was also the portion where, you know, the special forces, we kind of take ownership of unconventional warfare and counterinsurgency, and it seemed especially toward the latter days of iraq and afghanistan we were kind of pushed to the back of the room, so just wondered if you had any comments on that. >> first, let me reiterate what i said earlier, which is thank you for your service and the service of so many others in this room. but to answer your question, you're right, traditionally, the army special forces, the green berets have taken the lead role in unconventional warfare and dealing with guerrillas and, in fact, acting as guerrillas
themselves. the conventional army, the big army has been very resistant to that kind of mission, and we have paid be, i think, a very heavy price in our recent military resistance because we went into vietnam with a fairly arrogant attitude on the part of some such as, you know, a u.s. army chief of staff in the early 960s who famously said any good soldier can handle guerrillas. in fact, guerrillas fight in a very different manner, and the same armed forces that wiped the floor ultimately wound up losing to the viet cong. along the way, however, i think the army and the marine corps learned a lot of very valuable lessons so that by the end of the reit name war, they were formid bl counterinsurgents. what happened afterwards, the manuals were literally thrown in the waste pape per basket, and they said, whoo, we're down with
that -- we're done with that, we never want to do this again, so let's get back to fighting the red army. the big army, and i'm not talking about special forces, the big army was not well prepared, and we paid a heavy price for the fact we didn't even have an army/marine field manual this the end of 2006. well, along the way, getting back to what i said, the army is an adaptive, learning organization. it can figure out what's going on. and along the way all these ncos and junior officers, they figured out what to do. they didn't have any manual, they just figured it out, and along the way the u.s. army and the marine corps, i think in the last decade, have become perhaps the finest counterinsurgency force the world has ever seen. what they're able to do in the field is mind boggling because they're manipulating so many different lines of operations to get the effects that they want. they're incredibly good at this kind of stuff which is a lot harder than laying down
precepts. you actually have to apply them to a cultural context, and they understand that at a way they did not at the beginning of the war. my concern is i hear a lot of people in the army saying, whoo, thank goodness that's over with, we never want to do that again, let's get back to -- well, there's no red army anymore, but we'll fight somebody hike the red army if they would be obliging enough to come out and let us whack them. well, you know, i wish there were people, more leaders out there as stupid as saddam hussein, but i am concerned there might be because be, you know, saddam was very obliging, twice putting these giant tank armies in the desert with big flags and hit me signs. i'm concerned there may not be other leaders like that, i'm sorry to say, who are willing to do that. in fact, i suspect our adversaries are -- have learned from the experience of saddam hussein. so i suspect our adversaries
have learned it's smarter to fight be us with regular tactics, so my concern is that is what we're going to see a lot more of in the future, and i'm very worried that the army and marine corps are going to be in for a big, nasty surprise the next time they're asked to fight unconventional warfare because they're going to forget the lessons they've learned at such great cost over the last decade. >> i'm sorry, i'm going change my mind because we're running out of time. i want to ask max to take two more minutes to do closing, then i'd like you to stay in place for a a second and let mihm get out the door because he's willing to stay for a couple minutes to sign some books, but he's got another appointment that he's got to get to because it's tv. so, max, i give you the final two minutes to leave us with closing thoughts. >> well, i'd like to leave you, essentially, with where i started which is by reminding you that the way we think about unconventional warfare is all ms.ed up, that it is the norm, that it is not going away, and
better be ready for it. to reiterate what i just said, you know, we will pay a heavy price if we're not ready for it. you are ownmies -- enemies are adapting, and they're not going to do it standing toe to toe with the finest conventional force the world has ever seen. they're going to attack our weak spots, whether it's using weapons of maas destruction, cyber weapons, fiending terrorist lots and hit and run raids and hostage takings. this is what warfare is all about. we're never going to achieve some platonic ideal of conventional warfare because there have been very few of those wars throughout history, and there are not going to be a lot in the future. so like it or not, we'd better get ready which i fear and suspect the future is going to look a lot like the past which means there's going to be a lot of unconventional warfare in our future. >> thank you. >> will thank you. [applause]
>> our special booktv programming in prime time continues tonight with books on u.s. supreme court decisions. at 8 p.m. eastern it's karen houppert, author of chasing gideon. at 8:50 p.m. be, martin clancy and tim o'brien talk about "murder at the supreme court: lethal crimes and landmark cases." after that, sarah garland discusses "divided we fail: the story of an african-american community that ended the era of school desegregation." booktv is in prime time this month on c-span2. the cato institute is hosting a forum today on the costs of social security disability insurance. our live coverage is on c-span at noon eastern. the 50th anniversary of the march on washington is a week from wednesday. up next, an economic policy
institute forum on how the march has affected the economy and civil rights today. this nearly three hour event was at the afl-cio headquarters many washington last month. -- in washington last month. [inaudible conversations] >> so, ladies and gentlemen, we do expect a full crowd, so at some point if we gets folks who come in this and we don't have enough seats, i may ask you to raise your hand so we can identify seats unoccupied next to you so we can get people seated in as expeditious a fashion as possible. well, let me welcome you all to this unfinished march symposium. my name is christian dorsey, i'm the director of external affairs at the economic policy institute, and i'll be your host and master of ceremonies for
this afternoon's symposium which really is a convening of some of the most incredibly talented, thoughtful speakers and commentators on issues affecting folks of color, workers, as well as politics in america. this is a symposium that has taken many months to prepare and is really the brain child and inspiration of epi's director of the program on race, ethnicity and the economy, alier nonaustin who you'll hear from later on when we close the program, but you'll also hear from as part of our first panel this afternoon. let me get some logistics out of the way first. i see that people dead notice the refreshments in the rear of the room. those are open and available to you throughout the symposium. if you need to use the restrooms, it's best to exit the rear of the room, take a right, walk down the hallway, you'll come to a corridor at which you'll take a left, and you'll
see both the men's and ladies' rooms. if you have a need for wireless connection in the room, you can connect to the afl's public wi-fi, and the fs id that you'll look for is baker, and i will say this slowly and then repeat it. the pass z word is labor, l-a-b-o-r.815. that is labor.815. and in what is truly a land heart attack for epi, we are -- landmark for epi, we are also going to have some live tweeting going on at this event. so if you would like to do that, participate and join the conversation on twitter, you can do so in one of two ways. you can follow @economic policy and follow us on twitter, or to join this specific conversation you can use the hash tag
unfinished march. everybody got all that? okay. be so after our symposium which includes couple of welcome remarks, we will have three panel discussions, and at the end of the panel discussions, we will have a reception. so thank you all for joining us today and spending your evening with us. now, to get us started, let's think about the march on washington. it certainly stands as a seminal appointment in the history of the american civil rights movement. yet as celebrated as it is, it is often misremembered or probably it's better to say incompletely remembered as only a demonstration for civil rights that is embodied by the last section of dr. king's or what we now call dr. king's i have a dream speech. now, as important as that was, this was much more that was senate about that day -- significant about that day.
