tv 2016 Brooklyn Book Festival CSPAN September 19, 2016 7:00am-9:01am EDT
at one point an intlog -- interrogator was there and he said, we are not -- you are not going to starve, we will feed you off your ass. we learned about rectal dehydration. i thought he was doing exaggerated flourish, it took me all this time to realize that, lineally bien he was -- line by line he was telling the truth and he would move general to specific in skillful way of something who was not a professional writer. that's what it was for me, learn to go get myself out of the way >> we should wrap this up.
they are both going to be downstairs signing and selling the books. i wrote a book about gps and pinpoint how gps is changing culture and mind and i think i will be signing books. they definitely will.e] [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> and you're watching c-span2. the next author panel will begin in about ten minutes or so and
having conversations, they weren't able to take q&a, questions and answers duringue panel discussion so this is the opportunity for festival goers to ask some questions and getto their books signed. >> a beautiful day out here in brooklyn new, new york, c-span is live all day. we have three more panel discussions left. one is happening right now upstairs. thomas frank. say, hi to the facebook audience. >> is that the house of representatives channel??
6:00 p.m. eastern time today. again, this is ralph nadir. thomas frank. and gloria brown marshall. they're all signing books of audience member that is just attended their conversation. [inaudible conversations] >> the festival has been bustling all day. a full set of tents, authors and publishers, lots of attendees today. live on c-span2. all of our coverage today is inside the brooklyn law school
all three authors concluded discussion upstairs live on book tv. the brooklyn book festival. seems like the sun is peaking through the clouds. it was threatening rain today but it looks like we are in the. clear. lots of people in attendance today. if you're here today go ahead and post videos. bf for brooklyn book festival. go ahead and and leave signing
right now and wander around. we are outside of brooklyn law school right now in the courtyard there's a few tents set up. brooklyn law school. a line for signing. we have two more panels after the one that's currently airing that will be covering live on c-span2 book tv. >> and book tv is live from new york city today and this is an author panel from the brooklyn book festival, it's an immigration and it begins now. >> okay, good afternoon, everyone. thank you for coming.
we have a very exciting panel about the real authentic and future of the united states, i think, sitting right here right now today. this is called the panel we the people and will be looking at first and second generation immigrants, refugees, people who are living in different communities across the country. through their memoirs of migration, these authors haver illustrated a lot of the complexities of our world today, of our nation today bringing all kinds of interesting and necessary questions that we should be asking, specially every four years in this country seems to go through some kind of massive self-doubt and definition and certainly that's happening this year, so i'm hoping that by the end of this panel, we will have a lot more clarity as to the complexity and, in fact, the richness and the color of our country.
so to start us off let me introduce our author who is are sitting here and they are farthest from me is josé horduna who was from veracruz, he's a graduate of the nonfiction writing program in the university of iowa, he is active in latin american solidarity. here is what the book looks like. beside josé we have darnell padilla peralta who came to the
u.s. from the dominican republic. danel studied in oxford and stanford university. it wasn't just through good fortune but talent, recipient of award from the american library association. memoir, undocumented, which is right here a dominica child journey and homelessness to ivy league. next to me kao kalia yang.
she is a graduate of carrollton college and colombia school of the arts and kalia lives in minnesota with the family and member of the mong ethnic minority and born in refugee camp and also a u.s. citizen. okay. so please welcome. [applause] >> so i want to start off today by getting something out of the way first and quickly, okay. donald trump. [laughter] i know. i would really not like to talk about donald trump but this election is not and never really has been about donald trump but i think it's actually about the success of donald trump and the people who are following him. but all of us on the stage today i think represent another kind of united states that is different than the one trump and his supporters are pushing. so
josé, your book on reflection and personal immigration to this gruntry. you even at one point you talked about encounter with a biker in a bar in dallas who asked you if you were a muslim or mexican but he used a different language than that. and so i wanted to know, muslims and mexicans are two of donald trump's favorite people. and so i wanted to know, and i also actually know some muslim mexicans, yeah, so what does trumpism mean to you? >> thank you. so trumpism is obviously incredibly frightening in terms of a sort of political ethos
that is present and alive in this country but i think probably the scariest thing about trumpism for me is what donald trump and what trumpism allows to fly under the radar in terms of other political realities that are really harmful for immigrant and for people of color. you know, i think that across the sort of political spectrum, immigrant politically don't have a lot of strong allies that really do much beyond offer sort of rhetorical acknowledgment. i think in terms of material policy, you know, while it may be very obvious that, you know, different sides of the aisle, if you will, have obvious differences, i think that when we are talking about real sort of political concrete policy, they're not as different as i
would like them to be. so i think for me that's the scariest thing, is what trumpism allows us to not pay attention to. >> that's fascinating also in a way because i think what you'ret say asking pay attention to reality for immigrant even under obama who as you point out in your book is deporter in chief as well, and danel you have also talked about that in your book, i wonder if you can talk about what trumpism means and also in relation with the obama legacy in life here in the united states. >> i cosign to everything josé just said. the nickname deporter in chief is given with cause. obama has overseen more deportations during his presidency than the past 19 u.s.
presidencies combined. that's a staggering poll, even a democratic administration has been actively engineered the destruction of immigrant families, the tearing apart of immigrant households. what trumpism means to me is two sort of different discourses rolled up into one. so the first dimension of trumpism that struck me is how insistently and historical it is, making america great again, it is relentlessly historical. it is actually the outgrowth of actung-term conversation aboutut immigration, specific groups
whose descendants are among the most enthusiastic supporters. on the one hand performing practices where i say, al right, let's look back at presidents in u.s. history but on the other hand there is an element of groom that -- gloom that comes over me because i begin to think in the spirit of coauthor david malpin and david fitzgerald and this is a question that is alive not only in the united states but also obviously as many of you know in the eu as well.
>> well, in fact, making that comparison between europe andak the united states, i think one would ceazly consider the question of refugee flows right now and germany has taken over a million people in the span of a year, the united states has now very recently received its tenth thousand syrian refugee, a huge difference between a million and ten thousand. i wonder, kalia, if you can comment on refugee considering of the questions of political context where chris christie that he wouldn't even accept a refugee child under the age of five. i don't know if you rememberr that statement that chris christie made and how that chric
relates to this beautiful memoir that you have also of refugee resettlement in the united states? >> so i came to america as a 6-year-old little girl from the camps of thailand, came from a place that was 400 acres, 40 to 50,000 and that was the place where i was born. it was what i knew. i asked the adults around and they use today tell me, no, this is not home, the world is something else. home is some story in laos or imagined future in america. my father used to look at me inn this place where little girlsmy like me, people traded fish for us. my father used to tell me that i was a captain of a more beautiful future and one day i would walk in the horizons thath we had never seen. we were the second biggest wave to enter the country. people use today drive by and they would lick their fingers. that was the first american
thing i learned. they use today throw bottles, they didn't want to hit me but the bottles shattered around me. i remember being a kid and picking ep chards of glass and asking what do i do with this? i found diamonds and my mom andd dad, my mom use today ask me what do you want to do with the diamonds and i said bury them for kids to hide.e i buried diamonds. not so different than what is happening today. people ask me all of the time, have we made progress and i can honest i will say, my mom and dad all of the people who love me, they don't have the english words to bring understanding to the lives that they live and th reasons why they are here, you know, at a gas station my father dropped some coins and leaning down to pick them up and he has car pel tunnel and the man behind him is doing this and when my dad gets up, they say, what are you doing here, you're
slowing us down. it is hard to talk about progress. my husband a few months ago and we have identical twin boys, sleep a very precious quantity. he wakes up in the middle of the night and i'm aslope and i look at him, what, i know that he's crying, he goes in america we don't allow refugees, i would never meet you. these babies would not be here. i think about that. that's the one thing that nobody is talking about. when we talk about immigrant and refugees in this country right here right now. if we don't let people like you come in where are babies like ours? so that's very much where i'm situated, very clearly it is the story of how i come to be and today i sit before you a very proud american, an american writer who i believe is contributing to american literature. >> thank you.
