tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 31, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT
i think when you look at the latino population across the country, it is growing and it is often said republicans badly need to do so much better with latinos in order to have a chance. most latino voters are concentrated in states that are not particularly competitive at the presidential level, whether it is california, texas, or new york. only in colorado, nevada, and florida do they make up such a significant portion that they can really swing electorate college votes. i ca root for candidates without necessarily having to win huge numbers of latino and asian american voters that they lost in 2012. 4/5: could they give up at and still win in the white house? guest: my hunch is if republicans do win in 2016, it
is because they have done better with every group across the board. we have divided the electorate in the chart, available on our website, into voters with college degrees, voters without college degrees, because we have found that educational attainment has been a pretty votective component of the when you look back a couple of decades. democrats have been doing better and better with voters with clege >> doing better and better. that is another interesting aspect. >> let's get a couple more calls. dearborn heights michigan independence line. >> hello. i'm calling about south carolina. therecarolina. there is a state that is probably almost 50 percent black and 50 percent white. i might be wrong about that. unless i am mistaken there is only one black congressman. this idea that the supreme court, redistricting is
wrong. about a computer idea is great. i'm a democrat. independent democrats. the.is, we have to make the election fair. take three states like texas, florida, california, the minorities in our majority and we have nothing but 90 percent white congressman. how is that possible? >> well, there are a lot of reasons. in the state like texas, texas, for example, i think the greatest factor at work is simply the lack of eligibility you see that even in the district, texas 23rd district, 68 percent
latino. anglo still make up a pretty big majority of all voters there. aa district is currently represented by a republican. you even see some districts in texas were african-american democrats for anglo democrats have to be latino candidates and primary simply because latino voters are eligible or do not show up in great numbers. the caller raised the issue of south carolina, and i find that interesting cases well. south carolina is closer to 30 percent african-american but still the caller has a point. if you were to apply that 30% in the state's seven districts it would be more logical for the state to have two rather than simply one. south carolina gained the southern district in 2010
and chose not to draw an additional african-american majority district. so that then becomes a legal football. do you have to maximize the number, or is it acceptable to simply draw, to maintain the african-american sheriff that one. and. and actually, the obama justice department signed off on a republican after 2010 in south carolina that preserve just one seat. >> just want to look ahead as we wrap. we did not touch on this earlier. where things stand anyway at the end of may. republicans 210, 169. likely orlean seats, 28 republicans, 16 democrats. nine republicans three democrats. a whole lot of movement will happen in 2016.
could any ofcould any of these decisions from the court or other courts change that? >> well, it is remarkable that we have 435 congressional districts that only 12 or tossups. that has contributed to the decline of any suspense by the time election night comes around. i do noti do not anticipate that the supreme court ruling in arizona will affect that. if anything it preserves a couple of competitive seats that might have otherwise been eliminated bipartisan. and in 2016 republicans stand an excellent chance to maintain their majority in the house.
democrats will gain seats bouncing back from a bad year in 2014 when a lot of there own constituencies stayed home in large numbers , but democrats would need to pick up 30 seats to get back to the minority. right now we only rate nine republican at severe risk. risk. there are another 13 that lean republican. even if it would still fall a seats short of the majority. democrats have some of there own seats at risk, to. >> senator for the cook report viewers and c-span listeners can follow your reporting on the house, follow you on twitter. thank you for joining us. >> thank you so much. >> tonight on the communicators this summer marks the 25th anniversary of digital television, author of television areas discusses how modern television has changed. >> many of us are watching
in the multi screen world which has been one of the more exciting outcomes of this whole digital revolution. it used to be that there was a stationary screen and with hdtv that was a big screen in living room. but the internet in the wireless world now you have tablets and smartphones and wi-fi all over the place such that tv is not just a stationary lean back experience of the living room but is very much a mobile experience wherever you want to go, and it is not just tv. it is video. >> tonight at 8:00 o'clock eastern on the communicators. >> the c-span cities to are working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. we are joined by card -- --
we are joined by charter communication, the mining of a certain mineral. >> all over the colorado potato and especially here in mesa county outside of grand junction we are surrounded. wewe find dinosaur bones, fossils, and that is intriguing scientists. the other thing we find is a mineral, rock. it contains radium. also contains something used to strengthen steel. during the bold -- during the build up to world war ii it was of extreme value. it also contains uranium which is one of the best sources for atomic power and atomic weapons. >> colorado congressman was
largely responsible for this areas agricultural development through water legislation. >> fought the battle to preserve water for western colorado by making sure that we got our fair share. how? well, beginning in his state career and going onto his federal career he climbed up the ladder of seniority and was able to exercise. more power than you might normally have. certainly in the united states congress where he was able to make sure colorado and western colorado would be treated fairly in any divisions of water. his 1sthis 1st major success was the passage of the colorado river storage project in 1956. >> see all of our programs from grand junction and
sunday afternoon american history tv. >> joining us from toronto canada is mubin shaikh. good morning. jihadi." tell us valuable, why did you write a? guest: hello. i really wanted to put the message out for really, other mothers -- other young muslims. to put up ande book hopefully see themselves in it. for people to see what happens to people. there were multiple reasons for doing it. host: you talk about your own adoption of radical ideas. tells about your story. how did you get to that point? guest: i went to public school
during the daytime. it was a very mixed environment. very caring, nurturing environment. in the evening, i would go to koran school. it was like the indian or pakistani system where boys and girls were separated. you sit in front of wooden benches, not understanding of word of what you are reading. if you made a mistake, you were slapped. this severe contrast, i believe, late of foundation for an identity crisis that would manifest later on in life. when i got to high school, i wasn't picked on or bullied. i was one of the cool kids. we were part of the in crowd, so to speak. party, and my house party -- and my father was
out of the country. he told his brother, my uncle, to check on the house while he was gone. of course, in the middle of the house party, my uncle walked in. i was 17 years old. a teenager, it was the end of the world for me. i was shamed into feeling so bad about what i had done, i convinced myself that the only way i could make amends with my family was to quote unquote get religious. to do that, i went to india and pakistan on a four-month religious trip. while i was in pakistan, i had a chance encounter with the taliban. that is where i was the by the , andi bug, as i call it became a supporter of both the taliban and al qaeda after that. host: if you want to talk to the guest about his experience and thoughts arise as asian, (202) 748-8001 for republicans. (202) 748-8000 for democrats.
