tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN November 11, 2016 9:00pm-12:01am EST
who served in afghanistan and brennan mullaney who served in iraq. i am sure that it is not a nine to five job. tell us what your day was like in service, how to start and most days is long. it starts in the dark in a formation where you will work out and do some sort of physical fitness, prepare you for the long days ahead. and from there, it is job depended. what is your main task? some of my days were spent preparing intelligence for units from our home state. some were spent in the field prepare for deployment ourselves. some days were spent expect -- inspected vocals and taking care of soldiers. beauties of military service. it is never boring. guest 1: there is definitely that task and the things you have to accomplish day-to-day, i
was an officer. the paperwork side of things and the administrative side of things, building training plans and executing that training. it is about leadership. that is the full-time job. it is not a 9 to 5. i was responsible for a number of phenomenal soldiers. if they needed help, whether after-hours or early morning, i was there for them and they knew that. they would have been there for me. there must chemical things that happen whether you are stateside . -- mechanical things that happen when you are stateside or abroad. the sense of team and a sense of purpose that is not replicated in many civilian jobs. that is one of the challenges civilians have from the transition to whatever else is next and they miss those things. host: let's hear from callers.
this is arkansas. good morning. you are first up. caller: good morning. i want to mention the door did after. the president should take up the information from wounded warriors and cannot do anything after the military or need help, that can put them back into the military but not military situations. that would help immensely for many of them instead of putting them out. and to help the military personnel, put them in places where there do not have to have combat. there are people who want to be warriors. let them do that. after military, i personally would like to see our military come home from places we don't need to be like japan. which would help our benefits and our country by taking care
of their country. we have been doing there for 40, 50 years. i do not know the exact time. us. money could be for host: dusty, thank you. guest 2: absolutely. there is a tremendous need at home for service. i think it is lost sometimes when we talk about what the typical image of a bitterness, their services done. i do not think that can be more untrue. your service continues. that is already happening. , theirimage of a veteran services done. like the pat tillman foundation, these organizations take the unique experiences of veterans and put them at work at home. that is already happening. veterans are feeling a huge need. a huge need. guest 1: dusty had a few
questions and we appreciate them. the one i would tease out is after the military peeves. -- peace. that is why work today. does a, the military good job of making your soldier, navy, airmen. sometimes they do not do nearly as good of a job as transitioning you back into society. there been tremendous stride to bolster that. it is something we have a responsibility to servicemen and women to be thinking about. the reality is whether you do your four-year enlistment and get out or you do 30 or 35 years and are a general or something. there is something beyond that military service. if we are not doing the things to prepare ourselves even when we are in uniform, we are doing
ourselves and fellow serviceman a disservice. host: here is ken from south carolina. caller: how are you don't? -- doing? my question is different. i am a veteran. id. i permanent duty station was in new york. my concern is the war in iraq. -- i did my permanent duty station in new york. after desert storm, we went in and hussein was back and george bush in dick cheney said it was dangerous because the country is difficult. we invaded and we saw how difficult. we assisted our soldiers for 10 years but when it was time to fight, they ran. i am worried about the soldiers.
we cannot fight for country if they do not fight. we relinquishul, it again and have to go back and take it again. i do not wantht, any more soldiers dying in a foreign land when we know down deep, like egypt, they wanted a change. it was chaos. libya, saddam hussein. even though they were dictators, they kept the lid in. host: we will let our guests respond. brennan mullaney it was difficult -- guest 1: it was difficult. 15 years of combat in iraq. i do not think anybody anticipated the conflicts to drive on a that long. there is an important policy component to that question. one i am not qualified to answer. it is something that we as a
country needed to be very cognizant of. when our civilian leadership makes these decisions and decided to send our sons and daughters into the phone for -- intoo conflict, conflict, it means a lot more what plays on the maybe a -- major media networks. their transition back from these combat experiences and that lives on for years and decades. it is not until 40 years after the actual service or conflict that the repercussions of that really take place through the body or mind. it is an important thing for us to consider. when we make those decisions, there is in effect. guest 2: absolutely. it is important to realize after these years of conflicts, veterans in a unique position to
provide a policy position. for some of the veterans to step up and be involved of some of the moves as a nation so we do not repeat some of the mistakes. host: when it comes to redeployment, what is it like when you get the notice? tim arango i never -- guest 2: i never got that. once i was home, i was home. guest 1: we were on a year on, year off cycle. i was in 2 of them. i spent 15 months in my first deployment in baghdad. home, which was -- it is an incredible feeling. that elation of being back home here in the country. there are so many things we take for granted, you really realize what we have when you are in other environments. try to embrace that in hold on to that feeling as long as you can.
it starts the cycle of training and you go back. therek i knew all along would be a second or even third tour. you understand it. in some ways, you look forward to it. the experience, that sense of personal -- purpose, the people you're sharing with it, that part is phenomenal. that is something all servicemembers really value. host: you get a phone call, e-mail, how does it work? guest 1: you get it through the rumor mill first. you start to hear. the dod, it is all out there. you get orders. sayinga piece of paper you are going wherever. and the same thing when you come home. a date everybody is waiting for the first sergeant. forward to both aspects of it. you are excited to go and
frankly, you are relieved and stoked to go home. host: let's hear from james and arkansas. caller: hi. hi. retired from the years.y with a 21 i served in 1974 to 1994. i appreciate your program. years. question? is your caller: my question is, after you get out of the military, you do not get enough pay to make your bills. i served 21 years and -- host: the idea of pay, how does it work? you're on active
duty as an officer, a comfortable life. he is a challenge for many. that be aeave, it's challenge if that transition is not clear. a clearo not have understanding of where you are going, it can be a challenge. that is where it is important to have a community supporting of veterans to help lift up and bridging that gap between you leave uniform and find your new direction on the civilian side. host: how often are you paid? guest 1: you can take either option -- tim arango you can take -- guest 2: you can take either option. i was paid every two weeks. guest 1: once you make the transition, why are there not high paying jobs for veterans? i know there are a number of organizations who are very aware of this. a number of private companies who have hiring veterans initiatives. let peopled to do is
understand veterans are assets. as they are people who want to continue to serve. be rock star performers in your organization. they know how to perform under duress. they know how to solve difficult problems. as long as we shake that narrative, you want to hire veterans and pay them a salary they deserve. they are capable of so much more. and giving them an opportunity and compensating them appropriately is what we're striving to do. we hope that conversation continues. they may veterans edition transition, can have opportunities and continue to walk the two jobs that will provide them the resource. host: when you are serving outside of the united states, do you get hazardous pay? receive that pay when you're deployed and also skill base pay.
you jumpe airborne and out of airplanes, you get additional pay. you have a unique skill. you will receive a stipend for that. of base pay beyond that pay if you're qualified for it or serving in the area that qualifies you. guest 1: something that is important with a pay, you tend to be paid in a manner in which you live quite comfortably. whether you are a lower listed soldier and live in the barracks or an officer like we were. the really interesting thing is what you consider, you perform in your job in the military, get ,romoted, get a pay increase qualified with a different skill or a pay increase. when you make the transition, all of the stability you had in terms of pay and life insurance and health care for you and your family and the resources that sat and the military installation you had access to, goes away. whoou think about somebody
lost their job, imagine everything you relied on, that is a daunting proposition. that's why a lot of veterans in this transition are looking for those things are struggling. there are organizations trying to provide all of the stability. host: that is brennan mullaney who served in iraq. also joined by ashley nicolas who served in afghanistan to give you a look in the life of a military person not only in active duty but transitioning. orlando in colorado. caller: good morning. yeah i'll have to bear with me. i have short-term memory loss. , i was with the first airborne division. -- i didn't 9.5 months in the jungles of vietnam. our mission is basically where to go and, search and destroy
and whenever there was an emergency and we had a bunch of choppers down somewhere, they dropped is in their -- there. we went through quite a bit of -- what happens after we get back from vietnam? people are flipping us off. nobody spit in my face or i would have decked them. now, they treat me like -- i waited one year and two months for an appointment one time. the only reason they did that, a couple of reasons was being -- i would argue with them. said, they quit giving me travel pay because they said
there was a glitch in the system. saying i chose that is he a split -- the v.a. specifically and i tried to drive that far. host: thank you for telling us your story. guest 2: a lot of challenges we face with his v.a., a large with aation and people lot of needs. we have seen improvements. care has been largely positive. one of the bigger challenges, one of the biggest is met the shores of the v.a. is inclusive and address needs like the caller had. a long way org you feel like you're not a valued member. that is something women face a lot, it's a male driven organization and women do not always feel like they belong or assumed they do not. certainly, we are going to face challenges in addressing
multi-generations and why varying needs. it is something we will have to keep an eye out and address. guest 1: i think it is, the point i would like to address is the climate of the veteran came back to. our generation has came back to welcoming public and has been able to decouple the conflict and the politics with the service of the individual or the service member. we have been fortunate and i know the vietnam generation was not as fortunate. one we arend that, getting better at that. it is needed. in a country as how we welcomed our generation of the enough veterans was wrong. i hope it would never happen again. the more interesting point is the way the vietnam generation has welcomed us as veterans home. they have been the was advocating for veterans issues
for so long. they have said, no, this will not happen again. i cannot beteran, more thankful to the vietnam veteran and grateful for what they have done in shaping the space. host: i am sure when you are back home in your civilian life, you hear the phrase "thank you for your service." what goes through your mind? guest 2: it can sometimes be at loaded statement. you will be hard-pressed to find does not enjoy the sit there. sometimes, it can be seen as an empty statement. for an action. i appreciate you thanking me for service a but follow-up. start the conversation, ask me about my experience. go to an event. go to vietnam veterans memorial and ask questions. ask for stories. those are the ways you can show
gratitude. be involved. that goes a lot further. sometimes it can be an empty statement if it is not followed up. guest 1: i would agree. it is a start. i'm personally very uncomfortable when people say thank you, i am not sure how to respond. there's a lot of great things and experiences i have had. i am very proud of it. it is the start of a conversation. thank you for your service, followed by what did you do? what are you doing now? how can i help you? the knowledge i am a veteran, but having transitioned into the local community, i'm facing a lack of the same things you are. who am i going to vote for, the election went past. where my kids are going to go school. what my next job is going to be. to be involved in a veterans life is a powerful thing. it validates of their service, hey, the best way to thank him
is to welcome him back. the organization i work for is a fact has a medium. we bring veterans and civilians together over simple activities and to build those relationships. that is a very human thing. we all need that. whether transitioning from war or going to rely. relationships are really the glue that keeps it together. host: have you ever been criticized for your service? guest 2: i do not think so. it is a lesson although vietnam generation. i will get comments that are policy questions. you will hear, we love the troops or preshow what you did, but we do not agree with what is going on. aat can be the start of conversation. among the veteran population, there is a nuanced understanding of what we participated in. be prepared to get answers you
do not necessarily expect. guest 1: i do not think i've been criticized but misunderstood, probably at better characterization. i had of the opportunity to grasp all after the army. i was in a fantastic program and i was amazed at the many my colleagues who would going on to be decision-makers and will never spoke one on one to a veteran who served in iraq or afghanistan. it was amazing. all of my friends, as i go through my iphone, 90% of them served. a different thing, it is so important to have those conversations. if you do not have a service your life, brother, whoever, seek someone out and have a conversation and learn. ask them about their service and what they did. the same questions you are asking us, these are important things for people to know. sort of brigid that divide
between our military and civilian community. guest 2: do not be afraid to ask. arele of never served scared to ask the questions because a day do not know if they are asking something offensive or difficult to talk about. to start a willing conversation, it is never going to change. host: let's go to john. he is in louisiana. good morning. caller: 50 years ago, i started my air service career. i was a pilot and flew for delta airlines. you mentioned people come of assaying me for my service and my response is i was blessed by god with the abilities to become a pilot. it is my honor to have been selected to do that. am in northwest louisiana neared airport and i am close to it. whenever i go to the base and the man or woman checked my id, havenk them for what they
started to do. something i did for 28 years and i wish them well in their career. i hope they stay. the way i feltn in the 20th years i spent. i served in combat from vietnam to desert storm and everything in between. i try to encourage young people to look the military. i think it is a wonderful thing they can do for their country. it makes my heart feel good to see these young people serving. they are every bit as good as i was when i started. i hope they continue forward and serve the country. i am active in several organizations were we go to high schools, the rotc in the area. we have a huge military retiree population in this part of the state. we always try to go out and encourage others to follow in our footsteps whether one tour or spent a career.
