tv Book Discussion on Exceptional CSPAN October 14, 2015 11:13pm-12:16am EDT
never resolved or not. >> host: who was the bishop? >> guest: their father was a bishop in the church. the sister was catherine, the youngest of the family children. yes, i was very surprised to learn how important the father was, how important the sister was, and one of the joys of my work on this project was to bring both of them front and center because they were part of the joint effort and you can't leave people like that out. the system was far more important than people realized. i personally feel if she hadn't been there, hadn't been part of it, the story would not have come out, she was always there
when they needed her, to keep their spirits up when they often needed that and she was very bright and funny and can be very sharp if she thought somebody wasn't the hitting and somebody should be a. the father was inspiration of their lives, never lost faith in them. didn't really understand the technology they were working with. very few people did. it wasn't just that they were bicycle mechanics. they were brilliant business, and aeronautical engineers solving problems, intellectual problems that nobody at polytechnic institute and massachusetts institute of technology or the smithsonian had gotten anywhere near as far as they did and yet they had never been to college, never finished high school but that
never held them back. wilder was a genius. i don't think there is any question about it and that is important to understand. >> host: andrew in virginia, are you surprised teddy roosevelt did not embrace the right brother is directly? >> he did and he didn't. he had the nerve, the courage to go down in the submarine, first president to go down in a submarine which was not a safe thing to have done then. it was leaked from the white house to the press, across the river, to go up with orville wright when he was doing
demonstration flights, and orville wright was very upset by that and told people he didn't think the president of the united states should take such a risk but insisting on it, he would do it. in a few days later, young thomas, a lieutenant in the army went up with orville and orville crashed. had theodore roosevelt chosen to go over and go up as he apparently wanted to do he might well have been the one that was killed. >> host: a text suggestion for your next book. how about your bio? >> guest: that might be awful steamy. i might. i have a lot of stories to tell about people i met along the way
and people i have been so grateful to for the help they have given, the windows they have thrown open and the friendships i have made. and things i have learned about how to go back. >> host: robert in indiana, you are on with david mccullough. this is booktv on c-span2. >> caller: i am a big fan, so much about history. >> host: rich in michigan. i you with us? please go ahead. >> caller: my wife and i had the opportunity to see you speak in dearborn, michigan. i would like to harken back to your earlier book, you refer to paris as one of the centers of
medical research, why france? why paris? that type of research, very expensive, why was it being carried out there? what changes were taking place in france? >> guest: the french were ahead of us in medicine, technology, science, the french also had the best medical training in the world and so that was not available here. the harvard medical school for example was pitifully small, inadequate, and part of the problem was the cadavers were illegal in much of our country so there for anyone who wanted to understand anatomy and dissection or anything of the kind was limited in the
opportunity to do so because all the cadavers were sold on the black market as it were, they were very expensive so even the dr.s themselves didn't have access to cadavers to show the workings of the human body are put together. in france there was no such rulings. they could spend days doing nothing but bisecting bodies. one of the beneficiaries of that experience was oliver wendell holmes sr. who went on to become one of the living figures of harvard medical school who specializes, who taught anatomy and dissection. but that is only one example. we are far more indebted to the french in many fields than we realize. medicine is one of the clearest
of all. >> host: how much time do you spend in paris? >> guest: a great deal but not as much as people would imagine. when i was getting my information and material, the letters these young medical students wrote home or the reminiscences they published years later. many of them were the sons of dr.s, faber in the forefront, experimentation and in the united states did not want to be left behind so they don't just write home about how they're doing fine and working hard and staying out of trouble but what they were learning every day, those letters are absolutely phenomenal and still available
at harvard medical school library in boston. >> host: last question or comment for you. who was the last president to write his own speeches, what are your thoughts on modern presidents and their gaggle of writers and handlers? >> guest: my guess is fear roosevelt. i think the presidency, the power of the president to communicate with the country is somewhat diminished by it that. skews me. that is not to say some presidents since have written some of the most powerful parts of their speeches they have made or pronouncements they have issued. john kennedy was the very good
writer. the strongest phrases are when they are speaking from the heart and not somebody's a script. some presidents had wonderful writers for their scripts. ronald reagan, but also wrote for george h. w. bush when he became president and of course kennedy's ghost writers and franklin roosevelt, great speeches. words are much more important than many people realize. i remember when hillary clinton was running of the last time and she accused her competition just
using words, using words is a huge part of leadership. the great presidents have all had that power of communication, lincoln, theodore roosevelt, jack kennedy, words matter, words in dur and they carry on in the following generations. we still quote. martin luther king without the power of his words. that is why it is so important we learn to use the english language. one of the startling marvelous aspects of the right brothers was the quality of the letters they wrote, not just that they were correct grammatically, they were powerful, they were effective, they were clear, they could be very funny, they could be very touching. they were incapable as the collection at the library of
congress proves, they were incapable of writing a short letter or a boring one. if you want to get inside their lives which is what i wanted to do, as human beings, that is we're it is. what they put down on paper in the english-language. i would have wanted to have written my book about the wright brothers even if they had not succeeded in their mission to fly so much is there to learn of their attitude toward life and the value of having purpose in life, the value of remaining modest. modesty is so out of fashion today that it is disheartening for particularly among our political aspirants. you were brought up to the modest. you didn't brag. you didn't act like you were bigger than your boobs. you didn't fit. you didn't tell lies.