.ndependents, (202) 745-8002 for muslim americans who want to ask our guest questions, (202) 748-8003. , theus back to pakistan expense with the taliban. what happened and what influence do so much? guest: this was summer 1995. i had gone to a place called -- at that time, it was a stronghold of the taliban. the nerveit became center for the taliban, and the ruling council. when i showed up, i had no understanding of politics of the region. i did not know who the taliban were. i was not really paying attention to a lot of what was going on. of theeard stories region.
there was a war from 1995. , was walking about the area and the group that i had gone with was an apolitical religious group. they encouraged other muslims to be more religious. the idea was that the more you fast, the more you pray, god will bring about change in the world. area, iing around the could see bearded men with turbans, ropes, and i grew nearer to them, thinking they were religious people. and i realize, they were armed. they had a lot of weaponry on them. a guy like me at that moment, coming from the background that i came from, seeking validation in the islamic context, seeking some sort of persona that would
resonate with me, i was young and infringers, and saw these guys, and that was it. , even up to people today, look upon these groups as heroes from the days of old. stories -- ut the and now, here i am. enamored bypletely them. they presented to me a category of hero that i could buy into, so to speak. host: you talked about this and wrote about in your book, that taughty sense was only as a necessary evil of life, unlike how terrorist groups like isis now teach. tell us about what you learned about the topic of jihad, and how you think it is practiced today. meetinghe little
means struggle. when it is applied in the context of combat, when you or strugglesombat, regarding your family, you personally, that is what jihad means. when you are struggling in war, or in a combat situation, this is the secondary meaning of jihad. for all intensive purposes, when you here jihad, it is referring to the combat form. koran, anotherhe word means fighting. jihad doesn't mean fighting, a main struggle, but is used in the context of fighting. this is what i learned. the taliban told me, in 19 a five, when you want to bring , you have to use this.
he held up his ak-47. as far as they were concerned, whether you frame out of the doctors self-defense or offense of warfare, this is really the understanding of jihad. i just want to finish out the is a by saying that jihad war tradition. it is a legitimate war tradition with rules of ethics and rules of engagement. what people do today in the name of jihad is not jihad, it is terrorism. shaikh, he is the author of "undercover jihadi." our first call for you is john. john is in massachusetts on the democrats line. go ahead. caller: hi. yes. i don't know if you know this or not. i'm not that religious, but you might be. there was an article, and actually a court case, about one
of your people. a woman who worked for abercrombie & fitch. she sue them because of her religion. she was there for five years and they told her when things were unfair -- i noticed that you have a crucifix on your person. the next time you come back to work, i want you to hide your crucifix. and she said, i cannot do that. to make a long story short, she sued thecompany -- company, it went to the supreme court, and she won. the only negative vote was clarence thomas. i don't know what your background is in religion, but if you worked for abercrombie & fitch, would you have sued the company? if we are going to live
in a society that extols the virtues of religious freedom, and that religious freedom is taken away, and you are at a workplace, and lose your job because they are forcing you to choose between your faith and your job, they are going to be responsible for that. i would certainly take the opportunity to teach them a lesson. host: let's try an apple, maryland. independent line. nick, you're next. caller: good morning. i had a specific question about the tenets of islam and the muslim religion that led you first to justifying the jihadist theory, and what tenants of the religion led you to refute. where did the shift in perspective comment. guest: i would give even algae that religion is like a hammer. you can either build a home with it or destroy a home with it.
it really does come down to the perspective you have. the worldview that you hold. in the beginning, when i was young, angry, looking for an identity, some of venture, for me, it was the idea of being cool. i fell into it because i haven't really had any religious training, but yet, i came to believe what the taliban told me because they looked cool. they were obviously religious people. iey had beers and turbans, so thought, they are religious people, which is not the case, but that is how i thought. when i went to syria in 2002, after the 9/11 attacks, and properly, yougion learn the rules of interpretation. you did not just pick up the book and start reading. i studied how to interpret the book. the historical context. the literal meaning of words.
that contextual understanding of the religion is what got me out of it. i would say a more superficial emotional aspect is what got me into it. and i would say that is what gets a lot of people into it today. the more intellectual approach got me out of it. moderate were led in a in helping you understand what the koran said. guest: yes. my oldest son, his name is he was born in 1999. youhe arab world, they call father, so father of your child's name. when i answered that i was son, they asked, are you a jihadi? and i said, yes i was.
and this person started challenging me on my knowledge of the word. thisid, let's follow up on after the class. he study, we will study the verses of jihad. he knew i was from canada and i would go back to canada, so he wanted to educate me. i spent almost two years with this in mind -- iman. we studied every verse in the koran the hat of this verse of fighting and construction eyes it -- and contextualize it. host: hussein from jamaica, new york. thank you for calling. caller: good morning, sir. brother, i have one question. , someone0 years ago
systems? jefferson said, give me liberty or give me death. help me. our grandchildren, our grandchildren. do they have any option left? person -- i was eight years old and i saw hindi in muslim women brutalized pakistan and india. help me. what options do muslims have? what happened in the central african countries. what options do muslims have? host: all right. we want to let our guest respond. you are giving him a lot of questions. we will let him respond. guest: thank you.
crusades was about the . when you have these grievances, what do you do about it? the rule of law is very important for us to frame our responses within. even in the time of the crusades, when some of the abuses were taken place, solid return thatd not kind of violence. for example, one of the things where the christian crusaders withrow dead, rotting corpses over the walls, in hopes of infecting people, biological warfare. muslims were always told that they did not respond with the same violence. this is based on a saying that says, do not allow your dislike for a nation to allow you to be just us -- to be unjust.
this is also based on a profit that says, there is no harming or reciprocating of harm. our responses must be framed under the rule of law. on the other hand, even in the international system of the rule of law, there is the rule of self-defense. if you're being a victim from your home, persecuted because you believe in one god, then you can fight. this is something that is in the koran. tomission is given to you fight. those who evicted from your home and persecute you because you say god is one. in the worldly context, it is called the law of self-defense. and killing coming you, you are allowed to fight. paul on our line for
muslim americans. the morning. -- good morning. caller: i'm going to tell you something. 10,000, if the koran not 20,000 times. i'm going to tell you this now. mohammed was a terrorist. he wanted to be a terrorist. read the koran. he said he is going to do whatever he has to do. you either become a muslim, or you die. koran inread the the prophet mohammed is not quoted in it even one time. meaning, he does not say "i" anything. host: from john in illinois for our guest. john, thank you for holding on. go ahead. caller: hello. guest: hi, john. caller: hello. yes. is that humility and
mentality, and the revolution was based on this mentality. , and wethis mentality rollback to the mentality of the 1787 constitution. host: all right, thanks. off of twitter, interviewer is militant islam's beef with america specifically? or, what is their problem with america specifically? guest: right. you have to frame it in a historical context.
i certainly don't put the blame on the u.s. alone. the sunni-shiite divide has been there for years. you can't really blame them for that. really, if you look in the recent history, you can go back 19 et's say we go back to 15. subsequently, in one decade, if you look at the decades after that, -- i understand, the u.s. approach. it is not really any different from the muslim approach. this is of a the muslims to pay attention to. we were also colonialist and imperialist. it is funny for me to see muslims criticizing what the u.s. does. there is criticism for both of us.