>> i think the tail end of your answer, beautiful eloquent answer makes me think about something else too, you know, it's not about literature, american literature as well, not only world literature but the literature of immigrant in the united states. there's a long story, tradition, you know, it's actually been part built into our own national methodology that there's a notion that american literature that's intimately and deeply connected to the idea of immigration to this country and that literature typically has a sensibility where you leave the old country at one point, you leave the old country behind and you become an american somehow through various trails and v trivals. what struck me is reading the books is there's some different kind of american narrative there than a typical immigrant narrative and in many ways i
think that these books in somea. ways as -- these are not immigrant narratives but exile narratives, you can say in a way. exile is strangely compelling to think about but terrible to experience. now, i wonder if you can talk about how you see your narrative sitting in american literature within the sort of traditions of immigrant literature and how you're writing sort of within that tradition and outed of that tradition in all three of your books, so maybe we can hear from kalia first. >> when i was a little kid i used to go to public library. we lived in housing projects and i said can i get a book about monk people. they use today give me books about chinese, korean and shehe remembers because i'm not so old and she's still alive that i
said underneath my breath i come here and find the story of her people in the book shelves of a bigger world. i never thought i would be that writer. when i told my dad that i wanted to write a book about him, he said nobody wants to read a book about my -- me. my dad lost barack, nobody wants to read about a man like me.am but my dad says i'm stubborn,n i'm like a dog, i never let go and so i started writing this book because i realized that most of this world is built onif the shoulders of men like my father. yes, in the factories of minnesota but also right here in new york city when i went to school. i remember walking from broadway to colombia university, all of those restaurants and men in basement who is came forth once in a while who had hands like my father. one snowy day, i have a clear memory, a restaurant who had always been polite, he threw
money and i saw hands like my father to pick up dollars. goal was always that he would come up with a second album but i said i needed new books and i wanted a new backpack and i wanted things too so my father went to that 5,000 and the younger kids came along and they too wanted and needed things, translated into drumsticks in our hands and rice on our plates. people say i look korean, i look japanese, i look out of asia, we are new to -- this is the neww medium for us. n and for me in a world where history has neglected so much of the monk story and reality, it
is my responsibility to my people, for every one book two others died in the secret war to americans so i can be here. it's a story much bigger than myself. it's very much american storyve and neglected american story but that's what i do what i do. obviously public speaking is not quite natural for me. i prefer to be in some office some where writing my words out to the world but unfortunately my daddy says that when i where. in paper, when i speak i get a chance to write on the fabric of the human being. so that's why i'm here today and that's why i do the work that i do because outside of america people still look at me and they still say you're an american writer. i only get that outside of america. [laughter] >> interesting. >> danel, your book is the most -- the narrative of success and achievement and yet i feel like there's a way in which you're resisting the nar tiff in that
book, what do you think abou that? >> yeah, i was listening.. as i describe in the book i have found myself confronting narratives of exceptionalism with skepticism verging on outright refusal on denial and this is because in my initial encounters with the literature that then sort of came to absorb me, i talk a little bit in the book about my exposure to greek and roman classics. i kept being captivated by stories of the immigrant' experience. but there was a wrinkle to the presentation until the arc of some of the stories that i found at times pretty difficult to grapple with and it was that you would get this success and
desire for -- and josé can speak to this, the burning desire for the happy ending, right, the happy ending would be sat down in terms of medical to sort of positive description. happy ending would consist of assimilation of one's country or checking off boxes of success. went to ivy league schools and all of that. part of the reason that i became at an early age unwilling to accept this, it had to do with an excellent james baldwin essay that i encountered thanks to my high school teachers, pricing of ticket, baldwin goes in hard against people who would use individual stories of success to characterize the american dream
as somehow unavailable and perfect, right. he really wanted to critique and devote a fair amount of time to critiquing experience somehow validation of american dream. with that in hand, i repeatedly over the course of the next few years reevaluated my life and the lives of those who had been around me. i take a fair bit what i see to be effects of structural inequality and one is that it creates and brings down folks mystification. .. oppression of large numbers of people. i could not tolerate that.
i found myself fortunate to be in the company of others who could not tolerate that. like the folks on this panel. so i will stop right there. >> yes, well, funny you should mention baldwin and sort of the american dream. baldwin was an author who, you know, was really instrumental for me as a young reader. that anger and urgency i read in baldwin was something i attempted to carry with me and not let it be dulled down. when i was nationalized in west letter, like a form letter, from president obama and in it, i am paraphrasing but he said something like you are proof that the american dream is alive and well.
when i read that, you know, i was like oh snap. you know? and i sort of had a notion and understanding that that sentence was -- that my ability to move through the naturalization process and many other processes in my life and my own story was being utilized. i wanted to work against being used as a narrative and symbol. i think immigrants over and over at different points in our lives are treated as narratives, symbols, whenever it is, you know, politically useful and i think that treatment has dire consequences. in terms of mexican immigration
to the united states you know first we were grafted on to one narrative, then another and another. most recently, before the newest narrative, most recently specifically mexican immigration was grafted on to the war on drugs narrative. and the war on drugs, like the war on terror, is this abstract war that is not fought against a territory or length of time so it needs to be fuelled by the farce into the future. i sensed those things acting upon me and that allowed me to decide what i wanted to and needed to do in the book. i try to work against those sort of ideas. i try to work against the idea both that i am a serial
murdering rapist but i also try to work against the idea i am an angel who is morally unassailable and be a real person. >> one of the things that is checking the common ality in th books is there is a relationship to the tactile and physical realities of relationships. you write about the passport and what a pass poport actually mea to you at one point. and dan-el you have e-mails you get when your application is approved and your status can be changed. e-mail is not tangible but it sort of it. and jose you have not just the ceremony. i naturalized in 2011 also and i have my own weird stories about
that, too. but this is about you guys. you also have a comment on the green card as well and the tactile nature of the green card which is not green by the way. tiny strip of green on the back and tiny heads when you look closely and each president is on the card. but there is this way in which it is those elements of nationalism that we carry around in our pockets and are holding on to as physical properties. there is much more as well. they are metaphorical and mean something about our attachment to the country. i think nationalism is a complicated thing to under. naturalism is in many ways something we are trying to get away from and at the same time
trying to embrace and especially in the narrative we are talking about at this table. you know we can see all of the destructive nature of nationalism but also the other elements. that is a long way to ask you to reflect on what nationalism means to you. maybe begin with jose. >> that is a really interesting question. i think if we talk about nationalism on abstract terms it is easier for people to see nationalism as an ethos and relate that to bigotry and say that is a bad thing. but when it comes right down to it, i think at the sort of essence of the quagmire of immigration is this central
contribution in liberal democracies. it is this contribution of we want to be ethically good people but we want to restrict entrance to our country and we also want to define ourselves as americans by restricting others and saying you are not american. i think that becomes especially contentious and problematic when you examine the foreign policy of the united states and specifically the foreign policy of the united states in countries that are sending migrants to the united states. that becomes even more problematic to say we are going to restrict your entry into our country even though we exerted a form of military, economic or combination of coherscion. i think it is easier to say that
is bad but see what nationalism boils down to and examine the fundamental question that is more difficult to grapple with and more difficult to contend and correct and address in terms of politics, policy, law and society. >> now the question of how the u.s.' relationship with that country and then coming here to this country is very complicated. what do you think? >> so my fellow authors are more country with academic and political jargon than i so i will tell you a story. my mom and dad are not educates. their schools were bombed. they and their families fled in the jungles in the hope they may live. there was an effort to re-educate but it was necessary to exterminate.