remember, of course, the march on washington was the march for jobs and freedom. jobs came first. that was a unifying agenda that coalesced people of all races, all faiths, brought together organized labor and people from every single region of country. and though the march had been conceived by a. phillip randolph more than two decades before, the 1963 effort was organized in just eight weeks. eight weeks. now, how were they able to do that? how were they able to in just two months organize an effort that brought more than 250,000 people to the nation's capital? at that time the largest gathering this city had ever seen by a factor of ten. so with next month managerring the 50th -- marking the 50th
anniversary, we are leaded and privileged to con seen some of the nation's foremost thinkers to put the march into context and to examine the economic conditions that are facing people of color today and to do what seems to be so difficult for so many of us, and that is have a frank talk about how race affects our public policy as well as our political discourse. now, to open us officially, i would like to welcome arlene holt-baker, the executive vice president here at the afl-cio. we are, of course, in arlene's house today, so we'd like to thank her, first of all, for opening up the afl's hospitality. but more than that, we are just privileged to have her as part of this program. arlene was approved unanimously as executive vice president to fill out a term in 2007 and then reelected in her own right to a full term in 2009 making her the first african-american to be
elected to one of the federation's big three highest offices and the highest ranking african-american woman in the labor movement. now, that had culminated what had been measure 30 years of -- more than 30 years of experience as a union and grassroots organizer with a resumé of accomplishment that is far too broad to mention. but it was critical at winning gains, crucial gains at both the national -- i'm sorry, the local and the national level for workers in the form of negotiating contracts, securing fair wages and insuring gender pay equity. so to bring us greetings and to get us started, please welcome arlene holt-baker. [applause] >> well, good evening to all of you, and i do want to welcome you to the house of labor. i welcome you here on behalf of my partners here at the afl-cio,
president richard trumka, the secretary treasurer liz schuler, our executive counsel and our 11 million be members. we are so very proud to be one of the cosponsors of tonight's symposium along with the economic policy institute. it is only fitting that the symposium is being held in the house of labor as the mobilizing and economic demands of the march can be traced to the iconic african-american labor leader, the late a. phillip randolph, president of the brotherhood of sleeping carporters and vice president of the afl-cio. and his trusted and brilliant coordinator and organizer, the late bay yard rustin. christian, that's how you can within eight weeks have a march -- [laughter] you get some good organizers together. but 50 years ago a. phillip
randolph and the other planners of the march on washington reminded our nation that millions of our citizens, black and white, were unemployed. the flier from the march on washington for jobs and freedom carried this quote, and i quote: discrimination and economic deprivationing rob all people, negro and white, of dignity and self-respect. as long as black workers are disenfranchised, ill-housed and denied education and are economically depressed, the fight of white workers for a decent life will fail. end of quote. today, 50 years since the march on washington, millions of working families of all hue, genders and immigrant status are struggling to find decent jobs and decent wages that can support and sustain themselves and their families. they want an economic model of
shared prosperity for all. fifty years since the march on washington, working families including our veterans still need access to decent and affordable housing. fifty years after the march on washington, working families in our communities still want access to quality public education for all our children. and 50 years ago the march called for a massive work and training program, and today we still need massive investment in our infrastructure. fifty years ago the march called for an increase in the minimum wage, and that is our call today. we think about it -- [applause] 50 years ago on washington we heard the cries of freedom. but today we still hear those cries, sisters and brothers. we hear the cry for freedom to
have a voice at work, freedom from voter suppression, freedom more marriage equality, freedom to come out of the shadows and contribute and live the american dream. and freedom to walk down the streets of america without being profiled. [applause] the march is unfinished and hopefully tonight we will, among many of our nations, have a conversation about what we must do to finish the march toward justice and shared prosperity. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, arlene. it is now my pleasure to
introduce to deliver us some appropriate introductory remarks mr. keith ellison, congressman keith ellison, who represents the 5th district from minnesota in the united states house of representatives. congressman ellison is a member of the house financial services committee and is providing some very diligent, progress i oversight of our nation's financial services and housing industries as well as wall street. he also serves on the house democratic steering and policy committee be, advising the entire democratic caucus on its agenda. and he's also serving as co-chair of the democratic progressive caucus and has worked diligently to make sure progressive values are at the forefront of the national conversation. but that's all kind of biographical stuff. i think to really understand congressman ellison, you just really need to know that he gets it. when so many -- [applause] amen.
when the esteem at which the public holds congress is at an all-time low, when people feel disconnected from their representation, well, any mention of that has to have an exclusion for present company, because representative ellison gets it. he gets that the economy is not working for everyone, he gets why prosperity is not broadly shared, and he gets what goth has a moral im-- what government has a moral imperative to do about it. congressman ellison is a big thinker, someone who is always challenging his staff and others to come up with a way to solve the most complex problems. he doesn't run away from them. a convener of his colleagues and organizations to try and get things done working within the confines of the system and finding creative ways to work outside of it. he is a proposer of legislation willing to take the very big
ideas and to put them through the legislative process. and he is an inspirer, an inspirer to the progressive community that sometimes feels as if our champions are nowhere to be found. so thank you very much for joining us today. i'd like to introduce to you representative keith ellison. [applause] ..
>> and the vast oceans of desperate americans are just clamoring for some sort of answers, that it threatens the very democracy that we hold dear. and we are lurching toward -- rulership of the rich. this is not the vision of the founders. it's certainly not the vision of the people organized the march on washington for jobs and economic freedom, even though it wasn't their vision, it's our responsibility here today to do something about it. do something about it. not here to cry about it, to plan, organize and aspire ourselves and each other to do something about it. all types of crisis we are looking at right now, but i want to give her some good things going on, too.