coups in iran, setting a proxy groups -- in afghanistan, british,e russian, soviets. the problem is that they see with the u.s. is doing, propping up dictators, dictators have the suppressed, dumb societies down, and then we point at the societies and say, they are not able to do anything, it must be because of their religion. conclusion.lse saddam hussein came to power by a coup. gaddafi came to power because of a coup. , it is. is politicking the otherslitics
have not done. that is what takes them off. hattiesburg, mississippi. curtis, you are next. caller: i want to ask a question. someone got on and try to explain the dues and the don'ts of the religion. i think it is a misconception that everyone is wrong about these people. ok.: if i understood the point correctly -- look, we cannot make generalizations about any group. i used to do this. i used to do this to christians, to jews, to hindus, buddhists, you name it. i had a generalization. then, i met them and talk to them. i may not necessarily agree with all points of doctrine, but if i'm dealing with the person who has a good attitude and
character, i don't care what you believe. i will judge you based on your character. in oneou were recruited way. what do you say in the modern-day about recruitment? specifically, using social media to recruit followers. 40.t: i'm just about to be i'm that old that i can say i was around in the early 90's ,hen it was still yahoo! chat aol chat, and that was the first exposure to social networking that i had. it is vastly different than then. ideayou are seeing is the that you don't even have to get out of your home to develop a social network. develop an intimate relationship with people who can influence really peopleat
only realize can do that. that is the main difference that i see from back then to today. the rate at which people can withract with the other -- i mean, you can talk to people from all corners of the globe. i really think that social media plays a very large role in not only creating new dynamics related to recruitment radicalization, but a completely new experience of human interaction. host: robber from chicago, illinois. you are on with our guest. caller: i just have a, in regards to a lot of the problems are hostilities that americans have towards muslims. we see christians getting beheaded. soldiers getting dragged through the streets of the belt use. m an opinion based
on what they see going on in the middle east. we go over and try to help these people, and still, these people want to kill one another, and have been for thousands of years. we get fed up with that whole deal. racism,ims will cry being told ever coming fits the have to wear certain close, even thes tothey sell clos young kids. we hear race baiting under obama and his whole geopolitics that you mentioned is totally correct. we over -- we are over there because of oil and contracts. that is my main comment. that is the problem that people have with muslims, in regards to them killing one another and
killing christians in the middle east. we are try to help these people unite and go back to democracy. we are sitting back here in the united states -- as a veteran, i'm seeing this, and get frustrated. we are forced to adopt their religion and their way of life when they should be assimilating to our way of life. it is ridiculous. this is the united states, not the middle east. there, trying to push religion, we would get killed. people have gotten killed. guest: that is a good comment. i really don't blame a lot of seeicans, given what they being done in the name of islam. if i had not grown up in the islamic faith, or been exposed to what i was exposed to, i would think that islam is a barbaric religion.
i would be very hard pressed to figure out how these people are worshiping god. i knowledge that. because of what people do in the name of islam. that is number one. the perception that people have is based on extremism, a violent manifestation of the religion. for example, lucy is walking down the street, and she eal, andon a banana p we blame lucy, but is because of the banana. this goes back to the argument that if you're going to empower blame the don't religion. it is the dictators that are dumbing the people down. if you look at islam in various
times in history, the ians where the scientists. it is false to say that the muslim world cannot do it, it is because of the religion. it has a situational attribution to it. the last point, you're right. if u.s. is going to go there to force religion, that is the same thing with democracy. you cannot force a society to come to a system of governance that does not resonate with them. that is the problem. we need to develop mechanisms that resonate with their sacred values. to still reach out to those with a radical mindset, so to speak? what is the reaction you get? guest: i do it all the time. ae reaction is within
spectrum. the reaction is that you are not a real muslim, you are a sellout. others say, i don't trust you, but you make sense. those whocategory is end up listening. i have been dealing with a lot of people who have been of the mindset that i have helped to bring away from that mindset. i've brutally honest sometimes. i think people like that. especially young people. they feel alienated. they are marginalized. they see all around them that everybody hates islam. when you see people making cartoons and mopping -- mocking our profits, and you flip the script and say does racism.
you can't say there is freedom of siege and insult people's most sacred views, and then when yours,lt something of you say, it is not free speech in this case. these are things that young people are saying and try to make sense of. they are not able to make sense of it or they struggle. host: when you mentioned cartoons of mohammed. when you see violence that stems out from that, what initially goes through your mind? would you call it justified? guest: it is never justified. what goes through my mind is how does this help our cause? the paris attacks. what happened with that -- it was a struggling publication, they were making fun of everyone, and then these guys shot them out, and their subscriptions went up 500%. i take the utilitarian approach. i detach the images. it breaks my heart to see that.
faon't insult people's iths. the koran says, do not insult their gods unless they insult to god out of ignorance. the approach they take with violence is counterproductive. host: "undercover jihadi" is the mubin shaikh. we would hear from betty. caller: good morning. i have a quick question about a passage in the koran. i'm paraphrasing. it is where you pretend to befriend your enemies so you can get in there and, i guess, do them harm or take advantage. would you please tell me how that is not relevant? sometimes i think, are these people really your friends?
or, are they going by the section of the koran? guest: thank you, betty. i like to hear your north carolina drawl. the concept that that he is which isg to is -- courtesy of some of the muslim haters out there who want to dictate the muslims as always lying. if they are shaking your hand with one hand, they have a dagger in the other hand, waiting to get you. there is no passage actually teaches this. the statements et, and refers to the classical oxidation that if you fear bodily harm or death
because you believe in god, then you are allowed to deny that you believe in god. this is what christians do, jews did when people were persecuting each other. when the romans were persecuting the christians, they denied their faith. or, in the new testament, where peter denies knowing jesus christ. that is the traditional classical understanding of this. in the operational context, it is what in the west we called denial and deception. a spy does not tell people who he is. there are varying levels of it. the idea that operationally, people up to no good are going to operationalize that concept, here, i'm not allowed
thatny my faith, ignoring my life is not in danger. there is no license to go round lying to people. that in this context. i would say, just a close that point, what was i doing when i was telling guys that i was one of them, but i wasn't? that is a level of denial and deception that i think would be acceptable. there is a whole spectrum. host: because you brought up the topic of spying, a little bit about your book. after your mindset change, you went to canada, and ended up working for the canadian government looking out for those who might be radicals. can you give us a short history? guest: after went to the tell bad -- taliban in 19i-5, i kept
that up until the 9/11 attacks. i will be honest. i initially celebrated the 9/11 attacks. as the events went on, i thought to myself, something is not right about this. i get attacking combatants, but flying a plane into the building, innocent people, how do you claim that? i went to syria and study for two years, got out of my mindset, realize how bad it was over there, and came back to canada. you remember the koran school that referred to earlier. a guy had been arrested in 2004. he was the kid who sat next to me in the school. securityh the intelligence services to give a character reference. by then, it was too late. the intelligence service was a interested in speaking to me. 1.5 hours for about or two hours, and they put to me
the prospect of working for them to be undercover operative, and tell them who i thought would be a threat. i accepted and i did that for 1.5 years. i conducted several infiltration operations. i did some things online. later on in 2005, 1 of those cases became a public prosecution. i was given the option, either you walk away from it, or you follow through, and you will be in court, giving testament, your cover will be blown. i thought to myself, this is doing the right thing, let me follow through with that. my identity was exposed. i gave testimony in five legal hearings. i faced a lot of backlash, i was ostracized.