you had good manners. the right brothers were bicycle mechanics, never went to college, never had any wealth, were gentlemen if every there were gentlemen, the rich gentlemen. when they got to europe and became famous and were associated with royalty and the wealthiest people in the world they never felt the least inferior because they had been raised to behave as gentlemen or, why should they feel inferior in any way? certainly they were as well read as anybody of their time, maybe better. >> host: anytime you are in washington and want to talk to our audience we would love to have you come over >>
one. >> please be seated. with good evening and. we'll have the honor been the executive director of the reagan foundation and. if you would to men and women in uniform who serve lorca's -- and i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. to the republic for which it marcion's. one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. before we get started of
light to recognize one person in particular banks were coming in one moi no matter how practiced there to introduce a famous person one is called on to do the very best to go beyond the simple reading of the impressive resume and. and have spent their lifetime of public service and performed magnificently for american people to introduce any thoughtful way. the challenge that faced the
in all honesty it does not do the man justice. how do you do find someone who has quite literally dedicated his entire life to his country, someone who has faithfully served five presidents and in the process has selflessly come to the aid of our country in times of great crisis. if any of you are counting, that's for presidents i've listed, not five as i previously noted. the fifth that vice president cheney served with great honor
perhaps not directly but certainly with great honor and without hesitation was ronald reagan. first as a foot soldier during his time in congress and then as a member of the intelligence committee and deputy minority leader of the house representative cheney was a respected player on capitol hill who helps make president reagan's presidential program a reality. okay not bad. [laughter] i want to say every word of that introduction remains timely and true but what's new and what's exciting about their visit today is that they are here with a new book entitled exceptional -- "exceptional" why the world needs a powerful america. now i don't know the if they idea for the book had its origin and in the striking opinion
piece they work for "the wall street journal" that was published last year but to me it certainly seems. they wrote then that the obama form and policy document trying to leave the world from behind was in a state of collapse and the ramifications for america word dire. her book just published expands on that theme in great detail and it is a must read not only for those following the events on the campaign trail of 2016 but i am hopeful that it will also become a signed reading in the history classes for decades to come because that's what it is, historical evidence that american exceptionalism that president reagan helped to define and defend has been under attack by president obama and the administration for years. it has been an assault that is
quite simply leading to the undoing of america's stature and position in the world. so with that ladies and gentlemen, let me please ask you to join me in welcoming to the stage vice president dick cheney and former assistant secretary of state liz cheney. >> thank you. thank you very much. it's a real joy and an honor for us to be able to be back at the reagan library and as john mentioned, the whole concept of american exceptionalism is one that president reagan wouldn't have even questioned and in many ways we were very inspired by
president reagan, by the things he did and said both during his presidency and before and his notion that it was critically important that the united states lead the world, is understanding that without us there was no one to defend us. his rejections of ideas of moral equivalence were at the forefront and you will see when you buy our book which i hope you will do, that we open the book with that quote that leads the whole thing is by president ronald reagan. on march 23 of 1983, he said it is up to us in our time to choose and choose wisely between the hard and necessary task of reserving peace and freedom and the temptation to ignore our duties and blindly hope for the best while the enemies of
freedom grow stronger day by day. we are again as we sit here tonight at another moment like that, at a moment when the nation is under tremendous stress and when we have got to decide. it can sometimes be very easy to sort of say things are such a mess, washington is such a mess i'm just going to try to live my life and focus on what's happening very close to me at home and try to shut out the fights in the debates that are going on. one of the reasons we wrote this book was to urge people not to do that and to make the point that the state of the republic depends upon people not doing that. british historian andrew roberts once said to the question of whether america was born great, achieved greatness or greatness thrust upon her the only possible conclusion must be all three.
