tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 10, 2014 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
>> at the aipac policy conference. and even today there's really no other lobbying group that gets this kind of deferents and attention -- deference and attention here in washington. fourth, although discourse is more open now, it is still, i think, extremely risky for young, ambitious foreign policy wannabes to question key elements of u.s. middle east policy and especially the special relationship. you can if you have tenure at a
university, if you don't have your heart set on working in the u.s. government or if you're retired. [laughter] but it's hard to find people inside the foreign policy establishment who are willing to say what they think on this issue out loud. just look at how chuck hagel and samantha power had to contort themselves during their confirmation hearings, and you see the lob by's continued -- lob by's continued influence. and please don't forget we're still a long way from a deal with iran or a two-state solution, and the lobby will be working 24/7 to make sure that the united states doesn't do anything israel doesn't want. in short, reports of the lobby's demise have been greatly exaggerated, and given that fact, what do i think we ought to do about it? i'll just give you, i hi, four basic lessons here. lesson number one, it's just politics, stupid. first lesson i would emphasize is this is all about politics. israel lobby is powerful because
it has all the features that make an interest group powerful. and it uses all the tools available in a democracy, direct lobbying, financial contributions, grass root organizing, pressure on the media, etc. there is nothing magical, nothing conspiratorial about this. they're also influential because they haven't faced strong and well organized opposition. and if they are facing greater head headwinds today, say on iran, it's because others are starting to play that political game more effectively. lesson number two, it's going to get worse before it gets better. the lob by's main goal is protecting the special relationship, and that's going to be harder to do as israel moves rightward and as it becomes obvious there is not going to be a two-state solution. pressure to give the palestinians political rights is going to grow. one person, one vote is easy for
americans to understand, and if you saw the on the poll by shuckly telhami, that's what americans overwhelmingly favor if they believe a two-state solution is no longer possible. then they favor one-state democracy. getting the united states to back a state that privileges one ethnic or religious group over others is going to be an increasingly hard sell over time. and to try and make that sell, groups like aipac are going to have to do even more to try and influence discourse, to try and discredit critics. but in my estimation, the more strident and heavy-handed their tactics are, the more resentment it will sow, and the more people will be turned off over time. lesson number three, be realistic and build a big tent. reversing politics -- policies that have been in place for decades does not happen overnight, and you don't do it by writing a single article or a single book. what one needs is a big tent for people who want a normal
relationship with israel and a middle east policy that conforms to a broad conception of the american national interest. that doesn't mean that everybody in this room has to agree on everything. the israel lobby is a loose coalition united by a couple of shared goals, and we should take a page from their playbook while making sure that our ranks are not filled with those who sow hatred or spread discredited conspiracy theories. lastly, if we were to write the book today, how might it be different? well, it would have to be a lot longer. [laughter] because a lot of new information has come to light since 2007, and you could even argue that the entire obama administration is a case study of the lobby's continued influence. so, you know, we'd have to do volume two, and it would have to be just as long as the first edition was. but to be perfectly honest, i don't think john or i would change our central arguments at all, because events since
2006-2007 have vindicated almost all of what we wrote. to repeat, we wrote the book to encourage a more open discussion of these issues, because we thought a more open debate would bring a lot of additional truths to light and would be better for everybody in the end. now, i think that's precisely what has happened, though again we do not take all the credit for it. i just want to close by thanking those of you who have worked for many years, long before we got into this, to counter the lobby's arguments ands hasten the day -- and hasten the day when the american relationship with israel is guided primarily by strategic interests and moral principles and not by domestic politics. when that day arrives, it's going to be better for us, but also better for israel and also for its neighbors as well. thank you very much. [applause]
>> next we have -- sorry. next we have dr. jeffrey -- [inaudible] director of the military history center at the university of north texas and a professor of history at the university, and professor -- he was formerly professor of strategic studies at the u.s. naval war college. >> thank you. well, the book, "quick sand," it treats a lot of themes, imperialism, wars, terrorism, oil. but as regards to the u.s./israeli relationship, i charted the process using u.s. and british archives through which we becamen -- became engaged and allied with israel. the book was published in 2010. well, in the beginning there was woodrow wilson. he ascented to the ball fordeclaration under political pressure from supreme court justice louis brandeis who was the american-born son of czech
jews and president of the committee for zionist affairs. wilson initially opposed the declaration because it contravened his own 14 points, particularly his emphasis on national self-determination. and wilson, of course, had sent a commission roverring around the middle east which surveyed 260 communities in palestine, none of which wanted jewish settlers or european powers defining their affairs. today wanted to become an american mandate because they rather naively said the u.s. would never let anybody else run our affairs. they would insist on majority rule. but louis brandeis showed wilson that she'd gain politically by -- he'd gain politically by supporting a jewish state. between 1900 and 1914, 100,000 european-jewish immigrants had settled in compact pockets in crucial cities like new york, chicago, st. louis, cleveland, cincinnati. and anyone who wanted to dominate the electoral college needed these places.
as the second world war wound down, fdr struggled with the question of palestine. the oppression of the 1930s and then the war and its aftermath had unleashed a flood of, first, jewish settlers, then refugees and displaced persons, increasing the jewish population of palestine from a very small amount to 30% of the total by 1945. now, fdr didn't worry about palestine all that much was he had -- because he had much bigger things to to worry about at the time. but he worried about palestine because the king of saudi arabia worried about palestine, and fdr was planning to make the kingdom america's strategic oil reserve after the war. and he met with the king on the uss quincy in great bear lake in the suez canal as he was returning from yalta, and one of the things fdr said afterwards is i can't understand why he keeps going back to the subject of palestine. at the same time, fdr was reminded by the zionist review
that tilting toward the palestinians to appease saudis would be political suicide in america. the zionist review wrote: new york is entitled to 47 electoral votes while only 266 are necessary to elect a president. whether the state of new york dose to one party or the other by relatively few votes in a tightly-contested race will make the difference of 94 votes in the electoral college. end quote. the same dynamic prevailed in the other key battleground states of the time which were new york, ohio, illinois, new jersey and massachusetts. they may swing to one party or the other by only a few thousand votes, and 90% of the jewish population of the united states is concentrated in these doubtful states, end quote. truman got the message loud and clear. his secretary of state, burns and then marshall, and his secretary of defense were monitored and channeled by eddie jacobson, david lyles and max lowenthal whom they called the back room boys in the white
house. george marshall convinced that strong support for israel would only weaken the coalition rued, as he put it the squalid political purposes of these back room boys. for their part, niles and lowenthal scorned the straight pant boys in the defense d. and showed truman the math. there are five million jews in america, they're organized in pressure groups like the federation of american zionists and the american jewish committee, and they vote. the back room boys demanded a house cleaning at state, an appointment of somebody who's really trustworthy on palestine matters. people at state are really bitching things up, niles wrote lowenthal. president truman agreed saying to critics like marshall and forestal, i'm sorry, gentleman, but i have to answer to the hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of zionism. he took the palestine portfolio away from henderson's near
eastern desk and gave it to clark gifford, niles and lowenthal. it would henceforth be managed for its domestic political dividends, strategy be damned. lloyd henderson was then sent off to be ambassador to india. marshall rebelled, telling the president that he was weakening the u.s. globally by his uncritical support for the zionists. marshall and henderson were for an arab state in the palestine with guarantees for a jewish minority. truman and the back room boys wanted partition with the very best areas, 55% of the total land mass, to the jews which would, of course, imperil any cold war coalition against the soviets. u.s. policy, marshall scolded the president, has to be based on u.s. national interests. three days before the british scuttle from palestine in '48, marshall spoke the sharpest rebuke ever delivered to a
president in the oval office when he told truman he was putting the great office of the president at risk by so tamely supporting the zionist against the arab majority of palestine. the president, marshall said, was subordinating an international crisis to a transparent dodge to win a few votes. marshall's deputy called the emerging state of israel a pig in a poke, a state with high strategic costs and few be apparent benefits. well, in the 1948 presidential election, tom dewey, projected to be the winner right up until election day, had a stout pro-israel plank in his platform, and trueman felt he could do no less. he pledged full recognition to a jewish state despite its relatively small numbers, half as many jews at the time as arabs and until rated israel's brutal expulsion of 5% of the arab -- 75% of the arab inhabitants in the war creating the palestinian refugees whose number has grown to five million today. the 1948 war, israel's expulsion
or liquidation of the palestinians and the assassination of the count, internationalized the palestinian question to america's great disadvantage. now all arab governments in the region took this palestinian question as their touchstone and made it sort of the focus of all their relations with america. president eisenhower, who vowed to downgrade israel to improve america's total situation in the middle east, also keeled over under the lobbying pressure at home. there are five million jewish voters in the u.s., he sighed, and very few arabs. before the 1956 suez war, secretary of state dulles had warned the israelis they must make substantial concessions on borders and refugees to improve the continued existence of the free world. after the war when ike forced israel to disgorge sinai and gaza, the israelis used that concession to foreclose -- forever, apparently -- all talk of whittling down the 1949