my mom and dad were chased to thailand and people were only getting food three days out of the week. we lived there for eight years and came to america july, 27th, 1987 as residential aliens. we have photos of our ears and i carried this card around and wasn't until 2000, september 11th, that i wanted to go to a study abroad and became a naturalized citizen and i could stand in line with everybody else. president obama was the first president my mom and dad voted for. when we talk about the past, in the book it was my father and his pastor going back to thailand because my might say --
my sister was living there. i asked him how he felt going back to the land of his father. my grandpa died when my father was two and my father said he is the father he imagined for himself. my dad, going back to laos, they allowed my mom, brother and little sister through and they stopped by dad saying you cannot go through. they said we kicked you out of our country once how many more times do you want to be kicked out? my dad told my mom to go because her family was waiting for them and she had not seen them since 1978. her brothers were crying with their arms open. he said go ahead and i will return. they said for you i will hike up
the fair. my sister, born in america, raised in this country said can i talk to your country and the woman put her hand to her gun and my dad pulled my sister back and my mom walked toward my father and they turned away. i have one photo of my father in laos. my brother on the airplane said dad, i am happy you are going to america with me because america wouldn't be home without you. when i think about nationalism i think about the moment on the plane and my mother and father with nowhere else to turn. here in america people like to say go back to your homeland but the only home i know of is a future in america. when i think about nationalism i think about the girl in auditorium 850 who raised their hand and asked me why didn't you
write your book -- [speaking foreinative tongue] >> this group stood up said and if you want to speak your language go home. i found myself standing on the stage telling the teachers to back up. time for me to be an american. i fight each and every single day to belong. in minnesota, people asking why are you asking for [inaudible] >> in the places and spaces i go i am often the first and their introduction to how we fit in the bigger framework of america. nationalism is the reason i am here with you all when i could be home with my boys.
i speak maybe the word and work of donald trump could be seen in a different light and we could build a better world. i don't care about arguments of the head. i am just looking to deepen a more profound understanding for the human conditioning. we are good at being critical but many have not learned how to be compassionate leaders and people. that is the brand of nationalism i'm coming from. [applause] >> sorry, man, you are next. >> i will not be able to hold a candle to that. that is what you all came here for. you can all leave. so, i -- in thinking about nationalism, i think about
documentation which is an illusion baked into the title of my book. other panelists have talking about the texture and the feeling of the letter and the handing over of the documentation that certifies someone. when i think of the operation of the nation state i think of an e entity that creates a bureaucracies that offers documentation to some and not others. this weighs on me because the withholding of documentation can be catastrophic to lives. i think about this in my experience to relationships in the united states but also in the context of dealings with the
country i was born and to which i remain on some registers loyal and that is the dominican republic. in the dominican republic as many of you you know the dominican government has over the past few years borrowed a page from the u.s.' playbook to enforce an immigration policy that targets dominicans of haitian decent and this is crucial for the purposes of what i am about to elaborate dominicans who can be glossed as haitians meaning they have dark skin and look like me. this has had implications for my life because even though to the best of my knowledge i have no ancestors who crossed over from the haitian side of the border to the dominican side of the border in the first half of the 20th century when i went to review my passport at the dominican counsel general in the
city i was asked after explaining i didn't have this dominican id card that certifies you as having been in the dominican republic i was asked are you haitian? this question is loaded. if i were to answer, no, i am not haitian and give my explanation as to why the immigration officer could say well you don't have this documentation that you need. we will not review your pass port. here is where my story parts from the stories of the two panelists because i am not yet a u.s. citizen or a permanent residence of the u.s. so to be denied a renewal of my dominican passport would have left me stateless. i had to explain i don't have a civil because i haven't lived in the dominican relpublic for a
long time but i am not haitian. here is where one that is confro confronted with the democracies that is highly forced in code this is where documentation comes as something that is i implicated in nationalism. in america i think about the 11 million undock -- undocumented are denied a path to citizenship and those with dhaka are provided only with a temporary form. documentation is one of the corner stones of thinking about nationalism in the nation state. if we are not sensitive to the ways in which the play with docume documents, the selective
withholding, the arbitration leaves the direct, intangible imprints on lives and causes suffering it would be beneficial to notice the project. it is all about paper. >> excellent answer. we have a few minutes left about ten minutes left for some questions. so if people want to ask questions there are two mic microphones so line up for questions. as people are contemplating their own questions i have one i would like to ask the three of you. the u.s. is an expanding place but at the same time remains stubbornly monolingual.
each of you have a deep relationship with a non-english language. so i wonder what non-english word would you like to introduce into the american vocabulary? maybe we can go down the line. >> there is a wonderful word meaning the bigness of heart. it isn't the same as generosity. if you a big heart people hurt your feelings but you can still there beside them. my father's favorite word to his children means make your heart fly really big, my dear one. as a country if we could make our hearts bigger i think that would be great. [applause] >> oh, man, there is so many words. i will tell you about a word i am thinking about today. the word is a spanish verb with
complicated and somebody opaque history. the word means to praise. it turns out that [native word] is very difficult to track. it may have a latin precursor and be related to a phrase in latin that appears in a first century latin novel. it may appear in the phrase [speaking native tongue] which no one can make sense. it may mean to be under treatment for an incubus. it may mean being the recipient of a strike to the head. i am thinking about this word a lot not only because -- we could translate it as praise but one of the enduring fascinations i
have with how we might move beyond the monolingual textured community and i see doing this by conditioning other languages and experiences. so that is my case study for that because it is so beautif beautifulbeautifu beautifully opaque and suggestive of possibilities. i have been thinking about that the entire day. i woke up thinking about it. >> i think i would -- you know i just moved to new mexico and the history of alburquerqe made be
realize spanish is as foreign. if i picked one word i think it would be [native word] which is a favorite word of mine and my mothers aspeciespecially. one of the central characters in the book is a friend of mine who is undocumented and we had a lot of high hopes for president obama and when we came to understand our hopes would be let down he exclaimed [foreign word] obama. and that is a useful word in spanish. i think everybody should use pinche more. >> there is something there. i need to figure it out. >> it is kind of a curse word. if you are a child, don't use it.
>> prerogative of the moderator in arabic there is a word called [foreign word] used to express the specific kind of ecstasy you get from listening to music. you know? and like we need words that can expre express differences. we have so much misery around us let us enjoy the fabulous ways. if we all spoke a little of each of the word i feel like in making the english language a real american language full of all kinds of different experiences. but really there is no questions? no questions? >> we don't buy it. yes? [inaudible question] >> actually, because we have the broadcast could you use the microphone? >> i think the big elephant in the room is we talk about
immigrant and not race. i am an immigrant, too and i think my story has been very different from yours and unfairly different. would you advise that? >> i guess i didn't perceive that elephant because i understand when we talk about immigrant or undocumented or any of the bad words we use to describe immigrants we are talking about a certain immigrant, certain kind of immigrant story. so you, i think from the restrictive immigration policy has been a racialized policy. there are scholars who are doing a lot of interesting work and sort of connecting the dots between our current immigration system, policy, and the sort of legal jurisprudence of deportation and run away slave laws.
that is the sort of historical reality that immigration sort of fits into. >> that scholarship has been remarkable for how it opened the window on the history of the racialization immigrants bodies. at this point i will simply add that there is -- as i see it it, as we would all see it or many of us would see it, clear intersections between the enforcement of immigration policy and race. we should also bear in mind that race itself in so far as intersecting with immigrants is a historical phenomenon. for an illustration of this, one only need to go back and read newspaper reports and editorials about irish and italian immigrants at the turn of the 20th century. you get into a period where you have different intersecting modes of describing race and one
of the elements of these discourses that comes out in a strikingly clear view is the degree to which you have efforts to categorize the italians and irish as having negro features. so you have the negro type of blackness as the worst of the worst but you have some not describing to the monolithic whiteness. these histories have to be undertaken with the few of the immigration policy again in the u.s. and other parts of the world, too. >> i am going to comment this with another story.