this is a problem you deal with in the u.s.. there is a lot of mistrust. you can see from the boston case oft just happened a couple days ago, there is no trust. there is a severe lack of trust. navigate through the states. in that time, i did a masters degree in the leasing -- policing. i went from the spectrum of been there, done that, to now, i still consult with government, but i take a pro-islamic approach and a anti-terrorism approach. caller: good morning. a few points. never one, god bless the american constitution. i have been to turkey, lebanon, egypt. there is no country like the united states.
i am to the right of libertarian. next to my friend, i was born and raised syrian. fine jihad. jihad is struggling to put bread on the table. number two. please give me time. novak and pat theyn -- that buchanan said, now that the soviet union is gone, they look for a new enemy. they set up the muslim war. number three. i came from turkey to egypt. egypt is dirty, poor, and corrupt. you give egypt $100 billion and is gone in a second. number four. turkey is rising like germany. the west, especially france,
they do not want democracy in the middle east. they are hypocrites. you know what, i was born muslim. i am agnostic. i love the jews. a nazi flag, but that is bad and folder. i am protected by freedom of expression. the united states is the best country in the world because of george washington. my profit george washington gives me rights. i'm neither anglo-saxon nor christian. host: we have to let your guests -- the guest respond. guest: it is a good sentiment that he expressed.
the u.s. constitution is a great document. i would say that you are in competition with the canadian one. we will tolerate you for now. don. from virginia, good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to get the understanding that the koran says that the muslims should not fight against those who do not fight against you. the elderly,t harm plants, or animals. i do not understand the justification that anyone can say they are a muslim or study , andoran for a hot minute then, particularly in this -- those who follow
mohammed, he did not do those things. i don't understand. killing another muslim, you go straight to hell. to me, the man is crazy. at one timee 9/11 -- i follow the religion. there are so many things that turned me off. 9/11 was one of the main ones. there are other things in the religion that i had a problem with. are aect islam, but there lot of ignorants. we don't have a camel. we have cars. i wanted to know, what is your response to the ignorant followers of these radicals? guest: that is a good question. based off thewas
example of muslims, i wouldn't be a muslim myself. i am a muslim only because of the religion itself, and what i understand from the religion. muslims me to see what do in the name of religion. complete ignorance. breaking the rules. we have to look at things in the context. koran was ago, the speaking in its context. godould make no sense for to mention internet 1400 years ago. they talked about slaves, camels. that is the kind of life that they live. the mistakes that i think muslims make is thinking that we society fromcate the 700 and doesn't -- in desert arabia. i totally agree with you. i understand why people think the way they think.
all i can say is it is important for them to understand real islam. that you arek says married, you have children. how do you talk to them about your experiences and current issues an considering moderate muslims? guest: i'm very open with my children. i have had this conversation with them. my oldest is 15. my youngest will be seven. i have five children. i'm putting them through a form of social engineering. two of them are in the army cadets. i think you call them army rs.lore i raising them with the values of duty. i give that a holistic understanding of religion. i told them that used to be a government agent. my job was to stop bad muscles from doing that things. said, support your
brother when he is the oppressor and when he is the oppressed. the companion replied, we understand to support him when he is oppressed, but what you mean support him when he is the oppressor? he here, stop him when presents. i don't make any excuses. i don't apologize for what i did. extremism is against the religion, and is ruining the name of islam. i will not apologize fr for stopping people. host: from pennsylvania, ernst. good morning. i am sitting here, i look at c-span all the time. thank you, pedro, for being a
host. i really enjoyed your comets is morning regarding islam. i'm 60 years old. i became a muslim when i was 40. the thing to everything you have has done the muslims in this country a great service. may allah guide you. thank you so much. guest: thank you very much. host: from new york, here is anthony. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. i'm really enjoying your guest this morning. is how don to you your parents feel about your endeavors today? and the opposite -- authorship of your book? thank you. laugh amassed -- because my 10 euros he says to
, he said tor-old me, you lost your virginity in the army cadets. it was the most awkward moment for me. he read the book, and even my parents read the book. that was the point. i wanted to lay everything out there. once upon a time, my parents wanted me to her then, i got to religious, and they did not like that. now, they are extremely happy and very proud of me that i have come full circle, or even doubt, as i say. i'm happy about that. father.y mother and a it is good. host: because of the mines that you hold and the past expenses with the government, has your life been threatened? do you feel that you or your youily are stucco guest: -- or your family are?
from timeet threats to time. i don't completely dismiss and deny it. i know people are watching me and seeing what i'm up to, online anyway. it is possible that some of some point. move at i think i that nothing is happened so far. i hope it will continue that way. i think about it. i understand that this is a risky area that i'm involved in. i have faith in god. i take precautions as much as possible, as much as lawful in canada. host: dallas, texas. bob. good morning. caller: good morning. i have a question on mohammed, when he was standing in the desert. and the spirit, more or less, comes to him. starvingis people were
, and he said, pick up the sword. he attacked the jews at the time for food. what is the difference between him and someone going down the street and saying, i want that tv, so i will just take it. in other words, a thug. guest: i don't recognize that account. i don't know where that came from. is that thestory prophet was meditating in a cave. came to himbriel and said, read. he said, i can't read. there was no instruction to pick sword. host: athens, ohio. you are on with our guest. caller: i would like to give a comment. i'm 86 years old, world war ii
window. -- widow. we have religions, lots of them here in the united states. , at themethodist episcopali. -- g, we are living in a communist state right now. we have a republican party who wants to rule the united states, and eventually ruled the world. they are on the russian side. the koch brothers give money to buy a president. we were half an inch from having a dictator, george w. bush. we realized that everything was going wrong way. now, they have suppressed are
voting. the democrats are on the low side. it is all about money and oil. onre is a fight going >> the democrats are on the low side, that it's all about money andry oil. cad so this is going on here in. our country.i >> host: earl from maryland isry on. >> caller: good morning. my question is, i haven't readoh your book, but how do you deale with the hypocrisy about the tor right of freedomee of speech to draw cartoons, and if youe condd remember the cartoons that show the jews being persecuted, is that inside anti-somatic. t
>> you have to identify it as critical. you can encourage people to internalize these values of freedom of speech and then not apply them across the board equally. iut the problem is that people are going to see through thats equally. so the question is how do we deal with that. as we recognize that humans are human and they are going to mako mistakes. but often we fall short of realizing that. so i recognize the human condition and we guard against it and identify it. f-- that is how i respond.ller: >> host: we have the last call, it is joanna from maryland. >> caller: i have a quick comment and a question. i'm a lutheran, after 9/11 i realized i knew nothing about islam. about four years ago i passed my local mosque and there was a big
billboard that said islam 101 for non-muslims. and a couple friends of mine from the church to the class. and i learned so much and it just dispelled a lot of myths. we had speakers come out and speak at our church and we are engaged in interfaith activities. rfaceed a lot more inte that nobody is so people can learn to meet one another and understand not one another in such. the other thing i wanted to ask the guest. there's a term that means outlaw islam. [inaudible] and there are some that come out that are not truly muslim but they are outlaws. can they explain that, please?