borders or compensating refugees, which is the situation that prevails to this day. senators of both parties, johnson, hum free, knowland piled on for short-term political advantage in 1956 decrying the, quote, dulles-eisenhower policy of squeezing israel and appeasing the arab, unquote, the same senseless rhetoric that from evils today. the british board in washington was astonished by this. the americans, he wrote, crave oil, but they refuse to coax the concessions from the israelis. tel aviv demands and gets an american security of their boards without any sacrifice at all, borders without any sacrifice at all, end quote. well, that ambassador advised dulles to sell it for a usable price, land or refugees, but dulles replied he couldn't saying with israeli pressure and elections coming on, i can't any longer refrain from offering us
legal arms -- israel arms and even a defense pact. to his disbelieving government in london, he reported the americans are going to guarantee israeli frontiers without any sacrifice at all on israel's part, as we still do today. it made and makes no strategic sense whatsoever. in 1962 jfk had his own stab at a peace process. he tried to pressure israel into accepting the carnegie endowment's johnson plan which would cash compensate palestine's arab refugees whose number had now grown to 1.3 million. kennedy was dissuaded by his white house desk officer more israel, a man named meyer feldman, whose new position reflected the immense, growing power of israel in u.s. decision making. feldman said disengage from this plan, mr. president, or there's
going to be a violent eruption in our relations with israel. jfk not only disengaged, he rewarded israel with aid dollars, early warning radars and hawk sames, punching a whole on the sale of major weapons systems to the middle east that had been maintained until that time. with characteristic fearlessness, the israelis deployed the hawks around their nuclear weapons facility as if to mock kennedy's efforts to shut it down. well, the 1962 hawk sale set the precedent that created the u.s./israeli strategic relationship, a multibillion dollar business in cutting edge weaponry supplemented by military-to-military dialogues, joint exercises and cooperative r r&d. that business has engaged the defense industry and its dependent congressmen in the already robust israel lobby. thus it was that shortly before kennedy's death, the president -- during meetings with golden in palm beach --
characterized it as no less intimate than our special relationship with britain. privately, however, kennedy deplored the palestinian liberation movement, fatah and the plo which had now become the rallying cry of every arab government in the region, vastly complicating u.s. initiatives and strategy in the middle eastment lbj, of course, paid little attention to the middle east. everything to do with the middle east must be summit to events -- subject to events in southeast asia aziz he can stair of state said -- secretary of state said. i've got three cones in my cabinet, lbj said. in one's going to do more for israel than i will. in 1965 u.s. ambassador to israel wally barber warned that the idf, which now towered technologically and organizationally over all of its arab rivals, must be prevented
from making any new annexations. such annexations, barber argued in 1965, would do long-term damage to u.s. interests. if israel attacks, the u.s. is going to have to impose merciless sanctions. it's not enough to contain the arabs, barber said, we have to contain both sides. well, in the 1967 six-day war, israel launched a surprise attack on egypt, jordan and syria and created 300,000 new refugees alongside the 1.7 million old ones. far from sanctioning israel for the annexations or the attack on the uss liberty, johnson sat on his hands, entrenching the forever war still puttering in israel and the occupied territories. instead of rolling back the israeli annexations as ike had done in 1956, johnson approved them as well as the sale of f-4 phantoms to israel, merely commenting that american jews want lbj to send the sixth at fleet, but they won't send a god
damn screwdriver to vietnam. under attack for the '68 nomination, lbj didn't dare alienate the lobby. from lbj on, every president tolerated illegal israeli settlements in the territories, a process rabin called redeeming israel's narrow hips, and the hips were narrow, of course, because despite israeli efforts to evict the palestinians in 1967, most of them have stayed put, i said creasing the antibiotic wrap population -- arab population. i just have a little bit more to get through here, i hope you'll indulge me, was aimed by scoop jackson at filling up the west bank, the golan and gaza settlements with russian jews. 40,000 emigrants a year and $35 million a year in expenditures, enabled by u.s. aid dollars, created new facts on the ground that we deal with today. we disagree with this policy, kissinger aide joseph cisco
wrote in 1971, but we say nothing, so the israelis assume our acquiescence. nixon called the failure of his predecessors to solve the palestinian land and refugee problems one of the major lapses of the post-world war ii era. his first secretary of state, william rogers, the first diplomat to use the term palestinian tried to roll back the israelis but was immediately stymied by golda meyer. kissinger fared no better than rogers, he threw away washington's best opportunity to wring major, game-changing concessions from israel during the yom kippur war in 1973. nixon and kissinger authorized a massive air lift to tel aviv. instead of trading weapons and support for israeli concessions on land and refugees, the course actually advised by schlessinger
gull my assumed that israeli gratitude would result in concessions after the war. before the war even ended, nixon realized his error. he'd made the israelis as he put it, quote, more difficult to deal with than ever before, unquote. during the crisis, schlessinger -- who had asked a principals meeting the following question -- is there a difference between defending israel and e defending israel's conquests? everyone in the room said, yes. well, then, schlessinger said, we should only ship the israelis con consumables, fuel and ammunition, and hold back the planes and the tanks until after the war when we can use these as leverage to pry the us israelist of the occupied territories. smart guy. kissinger assumed he was smarter. he said, no, if we kick the israelis in the teeth -- notice the language -- over this, they'll never listen to us again. [laughter] makes no sense, and kissinger, clearly a very smart guy, i don't know what was ailing him at the time.
kissinger assured nixon he'd be able to manage the israelis. of course, he budget. they crossed the golan heights, the suez canal. they can't do this to us again, henry nixon wailed. they've done it to us for four years but no more. as if. nixon, pushed by key senators like kennedy, javits, jackson, church, cranston and bayh paradoxically rewarded israeli intransigence after the war with 2.2 billion in new military aid. nixon and kissinger reinforced the kennedy tendency. we must let israel use weapons to produce security. it seemed that the only way to manage the israelis in a u.s. political environment that made real negotiation or sanctions impossible was to give them more stuff, arms and money, and merely hope that they gave a little to get more. a point made very well by steve walt and john in their book. well, quicksand follows this
thread through to the present day. the u.s./israeli relationship continues with the same tail wags dog quality described above, and so we arrive at an obama administration that has burnt its finning -- fingers. the portfolio's been purchased to john kerry whose tremendous ambition and energy, i suspect, is going to be insufficient to arrange a settlement that israel has become so proficient. it will be less from an american diplomatic pressure which the israelis routinely ignore and more from israeli fears of the bds movement and from their calculation that with the middle east splintered, they might be able to join a large sunni coalition against iran and its clients, a palestinian state would be the precondition for such a diplomatic revolution, and yet this view of the history identify just described, i, for one, am not holding my breath. thank you very much. [applause]
>> next speaking will be professor john quigley, professor of law at the more relates college of law at ohio state university and author of a number of excellent books on this issue. i believe he will be signing some books afterwards as will some of the other speakers. >> thank you, allison. the special relationship has a very significant impact in terms of the positions that the united states takes on the key legal issues involved in the conflict, and in general i think one can say that our positions are out of step with the positions of most of the world community and that it's one of the major reasons for the negative perception of the united states in the region that you've heard about this morning. so i want to go through a number of key legal issues.
the first i'll mention, and on this one i think that the administration is not quite as negative as you'll find me saying on the others, relates to status of jerusalem. the congress passed a law a couple of years ago to move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem. the president, successive presidents now, have resisted doing that. we have a consulate general in jerusalem which reports directly to the state department, though it has not been put under the embassy in tell avive. so as -- tell avive -- teleavive. so as a technical matter, the executive branch has preserved the position that the status of jerusalem is not determined, and we have not given in to the israeli position on that. similarly with with respect to e
question of passports, congress passed a law in 2002 saying that a person born in jerusalem who would become a u.s. citizen had the right in being issued a u.s. passport to have israel placed in the little box as to place of birth. the administration has resisted that and has refused to comply with that. this went to court, it was decided quite recently here in the court of appeals for the d.c. circuit that it is within the power of the president to decide on issues of diplomatic recognition and, therefore, it was within the power of the president to refuse to apply that act. okay. so that's the good news. that took about 35 seconds. [laughter] the question of territory is a bit bleaker. you heard this morning some references to the 1967 war, and
this is one on which the united states, you know, should have been taking the view that president eisenhower took in 1956 when the war broke out in 1967, but it didn't, and i think we're living with the consequences of that to this day. the background of war, i think, was accurately mentioned the if briefly by general david this morning. that it was an attack by israel. it's choppily thought that -- commonly thought that israel justified the attack as anticipatory self-defense, that is that egypt was going to attack. in fact, that's not what it said in the security council. what it said in the security council was that egypt had, in fact, attacked israel on the morning of june 5th, and the israeli military action was a response to that.