i was teaching at north community college and i have a lot of kid of color in my class. there was a lone boy who told me a story. when he was in 4th grade his mom and dad was living in the suburbs and he thought thee was like everybody but his teacher gave him a black marker. he drew his hair with the style it was in at the time which was straight up. when he showed his teacher she said i want you to draw yourself. and he looked at his hair and said that is me. when we talk about race it is often black and white. growing up i learned about race through the african-american experience. my mom and said always said it would be the men and women in the classroom who would teach you where you belonged and i believed them.
my teacher taught me about martin luther king and rosa parks. but when i go with my white husband in a bowling alley in a progressive neighborhood and i go to the bathroom and come out and the woman looked me up and down and they walk out of the bathroom. i am washing my hands at the sink and looking at myself and i don't want to see myself. i don't want to see the tears fall. but i go back and they are still talking about me and looking at me and i have to leave the space. black lives matter and i would never want to jeopardize that movement in any way in the life that i live. but my little brother, 12 years old, hears the word nigga at school and tries to say that is wrong but doesn't know where to situate himself.
race in this country is incredibly challenging especially if you are not black or white and your sympathy is with the black lives matter movement but you want to say he needs a different color pen or paper to see himself reflected. but when you talk about immigrant, refuge, language and america you cannot talk without a found agational understanding race. it is an important question but as jose said these are realities that for us are every day. >> i want to thank you all for coming to this panel. thank you. [applause] i would also like to remind you the authors will be signing books and they will be available for purchase
>> you're watching booktv on c-span2 with top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. >> next on "the communicators," how isis is using social media. then a discussion on u.s. policy toward north korea. after that, a ceremony to honor u.s. p.o.w.s and those missing in action. and later, a senate hearing on veterans health care. >> host: and this is "the communicators" on c-span. this week a discussion on the issue of the radicalization of cyberspace. let me introduce you to our two guests, alberto fernandez is a former career member of the foreign service. he's now with the middle east media research institute.
and seamus hughes, who spent a while at the national counterterrorism center, is now with george washington university, their extremism program. he's deputy director there. seamus hughes, when you hear the phrase radicalization of cyberspace, what does that mean to you? >> guest: kind of an explosion of the use of social media to recruit, particularly in america, individuals to isis. so they're used on social media like twitter which was a platform of choice for a number of years, now telegram where they're largely concentrated. you see these ones and twos individuals in the u.s. who are not finding like-minded individuals at the mosques and are reaching online. >> host: mr. fernandez, what does that term mean to you? >> guest: to me, it means something broader because you have a space where a certain image and persona and reality is portrayed which is part of the tool that is used in the radicalization process. there's a misnomer that exists
in this space, and people think that some guy watches an isis video, automatically becomes a jihadist robot. it's actually more complicated than that. that's one element of a larger intellectual, psychological, emotional process that takes a person from being one thing to being something else. it's like anything else; love, hate, anger, fear. complicated thing. so the social media aspect is an important part of it, but i think sometimes we go from exaggerating to minimizing. we seem to go back and forth between the two. >> host: for both of you, has it made recruiting for isis easier? >> guest: yes. there's no doubt about. that i mean, it allows isis to portray a very powerful image of itself, what can be all things to all people. you want depth, you want religiousity, you can have that that. you want blood lust? you want revenge? you want whacko kind of ways of
killing? you have that as well. it allows them to project a complete package in a way that bypasses television, bypasses the regular media, is accessible for all people. >> guest: and looking not only at the message, but operationally, you see isis using it in three different ways. the first way is grooming. so in the u.s. context, we saw over about a six month period we look at isis and english-language twitter accounts to get a sense of what the scene looked like. what you find is you have a number of individuals who are interested about their faith, they're naive, they have questions, and there's spotters online grooming them into the process and answering questions in a very innocuous way, right? this is your answer for your question on religion, and then slowly they introduce kind of the isis ideology, the narrative into the conversation. that's the first scope in terms of grooming. the other way they use the online environment is logistical support. i think back to a case of mohamed khan from chicago. 19-year-old kid, goes to o hair airport with his 17-year-old and
16-year-old brother and sister, they're going to go to syria and join isis. when they picked him up and arrested him, they found four numbers of people to call when he got to turkey to cross the border. how does a kid from chicago get numbers? he reached out to contacts he made on twitter. logistical support. and the last one i think that's increasingly important is this idea of what the fbi director calls the devil on his shoulder, individuals who are egging people on to do what they can where they are. it's getting increasingly harder to travel to syria and iraq, the messaging has changed a little bit in terms of joining the so-called caliphate. it's much more do what you can where you are, and you're having a constant, essentially, shaming of individuals for not acting. >> host: is there a naivete among the individuals who are being sucked into this? >> guest: well, the first thing that you always say and that seamus has said and others always say is there's no one pattern, right? you get all kinds of different people. you get people who are, you
know, more conservative, you get people who are shallow, you get gang bangers, you get converts. but given the fact that there's a lot of individuality, there is a lot of difference, yes, you do get kind of a large subset of people who are shallow. so, you know, so this is an ideology projected through social media which, as i say, can be profound, but it's also shallow. it's basically an ideology on a bumper sticker or in 140 characters. so it can become almost a label or a sticker that kind of empowers people to do things or encourages people to undertake a path in life or a type of violence in life. so, yeah, it does appeal to a kind of a certain naivete. >> guest: and, you know, i've been looking at this about ten years, right? so the old school guys about ten years ago, they were, you know, you had the knuckleheads, but
you also had the big thinkers. they wanted to understand exactly how this stuff worked. all of that stuff. these guys for the most part, they're not, they're not interested in that type of level of granularity. that's not to say there's not exceptions and there's not people that are drawn into it, but for the most part it's very much what alberto said, that bumper sticker idea. how do i fill my world view to make sense of what they're telling me. >> guest: and it's a spirit of the age. leaving islamism and jihaddism inside, we live in an age where people take the "national enquirer" as news or press tv or info wars or something on the internet that they see. so this appeal to salafi jihadist mobilization is very modern, it's very postmodern. it fits into this hyper-realistic world that we live in where we're constantly absorbing this barrage of symbolic, shallow pictures, images and thoughts.
you know? so it's a type of mobilization for dummies and for the, you know, people of today. it's not medieval, i hate it when people use that term about, you know, isis and stuff. it's not that. it's actually something very modern and very current. >> guest: it's very much narrow casting, right? >> guest: yeah. >> guest: you're able to just like if you're on your facebook feed and you only look at one newscast, and it slowly goes down to that only political bent. you're only hear what you want to hear, you're only listening to the stories of things that reinforce your already-held beliefs. so you see that play out time and time again, and dissenting voices are quickly kind of pushed to the side or blocked on twitter or kicked out on telegram. so there's not an ability to kind of interject your way into this conversation. >> host: so are we talking specifically about isis, or are
there other groups using these tools? >> guest: one of the big lessons that's happened as a result of the astonishing success of the islamic state say over the couple years, three years in the social media state is how other jihadist groups have adapted and and how they've changed. one of the big learners has been what used to be called the al-nusra front, al-qaeda in syria, who have really upped their game. they've adopted ways of doing media the way isis does media, they've adopted a certain kind of visual style, they've upped the production of what they're doing. so, you know, the west is trying to learn, the west is trying to do better jobs of counteracting this, but other bad guys have also learned lessons from isis is and have learned to improve the way that they do media. >> guest: and there's lessons learned also in terms of demographics, right? the average age of an isis recruit is 26 in the u.s., but in one-third of the cases, they're 31 -- 21 years or
younger. these guys grew up with social media. they understand the platform. so they're able to learn those lessons and apply it to trying to get their message out. you're also dealing with a subset of people that are fervent in their beliefs, right? they're going to spend all their waking hours pushing in the in a way that government is going to work 9 to 5 to do. >> host: so there's a pretty high level of sophistication. >> guest: yeah. there's -- and alberto knows this better than anyone else in terms of production and how they disseminate the messaging. but it's not, you know, one way to do it. you know, there's the veneer of a news organization, of isis news organization to, but there's also kind of, again, this narrow casting, if you are interest in showing that isis is winning, this is the channel you go to to check that out. so you can kind of pick and choose what you need in order to fulfill any doubts you had to
begin with. >> guest: you know, they are, their scope, their presence on social media is declining, the islamic state, it's going down. in fact, they've decreased in some ways by about two-thirds. but there are the two problems. one is the initial footprint or the footprint they initially developed a couple years ago was huge. so even one-third of what they had before is really big. second of all, they still have the ability -- despite all the talk about what the west or the u.s. government is doing -- they still have the ability to project based on an event, based on an incident, something they want to, they want to maximize. they can surge. piggybacking and using the mainstream media and using the 24-hour news cycle the way a parasite would use it. so they're, you know, they're smaller than they were before, but they're still pretty darn big. >> host: what makes an effective
video or an effective presentation that you've seen online? >> guest: you mean theirs or ours? >> host: theirs. >> guest: oh, it varies. it depends. you know, i watch all of them. and i'm often not a muslim or a jihadist, but i'm often moved or horrified or intrigued by what they do. it can be all things to all people. you'll see a video that'll be about them helping poor people and giving alms to the poor and you'll have another one which is pure carnage and blood lust, then you'll have your action, fighting video. so they have enough volume, they have enough variety that you can pick and choose. you don't like this one, you'll like the next one. you didn't like fast and furious 7, maybe you'll like fast and furious 8. that's the way they do it. >> host: are these videos accessible to anybody on the internet? >> guest: pretty much so.