it is service to their country. host: gotcha, john. we are running a little short on time. guest 2: absolutely. after i left uniform, i became a high school teacher. i was always encouraging of my students to consider the military. there are very few ways to start your life that will give you such a great set of values and the lessons and support you in a way that sets you up to be successful forever. said, one term or 35 years, it will be valuable. it is something that should still be considered. guest 1: my military experience was phenomenal. i learned things, met people and learned lessons and expresses i rely on today. i was a 22-year-old platoon leader responsible for 30 soldiers. there is not leadership like that in in other organization in this country. is important for people to consider service -- if service
is right for them. and it is in for people serve to provide them with the ability to ask questions asked the us out in our communities serving. like the call mentioned with the vfw. my organization in the d.c. area, we are going to read in elementary schools today. i'm going to all project, which is another phenomenal organization. andjust any veterans service a uniform but making the transition and still being leaders in their church, their kids' school, coaching, teaching. these are the important things and that will shape our future generation's view of service. host: bill from pennsylvania. caller: thank you so much for having me on. i served in vietnam, 1968, 1969.
overtake. operation i was there for 15 months. i was very proud to do my duty and i was very lucky. and the lord was with me. what waseally realized going on until i got back to oakland, california and we were met by thousands of people with eggs, throwing rocks, bananas. we were treated to terrible the first 20 minutes i set foot on american soil. and the same thing with the job market. when i got home, i put everything away and forgot about my military service of 440 something years. then i started to become deal. went to my local doctors and i already had information on agent orange.
-- and then i started to become ill. i asked about agent orange and they shrugged their shoulders. we know nothing about agent orange. they treated me like a regular patient. host: thank you so much. the first 20 minutes i was in the u.s., we were greeted by is in no veterans. those lessons that were learned. -- we were graded -- greeted by vietnam veterans. those people were treated so terribly and they make sure it is not like that for current generations. i am so grateful for what they have done. guest 1: it is beyond the welcome and the health care providing to our veterans. agent orange, which was one of the elements on the vietnam conflict we knew nothing about. you juxtapose of with today's conflict and our knowledge of traumatic brain injury and
posttraumatic stress. aribale bit of lag in his holistic league we are in a position where we know a lot holistically winter position where we know more and provide appropriate care. learned hope we have our tough lessons from vietnam and we do not have to learn again. host: you mentioned transition. what there something that took you by surprise? or was it a difficult? guest 2: i think you missed the camaraderie. thatse of shared mission you are custom is surrounded by people of that share the same ideas and values and mindset. uniform, you lose that a little bit. for me, i became an educator. i had a sense of mission and surrounded by people doing the same. if it takes you lose that support. you lose that feeling of being part of a team all the time.
it can be jarring. guest 1: i had somebody tell me when you enter the military, with your team a uniform, eua cup compass things you never thought was possible. when you leave, they take them away. -- your team and uniform, you accomplish things you never thought was possible. you lose that team. , what on wherever you are ever community, whether a month after, a year after, you start to miss that. maybe that is an important point. finite.on is not not the day i took uniform off and put on a suit or whatever. it happens over a prolonged period of time. for some, it is years and years. for me, it is still happening. i left years ago and i am still thinking about what my life ahead is going to look like. these are very humid things. knowingsome consolation
some of the struggles or things i'm challenged with, my neighbor has been through. host: when you went to go looking for jobs, what happens when the potential employer sees that line of your service? guest 1: i think it is a changing sort of discussion. a lot of people see that essay it is great, you are a veteran insert. a lot do not know what that means or translates into. get it translated from the military jargon into normal, civilian resume speech can be difficult. from what i can tell, a number of employers who welcome that. is it an advantage while jobhunting? guest 2: it can be. if you could describe your services and and access to that ploy or and understand, it can be to a great advantage.
there is a challenge in making sure you were able to translate that jargon as speaking the language the employer understands. guest 1: just say you were a mechanic in the military, that may not be what you are in civilian. working under the rest and teens and solving problems, those are what you want to highlight. host: arthur from virginia, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. host: go ahead. caller: a little background. 20 years in the army. 70 years on the -- seven years lookingeel look -- hill at the v.a. issues. a couple of thoughts on transitioning. i had the opportunity to travel to the v.a.. i look at the v.a. budget. year,$182 billion this
this coming year. a huge growth that was $90 billion when i came to the hill in 1995. there is now 325,000 people working. it is not a money issue. both your guests have a great perspective. i got to talk to a lot of people on a trips to afghanistan and iraq. i think we need to take care of arthur verrilli wounded soldiers and every body, ptsd and the issues and we do not address those correctly. i do not think the military addresses tbi. i interviewed someone it in iraq, a national guardsman, he allegedly had been, he had been 07 different tors and was in 4 different ied's pre-we need to look at the symptoms. i am stepping back a little bit. president-elect, i would hope
that his cabinet selections that he picks some veterans. to be the new secretary of the v.a. secretaries i had where secretary peaks. it offers a unique perspective on what needs to be done. the procurement issues in the v.a. in the job opportunities needed to be explored and worked on. said there wass tremendous opportunity. i think it is. host: we will leave it there. i am sorry. guest 2: the tremendous opportunity that exists when you leave uniform, a lot and the nonprofit around. organizations outside of the the a to help the -- of the v.a. to have the transition. one of the may at first is to translate -- one of the main aspects is to help translate the
jargon and make it an asset. there are organizations that exists inside of the v.a. and outside. guest 1: the caller talked about the jump of the v.a.'s budget and as the manifestation that the full effects of the conflict are not seen until 40 years later. largely taking care of our vietnam veterans and there are still going to be over time and will see the different elements of our iraq and afghanistan veterans. something to be pretty too. point, whether the head of the v.a. or on the hill, whitney veterans to step up. -- we need of interest to step up. we needed them to be leaders. your service is now where it ends. i would encourage veterans to find ways to serve this country.
mentioned ptsd issues. there is an op ed by mark jackson. he writes about what it means to be a veteran. he says -- does it reflect your experiences considering what you did? guest 1: not to mind. that is the point. veterans are all different. our lives are going to be different. have been because i deployed and i have seen combat and been with these weapons, the fireworks on the fourth of july would cause me to put the sign that of veteran lives here, it is not true. does it mean there is not another veteran that experiences this?
obviously, it does. when we start painting with these broad brush strokes, we are doing all of us a disservice. we are people. serve people who chose to this country. our experiences will be different. west 2: it is dangerous when paint the broad strokes about what service and maintenance. being deployed is not the only servicemembers. or theplane mechanic sailor on the ship is serving legitimate as anybody on the front lines. that service look different and have different consequences. we get into a dangerous area where their service is painted as less than that what somebody did on the combat zone. host: david. go ahead. caller: top of the morning. i have a couple of things. one is, exception of the
gentleman about we learned from our mistakes. from agent orange. burningiraq, we had tips that have affected our soldiers that we have not addressed. the other thing i would like to .ring up is the general his name was butler. honor thatmedals of everybody in the service and everybody thinking of going to disservice should think. it will tell you exactly what we are doing over 4 wars. thank you very much. have a good day. host: one more call. good morning. caller: good morning. love your show. militarypoint is
misdiagnosis. i was diagnosed with one disease . all of the doctors, everybody out of the v.a., including the v.a. said they misdiagnosed but they rejected my claims. ofsecond point is, the theft the v.a. stole $400,000. were not prosecuted. veterans put to their kidney on the table. host: thank you, caller. anything from those calls? guest 1: i will clarify my previous comment. i do not know for we completely, but i hope we have. if we stop learning, we are doing ourselves a disservice. v.a. a lot about the of times. i am not a user of the a care so -- v.a. care so i cannot speak.
one, the challenges that the v.a. are dealing with is incredibly complicated. if they were easy, they would have been solved. nuance, itracy, the is not a very easy. in my professional capacity with the team at the central office. i have seen things change in the past few years. i know people go to work there every day are committed to veterans and making the change. if people have grievances, have them -- the v.a. wants to improve. guest 2: my experience with the v.a. has been positive. the providers of the v.a. and people who work, the day-to-day work with veterans are dedicated civil servants that value and want to do good. i think a lot of times, the flashy headlines and the failures are what get attention. it takes away from the fact with a lot of civilians and veterans
working in the v.a. trying to do good and being successful everyday. a sense of the life of military person in active duty and outside of it and civilian life. ashley nicolas who served in afghanistan. tell us about your organization. guest 2: i am a law student at georgetown area a member of the pat tillman foundation. it was established to honor the legacy of pat tillman by his andly and enable veterans military spouses to pursue education after their service to continue to change the world. who: and brennan mullaney served in iraq with the team red, white, and blue. regionali serve as a director 14 red, white, and blue to enrich the lives of veterans through physical and social activity. we have hundreds of chapters across the country breaking the
veterans and their civilian communities over positive events. and getting to know each other and building relationships. you can learn more about us at -- host: one top issue veterans are concerned with, oining us to talk about healthcare is suzanne gordon, joining us from california, a ealthcare journalist and author. mrs. gordon, thanks for joining us on c-span today. me, : thank you for having pedro. host: could you give us your assessment of the current available to veterans and the quality of that care? is t: veteran's healthcare the largest integrated in the united states, the biggest. of the tually one largest in the world. 've spent three years covering the v.a. and writing a book about v.a. healthcare and i amazing healthcare.