that was the position of iban all through the discussions in the security council in june of 1967. it was, of course, a story that had been invented because at a certain point the israeli high command realized that the egyptian army was overextended in the troops that it had brought up to the border and that they had a pretty good chance of destroying the egyptian army if they attacked. and that's, essentially, what they did. and they were in discussion with the johnson administration for about two weeks prior to june 5, 1967. iben made repeated communications and entreaties to the johnson administration saying, you know, we think that the egyptians are going to attack, and the johnson administration kept responding by saying, no, it's not true. and the cia was analyzing on a daily basis and kept telling the
administration, i think accurately, that there was no indication that egypt was about to attack. egypt was concerned that israel was threatening syria, and it wanted to deter an attack by israel on syria. okay. but that discussion eventually just came to a kind of a standoff. but johnson was fairly strong in telling israel not to attack egypt. finally, the israelis gave up on iben, and they sent the head of the mossad to come to washington to put it to the administration a different way. he didn't say please support us if we attack, he said, you know, we're going to attack, what are you going to do? and the response he got from a number of administration officials led him to believe that the u.s. government would
keep quiet; that is, it wouldn't do a repeat of what eisenhower did in 1956 and that it would let israel, essentially, get away with it if it were able to be done relatively quickly. he went back and had a meeting on the night of the 3rd of june, 1967s and what he told him as to his impression of the johnson administration and what it would do if israel went ahead and attacked, he said they will not sit shiva, meaning that they not mourn. they will not be unhappy if we do it. and he was right. when it happened, the administration immediately knew that the story that was being told by abe ibn was false, but they decided to keep quiet about it. ..
for the bush doctrine, when that was being discussed, the new policy about preemptive use of force for the united states those who tried to write theoretical justifications for that doctrine fished around to fine precedence for it and only one they found was the 1967 war which of course was a false precedent but that was the only
precedent they could bind in recent state practice for the proposition that it is okay to invade substantial anticipation, let's say, of an attack against, an attack that is anticipated but is not close to being immediate. so on this issue i think the administration, is quite deficient and holds true to the present. if you ask the administration now, who was responsible for the 1967 war, you know they're not going to give awe straight story on it. the other major issue is the question of palestine's status and whether palestine is a state, whole issue that has come up before the general assembly of the u.n. and in the security council, in particular with the application for admission to the u.n. that was filed in 2011 by the government of palestine. and of course as you're aware,
the united states kind of killed that in the security council and kept it from coming to a vote. the palestine government subsequently applied for admission to unesco, which is u.n. specialized agency and membership is open only to a sate and there there was veto possibility and it passed. so palestine was admitted as a state to unnecessary coand then more recently went in 2012 to the general assembly of the for a statement, essentially, that, that palestine is a state and that passed. like it was 139 votes in favor. there are was actually other states that abstained on the resolution but have diplomatic
relations with palestine. if you add that number to the number voted in favor of the resolution i think you get 158 states that have accepted palestine as a state. the united states resists that and says, well, palestine can't be a state until it negotiates that with israel. which, you know, doesn't make a great deal of sense to me and isn't an accurate reflection of international practice about statehood. when you get 158 states saying another entity is a state, that is pretty strong. when this resolution was adopted in the general assembly, and this is november of 2012, susan rice spoke in explanation of a vote for the united states, the united states voted, i didn't mention, voted against the resolution and see shade today's voting should not be misconstrued by any as constituted eligibility for
united nations membership. it does not. the resolution does not establish that palestine is a state. well the resolution says that palestine's a state. as a technical matter may be true, that general assembly resolutions are not legislative in character but with respect to statehood what's critical is that entity's acceptance by other, by the existing states of the world and here you clearly have it. it goes back, in fact to, to 1923, the treatly of l-uzanne, the treaty that set up iraq, palestine and syria as states. if you look at that treaty it refers to those three entities as states detached from the ottoman empire. so the international community accepted those as states going back that far. the, the issue of settlements, another one on which the united
states position is has been very uncertain let's say. you had analysis of this during the carter administration where the legal advisor came out very strongly saying that the settlements are illegal under the geneva convention of 1949. then you had president reagan coming in and saying something, we'll we're not sure about that. they're an obstacle to peace but from that time there wasn't much discussion of the legality of settlements and when the bilateral process started in the the united states took -- took the position in the security council that it would not support any security council resolutions critical of israel, particularly on settlements. as a result it began vetoing resolution that is were critical of israel with criticism of settlement constructions particularly around jerusalem. more recently in, when miss
glennon was secretary of state she began to referring new settlements as illegal which implies that the prior settlements were okay. now we get a statement, this is now in november of last year, from secretary kerry who says, settlements are illegitimate. they have backed off the word illegal. i'm not sure what distinction they see between illegal and i'll legitimate. and then he wasn't all that clear. he was, made the statement in a way that it might have applied to prior settlements but still, it's very, very ambiguous. and this is of course against the very strong opinion of the, of the world community on the question of settlements. the united states is also pressured the palestine government not to go to the international criminal court, which would be a way of dealing with the settlements. to my mind, the only way within
legal principles that the settlement can presently be dealt with since the negotiation and pressure from the united states doesn't seem to be very effective. but the international criminal court statute defines war crimes, one of the war crimes along list of things defined as war crimes. one is transferring civilians into territory under bell lidge rent occupation. -- bell ridge rant occupation. it. settlements in the west bank. that i think should be pursued by the international criminal court, even without any further action on the part of the government of palestine but on basis of confirmment of jurisdiction that palestine did to in 2009 after the gaza war when it filed a statement with the international criminal court saying that it conferred jurisdiction for any war crimes
or genocide, crimes against humanity committed in the territory of, of palestine. and, the prosecutor should be able to work simply on that basis and, and go ahead and investigate. unfortunately the prosecutor first said, well, i'm not sure whether palestine is a state. so i was a bit mystified by that so i sent him an email in march of 2009 that said, you know, by the way, palestine is a state and you have ever basis for this. eventually other people started sending him memos in the other direction. so eventually he invited all of us to come to the hague and argue it out. we went and dory gold came and argued against jurisdiction and eventually unfortunately the prosecutor's office decided it was not its position to make a determination as to whether palestine was a state. this is after three years of saying it was struggling with the issue, it decided that it
was not its position and that in fact what led the palestine government to go to the general assembly that get the resolution adopted in november of 2012. but there is also the question of repatriation of refugees from 1948. i will just finish with that. here the united states position used to be very strong. if you look at the proceedings of the u.n. general assembly in december of 1948 when the resolution was being adopted calling on israel to repay treat, deif ru is sk was representing the -- dean rusk. representing the united states. said the refugees should not be pawns of a political settlement. issue of ben-gurion was we'll deal with the issue when and if we get recognition from the arab states. dean rusk was saying no, this is humanitarian issue. it needs to be dealt with. the united states voted in favor
of general assembly resolution 194 that was adopted then. every year they're after when it was rei it rated by the general assembly up until the mid '90s the united states voted in favor of those reiteration of general assembly resolution 194. then we stopped. and now of course, israel has a peace agreement with egypt. it has a peace agreement with jordan. and negotiating a agreement with israel. so ben-gurion's rationale, if that was the real rationale, would mean that israel should be prepared to accept all the refugees back but this is not being pressed by the united states in the negotiations, not at all. at camp david in the year 2000 president clinton didn't really take the repatriation question very seriously. mr. kerry apparently has suggested that maybe 80,000 should be taken back. that's a rumor but, clearly we're not taking a strong position. thank you. [applause]
>> i'm allison doctor weir, president of the coins is national interest and president of american's knew. [applause] there are full citations in my book for everything that i will be saying and some will be quite surprising. so i want you to look at citations in you like. for most of my life i new very little about israel-palestine. i was deeply aware of the nazi holocaust, sympathetic to israel and seen the movie, "exodus." in the fall of 2,000 the departure of my youngest child for college coincided with the eruption of the second palestinian intifada with images of children throwing stones against tanks. i finally began to pay attention
to a distant part of the world that i had thought had little to do with me and my family. when i paid attention i noticed how one-sided the news coverage seemed to be, providing far more information about, from and about israelis than palestinians. growing curious i looked into what the internet had to offer and discovered a wealth of information directly from the region, from palestinians, israelis and others that revealed a far darker reality than our media were reporting. a reality in which israel's massively powerful military it appeared was using extreme violence against a population that was largely unarmed. killing many, and injuring multitudes. the strategy i read in a report by an israeli academic was to keep deaths below the level that would trigger world outrage, while maiming as many as possible. a common practice was for
israeli snipers to target knees and eyes. in the first month alone over 7,000 palestinians were injured including numerous children. i noticed little of this was being reported by one of my main news sources npr and i noticed a pattern it of media filtration that continues through today in which some facts are repeated and some never reported. while we repeatedly are told that rockets are fired from gaza into israel we see never to be told that in the over10 years of largely homemade rocket fire, has killed a total of 29 israelis. nor do we learn that this during this same period israeli forces have killed 4,000 gazans. we tend to hear often in detail about israeli children who have
been tragically killed. we hear far less often about the palestinian children who are killed first and then in far greater numbers. it is my view that all of these deaths are tragic. after several months of reserving such information, i finally decided i needed to go and see for myself, if things were truly as bad as i was beginning to believe. i quit my job as a small-town weekly newspaper editor and traveled over to the region as a freelance reporter traveling throughout the west bank and gaza in february and march of 2001, long before rocket fire from gaza and took photographs of what i saw. when i returned i began an organization to tell americans the facts on this issue. i also began to study it intensely. i was especially curious about the u.s. connection, reading book after book by respected
authors and scholars. i was completely unprepared for what i found. i discovered an extraordinarily powerful and pervasive special interest lobby which i had previously almost entirely unaware. even more surprising, i discovered that this was just the latest incarnation after movement that has been active in the united states for over a century. a movement called, political zionism, its adherents are called zionists and it impacted my nation and others. yet many americans do not even know exists. i discovered that political zionism, a movement to create a jewish state in palestine, had begun in the late 18 hundreds. by the early 1890s there were organizations promoting ideology in new york, chicago, baltimore, boston, milwaukee and cleveland.
