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tv   Book Discussion on Flashpoints  CSPAN  February 18, 2015 10:43pm-11:40pm EST

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us. there was a small group who wanted it, the people were not convinced. we failed to convince the people. so he didn't say that the people are stupid, that we failed to convince them honestly have to figure out a better way to convince them. so that's not the whole story and the old regime is ultimately responsible for this fact that it dominated the country not that the revolutionary lost the game, they were beaten. but then they had to come up with a better story to tell. you cannot change this military dictatorship and we all are in favor of social justice. and you have to have a better story to tell. and he has this curriculum of political education, meaning
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that they actually have a thousand operatives that know something and others don't know anything about politics. >> thank you i am delighted and the audience should know that you're going to speak to the council on foreign relations. it is important that those that they hear what you have to say. one word of advice, do not shorten your comprehensive answers to questions. just do it as you are doing it because people need to hear what you have to say. i take a lot of encouragement and for years i have been talked about this and i hear which
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means building from the ground up and that is how howard it's shifted and books will be signed and you can hear it again and invite others to watch it with you. >> thank you all for coming. thank you all so much. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> tomorrow on c-span2 the summit on combating terrorism continues with opening remarks by secretary of state john kerry. he's much alive at a 45:00 p.m. eastern. and then preventing terrorism.
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and the discussion at the center for strategic and international studies. bob schieffer moderates. it begins at 5:30 p.m. eastern. >> the c-span city is tour, traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history and literary life. we partnered with time warner cable for a visit to greensboro, north carolina. >> charles, who had been part of this he walked over and he noticed that this was in 1832 document. he was a single male and discovered books and portraits
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in this includes displaying different items from time to time and some of these accounted for her that. some of the items we currently have on display there was have a card enclosed with dolly signature and a pair of silk slippers that had tiny ribbons that tie across the arches of her foot. and the two dresses are the reproduction of a silk a peach soaked down that she wore early in life and a red velvet gown which has intrigued part of the
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collection and there is also a legend that is now part of the stress. >> want all of our evidence saturday new on booktv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock on american history tv on c-span3. >> george friedman is the founder of political intelligence firm and he argues that internal divisions will intensify along with conflicts between the eu and russia. he spoke at a bookstore in washington dc. this is about one hour. >> good evening on behalf of the owners and staff of politics & prose. welcome thank you for
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coming out on this wintry night. before we get started, i would like to remind everybody to turn off or silence cell phones as well as i would like to remind everyone that we are recording the event and so when it's time to ask questions please use the audience microphone which is right there so that your rest and will be recorded as well. please put at the end of the event -- can you hear me? is it on now? >> if you could also put your chair at the end of the evening and put it against a nearby shelf, that would be very helpful. [inaudible] oh okay. okay. is this better? okay. also on your way out be sure to grab a schedule that has her
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events, as we host a lot of wonderful events in partnership, please be sure to check it out. now to introduce our guest author, george friedman is a political author and ceo of the private intelligence corporation, which he founded in 1996 and he has written many books and his most recent includes two "new york times" best-sellers. the next one is called the next 100 years of forecast for the 21st century and the other the next decade of what the world will look white. he has been invited to speak for major institutions as well as government organizations and is well he regularly appears as an international affairs expert for such media organizations as fortune, "newsweek", just to name a few. he is here with us tonight to talk about his new book "flashpoints: the emerging
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crisis in eurpoe." if this title sounds dramatic, subject matter worth it. we appointed to the first half of the 20th century 100 million europeans died as a result of war and genocide, purges and diseases and the like. he immediately wanted to put this into the larger context of history and present who is the real possibilities that the conditions that led her to self-destruct in the last century could persist into the next. his analysis of the situation is made all the more relevant by the fact that his own family originally from budapest only narrowly survived world war ii and the beginning of the cold war. this is the work of a political scientist and also as george makes clear a motivated study by a highly personal connection to historical events, please join me in welcoming george friedman.
