tv Lectures in History CSPAN January 24, 2016 10:45am-12:06pm EST
operations, can also pass various regulations for the armed services. and as well, congress can exercise oversight through congressional hearings on what is going on committees. we know that. james madison once drew the distinction that congress declares war, the presidents make war. remember, there are only five wars where congress has actually declared war. 1812, mexican-american, spanish-american, world war 1 and 2. within the last declaration, several european countries that were allied with nazi germany. not italy or germany, hungary, romania, etc.
let me give you a couple of case studies here to think about. what we will talk about today, first of all, i want to talk about the case that occurred not that long ago -- in my lifetime at least. richard nixon was president in 1969, he inherited the vietnam war. as you know. reports came to him that the north vietnamese forces were seeking sanctuary in then neutral cambodia. they were using that as a safe place, if you will, to launch invasions, operations against the south are in starting when nixon began to authorize the bombing of targets in cambodia. in 1970, the first american ground forces actually crossed the south vietnamese-cambodia border and invaded cambodia. nixon not ask for any congressional authorization. this was a secret operation from
the beginning. when it was discovered, there were protests, this is where you have the can't state shooting on may 4, 1970. you should also know there were protests in favor of the president invading cambodia. congress took a dim view, a president waging war without prior congressional approval? it would rescind something, the gulf of tonkin resolution authorizing lyndon johnson to act in the annan in ways people would come to regret. it is also the root of what becomes known as the war powers resolution of 1973, a congressional attempt to
hamstring the president in the use of military force. the fact is that is all that happened with nixon. he was not impeached. he was not curbing the american operations. though he got slapped on the wrist, he really had no significant impact on the outcome of the vietnam conflict. it did create more opposition to the actions of the administration. the legacy of the war powers resolution, we will talk about that a bit. it doesn't really do very much in terms of constraining presidential power all that much. presidents now seek congressional approval, many times, but they do not have to. there is a lot of resistance to this. the modern presidency, modern presidents have a lot of power, etc. right? but talk about james k. polk. he comes to the presidency in 1845. the united states annexes the
republic of texas. and in annexing texas, they inherit a border dispute between texas and mexico, as to where is the border between those two places? and tell me what does president polk do? we talked about this before, just sit there and wait for people to negotiate? go ahead. he sends troops down into the disputed area. this is a theme we will talk about later on. he put troops in harms way. and so, he took those troops down to the rio grande, an area also claimed by mexico. so mexico sent troops there, as well. in the spring of 1846, opposing
forces fire on each other. and president polk, who has tried it through various ways to gain his way with the mexican government, and it was already planned, for a major military operation -- should war break out. an operation that simply does not talk about remedying the border dispute, the operation that would take over other parts of northern mexico, including the very place we are standing now. polk takes this moment, this firing on american forces, and uses this as a reason to declare war. and his message to congress on this in may, 1840, he instructed that because after outlining the problems, the u.s. is injured in this sense as a party, against a recalcitrant and unresponsive mexican government, that war exists, notwithstanding all of
our efforts to avoid it, like sending troops into a trouble area? it exists by acts of mexico alone. we will come back to this. this notion that when the u.s. goes to war, a ghost war because it has been attacked. it had nothing to do with creating the situation for hostilities to break out. and you know that, in fact, there is an illinois congressman -- a whig from springfield. he introduces in the u.s. house something called the spot
resolution, demanding that polk document the spot where blood was spilled, as a way to demonstrate to americans that polk had provoked the conflict. that was abraham lincoln. ok, so we have two incidences here, that i think are very important. over a century apart, but you see some of the same patterns. president being able to use his power as commander-in-chief to commit american forces to places where war breaks out, or to expand an already existing conflict. so, does the constitution matter anymore? you tell me. is the original vision of the founders, and having congress declare war, you tell me? tell me now. if you are president, would you
pay attention to the cosmetic? come on, i see that. grabbed the microphone and tell me what you think. >> i do agree that it is of a cosmetic thing. but we pride ourselves on being a nation of the people, so we need to justify ourselves to the people. the president can technically do whatever they want. but they have that responsibility to report to the people who put them in office. brooks: without the congress or the voters, or whom? does the president have an obligation to tell americans what is going on? >> i think so. brooks: the president should be candid, open, transparent? that is what nixon did wrong, he does not tell people we are bombing cambodia. i want you to think about that. let me ask you this -- what if richard nixon had gone to the american people? and told them what he was doing, before he did? how do you think the american
people would respond to a president saying i have decided i have to expand this unpopular war, to a lot of people. i will have to violate a country's neutrality because it was already compromised. what do you think the reaction would have been, if richard nixon said the war, which i pledged to end with my super plan, is now awarded has to expand? how do you think the american people would have taken that? when you want the microphone, raise your hand, so we know where to go. thomas?