it's integrated healthcare. the only integrated the u.s. system in the doctors are on salary, no overtreat or undertreat. it has, negotiates drug prices companies so it has better prices. the kes care of some of most difficult and deserving patients in the united states, 9 million veterans, not all veterans are eligible for which is hcare, something we should talk about and something the new president about. do something but it is really extraordinary healthcare, it is kind of serves you if you have an amputation, if you ptsd, mental health problems, if you're aging, if ne of the main things that brings veterans to the v.a. ealthcare system, which
surprised me is tinnitus and hearing problems, no branch of military doesn't have over exposure to the noise. delivers high quality care, which survey after survey and assessment after independent assessment has it has some problems much to do with the kind of by ibility problems imposed congress and under funding. lot of waittimes, a times have to do with shortages of providers that are created by our larger healthcare system. extremely highis quality care. people do not have to get on the phone like a young woman i to yesterday, who called in tears about sitting on the hours because she's just gotten done $1000 private sector healthcare and worry body her credit rating, that is something
mercifully veterans do not have to go through. i'm 70 and i wish i had the kind of healthcare that veterans receive. host: mrs. gordon, questions about the issues we've heard waitour veterans about the times, concerns about management structure, it led to concerns times, especially the phoenix hospital, that was highlighted in the news and on congress. do you think the current administration is doing enough problems and make the changes? guest: yes, i do. i think there could be more done. need to deal with the requirements that cause a lot of wait times, which by congress osed because congress is not giving the v.a. enough money, that eans they have to create eligibility requirements. i personally think that every served our country should get v.a. benefits, healthcare..a.
most americans think that all 22 v.a. million veterans get healthcare, they don't. the v.a. is only given enough care for about 9 million people. not quites, you know, that d of veterans and means that veterans have to prove they have this problem or have to go tothey the veterans benefit are istration, where there delays. if you want to fix something, fix the vda. there is a terrible problem now 8000 eterans who are about a year denied healthcare they them ecause the army gave a discharge status, other than onorable discharge, which the discharge because maybe they got into a fight or they were drunk on the weekend and they're out of the army, it is not a dishonorable discharge, 300,000 veterans
problems who have exacerbated or acquired in the military, many mental health problems that resulted in "bis they are denied benefits they deserve and congress could fix that. gordon, i want to interrupt to let the viewers now, if you have questions, 202-748-8000 for veterans in the audience. 202-748-8001. suzanne gordon, professor at california, san francisco school of nursing, and affiliated scholar at wilson center at university of toronto faculty of medicine. is a piece in the gordon, by times, mr. david walker, to salute american heroes, talks about the v.a. and management structure. this is what he says. in a word, critical problem is or lack thereof.
private sector, people prove incompetent, they are dismissed, people who demonstrate ompetence are promoted to higher levels of responsibility, basic components of efficiency and accountability, but do not exist in the federal bureaucracy, how would you respond to that? is a fantasy about the private sector we need to get rid of. in managementlems and private sector just as management in the v.a. 'd be happy to talk about problems in management about the people who are countless o this, private sector examples of ospitals or other kinds of firms where toxic managers, are allowed to continue, people leave, people are fired, people quit and i problem in e a american management that is way beyond the v.a. of talk in the
v.a. about whistle blowers and to be friendly to whistle blowers. well, nurses in private sector been fighting for protection for whistle blowers for as long as i've been healthcare, 35 years. they are fired in the private raise issues.ey the cleveland clinic has been shining example of healthcare to the v.a., recently a book nurse who wrote about doctor/nurse relationships clinic.leveland i think that the person at the washington times is just a of management and the private sector. there are some firms that are some firms fire people when they need to be you know, firing is, firing managers has been a big at the jeff miller house veterans affairs committee. nd you don't solve culture
problems by firing people. obviously if people are reckless criminals, you want to fire them and fire them right away, management in v.a. are not going to be solved by firing a lot of people, it is culture of ng management, changes things so they are more open and so people feel free to speak up if there are problems going on. i think that just chop off their heads, if you look at management people and punishing blaming people is not the way hat you change complex culture like in a healthcare system. host: go to the first call, john north carolina, a veteran, for our guest, suzanne gordon. john, you are on with the guest, go ahead. caller: thank you. i appreciate you taking my call. being is i got orders, september -- right? four to six weeks. me, after ie telling
called and asked when they didn't show up, took me to yesterday afternoon to find out going to take eight weeks or right, from the -- that i had called. director's office, atient rep and all you get is the answering machine and no call back. v.a. is r sum of the exactly that, admin side. the doctors and stuff you have down there, will do great as long as they have, they can get you in and out and have the staff. guest: i think that -- i'd be curious to know what v.a. you talking about. i think that there are problems v.a.s, at in many problems like that in other healthcare v.a. is exactly that, admin side. the doctors and stuff you have down there, will do great as long as they have, they can get well.r, as i think some v.a.s have short more staff.ed one of the issues with wait times that is very significant that the american healthcare
system is not producing enough providers in general for the entire population. we're a shortage, getting 2020 population ages, we'll have shortage between of 45,000 primary care v.a. is s and the dependent on the supply of physicians and primary care providers like nurse practitioners that the american educational stem system, medical schools, nursing chools, produce, and it is really frightening. pedro, because they are not producing enough primary care providers, not producing primary providers for you, for me veterans. it is really a big problem. they are not -- there aren't enough staff in some places. the caller was in a rural area, but in rural tis very hard to get staff, not only in the v.a., but sector.rivate
recently in new york spending time, i'd love to talk to folks about the suicide have now a, and they full compliment, but they have a very hard time recruiting people to come to upstate new york to man a veteran crisis line where they are listening to people who are in crisis day after day, for eight hours per day and the v.a. people to move to clinics as to work in and so forth. we need more incentives, we need and healthcare workers competitive prices with sector, but even the private sector has a hard time people in certain
areas in the united states and this is something that is a very vexing problem in our healthcare system, as a whole and may be responsible for some problems that the gentleman caller reported. veteran 's fw to tom, in michigan. tom, good morning. go ahead, please. caller: yeah, good morning. to c-span. i'm vietnam veteran. driver.uck and i go to the v.a. to get my great, physical. as a truck driver, cdl license, to have a medical card. the v.a. used to be able to give us our medical card, but now they can't do it anymore, we have to go elsewhere. i was just wondering why. i could answer that question, i have no idea, i don't know if that is egislative problem with the state of michigan, if it is congressional, i mean this of ously is some kind regulation, i'm sure that the v.a. would be happy to give you could, i if they don't -- it's quite an interesting question and i'm an answer forhave
it. host: elanorefrshgs illinois, on all others, good morning. caller: good morning. npr, of all, according to 40% of all crisis calls that make are left, they have to leave a message. of ink anyone in that kind situation needs to talk to someone. warriors, can you tell me legitimate groups, i nded warriors had trouble, sent money and i found out they were making money on the side having parties. also, social action ministry and a place to maybe go for help. veteransll, i think if need help with mental health issues and social issues, they to the v.a. he wounded warrior system a problematic organization. they are one of these new kinds veterans, not really veterans
service organizations, they do a it is not raising, clear how much goes to veterans. that if there are delay necessary v.a. care, those have to be solved by not gthening the v.a., going outside the v.a. we should use going outside the it and the need v.a. has always sent people get care. i think the issue of the crisis line in canada i spent time , there, it is important for people to understand, they have they a lot of criticism, .re now them, it is very interesting, the veteran service to is, the crisis line has deal with every veteran and every veteran family member who from any place in the
world, it deals with act duty and any american ivilian who calls a suicide crisis line and is too upset to if you're e message, a veteran, press one, it is not one, they -- the responders cannot say, sorry, we veterans, i'm sorry, you are suicidal, hangup, them.ave to deal with they also have to deal with a lot of veterans who call, when i guy called 12 times per day. he was not suicidal, he had issues, he called 70 times that month, they have to deal with them. of complex lot reason yes people may be sent to another crisis line. that is an exaggeration, that calls are not answered and the veterans crisis line very effectively, but it's
problem mplex responding to the enormous olume of calls and we may need another facility, but it would be interesting to see what the atlanta facility is fully running. host: what do you think as far donald trump's proposal to care to veterans, particularly reliance on the private system that?lp with guest: i thank you, pedro, such a good question. give a ould love to little bit of advice to donald rump about how he talks about mentally ill veterans, if you that, i think privatizing the v.a., which is what trump has favored, it is miller has favored, in a lot of republicans veryess have favored, is a
bad idea. these people unfortunately don't know enough about the realities of private sector healthcare, which is fragmented, which gives some good quality in some areas, are huge wait times in the private sector and san francisco, for example, i just to switch from one primary care physician to another, i yelp, every went on physician in san francisco, in the bay area, because of the of primary care closed ns, they have their practices. there are no wait times, there are no wait lists. fortunate to pull strings with some docs i know and find a provider, but the "new york times," who is very biassed v.a. criticized the v.a. for long wait times, stories s been running about the wait times in private sector healthcare. americaage wait time in is 19 days, donald trump was concerned about veterans waiting
five to six days. it's not a pretty picture out terms of wait times. get a have, you want to total hip replacement or expensive procedure, you may not long, althoughhat youville to wait for a topnotch surgeon. care want to get routine or mental healthcare tis very bad out there. host: so let me pause you to give you another call. georgia, a nta, veteran. good morning, go ahead. caller: good morning, folks, listening to this conversation with great interest. mrs. gordon, thank you for appearing. i was in the military, i ran a usiness and earlier what prompted me to call, you saying that we got our problems, but problems, too. you don't fire your people when are not performing, that is not true. the v.a. over the
last 15 years indigative, people don't know what they are doing or they are not focusing on the problem. it is not help to feel say, we problems in the v.a., look at the private sector and that. fire, v.a., under wounded, you went to war, it is a different situation and you bad, ying to say, we're look at them, it is not helpful we i think the best thing could do as i shut off here, and my call. for taking guest: i'm sorry if the caller misunderstood. i'm not saying that the v.a. has to improve. and that it has to improve management. i'm simply saying that there are problems with management in all areas where people manage people. i think that the solution to the problems of the v.a. are to look at the best-performing v.a.s veteran's vhs,
health administration understands we have in the invested,tes, we have we have made 70-year investment veterans healthcare. we have invested in a system very nderstands the specific problems of veterans. veterans have very specific problems, very specific mental health problems. provider would probably not be able to recognize the difference between traumatic brain injury and a severe traumatic brain traumatic moderate brain injury. they wouldn't know not to paint practices f their certain colors or put certain on the floor leum because a veteran with ptsd would freak out, they don't problems that veterans have. that ently read a study showed that 50% of primary care private sector
never even ask people if they have been in the military. years old, i could have served in multiple wars, i've billions of -- not billions, many different ealthcare providers and never once been asked if i served in the military, much less where i in combat.f i was trained, very specially especially -- people who have on the job experience with veterans veterans well f. we want to fix the v.a., fix some thing that we e have to do if we want to fix to gs is we want -- have stop the media bashing of the v.a. and the "new york times," "washington post," etcetera, because the v.a. does a huge amount of things sxriet some things wrong and to focus only to really wrong is hurt veterans, to do a disservice to the many veterans the v.a. and helped
by the v.a. f. we want more veterans to be helped by the we have to look inside the v.a. and find out what works and standard practice everywhere, which is what, by the way, their model is. from nancy, in franklin, north carolina, others, on the line for on a conversation with suzanne gordon. go ahead.d morning, caller: thank you for your program, i really appreciate it. a veteran, my father was a world war ii veteran. away in 1999, he was disabled, but worked through his life. california, the v.a. hospital him many years before he passed, most wonderful service. nobody, i never heard from my father's group, korean veterans, with the v.a.blem 9/11, orward, we get into
us in ts tax twice, gets two wars, has no way to finance, he even said, no way to finance wars. he cut v.a. he had no explanation for why coming home, but no idea how to take care of the wounded.that were he took away from social security, medicare, etceterathis, is why the v.a. is a mess. i remember not four years ago, whistleblower hit phoenix, arizona, senator mccain arizona, said he knew the mess that was going on before 2008, right there is tape and cupull it up. host: okay. he knew about it, why didn't he take it to the hill war elp veterans, he is a hero. host: let the guest response, thanks. underfunding of the v.a. has been a huge problem for a long time.