just, just last week, just last week i had the honor and a privilege of standin in front of the union station building which is a federally owned building, standing with workers making $7.25 an hour, but they are not broke down and they are not been down. are standing strong and demanding that they get paid fair, and they are saying that in america, the richest country in history of the world, you ought to be able to work full-time and feed your families. not too much to ask. not too much to ask. [applause] not too much to ask in the richest country in history of the world. but even before that, last monday i was in milwaukee, and in milwaukee we ha have people o are working for mcdonald's, burger king, ruby tuesday, whole bunch of them. and the theme, yes, was raise minimum wage but it was also wage theft. because some of these folks,
they are not satisfied with paying these folks $7.25 an hour. they want to give them pay on a debit card and then every time they swipe, 1 dollar is gone. these folks are saying, we're not going to take it. we can't buy pampers. we can't buy groceries. we can't buy rent. we can't even live with this. and rather than stand and take it and suffer in silence, we're going to stand up and we're going to do something about it. action is what we need today. you know, let me tell you, this has been coming down the pipe that i think martin luther king and the organizers of the march on washington for jobs and freedom would want us to do. i think a. philip randolph would expect that you and i would stand up here and say that this trans-pacific partnership thing is coming down the line, is a problem. and if it's so good, why won't they let us see if? i'm a member of congress. they won't let me see. i've got a friend named -- i
want to see this thing. they said see if? [laughter] and so, you know, these are things that we've got to fight against. we got a fight against chained cpi. is he stealing from our seniors. this is taking seniors money that they worked hard. we've got to stop people from letting them collect entitlement. this is an earned benefit, working people struggle for. we've got to say, you cannot rob the people of detroit of the pension. they worked hard for these pensions. and let me tell you something, if we stand by what they take the detroit pension they will be taking our pensions. so don't think it will happen to us. if they can set a precedent, they will do it to us again. let me just tell you this. inequality is a scourge on our society. and yes, we're talking about low-wage workers making $7.25 an hour. we've got to do something about it. but there's the other side of
that, the other side of that is that some people are doing pretty good. so between 1979-2007, a period, although less than 20 years, real income rose by 240% for those at the top 1%. it's a shameful thing. it is a moral issue. and we've got to fight back at this. let me tell you, our economy is capable of producing enough good paying jobs for everyone. [applause] our economy could do it. this economy can do it. but we can't do it while we're getting trade deals that are shipping our jobs overseas, that just leaned on us a few months ago for the south korea the other said it will create jobs. here's the latest on that. you know, it's already costing 40,000 american jobs, south korea trade you.
i'm not against trade. american workers can compete with workers around the world. they are investment deals between international corporations. they are not trying to say look, let's forget ways we can by what you've got and you can buy what we've got. they're saying, we want to get a race to the bottom so we can inflate the most unfortunate worker in the world to make stuff, and we will sell it to you all in america and we will keep a big margin, then we'll use the margin, the extra money we get not just by boats and planes and more houses, but to by politicians, which will give us more loopholes and keep down the minimum wage and all kinds of stuff like that. in other words, we are at a moment when the arno allies. there's just us -- there are no allies. many of us are straight, our gay friends say we are allies because we stand for equality for all people. in the civil rights movement some blacks would refer to
whites as allies because they would come down and help fight for civil rights. and so many stand with the women's rights movement, would be considered allies because we are not subject to sextus commission but we stand with her sisters and demand that they get equal pay. but in this fight for america's soul and dignity and economic fairness, there are no allies. we are all in this thing. we've got, because yes, it is absolutely true. african-americans get it in the foreclosure crisis harder but a whole lot of white people lost their houses, too. and yes, it's true that you may see overconcentration of women among low-wage workers, but there's a lot of men getting paid nothing, too. and yes, it's true that the people are losing their pensions may be older people but there's a lot of young people who would like to retire one day. there is no allies here. this is a movement that we all
must embrace, and we've all got to put pressure on. i'm saying we need to in -- to build his nations infrastructure so we can drive over bridges that don't fall into the river applaud mac we need to raise the minimum wage -- [applause] , at least at the $50 now and then we need to index it to inflation, there's a better idea. let's index of executive pay. [laughter] that's what really needs to go. we need to stop these trade deals which ship our jobs overseas and say no to the tpp and we need to shine a light on it. if it's so good, let us to get. and we need to make sure that we protect income security for seniors and we need to fight, fight fight fight for the right to collectively bargain so we can negotiate on the job for fair working conditions and decent pay. let's pass the employment, free choice act. this is something we are not forgot about and we are
dedicated to and will never stop fighting for it. enough for me. let's hear from her excellent panel. thank you for being here today. [applause] >> see what i mean? he gets it. we are proud to have congressman ellison, who since 2012 been a member of the epi board of directors, so we can rightfully claim a little piece of him as welcome along with the progressive movement as well as minnesota's fifth district. we are going to move straight ahead into our first panel of the evening. i would like to invite mr. lange, mr. austin and his hold baker to step on stage and we will get you might met up and i will deliver introduction whether getting ready to begin. arlene, with apologies, you only get one introduction today, okay? all right. are moderated for this panel is arlene holt baker. and join her in this conversation, we have, direct
epi's program on race ethnicity and the economy. which really is epi's initiative to advance policies that enable people of color to fully participate in the american economy, and to benefit equitably from all games that result from prosperity. as the director of this program, the authors reports, overseas reports and policy analyses on the economic condition of people of color figure probably seen that gorgeous mug on all kinds of media outlets, talking softly on issues relating to race and the economy, racial justice. we also have on this panel mr. clarence lange who is an associate professor of african and african-american studies at the university of kansas. his research interests are particularly appropriate for this panel, as they are working
class, black history, african-american social movements, and he is going to working on a volume titled we framing randolph, a reassessment of a. philip randolph legacies to labor and to black freedom. so to start off our symposium with lessons learned, or understand about the forgotten history of the march on washington, i'm not going to turn it over to arlene. >> thank you so much. [applause] we said this evening, again has been referenced by a number of us that historically people often think of the march on washington with the "i have a dream" speech, of dr. martin luther king. but what has been lost in that is the role that labor played, the role that women played, and the role that the working class played in organizing the march. but specifically, clarence, i would like to pose this question to you. i'd like to share with us the
origins of the march on washington prior to 1963, and the role that labor, a. philip randolph and other labor and civil rights leaders played in what was called then the march on washington movement. and as you elaborate on that, i would also like you to elaborate a little bit more on the role that working class people played and a focus on the role that women played. >> you will have to stop me. i'll probably answer that over the course of a couple of questions, but i'll start by saying i think that the immediate origins of the 63 march on washington for jobs and freedom actually begins during the second world war. in 1941, when the united states enters the war against the axis powers, and the u.s. economy which had been mired in this depression, begins to mobilize towards war, what we see are
african-americans nearly -- being continually shut out of world paying jobs in the defense industry. there's also the issue of the ways in which african-americans were marginalized and military and the way, the roles they were able to play in a play. so a. philip randolph, his history that predates this. i'm giving you the short answer, who is by this period of time, i would argue becoming it is not yet become sort of the key black labour leader certainly come but actually a key civil rights activist your keys the president of the brotherhood of cardboard which is the first all black union to negotiate a contract with a major corporation, in this case the pullman company. and randolph and his cohort, they argue that obviously in a war that's fought against fascism, right, against totalitarianism, against notions
of white supremacy, that there has to be some consistency with the goals that are being fought abroad and the practices at home. this is part of what people refer to as the dd campaign, victory against fascism abroad but also a victory against jim crow, racial apartheid in the united states. and so then this develops that something needs to be done. what occurs is that randolph was a brother of the porters, formed a coalition made up of a number of our decisions. the march on washington movement. the ultimatum is this. franklin delano roosevelt is present at the time, that either the president will end discrimination in the armed forces, or the brotherhood of the sleeping car porters and the march on washington will bring the number grows, 5000, 10,000, people the d.c. to effectively expose this contradiction in the