by 1910 the number of scientists in the u.s. approached 20,000 and included lawyers and professors and businessmen and was becoming a movement to which as one historian put it, congressman, particularly in the eastern cities began to listen that was the 1910s. by 1918 there were 200,000 scientists in the u.s. by 1948 there were nearly a million. while politicians from both parties increasingly saw scientists as potential donors or voters to curry or placate, the u.s. state department opposed zionism, believing it was counter to both u.s. interests and principles. president taft, secretary of state knox stated in 1912 that zionism involved matters primarily interests to others than our own. a u.s. commission that studied the situation in palestine in
1919 concluded that the project for making a palestine distinctly a jewish commonwealth should be given up. in 1947 american statesman dean atchison stated that supporting scientists objectives would quote, imperil not only american but all western interests in the near east. the joint chiefs of staff reported that a zionist proposal, quote, would prejudice united states strategic interests in the near and middle east and predicted, quote, the scientists strategy will seek to involve the continuing widen and increasing series of operations. -- zionists. such reports and memos go on and on from the state department, memos and others. during this time, zionists were working strenuously and ultimately successfully to combat such wise
recommendations. they employed a wide range of stratgems from open public advocacy to various covert activities. their initiatives targeted every sector of the american population including jewish-americanss, the large majority of whom for many decade were either non-zionists or actively anti-zionists and still today are most likely misinformed what is being done allegedly in their name. in 1943 a zionist organization in the words of its leader, launched a political and public relations offensive to capture the support of congressman, clergy, editors, professors, business and labor. a directive ordered quote, in every community an american christian palestine committee must be immediately organized. an an warm zionist report, credit, we reach into every department of american life.
when britain failed to exceed to zionist demand at one point, an american rabbi foment ad program to drop incendiary bombs on london. that was only prevented when a young american aviator divulged it to the paris police. 25 years later, his terrorist past expunged from the public memory became close do president richard nixon. influencing his middle east policies. nixon jocularly called him, my rabbi. perhaps my most surprising discovery of so many surprising findings involved an extremely well-known and highly regarded supreme court justice, louis brandeis. according to a 1978 article in the respected scholarly journal, "american jewish historical quarterly "by dr. sarah schmidt
a israeli professor of jewish history at hebrew university in jerusalem, and a book by peter gross, former editor of foreign affairs, diplomatic correspondent for "the new york times" and associate at the jfk school of government at harvard. according to these sources and some others, lewis was, lewis brandeis was a leader of an elitest secret society called the parishem. the hebrew word for pharisees and separate. according to schmidt and gross, this society promoted psionism throughout the united states. it niche schatz underwent according to dr. schmidt, had a solemn ceremony which the unduck tee told you are about to take a step that will bind you to a single cause for saul of your life. until our purpose shall be accomplished you will be fellow after brotherhood you bond whose
you will regard greater than any other in your life, dearer than that of family, of school, of nation. supreme court justice brandise was a leader of that. gross writes, the members set about meeting people of influence here and there casually on a friendly basis. they planted suggestions for actions to further the zionist cause. as early as 1915 gross writes a leader of the parushim went around suggesting that the brittish might gain benefit of formal declaration of a jewish national hole land in palestine. -- homeland. that sound many like the daffro declaration. secretly, through his loyal lieutenants, one of whom eventually became a supreme court justice himself. another especially influential supreme court justice, felix
frankfurter. a number of authors report that brandise was a close friend of president woodrow wilson and used his access to for the zionist cause. in fact, some zionist leaders bragged and many british officials, high governmental officials, rightly or wrongly, believed that zionists played a significant role in the u.s. decision to enter world war i. numerous individuals both jewish and christian attempted to oppose zionist endeavors. one was dorothy thompson. according to the britain nick can enencyclopedia, thompson was the one of the most famous journalists of 20th century. she graced the cover of "time" magazine, profiled by america's top magazines and was so well-known that a hollywood
movie featuring katharine hepburn and spencer tracy and a broadway play starring lauren ba call were -- bacall, were based on dorothy thompson. thompson was the first journalist expelled by adolf hitler and raised alarm against the nazis long ahead of most other journalists. she had originally supported psionism but visited the region in person. she began to speak about the hundreds of thousands of palestinians that is ral violently forced out in its founding war to create a jewish state on lands that was already inhabited. thompson was viciously attacked in orchestrated campaign what she termed, career assassination and character assassination. she wrote, it has been boundless, going into my personal life. before long her columns and radio programs, her speaking
engagements, and her family and her fame were all gone. today, she has largely been erased from history. in the coming decades other americans were similarly written out of history. forced out of office, their lives and careers destroyed, history was distorted, rewritten, erased, bigotry promoted, supremacy disguised. facts replaced by fraud. very few people know this history. the excellent books that document it are largely out of print. their facts and very existence virtually unknown to the vast majority of americans. instead, false theories have been promulgated, mendacious analyses promoted, chosen authors celebrated, others assigned to oblivion. george orwell once wrote, who controls the past controls the
future. who controls the present, controls the past. perhaps by rediscovering the past we'll gain control of the present and make a better future for all our children. thank you. [applause] >> i believe scott horton is supposed to monitor the next session but i can introduce the first speaker. i believe -- okay. i forgot about the questions. so sorry. we're supposed to do questions.
i forgot. please tell me when the question period is up. i think we have people with microphones. and again, just a reminder we need the questions to stay to one minute as much as possible, please. i think we have a gentleman right here. and then you will be next. i think i see your hand next. the lady over here will be second. and -- sorry, there's a lady in the back. let's ask to have the lady in the back since she hasn't spoken back. we'll ask the lady in the back perhaps since i don't think she has had a chance yet. >> [inaudible] >> is the mike phone on? >> i don't know. all right. my question is with all the other things on the table like settlements and resettlement and
bds and such, why aren't nuclear, why isn't israel's nuclear weapons on the table? in wikipedia, israel has between 75 and 400 nuclear weapons. that is much more than needed to demolish the world. why aren't we pushing back on that? were are we only threatening iran which doesn't even have nuclear capacity for power? [applause] >> i would assume, someone wants to go into more detail i think there are two words, i guess three words would say answer that. the israel lobby. maybe if somebody wants to expand on the point. >> i would just say that the assumption is that the israelis would never use them irresponsibly. it is purely a function of national defense. deterrence, the historical record shows they have been quite act aggressive in the past. there is this assumption that they're a safe repository of
nuclear weapons. frankly nobody wants to take that issue on because it would go nowhere. i have guess that is my short answer. >> my question to professor, can a third country be petitioned in international court for an opinion on the legality of the settlement? third country. not necessarily the palestinian authority but any other country? >> another country, a court in another country? conceivably that could happen. it has been raised in the french courts and actually there was a decision that was, as to whether a french company that was assisting with the settlements was acting unlawfully but, with respect to the possibility of criminal prosecution i think that is probably your question, that is a, that could occur. there are country that is do
my question is about the legal status of israel itself, that is to say that there was a around decision according to -- a partition according to resolution 181 chfs never implemented, as i understand, and the declaration or the proclamation of the state of israel was unilateral, and it was simply accepted. and i think this is, this may be the way that states come into being anyway. but the question is, um, what about the requirement of the state and the borders of such a state? because israel has, as i understand it, never defined its borders, and it has certain obligations. is it a legitimate state in the sense that the people of region, including those who are
expelled, have never really had any say about its existence? >> yeah. and that's a difficult question. i mean, i would say the short answer with respect to whether something is a state and in particular whether israel is a state is whether it is accepted in the international community. and whether it has in the past committed genocide, done, you know, really horrible things, is unfair to all of its citizens. that's not really relevant to the question of whether it is or is not a state. so i think to that extent you can say israel is a state. you can also, you know, raise the question of self-determination, and, you know, ask whether it should have been a state which is really what you're going to. self-determination is another issue on which i think the united states has been a bit weak. i've had to think about self-determination anew in the last few days because in 1994 i was asked by the clinton administration to go to a little
back water place in the southern part of russia called cry here ya -- crimea and do some negotiating about the status of crimea within ukraine, actually, and the leadership of the crimean parliament pressed me on this very strongly and said, you know, we should have self-determination, we should be able to decide where we want to go. and you can raise that, certainly. coming out of the british mandate there should have been some solution for palestine that took into account the entirety of the population. but in a way, you know, once the international community says a state is a state, then it is. now, that doesn't decide the question of its borders. that question was not at all decided by theassembly of the united nations -- by the general assembly of the united nations. [inaudible conversations]
>> hello? >> thank you. >> may i? >> oh, there was someone i said could ask a question, could it be a quick one? >> the 1973 yom kippur war, according to seymour hur, and others -- hirsh and others, his book, the samson option, israel was prepared to use their nuclear capability when they were losing the war with egypt until they got the u.s. to send this massive airlift of supplies which then enabled them to win the war. but israel was, according to reliable sources, prepared to use that nuclear capability. >> yes, that's what i found. i'm sure we both did. >> just a couple of quick points there. i don't think there was ever
sort of serious preparations on israel's part to actually use them, and we shouldn't overstate the tree to which -- the degree to which israel was in danger of being overrun during the '73 war. you'll remember that they were losing at the beginning badly in the sinai, but that was a long way from the borders of israel proper. and, in fact, the military tide of battle actually turned before the american resupply operation took effect. the israelis had already stopped the egyptian advance. so one has to be a little bit careful about both attributing our intervention as having been decisive in the outcome of the war and, secondly, whether -- how close israel was to using nuclear weapons. [inaudible conversations] >> did they ever do it again? did they ever threaten to use the atomic bombs again? did we ever concede to them? did we ever give in to extortion? that's extortion. >> i don't believe it was extortion in '73, and i don't