it's become more difficult to see them than it was a couple years ago. in 2014 these guys had free rein in social media. they had mature, long-term presence that was not obstructed. one of the challenges that i had when we were in government was that they were, nobody was taking them down in 2014. slowly, that began to change. so it's more difficult to see this stuff today. but not that difficult. >> guest: it's actually that evolution's going to be interesting too. so when the first advent of kind of terrorist use of the internet was about, you know, a dozen or so password-protected forums. you kind of had to know somebody to get in, you'd get there, and you'd already bought into the ideology. then an evolution over social media which allowed you to expand out your messaging on twitter to get the fence sitters, if you will, and be able to project a larger strength.
now with the removal of content on twitter or at least the enforcing of terms of service in kind of a more structured way, you're seeing them mover to telegram which is a mixture actually between the old and the new, the password-protected and the twitter social media. so you can get on channel, but you have to know what channels to go to. and what that means for recruitment or radicalization, i think the jury's still out on that. are they still going to be as viable in terms of recruitment, you know? at the program we try to interview these individuals online. it's very hard to figure out who's a recruiter and who's not, right? but they're not as naive or trusting as they were before. meaning that if i had reached out to an isis recruiter a year ago and said i'm seamus hughes, i'm from the program on extremism at george washington, i want to interview, i would likely get a response and we'd have a back and forth about it. now it's less so. they're less trusting.
they think people that are reaching out are law enforcement or journalists or some other ill, and they don't see the benefit of talking to other individuals which means they also don't see the benefit of talking to some guy in indiana who reaches out and says i want to go join isis. they're less likely to trust that guy. it takes a while for vetting. >> guest: but, you know, it is changing. it used to be, for example, that as seamus said twitter was the site for them. they moved to telegram, but we see -- we documented it at memory, they constantly, they've done this -- they did this last week -- they constantly encourage people, go back to twitter. >> guest: uh-huh. >> guest: don't abandon twitter. they see twitter as -- and they were the pioneers. i mean, other terrorist groups used twitter before, al-shabaab, haha maas used twitter, but -- hamas used twitter, but twirl was the medium -- >> host: why is that? >> guest: basically because of its broad-brush appeal to both
shallow and broad, right? this is the kind of interlocking network. it's really easy to get kind of a broad, diffuse ecosystem that they developed to get their message out. so they still long for the golden days of 2014 when they were unobstructed, and they still long for kind of the ability that twitter gave them to get their message be out. telegram they describe it as a safe haven. they say, you know, thank goodness that telegram doesn't throw us off completely. telegram occasionally throws them off, but not like twitter has done. so they're kind of, they're always looking for the next useful platform. there's another thing that's changing, of course, which is the nature of the islamic state. this is the big question mark. what happens when the physical caliphate is destroyed? now, isis is not going to disappear tomorrow or next year or two years from now, but you do see trends on the ground of
kind of the heartland, the isis heartland as under threat. how is the message going to adapt to deal with the fall of mosul and rack ca? that's -- raqqa? that's the big question mark. and how will that affect their presence on social media and their ability to recruit people to join them, to move their -- you know, how do you move to a place if there's no place to move to, right? >> guest: absolutely. and the conversation about twitter, i think, is still very important, you're absolutely right. they've been talking about that. they also surge up, as you mention, they surge up after an attack. while they weren't on twitter after an attack in france, everybody jumps back on twitter and talks about it and gets in. there's also, i think, an understudied look at the resiliency built into the system. so, for example, on twitter they have accounts, shoutout accounts. when we were watching last summer we watched an individual could lone wolf 7, this individual got arrested for terrorism charges a but months later, but when we watched him, he was lone wolf 7 on twitter. when he got kicked off, he was
lone wolf 8. until he got arrested, he was lone wolf 21. every time he gets kicked off, there's shout ott accounts, this is lone wolf 7, now he's lone wolf 8. they're never going to have the same number of followers they had before, but there's resiliency. and there's dummy accounts and trade accounts to be able to be sure if alberto can't get on, he can use this guy's account and vice versa. so they're trying to adapt to this new environment. >> guest: one of the fascinating things they do when they roadway lease a -- release a video, for example, on telegram is at the bottom they list all the different places where you can find it. you have twitter, youtube, the ones you and i know, but they have all these got bic triple, quadruple, quinn tubing places they put it, you know? all kinds of different venues where it can be there so they can be propagated and get into kind of the bloodstream. >> host: what is telegram? >> guest: kind of an -- i'm going to let alberto jump in,
because memory's doing amazing work on this. but it's essentially end to end encryption. think of it like a text messaging application, but the ability to do it in a group text way. all three of us could go on a chat, and i can push out a text to everybody, and you all follow it. and, again, the it's very permissive environment for these, for isis supporters. they tend not to go down very much. they have, you know, backup accounts, backup accounts which they constantly repeat to everybody and say make sure you follow these backup accounts. and be sometimes they send out the backup accounts before be an attack or major release because they know they're going to get kicked off, so they want to be able to have, again, that resiliency or redundancy in the system. >> guest: yeah. i mean, that's exactly what it is. it's a social media application that was set up by the guy who's known as often called the mark zuckerberg of russia, pavel durov. supposedly it's based in, the
company is based in berlin, germany -- >> host: supposedly. >> guest: well, i mean, i have no reason to doubt that, but, you know, i don't want to accuse germany for, you know, trust but verify that it's actually there. but, you know, it's a european company, and it's, it has some of the features of the old password-protected sites and some of the features of twitter but not the, not the ease of use. you have to know what you're looking for. it's, you don't have the ability to have hash taggs, for example -- hashtags, tradition be, as you do with twitter. so it's a useful place for them. we documented how they, basically, in 2015 they were driven from twitter, and they found safe haven in telegram. another platform which they frequently use was just paste it which is, basically, you know, you put pictures. you also put links to things as well.