i think that the service that our father got is typical of the service that many veterans et once they get into the system. edro, you asked about privatization, a number of privatization bills or semiprivatization bills have floated since the choice act. was by kathy mcmorris-rogers, which would veterans go to anybody they want in the private sector. veterans organizations, veterans service organizations, not like wounded warriors, the veterans of wars, disabled american veterans, vietnam veterans of paralyzed veterans, etcetera, got together to bill.st the the veterans service organization that serve millions f veterans do not want
privatization. they want the v.a. to be lots thened and there is of ways we could talk about how strengthened. be but congress tends to be very stories that are they are notd, but characteristic of what goes on phoenix was a en but not f some v.a.s, all v.a.s. i would argue the media is on a anti-v.a. mission and i get calls or talk with veterans service organizations that tell me they get calls from a media outlet to know bad the es, only, and when veterans service organization says, we actually have mostly basically s, they hangup and i think that you see unbalanced media
narrative or media story being projected out there because they a bone and they are gnawing n it and not interested tragically in some of the really good stories about what is going veteran v.a. around suicide, around primary care, research, teaching, etcetera, i would like to see and see ries get out more veterans speak about the care hey get and the good they get so that if there are facilities that aren't giveing that care that gives mod and he will benchmark against which we could measure things. host: let's go to bridgewater, new jersey, line for veterans, this is dan. there. caller: hi. -- in the past, i can't speak bout what is going on now, one of the most important things to keep in mind, these are and systems -- medics
that had learned tremendous skills in combat and stabilizing patients in vietnam, for example, and these people are adequately used after they military tour. the v.a.s are heavily what isatic set up, but not realized is that in the community as a whole, we now twice as many patients for less than half as many doctors really need now is a teaching development and program that wons expanding v.a.ps medical core of people who deal with specialty problems that you deal with in veterans and not just psychological one, cyclical ones. a lot of psychological problems are cyclical problems.
i don't think that the professional side has discussed when it comes to v.a. expanding its benefits for expands load of bureaucrats who don't know what doing, secondly as far as bureaucrats are concerned. we'll let our guest respond. guest: well, i think that many and american nies management is top heavy and this true in private sector healthcare, as well. the bureau of labor statistics a graph of the increase -- i thinkns between 100% and 2010 and about increase of physicians in healthcare and 3500 percent increase in administrators. i mean so staggering i wish we could show it online. problem in g
american healthcare outside of he v.a., the growth, the failure to dproe enough physicians, particularly primary care physicians and the huge in administrators. i think that we have to get more physicians, nurse practitioners, physician etcetera into the private sector healthcare, as well, and give incentives. enough .a. cannot hire primary care providers, mental social roviders, workers, etcetera, if the supply to them by the training institutions that of uce these kinds professionals and these are not -- the v.a. does not have own training institutions, it depends on medical schools, schools, physician assistant schools, pt schools, schools, etcetera.
for the bigger supply whole society and then the v.a. can get what it needs. also has to be able to pay competitive salaries, market salaries. i sit in offices in v.a., v.a. professionals ho are losing staff because some other facility in the private sector will offer 40, 60,000 dollars more. we have to show that we care enough to pay people market salaries, so that we can get the stat that veterans need. people will not sacrifice 40, 50,000 dollars in a city like new york, boston or any american city. incentives e to have to get people into rural areas. of american counties have no psychiatrist, or social worker to
provide mental healthcare and counties.ral we have to solve the problem if the v.a. is going to be able to people for their clinics in rural areas. we can't just turn on a spigot, and expect people to pour out, it will not happen. got you. our guest is assistant adjunct professor at university of san francisco school of nursing. healthcare journalist working on book looking at the v.a. suzanne gordon is joining us, to more information go suzanne gordon dot com. guest: suzanne gordon dot com. no c. host: suzanne gordon dot com. charles is next. for l hill, maryland, line veterans. hi. caller: good morning. charles on, my name is and i'm 77 years old and i was times in germany and frankforthospital
reason, the army cannot find my records. think at least they should keep accident reports. last thing, mrs. gordon, why many my cannot find so black servicemen medical records. thank you very much. dav is handling my claim. guest: the dav is disabled veterans, a great organization. recommend if anybody watching wants to find out more about solutions for the v.a., youtube and look d.a.v., setting the record straight, a great series of lever videos talking about solutions to the -- to make the v.a. stronger. healthcare stronger. charles, you know, i hear that a
lot. and prior to the problem with or the veterans benefit fact that ion is the has lost papers veterans need. another problem, and i really veterans all over and to active duty service members, important, if you get an injury, that you go thehe medic, that you go to doctor when you're in the military service to get a record that. there are many service members do not do that. it out, they're discouraged, they're called wooses, or sick rangers, they injury their back because 100-pound rrying packs, they get into a car kinds of things happen to them f. they don't go they're not this,
going to have evidence to prove a claim of disability, which need later. this is particularly important and the l healthcare army and the military says it is working to destigmatize mental it th conditions, i think could do more, because many of the service members, veterans to say that if you said you had mental health over, ms, your career was you were out. and they do not have good models military of people who talk about their mental health conditions. of the amazing things the v.a. has done, veteran's health done, producen has a series, about 400 interviews with veterans speaking to veterans, encouraging people to say they need help when they conditions. health one of the pieces of advice, i listen, but will that i have for new commander-in-chief is that he
putting down veterans with health conditions and calling them losers because there has been a huge effort department of defense and inside the v.a. to mental health conditions, to ask people to get and i hey are poignant believe donald trump could serve service members by reflecting compassion toward veterans with mental health or physical problems that is advanced in this kind of campaign. host: up next, we'll hear from in south carolina, a veteran, this is hank. hi there. taking my nks for call. to say, i don't know where you talking about mr. wanting to privatize the v.a. every v.a. committee
meeting that is on c-span and i get that at all, wanting to privatize v.a. wanted to improve it. talk about money, they have been yearsng money at v.a. for and years and haven't improved. the hospital in denver, talk about that. lady, i don't know where you come from with some of this. heard trump talk about losers and mentally ill, you now, i don't know where you're coming from. host: go ahead. guest: thank you. i mean, it's on t.v., he castigated mccain, he said he people who got, who ere captured, mccain, as we know, john mccain was a prisoner said very he has also
unflattering things about people with mental health problems, perhaps the caller that.missed and i'm sorry if there is a miller's tanding about views on privatization, but i think he has over and over again favored channelling more and ore veterans into private sector healthcare and i'm -- we could agree to disagree here. ost: here is don, iron michigan, veteran, don, we're running short on time. ust jump in with question or comment, go ahead. aller: yes, what i would like set e is a civilian court up that deals nothing with veterans healthcare. take people from the private sector, put them through school, pay for their tuition, once they require them to do so
many years of service f. they to stay in, give them a ension, just like they would any other gs worker within the v.a. system. you. guest: i think there are lots of interesting ideas like that get more people and rk in primary care mental healthcare in the v.a. think that the v.a. has been trying to do loan forgiveness and get people involved in v.a. care. i think, the media needs to of the more of some wonderful things the v.a. is doing. how many people in america know research that the .a. brought us shingles vaccine, first implantable know, the you patch, ptsd care,
etcetera, and i think the media really needs to change narrative about v.a. healthcare providers. i watch people everyday and some allers talk about the people, who give their all to patients who have very sick, very old, a sense and they have of mission that i have never seen in private sector healthcare. tell you, i've been covering private sector healthcare for 35 years and devoted.ple are i've spent three years in the field and maybe met one provider i thought was not topnotch. that in a system with 300,000 employees people who are many e greatest, but so people who are wonderful, we have to remember when we think to privatize v.a. healthcare, mean putting 100,000 a third of the workforce to have the workforce vha eterans facilities, facilities are veterans themselves. i think we have a huge the v.h.a. to make
better, i think the va slay healthcarea model for in the private sector and i think there is so much more we an do to strengthen the v.a. and i hope that the president takes the new president takes of this opportunity to strengthen veteran's health and strengthen the 70 year investment that a very s have put into fine healthcare system that has like many healthcare systems to be s that need addressed. host: talking with suzanne gordon, healthcare journalist about the
what a donald trump trump presidency could mean for lobbying firms. watch washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern, join the discussion. with donald trump elected as the next u.s. president, his wife becomes art nation's second foreign-born first lady. learn more about the influence of america's presidential spouses. into theis a look
personal lives and influence of every presidential spouse in american history. to our tvmpanion and features biographies and archival photos from their lives. published by public affairs, is available wherever you buy books. and now, available in paperback. now that the elections are over, congress returns next week for its lame-duck session.