believe they've dope -- they've done that subsequently. it's not why we did it. >> can i just, on that point what steve says is absolutely right. they made, the egyptians made early advances because they'd been rearmed with state of the art soviet weapons, so they had antitank and antiair missile, and the israelis came at hem in the '67 way, so they lost a lot of aircraft and a lot of tanks to these better armed egyptians. but when the egyptians had been trained in a very controlled soviet way where they weren't actually able to to attack out, sort of move forward, the israelis would attack, kill the tanks, but then they couldn't aggressively pursue into israel because they didn't have the doctrine for that. so i would agree they were never really in danger. and the funny thing in my book, i talk about this, it was all a lot of theater. the israelis claiming they were on the ropes and they were at death's door and that they were, might resort to extreme measures, you know, nuclear weapons maybe, but everybody in
washington and in tel aviv knew that they really weren't. and then the israel lobby got involved sending, you know, phantoms was a big deal. we were in the vietnam war. the phantom was a new weapon, it was a miracle weapon. it was this strike fighter that could carry accept tons of bombs and missiles -- seven tons of bombs and missiles. so we needed every one in vietnam, but we started peeling off dozens of these and sending this them to israel at a time they were actually counterattacking and winning, and all this stuff was just gravy. and then the lobby got involved, and it was a big sort of, you know, stuart simon ton, scoop jackson, the senator from boeing, they were heavily involved in these decisions from their own states. so as in most cases, a lot of this stuff was smoke and mirrors spended to extort as much -- or intended to extort as much stuff from the u.s. as possible. >> [inaudible] >> no, no, i just agree that they weren't really going to use nuclear weapons. >> unfortunately, we really are
on a very tight schedule, and the next panel's going to be excellent, so we'll have to go to that. but thank you, excellent questions, all of them. [applause] >> and some news out of the nation's highest court today siding with a wyoming property owner in a dispute over a boik boik -- bicycle trail. the property owner will retain its ownership of the disputed area, about 200 feet wide, that crosses its 83-acre property in southern wyoming's medicine bow national forest. the bike route follows an abandoned railroad track, it's one of thousands of miles of abandoned track that's been converted to recreational trails. chief justice john roberts says the government was wrong to assert that it owns the trail, and the ruling means that the government could face compensation claims from 10,000 other properties in 30 states valued at about $100 million. and turning to capitol hill, the senate will be in today later than usual, 4:00 eastern time. they'll begin general speeches
and then move on to an appeals court nomination for the tenth circuit with a vote at 5:30. and a second vote to move forward on claire mccaskill's bill on military sexual assaults. after that democratic senators on the climate task force will begin an all-night discussion on climate change. you can watch it live from the senate floor here on c-span2. and on our companion network, c-span, today live at 2:30 we'll be with senator bob casey. he'll be talking about elections in afghanistan and the u.s.' role in afghanistan beyond this year after the scheduled troop drawdown. senator casey is the chairman of the foreign relations subcommittee that monitors the region. he'll be speaking at the center for american progress. we'll take you there live. >> if more than one entity manages the key identifiers of the internet, then by nature the internet will no longer be one net. at the heart, for example, of
the domain name system is the root services system, and very few people appreciate that "news of the world" to resolve names on the -- that in order to resolve names on the internet, all names are revolved to insure that when you type www.c-span.org, for example, or any other web site name, you'd go to the exact site that c-span wants you to go to all the time, every time for the last two-plus decades. >> the head of the internet corporation for assigned names and numbers on the role icann plays in assigning new internet domain names on "the communicators" at 8 eastern tonight only on c-span3 due to the special senate session. >> this weekend conservatives met just outside washington, d.c. to talk about the differences between social conservatives and libertarians on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. the panel was part of the
conservative political action conference. it's about 40 minutes. ♪ ♪ >> oh, can't we all just get along? [laughter] we have to, and we need to. but, first, we've got to get to some issues. citizen link is a public policy partner of focus on the family. we are social conservatives, and i'm going to dive right into the deep end. we believe that marriage is one man, one woman. marriage today means mom and dad. and i realize how difficult that is in some circumstances to hear that, but that's where we are, that's who we are. and that's actually an entry into our discussion this afternoon. when we religious people want to find out what libertarianism is all about, we check out the
platform of the libertarian party, and there is so much to appreciate in that party platform. libertarians have led the way in helping us understand the need to cut back wasteful government, to get government out of our lives. but we also find this in that party platform: government does not have the authority to license personal relationships. consenting adults should be free to choose their own successes yule practices -- sexual practices. and we say, you know, sometimes it's not only about what adults want, sometimes it's about what children need. the libertarian party wants to get rid of that little government document called the marriage license. and we say, hold on just a
minute, we're no longer even talking about the definition of marriage, we're on our way at that point to talking about the abolition of marriage. now, a marriage license -- a legally enforceable document -- encourages spouses to commit, among the many other things that it does. that marriage license helps provide children with a secure, stall, permanent home because it encourages spouses to work it out and parents to work it out with their kids. and if we tear up marriage licenses, it means a lot more struggling moms trying to raise kids, trying to get it done are going to be forced onto the government rolls for medicaid, for welfare, for aid to families with dependent children. when we denigrate that little government document called a marriage license, we're going to
have kids -- many of them young men, teenagers -- getting into trouble, and that means more judges, more juvenile detention facilities, more court orders, more social workers. this is not a recipe for smaller government, this is a recipe for larger government. well, we have a whole lot of firepower -- [laughter] waiting backstage to set me straight on all of this and a whole lot more, so one by one i introduce them -- i will introduce them and bring them out to begin our conversation. our first panelist is associate vice president and dean of washington programs for hillsdale college and author of the book "we still hold these truths." he's also executive editor of the heritage foundation guide to the constitution. please welcome dr. matthew
spalding. [applause] our next panelist is editor-in-chief of "reason" magazine, co-host of the independents on the fox business channel and co-author with nick gillespie of the book, "the declaration of independents: how libertarian politics can fix what's wrong with america," and we need that. please welcome mat welch. [applause] he is the host of talkers magazine's top ten political talk shows reaching an audience of 4.7 million and a best selling author. from the salem radio network, please welcome michael medved. [applause] and finally, he's president and founder of students for liberty with now over 1200 local groups. last year he led 40 conferences on five continents for 5,000
students, and in his spare time he's a graduate student at george washington university. please welcome alexander mccobin. [applause] hey, am i alex trebek or what? this is great. [laughter] if you want to join the conversation, @cpacnews, hash tag minnery panel. all right, alexander, the first question to you. you heard my introduction, and tell me what i got wrong here. [laughter] >> so thank you for that introduction. i do think the question even started off on a false premise that all libertarians are associated with the libertarian party. that's not the case. you can be a libertarian and not be a libertarian party member or not be a libertine. libertarianism doesn't require someone to adopt certain policy positions or a particular justification for political
philosophy. you're able to be a republican, a democrat, an independent and be a libertarian. you can be a christian, a muslim, a jew, an atheist or any other religion and be libertarian. what it means is to be committed to a certain approach to pretty fall philosophy -- political philosophy where the principle of liberty is most important. what's important to keep in mind is that there's a difference between a political philosophy and a personal lifestyle. you can be a conservative and a libertarian when it comes to public policy. the important differencing with what you think -- being what you think the government ought to mandate for individuals. just because you think people ought to act a certain way doesn't mean you want the government to require them to be that. whether you're talking about banning big gulps or banning surgeon types of marriage. [applause] in fact, i think social conservativism relies upon the freedom to choose what to do here. if you choose the letter concerning intoleration seriously, the only way for people to act morally is to have the freedom to choose what
they're going to do, and we see many social conservatives today recognizing this. whether we're talking about same-sex marriage or marijuana legalization, here's a quick list of social conservatives who support these things. for same-sex marriage, glenn beck, dick cheney, meg began mccain, laura bush, governor jon huntsman, current senators rob port match, mark kirk and lisa murkowski. when it comes to marijuana legalization or other drugs, you've got william f. buckley, governor rick perry has come out in favor of decriminalization, pat robertson, bill o'reilly, sean hannity, even newt gingrich and ken cucinelli have requested the war on drugs. libertarians and social conservatives can absolutely work together if we both realize we're trying to limit the scope of government when it comes to -- [inaudible] >> thank you so much. [applause] at some point the notion we the people with a common moral philosophy tends to get dissipated in the autonomous approach the life and principle
that defines libertarianism. at what point does the common philosophy underlying the constitution begin to dissipate to the point where we are no longer we the people? >> >> right. well, i think it begins with the founders' understanding of the word liberty. they chose the word liberty which was a latin word rather than freedom precisely because they met freedom appropriate for man -- they meant freedom appropriate for man. it didn't mean license. so in this -- it required a certain unity, an agreement about certain common precepts of how we dwomp ourselves. we want to have as much freedom as possible, we want to have the freedom to the choose. i precisely agree with that, but we must agree first and foremost upon certain resents according to which we realize each other's humanity. we believe that all have right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness which includes your right to property but also your religious liberty if you're a
religious believer in things the government is imposing upon you. those things have to be an underlining core for this liberty to exist in the first place. and that really was the founders' idea of liberty, and i think that's what we want to get back to. >> matt, your book, "declaration of independents," seems to militate against that notion of shared values and commonality. your book speaks a lot about living interesting lives as far away from politics as possible. in fact, if your book there's a bit of a rage against the system attitude in it, and how do you respond to what matt spaulding has just said? >> i have faith in american culture. i have faith in -- >> [inaudible] >> yeah. there's got to be one of us left. [laughter] you know, i remember going on wisconsin public radio in madison, wisconsin, like in october 2008 right after the t.a.r.p. freakout and a bipartisan establishment in washington telling us that in order to be good people, we had
to support an open-ended check and bailout to everyone who'd made a mistake in the last 20 years, and the house of representatives voteddedness it, and i was the guy who was going to go be the patsy on madison, wisconsin, public radio to talk about why bailouts are bad, and we took calls for an hour. and for an entire hour madison, wisconsin, people were telling me bailouts are morally wrong. this is america. if you take a gamble, you win, you lose. you shouldn't have the government bail you out. that said to me more about faith in some kind of bedrock american notion of free markets, of capitalism, of personal responsibility. if it can survive even our entire political establishment class freaking out, totally losing faith when george w. bush got in front of country and said normal lu i have faith in -- normally i have faith in free markets and capitalism, but -- we knew we were going to be in for a bad political era, and we are in one.