war effort and to make this demand and potentially also also how we would put it, to make things very difficult in terms of business as usual. and make a long story short, roosevelt issued executive order which outlaws discrimination on the basis of race, national origin. not just african-americans but national origin in the defense industry the military as not segregated. that comes later but randolph except this. so in exchange for this executive order, the march is suspended. there's an agency that created this executive order, the federal fair employment practice commission that serves as a watchdog agency to see that this order is carried out. now, what happens, and i'll wrap up, what happened is even though the march is suspended, people get this mixed up sometimes, there are chapters on the march on washington movement that are
formed in cities across the united states. so while the planned march to d.c. is suspended, at the local level, i studied in st. louis were you one of the strongest march on washington units in the nation but other places, chicago, what have you, what happens is that those local agencies, those local communities actually take the fight to a local level. a march on defense plans because of course even with the executive order and this agency that's created, this is the don't just comply. they have to be forced at the local level. that because the origin. and there' there some progress s made. by the end of the war, the march on washington movement is disbanded. so we move forward to the later 1940s, randolph is engaged in similar action around the segregating the military that occurred and administration of harry s. truman. and so many of his contemporaries, his contenders at the time are critical of the fact that no march occurs, but
to say that it failed as some have said in the past, i think sort of mrs. wallace happening at the local level. and the significance of that executive order which is the first of a major intervention by the president -- emancipation proclamation. that's a very important moment. in some moments of the march on washington occurred in 1963 and some respects the fulfillment, a fulfillment of the longer-term goal. i want to talk about sort of the latter part of your question by want to make sure that we move along. so just reminded because i do want to talk about the importance of working class people of labor and particularly working-class women in movement. so if you will permit i will come back to that perhaps. >> yes. we were talking about the history and what happened here, but taking us in 1963 following up on what clarence was discussing about the movement, some historians have portrayed it that the civil rights movement had unmitigated
success. and so as a question to you, does come as a civil rights activist in the achieve the goal at the end of the '60s? >> right. yeah, so there has been i would say, i think an incomplete representation of the civil rights movement. on the one hand, people struggled tremendously. people thought, people died. and we did have tremendous success. because of the 1963 march on washington for jobs if it. we did get the voting rights act and the civil rights act, in part because of the pressure of the 1963 march on washington. so that was a tremendous success. unfortunately, however, i feel that some historians have focused just on the success and have kind of ignored everything else. but i feel that if you really
want to respect the march and the struggle on the people who fought and died, we have to recognize everything that they hoped to achieve. so if you just look at the demands of the march, there were at least four dozen demands that we didn't issue. and those are decent housing. we still have problems there. adequate and integrated education. our schools are still quite segregated, and their increasing in, increasing segregated. we still do not have full employment. that was one of the key demands that motivated a. philip randolph, the director of the march your and the demand for a living wage, a minimum wage that can lift a family out of poverty. we still, we are still fighting for that. today, the minimum wage is less than what it was in 1963.
there is no reason for this country to have a minimum wage that in real dollars is less than what is in 1963. it's about $2, a little more than $2 less than what it was in 1968. we've had a strong and growing economy. workers are much more productive today than they were in the past him and yet our minimum wage is lower than what it was in the 1960s. so that the real problem. and you can even look the martin luther king, jr. now, martin luther king, a tremendous and powerful figure, you know, what we're going to do, talking about a. philip randolph, is really recognizing the other leaders. and really in the '40s as professor lange was saying, a. philip randolph was the leader. after his success of getting fresh and fdr to do the
executive order, he was the man. he was conflict important to remember that history. but even martin luther king, what was he doing when he died? he was fighting for sanitation workers, and he was organizing the movement. so it was clear that he didn't think he was finished. and neither i would say if you look at the demands of the march, it's clear that there are many things that they were hoping for that we have yet to achieve. >> cannot jump on that? >> go ahead. then i'll ask you a follow-up. >> i was going to say, oftentimes when people talk about king's activities in 1960, and support for the sanitation workers strike and the poor people's campaign, that he was mobilize at the time, i think oftentimes people see that as a new development in the movement, and the point is that, in fact, we can see those kind of politics were shot through the
movement even from the beginning. so we think, for example, about the montgomery bus boycott, which for better or for worse, is viewed as the beginning of the modern civil rights movement. well, that boycott is built on black domestics, right? black working-class women who rode the buses in montgomery more than any other group in that city. any other group so without them it would not have been a successful montgomery bus boycott. so that's there. king had interaction with the uaw, united auto workers. there are other or positions that randolph himself great, the negro labor council. they spearhead in 63, of the 63 marc63march which was geared tos fair and full employment. your presence speaks to one of the aims of that particular organization that the labor movement and his leadership and the structure should be representative of working people in the united states. these things continued all
through the movement, and i really want to emphasize this point, that i think we can see this even more clearly if we move beyond the national organization, and if we look at the local, the local organizing that occurred. so you will see chapters of the national association for the advancement of colored people, naacp, which oftentimes we think of as kind of a stage organization, perhaps there is a necessary organization, particularly at this moment but you will see that you have trade unionists wh were leaving local chapter of the naacp. the city that i studied as an individual named ernest calloway for example, was involved in the teamsters union which is a major progressive political force in that city, right? jimmy hoffa notwithstanding. but he's got to get it, right? but also leading the local chapter of the naacp. you see that in a number of different cities. the role of black working-class women who are domestic, who are
laundress is. you have janitors. you have all walks of life, and particularly begin with a look at the local level, certainly the clergy, certainly people who we might consider coming from the stables, black middle-class are certainly there, and their roles, but the basis of this movement, sorting but i'm looking at, the 30 some 70 some is working-class every day people, inside as well as outside of the labor movement. even in cases where they were not able to organize through the mainstream labor movement, right, they created their own organizations premised on a working-class agenda, a fair full employment, community colleges, public schools, health care, on down the line. so the march on washington in 1963, again, is a moment that brings together that sort of represents this grassroots working-class base. i want to make i -- make sure i
said that. >> i was going to bring you back to the role, especially other womewomen and they think i've addressed that. certain when you do think about the sanitation workers and you look at that history, it was the women, the role that they played even then in supporting and making sure that that strike continued. could you come since i ask you to speak about women, we talked about and generally, but is there a reticular woman, or women, that you could list the role that they played in the movement? some come to mind for me, that certainly those who were part of the march in washington movement that were working-class women, and a part of civil rights organization. >> i think in the literature we are learning more of the names. so the first person comes to my mind is ella baker, who played a significant role in creating
what i think is the most important organization of that period, which is the student nonviolent coordinating committee. all these organizations were important in my view, sncc as it was called was those important that organization really grew out of her efforts to make sure that young people had a space to organize, to make mistakes and, i mean, they essentially came the storm troopers of the movement. able to the mississippi delta were other organizations were afraid to go. certainly her. fannie lou hamer after the mississippi delta, sharecropping family, ma who, by her own account, by report went to school only one day, created, in her entire life. i would are used by one of the most eloquent spokespersons for the aims of the movement. a speech that she gave at the democratic national convention in 1964, you can you do it. if you have not heard it, here it. because it is the most eloquent statement that i have heard,