thomas: the people would not have responded well to it. they basically said you are not going to continue the war, now you are extending it? it is kind of a fundamental problem, easier to ask forgiveness than permission. in this case, i would say that the constitution really doesn't matter, because the constitution, as a fundamental document, is intended to curate conflict, and regards to deciding. and that takes time, ward is not necessarily respond to time, or allow you to make a decision right then. brooks: andrew wants the microphone. ok, so we have the apologists for the president here. do not tell the people. andrew: i think another issue in that case, if there is an outcry against expanding the war into cambodia, then he faces the chance that congress actually
expressly prohibits that expansion. and then he faces either blatantly breaking the law, or his hands are tied. brooks: so? andrew: i am not necessarily saying he should lie. but from his point of view, that is the only way to effectively take the action he thought that needed to be taken. i am not saying that is good or bad. but i am saying i can understand from his perspective why he would do that. brooks: was it good or bad? define what you mean by good or bad. andrew: well, i would say that
it ultimately did not help american interests. so it was probably a bad move, and maybe we all would have been better off if he had said that is what he thought needed to be done. and congress prohibited it. i would say that would have probably been the better move. i am just saying -- brooks: understanding what the figure does is not the same thing as justifying. we do this all the time, trying to understand why they did what they did. that doesn't mean we say we approve of what they did. we may not care very much for what they did. but the fact is that we have to understand part of the past, why do you will do things that you might not think ought to be done? since you have a microphone right there. >> well, that raises the
question, when we analyze historical figures such as presidents, do we define good as in following the will of the people? as in doing what would be in the nation's best interest? brooks: you have to define good or bad. harrison? harrison: i would say a president is sometimes going to have to lie. every president basically over the last 40-50 years, it was a big lie. iran-contra, we did not sell weapons for hostages. monica lewinsky, stuff like that. brooks: not an issue of war and peace. harrison: everybody has to live. a couple of years ago, i remember obama was saying he would put ground troops in syria to make the russians back off, and get the weapons out. he lied to everybody.
he had congress like, you are usurping our authority. but he got the weapons out there. i think there is a good lie, for sure. brooks: if it turns out well, you can do with it? harrison: everybody likes it when it works. but it is just the president's intention. brooks: you have a future as a speechwriter. so, we have so far people embracing corruption. they are saying i'm very impressed. go ahead. >> i studied the first world war, but what i would say with the first world war, and wilson -- he did not exactly live. but he exaggerated the truth, like the lusitania. there was evidence of weapons on the lusitania.
brooks: not a perfectly neutral vessel. >> but the administration says >> it wasn't perfectly neutral. the administration spins it it innocental carrying civilians. also the zimmerman telegram. something that shouldn't matter at all. low level, german, foreign extremelyut getting exaggerated in order to build up anti-german sentiment. >> okay. in the question of lying when it comes to war powers, i think it responsibility of the always take the input of if something were to go wrong, then the responsibility is people,y the american congress, and the president.
it doesn't degrade the office of the president. nixon, when it happened, there was not a love of public appeal to the while afterr a that. >> okay. follow up.ith that what polk should have done is say we want this land. we're going to go to war if you it to us. he would have gotten a lot of support? do you think? opposed to we had no choice. there was nothing we could to. i think he would have gotten support. because the american people were very migratory at time. expansion.n favor of >> okay. early on. >> i'm going to kind of go a different direction. i don't necessarily think that the president owes it to congress to tell them things. i think about it, you know
when you are a kid and you play the game of telephone. more people,ough obviously that message gets disported and turns in to something else. when itmore people -- comes to wars, the more people you try to include, the easier of mess up the whole situation instead of having, you know, -- i'm not saying the president should ultimately be a one person who can decide. i do think there's certain situations where the more people you tell it can make the situation a lot worse. they will -- >> or the more you have to hear. >> the more opinions that get added to something. >> to please more people. >> yeah. it could change really the scope trying your actions are to accomplish. >> uh-huh. yeah. both oft to speak to those points. to start with what you were saying about the idea of whether impactful for people to say you are going to war to protect american troops who have versus going to war for an american interest you are protecting, i think it is true. easier thing to
commitment people and get people behind a war that is to protect troops. because for the everyday american, that sounds like a thanmore serious conflict well, we have the economic interest or the other interest that we should probably take care of. that doesn't necessarily to everyone sound like a good to war.eason to go they would argue can't you do that by negotiating. way to try this first. a war is going to be necessary. then also speaking to the idea involved, more people i completely agree with what you just said. when you get more people canlved, the debate frequently get drawn out to be a lot longer than it needs to be. that needs tong be dealt with quickly. you don't have that time. got to act now. you can talk, but you don't act. >> you don't have the time for debate. the things i wanted to kind of bring back to the last couple of comments is looking at the polk versus nixon and the ways that fortune policy interact. the way that u.s.
foreign policy has changed historically like before with the mexico-american war. settledt -- no one was in the areas. there wasn't a state after a defined country. the americans at the time were western expansion. let's keep expanding. when you go to the different situation where it is across a continent or in a different starts to bring in more, like, country boundaries and state sovereignties. think it shifts with the framework of what you are trying to accomplish. the president if is what we say this were doing. we want expansion. i think people would have been okay with that. versus going in to cambodia and vietnam where there's solidify borders. >> okay. think about this. polk didn't choose that route. the reasons he doesn't choose the route is i think it say to somebody i was attacked.