but i this faith the this portfolio memory of the american experiment will persevere, and i think it possessor veerses better the further away we go from political tribal membership, right? went you can start thinking for yourself and focusing on -- and finding allies on the issues you care about, putting your arm around them and saying let's go fight here and saying, okay, we don't have to agree about everything else, i think that's a normal procession of where america's going, and i'm ecstatic about it. >> all right. we have a question from the audience, michael medved, i will pass it along to you. will political conservatives ever ease up on those social issues, or do we have to wait for our generation to run government? >> okay. it's not a question of easing up on social issues, and it's not really even a question about arguing about the philosophy of libertarianism versus social conservativism or burkian conservativism, however you want to define it. because right now we have a common foe. we have a common danger.
the battle of gettysburg, the federal line up on the ridge, wasn't arguing between republicans and democrats, and they were both up there. there were 5,000 confederates coming -- 15,000 confederates coming up the ridge, and you had to deal with it. right now the forces of big government to are on the march. and one thing that conservatives and libertarians have in common is resisting it. the way to resist is to acknowledge the validity of libertarian means and conservative goals. and let me give you an example, because it's one of those areas where on one of the social issues conservatives care about most, we have had great success using libertarian means that i would imagine everyone on this panel could support. the issue is abortion. now, one of things the pro-life movement has achieved without changing law, without changing government, what the pro-life movement has achieved is cutting the level of abortion in the united states to its lowest point in 30 years.
how? [applause] by preaching and teaching and reaching people and convincing more people, and this is one of the only social issues in which the support for a conservative position, a pro-life position -- which i share emphatically -- that support is higher among young people than among cardiologiers like us. -- codgers like us. and, really, that is a very important achievement. it was achieved not by legislative means, not by government force, but by argument and persuasion. libertarian means for a conservative goal. let me say one other thing quickly about one of other big issues that purportedly divides us that shouldn't. right now the key issue regarding marriage is not the definition of marriage anymore. it is now an issue of religious hurt. and -- hurt. and i don't believe there's a libertarian in this hall today who believes that, well, for
instance, that the government has a right or a need to order a group of elderly catholic nuns in colorado to insure their employees for birth control! [applause] that is big government run amok! and by the same token, we right now have a great believer really not only in religious conscious and the rights of religious conscience when it comes to marriage, but a great belief in federalism. the idea that new york and california may have legitimated or recognized it, decided that those states should sponsor gay marriage doesn't mean that texas should be compelled by overreaching courts or none else to sponsor and legitimate gay marriage. and that belief in federalism, again, should unite libertarians and should unite conservatives in passionate agreement, not in any kind of squabble. >>
>> well, thank you. alexander, if michael is right, if the marriage issue is no longer a marriage issue, if it's about religious liberty -- that is to say, rights of conscience -- where does libertarianism come down in terms of supporting our right to be conscientious objectors, so to speak? >> so i largely agree with what you just said. the issue here is religious liberty. but the kind of religious liberty that had been infringed upon for decades in recent memory has been the liberty of those religious institutions and practices that support same-sex marriage. the government has prohibited them from engaging in the religion and the religious practices that they want. >>? where? no prohibition. there has never been a state in this country that has ever banned gay marriage. that's a liberal lie. [applause] defining -- >> there are state-sponsored discrimination against various associations between individuals. we're talking about the denial
of basic rights and privileges of individuals in committed relationships. the only difference being their sexual orientation. this is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. [applause] >> okay. so i guess you're saying, no, that those of us who uphold the traditional definition of marriage as religious liberty issue, you're not with us on that? >> as an issue, i'll jump in for alex here. i don't want any baker, any photographer to be told they have to work with someone because they're gay. for crying out loud -- >> amen. >> -- people should have the right -- [applause] it is not 1964, it is not 1864. if you want to openly discriminate against whoever you want in your business life, and we actually have a broad right to discrimination in this country, so congratulations for us. but the thing is that we don't exercise it because we're decent people. we don't need the government, you know, we talk a lot about government granting license or not. morality is not dictated by the
government. it's dictated by each individual and their conscious, and there's a community effect. if someone wants to be openly discriminatory in their policies, they're going to open themselves up to the free market punishing them or rewarding them as necessary -- >> tom, could i -- >> hold on, wait. i think this gets back to the precepts under which we govern ourselves question, right? we agree that all minnesota are created equal. we all commonly accept this idea. many people don't agree with that. we have to have those kinds of agreements to have a civilized society. that's the basis of free government -- >> i think the -- >> the problem you have here with this particular issue is that the question of nature does cut to the nature -- question of marriage does cut to the nature of things. and if you don't recognize the fact that the government needs to protect those who have religious liberty objection toes to this fundamental question, then you're giving up your liberty because now government has the right to step in and define those things for you. and i guarantee you that's what
they're going to do. and we're going to see the massive expansion of state unlike ever before. libertarians right now should be protecting religious liberty first and foremost -- >> how is it violating your liberty as a private, presumably heterosexual man who's in a married relationship as i am, how does it infringe in your sense of conscience if someone in your state, for example, has a marriage that -- a gay couple has a marriage that is recognized by the state? how does that violate your liberty? >> the question is whether the state has an obligation to recognize marriage in the first place, and if so, on what grounds? and the interest of the state constitutionally and historically is because of those children that are produced by that marriage. now -- [applause] we can argue about being tolerant, and we can argue about allowing people to have as much free lifestyle as they want to, but the only reason we're having this debate here is because we're concerned about future of, the future citizens that are going to be produced in this country. but the other point i'm making here is that even if we
disagree -- which we clearly do -- we have an agreement, and we must have an agreement on religious liberty. there's a profound, deep and moral and religious objection to redefining marriage. giving that power to the state and encouraging judges to do that is a destruction of the very liberty we wish to defend. >> but you're using the government, the state, to protect morality as you see it which is different than my morality. >> i'm just suggesting that the government should, needs to recognize in nature something that pre-exists government. i'm not using the state at all. i'm saying it's like gravity. if they're going to recognize marriage at all, this is the definition of the thing because no other definition makes sense as marriage. it might make sense as a private contract. that's a different matter. but if the reason we're here is to protect marriage, it's because of this social, private institution which forms the character of our citizens. that's key to the future of liberty. [applause] >> i would just say quickly on the children issue, and i share your concern for chirp, i think
one of the boons to our system is that a whole lot of children in this country no longer live in lousy foster homes and have been adopted by loving gay couples in opposition to social conservatives who oppose this at every -- [applause] >> it's better than the ravages of the welfare state -- >> yeah. >> but it's clearly not the thing we wish to encourage. the question is what do we want to encourage? what is the good thing here? >> well, again, i think the way we find common ground and the common road forward is conservative goals and libertarian means. in other words, i would assume that we all share goals in stable, long-term, loving families raising children. and as far as possible because this is the nature of all family law, basically, in the country that it is the optimal situation for children to be raised by their biological parents. and once you agree on that, then you proceed with libertarian means. i don't, i don't think that there are a lot of social conservatives who are looking to undo right now the 15 states that have decided they want to
sponsor gay marriage. at least not those states where that sponsorship was decided legislatively or through initiative. in other words, in minnesota they voted for it. they voted for it in my state of washington. and i don't see a lot of social conservatives saying that this should be undone by some kind of governmental force. and recognizing that libertarian means minimizing the amount of governmental interference in our lives as far as possible combined with conservative goals which is healthy communities, strong families, decent values, promoting virtue not just liberty, that, it seems to me, is the basis for the modern conservative. >> really quick, there are 35 more states to go. and i think that's what the questioner was actually targeting, the fact that there are still places that are trying to recognize same-sex marriage in order to allow for the religious liberty of those people who want to have a marriage -- >> with you think that those places should be forced by federal action, or do you believe that each state should be able to decide its own
definition of marriage? >> i believe the 13th amendment incorporates the bill of rights to all states and that the freedom of association through marriage -- >> you're a big government conservative. >> as the supreme court said in loving v. virginia, we dealt with this very same issue when it dealt with interracial marriage. >> different question. the fact of the color of one's skin is a coincidence, right? it has nothing to do with your character, right? the difference between a male and a female is something that is self-evident and obvious that we need to deal with, and we can't shut it aside, and we can't turn it over to judges to tell us what to do. i'm not saying -- that's part of the human condition. part of liberty is figuring out how do we as humans who disagree and have deep passions and beliefs get along and govern ourselves? that's why we have constitutionalism, to try to figure out how we do this. and we don't force other people to live the way you want to live, and i'm suggesting to you that what the federal government is doing now rapidly, because of