>> before tuesday's night election, the conventional women that hillary clinton would win. notl said paul ryan had sufficiently supported him for president and that he would come after speaker ryan. well now that donald trump is the president-elect, the dynamic has shifted. the two men who met yesterday were praising each other. speaker ryan rolled out the red carpet for donald trump, hosted at lunch for him in the capitol backclub, then brought him to the capital, where he turned him out on the balcony and showed him the view of the entire washington, d.c. skyline, the platform where he would be inaugurated and sworn in on january 20, and so the dynamic and the relationship, which has
an attesting one throughout the campaign, has completely shifted. >> congress has plenty to do. why because through this lame-duck session next week in addition to the leadership elections. the presidential race has completely changed everything as one leadership source told me today. the thinking before the election was that congress would try to perhapsn omnibus bill, break it up into smaller pieces an approach that would extend funding through the 2017 fiscal year. thinking with republicans controlling both the white house and both chambers of that republicans specifically will try to push into early 2017,
perhaps february or march. that would allow then president trump and a republican-controlled congress to have out a much better deal on spending levels than republicans would have gotten in the lame-duck session with so again,obama, donald trump's victory on tuesday night has changed almost everything in washington. let's take a look at for some reference on where things stand. we go back to september 28 and hal rogers on the house floor. the rise today to present .enate amendment this legislation includes the continuing 2017, resolution, and full year appropriations for military construction and veterans affairs. it also includes funding to prevent the spread of the zika
virus. this is a reasonable and necessary compromise that will and the government opening operating, address or urgent needs across the country and provide the necessary support for our service members, their families, and our veterans. foremost, mr. speaker, this bill helps us avoid the unwarranted damage of a government shutdown by providing the funding required to keep the government open and operational past hour september 30 deadline. the funding is provided at the over oneate of trillion dollars and lasts through december 9. will allowtime frame congress to complete our annual appropriations work without jeopardizing importing government functions.
secondly, the package contains the full year military construction the a bill for fiscal year 2017, which was conference to buy the house and senate and passed by the house already in june. in total, 82.5 billion dollars is provided for our military infrastructure and veterans health and benefits programs, $2.7 billion above current increasesth targeted that address mismanagement and improve operations at the v.a. it is important to know that once the president signs this will into law, it will be the first time since 2009 that an individual appropriations bill has been conferenced with the senate and and acted before the september 30 fiscal year deadline. third, this legislation includes $1.1 billion in funding to
respond to and stop the spread of the zika virus. this funding is directed to programs that control mosquitoes , develop vaccines, and treat those affected. spentunding is responsibly, balanced by $400 million and offsets of unused funding from other programs. lastly, this legislation includes important provisions that address current national needs, including an additional $37 million to fight the opioid epidemic, which has struck my district especially hard, and an additional $500 million in disaster designated funding to help states recover and rebuild from recent destructive flooding. i believe this legislation is a good compromise that this house can and should support. itis not perfect, but ensures that we meet our
nation's current critical needs. i've said many times before standing in this exact spot eau continuing resolution is a last resort but at this point it's what we must do to fulfill our congressional responsibility and keep the lights on in government of the so i urge my colleagues to vote aye so we can send it to the president's deck without thramente >> scott wong of the hill, that short-term c.r. runs but december 9. the president requesting additional military spending just this past week and also the house republican study committee wants a short-term c.r. into the beginning of the trump administration. who is going to win out in the end on this? >> well, i think it probably
depends on what donald trump wants. he has a lot of political capital right now. of course president obama still hays few months left in his term and will ultimately be the one signing any funding bill at the end of this year but president-elect trump will be dictating a lot of what happens during the lame duck session. he has the support of the voters. certainly members of congress on the republican side are falling in line behind president-elect trump, and so i think we haven't yet seen any signals about what he wants but i expect that there probably will be a short-term c.r., as i mentioned, into either february or march. > also on that to-do list is aid to flint michigan. dan kill bee of flint, the congressman from flint, talked
about that aid panel before they recessed. >> for over a year we have not been able to act here in congress. it's been even longer that the residents of flint have been drinking water, using water that is poisoned basically, poisoned with lead. two full years. and to be clear what happened in flint wads a failure of government at every level of government of the through this amendment, congress can take its rightful place in fulfilling its obligation and its responsibility to help my home town recover. the amendment would authorize $170 million to restore the safety of water infrastructure in communities like my home town of flint that have lead in their water and, more
importantly, it would create a concrete commitment from both bodies be congress to get aid to my home town, for my tome -- home town, to the president's desk. the senate passed similar legislation by vote of 95-3. this amendment would ensure that the house also supports communities like flint that are suffering with this terrible problem. we've just waited an awful long time for this. we've worked very hard to get this amendment in a bipartisan fashion to the floor and i want to thank all my friends, particularly mr. molinar, who co-sponsors this amendment with me. >> michigan congressman dan kil bee. he mentioned the house passed the water bill. what is left to do? >> well, the two sides, the senate and negotiators, need to
come together and settle on a final product and then present that back to their respective chambers. that is another item that needs to happen during the lame duck session. in terms of the flint funding, they're off the house building -- bill that was negotiated, it's about $170 million, the senate for flint funding, the senate contains a little bit more. probably $300 million. they'll probably have to meet -- meet somewhere in the middle. the good news for the people of flint is that donald trump has been very supportive of those efforts. he visited flint in september, spoke to a number of the residents there and has been talking a lot about infrastructure spending on the campaign trail. so i would expect, you know, everything sup in the air but i would expect that the two sides probably will be able to come together on flint in the lame
duck session. >> majority leader mcconnell in his defense briefing also prioritized getting the defense ation ize -- authorize bill and then the cures. tell us about that briefly >> i do know when mcconnell spoke to reporters the other day one of his top priorities obviously was the repeal of obama care so i think a lot of the discussion that's going to be happening in the lame duck session is going to be about what republicans into in -- do in the first 100 days of the new trump administration. that was part of the discussion that happened yesterday between trump and mcconnell and trump and ryan. -- priebus was there as well, one of those being talked about for chief of staff of the white house.
i'm hearing a loncht focus is going ton -- to be on the top priorities of those first 100 days of the administration and probably at the top is repealing obamacare. >> we started this out talking about the house elections. let's talk about the senate elections. the senate will elect a new minority lead r with harry reid retiring and it's like will be -- likely to be chuck schumer. what is that relationship etween schumer and mcconnell like? >> i think schumer is seen adds more of a deal maker than harry reid, what -- who was seen as someone who would often throw up road blocks in the process and accuse republicans of doing the same. he was a fiery leader. a former boxer. chuck schumer is from new york, more of a deal maker and it will be interesting to see how with s across the aisle
not only muck -- mitch mcconnell but with fellow new yorker chuck schumer who i assume he has known for decades. >> a preview of what's ahead in the lame duck session. scott wrong -- combong -- wong, you can follow his reporting at the hill and also on twitter. thank you. >> thank you. >> watch all the house and senate proceedings when they gavel in for the lame duck session next week. coming up on experience the palestinian authority's ambassador to the u.n. on efforts to put an end to the conflict with israel. then veterans day observances at arlington national cemetery and on "washington journal" we
talk to veterans of the iraq and afghanistan wars. the palestinian authority's ambassador to the u.n. spoke today at the palestine center's annual conference in washington, d.c. he discussed palestinian efforts to get u.n. and other international bodies to address their needs and put pressure on israel -- to resolve the conflict. the chair of the jerusalem fund sbruse the ambassador. - introduces the ambassador. >> good morning. all right. i'd like to invite those who may be outside to come in since e may be ready to start. for those of you whom i have not had the pleasure of of ng, i'm the chairman
the jerusalem fund and palestine center and it's a pleasure to welcome every one of you here. i see some familiar faces and a lot of newcomers. it's a delight to have you at our annual conference which has been an annual happening for many years. we have an excellent program for you today. but before i start that i would like to do some few housekeeping items. first, this is instructions from the staff and i better do it. that have one of those sing and classic music and beethoven, please silence it, please. did silence mine.
there will be a question and nswer period after the keynote has r, dr. mansour planned for that as well as the panel. there will be adequate time for questions and answers. for the web audience, they can at t their questions to palestine center and those on conf r, the handle is #pc 2016. gain, pcconf 2016. i hope that every one of you has picked up one of these. it has the bio of every speaker
that we have today as well as some other information about our programs and about our donors and about our committees and so on. i hope that nobody would leave the building without one of the programs. this year's palestine center annual conference will examine the current situation of alestine with an overlapping historical, sociological and political context. the panelist, and every one of them is really an expert in his or her field, will examine the salient developments in the middle east over the past century and the deep impact they have had on palestinian national aspirations all the
way from the sykes -- i like to call it the infamous sykes-pocot agreement. another one, the ball four declaration. -- balfour deliberation. we just had 99 years. november 2 was the 99th anniversary of the balfour declaration. speakers will touch on that. and the unfortunate, that's my editorial -- british mandate to the arab spring. i don't know what to call it. arab spring, arab fall, all of you are familiar with that, and its unfulfilled perhaps -- promises. experts will also offer per spectirveds on washington's
policy toward israel and palestine. in light of this year's presidential election i think all of you are aware that we've just had an election -- as well as the challenges to the p.d.s., which is boycott, divest and sanctions movement in the united states and internationally. day today we will open our conference with a keynote address delivered by a friend of mine for many, many years yad ecades, ambassador r mansour. he is the permanent observer to the state of pal -- palestine nations as well as the nonresident ambassador to costa rica and the dominican epublic.
he actually joined the of the yons iouser dr. mansour also has spent some time since that time in the private sector and served as an adjunct professor in the political science department of the university of central florida. he holds a ph.d. in counseling from the university of ackflon ohio and has published several articles about the palestinian community in the united states. i really don't know who in the united states can deliver a better perspective and so on and serve as keynote better
han dr. mansour. please join me in welcoming him. [applause] > thank you. you're ok? ok. thank you very much. he is a good friend of mine and m always every time we meet, whether today or a few years ago or years before that, i always have a wonderful personal exchange with him as friends. dd and we also have even family relations because my neff sew
married to his niece. and -- nephew is married to his niece and that sort of strengthened the relationship between us further, you know, political -- palestinian style. when you have people you know married from different families, you know, then they tend to become even closer. so i am very delighted, you know, to be here. i've seen also quite a few of some of my old friends and i just want to commend you and your board and the organization of jerusalem fund for all the wonderful things that you do in advancing the cause of justice for the palestinian people. we thank you very much for your work and of course we know that you will continue this course even if things become more complicated and more difficult. and i will always, you know,
support your efforts and i will always be with you in doing whatever i can. in order to allow you to accomplish your objectives in the best possible way. we meet today -- it's becoming like a cliche for palestinians, when we meet, we feel me -- we meet at a critical time. every time, we're meeting at a critical time. of course, you know, next year will mark the 50th anniversary of israeli occupation to the land of the state of palestine, including jerusalem, of course. 50 years of occupation is way too long of occupation. occupations usually are supposed to be of a temporary nature. they last for a few years and then they should end. to allow for reversing the
situation to the way it was before occupation. so 50 years of occupation is way too long for the palestinian people to endure. this ruthless military system of oppression against the total population of the palestinian people who live in the occupied territory and for those also who flive the diaspora. -- live in the did i ats poura -- diaspora. and next year also we will note ven years of the creation -- 70 years of the creaths of streal and the catastrophe that the palestinian people went through and are still going through, including the millions who live in refugee camps particularly in lebanon, syria, and jordan and of course at the end of next year also we will
remember with tremendous amount balfour e infamous declaration in which our national homeland wads -- was promised by a colonial power to address issues in europe at the expense of the palestinian people in one hand and also at the expense of the jews in europe instead of dealing with their tragedies in europe on the basis of those who created those tragedies for them to correct their conduct, including anti-semitism in europe, but yet they decided to expel many of them and add to their tragedies and create for 1948. situation in now this is the moment of the time for us that we'll be going
through next year. which put us in a situation at the mission of the state of palestine at the unup, myself and my team, to legislate a few things, including authorizing the committee on the inalienable rights of the palestinian people to conduct many activities in collaboration with u.n. agencies, with countries, with vil societies, with, you know, regional organizations, to do activities with the view of ending this occupation. and the committee on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the palestinian people will do all of its activities and all of you are invited to be involved in your own capacities and in the way that you wish to be active
under the banner of 2017 will be the international year to end the israeli occupation. so this is one piece of legislation that we will adopt at the united nations. now, one can say that the situation of the palestinian people is so difficult and so miserable and it is and occupation has been there for ay, way too long and there are walls, there are settlements, there is the isolation and the blockade, which is immoral and illegal against two million palestinians in the gaza strip, east jerusalem is being severed from the remaining part of the occupied palestinian territory, jerusalem is the heart of palestine so when you cut the heart from the rest of the body, the heart will not function nor will the rest of the body be functioning, so one
would -- could say that our situation could be character rirsed as very miserable, frustrating and difficult but yet we the palestinian people have a certain quality bus that we are resilient. we do not give up. we always rise up from the ashes p and tend to articulate our strategies and tactics to continue the struggle. and in this connection, i can tell you that i have been personally involved for the last, i don't know how many years in articulating a trategy to counter the israeli strategy on the ground. their strategy is to create a leg fact on the ground. stealing our land, building settlements. this is illegal from the point of view of international law. unfortunately there is no political will in the international community, particularly in the security uncil, to hold those who are
violating international law and committing all these crimes accountable. because, you know, we have the law so that thieves could be deterred from not stealing but yet we have the law so if somebody tries to steal that law, to steal, then they will be held accountable, they go to jail. in our case, international humanitarian law which was invented by the west, specifically the europeans, in order to conduct their behaviors when they fight, that occupiers and occupied people to be following certain patterns of international law of civilization. so that there are things that the occupier can do and things cannot do. one of them, you cannot transfer part of your population from your land to the occupied territory to build settlements. that is illegal. they say that to us all the time in the security council.