i had nothing to do with it. myself. defending i'm going to defend myself by taking over all of northern mexico, but i'm going defend myself. this is president puts or actingharm's way without prior approval in bays that tests the notion of oversight.al because how is congress going to deny a request to go to war if the united states has been attacked? know, mexican-american could congresse have done? .hat would be unlikely >> with regards for reasons to --to war, i think contract 9/11 is an excellent reason to go to war. 300 civilians are dead.
we didn't go after the right people. if it was the right people -- >> al qaeda? >> yeah. we put them there anyway. what's the difference. is more-- i think it than the military thing, of course. especially if the people are attacked. we got moree -- than just the iraq war. we have the patriot act, you expanding the nsa, ale all of the types of things. i'm playing devil's advocate, presidential lies did not go so well. of these to get some concepts town. we've talked about nixon. talked about polk. they are not standing alone in this regard. things through the sayse is that as the book the 20th century brought across a modern presidency that was than the previous presidency. there's the change from an modernl presidency to a presidency, we talked about some of the changes.
also issues the presidents face. faced. always now these problems have come up before telling them again and example, we talk about how wars that took place declaration ofl war. that starts with the beginning of the republic. the wars against native american tribes and all of the tribes going down to the first nation wars. downtown to wounded knee. presidents don't go and ask permission. can we go to war against the apache.d the wars in the southwest are longest american military engagement in terms of a hot war in american history. usually list those as wars when we first think of american wars. all right. john quincy adams the quasi war the french. he consulted are congress. it.le were aware of
but there's no declaration of war. thomas jefferson congressional oversighted. of war against the pirates. the president was a terrorist in this regard. is a mediterranean thing. you know. thee got examples from first three presidents of going to war in different ways which declaration. the number four president, james first president to actually ask for a declaration of war against the british. one of the great trivia things and the war of 1812. went toed states almost war against france. which really would have an interesting thing. to work.ng to go that is how american presidents have used military force aggressively. sometimes through the congressional approval, but ways a declaration of war. beginning.ack to the one of the ways in which you do
personnel andt american military personnel in harm's way. about it.hink jamesjust talk about polk, he put american military personnel in an area where i think it is fair to expect there the possibility of the military engagement against the mexicans sent to the same area. generally speaking, we have people running around with guns. sooner or later, someone is going to want to use them. certainly in the 19th century. that's not the only time that you have that. terms of international wars, 1898. spanish-american war. one of the major incidents leading up to the war was the by the mckinley administration to station the maine in havana harbor. up. battleship blows no one quite knows why.
consensus now is it was probably an accident. there are people who said the spanish deliberately blew up the ship. case, the cry for remember the maine helps americanthe declaration of war to take over of cuba to free it of spanish rule. what's one of the first moves in the war? takes out thetes spanish fleet in the bay. a waras never going to be about cuba, it was for the spanish empire. troops were in harm's way. you put a battleship in a place aren't going well. we've seen that since then. at the u.s.s. kohl and other vessels as well. you put the battleships in a personnel in ary place they might get in trouble. they might be fired upon. franklin roosevelt with the
undeclared war that proceeded the formal declarations of war in december of 1941. destroyers and marine to greatding supplies britain and later on the soviet union. ships come under attack from german submarines. have alooking to military engagement. and there are, in fact, ships that engage those submarines. there's basically a hot war on on the north -- in the north atlantic ocean. everyone is aware of it. long before pearl harbor there are already -- there have been exchanged between the united states and nazi germany. an undeclared war. sometimes even titled the undeclared war. this is -- again you are putting -- when you are having the destroyers and that's something
that wilson did not buy in to. no expert around the lithutania. the odds are there are going to hostile fire. you are going to put people in harm's way. lyndon johnson put troops in harm's way in the vietnam conflict. he wasn't first. advisors. american in august 1964, the united states reports that the north attacked american vessels in a place called the gulf of concoak. whether it took place is matter dispute that they interpret on the radar and sonar and what going on correctly. the fact of the matter is theson used this to get gulf of concin resolutions
passed by congress almost unanimously authorizing him to use military force more aggressively. the following february a placed pleiku is attacked. expand thes that to american commitment even more. when people say what's going on someone says it is like streetcars. they come along. laterer words sooner or we know there's going to be an incident. that incident will give the justty indication to act. harm's way.le in sooner or later harm is done to them. and then you can portray yourself as having been attacked fact, you've done something fairly provocative the likelihood that attacks go up. administration, the blowing up of the marine
in beirut, lebanon. why are there marines in lebanon? put american forces in harm's way. chance that harm is going to come to them. then you as president can cite that event if you so choose to american involvement. congressional approval isn't you ought to worry about. who in congress is going to vote against protecting military personnel? could put troops in harm's way and basically the requirements that congress has to declare war cases., many we've got that. i want to think about other things. the united states always wants
to say it's been attacked. i want you to think about ways states, evenunited -- not quite in your lifetime. but in certainly your parent's lifetime how the united states has used this notion of we've attacked. we're defending ourselves and defending someone else that has attacked. all right. and we're -- a classic case this becomes troublesome in the american history is the beginning of the american civil war. abraham lincoln becomes president. garyson of the united states in fort personnel and charleston harbor. it is going to be attacked from to areas it is supposed defend. that garrisond ords to have more supplies it will be forced to surrender.