judges, is going to upend every social institution of this country. and that kind of revolutionary change is something that conservatives, libertarians and we should all be opposed to because it's going to destroy this country. >> and this -- [applause] this goes just to i am actually surprised, really surprised to hear you take the position you do. because as a libertarian, you are taking a position that nine unelected judges should impose their will and their judgment on the sovereign states, all 50 southern states, and the citizens therein in terms of something as fundamental to society as the definition of family and the definition of marriage. and that, it seems to me, is an air gaition of power away from the people that is totally contrary to libertarian ideology. [cheers and applause] >> hey, matt, in your book, "declaration of independents," you make an interesting statement. you say that libertarianism you
see politically as a permanent, nongoverning minority. but at some point don't libertarians have to take over to become a majority to make sure that all of us benefit from that? >> look, we're, you know, we're about 15% of the country if you look at things generously. so we're not going to take over anything, and you're probably all happier for that if you've ever been in a room full of libertarians, you'll know exactly what i'm talking about. [laughter] no, we operate in a margin where we're -- i'm saying "we," you know, i shouldn't say we. my entire readership of my magazine if i say we for are magazine. but lin libertarians are perpetually disappointed by both major parties. sometimes it's because the parties have failed to live up to their own best ideals which i think many people in this room can agree took place between the years 2003 and 2007, for
example, had when we had what ws supposed to be according to david brooks a permanent republican majority, you know? it was going to last forever. and they boosted the size and scope of government in ways that is obscene and that a lot of people rightly object to when barack obama has mimicked it. so the question for libertarians, i think, what we're going to see is more what i was referring to before of ad hoc sort of swarms into issues where we can find coalition partners. this room was packed out earlier, i hope that many of you were here, talking about rick perry and other people's really, really interesting work on reforming a criminal justice system that has incarcerated two million plus americans. that's an amazing thing that has happened. it's happened from the bottom up, you know, finally some poll constitutions started noticing including many conservatives leading on this issue. this is a great thing. i will put my -- i will embrace rick per perry, kissing him on
both cheeks and say thank you for leading on this issue, and if there's a democratic governor who wants to do the same thing, i will do it too. whether it is from my point of view, not necessarily yours in reforming the drug war m, marijuana, also in home schooling, in a lot of different areas of american life what the action is outside of the system and away from politicians, because politicians are terrified to lead. so it's americans, and it's flowing permanently into these little coalitions to actually break these stupid log jams that both parties have contributed to. >> alexander, let me bring you into this political discussion. 2016 looms, but we're not going to get away from politics. probably there will be a very strong libertarian party candidate running for president who probably doesn't have much of a chance to be elected. on the other hand, there may well be a barely tolerable republican party candidate who may have a better chance. who will you support? >> it's very early to start
saying who -- [laughter] [inaudible conversations] >> which kind of candidate would you guide people toward? >> i'm going to guide people towards whoever is the most libertarian and has the most likely chance of getting elected. that might be someone in the libertarian party, there might even be good democrats at the local and state level who have libertarian philosophies that libertarian voters should be happy to vote for, and they will be. that's why i think this conversation is really important. one of the big things that divides libertarians and conservatives right now are these social issues, and there's a question as to whether libertarians should maintain the alliance that's been around for a long time or the if we should develop other alliances or develop our own effort, and we need to figure out if there's a way for us to work together or not. i think there is, but we need some give on both sides. >> well, thanks so much. one other question from the audience here. back to my original point, why have government defined marriage at all?
that is in the libertarian party platform. [applause] michael? >> the government defines marriage because, ultimately, when marriages break apart and there are children in the marriage, a government is inevident my involved. how else do you settle who gets custody of children, where the children will live, who's going to be responsible for supporting the children? and even -- marriage is a contractual relationship. marriage is not a private relationship. we are just planning, my wife and i are planning our son's wedding, and it's not private at all. [laughter] there are lots of people involved, and there are lots of legalities. and jewish tradition it is a contractual relationship. and a contractual relationship in our society are enforced and arbitrated by government. and what i think is fascinating here is the notion that particularly with gay adoption which, by the withdraw, i've support -- by the way, i've supported for a long time because i do believe a loving, stable, gay couple is a much
better place to put a child than with either a single father or a single mother or in some kind of institution. and i think the conservatives, most conservatives -- [applause] can acknowledge that. but having, having said that, having said that, if you have gay adoption and the couple breaks apart, it's obviously has to be a governmental matter. it's going to come before a court. and courts need to be governed by legalities. >> the libertarians, what do you guys do with matt smalling who wrote in his book -- spaulding who wrote in his book, quote, a mission of limited government religion is the greatest source of the virtue and moral character required for self rule. does that fly in the face of the autonomy that's inherent the libertarianism? >> not for me. that very well might be true, i don't know. and if it's true, i'm totally happy with it.
i mean, -- one of the geniuses f the to american system is that we not only allowed, had some separation between church and state, but we allowed for religious competition,? my wife is french, and france is a dominant catholic country, and they had a different idea about, you know, how to build their republic. and it's alazing to me -- amazing to me and to them to see the amount of religious devotion in this country and the amazing good works that church. s do in this country which is totally not replicated anywhere else in europe which has a much different approach towards these issues. so our, you know, free market and religion, to use a term that might sound crass, i think, has been a wonderful thing churches are integral. i don't know how integral, but they're integral to how communities get built and how america maintains them. >> so i'm not kicked off the island. >> yeah, no, i mean -- >> my point here is, you know, we're cutting two different
conversations really mixed up. one is a political conversation about how to fight through existing policies right here and now. but the broader question is more this philosophical question. and there i think we misunderstand it when we start talking about the various isms we fall into. the true fusion, the higher fusion, the true fusion of western civilization is in what the founders did themselves. not just because they're ours, but because of what they accomplished. namely, bringing all these things together, a very strong moral backbone and a moral understanding of the grounds for liberty with freedom in a very powerful way through the constitution. that's the source of the fusion. and rather than bickering -- we will continue to bicker over policy until night comes, i suppose. but we should continue to focus on why that agreement, that thing which is the, created the greatest freedom on the face of the earth, right? that's the fusion. and that allows for liberty but protects religious liberty as
well in a very powerful way, and that's our model for -- >> well, wait a minute, though, mat welch. has written in his book, quote: one size fits all colors are fading. americans are becoming more individualized not just with their personal closes, but -- choices, but with their ideologies and politics. does that give you concern for -- >> no, it dun, right? one size fits all, that's progressive liberalism. there's complete agreement on that question. there's also increasing diversity in this society partially because of technology which i think is true. but remember, diversity and the diversity of opinions including religious opinions was exactly james madison's argument about constitution. but that diversity, he also recognized as did jefferson, washington, all the other founders, is based upon a unity, a philosophical unity which they said was self-evident, a moral claim. these things have to go together. you can't have a defense of liberty in a practical sense
without first recognizing that, recognize a moral precept that cannot be denied that all men are created equal. and that's a fundamental truth that gives rise to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. >> i think a major departure point, and i agree with most of that, is that simply i have faith that that exists in america. that's written into our dna through the constitution, through our cultural patterns, transmitted. i have faith that's going to exist. i don't worry that this country is going to be destroyed on that access at all. >> i would disagree with you because particularly when you have government, and this is big government again, promoting multiculturalism which is the opposite of americanization, the idea of not e pluribus i pneumonia, not out of many one, but out of one many, then it's government once again taking a hugely destructive role. and i don't believe that government has to force people into anything. but to encourage the idea that we are one nation and one
culture, and we share common precepts and common responsibilities, it seems to me, is fundamental to a flowishing republic. -- flourishing republic. >> i just think the culture takes care of that it. we don't need government to -- >> okay, yes, but then -- right. right. fine, agreed -- [inaudible conversations] >> have to pull back from government-sponsored multiculturalism. and government sanctioned -- i mean, look, i do not believe that we should outlaw the speaking of any listening other than english, but it seems to me absurd and destructive to the republic that we now print ballots in 70 languages. if people are going to vote in the united states, they should be able to share a common language. [applause] >> wait, i'm confused. weren't you just saying we needed to recognize that the one comes from the many rather than the many comes from the one? shouldn't that be an embrace of decentrallization? >> no. >> that was al gore's mistake, if you recall. >> you share something in common with your neighbor which is the
ability to communicate with hem. [applause] >> the problem here is i think libertarianism is too defensive in that it assumes whenever we talk about any unity, it means absolute unity which we object to as well. the question is, can we have any unity? anything upon which we agree? >> very good. >> and the point is, we can't have freedom, right? look at history before 1776. there was no freedom in the world that came anywhere near what the americans accomplished. why? because it was run by absolutism and kings and absolute rulers, or it was complete and utter anarchy. what the americans said is that, no, we agree on certain things, certain things that are unalienable, right? and on the basis of that, government should be based on consent. those are the two sides of the coin. they follow like night and day.