courageous woman and is deathly her paper think if we move from a national level to the local level, the list grows and grows. one of, i was the one of the most exciting things about being sort of doing this history, being involved in a scholarly production of literacy about the civil rights movement is about a lot of really good stuff that is coming out that's talked about his local activists, were anonymous for the most part but without them he would not affect a national movement. and i think it was to go back to the point where we are today, clearly we are at a point where we have to begin to think in a very, very vocal terms, that we are at a situation i would say comparable to where where where the action will be at the state level. so whether you're in kansas and you know, kansas is i would argue the laboratory for some of the worst stuff that's happening, but that's what
happens. as has been stated by the governor of their state. we're going to follow tech sector i hope i have a job when i get back. i should be fine. spent can i just jump in? i think talking about the role of women and the march on washington movement, there's a new book by william jones titled the march on washington, that is released today a dozen excellent job about talking about women in the march in washington movement. and one woman that he highlights works with a. philip randolph around trying to make the fair and employment practices committee permanent was pauli murray. and she worked with a. philip randolph which is also one of the pioneers in civil disobedience. in 1940 she was arrested on a bus for refusing to give up her seat. we know that's an important
action in civil rights history but she was one of the pioneers, and she was also a part of the workers defense league. she has a long history, but she's one of the women that william jones mention in his book. >> from a historical perspective we must recognize that there were, there was not one woman that had a speaking role at the 1963 march on washington. there was one that had a role of introducing other women, but not any woman that had a speaking role. but i think we have come a far cry from that. today. and i would like, algernon, i'll ask you, congressman spoke to the need for coalition but we all have spoke about need for coalition. we are starting to see now in the last two years, i would say a number of marches if you will, workers taking to the streets around the rights to be able to
bargain. but immigrants taking to the streets for need for comprehensive immigration reform. those were taken to the streets, a push for marriage equality. and recently, certainly we've seen young people, the parents and the community take to the streets around trayvon martin. my question to you is, is there an opportunity to leak these issues -- to link these issues together? and do we have what i would call not just a moment around issues, but is there an opportunity to build a movement? >> that's a really tough question. spent that's why i gave it to you last night. >> i would actually go back to congressman ellison's point where he said that there are no allies. and really, the issue of the economic crisis that we are facing is really broad-based. and it really links, it's the
thread that weaves through all of the issues that you mentioned. so one of the groups that are most exploited in the labor market today are the undocumented immigrant population, because they are undocumented. so addressing their needs from a labor perspective is really important. young people, again, another group that is suffering tremendously, kevin the weak economy, -- given the weak economy. so i think very broadly we are in a serious economic crisis that affects groups across the line. the incarcerated and the ex-offender population have again, a very difficult time finding work within this economy. and we really need i think the spirit of the march on washington, you know, was that,
look, we need a job. we need to provide a job for everyone who wants to work. and i think people across all demographic groups are facing a struggle today, about how can we find a job, given this economy. but also once we have full employment, that brings benefits across the board. you know, when you have a tight labor market, wages grew up in some of the concentration of income and wealth that congressman ellison talked about, can be reversed by having a full employment economy. >> let me ask you, class, when you think about these kind of following up from what algernon has laid out, when you think about the activity that you see in communities today, and you
were talking about the need for a local movement, to start locally and we can build it nationally, what do you believe were some of the sparks that are out there that give you hope that we could really build a movement that continues the march and ultimately finishes at? >> i'll start with the fact that was mentioned earlier about the food service workers. i'm seeing in my local community and the metropolitan area where i live in lawrence, kansas, but this is part of the kansas city metro area, there's a lot of activity that is beginning to percolate on that. so i see people moving in that direction. i think, if we think about sort of the aftermath of the recent supreme court ruling on the voting rights act, i think that creates, it's a crisis but also creates possibly cannot possibly come it creates an opportunity i think for people to go back to the woodshed to organize.
editing part of the organization has to be, obviously, around restoring the vote, right, protecting that, fighting back against these voter id laws. out as part of that, as part of that, in taking back the vote, the importance of taking the boat back, which is why there's been an attempt to shrink the elective and is states have a right for collective bargaining says to be part of the gym as well. that's the reason why we need to take back the vote is because we know that, for example, is rising american electorate that people speak the people of color, women, they make up a very dynamic segment of the labor movement. we think about service workers and the like. so these things i would argue are very much interconnected. so the right to vote, collectively, to collectively bargain. and, in fact, there's some folks are making the argument that given the attacks recently that occurred on the national labor
relations board, that perhaps one of the agendas might be making the right to vote, amending local state level civil rights laws to include the right to vote as well. how that will play out we will see. that's a political question, but i think that these things are certainly interrelated to i would argue that the biggest key now, i would argue, is this issue of mass incarceration. i mentioned this at the luncheon. because, in fact, i would argue you don't have a trayvon martin situation without the phenomena of mass incarceration, which brought in its wake of racial profiling and this reconstruction of black criminalization. and so i think we have our plate full and we have to find ways where we are talk about race, we're talking about class and when we talk about class we're talking gender and race. because indeed, if we think, for example, the issue of a woman's right to choose, i'll just go there, that's an issue that has
to deal with race and it's certainly an issue that has to do with class in terms of the decision people make about their bodies and what have you. and so it's not an issue of race here, class there, gender there, sexuality over there. it's that these things are oftentimes colliding perhaps, but i would say just as often intersecting and find those moments where we can see these things come together. the food service workers are one, the vote i think they're much critical to debt. and also if i might add very, very quickly, this issue, i think everyone with your black or white, we all have an issue. we all have an interest state, and really sort of fighting back against this kind of sort of sanctioning of arbitrary violence. because i would argue that as an african-american historian, black people have historically been a laboratory language, right, things for better or for worse work out that affect the
rest of the population gets we think about the ability of people to shoot at someone who is mining his own business and walk away with an acquittal, let's not think that doesn't have, for example, the possibility of coming back to the people who are organizing or collective bargaining rights, let's not forget that the labor movement in the united states was one of the most violent periods in the world. those struggles that took place in the 19th century, and so we allow this kind of tragedy occurred and that becomes the president, that's nothing to say that when people organize for the right to unionize, for collective bargaining, that those forms of violence can that those forms of violence won't be visited on them as well. >> thank you. [applause] >> algernon, at ebi you think a lot about the power and connecting it to policy. but again think about the moment that we are in and the
opportunity to address the concerns of so many that are crying for freedom, whether it's the women in texas and virginia, the workers in wisconsin lately certainly in michigan. how are you thinking about, how do we have a narrative that links up the justice peace to economics? >> again, you're getting me all the easy questions. [laughter] yeah, that's a really tough question. and i think, again, we have to go back to the broad vision that a. philip randolph had. you know, and for him, you know, the issue of, i mean come it was interconnected, right? the issue of the exclusion of black workers from defense industry was both a racial
justice issue and and economic justice issue. you couldn't separate them. and i think many of, as i said before, many of the struggles that we are facing today are connected to the economic inequality that we are seeing. are connected to the disempowerment of the american public, in many ways. i mean, again, to go all of off-topic, off the central topic, i mean with president obama's recent attempt to get gun control legislation. we had the majority of the public in support of some type of reform, and yet it doesn't pass. and that's unfortunately connected to again something that congressman ellison talked about, the influence of money and lobbyists in politics.