what should lincoln have done and why? yourot a rebellion on hands. these are contesting your authority. they are doing unconstitutional secession. >> i'm going to continue to president. i think he should have sent the theforcements even under guise of being just food. it was more than that. he said it was food being sent they wouldn't starve. >> they had to have food. he sent other vessels. there's a vessel with food. sent it forike they one person. part of it had other people on it. personnel.y >> if i was president lincoln, instance, i would have
sent that vessel. they are already in secession. declaringasically their independence already. it is going to turn in to war anyways. you need to spin it willway that your people actually support you in conducting war. >> lincoln could have said this is wrong. is -- johnny is -- the secession is wrong. going to compel obedience military force. washington did that during the whiskey rebellion. to do thateatened during the nullification crisis involves south carolina. why not simply act this way more vigorously now? >> as i stated before, it is really powerful to put yourself in the defensive position and attacked.been they are the aggressive. it is a -- it is a political domestically and
internationally with the president nudging the administration and the united states military in one direction way,ng forces in harm's keeping forces at sumpter, and it is a political game with the south. the south.with go on, fire at us. see what happens. the guilt for the -- the blame the war is then only to be on you not support in the north but internationally. >> why not withdraw? be. is not a good place to the troops are vulnerable. this is not the time or place i to happen.ar >> i think he doesn't because if he does he shows he's weak. be attackedent to than it is to retreat. >> okay. remember abraham lincoln is not the only american president sumpter.in fort
when he says i'm going to termsrce the garrison in of supply and creates and putting more soldiers or just food tissue -- and supplies. jefferson davis is the choice. put yourself in his shoes. why did you fire? davis didn't have to fire. this asuld have seen simply a re-supply mission. the status quo. why fire? go ahead, thomas. according to -- i think the problem is you have to take -- he had to take in to account the is isn't just if a re-supply. more troops putting and ammunition and anything that
would put the the -- would compromise more of the defensive existedn that already in that -- with fort sumpter to defenditical base the whole area. and how -- they actually compromise their security in that area if they didn't starve out fort sumpter. were giving a major -- you were giving up a major strategic advantage by not sinking that ship. yes, you did fire -- >> fire on the fort. you did fire on the fort. you are forced in to it by the president's actions. -- either wed of declare war or put ourselves in a bad situation by having -- by firing and allowing them to declare war on us, or give up that sectortrol of entirely. >> okay. but there were actual positive things also for davis to
consider. one thing that davis was was to collapse -- he's obviously the erosion of sentiment for secession. remember there are seven states that secede. then after those seven states states --, other eight more slave states that don't have secession. succeed by this time. becomes president -- all right. states,t to these other there's support for secession. it is not majority support. a concern that perhaps the secession might die down. but if davis at some point opens fire, that will encourage the secession of the forces especially if lincoln has to call for troops to put down the rebellion. then other people say the coercent shouldn't people in the way.
i would argue that both benefits from escalating that conflict and confrontation to the point of conflict. davis got his states, lincoln action. notice there's a lot of argument which people saying but lincoln war.t cause the or did he? davis didn't cause the war? or did he? would argue that both of them accepted the risk of war because they thought it might actually pay off. factorink a contributing to the president's decision is not nearly the strategy, like but thenical strategy, message and how much of a political statement can be made. lincolnin the case of or any president, it is about what the people perceive. about the power of persuasion instead of hard power commander inhe chief. it is talking about the ability to gain the right perspective for people. this case, it doesn't
particularly matter whether or not -- what the motivations are. getting thebout right message across. >> yeah. definitely a persuasion domestic and political support. both president davis and satisfiedlincoln their own goals. because lincoln argued secession illegal, therefore we have a right to be at fort sumpter. could argue because the session is legal, they have no right to be at fort sumpter. they can both claim we were attacked, they are the aggressor. they with garner the domestic support. >> davis' argument is to say we want to be left alone. you are staying there at fort alone. is not leaving us it is a deliberately provocative act we cannot tolerate. is very important for both to say we're on the defensive -- we're the victim. we were forced in to this. we didn't do this willingly.