>> alexander, do you think that we're destined to remain in a two-party system, or do you see a breaking up and realignment on a big scale coming in the future? >> i think there are a lot of things in the political system in the united states that prevent a third party from really taking a significant role in that system. but what i think we're going to see and political economy 101 teaches us is that if demographic trends change over time, political parties and politicians will have to adopt new positions in order to get elected which is what they exist for. and so the rising libertarian nature of today's youth does mean that i expect the republican party to become more libertarian in order to get elected. i also expect the democratic party to become more libertarian in order to appeal to young voters, and i think we're going to see major policy reforms over the next 10-20 years in consequence of that. >> if i can, i actually agree with you completely. and i do want to take the opportunity, i have become
somewhat notorious and been widely criticized by the libertarian party, that's large l libertarian party, as an institution for always referring to them on my radio show as the losertarian party and not a party but as a quasi-religious death cult. [laughter] and once that death cult goes on to finish the kool-aid and actually joins the american political system by participating in one of our two viable political parties, it can make huge contributions by emphasizing the proper, small government, minimized government libertarian means to achieving either the goals that conservatives favor or the goals that liberals favor. >> i would just like to point out in op to decision to that -- opposition to that that probably as george will said the single most interesting thing happening in american politics right now is basically cha's happening -- what's happening in this room,
the debate that's happening within the republican party and within conservativism. the tea party, for my money, has been the single most interesting new phenomenon in american politics. [cheers and applause] >> absolutely. >> you crazy hooters over there, you know that part of the reason that happened was that the tea party said, no, we're not going to stay on the reservation. we're not going to join forever ask can be counted on to reliably vote forever for your damn candidates. we want candidates who stand up for the values that we have that have not been represented. [applause] and so when they said, yeah, we'll lose, we'll nominate christine o'donnell, bring it on, who cares? when they said that, they announced to karl rove and the political blushment in washington that -- establishment in washington that, look, values matter more than pretty candidates, than people you want to nominate, and we're going to change the type of republican that goes to washington. [applause] we have new republicans in washington because precisely people said i'm going to be more
of a free agent politically. i'm going to use independents as a weapon. and so now we have interesting people like rand paul, like justin amash who are inconceivable in american politics in 2009, and i think that's a great thing. >> thank you. matthew spalding, last word to you. >> at hillsdale we make all of our students actually learn something about america and the institution. [laughter] and the constitution. and one of the things we ask them when they come and i ask my students what kind of conservative you are, they say i'm a libertarian, a neo-con, you name it, that's the wrong question. that immediately divides us, immediately points to our differences. the question is what do we wish to conserve, and that is american liberty. [applause] and this country is the most powerful force for liberty on the face of the earth, and i'm telling you, we are on verge of losing that country. and if we don't come together in a very powerful way, in the way the founders did, we are going
to lose it, and we shouldn't be an instrument of losing it. but if we come together, we win because we have the ideas, and we're the group of ideas, and we have the truth. >> well said. we're out of time. please express your appreciation. [applause] >> great panel, thank you. great panel. >> it was fun. [applause] ♪ ♪ >> and some news here in washington, d.c., the smithsonian has a new leader. former president of cornell university, dr. david score ton, he's the cardiologist and the first beings to lead the smithsonian with. he'll talk the helm in october. the smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex. it includes 19 museums based primarily here on the national mall as well as the national zoo and nine research facilities around the world. and looking at capitol hill, the senate will be in today later than usual, 4:00 eastern time.
they'll be working on general speeches and then an appeals court nomination for the tenth circuit court of appeals. a vote on that nomination at 5:30 and a second vote to move forward on claire mccaskill's pill on military sexual assaults -- military sexual assaults. after that, democratic senators will begin an all-night discussion on climate change. you can watch it live from the senate floor here on c-span2. and on our companion network, c-span, live at 2:30 today senator bob casey will be talking about elections in afghanistan and the u.s. role there beyond this year after the scheduled troop drawdown. senator casey is the chair of a foreign relations subcommittee that monitors that region. he'll be speaking at the center for american progress, and we'll bring you his remarks live at 2:30 eastern time. >> the original plan when they built the new 22-story capitol in the 1970s was to tear down the historic capitol. but a fought ensued, basically,
between politicians and the people of florida, and there was a save the old capitol campaign. when the call came out that the architects had planned to demolish the historic structure, the citizen campaign to save the old capitol had prevailed, and the two buildings were going to coexist in one capitol complex. but how exactly the historic capitol would be restored to was then the debate. it wasn't whether we save it or not, it was what time period should we restore it to. and the 1902 version offered great benefits because all three branches of government were in this one building, and the goal of the department of state was to turn it into a museum and use it as a teaching tool for florida school children. so being able to come to this one site and see the supreme court, the governor's office and the house and senate chambers and understand the three branches of government and how
they work together really was a benefit. >> this weekend booktv and american history tv take a look at the history and literary life of florida's state capital, tallahassee. saturday at noon eastern on c-span2 and sunday at 2 on c-span3. >> republican senator rand paul spoke recently at the conservative political action conference. he urged the gathering to work to elect tea party candidates to political office. cpac is hosted yearly by the american conservative union. senator paul spoke for about 20 minutes. [cheers and applause] >> thank you! thank you! [cheers and applause] ♪ >> thank you!
what a great crowd! great to be here. [cheers and applause] imagine, imagine with me for a moment, imagine a time when liberty is again spread from coast to coast. imagine a time when our great country is again governed by the constitution. imagine -- [cheers and applause] imagine a time when the white house is once again occupied by a friend of liberty. [cheers and applause] you may think i'm talking about electing republicans, i'm not. i'm talking about electing lovers of liberty. [cheers and applause]
it isn't good enough to pick the lesser of two evils. we must e elect men, we must elect men and women of principle and conviction and action who will lead us back to greatness. there is a great, a great and tumultuous battle underway for the future not of the republican party, but of the future of the entire country. the question is -- [applause] the question is, will we be bold and proclaim our message with passion, or will we be sunshine patriots, retreating under adverse fire? will we be firm in our convictions, or will we cower, do defeated and meekly dilute our message? will we water down bill of rights, or will we be all on fire like the unstoppable william lloyd garrison?
for 30 years garrison stood as politicians whimpered and compromised and left their fellow man in bondage. gawrsson would not -- garrison would not. he could not sit quietly by. he rose above those politicians that would leave the country half free, half slave. his voice was unwavering. i will be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice. i will be in earnest. i will not equivocate, and i will not excuse. i will not retreat an inch, and i will be heard. [applause] will you? will you, america's next generation of liberty lovers, will you stand and be heard? [cheers and applause]
thank you. [cheers and applause] the sons of liberty who fought against british soldiers writing their own warrants would today make a bonfire of secret orders issued by federal police. the sons of liberty risked everything to guarantee your right to a trial by jury. they would today call out to president, they would say we will not be detained, spied upon, nor have our rights abridged. we will not submit, and we will
not trade our liberty for security. not now, not ever. [cheers and applause] yet as our voices rise in protest, the nsa monitors your every phone call. if you have a cell phone, you are under surveillance. i believe what you do on your cell phone is none of their damn business. [cheers and applause]
i believe this is a profound constitutional question: can a single warrant be applied to millions of americans' phone records, e-mails, credit cards? the government says, and i'm telling you the truth, this is what your government maintains, they say you don't own your records, that your visa statement does not belong to you. i disagree. the fourth amendment is very clear, warrants should be issued by a judge. warrants must be specific to the individual. a single warrant for millions of american phone records hardly sounds specific to the individual. warrants are supposed to be based on evidence of probable cause, that an individual's committed a crime. ..