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[applause] >> good evening. i always feel inadequate i am reminded of how many books i have not read and it is a frightening thought. i wrote this book for two reasons, the first was that when i published the next 100 years, which is a book that i wrote i forecasted in it with the european union couldn't really survived in the form that was taken. that was published in 2008 and was written in 2006 and 2007 and obviously was preposterous. i want to revisit it not only because i was right and it was nice to be right, but more because europe is so central to human history in the past 500 years. what happened in europe is something that happens everywhere, and it is uniquely
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influential on the world, europe is not just another place. the second reason i wanted to write this book is because i born hungarian. my families life was bound up by by the geopolitics of europe. and they have made their lives and starting a business in the kind of liberalism and hungry between the wars. they survived the holocaust and then found themselves to be hunted by the communist and the social democrats. at the age of six months i was put on a rubber raft with my 11-year-old sister and my father and mother and we paddled across
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the danube on august night and told that searchlights were across the water and guard towers were there. the cold war had begun and on both sides the sense of foreboding was deep. i was six months old. i was six months old and i was drugged. if i cried out at night we would die. my life claim from came from this plays the years of 1940 and 1945, 31 years in which europe went from an extraordinarily civil and decent place to a life of extraordinary barbarism and
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my family was shaken by that. my father's nightmares, my mother's nightmares, every night they would go back to the past. and for me the cold war was the defining element of my life in many ways and that grew out of this timeframe. and so they came to accept being genuinely american and not living in texas of all places, you can't be more american than that, can you? [laughter] and so growing up in new york moving around the country i always have this tension between myself as an american, where i went to school and grew up and a hungarian, which was my first language, so i wrote this book
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and it is a deep paradox in europe. on the one side it conquered the world in an overstated nature is man's relationship with each other. when europe started in the 15th century, the mongolians had never heard of the congolese and the congolese had never heard of the aztecs come each thought themselves in a way a lone, but what they did with with blood and strife and horror was to create a humanity. everyone became aware of everyone else to the point that for the first time in the enlightenment, the single concept of humanity, that was an extraordinary achievement in the world. we didn't know ourselves, we created this humanity maybe not a common humanity, but a
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humanity that we knew and it also created london and paris on the eve of world war i and an extraordinary place of not just physical culture but of a place where on a night like this mozart would be played and the winter would be kept outside and lights were on and when you compare that to a century before, that is an extraordinary place. and at the same time and never conquered itself. many tried. the spanish and the french to english and germans and dutch. they could never come together permanently or be subjugated and the geography made it impossible.
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it has 52 sovereign nations and it's a place that you can drive for two hours in northern europe and encounter for languages, all difficult to understand in many ways. and what is important about europe is that it conquered the world. and it conquered a singular culture of science and philosophy to the world and yet never stopping to be at war with itself and never stopping this constant warfare [inaudible] there was one individual that wrote a book called the great illusion which he demonstrated that there could be no serious wars in europe because the level of interdependency the exposure the financial markets if there was a water -- consequences for
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trade made such a war impossible. we look back chuckling but i kept remembering norman. ..
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i always wondered what would have happened if they owned nuclear weapons. from 1945 until the collapse of the soviet union until 1992 piece was not a gift the europeans gave themselves. it themselves. it was given to them by the americans and the russians. it was only 1992 when the soviet union collapsed and the americans lost interest that europe was sovereign and the treaty creating the modern european union, the euro zone, everything else went into existence and it
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did create a continent of enormous hope and promise and it spread to countries like greece, opened greece opened the door that greece would participate in the european experiment promised that germany and france would never again be emily's -- enemies. it succeeded magnificently. a years of 1992 and two and after were among the most prosperous in the world, extraordinary prosperity. the founding principle of europe is peace and prosperity not like life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness but prosperity and piece and it left open the question, what if they're was no prosperity?
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what if they're was no peace? what would happen then? but from 1992 onward the european sense of exceptionalism the belief that they had reached a plateau where they had learned the lesson that war doesn't pay and that understanding meant they're would be no more they had learned that prosperity was better than poverty and therefore their would be prosperity. all of this changed in seven weeks. august 82008 russian troops invaded georgia. this was not in itself an event of transcendent importance but announced that even the things he felt were gone, the ghosts that come back to life russia declared his presence with authority which is still
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playing itself out in the ukraine and elsewhere. the idea that the russian question had been settled. it was demonstrated that as so many things in europe everything appeared settled but nothing ever is. seven weeks later lehman brothers collapsed and the collapse of lehman brothers. but how badly for the europeans. many european many european banks have started with the sub prime mortgage crisis the europeans always say to me, you americans started this. he did not have to buy it guys. and they did. the financial crisis ensued
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and the americans no how to deal with financial crisis. against all reasonable laws the head of the federal reserve bank, the secretary of the treasury and the major bankers. the sec. of treasury read them the riot act and said this is what we are going to do the next day. but as badly as the united states was hit it did not cascade and cascade and cascade and told me to last quarter at 5 percent. not bad. the europeans had never experienced this before. before. the 4th major crisis of this sort since world war ii the bond crisis, crisis, the third world debt crisis, the loan crisis. all solved in the same way. the government intervened in and the bankers called the
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government irresponsible for his behavior. a wonderful game that we play. the europeans have no room to go into, know commonality for one thing there was no question it does not want to bail out illinois but in europe the question of germany versus greece france versus germany, this was the question know one went into to our room because it was the bankers that were out of order but in the end the european union was a treaty a treaty of sovereign nations that can go their own way that was not a united states of europe which came out more and more and more. here was the fundamental problem of europe. germany at its heart is the 4th largest economy in the world.