both sides take measures and make decisions that escalate the itflict to the point that breaks down in armed hostility. okay. just something that actually in your lifetime although you probably in many cases don't remember it, invasion of iraq in 2003. and the claims that there were mass destruction that hussein might use. the bush administration so readily adopt that explanation? do you think that the -- for example, that the american people would have supported an
invasion of iraq that's on the of removing saddam itsein if he couldn't -- wasn't suggested he was a bigger threat than he was. yeah. abby? the think it speaks to point sometimes you have to exaggerate the threat to get support for it. wmds sound like a big, scary threat. we should take care of them immediately. need to deal with it. garnering support -- congress.help >> garnering support behind something like that is easier than saying there's political interest here we need to take care of. just like shock and awe, it sounds more powerful. if you have something like that stand behind ah and war,s for the reason for even it is not true or as true as you make it sound. i'm not going here if there's
a deliberate attempt to deceive. that's stilling? that's being argued. wmd. weapons of mass destruction sounds like a much more compelling reason to go to war to go to the middle east and go to iraq to take him out. outorgot to take him before. we're going to finish the job. need for thes the support that -- i mean there's a beenf reporting that's done in the past few years that the bushclaim that administration, they didn't necessarily intentionally public.the american they needed to believe, you know, that they are wmds so badly bauds they needed to find something to get the public badly.them so they had tunnel vision for that one end goal and kind of look selective evidence. >> okay. exampleive you another though. it might be a little less
controversial in some ways. not in others. as you know, the united states goes to war against japan on 1941.er 8th, the immediate aftermath of the attack from pearl harbor. any time we talked about gee, we had no idea it was coming, there it was. --posedly it is pearl hay harbor. some people thought it was not as unexpected. certainly the american public when they found out the american base of pearl attacked by the japanese. we all know from that the because point of view we talked about world war ii is the good war. the war of the greatest generation. the war of good versus evil. debate thatwant to or not is a different question. it seems to have been a -- hitler is a bad guy. we should go to war against nazi germany. they do bad things.
franklin roosevelt never went to the american people and if hitlerknow, what, wins and we lose, we need to go to war. much ofas taken over france and much of central opinion other than brace for it and stand in there aloan winston churchill. we should not have this man with andpolitical philosophy hatred of people unlike himself in power. thing.a bad and so i call upon the united against nazito war germany. why didn't roosevelt do that? go to are ever going to war against somebody, i'd assume go to war against adolf hitler. hairston? >> he didn't need to.
on japandeclared war in return for pearl harbor, japan and germany both declared war. look how long he waited. 1941.er is the the german tanks are rolling up. it gets really cold in russia in the winter. hitler is about to understand napoleon taught him in 1812. -- britainan is all is all alone. off thet fought invasion. it's been tough. wouldn't it have been smarter to involved before hitler had taken over all of the stuff. actually agree. i think the fact that the shock of pearl harbor was surprising suggested they weren't prepared to enter that war. veryn i don't think that many more thans would have said,
yeah, i think hitler is great. leave nazi germany alone. to war,were ready to go december 1941 would have turned differently. you wouldn't need december 1941. i think that we shouldn't have been so surprised; right? japanese imperial agression wasn't exactly secret. yet it was the outrage that how andhere did this come from how could this have happened? clearly we weren't ready. theemember hitler does united states a favor. if you are angry on december 8, 9, or 10, you are not really thinking about about hitler. japanese.inking about didn't bomb pearl harbor. contrary to "animal house." to yourways important
history right. italians declare war against the united states. we return the favor. hitler ao call mistake, the mistake was making the pr effort for fdr pretty easy. in fact one of the things that fdr had to do once the united states went to war was to remind people by the way although we're reallyt the japanese, we have to worry about hitler. he is much more important frankly in the long term than the japanese. the japanese sooner or later. we really have to go after those and focus on possible. as much as before then, you would have said hitler didn't attack us. the japanese did. we should go after them. abby? >> i think in this particular this also is what people have been saying. the case of denial over the severity of the issue. i think that a lot of people
wanted to believe that hitler could be dealt with and in a nice, friendly way. talk to him and negotiated. you can see that through the fdr wrote him letters talking about maybe you invade these places. obviously that didn't work. perspective, it should have a warning sign. i think the american people could do believe we something without declaring war because war is such an enormous move. of denial.t hitler isn't that big of a deal. need to take care of it. we needed a pearl harbor to open our eyes. we need to get involved. okay. bethe public needs to thatred to go in to a war it might not otherwise have considered in terms of national interest and power politics. i was just to say i think the
denial only works when the or americanerests people themselves aren't directly threatened. 9/11 whenu see with americans are the ones who are threatened, there's no denial about maybe we can, you the threat or whatever. it becomes that war is necessary. it kind of -- it really just interest.the american >> okay. all right. that's a good point. punched in the nose, it is not like -- you know. down there.meone once -- i don't know if you ever -- my parents used to tell me at theay from a fight playground. i said that just tells me you've never been on the playground. go ahead. >> but if -- how you asked outier why didn't he come and say, you know, hitler is bad, this is a threat, and we're going toon war. i think he would have had -- the president would have had to americanhe war to the