in fact there is a unanimous position on the illegality of settlements. they tell us it is illegal, an obstacle to peace but they don't tell us in the city council -- security council what are they going to do about israel conducting itself in this illegal manner. meaning they tell us we have on the books law to say it is illegal to steal or to kill and we know that there are killers and thieves but they don't tell us what they're going to do with those killers and thieves when they violate the law and here i am referring for example in the case of settlements. so their strategy is to create legal fact on the ground. illegal and without being held accountable because there say powerful country particularly in the security council that is shielding them and protecting
them from accountability to they don't care what the u.n. tuzz and they continue -- does and they continue in this illegal behavior. so our strategy has been for i don't know how many years, at least the last five, six or longer, you create a legal fact on the ground. our people are steadfast, staying on their land, they're resisting peacefully. a shining example of what our people do every week, in a village by the name of bilane in which they struggle peacefully with pace ofists and nanls in order to push the wall away from their land of their village and to liberate more of their land, which is their land, and to push the wall to be closer to the green line. and there are many examples of struggles of our people in the occupied territory. but in our, in my field at the
united nations, the strategy has been ok, you are creating a legal fact on the ground, i ant to create legal diplomatic , political facts at the international arena. and this is why we decided in 2011 and 2012 to go to the general assembly to legislate the recognition of the state of palestine on the borders of 1967 with east jerusalem as its capital and to change the status to an observer state, meaning that we resolve the issue whether the state of pass -- palestine exists or not. so we require the recognition of more than 2/3 majority at the international level in the u.n. to recognize the state of palestine and therefore to change the status to an observer state. that opened the door for us to
join so many treaties and conventions, including the international criminal court. so while they are creating a legal fact on the ground, we are creating legal facts by becoming equal as a state party in so many things like the climate change, the law of the sea, the whole package of human rights, the right of women, of children, the disabled and so on and so forth. they fight us and even they accuse us of what we're doing they call it diplomatic terrorism. and their actions, which is a blunt, clear violation of the law and they should be helt accountable for it, including committing war crimes because according to their own status of the i.c.c., the international criminal court, if you transfer part of your civilian population and plant them on the land of the
occupied territory, it's a war crime. so they are committing war crimes cording to art i can lase of international law and we are committing legal, civilized, peaceful action by changing our status to a state, strength -- strengthening the pillars of the state in the international arena and creating every day diplomatic and political realities. sometimes they say to us, including one time bolton said that before he was removed as an ambassador of the u.s. to the united nations and by the way, we hear rumors that he might be coming back again to new york -- when he fights against our resolution in order to convince people not to vote in favor of these resolutions and when he is defeated, he says these resolutions are meaningless. they don't mean anything. they have -- they are just only ink on pieces of paper.
no, they're not. upholding international law is not a joke, it is something serious. so while we're deepening the pillars of pass -- palestine in the international arena, one might ask what is the value of that? i can tell you the value is tremendous. maybe not for those in the tremps to see the meaning and value of pass -- palestine as a state is marching slowly in the direction of eventually washington and tale viv cannot defy the fact that we exist as a nation, as a state and the land of our state is under occupation and it will be a matter eve time before they have to accept this reality. because when the world accepts us as a state, when the world is excited about us, when we put ballots on the boxes and we vote as a state, when the world is accepting us to be a responsible state and to elect us a vice president of this
conference, a vice president of that convention, these are but small steps in the direction of saying u can steal part of our land and build more settlements but you can't erase the fact the plip people exist and are recognized and welcomed by the great majority of nations as a state and we are continuing this march. and in this connection, we started a process about a month and a half ago. of trying to legislate something in the security council, particularly around settlements. because they are telling us as i said in the security council that settlements is illegal and the main obstacle to peace. said fine, if this is your position, and we agree with you, tell us what you're going to do about it. they are not telling us what they want to do about it. then we said the palestinian observer is going to tell you what we are going to do about it. we are going to legislate
something to that effect. and in fact just a few days ago, we had a resolution adopted in the first committee on settlements. and for the first time, we used language of condemnation and we used and succeeded in negotiations with the europeans who voted all of them unanimously in favor of that resolution, that if israel does not abide by its obligation, under international law, and the provisions of the charter, with regard to settlements, hen we -- then the option of considering accountability is an option to be put on the table. that is good for you, with gard to d.d.s. and other things, that there's a possibility of small door to be opened for sanctions, quote unquote. they are forcing us to go that route. if you are not listening to the law and not listening to what
everybody is telling you to do, now after a long march, particularly with the europeans, they are accepting the concept that if you don't abide by the law, then we will be possibly entertaining the concept of accountability. of course, they don't use sanctions. i know that this is a big word, and they're afraid of it. but the march in that direction you have to do it one step at a time. and i believe some of these steps are taking place. so it is not as gloomy as one can think although the israeli government is working day and night to have erosion of our position at the united nations. they might be influencing one african country, influencing in another place. but in general, they are not fundamentally succeeding in this arena. so that's -- that's part of our
strategy as we move forward. now, with regard to this resolution, as i said, on settlements, we heard very constructive consultations with all members of the security council. and we gave them a sheet of paper, one page, that constitutes the elements where we believe that should be contained in such a resolution. of course, some of the arabs and some in washington, d.c., they were saying wait until the election because they were thinking that hillary clinton would win and they were insinuating that the president before he leaves, he might put on the table a draft resolution and parameters. so in the negotiation with them, i said to samantha, we have two products for you, when i went with the global arab ambassador as part of our negotiation with members of the security council.
here we have a draft resolution on settlements. the president barack obama is saying that he wants to preserve the two-state solution. the main obstacle against the two-state solution is settlements. so adopt being a resolution on settlements would serve his objective of trying to preserve the two-state solution. if you don't like that, we have another product for you. ok. allow our application in the security council for admission as a full member of the state of palestine to be adopted. you don't like option a, you don't like option b, tell us what you have. but if you tell us after the election you're not going to do anything, we are not going to accept that option. we're not going to accept wait until the trump administration to take place in january because if we wait until that, we know that that administration will tell us wait until we constitute ourself. wait until we get ready.
wait, wait, wait, the story of our life with the u.s. administration is nonstop waiting. we're not going to wait. so it's either you put on the table something that we look at, or we are going to advance our plans for having a resolution and settlement. of course, we send a report to the arab foreign minister with all the details of the position of all the 15 countries on these two drafts. and we are awaiting instructions from them and i sincerely hope that they have the guts, the spine to say proceed with a draft resolution and settlement. and we will see. we are not looking for a veto. but we want the u.s. administration, including president barack obama, before he leaves, to do something congruent with his position and what he articulates every day that he wants to preserve the two-state solution. we think the resolution and settlement is extremely useful.
because israel needs to receive a strong political message from the international community that the international community cannot continue to tolerate their intransigence and disregard to international law and to the wish of the international community. so we will see. hopefully soon, something will happen. and i personally sincerely hope that we can proceed in the security council and try to have a resolution adopted on settlements. that's on the security council front. if the new administration, and i hope they do not show bilge rancy -- belligerency against us more than we've seen but if they want to start attacking us left and right, moving the capital to jerusalem and to condone settlements and what have you, then nobody should blame us from unleashing all of the weapons that we have in the
united nations to defend ourselves. and we have, believe me, a lot of weapons. and we are not a small something at the united nations. we are a strong, well respected, well supported by more than 150, 160, 170 countries that vote occasionally in favor of our resolutions against a handful of countries including israel and the united states and i don't want to count micronesia and solomon islands and other countries that altogether do not -- you know, reach even the number of both of your hands. five, two, three, six, canada is among them. but of course we hope that canada would -- you know, change its behavior and conduct itself in a different way. and we are engaging them. and if you can also engage them by all means, and also engage
the new administration not to show more of an excessive, unfair, negative position against the palestinian people, they need to be as balanced as possible if they want to contribute to solving this conflict after 50 years of occupation, after 70 years, i think that they should resort to a balanced approach and by all means we invite all of our friends who have influence with washington or could have influence with washington to work in this regard. for us, internally, we need to put an end to our division. we need to put an end to the fact that we have gaza and ramallah. we need to have national unity because national unity is in the essence of the national interest of the palestinian
people. we can disagree within the house, but we should not divide the house. we should put an end to this division. we need to have national unity. and we need of course to agree on details of the strategy of how we conduct ourself as we move forward, particularly after the american elections and after we put our house in order, and also taking into account what is really happening in the middle east. finally, to our friends in the civil society organizations, including, we appreciate what you do. and you are playing a very important role in complementing the struggle of the palestinian people whether on the ground or in the field and all fields and we are all complimenting each other for the same objective of accomplishing the inail enable right of the palestinian people. we will do more things in new
york with a committee on the exercise of the inalienable rights with all civil society organizations including those in the united states of america working in all fields including p.d.s. it was israeli ambassador who brought 1,000 jewish american students to new york to combat p.d.s. when the journalist asked me what do you think of that, i said he is the one who is bringing this issue to the agenda of the u.n., and it is not the agenda of the u.n. and i said bring it on. so that i invite our friends in .d.s. and other -- other organizations you are welcome to come to new york and welcome to organize your conferences and meetings, and we will be helping you there in order to really help the struggle of the palestinian people to put an end to this tragedy. i think i spoke more than enough. i don't want you to be gloomy that we are himless and we cannot do anything.