we were born of this revolutionary ideal that we are endowed by our creator creator with certain inalienable rights and that made us a model for others around the world. during world war ii we became freedom suspender and that is where we begin the book, talking about the role america has played beginning really in 1939 defending freedom around the world. at the end of the cold war because of the leadership of president ronald reagan in large part we became the world's sole superpower. it's not just our involvement in world affairs that has made the difference. it's our leadership, our willingness to lead and my dad and i felt very strongly that when you talk to your kids, my kids and grandkids about what they are learning in school it isn't what they are learning. they are not learning that america has been a greater force
for good and any other nation in the history of mankind. they're not learning that because of us hundreds of millions of people around the world for decades have lived in freedom. we have wanted to not just talk about where we are today although that's a critically important part of the book that we wanted to put it into historical context and to talk about the truth about america and what we did in world war ii and in the cold war and in the first years of the war on terror. ronald reagan said that we forget what we did we won't know who we are. we were very much inspired by that and by the idea that our kids have to have a place they can go to understand the reality of what america has accomplished. one of the great blessings for me was being able to work on this book with my dad who along with my mom gave mary and me a tremendous blessing as kids of
learning to love history and learning to love this great nation. and somebody who obviously has been involved as a participant in many of the events of the book, not as far back as 1939 but close. and so i would start tonight by giving your impressions. when people talk about president obama for example one of the things that we did was go back and look at the context of this president and talk about the extent to which where does he fall on the spectrum of democratic and republican presidents and how does the policy that what's come before particularly on the democratic side of the aisle. >> okay that's a good introduction. >> i have racked my brain trying
to understand why president reagan operates the way he does and of course president obama, operates the way he does and i think back and reflect on it. i was welcoming even though i didn't vote for him and worked for the other guy. i'm a republican and conservative and he's a liberal democrat but i was deeply disturbed 48 hours and the administration when he announced that he was going to close guantánamo and they were going to investigate and possibly prosecute the career of nationals who carried out or counters and program -- counterterrorism program from the program in terms of the national security agency, our ability to intercept communications outright overseas and that contacts in the u.s. or what we call the enhanced
interrogation program that we had set up in the aftermath of 9/11. these people who carried out instructions to the president of the united states programs that are going to prove by the national security council and then signed off by the justice department and done by the books from the legal standpoint constitutional standpoint etc. he wants as people investigated and arrested. i thought that was an outrageous proposition from the standpoint that i understood he won the election and puts the policy in place but what i did not understand he was briefly pared to prosecute men and women who are patriots who put their lives on the line all the time on behalf of the rest of us and it was one of the things he was going to do. i find that deeply disturbing and a raise questions of my mind about why that would be one of
the first things he wanted to do when he got into office. i thought back about it and we spent a lot of time reading a lot of history especially interested in world war ii history and my own dad served in the navy which i'm sure a lot of you have the same kind of family background but as i thought about it i thought about the fact that there has been i think over the decades for 70 some years basically it bipartisan consensus between republican and democrats alike on the position for the needs of the military capability to use when necessary. that included people like fdr in world war ii and harry truman. unbelievable circumstances into the cold war. dwight eisenhower and ronald reagan, jack kennedy whom there
was a consensus basically brought out and we didn't agree on everything and there were differences between the parties oftentimes at election time but barack obama was clear outside of the consensus that in my opinion based on my reading in and the study of history fundamentally disagreed was not in accord if you will with what i think is the bipartisan accord about the u.s. role in the world that has dominated our history and our policies and our actions over that period of time. that's partly what stimulated our thinking about the book but if you look at the hook and you go through i think you will find documented very carefully where we believe that he has in fact things that are not the way it would have been done by earlier
presidencies outside of the mainstream if you will. the presidential leadership and raising questions on how big a role the united states out of play in the world and the policies over the last six going on seven years now. they are remarkably at odds in our history and what we believe as a nation and what we will have to do going forward if we are going to give her a bad patch and get things back on the right course. >> in 1983 president reagan gave a famous speech in the oval office and a large part of the speech he talked about laying out the way defense budgets ought to be put together and explain it's critically important that the nation decide first whether the threat is real and allocate the resources to