so we have a real crisis in our democracy right now. and you know, one of the important sort of forces is labor. unfortunately that's why labor is under attack, right? so we really need to do more to broaden a host of organizations. i mean, traditional civil rights organizations, but it's also crucial that we figure out how to strengthen and expand labor. because as the march on washington movement showed, many other progressive movements are connected to the labor movement. so, so that's part of the struggle. we need to build movements of aggressors, and particularly i would say the labor movement, because the crisis that's being shown a is the economic crisis,
but also a lot of the civil rights struggles are connected to the labor struggle in to the growing economic inequality that we're seeing in the country today. >> this question i'm going to post to the both of you. if you had, it could be several, but if you had one economic policy that you would propose that would give an opportunity to young people of color so that they could have hoped for the economic future, what would that be? >> you go first. [laughter] >> oh, i have to choose only one. >> i could give you to spin know, but i was going to go back to the full employment, right? because you know, i think the outlook of young people today would be so distant if they knew
that when they finished high school or finished college they could get a good job. you know, added think if you had asked them what they wanted, i think that would be certainly if not number one, certainly in the top three of their concerns. you know, and, unfortunately, if you're looking at young people of color, young african-americans and latinos in particular, when they are faced with quite high levels of unemployment, that increases the likelihood that they may get involved or entangled with the criminal justice system. so making sure that those young people have a job will have positive effects in a multitude of ways. >> i agree completely. [laughter] it's so easy for me to agree. i think there in full employment
us solve a lot of problems to rethink a lot of people felt our prison. these are nonviolent drug offenses of people trying to patch together a living through means that sometimes are legal and other times aren't. employment is the key. >> i would have to agree with that. if we have a future of employment. >> and living wages and union protections. >> i was going to say that have that right avoid to work, which would help guarantee. i think we're probably running out of time, but this is a question i would like to pose to the two of you. just in looking historically, you start talking about a. philip randolph, and i'm reminded that a. philip randolph in fact was able to meet with five presidents. roosevelt, truman, eisenhower,
johnson and, kennedy and johnson. and so, i ask the two of you, if a. philip randolph were alive today, and you were able to meet with president barack obama, what do you think that confrontation would be like? [laughter] >> i'll let you go first. [laughter] >> that's fair. i mean, i think first of all, you know, we would have to recognize if a. philip randolph were meeting with president obama, it wouldn't be because he won't have coffee and conversation. when he met with u.s. presidents, he was coming to ask and demand something. so we have to be cognizant of that. and so i would imagine randolf saying something, you know, you know, the only time the u.s. presidency has been an effective
ally of people who are struggling for whatever goal they are struggling for is when there was some pressure. and so, first they would congratulate him. so i'm going to do you a favor common and i'm going to make it easy for you to help shepherd to an american jobs act. and so tomorrow, don't be surprised when you see me at a press conference announcing that we are going to stage -- [laughter] a march on washington unless there's some executive action taken. and good day to you, sir. you know. [laughter] applaud the. >> -- [applause] >> and say hello to michelle. [laughter] >> i agree completely. i mean, he would clearly, you know, for him, you know, he
said, look, in 1963 iec 69 black and white people unemployed and millions more in poverty. today, there are 12 million people of all races unemployed and millions more in poverty. he would think there's a lot of work to be done. and like professor lang says, he recognizes that you have to put pressure on the administration to get motion. but i think he would not necessarily focus stood on obama. i mean it's congress, right? obama propose the american jobs act, that there was tremendous opposition in congress. so i think he would mobilize to really put pressure to lift up the issues job and to try to get congress people to pay attention to working people. >> thank you. and i guess been thinking about
that, what would president obama say to him? make me do this. i think we don't have very much time to we want to have an opportunity with one or two questions, but i don't know if we have that time yet, christian. but he didn't have a second or at least a minute or two, we're going to have some very fortunate person be able to pose a question to our panelists. >> [inaudible] >> okay, i will. no burning questions? not comments, questions. young man here spent i wanted to ask, do you think -- [inaudible]
>> repeat the question, please. >> he was asking if we thought the federal government was still capable of moving forward in terms of good policy, and us being able to mobilize in a way to make it happen. i think that was the question. >> good question. obviously, we're in very different times than randolf is to clearly, the government is dysfunctional. i designed i think in some respects. so really i think, i think the key right now is that i don't know that the federal government at this point in history, at this moment is the vehicle for the kind of changes that we might be envisioning and imagining. i really do come back to the fact that we're back to where people were in montgomery in 1955 were we have to figure out come you to fight where you stand, and whether that is in kansas, whether that's in new york state or michigan or what have you. i think we have to begin to build and dig where we stand.