>> guest: that's a great last question. this is fantastic area as he said, interfaith activity is extremely important. and i believe it should be a pillar of equal opportunities. once we learn more about each other, jews and christians and especially because of the union that we have in connection, it's very important for us to do that. especially with christianity and christians. muslims also believe in the second coming of jesus christ. they have common doctrinal points that you need to strengthen and double down on. so i thank you for that comment. the second part you referred to is khawarij. again that is khawarij. again, that is rubbles, they are referred to in the most disparaging manner.
and there was no other more disparaging rebels then the khawarij. >> we are going to breakaway from this "washington journal" segment. we are live now at politics and prose bookstore in washington. just a moment away from greg grandin, who is a history professor at new york state and new york state university. he will talk about american current and foreign policy and public policy. and he will focus on former secretary of state henry kissinger. live coverage, but tv in prime time here on c-span2. >> just a note or two about the store, if you haven't already visited one of our locations, please be sure to come to tacoma and we've also be out in full
force this weekend with the national booksellers. i'm so pleased to welcome greg grandin to the store this evening. what is surprisingly his first visit as an author to politics and prose. this is also the launch of this book and we are doubly pleased to have him. the book is "kissinger's shadow: the long reach of america's most controversial statesman", but he's likely known for his earlier book which was a finalist for both the pulitzer prize and the national book award. he is also the author of the empire of necessity and the blood of guatemala. he is a professor of history at new york university and he has written for you variety of publications including the "los angeles times" and "the new york times." he is the recipient of a fellowship from the guggenheim foundation and the new york public library. his latest book draws upon government sources as well as earlier biographies and even work from his controversial subjects of his students to
chart kissinger's political velocities. one that stems back to the company cambodian invasions and that his argument is responsible for current militarization for american foreign policy. evan thomas writing in "the washington post" this weekend praised this book for its literary flair and the sharp eye for the absurdity of politics. we are so happy to have him here with us this evening. please help me welcome greg grandin. [applause] >> thank you. we have a nice turnout and we thank you for coming out. thank you for that lovely introduction. i think some friends were supposed to be here. i don't know if larry burns is in the audience. he is the director and i was going to credit him with teaching me quite a bit about how to write. but i guess that he is not here. oh, well.
so when i told friends and colleagues that i was writing a book about the legacy of henry kissinger's foreign policy, i think that that is mention of another book that is quite well known and did very well, christopher hitchens did on henry kissinger. so i'm a little bit antithetical to hitchens 2001 polemic, which is a good example of what the great historian in 1936 called or dismissed as the devil's theory of war. and the tendency to place the blame from militarism on a single isolate will cause, a wicked man. be it said to really understand the sources of conflict, you have to look at the big picture and consider the ways in which war is our own work. emerging from the total military and economic situation.
in making the case, hitchens doing so, they didn't look at the big pictures and instead they focused obsessively on the morality of one man, henry kissinger. so aside from the docket and gathering the accused information, i don't think that it is a very useful and counterproductive, righteous indignation does not provide much room for this. hitchens are as deep into the his dark heart. the statement, national security adviser, secretary of state, was implicated in a list of countries, latin america, others, southern africa, here in washington dc when operation
condor love a car bomb to assassinate a former minister in the government against the kurds and on and on. he leaves readers waiting to come out from this journey into his dark heart and tells a what it means. and that is on obvious that he is a criminal. hitchens never dies. and most students of him find it hard to say anything about him that isn't about him. he's such an outsized figure that he eclipses his own contexts and leaves many of his biographers and critics and admirers to focus exclusively on the quirks of his personality or his moral failings. the other great book on him, of course, is the price of power. and that was published in 1983 which did capture the secretive
world of the national security apparatus as it was functioning during the vietnam war. his study of him, his paranoia reads like a prelude and today it's all about balance of counterterrorism states that we now live under. he gave us the defining portrait, and i think any biographer that follows is going to have to top this, of him as tacking between ruthlessness and sycophancy and letting the b-52s fly. he is shabby and his motives and he's nonetheless experienced because the pettiness that is played out on the world stage had consequences. but hersh writing in the 80s could not know the long-term effects. not only a specific policy but of how his imperial existentialism which i will define a little bit later on
previewed a later generation of militarists who in the 1990s took us after a quick detour into central america deeper into the coffin after 9/11 into afghanistan and iraq. so his shadow is long and hence the title of the book. henry kissinger is 92 years old and his life courses through the decades like a bright red line through the jungles of vietnam to the sands of the persian gulf shedding light on the road that has brought us where we find ourselves today. i want to stress because i think some of the early reviews of the book have gone this long that i did not hold him responsible singularly responsible for the evolution of the united states and staying into the perpetual motion machine that it has become. and many people were involved in that and i don't think if you extract him from u.s. history you have a virtuous republic.
a series of events, including the killing of student protesters at kent and jackson universities that led to nixon's downfall in 1978. there was more crime, paranoia, and today it watergate is remembered largely as a domestic scandal. but it was really about foreign policy. namely the desire to keep the bombing of cambodia secret. and it was henry kissinger more than anyone who got nixon riled up about the pentagon papers. the papers weren't specifically about this, they had no information about this as far as i know, certainly not what they presided over. but he was that kind of leak that led to the pentagon papers that they could also leave what they were doing after 1969. kissinger began one oval office
meeting with chris that [bleep], i know him well, he's at his equable man. they described him as passionate in his denunciation. he had a key to performance to stir up the various resentments. they could say that he's a hedonistic individual, privileged. you know, he has now married a very rich girl. and nixon was fascinated in this way. henry got him cranked up, then they started cranking each other up until they were both in a frenzy. consider told him that it shows that you are a weakling, mr. president that you let him get away with it.
and that includes giving orders to run the paramilitary operations that led to watergate. and yet even as vietnam and watergate were beginning to break up the old national security state, henry kissinger who had survived, and the questions could be about how he managed to survive, and continued on was helping with the reconstruction of the national security state in a new form. kind of a restored imperial presidency capable of moving forward into a post-vietnam world. there were many different elements of this restored national security state.