people as a war out of fear and not immediate threat. it would have been we're fearful of a possibility of attacks in the future. okay. but we couldn't -- we've actually, you know, we've conducted what we called preemptive wars. do this, something really bad. we haven't been attacked, but we be. all right? i think that's interesting. you don't have a president saying here's the global situation. here's the american national interest. to security the national interest, we're going to engage a war and i ask you to engage in a war. polk doesn't go and say we really want to have this chunk territory from mexico. it would help american expansion. andre a nation of conquest expanding westward. this is our manifest destiny. let's go to war because we tried
to buy it. they won't sell it. so we'll take it. president isn't going to speak that way. we want stability in the middle east. saddam hussein is the destabilizing element in that region. guaranteeingbout our supply of oil from that region. them out. take that's the way. it is he may be connected to al qaeda. that's not important. we need to take them out. aose speeches which would be lot different are not the kind speeches that arose a lot of popular passion. december 1941, a day to live in infamy. that gets you going. ani would say that's public,nt as us as the
not the president overreaching. need toeal reason we insert ourselves more aggressive in this to an international real serious american interest, but the disinterest as a public in -- mainly. >> -- yeah in defense outside of our borders. that's our fault. not the president's fault. >> therefore presidents are going to giveare them a pass when it comes to lying because the american aren't ready for the truth? >> well, i don't know -- >> hope the defense works. >> i don't know about ready for the truth. i'm not saying we're too stupid to understand our interest. saying we're not aware
enough to understand that our interests are at risk. we're aware and we don't think this requires war? that's a case when congress should restrain the president. i don't think that -- >> you need to know what's going on before it can restrain anybody. thomas and polk. i think the problem that you are coming across here is that you are treating the american having one collective idea of what need to be done. ofre it is a multitude opinions and ideas that everyone that areerson has different than everyone else's. i guess they can't handle the because it is not really for a president to unitying motive usides something like an
versus them scenario. >> one could argue it is the president's job to educate. to explain and educate. the president would say i know you don't understand this. it is really not any reason you should have understood this. it wasn't a place far, far away a differentwho seek language and so i'm going to you what american interest are. we'll see if congress will that.d to i'll let opinion makers respond. i'm going to educate you. make a decision. i'm going to ask you to do this. i'm going to explain to you why think this is a course of action to pursue. >> i agree that's something that should have happened that hasn't been happening. that is a subject to the time involvedem that is with warfare. one thing where the majority has changed things. ine used to be a big factor
these events because of the delay in communication. 1812,ample, in the war of the british had actually given in to american demands. by the time that word had washington, the united states had already declared war. ends on that war 14.istmas eve 18 against belgium. they signed an agreement. peaceeached the agreement. the word doesn't get to the until after the battle of new orleans, a battle helps elevate andrew jackson as a hero and paves his the president of the united states. >> this is going to go back a little bit. of hereck to the idea world war ii. an indictment of the public and president. the reasons we didn't jump in is we were afraid of what it would be if we lost. the president didn't have an
answer for that. thatdidn't want to bring to the public's attention. when you look at the executive branch in the government, when they bring us a problem, we to havehe government half an hour or give us options or what we can support or indict having anand not answer or an option to present you the idea that why are going to give it to them if you can't tell them what to do about it? okay. >> i wanted to touch on what we were talking about before. >> sure. why we need to have a big event to inspire fear. touchedback to what we beginning of the scientistic through "the political brain." logic.ot driven by you can try to appeal to the logic. while it is great here's our interest and this is why it is
important, most people aren't going to be driven to support of political action because of it. once you get in to the conflict that is have years and years of only 25% of the public actively pays attention to any given issue. the we talk about maybe president should be trying to educate people, it would be an overwhelming portion of the american population as they would have to attempt to educate. you probably would be trying to educate people who wouldn't be interested in paying attention. >> they don't want to go to class. they react. a go back to thomas' time is factor in the way that it wasn't century.in the 19th shawn? >> i think it is important to before congress declares war on someone is there a clear beginning and end to the war? i think up until the cold war
been one central, opposing threat that they were thinking when this is over, come, and we'll go in to peace time. that represents the cold were war on terror. there's been less of a clear end. the may have expanded president's powers as people become more frustrated with no tangible outcome. >> cold war is not declared. there are measures. steps.re there are events. nothing to say the cold war in terms of we're going it.alk about beginning it was there. there's nothing you could do about it. okay? it ends for other reasons. act of congress saying the cold war is over. harrison? with regards to educating the public, i think that's a great point. really hard to give everybody the full history of