it. one of the issues we talked about in the book and we have a set of recommendations in the end is this issue of our defense budget. an issue that we have heard some of the candidates talk about in this election cycle but i don't think it's gotten enough attention and i would like to hear you talk a little bit about that to the extent which got -- extent we have got to make a real change. >> i'm oftentimes asked what job i like most vice president, secretary of defense congressmen are wyoming chief of staff for jerry ford. all of them have some appeal to it and i loved all aspects of my career and was fortunate to be able to do that but my favorite job was as secretary of defense especially during desert storm and the collapse of the soviet union at the end of the cold war was the highpoint certainly in my career. i came away with that with a deep regard for military of all we had to do to run the
department on a reasonable basis and an understanding of why in my view the role of commander in chief is the single most important responsibility of any president more important than anything else we do, building highways, growing food and the various things or government gets involved in. that is in my opinion the single most important responsibility of the president of the united states. it just is and i also became very much aware and they don't want to get tangled up in a lot of detailed arguments about the budget but one of the most important things is the length of time it takes to change course and you have to do that if you inherit a mess as the president of the united states. you can't write a check to turn this thing around overnight and
take it in the direction you want to go in. doesn't work that way. i was tremendously impressed frankly with ronald reagan. when i got to be the secretary of defense and saddam hussein invaded kuwait in 1990. the first race -- weekend of the crisis to begin to deploy forces and we went through all of that and we weren't able to deploy. in relatively short order over half a million men and women and the world produce what became desert storm one of the most successful operations in the nation's history but as i thought back on that we were blessed because ronald reagan had been president 10 years before. he believed in a strong america and this strong i'm military. he had been through the melon terms of training.
the f-15 fighters and the bradley fighting vehicles and they m-1 abrams tanks. all of those things that he had been so much a part of starting or continuing in his administration. that's what we used to when and desert storm. the first thing i did after desert storm was over i'd called president reagan. he was then retired living in beverly hills and i thanked him. when i first got him on the phone i thanked him. i had one point during the welcome home ceremony for the troops in the spring of 91 after desert storm was over with have the opportunity to go visit president and mrs. reagan at their home.
i spent a couple of hours with the president. he was doing pretty well healthwise and was intently interested in all aspects of the storm and their relationship to the soviets. he pulled a footstool over in front of me and he sat on the foot stool facing me directly and focused hard on my face and started asking me questions. part of it was an effort on his part to compensate for some of the memory problems he was beginning to deal with. he kept me there for two hours grilling me on but we were going to do. again i thanked him profusely for anything he had done because he was directly responsible for what we were able to do 10 years later. now i think going forward with what barack obama has done, the military is in terrible shape today. we just had the army chief of staff retire and man named ray or -- ray odierno.
he was a major commander for swami did the surge and general petraeus was involved. ray was the guy who served in those seven and note 08. he commanded for significant period of time.he was the last six months just retired. he said in terms of the readiness level of the united states army that the army readiness level today is worse than it has been at any time in the history of the united states. that goes back 200 years. the air force chief of staff has announced that we are now operating air force with fewer aircraft and older aircraft than any other time in our history since air force was set up in a
that was after world war ii. all of the chiefs as well as some of them -- retired giving testimony in congress that given the current state of affairs the readiness and so forth that they are not capable in a crisis probably of being able to execute the national strategy. the military is in terrible shape. we have not had budget prepared a normal way where you look at threats around the world and decide what you need to meet those threats and put together a budget. it goes through the process in the white house. now we have to think about the sequestered. this is a result of the budget act of 2011 and what it does, it was adopted and it was so egregious in terms of its impact
it was meant to impose so much pain that we would come up with a better solution and we never came up with a better solution. now we have this sequestered. it if it's the military harder than anybody else. it takes 50% of the budget. now there's a serious question about how we perform in a crisis about her capacity to meet the threats that we see around the world because what has happened in the united states military during the obama era. it's a huge concern to me and our recommendations in their book in terms of the agenda of the administration what they need to focus on. >> we were finishing our book the agreement on a random nuclear deal was announced so we have a section in the book that
analyzes the agreement and makes recommendations about it. he gave a major speech in washington. one of the things he talked about in the speech was the extent to which some of the concessions that were made at the end have the potential to be devastating. you talked about the lifting be restrictions on the icbm program and giving the iranians the ability to launch a nuclear attack on the u.s. homeland. it's a very direct and tough criticism of the deal. obviously the administration is out there making claims about it would like to hear you talk about the issues in the concerns that you have with the deal and particularly what you think about the claims administration has made in the last few days. >> it was intriguing. i gave a speech at the american enterprise institute yesterday that had been scheduled for a couple of months in the white house response was to put them on their web site basically an