and that includes what led to iran-contra. and that includes the militarism to leverage domestic polarization, and domestic threat of war or just out and out violence and brutality that was used to leverage that polarization and division for domestic advantage. it is not new. every president prior to him use war or foreign policy to domestic game, but i think that
in this kind of post-consensus unraveling, they really in some ways -- they say you can't find one foreign policy that they provided over that wasn't put into place to domestic advantage. and so in many ways the strategy had a foreign-policy. the destruction, their brutality it was a way of vacating the riot. and also in southern africa, what was known as this, the
kissinger policy of working with white supremacy against black national liberation movements, the colonization movement, it was directly aimed at keeping southern states and others, saying that the u.n. should respect the internal policies of south african states and resonating among creditors who said that federal courts should stay out of the affairs and in one meeting, we would not have had cambodia or laos as a way of proving that nixon was a hawk. that element of the national security state, leveraging particularly -- brutal militarism as a way of winning over the right, really getting started under reagan and under nixon and henry kissinger who goes along with it.
and that is in fact a key agent of it. and then the third element which i deal with in the book a little bit more is that deployment of these spectacular displays of violence to shock and awe. and that includes those that have become skeptical and war weary. this element happened after he leaves office with him as a consultant supporting pretty much every country and every military incursion leading to the disaster that we are living under today. and conventional wisdom opposes henry kissinger to those that
drove them into afghanistan and iraq. sober realism is said to be of a different philosophical tradition and they have the arrogance of an administration that the united states military was so powerful that it could make reality and i don't know if you remember that quote by the bush staff, when we act, we make reality. but it is true that many of the most prominent individuals in the last days did use him and say that he was an appeaser, he was a loser because of vietnam and a sinner because he supposedly didn't believe that american righteousness should guide foreign policy and that others had that famous morality inserted into the 1976 republican platform -- republican party platform that they think was anti-henry
kissinger. but i think that conventional wisdom is wrong. if it's taken as a view of the world that holds that reality is transparent and the truth of facts can get to be arrived at by observing those facts, he was evidently not a realist. of all of the policymakers who helped to shape the post-world war ii national security state, kissinger was born in germany and perhaps the most self-aware of the philosophical foundations that justified his action, he was deeply influenced by an anti-rationalist and extremely subjective of german metaphysics, considering how often it was used to justify war it might be called imperial existentialism. and you could read his 1950 undergraduate thesis, the longest ever submitted to harvard university.
400 pages and, you know, it reads -- it is tough going. but the echo of the 1950s existentialism is clearly present, you know, the intense subjectivity that there is no reality other than one that emanates from our own individual experience including radical freedom and tragedy suffering, it is the hallmark of existence. there's no meaning to existence other than the meaning that we assign to it as individuals and people have a responsibility to act. it actually reads a lot like this. of course where others and other existentialists develop a different kind of plurality from their existentialism to protest this. kissinger used it to defend and
advance war and the empire. and so in his shadow i explode into exploring his policies and how he left office and his advice is a foreign-policy intellectual. here are some of his major beliefs. the book -- i don't feel that this is the document that proves that he is an existentialist. you can actually -- once you kind of get a handle on what he's arguing, you can see how that thought kind of runs through much of his considerations about foreign policy and ethnics and morality and just how he justifies his actions until his latest book. so action creates a perception of reality.
and he refused to be paralyzed by the past or how captive he could be held by a data or intelligence that could be part of modern bureaucracy, great statesman act upon hunches and that includes perpetual creation on a constant redefinition of goals and the responsibility of leaders not only to maintain the perfection of order but to have the strength to contemplate the chaos. they have to find material for fresh creation. and obviously you can see where i'm heading with this into some of the neoconservative idealism that got us into the disaster that we are in. but anyway, best known for the
concept, one of the things that he's best known for is the concept of the balance of power. but there is a fascinating and rarely cited passage in the doctoral dissertation, where it really is focused on diplomacy. where it's not real power. and he writes for the balance of power legitimated by power would be highly unstable and make unlimited war is almost inevitable. equilibrium is achieved not by the fact that by the consciousness of the awareness of balance. and he goes on and to say that the consciousness is never brought about until it is tested. in order to test the power and create the awareness of power, one needs to be willing to act. and the best which is pleased that willingness to was to act. so i think what he is saying and what he has been saying in
different ways over and over again down through the decades is that it has to be avoided in order to show that action was possible. only action that he wrote in the early 1960s could avoid this systemic inaction, only action can overcome the paralyzing fear of any drastic consequences that might result from action and in this case he's talking about the potential nuclear escalation. and that includes critiquing the administration of the moment, they do what they do well, but they don't know why they are doing it. they do not have purpose. when you dig through get through it, it's unclear what they mean with the circularity. that the purpose of american power is to create an awareness of american purpose.
we cannot defend our interests until we know what the interest are on the we cannot know what the interest are until we defend them. so they taught that there's no such thing as international affairs. they are either gaining or losing influence which means that the balance of power has to be constantly tested to gesture and need. in the book i focused a good deal on cambodia is a good example of this perpetual motion machine. as has been demonstrated by other historians, this is not contested at any way in any form, kissinger helped nixon get elected in 1968 by helping derail and pass information in the fall of 1968 that he used to derail those talks and make sure that he would get no bump from any potential cease-fire. and that prolonged the vietnam war were five pointless years.
so they had to show resolve. they could not do this for a lot of different political reasons and so they began to bomb cambodia in secret. half a million tons of bombs and probably a conservative estimate of 100,000 civilians died of a result of that. and there you have it. we have to escalate in order to prove this and the more impotent that we prove, the more we had escalate. and the north vietnamese would say that we had an act meant to convey this into an actual act in this. the ravaging of a neutral country with no effect whatsoever.
and the circle remains unbroken. not just in cambodia and elsewhere, they repeatedly plunged into the vortex of this argument and action has to be avoided in order to show that action is possible. after the fall of saigon and earlier on. when saigon fell in 1935, kissinger gave a famous piece of advice before that the united states is going to have to take some action somewhere in the world.