that's the best i can do. >> yeah, i agree. you know, right now we have a highly dysfunctional democracy, but we still as individuals, as voters, we still do have power. i think the issue is a matter of mobilizing to put pressure on the places where our democracy is stuck. so i think there needs to be more organizing, more consciousness raising to address the problems that make it difficult for our democracy to function properly. but i think it's possible, but yes, it's quite difficult. >> it was impossible without first for employment laws in various states, where people were able to get them past. and i think that's the key. >> i think this is going to wrap
up our panel. and i would just say thank you so much to professor lang, thank you so much for being a part of this. i think it's been a rich discussion. it's a discussion that must continue among all of us. we understand that the march is not finished. there is still so much work for us to do, if we're going to ultimately have the kind of freedom and shared prosperity for all of america. let us commit ourselves to finishing the march. thank you so much. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much, arlene and clarence and algernon, as they exit i would like to invite the panelists and moderators for our
second panel addressing the current economic crisis facing people of color to please join us on the stage where we will get you a microphone. and as you saw from the first panel, there is, indeed, much of that went into the march on washington, and much of the march was about that is often misremembered. and it does a disservice to people who made contributions that will never be given their just due in mainstream history textbooks, but thankfully we've got researchers and analysts who will not let us forget so that we can derive, a way to do with our modern challenge to the work that has been done by people in the past. let me introduce our second panel. we are privileged to have addressing this topic, the current economic crisis facing people of color, a distinguished panel of people representing,
well, -- are moderate is the executive director of the national congress of american indians. she herself is a number of -- and has been to washington for a little while now. she worked in the clinton administration and the department of housing and urban development as deputy assistant secretary for native american programs. she has extensive experience on lots of national boards, and i fear as a trusted and valued partner in the progressive fight for making sure that the economy works well for everybody and that no one is forgotten it was so thankful she joins as moderator for this panel. we have marc lopez was to my far left who is the newly installed as of last thursday director of the pew hispanic center. so we can give mark a public round of applause. [applause] marks extensive research studies
the attitudes and opinions of latinos and their views of identity, and political engagement. and market overseas and directs the queues annual national survey of latinos which i know is incredibly valuable tool for all of us as we try to incorporate the latino community into a lot of our work. next to marc is mr. willen spriggs was the chief economist here at the afl-cio, and bill comes to the afl-cio after a stint in the department of labor as the assistant secretary in the office of policy. bill is also a professor in and a former chair of the department of economics at howard university. bill, welcome. >> thank you. >> next the bill is the executive director of the national coalition for asian and pacific american community
development. lisa has led to their efforts to be a voice for the community development needs of the low income asian american and pacific islander communities since 2000. before that lisa was the committee liaison for the white house initiative on asian americans and pacific islanders. and they have an outstanding report on low income asian americans and pacific islanders, which hopefully you saw at a literature table when you came in. and then -- oh, that's everybody. [laughter] so, without further ado i'm going to turn it over to jacqueline to get this second panel started off right. thank you. >> thank you so much. [applause] so as you said, our panel is about unfinished -- there isn't anybody in this room, or anybody on this panel who probably could recite the data, demographic of
the communities that you come from, the impact of its current economic crisis to your community. and certainly the need for economic justice from the communities that we move forward. so i wanted to be able to make sure that at this bill that we talked not only about what the economic crisis really is within our community, but really about how we march forward. that the focus and the message to really be about moving forward. and, in fact, i want to just reflect, nina, about 16 days after the march that we are all here to talk about, bobby kennedy actually came to national congress of american indians, a little-known fact probably in this room, that's why want to use this moment to tell it to you, and he made a statement that he said he noted the irony that native people have been denied equal opportunity in the greatest free country of the world. and then he quoted chief joseph
who said committed statement in 1877, and he said, whenever the white man treats the indian as he treats his own kind, then we will have no more wars. and actually think that statement, although we probably would not use the same words today, is the thought behind it is reality. the harsh reality that from access to equal education for financial services to affordable housing, all of those things create real barriers to our economic abilities of our communities today. so today, we're going to be joined by the right panel with the right folks with bill spriggs and mark lopez and lisa, we're going to have that conversation. so lisa, i want to start with you. and i want to present it in a way because i'm hoping what we get out of this is that we're all thinking about messaging, moving forward.
messaging moving forward. and so i want to say, if they were contacted by journalists and a journalist said, how would you describe the current crisis for our collective community, what would that look like and what would you say? >> always an easy question. well, i've actually been thinking about this a lot because as our introduce her said we have this report coming out. so let me see if i can take a stab at it. first of all i think i would frame it as a broader economic justice framework, and the conversation there's a moment for i think the conversation about the intersection between race and class at the one of the think that's very interesting is the number of immigrants. that are here in this country today who were not here in as many numbers in the '60s, or even before in the '40s. and so i think i would frame it in terms of an opportunity for a
common cause and the asian americans and pacific islanders will not be used as a wedge community because i think that oftentimes when it comes to framing a lot of issues related to income inequality, asian americans and pacific islanders are lumped all together as asian slashed other people talk about this all the time. and we track with white or we're doing better than whites. and that's the narrative over and over and over again, that national capacity focus on low income asian americans and pacific islanders and those were in poverty and those who are the most economically vulnerable. we really tried to flip the script and say not necessarily in comparison to it's not this race to the bottom, but really i think there's a broader common cause and that all people of color, and all of society really need to focus on economic inequalities that are impacting all of us. so i think that would be my
broader claim because i would assume that if you're talking to me, they are probably thinking i'm going to talk about the market potential of the immigrant commuting or something like that. and i would want to kind of poker that a little bit because that stereotype of the model minority i think it's still very present. and i get that sort of assumption when i talked to a lot of reporters. and so immediately i think that might have, talking to reporters is break it down fast and quick and really talk about the 2 million, i talked often about the 2 million asian americans and pacific islanders were living under the poverty level. and the fact that that popular has grown by 40% in the wake of the economic crisis, and i talk about the fact that as a committee including all the rich wealthy asian american founders of yahoo!, et cetera come in our community, we talk about the fact that as an asian american and pacific islander community we've lost 50% of her wealth.
so i think those are all things that all of us in the community should be concerned about and should feel that we have common cause with other communities of color. .. >> broadly speaking, there's a lot of impacts on the latino community. after several years of gains, specially unemployment, latinos closing the gap with
non-latinos, at least through 2006. there's another side of the story which is, when you talk to latinos, ask them questions about the future, what they see about the future, there's a lot of optimism amongst hispanics on their own personal economic futures, despite how bad they are now, that things will get better and things can be better for their children in the future. there's interesting things, as you mentioned, looking forward, what to do. so far, the last few years, particularly, after the recession, there's been a surge in college enrollments of young latinos going to college, and his panic adults say education is a very important issue to them. when you ask latinos, what do you need to be successful in life? many many stay it's a college degree. looking forward, i think that we see latino adults believe that the future will be better for their children, but believe as well it's important to have a college education to be successful. looking forward, i think there's a lot of optimism and potential in the latino community, but
that story's still written. we are not dope yet. there's a lot still to be done. there's still disparities to be addressed and to be studied and explored, but nonetheless, we see in our surveys a sense of optimism about the future, particularly around the importance of the education. >> okay, great. so, you know, again, going back to the story that we're messaging, but i really think that not only do we take a snapshot at, like, what is it like right now, but it's important for us to figure out what policies, what were the impacts and why did we get here? phil, the tough question. what were the situation or the circumstances that actually led, you know, america of the free, to be able to become to this place right now that we're at? what do you -- do you have any thoughts to share about that? >> well, we've had a couple policy changes in terms of the seat change. how do we do policy? what do we do policy for? right after the great depression, everyone was cons