and, of course, archives.org which is a u.s.-based internet archives.org based in california. now, all three of these entities still there's a lot of terrorist material on these entities. but even there it's, things have become more difficult for isis and jihadists than maybe a year ago. that's a good thing. so it's easy to beat up on social media companies, and i know we do frequently, but there has been progress if you compare it to where we were a year ago or two year ago. >> host: well, want to show some video and get your reaction. you'll recognize what this is. >> we cannot allow the internet to be used as a recruiting tool, and for other purposes by our enemy. we must shut down their access to this form of communication, and we must do it immediately. [applause] immediately. [applause]
>> host: seamus hughes. >> guest: so that's a program that we talk a lot about religion, and i try to avoid politics, but in terms of what he's advocating for, we look at these type of things. they're, again, the redundancy in the system actually matters a great deal. that's not to say takedown of content isn't important. it clearly affected the network when twitter stepped up to the plate and decided to take down content. but you're never going to get a silver bullet when it comes to radicalization or trying to counter that. it's much more, okay, how do you take down content, how do you push counter and alternative messaging, how do you do, how do you introduce seeds of doubt so that you can do in-person interventions, because you're never going to de-radicalize someone online, and how do you put all those things together. and how do you get social media companies who, by their very nature, are libertarian, right? if given the option, it's a free
and open society online, and they've essential hi been forced in this -- essentially been forced into this situation of takedown. we need to give them an alternative of, you know, how do you connect -- i used to be a community engagement officers on these issues. i was in sacramento about two years ago, ask an imam said, seamus, i want to do countermessaging. what do you want to do? i'm going to tape a video of myself and put it on youtube. sir, that's great, no one's going to watch it. it's going to be 45 minutes long, you're not going to know how to tag it, and you're not going to hit your target audience. but as the role of government, you can play an important to power for convening, right? so i have the ability in government to call the guy in twitter and youtube and facebook and and say i've got a guy in sacramento who really wants to do something. he's got a good message, but he has no idea how to use his platform. can you help that out, right? again, those type of things are not going the only solution when it comes to countering this stuff.
but it's not going -- you can't just pick one silver bullet. >> guest: yeah. one of the great myths in government when it's a bipartisan myth is that there's some kind of magic pixie dust or silver bullet that'll make the jihadists go away. there's a button you push in social media, and they'll disappear. it doesn't work that way. however, number one, as seamus said, taking stuff down -- even if they come back -- is useful. it shrinks their footprint, makes life more difficult for them. there's a lot more we could do. one test i did recently when i testified before the senate was i picked certain terms which isis and other groups use in their propaganda, kind of terms from islam that they use frequently. and i put it in, for example be, on youtube to see, like, surprise, what would be the first result that i would get back. in almost every case, the result i got back was of extremists explaining a term.
so you have a term, say, like -- [inaudible] on belief, which is a very important term, and you didn't get some, you know, liberal or tolerant guy talking about, well, belief depends -- no, you got an extremist. so there are algorithms, there are, you know, there are ways that you can game the system to make life a little more difficult to them. but there are no quick fixes, you know? we love in america, and politicians especially love kind of making these broad, sweeping statements. as i said, this is about democrats and republicans who do this. it's not that easy to fix. if it was, people would have done it years ago. >> guest: and there's also the importance of the actual, physical caliphate. we'll see if it shrinks, but it's not as if facebook and twitter went away tomorrow you wouldn't have 30,000 people traveling to syria and iraq. there is something drawing them that's an important dynamic that i think we don't look at. we focus entirely kind of on
this yoked of social media -- idea of social media. and there's important dynamics there, but there's other things at play. >> guest: yeah. we often -- people like to beat up on the social media companies. these are vehicles reflecting a reality. it may be a skewed reality, it may be a manufactured reality, but what gave isis its power was not that it used twitter. what gave isis its power is that it miraculously took the second largest city in iraq and then a huge part of iraq and syria seemingly like that. that's what gives it its power. the idea of the caliphate be, all the package involved in that word and the history of it, so social media is a vehicle for that stuff. but the content is not, it's not content unique to social media, it's content related to the real world. >> host: is there antic factor in -- an ick factor in censoring these people? >> guest: what do you mean? >> host: we're talking about
censorship, taking sites down, talking about twitter deciding what is appropriate and what is not? is there a hesitation about that? >> guest: well, there is a default position often in silicon valley and social media companies which is a kind of libertarian world. you're going to let a thousand flowers bloom. that's the default mindset that a lot of people have. but, you know, government and societies always decide certain things are beyond the pale, you know? whether it be child pornography be or other things or incitement to violence. not every country is the same. you have democratic countries, for example, in western europe that have much stricter rules than we do. we have our first amendment, we have a different way of looking at it. but i don't think there's any problem in kind of trying to make life more difficult for the extremists. realizing that we live in a democratic, open society and there's always going to be a
risk, there are always going to be intolerant people or unpleasant people using the media, using social media, but there are ways to mitigate that while at the same time respecting our laws and traditions. >> guest: and a lot of this actually plays to an easier solution meaning that it's easier to take down content and ask for content to be taken down if you're a congressional official say, you know, why is isis using your platform? that's an ease -- easy solution. it's hard to to craft a message. it tablings the right people -- it takes the right people, resources, targeting. that takes time and effort and not a lot of return on investment. so if you release, if you try and do some trial and error online, some things work and some things don't. the things that don't work, do you have the political cover to be able to do that, right? are people going to back your play? if you look at the last couple years, maybe not, right? this is the issue, and this is why i think we default to this
idea of takedown, is because the other stuff's really, really hard. >> host: if, finally, gentlemen gentlemen -- what further effort would you like to see made by the federal government or by the congress to combat this social media? >> guest: i think at least in the u.s. context there's not enough done in terms of intervention space. so in many ways the online persona is, essentially, a reflection of the offline life. so these individuals, while they're fervent in their beliefs online, they're also fervent offline, and there's no offramps, no intervention programs. so if i am a parent of an 18-year-old kid i'm worried about, i have no option. there's not a list of people to call, there's not a hotline, there's nothing i can do other than watch a train wreck happen in slow motion, hope it's a phase or potentially watch my loved one be arrested. and until we provide those type of different avenues, you're going to continue to have these individuals and these parents who are essentially hopeless in this scenario and the best bet
they have is unplug the internet which isn't an acceptable answer for this. >> guest: yeah, you need both -- building on that, both onand offramps -- on and offramps. you need the ability to help people get off that path where they're leading, they're being led to violent extremism, and you also need to ramp up the ability to utilize the reality of people, the stories, the testimony, the personal life, personal history of broken lives of people who were in that. it's still underutilized. we have hundreds of people in the west returning from syria, from the islamic state, only a small part of their testimony, small part of their own personal history has been captured. there are a few organizations, a good ngo that started last year that works on this area of recanters and defectors, but there's a lot more work that
chair mike mullen a former senator sam nunn on u.s. policy towards north korea as it continues to pursue a nuclear weapons. this is just over one hour. >> good morning, everyone. i'm judy woodruff with "the pbs newshour." i'm pleased to be here. seeing all these bright shiny faces on this friday morning. i want to welcome you to today's launch of the council on foreign relations sponsored independent task force report. it's entitled a sharper choice of north korea, engaging china for a stable northeast asia. today we are so pleased to be joined by the task force co-chairs. you recognize both of them. admiral mike mullen who is of
course the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and on my right former senator sam nunn who is the chief executive officer of the nuclear threat. and join us is adam mount who has been the project director for this endeavor. we're going to ask them to start by talking about the report. we will spend about 30 minutes discussing it and then open it up for questions from the members. i want to extend special thanks to all the task force members and observers who are here. i would ask you to either raise your hand or stand up. we would like to see who you are, if you played any role in this task force. i'm told some of you are here this morning. don't be shy. and up. right in the middle. well,. >> mike and i want to clap for you. [applause] >> that's who the toughest questions would come from. i also want to welcome all of
the cfr members were joined us from new york, and anywhere else. where you are watching this media via live stream or on facebook. a reminder to everybody we are on the record. so let's start by talking about this. i want to ask, start by asking admiral mullen, why did you, the to be a lot going on in your lives. why did you care enough about what's going on on the korean peninsula to get involved in this? why was it is urgent for your? >> i, too, would like to thank the task force members, and in particular if you haven't had a chance to look at the report itself, it's dedicated to stephen bosworth who was originally going to co-chair this with me and, unfortunately, passed away. the dedication really is to him who dedicated so much of his life trying to solve this challenge diplomatically, and we are mindful of that and his