and that is what he and nixon did in southeast asia. kissinger told clinton, whether we got it right or not is really seconding that. and so it's not really that remarkable of a statement. not when one considers his insistence that the demonstrative effects are like this. it's to prove and convince ourselves that we are willing to be something and do something. that it's produced by one's active well and it's more important than the consequences of that act. and we can go through with his played out. so all of this could sound familiar and it should, basically it is the same. kissinger's philosophy of history is basically the physical dance card of those
that believe that america creates its own reality. william kristol constantly complains that america has grown too soft. paul wolfowitz complained complained that there was not enough help and too many casualties. dick cheney's doctrine that held that there's even the slightest chance that a threat will be realized that the u.s. would act as though the threat was a foregone conclusion. you can trace a direct lineage from him to kissinger and again, he didn't invent this, he's drawing on a body of the german irrationalism and so forth. so after 9/11, he was an early supporter of attacking not just afghanistan and iraq that smalley and yemen as well and he called upon george bush to launch what he called a revolution to sweep away
antiquated notions of poverty. when dick cheney talked about why war with iraq was the only option, he directly quoted henry kissinger, saying that it was an imperative for preemptive action and once the occupation turned disastrous committee met regularly, citing his experience in vietnam for why the u.s. should not withdraw troops. and so it's really just a highly broad consensus that reaches out well beyond the republicans to capture ideologue and capture idealist alike. hillary clinton who in 1970 protested the invasion of cambodia recently praised him, calling him a friend. saying that she relied upon his counsel. and the most recent book sound
surprisingly idealistic and then says that the vision is her vision which is just and liberal. and so defense intellectuals and journalists pen essays were describing a neo- kissinger tonic. they often have difficulty defining what that would look like were it's defined in negative terms, it's not the recklessness although i tried to show that it is and again, i tried to show that it's exactly that. but it's so hard to pin down that it is an effective at itself, of the rehabilitation of the national security state and the relentless militarism that goes with it. constant unending war or with obama stonelike efficiency has done more than this, it's
brought about a disassociation of words and things and believe and action. [inaudible] they say that he's an avatar. and last year won promoting, he responded to a question about his controversial policy by pointing to barack obama, that there was no difference between what he did between what the president is doing in pakistan was amalia and yemen. and when queried about his role in 1973, he said that his actions were justified by what rocco vomited in libya and what he wanted to do in syria. and kissinger's defense, it is
especially an absurd assertion that fewer civilians died from his half million tons of bombs and cambodia than from obama's drones. but he is right and that many of the political arguments that he made at the time in the 1960s to justify this in cambodia and laos, it was part of the mainstream and now a part of international law, this is especially part of violating a neutral country to destroy enemy sanctuaries. if you threaten you will find no safe haven, he has said, allowing kissinger is retroactive absolution. so i wanted to end on that because i think that it's an expression of that unbroken circle. and that includes justifying what he did in cambodia in chile and elsewhere, really really have a century ago. but what he did created the
conditions for today's endless wars. but those started by obama's liberals. and so it goes. thank you. [applause] , odd. >> questions over there? >> let me congratulate you on being able to open a dialogue that is well overdue not just on kissinger. so the question i want to ask you is i want to broaden it a little bit because this runs throughout our culture and dealing with mexico to native americans to the spanish and so
forth. and henry kissinger is just a pragmatist along the way who figured it out. and so with your opening this type of perspective, how do we start to examine the culture of foreign policy and the needs in which we are starting to feel a lot of pressure. how do we take this and go from there? >> i agree completely that this is just a small phase and i do think that it breaks down the larger history with what is happening in any of those variations. you can have an olympian view which is no difference between what fdr was doing under the new deal and what reagan was doing
and i think that during both moments there were possibilities for opposition and education and for resistance as well. maybe i'm a little bit of an optimist considering where we are now. and beyond that i think looking intently and forensically at the philosophy of history, it's not just an antiquarian exercise. i think that when he dies, he is going to be routinely understanding as some kind of an american tradition either because of polity or because of his thick accent, i don't know why. and i think that it's important to understand that he is a quintessential american and the implicit argument of the book is that american exceptionalism is
a kind of irrational subjectivism that he embodies. and he's also very aware of it. so i think it's important to dive deep. what we do at that? we organize. >> i'm actually going to try to squeeze in two quick questions and i don't have anything other than the quick closing of them. when he referred to as a form of existentialism and part of that characterization was and how he thought things were or how they ought to be.
and yet you also traced the modern surveillance state to him at least in part. it seems to me that one of the main characteristics of the modern surveillance data is this obsession with facts and data and so forth rather than just thinking about things, let's get a lot of data as we can examine it in detail and try to decide what needs to be done. so i was sort of applying an inconsistency and rather than doing so i would ask you so. >> yes, there is an inconsistency and that's a great western. but ultimately what do you do from all of that information and just a control that can lead to forms of control and when the stakes were down what did they do and they said forget the
data. forget the intelligence, let's just plunge in. but i think there's more of a relationship between the data and the intuition and i think it is revealed in the way that is in a different kind of element. not so much the surveillance but the covert aspects where the secrecy aspects. in some ways he inaugurated a new ritual in american politics testifying before congress and it wasn't just him who started with the fulbright commission and went back. but what does don't we know? i'm sure that we don't know and i'm sure a lot of it goes hand hand-in-hand. you know, there is a way that we are between a and in some senses there's just too much knowledge in this goes back and i'm speaking out less about the
state and what the state's use of information is and what the citizens use is. so what don't we know about the national security state. sure, we don't know who killed john f. kennedy, but we know that conducts covert activity and there's been commission after commission and they talked about this bad they got all of the cia documents and there's volume after volume and this was the hub for a lot of that and it's almost overwhelming. it's almost too much information. so there is a way in which the avalonavalanche contributed and became a spectacle. and it plays out in the way that
becomes about procedural is some when he was up there and again, he is part of the antiwar coalition. does anyone remember? and this was when he was hammering him on all of this stuff and then he thought that he had him and he said frankly i think that what you are presiding over is a massive, you know, legal operation that violates the law and then he said with a little bit of force apart from the legal stuff, is there anything else wrong with my operation. and so that was -- that was a 52nd clip that played on the news and that is what people remembered about that.
and there is an inconsistency that i don't think it is. >> i haven't really worked it out yet. [laughter] >> thank you so much for your unraveling doctrine. and it's amazing that he's still able to get on mainstream tv and he says that i will be there. and if you go back and see the footage and it says this in one stroke and so it's not a signature and my question is and what was the relationship that will come out and.