israel and palestine. a lot of people have way different views or information what have you. elect a president, we're electing somebody whose discretion we trust. the presidente some freedom to do what he or she thinks is right. >> okay. remember we may not like what that president does and then get upset later on. why didn't you tell us? lying to us. claudia? is -- as much as i feel educating the american public is obviously the ideal, want, we want to be united in an effort. especially with war. about sending out people to die and resources and whatnot. how would it be realistic to educate the american public in
situations like when we drop a bomb and we don't know what's it.g to happen with >> we don't know the bomb will work in the way we think it is going to work until it is deployed. that evenrks in ways its designers didn't fully anticipate. this notion of how to rose goes to the next thing i want to talk about. war. is portraying that there are great principles at steak. john and woodrow wilson. the 14th point. saveo end all war, war to democracy, the war to impose the .ew world order the war against terrorism. has become a crusade. that's one way in which you tell people this is a war against
evil.gainst we, of course, are good. we're going to subdue evil. how that sometimes turns out. sometimes in the end we wonder and who isis good comply --l or some comply combination. sometimes a war requires us as americans to work with people who later on we find aren't a heck of a lot better than the people who joined with to fight the soviet union. of course by the way, soviet union, was using the united same way.the they would say this is just a moment. toy had good reason distrust. the soviets said if you thought hitler was so bad, why did you not doing anything when he invaded us? why did you wait until he was on outskirts. then you didn't come in for us, you did it because the japanese
germans did you a favor. there's no reason to trust motives interest and any more than for the americans that came to trust soviet motives.and we like to fight wars as crusades. we haven't done anything to cause this. this war becomes something more retaliate. fight to 14 points. remake theoing to world complete with an organization that's going to americanize global politics. the americanssons become disenchanted is with world war i. say that's not what happened. the wilson vision is not realized. want of americans didn't
to get to that position. one of the things that goes back to congress. resisted.lways at this time, especially wilson was unwilling to compromise on points of the treaty of tosailles when it came american membership in the league of the nations. surrender theould congressional autonomy to commitment american forces. fdr's design of the united united nations is proposed it is proposed a safeguard. everyone is equal. some are more equal than others if they are members of the council, includes the united states. the united states vetoes the issues willdly big never do anything the united states doesn't want it to do. which sounds -- that's good. that protects everything. but in which -- the event in aip the united states play
most political role, the korean conflict. the only reason the united thees was able as part of united states coalition to commitment itself to the conflict and say we don't have to ask for protection, we are obligationsving our as a charter member. the sovietse representative happened not to be there that way. they were protesting the fact china was built on the security council and not the republican of china. veto was no one to anything. notice that even there we have the cause. americano protect the values. what do you make of that? john? i think it goes along with the last point of portraying it as domestic war. to galvanizes domestic support -- i would say the administrations to do this
the united states in the best position to win the war as possible at least world war ii before that. especially with universal conscription. you need the entire public to be behind the war. how do you know the quality of troops? we need 100% dedication from public.00% of the >> easier to get it that way. easier if you are defenseless but fighting for a great cause. easy to sell that conflict. hand, they the other are bound to be disappointed results, because the results will rarely meet the expectations that you arrows in trying to get in to it. one of the reasons the americans were jaded was they felt that ierican entry in world war didn't accomplish very much. why do that again?
don't you learn insanity and the definition is doing the same thing again and thinking there will be a difficult outcome. that? it took a long time just to try to say the conflict of 1914 is not the conflict of 1939. by even then it was an act the japanese that propelled this argument further forward. then let's say a persuasion that the about of persuasion. i was telling the american public we need to get involved nazis are because the evil. the americans are wanting to helping hand to great britain and later the soviet union. involved to the point it was going to involve a of americans. >> so we talk about the idea of a big like to envision grand scale thing to put ourselves to. have aess i kind of question. your types of, i guess,
call them social crusades. the literacy and poverty. you think there's any significance that we have a war on drugs and war on poverty or whatever. that -- do you think that helps galvanize and mobilize the at all? people >> yes. otherwise i wouldn't use those tells. all right. aslike to talk about things conducting wars and wars that we to end up withg victories. toe sell it in a different way is different. george w. bush early on when he talked about the war on terror it would be a different kind of war. there was a war without any resolution. there was a war without an ceremony.surrendererer it has change.
be always be terrorists. you could distill do this group but not over groups. i mean there's historical examples of that. theuding, by the way, american reconstruction. the ku kluxbdue but it was in the red shirts of south carolina and the camelia. the white you think because they are no longer wearing their bed sheets out.they are no. there are other people. you know, instead of white sheets, they wore red shirts. same thing, american terrorists. all right. so bush makes this argument. subduing terrorism is a war.rent kind of different measuring stick. we'reent way of wage what doing. people didn't like that. easier to land on the aircraft carrier and say mission accomplished.