we can do a lot and we are doing a lot. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, dr. mansour. agreed to take questions and we have a lot of time for questions. that's the way it was structured. so i believe that we have time for probably all the questions. to take. >> we talked a lot about the settlements. question. one in the united states and the united states government, as was mentioned, they said they are illegal. and i last few years,
raise this up in one of the meetings, and he did not answer it. and i want to know from those who are experts in this anguage, what's the difference or the legitimate changing from legal? ambassador mansour: do you want me to take a few questions and deal with them together? >> it's all yours. ambassador mansour: ok. maybe three or four. and then i'll respond to them altogether. >> ok. ambassador mansour: make sure they're gender balanced. [laughter] >> gender balanced. right. of course. >> we'll try to balance both sections out. >> thank you. you made a lot of very important questions. my question is about the relationship these days
diplomatically of palestine with with the arab governments. you mentioned going to the arab regimes at the u.n.. there's been lots of changes obviously in the last several years of those governments. and i'm wondering if you could give us a kind of overview of where palestine stands in terms of those governments that are trying very hard to win support in washington particularly. >> ok. >> young man in this section. >> thank you very much for your time. i'm with the institute for palestine studies. just one question. i know we're all talking about the new leadership here in the u.s. with president-elect trump. but there's also new leadership t the united nation, antonio guteras will be the new
secretary general as well. the palestinian leadership on what role he might have, an active approach to deal with palestinian compared to general ban ki-moon. thank you. >> i'm ronald wilson and work with the commission on refugees. and from my perspective, it seems like there's already a two-state that exists in palestine. just that the international community might not recognize it. but i do believe that you are in the same position as south africa was on apartheid and also in india under the british rule. and i think that regardless of -- not recognize you, you do exist. and if you exert your dominion as a sovereign nation, externally to other nations, with ambassadorships and i'm
thinking in due time that that cloud, that colonialism that's dominating you will break and it will also have to subside. >> ok. these are four excellent questions. you want to tackle these before we go to the next round? ambassador mansour: ok. dr. mosur asked about this linguistic question. dr. mosur asked the question, the linguistic questions, the difference between illegal and legitimate. i don't claim that i'm edwar saed who was a linguistic professor of contemporary languages at columbia university. but i think that this new language used by the united states was relatively new. they are on the record as having voted on resolutions related to illegality of
settlement activities. and i believe that of course 14 members of the security council , they're -- they use the language illegal. the secretary general of the united nations ban ki-moon and the new secretary general-elect antonio gutierrez also used illegal. we are not yet at the final language of the text. what we need from the united states of america is to accept the concept that the security council has a role to play, and it has to legislate a new resolution on settlements. if they are onboard, then we will begin the exercise of the language. but yet we need to get commitment from them that yes, they will allow the security council to shoulder its responsibility and adopt a resolution there. in arabic, for example, if you
translate both of them, they amount to the same thing. perhaps maybe in other languages, you know. but in english, it appears that there are differences. they're too close to each other. but i don't think that they are snon in us with each other -- they are synonymous with each other. but there's no need for us to engage in a linguistic discussion. we need to reach the moment of a political decision, yes, the security council has a role to play and it has to legislate a resolution to deter israel from continuing on this path. and that's part of the sequences of israel continuing this illegal behavior. and if we are all onboard, including the united states of america, then we need to find the appropriate language that would address that issue. hyllis, you put your finger on
something very important. we wanted as palestine to go to the security council from the beginning of the year on that question of settlements. and in fact, i have a very, very tedious exercise through the consul of arabic ambassadors to move in that direction. sometimes they use big language but they have not necessarily kosher intentions. like saying that we had resolution in the past on settlements that are so powerful, so strong, why do we need to have a diluted new resolution, ok? but the essence of that argument is don't go to the security council on settlements. of course, the fact that we had a resolution, let's say, in 1980, that called even for the dismantling the settlements and having, you know, a reporting mechanism to the security council, to the fact that we had that strong resolution, does this mean that we should not go back to the security council to have a resolution
and settlement? i don't believe that. we have to go always to the security council to shoulder its responsibility to put israel in the corner with regard to this illegal behavior with a view that this illegal behavior has to stop. because we cannot have opening doors for peace as long as this illegal behavior continues to xhibit itself. and, you know, ronald said, you know, that we could be moving into a situation similar to south africa. those who are continuing this illegal behavior on settlements are creating that one-state reality with two political systems which is apartheid. and that has been acknowledged by many including the secretary general of the u.n., the special representative, and even in the white house and in washington, d.c., in their
defense to israel, they are saying that the path that you continue on one-state reality, you're destroying the dream -- destroying the dream of zionism of having a state that is jewish or a jewish state. so therefore, you know, the arabs at that time used -- some of them used that argument and others used the argument we don't want to have a veto. what is the value of a veto? as if we are the ones who decide whether a veto will be cast or not. we will negotiate in good faith. we will use all the possible arguments to convince the united states of america to be onboard and to legislate. but at the end of the day, the united states is responsible for its action whether it will allow a resolution to be adopted or obstructed. if they obstruct it, they should be held responsible for their obstructionist policy inside the security council. now -- then i floated a draft resolution in march. and they said we cannot proceed
until we get authorization from the arab ministerial community. they're a small arab ministerial community. and that arab ministerial community did not meet for six months to consider the issue. and then we -- when we made a huge stink in september over this issue, they met. they authorized us to begin the consultation as consul of arab ambassadors. now, why are the arabs behaving this way or some of the arab countries? they are our brothers. we appreciate their help. we belong to that group. and they are, you know, our strategic, you know, depth. and of course, you know, they -- the arabs are, if they are unified, to a certain extent on any issue, they are unified on the question of palestine. but they exhibit this behavior because there are those among them that think that if we go to the security council in the
current conditions, and push the united states and they use a veto, and the environment of russians using vetos versus syria, then from their perspective, as it relates to the issues as they relate to syria or iran, then that is important to them. and unfortunately, when they think a lot that way, in certain ways, it is at the expense of the palestine question. here we go again that they were also floating an idea that after the election, and when hillary clinton wins, then president barack obama will put something more important than settlements parameters. i think that that reality is not with us anymore. there is going to be a new person in the white house. it's not hillary clinton. now, what will president barack obama do before he leaves? will he allow something to be
put on the table? i think that if we do not work hard, if we do not continue with the momentum that we generated, not only through the consultation, but we had a very important meeting under what's called the area formula which is an open meeting, an official open meeting for the security council in which they bring experts. and they brought among the experts two very important individuals. one from basilim and the other is from washington, d.c., from american peace now. both of them said very clearly to the security council, you have to act. settlements are illegal. you have to act to stop it. and occupation has to end. israeli ambassador made a statement that the head of basilem who participated is engaging in the diplomatic terrorism. and they are now trying to have a piece of legislation in the knesset to deprive him of his
israeli leadership. he was talking about fascism. you're talking about crazy things. those cannot even tolerate a jew, israeli, to disagree with them on this issue. and they will -- they are entertaining the idea of taking their citizenship away from them. with all the fairness, the u.s. representative in both in the area formula and in the open debate, defended basilem and defended the lady from american peace now. and in the two occasions. but will that mean that the united states of america will allow the security council to legislate something on settlement remains to be seen. so the issue with my brother, the arabs, is not easy. they are fixated on other issues. iran. syria. yemen. and by, you know, a derivative of that, that the palestine question is on the back burner.
for me, i have always to keep the palestine question alive. front burner. middle burner. i have to keep it alive at the united nations. and we created this momentum as i said during the course -- the month of october. we need to continue with it and not to accept a new form of delay. let's wait until the new administration takes place in washington, d.c. we cannot wait. we need to act. and we need to act now. as a representative of baselem said to members of the security council. with regard to gures -- gutierrez -- antonio gutierrez is a very, very smart diplomat and he worked for the u.n. for a long period of time. very, very smart, very quick on his feet. was the prime minister of partigan. he speaks many languages. in fact i was in a meeting with all ambassadors at the u.n.
and they were asking questions, including of course palestine spoke and asked questions. and he was answering in english, in french, in spanish, in portuguese. very fluent in all these languages. and he was quick, you know, understanding the essence of every question. responding to the essence of every question in a very concise way. and i spoke at the end and i was frustrated when i spoke. at 75. because i'm an observer. i said i speak at the end. when will i speak? you know, free at last, free at last, remember the famous, speech of martin luther king? i'm frustrated. i don't want to keep speaking at the end. and then i said what are you going to do differently than other s.g.'s to see the end of occupation and the independence of the state of palestine and therefore saving the two-state sthrution? -- solution? he said in front of everyone that it will give me -- nothing will give me more pleasure than
celebrating the moment to see the independence of the state of palestine and to see the state of palestine and israel living in peace and security next to each other. i invited him of course to palestine. and he will visit us hopefully soon next year. and let's hope that in his time watch, we'll see something good happening to palestine. and with regard to apartheid in palestinian, of course, president carter wrote a famous book on that connection. one-state solution, extremists in israel that keep pushing for one-state reality, then they are bringing with it the virus of apartheid. so if this is what -- if they think that apartheid in our area will survive, they need to think again. it did not survive in south africa. i don't think it can survive in palestine israel. >> ok. heshmer. g -- mr.