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it exports 50 percent of its gdp. one one half of that going to the free trade zone of europe. germany needs a free trade zone desperately. so belligerent, a bit of a bluff, guys. they are in huge trouble. imagine imagine if the united states exported 50 percent of its gdp and half of that went to mexico. what would be the condition? the germans used the yellow because they had to to set prices in way that is facilitating both their exports and protecting them from massive inflation.
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the tax structure of europe and the fact that nearly going bankrupt does not mean that the people you have laid off are not your problem. so we are in the poor countries and you would expect massive risk-taking. it did not occur but when it occurred as occurred in the black market because no one can afford the taxes. there was know google that was going to emerge in your. there was know microsoft that was going to challenge ibm and destroy the mainframe business. siemens, corporation is a corporation today. europe was constructed in such a way as to ensure that the existing institutional corporations the massive ones were preserved and that
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the wave of constant innovation that destroyed and created knew companies did not quite take place in the same way. when the banking crisis in europe and the europeans tried to solve the problem and other banking crisis not a mortgage crisis but a sovereign debt crisis and the sovereign debt crisis was simply that all of the countries, a lot of them could not pay back their loans. they could not pay back there bonds. to me, greece me, greases the for everything that happens in europe, not the outlier. everything that happens in greece eventually happens to everyone else. what is to be done? what was to be done was either forgive the debts
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restructure them in some way some fundamental way or way, or force the debtor nations to pay back what they owe. it was a great debate between germany and the rest of europe and the germans voted for paying it back. the result was austerity and that that austerity created a massive wave of unemployment. the unemployment rate today is 23%. 23 percent. the unemployment rate increases 26 percent. when you take all of mediterranean europe southern italy, france, the unemployment rate 20% and more. it. it is an important number because that is about the them to fund the unemployment rate of that -- a massive depression.
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i am not blaming the germans. they are trapped. trapped. they have built an industrial plan far greater and had to export and used every tool that they needed. needed. the others consumed and did not develop. when it came down to it they're was know one european experience anymore. the idea that we are one is lost. germany was experiencing life in a different way than britain and certainly in a different way than southern europe and eastern europe facing the russians reemerging after 2,008 alone because the spaniards is not worry much about the russians. the germans did not worry much about the greeks. what happened was a fragmentation.
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>> there was no european experience. it was a greek experience, an italian experience command on the national experiences we managed. what it meant to be a european changed tremendously. think about who was affected. government employees were affected. the the department of motor vehicles. certainly that unpleasant woman in the cardigan sweater is not needed. even here the government is far more adept but it is more than the united states. electrical engineers. the economy is much greater. there is a friend in greece who is an architect even
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those who are employed are on the edge all well beyond the. when the poor get poorer is not a radical event because they understand what it means. misery compounded by misery. when you are an architect a dr. of professional in the middle class there is an expectation of how you we will live. suddenly there is expectation they will get better. but it has been more than six years and it has only gotten worse.
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what you see happening is the rise of the parties you saw in the 1920s and 30s all united in the idea that it was a bad idea. by the way, since the muslim zone. mainstream parties of europe being challenged by the united kingdom. in spain in france parties that have been marginally nonexistent until recently i taking power. they are saying we cannot live in this europe.
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in the end the problem of europe is simply this it is a a coalition of nations who are there for piece and prosperity and if they do not have prosperity what is the.of being european? this is the same problem that the united states has. upon founding we were called these united states. we had a problem of this sort the economy out of the south and the north emerged: emerged: more understanding of what the north meant, and we met at gettysburg for a great conference and agreed with much blood and violence in our that this was one nation under god indivisible with liberty and
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justice for all. who we will guide to preserve the european union? who we will go to gettysburg where we will the grand army of her public be based from to back they're is no center of gravity of european on the economic center. the basic reality of europe which is a nation a continent of nationstates who share know faith we had just seen the decision by the european central bank to do what is called qe. it is interesting to find how they have to do it. the european central bank we will not distribute this money. each of the national banks
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we will print the money and are allowed to buy only there own debt because know nation wants to take part in the default of another nation. no nation wants to be liable for another nation's irresponsibility and each nation wants to control how it is spent and that just happened last week. the reemergence reminds us not only that europe is divided but that for the for millennia it has been a place of conflict and more. it may it may be coincidence, but that war is already there in ukraine.