won. statues have been pulled down in baghdad. everything is fine. a few casualties. we'll just help them set up shop. come home. victory is ours. much like the americans with the andonged occupation terrorists warfare and unconventional conflicts, et cetera. same thing as when that happens in 1865 and 1877. claudia? >> could anyone argue in the terrorism that trying to fight it could create more tension? that is one thing. to wage a war against terrorism involves military operations and sometimes kill innocent people creates more resistance. sometimes the rhetoric that accompanies the american the middle east we'rehe last 15 years is
going remake the world in an american vision which is exact to motivate terrorists in the first place. we're protesting the westernization of our culture. when you say you are going to this way, this is exactly the problem in the first place. if you look back at discussion that, there's a discussion that emerges about the status of afghani women. one thing that the united states will do in the intervention is the status of afghani women if they've been mistreated. one had talked about this issue beforehand. the sudden this become a major issue. well, in other countries and other cultures and other of women andatus status of men are very important. to re-makeng
everything in your vision. isn't that what we said they going to do? so that every time that the theident or someone in administration made this thement, it was a gift to terrorists that, you know what? warned you this is what they were really about. they are going to take away who are and substitute pizza huts do mcdonald's and coke and away with those values we hold dear as a traditional society. to what wethreat believe. conflictn ideological that justified jihad. that justifies terrorists. to stop them. after all, the world trade center and we know who occupies you'llld trade center understand there wasn't a lot of world trade center occupants so involves in the international trade. one reason you target the world
should view you that as the center and the headquarters of american global capitalism. the have a way to dominate entire globe. you are going to take it down. you are going to damage it in some way. the world trade center, i remember when it went up. it was designed for something completely different than it kayla?p being -- >> in looking at the situation, sortd we consider iraq as of an attempt at overcorrection ii our inaction in world war coming in late? because we tried to paint the same idea that we ended up finding out about hitler. oh, weapons of mass destruction, is an awful person that we need to take care of and trying to -- >> certainly saddam hussein compared by many people to adolf hitler. negotiate with terrorists. you can't deal with totalitarian
regimes. things.e two we'll end by describing the two things that got american foreign policy. was something called the munich syndrome. it is based on the agreements between nazi germany and great britain in 1939 to allow the germans to occupy the border lands and the mountain ranging of what's the czech republic. the british came back. he said this is peace in our time. we've done this. we've appeased hitler. we've made a deal with them than go to war at a time when many in britain didn't believe they could fight the conflict. they weren't mobilized. appeasement become a fittery word. can never appease a dictator. they will always want more. when american foreign policy of discussing in the 1940's and terms, it is discussed in of let's learn from history.
history we need to learn from is you can never negotiate with a totalitarian regime. wants to expand. you can't. you have to stop aggression. to shape what goes on during the cold war. you can't let them go. them, the domino theory. follows,country another will follow. that's one. what's the point of that debate? vietnam. that's by something called the vietnam syndrome. americans don't want to use military force. themselveses in a quagmire. manydless war costing lives. achievesn't seem to anything. in fact, president george walker bush after the 1991 desert shield and desert
storm operation said we have whipped the vietnam syndrome. this is a publicity leading up the conflict. one of the things when it came generals poa and schwartzkopff was that you had find an objective, you must be public support, and transparent. one would argue we're about to syndrome comeeast out of this. look what happens when they in iraqd military force and afghanistan. where does that leave us? going topresident is have to weigh the next time i feel that we need to commitment american military force somewhere, it is the american ready, willing, and myilable to understand argument? or must i not tell the complete
truth for their own welfare. unless i frame this as a crusade order to mobilize support it. i need so in other words the same problem continuing. confront theg to future presidents. okay? we're done. >> you are watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook at c-span history. >> next, on american history "reel america," a 1979 communication program examines
the united nations response to the iranian crisis and laws pertaining to diplomatic immunity. >> iran, 1979. demonstrators invaded the american industry in to run. demanding the return of the shaw , they took hostages. treaties signed by the united aids and iran state that both country will observe diplomatic immunity. to free thel appeals hostages were denied by the government of iran. the refusal constituted an unprecedented breach of the rules of undiplomatic behavior. societies, nations have always formulated balls to maintain
order to prevent anarchy and chaos. in similar fashion, nations that created and or national laws, among them rules of safety for diplomatic missions abroad. it gives protection for embassy personnel even when the sending and receiving nations do not have family relations. jimmy carter: the actions of iran have shocked the civilized world. government to applause mob violence and terrorism, to an effect -- in effect participate in the taking and holding of intages is unprecedented human history. this violates not only the most fundamental precepts of international law, but the common, ethical, and religious heritage of humanity.
there is no recognized religious faith on earth that condones this. there is no recognized religious faith on earth that condones blackmail. there's certainly no religious faith on earth which condones a sustained abuse of innocent people. >> from the beginning of the debate, there was an unprecedented display of unanimity among the delegates expressing opinions from around the world. flagrant violations of international law, conventions, treaties, and to the medic not, willannot, must not be tolerated by the international community. >> the preservation of international order, a tradition
that might be broken. in tradition has its basis history and the customary laws of western and islamic peoples. also, specific laws have been agreed upon by nations of the world. stategal advisor of the department is a lecturer and writer on international law. >> the basic convention that applies to the situation in iran , the takeover of the american embassy and the holdings of its staff hostage is of course the vienna convention on diplomatic relations. it was a convention which was promulgated in 1950 14 the convocation of customary international law in the field of diplomatic immunity and the regulation of diplomatic commerce among the nations.
>> without international law, no nation could act with any degree of certainty of carrying on borders.utside its in a growing interdependence world, not being able to operate effectively with a greater stake in international law. the will be remembered for lessons to be learned. washington, d.c. >> next, historians and legal scholars debate the influence of the 13th and 14th amendments on modern american society. these were ratified during the reconstruction era and out with rights for freed slaves and african-americans in general. the national constitution center hosted this 45 minute event. >> good morning.