>> i'm sorry. you had a very good statement here today. i'm wondering why our position is not well explained to americans. is it the question of the media? and the media is not very friendly. i understand that. i'm a media person. to -- why don't we resort to the obvious way of doing it which is advertising? as you will know, in the last two months, the israeli side has eight full pages in "the new york times." is it too expensive for you or the arab governments to put a full-page ad just to cover your remarks today? highlight them? you're an excellent speaker. and an excellent spokesman and i heard a lot about you. but we need to get the american public aware of what's going on.
especially if we get a right wing regime in this country. times. or mansour: many >> what about a full page ad? put the article -- money. i know. [laughter] well, i'll tell you what, i have a followup. we can campaign for financial support for a full-page article. ambassador mansour: ok. >> all right. we're going to have a question from there and then we move to this side. yes, sir. >> the gender balance. i see one, two. i'm just answering the -- >> hi. mark harrison with the united methodist choach office in washington. during the anti-apartheid era i was greatly involved in the u.n. had these conferences mainly pushed by african governments on ending apartheid. and white majority rule.
what do you think of a committee for the inalienable rights of palestine to have an international conference during the 50th year of the occupation and bring international n.g.o.'s and others together? i know the u.n. always says they have regional conferences on this issue. but there needs to be -- do you think a need of an international conference in solidarity? >> all right. there are two ladies. >> thank you so much for being here. oh, sorry. thank you so much for being here and for your talk. my name is maya abud from georgetown university and also running a startup called go palestine which i can tell you all about later. i wanted to ask you about -- you talked about the weapons that we have in the u.n. in working with a lot of young palestinian activists, there's
a bit of a disillusionment with the u.n. structure feeling that because of the way the security council has the veto power, because of the u.s.'s inability to make any progress in its decision making, will never be able to push these kinds of fantastic resolutions forward. so what -- what are those weapons that we have if the u.s. pushes it -- pushes back and we can't push this resolution forward with the veto? thank you. >> ok. mr. kilani and we will also take a fifth question from the left. >> i'm waheed kalini, board member of the jerusalem fund. today, donald trump said that u.s. oing to move the from tel aviv to jerusalem. i would like your views on what impact that would do and what
can be done. >> ok. last question of this round. the young lady on the left. >> my name is nina sharakin and came from houghton, michigan, jufflet to attend -- just to attend this. i'm passionate about palestinian issues. [applause] ok. i would like to know what ambassador riyad said those secret weapons. because why have they not been used before? because we are really desperate right now. and then also from year to year, i always attended these u.s.-arab relation conferences in october. nd when i hear, for example, talking about palestine, it was heartwarming. but i'm so frayed from year to year, we are just talking. and now two administrations
have gone by, by obama, nothing has materialized. so what -- what i would like to know is about this arab government. because we know also at the same time that few countries like u.a.e., qatar, they have a relationship with israel under the table. and also yesterday, i read that donald trump said that settlements are not an obstacle. so could you respond to all of that. thank you. >> thank you. these are five excellent questions. dr. mansour. ambassador mansour: ok. with regard to the question sked by my friend, heshmer, if there are those who think that advertising is a good thing to do, to put in "the new york times" and "the washington post," and you have the resources, by all means, please do it.
now, for us, you know, we do -- at the united nations and people vote in our resolutions and we organize conferences and meetings and do things in order to articulate our position. of course, we cannot public linebacker our position everywhere. that's why we are relying on friends like you and others to also, you know, to do some of that work. and maybe good campaigns of -- to have one page advertisement of anything that you wish and if you want help from us in terms of articulating the message, we will be more than delighted to do so. but i think that there is a tremendous amount of opportunity for all those who want to work and why are you here this morning all of you in this large number? because you want to do something. you -- eager to do something and this is a wonderful spirit. and you can do whatever you
think it's a good idea. get the people who believe in that idea. and try to make it a reality. i think it could be done. but as i said to you, from our side, we try to sometimes publish op-ed or whatever we can and interviews, in order to convey our message to the largest number of audience that we can reach. the gentleman back there, mark hisan, i believe, from the methodist. we are on the same wavelength. we had the retreat for the palestine committee and the exercise of the rights of the palestinian people. we are planning to organize for civil society, activists, whomever, big international conference as we used to do in the old days. and we are thinking of doing it in june to mark the 50th anniversary. you're all invited. you, your friends, the
methodists are very good and active friends. we have good relationship with them in new york city. and -- but that is not only in new york which we are intending do. but organize as many activities in washington, in chicago, and san francisco, in all the cities everywhere, try to mobilize all of your friends, all the organizations to do as many activities as possible as -- in the year 2017 which will be the international year to end the israeli occupation. but from the point of view of the palestinian committee at the u.n., we are going to have an international conference in june to commemorate that occasion. with regard to the isillusionment of some young palestinians, i can understand that. when you're young you tend to be more radical. i was young and i was super radical when i was young, you
know. and when you get older, you know, you try to balance between the heart and the gray and churchill said when you're young you have to think from your heart and when you are old you have to think from your brain. i think that i'm trying to use both of them. and of course the young, they want more things and this is good to have them. it is good that they push and they push and they push more. they keep us on the right track. if we -- if we try to be complacent and not to try as hard as we should. and i'm delighted that more than half of my team are young. and i always tell them, challenge me. don't -- disagree with me. it doesn't mean that i will agree with your articulation but always don't be afraid to say what you believe in. because this is how we can take into account all the positions and opinions. and therefore serve palestine in the best possible way as we
should serve palestine in the best possible way because it's a noble cause. now, have we used these weapons? i just gave you an example of our strategy. and we in new york, myself and my team, we were able to influence the leadership thinking to push for that direction. i was a junior young very radical diplomat in 1988 when we declared independence. i pushed for doing what we did in 2012. i was leading a minority faction then at 1988. and we, because i felt when we declared the independence in 1988, we could have gone directly to the general assembly to change our status. unfortunately, i was overruled because i was among the minority. when i came back, in 2005 as an ambassador, that was one of the issues in my head. and we were able to articulate
the strategy that the leadership accepted. promoted and worked for it. and it was culminated in the historic resolution adopted on november 29, 2012, in which the general assembly recognized the state and changed the status. now, what are some of these potent weapons? from 2012 now, when you see that palestine is a state party equal to all other states in all these cities and conventions, this is part of that weapon. and even when i go to conferences, in which we have to sit in alphabetical order they're very used to us to sit in the back. as observers. and often habits with the organizers of conferences, palestine, they sit in the back. no. this conference is all state formula. i sit in alphabetical order and train my team open your eyes.
every conference they could make these mistakes and correct the mistakes and go outside the building and see if our flag is out or not. if our flag is at the end make sure that -- to tell the organizer it should be in alphabetical order. i was in a meeting, and i went outside and our flag was at the end. i said i am calling ban ki-moon now who is in charge. they were terrified. they said we made a mistake. i need it to be corrected. they said at 8:00 tomorrow morning it will be corrected. i was there at 8:00 in the morning with my camera. just to make sure that they corrected. now, of course, people do not see these things. but these are remarkable things. we are -- when you see that the flag of palestine as we legislated that, and implemented that last year, to be flying in front of the u.n., it's inspiring to me. and to my team. and to all those who come and visit. these are the kind of things that we do. now, i said that we are using
peaceful diplomatic, legal, civilized methods. but if people attack us by trying to move jerusalem, i mean, the embassy to jerusalem, which is violation of security council resolutions, it is resolution 181, which was drafted by the united states of america. so if the u.s. administration nts to violate the legal things that they were legal in legislating, it means they are showing bilge rancy against -- belligerency against us. and what can i do? maybe i cannot have resolutions in the security council. but i can make their life miserable every day precipitating a veto on my admission as a member state. italy, for example, in 1949, received three consecutive vetos on their admission to the united nations from the soviet
union. the united states would come today, we are putting the application of italy for admission. the soviet union would cast a veto. the following day the united states, we are submiterring the application. the soviet union, will do a veto. if they are going to do these things, these are the kind of things that i can do. you show belligerency against me, then i will do the things that i can. i can have emergency meetings in the security council. i can reopen the whole pandora box about the ruling of the i.c.j. on -- with all of its regimes and settlements. so i'll do what i can do. i do it legally. they do illegal things. because it is illegal to defy a security council resolution. the united states is party to it saying that the unilateral action of israel of annexing of jerusalem is illegal and it is null and void without legal ramifications. that is international law. if the u.s. administration
wants to defy international law, they are doing something illegal. my retaliation will be legal and i hope we do not see that reality. because many candidates during the election promised a similar promise. but they did not implement it. because what you do when you're campaigning is something. but when you deal with the legal things, it's something else. we sincerely hope they don't go that route. we sincerely hope they don't do that. and we sincerely hope they don't move from illegal to legitimate to it is not an obstacle or what it was. it is not -- not an obstacle to peace. which is -- the israeli language. and the u.s. administration as the young lady who came from michigan. and we thank you for coming from michigan to washington for this conference. if she thinks that ok, now, they're going to say that settlements are condoned,
that's another violation of international law. we hope they don't do that. we hope that this is just only talk. but if they want to go the path of trying, you know, to act illegally, nobody should blame us for defending ourselves legally. and that's what i meant by this, you know, the potent weapons that we have. maybe the young might say well, this is only a resolution. as one time i was interinterviewed by al jazeera and was asking me what are you doing at the u.n.? i said i -- i explained what i was doing. then he said well, all these resolutions are meaningless. i said, i don't think they are meaningless. i'll give you an example. when we legislate resolutions every time, for example, for the mandate of onawa and making this organization that looks after the palestinian refugees in which -- and spends more than $1 billion annually to educate more than half million palestinian children, and to
provide some health care for the palestine refugees, and in the social services, to me, this is important. he screamed at me e he said i don't care who gets educated. and did did you liberate palestine? i didn't lib rat palestine but i'm doing useful things that would allow onawa. if it wasn't for onawa we wouldn't be having the contemporary refugee movement because it came from the refugee camps and we are thank until to onawa for doing these things. when i negotiate with the europeans, and my team, language to try to stabilize the financial situation of onawa and we succeeded in some language to that effect, and may be to have portion of onawa budget as part of the permanent budget of the u.n., and not to keep it, you know, at the mercy of voluntary contribution, i think that this is a valuable
contribution in a concrete way to the struggle of the palestinian people. these are the things that we do. if some of the young people see it as irrelevant, it's too bad but this is an important thing that we need to do it. it is the responsible thing to do. in order to try to minimize the pain of our people while we are steadfast and continuing the struggle until we succeed in putting an end to the occupation and accomplishing the attainment of inalienable rights of the palestinian people. i think it's valuable. >> ambassador, very quickly -- >> sir, we have other >> possible and as a weapon for -- focused on s stay our questions. one more question. -- otherwise ve a we will be here all day. ambassador mansour: shall we have the last round? >> no.
we don't have time for it. do you want to say anything -- >> the arab government that -- >> yes. ambassador mansour: i'm sorry. >> and then we have a break. ambassador mansour: listen, you know, it's not our job to add more misery to our people and to have more problems and to invite more enemies. we are part of the arab nations. we know how some of them think because they have their own calculations. including those who might think that they are in the same camp with israel, objectively speaking, not intentionally speaking. because they are afraid of iran, for example, in the region. so they justify some of these activities based on that. of course, as i said, this tends to push our question into the back burner. that doesn't mean that, you know, they are becoming our enemies. those arab countries.
we don't look for enemies. we have a formidable enemy supported by a superpower, the united states of america. that is more than enough to handle. so we are in the business of always trying to have more friends, even who will accept half a friend better than nothing. this is our responsibility in defending the rights and minimizing the pain of our people. and that is a responsible way of being a leader in looking for ways to minimize the pain of your people and to maximize the gains. again, thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much. we have two panels and we need to stay on time. there are some refreshments and pastries and etc. over there. let's have a 15-minute break. and then come back for the first panel. thank you.
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