vinceed it was the worst thing that could have happened. after world war ii and saw employment go up because of the war, everyone was afraid that after the war and the industrial power that had to be brought to forge to win the war that we'd go straight back to depression, so congress had a debate in 1945 and passed an act in 1946 to make it the policy of the united states government to seek employment. now, in 1945, it was supposed to be full employment. they actually, in 1945, talked about guaranteeing that an american had a right to a job. by 1946 -- but we're not going to guarantee a job, but definitely, the policy is employment, and, over time, we moved until, in 1976, and facing more unemployment yet again, we have congressional black caucus,
congressman hawkins team with senator humphries from minnesota, a debate on full employment, and then you see there's full employment, price stability, fair trade, balanced government, and, i mean, we added different policy tools, and employment stopped being the center focus. in fact, today, if you look back at 1963 in a complaint about unemployment, they were very upset because the unemployment rate was 6%. this is horrible. the world's going to end. the march was about full employment with this reference back to a view that even 6% is not tollerable, and, today, of course, this is declared adds victory. part is discussion, central to what people have to have, access to a gorks, we have congress and
president debating deficits, and, oh, the world is going to end because of the deficit. they are not debating the world will end because of the lack of employment despite the fact that for young people in the united states, those under 24, this is thee worst labor market in the history of the whole united states. there's never been in any period, more difficulty for people who are young, black, white, yellow, anything, to get a job. typically we finish with high school graduation, and typically, 18 to 19-year-olds, economic history, somewhere 58% or 55% would be employed. they are suffering employee 40% and have been suffering below 40% for our four years. 40% of the 18 to 19-year-olds -- that's not sustainable for the country. it's not much better as we look
at those who will add to the population finishing college and finishing community college. they are still suffering from record low employment opportunities back to the 1960s when women were entering the labor force in that age group, so the fact that we don't have a national conversation about this, the fact that the media doesn't beat up on congress and on the president and tell them, shame on you, that you're debating about the federal deficit 40 years from now. this is what they are arguing about. what will the deficit look like in 2050? okay. today, the deficit is for young people to have a job. today, the deficit is that we don't have public infrastructure that works. today, the deficit is we are still down on public employment, and, again, that change in
conversation. national defense education act passed after sputnik was launched. the response in less than a year was for the federal government to step in and promote adding enough teachers to keep the baby boomers from having super crowded classrooms. we watched over 300,000 teachers in the downturn are congress or the president arguing where do we get the 300,000 teachers in order to keep classroom sizes the same for this generation. no. they argue about how much to raise the interest rate to charge the students to get a degree in the first place. this misplaced conversation, this misplaced priority, that's the problem that we're facing right now, and in 1963, i think we were -- they -- they would be astounded we let the unemployment rate get to this level and the conversation about the need for employment and the need for investment in our young people and the need for investment in our infrastructure gets so lost because we worry
about 2015 and whether rich people pay taxes and act like adults and pay the tax rates of those in 1963. act like adults and saying that as an american citizen for the government. [applause] >> thank you, thank you. so, mark, you can come to the conversation that bill put on the table, and, of course, coming to the conversation, you need to bring suggestions, and bill did a great job laying it out. what are your suggestions? >> well, i think that looking forward to the next few decades, particularly for the latino community, it's an importance of education and preparing people for the job market seen in latinos, how important it is, but looking at what is happening in terms of enrollment trends and completion of high school among latinos.
there's been improvements so i think the future for latinos could be bright, but it depends on many different things. about what to do? hard for me to make a recommendation partly because of the pugh research center being nonpartisan and nonadvocacy, but, certainly, many latinos point to the value of a college education and the need to get that college education. how that happens, there's a number of ways it happens, everything from loans to students to help them get to school, could be offering or providing more opportunity to get to college by building more colleges and universities. there's a number of different ways this could happen, but for latinos, certainly, education is an important part of that future story. >> lisa? >> i think that, you know, i feel like representing one of the organizations here that is an institution, you and i, right, national organizations, i really feel like the
infrastructure and organizational infrastructure we have now representing colored people at the national level and the number of economists and researchers and technological tools that we have are very inspired by the first panel in terms of the history lesson of, you know, the march on washington 50 # years and even starting in the 40s, and the touch point there is when my parents and grandmothers were in camps, and under executive order, and i talk about executive order, the japanese-americans, and so, i mean, that history lesson is important, and i feel like there's an -- i struggle today knowing my history, but still learning more and more at every moment, but, you know, with the large number of imgrants or newer immigrants and refugees who come to the country who still have -- i mean, i wish i could download this american history into everyone's brain
somehow. it's been put in the water, somehow, it would be great. i think that would be so much -- it's so important; right? to be able to figure out how institutions really are able to move forward, like, really knowing our histories, and so i think that in terms of the infrastructure, i was prepared for the question in 50 years -- >> getting there. >> okay. [laughter] >> i'm getting there. >> but i really feel like there's not this sense of a collective cause, of this, you know, sort of a people's movement, and i think that it's much more complicated today because there's wealthier asians, african-americans, latinos in positions of power whether it's the corporate sector or in government, ect., and so this sort of consciousness and identity as a people with a common cause, whether it's multiracial, whether it's by class, race is still very important. it's not not important, but figuring out what that frame is that we can all really, like, you know, get behind i think has
been a challenge, you know? i think, you know, that's also part of the solution, trying to figure out, you know, what sorts of ways in which we come together, coalitions because we have a lot more power, even though things are a lot worse, we have a lot more power and more access than we ever did before too, so then what is -- what is that there? there's something there. >> that's what motivated me, like, bill, you know, pleaded to have the conversation. i just felt like he's absolutely right. we need to have this conversation, but your statement, which was if we think about, you know, reflecting on this, and we want to reflect on it 50 years from now, changes would we have made? what policy recommendations would we have made? where do we take the leap toward so we're not cycling back to the same conversation over and over again, so, bill, you want to give us some ideas of what you'd put on the table? >> yeah, and i think the question is exactly right.
i mean, we're still too defensive. we wanted to declare victory from 1963 # # and still defend that rather than take on the challenge ourselves and say, okay, that was good, it was done, what is the logical step, and there's a number of things we should have learned and the outcome of the march was the establishment of the equal employment commission as we heard from the opening panel, it was not enough. we know that we have not made many advances. i mean, what people need to think about and the trayvon martin case is understand what the jury said about young black men. once you really understand what they say about young black men, do you really have to ask, why do young black men have a hard time getting a job? >> uh-huh. [applause] so, and the african-american
community, yes, education is important, but we understand there's a lot more going on than whether we educate it or not, and since 1963 and the civil rights act, black educational achievement has gone through the roof. it's a level of education that they couldn't even have dreamed about in 1963, and yet our unemployment rate is worse, our poverty rate is about the same, so that is not -- it's necessary, but it clearly is not the only solution, and so we have to figure out ways to improve on that. we have the anomaly in the asian-american community that actually -- they have an inverse relationship with their unemployment rate versus whites, so they think they'll do well when they have less education, but the moment they get a college degree, the up employment rate jumps for young asian-americans, goes in the opposite direction, and they have the longest duration of unemployment, even longer than african-americans, but it's both for highly educated
asian-americans and less educated asian-americans. it's much more complicated than just skills. >> we've seen a lot of gaps. >> yes. >> if the gaps are not addressed, and future policies go forward, they just create a greater divide. >> yes, and so we have to be far more effective in what we do with unemployment, but we have to be committed to the public sector and understand this downturn we just had. we insured wall street. we said wall street can want fail. there's banks too big to fail. this downturn was the biggest decline in revenue for state and local government ever, and it was prolonged. the length and depth of it resulted in lower public employment and there's no clear path that it will come back. yet, we know we still need teachers, police o