tv Charlie Rose PBS September 9, 2010 11:50am-12:00pm PST
there's a long list of these places. if i have any kind of reputation it was that i was the man for hard places and nasty places so i should have understood this better but what happens was i became so transfixed by writing about that terror and not doing it from london or cairo but writing it around baghdad dateline about this terror to the point that the information minister called me in on one occasion when my visa remule had been denied and he said oh he took to call megathe most dangerous man in iraq, he was mocking me, of course. but he was saying in effect, how brave you are now when off suit of armor that protects you at the "new york times," they're trying to avoid a war. you know we're not going to knock you on the head now. wait any friend until the war is inevitable then we'll come for you. which they did. that's another story. he said to me when we discussed my visa. he said "all right, you have
written about our president killing people." i said he killed over a million people. he said "now it's going to be an american president killing iraqis. will you write about that?" i said "of course i will." to me whoever does it for whatever reasons there's a compulsion to write about it. so it could be that my experience-- which put me on one hand to understand what a traumatized society iraq was also caused know spend more time and energy than perhaps i should have done writing about the terror and less time and energy than i should have done prospectively talking about the kind of society that the united states was going to confront once those troops rolled into baghdad. >> rose: i want to talk more about david cameron and his government and austerity and what the "economist" called sort of this breathtaking gamble,
perhaps. >> 25% to 40% cuts in the budgets of most government departments over the next five years. it's an extraordinary venture of a kind that we haven't seen attempted in our lifetimes that i can think of. will they manage to pull it off? we'll have a clearer idea after the 22nd of october when the government presents its precise spending plans and cuts to the house of commons. >> rose: we do not know the specificity at this time? >> we don't. we're beginning to get a sense of it. we're beginning to see it's going to involve some extremely painful things everywhere from the closures of schools and the cancellation of school building programs to the closures of hospital wards and the layoff of hundreds of thousands thousandsc servants and, by the way, deep cuts in the defense budget of this country. so far i think the country is listening to the extent that the popularity of this government--
although they have laid these plans out in general-- are pretty stable. there doesn't seem to be yet any sign of recovery in the fortunes of the labour party defeated at the election which was responsible in large measure for these gigantic crushing deficits which cameron has to... but it's a difficult thing to pull off. if cameron pulls it off he will, i think, enter into the league of british prime ministers of... who stand high in the reckoning of history. mrs. thatcher would have been the most recent of them. >> rose: but this is the challenge that even ms. thatcher didn't... >> no, she didn't. she did have an taws tearty program. it was nowhere near the same scale as this. in fact she was very careful about it in her first term and then she had the fall cannes war this which made her unbeatable in the second election. cameron doesn't have that advantage. he's new to government.
he never held a position in government before this so he has take an very high-risk gamble which as you know president obama and the secretary of the treasury timothy geithner feel is in some respects ill-judged. we'll just have to see. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> thank you, charlie. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org ztecs,@st with s