>> it's hard to talk about a subject like this -- but he came up through the intelligence system in the united states in world war ii and then after world war ii he was a military sergeant and he wanted this to interrogate and also this when it came back to the u.s. they maintain this with the intelligence community. and so he writes a letter to the
so my question to you, the evidence is -- evident. you weigh it out. hitchened. the man is a mass murderer, has killed people from here to there. he killed a million there with ford, and the m-16s coming down the streets, boating over her head and her friend saved her life that day with american-made m-16s. what does is take in our country, as someone who has been against war since i'm 19, 1969, now i'm 65 next month. what do we have to do to bring mass murderers to justice in our world? [applause] >> the jewish people followed these mass murderers at the holecast around the world. we know where henry kissinger. i don't care if he is 102.
put him in jail. [applause] >> you mentioned pinochet, and lattin america is an example how mass movements, mass social movements, can hold people accountable. it takes time and persistence, and i think that whatever lattin american countries do, chile and argentina and guatemala. that's not what is done in the u.s. that a good contrast when trying to answer the question. >> i liked how you concluded by creating that relationship between kissinger and obama, and my question is, while he was justifying his radical actions by talking about obama's radical kinds of actions in pakistan and afghanistan and libya, what -- how do you frame his rather
sensible, within the main stream, positions on the ukraine and -- >> yeah. when you like at victoria milland and robert kagan, her husband, they're progenies of that legacy that kissinger created, and yet when you look at that kind of liberal frame they're part of within the state department apparatus, they're much more extreme than he is. i'd just -- >> i think that right. this you look at iran, and he is -- i mean, he hasn't said -- hasn't spoken out much but he penned the op-ed coming out against an iran deal and providing a kind of way in which people could oppose it. there's a simple way -- i don't know. finish your question. i think just he is a europeanist. a western supremacist. there are plenty of -- the rise
of the third world is bound up in kissinger's history and policies in all sorts of complicate ways, but at his heart i think identifies him as a europeanist in some profound way and that might be one way of answering. could also be business dealings. who knows what kissinger -- he is -- he presides over kissinger associates, which is a premiere consultanty for the world's global and lead. it helped facilitate the privatization of industries in latin america. whatever it does in china. it's a private -- kissinger had to resign from being chair of the 9/11 commission because he wouldn't reveal the client list. some republican senator said that client list is the most south-after document in washington. they offered to read it in some
secure room in the bowels of the pentagon, and kissinger resigned. so, might just be economic. i have no idea what accounts for -- in the spectrum of american foreign policy, why it seems reasonable on russia and the ukraine but not on iran, and -- but that is not listened to on that is actually kind of interesting, too. that proves my point. that kissingerism -- there's no context. people cozy up to him because they think he invokes purpose and gravitas. a ritual of the political class to sidle up and banter with him like samantha paul but when he says something that is is sensi, nobody listens to him. >> gets lost in the banter.
okay, you didn't refer at all to israel in the middle east and the israel in the sadat years. i'd be interested in your comments because it still remains a puzzle to me, what in the background of the middle east created the nightmare that we -- that israel and its enemies today. i want to say one thing itch was at a meeting 20 -- 10 years ago in which a lady spoke about the two children she had -- the two children she had during the war in vietnam, and think the two children she had after the war, and the two children were born normal, the other two were completely deformed and mentally retarded. to me that's just puts what you say into context. so man people, so -- probably
millions of people have paid with their lives and happiness and everything else for the musings of this maniac. >> and the crimes are still going on. unexploded ordinary napses in laos and cambodia claim thousands of lives a year, including one who died on kings kissinger's 90th birthday with a big celebration, at the hotel, and bombs explode, poor farmers having to cultivate land they hit upon an unexploded ordinance ordinance and died. it's claimed 20,000 lives since the war ended. put in terms of the middle east, -- but in terms of the middle east, i'm a student of u.s.-latin america relations and i relied on historians to look
at the middle east, people like khalid, and yakoub. in terms of israel-palestine, my understanding is that kissinger locked in an impasse, locked in the impasse. he committed the u.s. to not recognizing a palestinian state until palestine recognized israel's right to exist but without demanding the same thing on the part of the israel. beyond the israel-palestine conflict, think kissinger gets a pass on his middle east policy but he is responsible for the shah. he pumped up the shah, and began to sell -- the massive sale and transference of high-tech weaponry to tehran before the revolution in saudi arabia, that was kissinger's engineering, and had to do with figuring out ways to recycle petro dollars back
into the united states, also setting up saudi arabia and iran as the guardians of the gulf in a post vietnam kind of re-alignment. a lot of people -- when people want to think about blowback from the middle east, they look at the 1980s and look at the cia and the mujahedeen in gaffs' afghanistan, but that infrastructure was put in place by kissinger. not one person is responsible for the impasse of catastrophe that me middle east is, but kissinger, i think, bears more of a responsibility. he gets criticize it for a lot of thing but get as passion for what he did in the middle east. he start goosing pakistan to go into afghanistan and destabilize afghanistan, and that was the beginning in some ways of political islam. i never found any specific -- that was around the same time that he was doing the same
thing, not with political islam but with south africa and ang goal ya and mozambique. so this was a mod does operandi do use proxy states to destabilize enemy states. so kissinger put in place a lot over in the infrastructure infrastructure in the middle east we're still trying to disentangle, including dependence on arm sales and dependence on saudi arabia kissinger often said -- bristled at high energy prices and the coming to the solution of petro dollars as a way of kind of financing u.s. bonds and financing u.s. arms industry. that was a kind of reluctant coming to. wasn't something they did willingly. so he was constantly saying things like, can'tey overthrow a sheikh or two? he talked about overthrowing abu dhabi. found do a counterfactual on what the world would look like
if instead of overthrowing chilley, he overthrow saudi arabia. >> a couple more. >> full disclosure, i'm peter dixon, i published the first ever study of that undergreat thesis with cambridge university 40 years ago. and i think you were good in picking up on the existentialist subtext of that thesis. he is very much an historical relativist. and of course, for political reasons he has to give voice to tran send depth values when he is in a public set, but i that think that this he germ january historyist industry he is part of. i would still make two comments a little more critical. the national security stay has
been around a long time. and there were a lot of things the united states did in the '40s, '50s, and '60s that henry kissinger-an like. so i don't think he is the godfather of the national security state but a lot of what happened during that period would reinforce the imperial presidency. the other thing i would say -- that's what eave van -- evan thomas suggested in his review yesterday in the "post." i think you blur the neon con kissinger too much. they really loathe one another. many of the neocons are of jewish persuasion and did not trust this court jew. they called him a court jew because from their point of view in german, jew was a person who was in the court, compromising jewish interests, and i think that the neocons really start
out with a domestic critique of the welfare state, and they get in -- the further refine their position on foreign policy in opposition to kissinger. i think, though, maybe in the long run, you do have a point, that kissinger's realism and their positions do get blurred for one basic reason, kissinger, even though he is out of power, is addicted to access and power, and i think he compromises a lot to sustain relationships with republicans that don't care for him that much. i think what happened -- the real moment of truth was when brent scowcroft opposed the invasion of iraq. and i would have expected kissinger, given his real politic to be cautious bat that and oppose it as well but he didn't. but hillary clinton and other
people went with the war fever that was beating, cheney and condi rice. exhibited hum at that moment to draw a line. >> i agree completely. and thanks for your wonderful book, and -- it's a really terrific book and really great -- of kissinger's early political thought. he wasn't the founder of the national security state, and this goes bag to other question -- back to other questions about continuity and change and variation, and if it matters, again, i think kissinger illustrates the evolution of the -- and he reveals the system. he doesn't create the system. i think he does play an outside role because he is henry kissinger and has had an enormous amount of power but i do not believe the national security state began with kissinger but there can be variations and kissinger is a wonderful window oto