attack on me. they didn't ask any of the policy questions that we have raised are the people have raised. i don't mind getting attacked and being vice president i wanted to be popular i would have gone to california to be a movie star. i wouldn't be vice president. [laughter] it's a terrible deal and in so many different ways. one is the president has made a lot of plans but his claims are not valid. this will stop the version. once the iranians have nuclear capability before that others in the region weren't going to have all those countries in the saudis and emirates and so forth the israelis aren't going to sit
tight and allow the iranians to be the only ones and they world with nuclear weapons. they will acquire their own and some of them certainly have the money to buy them. they have had proliferation problems the middle east before and there's no doubt in my mind with this agreement will precipitate. part of the frustration is that at the very end of the negotiations all through the negotiation we were told this is just about the nuclear question. it's not about terrorism. it's not about what iran does and hamas and terrorist organizations. it's not about listed missiles. it's not about conventional weapons, but it turns out it was about all those things. obama put all those on the table so as liz mentioned the embargo on ballistic missiles are doing
business has been lifted a few years down the road. the same thing for the approach on conventional weapons. since the agreement was signed earlier this year suleimani for general who commands the quds force the worst of the worst in terms of the medieval proxy for the iranians that are deeply involved. one of their key activities in recent years has been building the iadc improvised explosive devices to use for the troops in iran and afghanistan. those other related our own table and lifted the sanctions imposed on the quds force and irgc. suleimani has been to moscow since the agreement was initialed a couple of months ago
to buy as three hundreds. it has 300 is a very capable russian built antiaircraft missile. even the supposedly those restrictions are in place for five more years. he asserted into moscow moscow doing the deal. if you go through the sequence and i don't want to take up the whole night talking about it, but the problem of one of the keys has been in the nonproliferation treaty designed in 1970 in which 190 countries which every country on, face of the earth has signed up to distinguish us between nuclear weapons states the u.s. britain russia china and france. they are the guys that all have weapons and enriched uranium and the non-western states which is everybody else including the iranians signed up not to
enrich. the iranians have demanded as far as the agreement that they would be allowed to enrich and we sanction their right to enrich uranium even though it violates the nonproliferation treaty of 1970. it also tears up the six u.n. security council resolutions. five bush promoted by the u.s. in three of them the winter on unanimous votes. all of those basically are targeted on the iranians because of their bad behavior especially with respect to granting enrichment. agreement that obama signed wipes out the six u.n. security resolutions. there are now zeroed out and we have sanctioned the ability of the iranians to have enrichment capabilities. they are now the only ones doing that. it's a direct violation but all of that has been ignored and
thrown out the window. so as you go through the process and think about it and look at what's been done here i think the outcome is bleak. i think it's a terrible direction to go down. i think we have done a lot of work over the years with respect to trying to avoid proliferation of nuclear weapons. i think the president has put in place now and agreement that is bound and determined to created norma's pressures are the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the middle east and we are going to have to live with all of that in the future. >> and i think another point our way to sum up how people should think about the agreement you know sometimes when you hear the president say look it's better than nothing and remember this is the man who has been telling us he won't accept a bad deal and now he's saying this bad deal is better than no deal. it seems to me it's important to
remember number one at one accomplish what he says with respect to the nuclear weapons. for a number of reasons my dad listed also because they were seamus swiss cheese. it's absolutely full of holes and i will not enable us to have any sort of understanding, in-depth understanding of what the iranians are doing. it's been amazing to see john kerry say we will know with certainty what the iranians are doing. we certainly won't. so it won't prevent them from having a nuclear weapon. it will give them international cover and legitimacy because suddenly you have international business run and then suddenly they are no longer a pariah state because of this agreement at the same time it gives them all of these benefits. $150 billion in cash, the lifting of the restrictions my dad mentioned so you will have iran which has sworn to destroy
israel and do everything it can to attack america which chants death to america on a daily basis. now provided with funds, with weapons and a pathway to a nuclear bomb. when you think you have a president of the united states who has put all that in place it really is very difficult to understand why he would think -- if you had said 10 years ago our president is going to be providing the money into and the weapons that iran needs to attack the united states. that's exactly what this deal does even before you get to the issue of a pathway to a nuclear weapon. a very dangerous deal and it gets back to this notion of sort of the president's view of the world. one of the things that is a theme that runs at the hook though we spend a lot of time on common extent to which you have president roosevelt, truman and eisenhower, kennedy nixon, ford, carter to a lesser extent,