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being faced by nations like poland and romania who look to nato to help them. that is a loss of sovereignty and commitment. the americans announced that the united states is pre-positioning tanks in the whole and can account hungary, and the baltics. that may not have been noticed by many people but is quite a commitment. it is the united states that will take this we will. it it is important to understand that europe was never at peace. the europeans were saying they were in the european union, so it does not count. what is happening here is that countries that face
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russia the baltics, poland romania they faced them alone. it is as if when the pacific seems to be at risk i already was not involved which is the real reality of europe. the nationstate represents a shared fate, history culture a love of one's own one of the things that the european union tried to do is not abolish the love of one's own but redefined it so that you have two loves me your country and your which is pretty much what they tried to do. very hard to have two loves. do not try at home.
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this is the underlying crisis of europe today increasingly the institutions institutions that help europe together between 1992 and 2,008 are collapsing. the fundamental innards of the system are not working. before the american and russian occupation europe was a nightmare. my life my life would not be what it is. there is the question. is it possible to not resort to what they have resorted to for? war in europe is unthinkable
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the idea the idea that you can have european nationstates returned to full sovereignty and but not live with the consequences is the great test and ultimately you cannot have 52 countries living on the 2nd smallest continent in the world in a place where there are multiple industries can multiple languages and multiple narratives of what happened 500 years ago were thousands of years ago. if you wonder about that go to hungary and ask asked them about the romanians. asked that hungarians about the romanians. they are talking about the same history and do not like each other. it is interesting to your back their and who germans speak of the absolutely dissolute freaks and the
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greeks speak of the return of german paratroopers. you you think that all of this is passed. and i i do not think they're is any basis for optimism. europe is not exceptional it becomes an interesting question. telling stories of how the others betrayed them which is an uneasy thing at the center of the world with a single integrated entity that set the stage and to realize that it is returned.
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[applause] i i see potentially a fracturing of europe depending upon what happens in greece you can have a problem but even if that
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were to happen the core of europe france germany, you no maybe in spain, spain england is a problem hear, has always been a problem. >> not to the english. >> to the french. that can be a problem. if you have a fracturing of europe the fracturing is not going to lead to a fracturing. i do not see that at all. i i simply do not buy that. >> that may be true. >> if that does not fracture that is a major potential stabilizing aspect for europe as such. they're are problems on the periphery.
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>> most europeans do not live in france and germany. >> absolutely. but they are a dominant culture. i am not saying that they have got to go to war. the fundamental fall line is between the european peninsula and the mainland the line that runs from the baltics through belarus, ukraine, sometimes used and this phone fall line was one of the foundations of world war i where my family fought it was not the french trenches but the germans the austro-hungarian, the turks. and when we speak of the fragmentation of europe it is altogether possible it will have different fragments but we see this borderland coming to life my attention developing the
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confrontation in eastern europe and the tension and one of the fragments is this huge center of gravity of europe which is certainly in terms of size, significance, as important, this has become alive. one of the most important questions is we will the germans join us. one of the most important discussions is between the germans and the russians who are also flirting with each other. therefore it is not germany and france but this entire periphery shatters and when it shatters what will you do? you just saw an election that was 45 percent of the scots voting to leave a 300 year union. in barcelona and
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independence movement the northerly in italy speaking about dividing. dividing. it is not simply that history we will repeat itself but it is that even within countries the assumptions that in northern italy and southern italy, one country being challenged i do not know what the fragmentation we will look like but if you go to romania or poland they feel the air war and what is going on in the ukraine a significant and there question is where does germany stand back and that question is not easy to answer. while i we will agree with you that is extremely difficult to imagine the netherlands involved in a war i we will argue that 1st the assumption that this is the heart of europe is true in one sense but it
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is hard to say that britain is not part of the heart of europe or spain or what draws the center apart historically has not only been animosity but fear of the turks, and that fear is very real. >> thank you. >> it is a wonderful thing to wish to have peace and prosperity, isn't it much better than to metal and mess up the world. i i submit to you that the problems of europe were not just europe's doing. instead of after the end of soviet russia instead of helping russia their was hope.