contributions have been enormous over the decades. i haven't done many of these reports. in fact, this is really the first one. when i retired in 2011, i felt then and i feel now that the korean peninsula is potentially as explosive a place as there exist in the world, and that it can explode rapidly and dangerously, and it needs to be addressed. and so when richard was would ask me to do this, not having done much in terms of these kinds of reports or task forces since i retired, i agree to do because it's an enormously complex issue that many administrations have tried to address. it is yet obviously not solved. i was also taken with the participants, the professional members of the task force that
richard was committed to putting together and being able to co-chair it with someone like senator nunn was very special as well. i'm not sure it is a more relevant problem to try to focus on in terms of its complexity, the near-term danger that it has been the need to get it, hope it added, hopefully peacefully but certainly with expectations that we could be on a much more dangerous path that a peaceful resolution here. i thought it was that important and agree to co-chair. >> let's plunge into the report. senator nunn, let's talk about, layout for us in brief how is it is a departure, if it is, and we know it is in some regards, from current policy? what to you are the principal points hear that you want the membership and the rest of the policy world who pays attention
to this part of the world to take away from this report? >> i recall winston churchill once said that no matter how beautiful the strategy, occasionally you have to look at the result. and looking at the result we face a grave and i think increasing danger. and when i say we, i mean japan, i mean south korea, i mean american personnel in korea as well as that region of the world. and i guess i mean china also because china is a very important part of that region. so how does it differ? the first thing i would say is we have a couple of members of our task force who are very helpful, gary in particular and bob einhorn in helping clarify exactly what the u.s. policy is right now. i think we should say up front we have deterred major war, and that's an accomplishment. that's something that has been done. what we have done is change the north korean calculus to
continue to defy, not the united states, but the united nations. they are defying the united nations security counsel resolution, both on their nuclear programs and on their missile programs, and that intensifies. so what has changed? the main thing i would emphasize, we have four major steps and a lot of other steps, the report is comprehensive. adam did absolute terrific job of bringing together. what we emphasize is the op-ed this morning as mike and i come in the "washington post," the steps have to be taken in parallel. this is not sequential. we can't wait until the sanctions completely work and then basically go to talks. we've got to try to get talks going on. we've got to increase the benefits to north korea. if they basically sit down and talk in a sincere way, move towards getting rid of their nuclear weapons, stopping their
missile tests and so forth. we've got to also talk to china in a very frank way. it's in china's interest and our interest. we need to take into account china's interest, because china has got to be a part of this. without china is going to be very difficult to solve this peacefully. the third point is we've got to enforce a u.n. resolution, 2270, which is a powerful new resolution. the obama administration should get credit for pushing this and getting it through the year and -- the u.n. security council. it should be noted china and russia both voted for a gives a mandate, not just the right of all nations, to inspect cargo coming in and out, ports, airports, ships, so forth. that's an enormously important tool if it's implemented. china has got to be part of that. we are recommending we have a multinational effort led by the united states to equip our
allies and friends throughout the region to do their part to enforce the u.n. resolution. that can make a big difference. the fourth thing i would point out is the need to increase deterrence and defense while we are doing all this other. mike can speak to that but there are number of steps we are recommending that our defense department undertake with south korea and with japan. all of these things have to move together. it's not one or the other. it's all. >> adam mount him as a project director let me go right to one of the specifics, and that is that what you recommended along with the sanctions that the sender has outlined is in effect in for some conditions in north korea would no longer have to completely free -- free suzuka program for the united states would be willing to sit down and talk about the future. why was the task force recommending this?
>> the task force does have a recommendation on negotiations. its recommendation number two. the reason is that a long-term solution to the north korea problem will require a negotiated solution. unfortunately, there's no way around that. the only way to do denuclearization of the korean peninsula is through talks. negotiation has played a critical part. all of the other recommendations came to coerce north korea back to talks. the structure of talk is important. on the one hand, the task force believes the respondent the united states should clarify its negotiating position and offer real incentives to north korea to reengage in talks, to come back to the table and to seek a lasting solution to the nuclear problem. we believe that a freeze on the north korea nuclear program, and we outlined several steps in the report that require for a freeze to be in place, should be on the
first item of the agenda for talks. but on the other hand, we do believe that there are other issues that we can include in talks that are beneficial to all parties, including china and all of the six parts that were engaged in talks. this involved regional arms control and eventually discussions on how to end the korean war, a peace agreement that will finally end the war. to all of these should be part of negotiation. what support to recognize is the united states and its allies will never accept a nuclear north korea, and it shouldn't. and that it can't each step of the north korea does have to demonstrate that they are taking steps for denuclearization. >> admiral mullen, you hav if al stressed the fact that this all has to happen in tandem, theoretically, that it's all got to be moving forward at the same time but what has to happen first for this to work?
>> i think in addition to store the simultaneity of all the steps, we also tried to lay out what we saw was a sequence of events. and in particular it's been mentioned that it's really important for the u.s. and china to take the lead to solve this crisis. in my own personal experience, historically involved in previous crises on the peninsula, china has basically said that they have limits on what they can do, what they can actually get done in north korea, how much they can control the leadership there, et cetera. we just think it's imperative that they actually lead into to open the door for a peaceful solution. so that to me, that's a relatively early test of the least the strategy we talk about. it's got to go to china and it's got to go to china as quickly as possible. while all these other things are
occurring, and specifically, sam talked about the deterrence peace, strengthening the bilateral relationship between the u.s., the south koreans and japanese, it into a point and one of the things the report calls for is to look at the possibility an attack on one is an attack on all. that's much easier said than done. these are relationships that also had their ups and downs. they are both incredibly important allies to the united states. strengthening that, looking at conventional capabilities, whether it be in those of bring warfare or cyber corps special operations, strengthening that relationship between the three countries as well. in addition a very strong recommendation to deploy this missile defense system which the united states and south korea have agreed to as rapidly as
possible to get to a point that should the north get to a point where they are actually about to cross the threshold of being able to target, being able to nuclear rise, miniaturize, nuclearized a warhead that they could the united states with, we can't let them get to the point so that any capability, any message -- missile capability, we featured the down with systems like this thad been one to prevent that capability from becoming real. and really in the sense that that is a self-defense capability as opposed to something that would be an attack capability. >> sticking with china, senator nunn, what's the incentive for the chinese to be cooperative, to want to make this work?
we haven't seen that from been up until now. they've made it clear they're not interested in seeing a unified korea, which is part of the long range wish of the united states. it is sort of what you talk about. and, frankly, with a missile defense system, which is something the chinese can't find attractive. what makes you think the chinese are ready to jump on board and do something that is couple? >> first of all we make it very clear we are not advocating for united states or our allies by to induce the collapse of north korea. in my own personal view is north korea does collapse at some point in the future, it will be because of the internal problems, the abuse of their own citizens, the human rights problems, the economic mismanagement. that's north korea problem. the path of that for north korea
and its citizens is the path of cooperation. but in terms of china, first of all china's interest in the region is huge, and stability of the korean peninsula for china is very, very import. and china i think doesn't realize that would make it clear in our report, they realize what mike just said, the united states and our allies cannot afford to see this threat continue to grow. particularly against the united states because china has to know that as well as our allies, japan and south korea. the third thing is we are making it very clear we ought of a new type dialogue with china. we have to talk about what's in china's interest. what is in their national security interests? what are they worried about other borders? how can we talk to them in formally about the refugee problem that might occur if there is a collapse of north korea? whether it's by any kind of military action to take, north korean state, or whether it's
internal. the chinese have got to be worried about that. border control. they've got to be worried about border control. invested in north korea, they've got to be worried about that. we need to have a frank dialogue about all these issues. they have to take into account our interest and we did take into account their interest. the bottom line is lef we have o have cooperation, and china has to recognize that as the leader said, he does not intend to have chaos and were on the korean peninsula. it's going to take all of us working towards that goal. that's the right go but it's going to take cooperation. all of that is in my view, fundamentally in china's interest. it's going to take a new conversation. >> adam, what would you add to that? what is it that makes the members of the task force is a that china will find it in its interest to work with the united states on this? >> in some ways this is the very heart of the report.