reagan understanding that weaknesses provocative. this president doesn't understand that and i think it will be interesting to hear your assessment if you look at places like russia and china what the impact of the unwillingness to defend red lines and project american power what impact that is having and those relationships going in the future. >> we have focused over the last few days on the iranian situation, the situation in the middle east and it's a huge set of problems that gets worse with the caliphate etc.. but we also must look at russian bucket china when they start to talk about our strategic situation and our capacity to deal with them. one of the great strengths the u.s. has had again going back to world war ii is we have always
had significant advantage of a technical standpoint and knowledge of basic technologies that you need in the military. things like stealth aircraft or the abrams tank which is absolutely the best in the world that technological advantages disappearing and let's look carefully at what's happening russian and china and you will see evidence in fact that gap has been a great advantage for us. you begin to worry when you see what has happened. if you look at russia just yesterday i saw an article that the russians are building an undersea use unmanned robot submarine that will be able obviously to do all of those things underwater that we can now do with drones.
that is all got all kinds of ramifications. if you go to china you will find if you look back at their defense budgets since 1989 there is only been one year when the chinese defense budgets hasn't gone up a double digits. we are a long way from having defense budgets going up by double digits. it doesn't happen anymore because of the sequestered. the chinese have developed a ballistic missile. i'm concerned about our submarines. that's been major core of our strength especially in the western pacific. they know what our aircraft carriers are capable of doing. what they have got now is -- it will take at our aircraft carriers. you can look at what they are doing in the south china sea where they have gone in and help man made islands on shallow
reefs there. they are building airbases on them and turning military facilities and claiming part of the south china sea that is international waters up until now. luka what putin is done and the ukraine and crimea. i think he has aspirations of similar activity with respect to the baltics estonia lithuania and latvia. they were all part of the soviet union going back to world war ii. they'll have significant minority russian populations. they are all 100% dependent on russian gas supplies and they are all members of nato. we have a solemn obligation. the question is could we do that and are we capable of putting together an operation if we had to? i think putin is bound and determined while obama is the
white house to take advantage of that. he knows weakness we does when he sees it. it is provocative and i think he also had the desire to undermine nato. i can see them pursuing a strategy, a series of operations basically that would a lot of pressure on the united states. remember where 75% under the budget. there isn't a nato united states leadership to be a part of it in all of that is going to be tested in the next couple of years by mr. putin. he reads the newspapers and he knows what's happening to our defense budget to the obviously has a set of beliefs. somebody suggested the other day more dangerous than gorbachev's predecessors when he had russian a bend others pay the argument was that he doesn't have to
answer to anybody. a one-man dictatorship and aspirations trying to do -- and do what he sees as the damage done by the end of the cold war. there's a lot of concern about the chinese and the russians and both the chinese and the russians are working very hard to try to fill those gaps in places where we have military capability that they haven't been able to challenge previously like a ballistic missile that can take out an aircraft carrier and the threat that it poses to us, the weakness that we have imposed on ourselves the antimissile capability from the czech republic that obama thruway and close down a part of the program. along with the threats out there but it's a multiplier when you see one follow-up, one problem,
one week is, one budget cut adds to the other in to do something like move into the eastern part of the ukraine and what penalty has been imposed? not much. you see china moving into the south china sea. not much room in the penn state makes the bold talk they look at obama's approach to the syrian red line when he was going to act militarily when bashar al-assad used gas on his own people in an aside that an obama turned around and walked away from it. our allies and adversaries no longer respect the united states the way they have in the past and every day that goes by there is more evidence especially something like the iranian nuclear deal that really pound home. a proposition for adversaries in the united states. >> with that about iraq. the video you mentioned that the white house in response to your
iran speech was criticizing you for a day decision to liberate iraq in 2003. my own personal view is that anybody who referred to isis as a jv team is not enough position to -- on the topic of iraq. but let's talk about iraq. your sense of what you did, why you did it and was at the right thing to do and what of the impact it had the people may not be fully aware of. >> after we did desert storm the question was whether or not we should go on to baghdad and there was a unanimous view that we should not. there wasn't anybody urging it. what happened between then and 1991 and 2003 was a little item called 9/11. 3000 people in the united states of the world. towers down.