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we want we want cold war. great. i am trying to help them prevent russia from falling into complete economic collapse that caused tremendous change in the society the mortality rate increased the life expectancy of the men. there was starvation, misery, misery suffering and now we have the backlash we take attention to europe and the united states plus the fact that they're was this talk about the missile defense and moving these. that was seen by many russians as a hostile policy my question is i want you to
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comment on that. >> sure. the united states is 25% of the world economy economy, controls all the oceans and bears responsibility by default in some way for everything. however, the question of europe is a european question. the attempt to shift the burden to the united states is the same as shifting the burden of the civil war. one of the things that happens when these crisis happened is what happened in russia ultimately was russians doing. what happened what happened in the united states is ultimately the american doing. the gdp of europe is greater than the united states.
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the idea that have the united states engaged in trying to rebuild russia and be reason to deeply of the united states can be shown to intersect with everything that happens. it cannot be held morally responsible. if you want to talk about the fact that the united states did things that may have moved nations, i we will fully agree. if you want to say that absent the united states this would not have happened, i don't think that is true. what happened in happened in russia had a great deal to do with germany and the european union and the european union policies toward russia then
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it had to do with the united states. the european union has a great deal of trade. i do not think responsibility is the issue of blame is the issue. it is it is the underlying geopolitical structure that determines what comes out of it and it is one of the characteristics of human beings that someone must be held responsible and it must not be me. the fact of the matter is they're are many forces beyond anyone's control. >> i have been using research for some time. however, i want to thank you for what is basically a pretty good service. the question of genetic modification of agriculture.
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stratford used to cover this topic extensively but has not run a single a single article on this since 2,006. this is because of the financial relationship between stratford and the influential companies. would you care to comment? >> we have know relationship >> why have you ignored? >> essentially we don't know enough about it. it is a highly technical subject on which science is divided and there is nothing that we can say and add. there are many issues we do not discuss. we confine ourselves to those issues upon which we have something significant to say. when the issue 1st broke out we may have looked at it but we also do not discuss discuss, you no, questions of ebola very much except to
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mention -- >> that does not have the geopolitical importance. >> i'm not sure that it has a geopolitical importance. you have made up your mind. i mind. i am contending that i am ignorant. we don't we don't cover it because we don't cover issues that are technical and that we are not knowledgeable in. i i hope you go to the website and read our e-mails because the distance between what is claimed to be in those e-mails and what is in them is breathtaking. we have know relationship with monsanto nor any other companies they have claimed that we work for. while we do not cover it there are plenty of people who are experts. >> shouldn't you be hiring some of those people? >> i am wondering a lot about nato. is nato a substantial force?
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is it reliable? use we will? capable? what is it? is the united states bound through nato treaties to defend countries that are nato members and that russia may invade? >> we mustn't overstate russian strength. >> not strength but nerve. >> nerve does not get you enough fuel to get they're. what i am saying is 1st of all, nato is a military alliance. therefore it does not exist. you you can have a military alliance without militaries. most do not have militaries. praiseworthy or not, that is the reality. a mutual defense treaty in which only one nation as a
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sufficient military force to have a real, significant effect, not a symbolic contribution is not they're. my opinion, nato does not exist. it certainly has wonderful parties, cocktail parties in brussels are outstanding, but it does not have the core ability of the organized command structure that can order troops into combat and nato is built so that any action must be approved by everyone unanimously. during the cold war when there was a general consensus that was not a matter of that right now if the united states were to want to support poland or ukraine or something like that that would be hard to do. the united states would have to do it pretty much by itself.
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even if our allies cannot help itself with this. the united states is not working toward bilateral relations outside the context of nato. >> one quick announcement announcement, people who are standing up, this we will be our last question. >> to questions. if you still are following hungary i would like you to comment on you know the kind of turned to the right of hungarian politics and
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the meaning of that and secondly, a couple of weeks ago the leaders of europe were standing together in paris and whether that is an anomaly or whether it represented some kind of attempt at least to recapture some europeans. >> the meetings take place. what came a few weeks after that was the bailout plan. they use the national banks. so you can stand together and take pictures. hungary pictures. hungary is an interesting case because you have a prime minister who has been -- has said basically that the european union is a a threat. what happened is mortgages were let out by german austrian banks and they were denominated in euros denominated in swiss francs
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even in the end. hungary retains its currency the hungarian footing has collapsed and the ability to repay mortgages has devolved went to the european union and said your going to have to restructure and they refused. he said, okay. i. i understand that you refuse. we are repaying about 60 percent of the dollar and your other option as we don't repay anything. we default. give us a call when you make a decision. two things happened. first, the europeans decided that the european -- the eurocrats, i should say decided that he was a monster and they did not object to the bailout. they were happy to get $.60


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