this is something i can and senator nunn for bringing to our attention and pushing us on the each step of the way. each of the recommendations not only sharpens the choice for north korea but also provides incentives for china to transition how it thinks about north korea, to move from seeing it as a buffer against u.s. power in the region to seeing it as a major problem for security and stability in the region. each one of these steps demonstrates, and the united states administration should be very clear about this, that until the north korean problem is resolved, the u.s.-china relationship, which is one of the most important in the world, cannot progress. they will restrain the relationship. it will cause tension and strain. and also each one of these steps demonstrates that the steps that we have to take necessarily, the united states and its allies, to secure themselves against north
korea will strain china's interest in the region. all of them are meant to convey and meant to encourage china to transition out its season with great at to get right side of this issue. because without a resolution of the north korea problem, a stable, prosperous northeast asia is unlikely to emerge. >> admiral mullen come in that connection and then of the connections, the report includes a mention of revising the number of u.s. troops on the korean peninsula. clearly a very sensitive subject. under what circumstances could that happen, could that never come to a? >> we really try to address the issue, and all of us know how sensitive that is, in terms of a tremendous amount of progress and stabilizing the region, denuclearizing the peninsula and virtually eliminating the threat.
so that at some point in time and aspirational point in time down the road, the possibility of looking at whether those forces would remain at that level would be part of the discussion. and that gets back to what senator nunn was talking about, which is we really try to look at how do you incentivize all the parties here? another what i try to look at somebody like china is how do you see this problem set from the perspective, not just our perspective? and often times we try to generate solutions just a our perspective and that's just not going to work. recognizing the sensitivity with troop levels, we try to address in the report, territories in that way, that's a long way off but down the road that is something we should address. >> let me echo, say amen to accept what mike said. i will add one of the future. we make it clear in the report
that that troop discussion, would be something the united states and south korea and japan would discuss and agree on together as we put forward on the table. so this is not simply united states. this is also the south koreans and japanese looking at that. >> in the category, and if you look at this among other things, carrots and sticks. one of the sticks, senator nunn, you are recommending a role for the united states -- united nations to move to suspend north koreans credentials if it doesn't produce real progress on human rights. why do you think this would be affected? >> i'm going to call on our military meant to talk about human rights because he feels very keenly about this. and marybeth long played huge role in this. i think she's your summer. and mike played huge role and is to let let me take that question to mike. >> and roberta cohen is here who
also had a huge impact on this aspect of it. i for too long have been involved in executing policy where the discussion about human rights was put in the back row, if you will. yes when it represent that. it is a value for our country, and so one of the things i felt very strongly about in the support is we just were not going to do this. and we were not going to do it in any way, shape, or form. so the contributions of those who spent their life doing this and understand it, in particular, roberta has got particular expertise in north korea, hugely important. i just don't think as a country the united states can try to resolve the military aspect of this without directly approaching it and timely progress to human rights -- tying -- because he is so appalling and because the stuff
that he and his regime and his predecessors, his dad and his granddad have done, were just, it's unconscionable. we couldn't look in all good conscience at this issue if not making it a major part of the report and recommendation to include the recommendation to take away the credentials from this country, if they don't make progress. it's a pretty simple statement but it's a very, very controversial both recommendation and execution. and to the degree that north korea is incentivized again and at least we've seen them sometimes react to the international perspective, not always, but to the degree that might create some kind of leverage and impact on human rights, that's why we recommended what we did. >> wouldn't that serve to further isolate the north koreans, which has been part of
the problem? >> of course the hope is that they will begin to talk about human rights. the hope is they will sit down and have a discussion. the hope is they will begin to work with the united nations on human rights. that's the hope. so this business of going to the u.n. and credentials is if nothing else works. and if they don't come in good faith and if we don't make progress, so the report makes that clear. we hope they will make progress, but if they don't i think at some point the family of nations, the u.n., should take action. suspension is not the same thing as termination of membership. suspension of certain rights, but it's a very strong and powerful step. and strangely enough the north koreans have indicated they have some sensitivity to some of these possible outcomes by the family of nations. >> if i could just add, and
judy, you asked this question before we came out here, is how is our intelligence with respect to north korea. all of this is done against a backdrop of how little we understand about north korea in general, and the personalities and certainly this new young leader, specifically. and it has been, we are smarter than we used to be. we know more than we used to, but there's still a lot we don't know. so we can speak to this. what sam said i think is right. it isn't help because we don't know how either he or the leadership in north korea is going to react to this kind of recommendations, or possibilities. that said, without the reaction that we sort of would hope for, the recommendations really focus on increasing the pressure in the human rights area and clearly in the nuclear area, to try to generate a much better outcome for the region.
>> what other point that adam mayes is that -- adam made is that we believe talks are essential. we don't know what the north koreans are going to do entries sit down and talk to them. and sometimes even in you don't know what they're going to do, but you've got to have communications. we make a clear and this is also the administrations position. i wasn't aware that when we started this effort, but we make it clear that informal discussions between the united states and north korea can take place right now. we make it clear there are no preconditions to that kind of informal. now when you get to the more formal talks we do think that all parties ought to sign up to the 2005 agreement, and there are a couple other conditions, not preconditions. but getting talks going is important when jimmy carter went to north korea many years ago, i happened to read a remarkable diary he wrote about his conversation with the
grandfather, chemical kim il-su. some of the things were amazing in terms of the vision that carter set forth which in many respects was agreed to. it didn't happen. you've got to be skeptical, you've got the verification all the way through this, but nevertheless you don't know what the other people's minds if you never tee mccabe wit within. you've got to have talks. >> informal, i think there is little bit of a lack of clarity of what is the policy now. is it that in formal talks could proceed without any conditions, or i mean, it's been my understanding that north korea had to agree to freeze its nuclear program before there could be talks. this represents a change from the. >> this represents an adjustment from that, but we agree that u.s. policy has not been clear enough on this front.
so when the next administration takes office, they should do it, talk about a review of u.s. policy towards north korea. that should include preconditions for negotiations and they should be burglar with the north koreans and with the chinese and other members of the six-party talks, precisely what we expect of them. what we are prepared to offer and what we expect to get out of these talks. >> i want to say just one word about, we can take a long time to get this going. the clock is not on our side now because of the developments in the north korean program. they are moving out very strongly with their missile and nuclear program. i would urge my colleagues, that kind of say, whoever is elected president to put on the front burner of the confirmation of the people they've got to deal with this problem and to get discussions going in the administration and with china and with hopefully north korea and served with our allies, japan and south korea, at the very beginning of the next
administration. that needs to be on the front burner. >> before i turned to the members question, is a clear now what the response would be if the north were to take further, we've seen test after test but if that were to be a provocative action on the part of the north that the u.s., japan and south korea deemed threatening, and to realize it has to do with what direction the missile goes, but basically what the u.s. response would be? would there be a military response? what would it take for there to be a military response? admiral mullen? >> senator? [laughter] well, i'm right in the speculation which i don't really like to do. we spent a lot of time on this and we have the capability to respond. but it covers a vast array of attentional options, and so it would really depend on what he
did. literally attacking in south korea or attacking japan, hitting them with some kind of missile system would, i think rapidly destabilize the area. and it's hard for me to believe, part of this is unknown longer involved, but it's hard for me to believe that there wouldn't be some kind of party severe response. ..