flight 93 would have taken out the white house and the capitol building with 300 passengers onboard. we had them reporting the aftermath of that. bin laden for example was trying to get his hands on it a weapon. remember 9/11, 19 guys armed with airline tickets and box cutters is what they had. they launched that attack and a lot of evidence that the thing we have to worry about in the future was another attack like that with far deadlier weapons. if you look at the history of the world and not part of the world one of the main things we were concerned about was the proliferation of nuclear weapons. it wasn't something that just came up on one intelligence report prior to 9/11. if you go back to 1981 and
baghdad, saddam hussein had a nuclear reactor operating in syria outside of baghdad. the israeli stick it out. in 1991 saddam restarted his nuclear program again. we took it out in desert storm. the new fast-forward up to 2003 and we made a judgment based on the fact that we were getting intelligence that said saddam hussein was back in the nuclear business and we went in and took down saddam hussein's regime. obviously one of the things and doing that ended in the threat immediately from iraq but also had an impact on the proliferation problem. two examples already 81 and 91 but also what happened after reese took down saddam hussein was moammar gadhafi. gadhafi had centrifuges and uranium feedstock and a weapon.
when we took down saddam hussein think it was five days after we dug him out of his hole. he announced he was going to turn over all them nuclear materials to the united states and he did. a very wise man. that did a couple of things. one was think of what would have happened in subsequent years if he had not turned over those nuclear materials to the united states. he was finally overthrown and isis moved in and kill gadhafi. they would have inherited the libyan nuclear program. the second thing when we went in and took that back from the libyans mr. kong was the pakistani engineer that had a major hand in building nuclear inventory nuclear weapons for
pakistan. then he had gone into business for himself in the black market operation. libya was his biggest customer but he had also been involved with the iranians. it turns out if you go back to 1987 in a meeting in a hotel in dubai it was common and con's people who got $3 million in return for providing the basic design of centrifuges for the iranians. some 1987 the iranians get their start with something that came from a.q. khan. we shut him down and he went to pakistan. we shut down his black orchid operation. those are all examples where we use military or the threat of military operations to hault proliferation. the other thing that happened was in 07 -- showed up in my
office of the west wing. he had photographs of israeli intelligence taken inside a nuclear reactor built by the north koreans from the syrians in eastern syria. that was 07. the israeli stick it out and imagine what would have happened but it was an incident where we were lucky that radical islamist didn't get their hands on a but it's only a matter of time. we are safer today than we would have been if we hadn't taken out saddam hussein. those who argue against it have to explain the fact that you still have saddam hussein around. but it was very important. i believed then and believe now what did the right thing in 2003 the world is less threatening now than it was but barack obama was about to turn it on its head
with the operations of the deals he wants to do with the iranians. >> the rise of isis, do you think the caliphate can be detained? >> i'm not sure how you contain a caliphate if you are going to withdraw u.s. forces. you can cross your fingers, you can pray, you can try to find somebody who will go in and do it for you. but i think isis is such a deadly combination. caliphate is a significant thing where they have established a regime, governance under sharia law extraordinary radical. we have seen what they do recruiting successfully for example here in the united states. stories of young people banging courage to go to syria and sign up with isis to be part of that system. very potent and deadly force committed to the destruction of
all the infidels who had a foothold in libya. the thing i worry about is some of the refugees now that are flowing out of syria into europe some of them they will be operating some members of isis that are trying to transfer their revolution to europe because there are significant presence there. i think the only option on isis i think they have to be destroyed. you'll have to do it sooner or later. the longer we wait and it's going to be especially dangerous if by the time we decide we are going to do something about it they have a nuclear weapon. one of those governments over there has fallen after they acquired that capability and then we will have grave grave di