tv Charlie Rose PBS August 10, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
. >> rose: welcome to the program, we begin tonight with tensions between the united states and north korea. we talk to david ignatius of "the washington post" and jamie metzl senior fellow at the atlantic council. >> president trump muses believe that this is his secret weapon, if you will, that being seen as a risk-taker, willing to do anything, that that is going to convince china to get involved. i think he, this is the greatest test of his career, his presidency may hinge on how he behaves. he seems to thing that he's got it calibrated right and almost everybody else seems to disagree. >> rose: we continue with james war when-- warren chief media writer for poynter and "vanity fair" magazine. his latest pees is "the new york
times" versus "washington post" versus trump the last great newspaper war. >> i think it's a classic on one level newspaper war but it's also one in which both could win but also both could lose. so to that extent, it's not like your traditional newspaper war. and the ultimate questions have to do with a combination of factors including the ongoing implosion of the traditional business model, the media, and then the coming of a president of the united states who so actively tries to devalue and delegitimize the press. >> rose: we con clues with eye vor prickett he documented the battle of mosul as a photographer for "the new york times." his photographs show both the humanitarian and destructive side of war. >> what i'm interested in as a photographer when i'm working in these kind of situations is the toll that war has on the people caught up in it, both the
soldiers themselves and the civilians. but it's really, you know, the human toll. >> rose: north korea, james warren and eye vor prickett when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose is provided by the following. bank of america, life better connected. >> >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> tensions between the united states and north korea escalated dramically following president
trump's warning that the country's nuclear threat would be met with fire and fury. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury, like the world has never seen. he has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as i said they will be met by fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before. >> rose: the president remarks came after reports had emerged that in the korea developed a miniature warhead, rex tillerson attempted to calm fears of military confrontation with north korea following the president's comments. >> what the president is didding is sending strong language to north korea in language kim
jung-un would understand because he doesn't understand normal language. -- with the unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies and i think it was porn that he deliver that message to avoid any miscalculation on their part. >> rose: north korea thaid-- korea said it is carefully exaping a plan to strike guam. mattis said jim kungun-- kim jung-un should cease any retaliations that would end the regime and drusks its people. joining me is david ignatius, columnist for "the washington post," in new york jamie metzl, senior fellow at the atlantic council. first to washington and david. so david, where are we and how close are we to some dramatic miscalculation? >> whal, the chance of miscalculation is real and now a constant. i think we're in the early stages of what i would have to
call nuclear brinksmanship. the president is directly threatening military action, hr mcmaster as national security advisor has said the president regards the north korean nuclear missile threat on the united states as intolerable. i take him at his word. that means that he and secretary mattis and others are preparing military options. at the same time, in this period of brinksmanship there is a very active diplomatic effort under way in which the united states is trying to convince china that the danger of american action is so great that china should infect mediate negotiations, reconvening, if you will, of the six party talks that took place a decade ago, to try to negotiate denubbing larrization of the korean peninsula. so it is a fin es game, to have the president use such red hot rhetoric in such a delicate moment, i think astonished many
observers, certainly me, and drew today comments much more measured comments from secretary mattis and secretary tillerson trying to emotionally walk it back. i just don't think it's possible. the president uses language like that, people remember it. >> rose: and you can in the walk it back. are you saying t is out there and it matches the language of kim jung-un. i mean he uses the same words, fire and walls and balls of fire, raining down on you. >> they're almost cartoon kowntd images. i think the president trump must believe that this is his secret weapon, if you will, of being seen as a risk-taker, willing to do anything, that that is going to convince china to get involved. i think he-- this is the greatest test of his career, his presidency i think may hinge on how he behaves.
he seems to think he has it calibrated right and almost everybody else 150e78s to disagree. >> rose: he also miscalculated in terms of if he promised the chinese it would he would be less difficult on trade if they would do something on north cor yarks they didn't do it. then he began to criticize them so the trade as part of the threat he's wielding the chinese, help us out or we'll have trecial consequences we might go to war with north korea, we might slap you with trade sanctions that would be devastating for your economy. i understand all the pressure points. to do this all in public the way the president does and sometimes in 140 character slices, that's the part that's hard to understand. these are the most delicate subtle messages and so much hinges on themment you just want to make sure that they're better
calibrated than they seem to be. >> how do you see it? >> i think this is really concerning. the world has already fact erred in that the supreme leader of north korea is hostile. he has verbal excesses, he's unpredictable. that is already fact erred in. the world has not fact erred in that the president of the united states will play that role. and so when president trump says things like we are going to bring this fire and fury, greater than the world has ever seen, that means nuclear war. and so for the president of the united states to be threatening nuclear war in this kind of situation is extremely destabilizing. a lot of this is dram blanca at the end of the day, all the countries have their interest. china is not interested in the conflict, north korea, they would like to threaten but they know if they have an attack on the united states or any of our allies that could likely mean the end of their country and that is not what they want. the united states knows if we have some kind of military action, that particularly seoul
will be severely damaged and tens or hundreds of thousands of people will be killed. so a lot of this is drama. but we have ownerred, injected into this very complex situation, the unpredict ability of the american president. and i think that's what is hanging this context. >> david, i talked to the former vice chairman joint chiefs of staff this morning on cbs this morning. he suggested that in the koreans do not want to attack the united states. what this really is is in their mind a kind of deterrent to being attackedment because they generally believe the united states would like to come in and overthrow the regime or damage it in some other way. do you believe that and do most of the people in the national security apparatus believe that? >> i, well, i think judgements differ. whether the north koreans are doing this for self-protection because they fear that kim jung-un doesn't want to end up like moammar qaddafi giving up
his nuclear weapons then being deposed and killed soon after, or whether there is a more hostile intent is hard to know. there is a cult of militant self-reliance that is really the foundation of the modern north korea, that backs all this up. i just like jamie, i think the danger of miscalculation, misreading north korea is so large now, i spent a lot of today talking with people about what would be involved if, as our military commanders begin to think about military options. and it is an immensely complicated problem. it's not just the population of seoul would be in effect hostage to the north korean missile strikes, conventional missile strikes. there are perhaps a million, up to a million americans who are
there. a million nonamerican foreigners there. you have a situation in which the troops would be rushing north, the civilians flee south. it just, it is the most complicated and potentially catastrophic battle space. secretary mattis said this would be the worst kind of battle field situation we've seen in the world since world war ii. and i think when mattis says that, you better take it seriously. >> let me understand this. i don't really understand this. have the american people at the pentagon and at the white house, the leadership of the national security community, have they ruled out the idea that they can live with north korea having nuclear weapons? that they can contain them? >> i think containment is not the order of the day. the president has essentially said the situation with north korea possesses these weapons is intolerable. now you can argue that we've
already passed that threshhold, that they have by the di estimates, "the washington post" cited yesterday, they have between 50 and 60 nuclear weapons already. and they mastered the technology for miniaturizing them and putting them on top of missile. so in truth, we may be locking the barn door far too late. but i think that this line is, i don't think it's a bluff. the problem is when a president says and has his national security advisors say this is not acceptable to the united states t is intolerable, then you almost are required to back it up. and i think that's again part of the problem is this is so public, we're back in this red line territory that ended up being crippling for the obama presidency. >> but you remember that obama used to say the same thing about iraq. i mean iran having nuclear weapons. it was unacceptable. we would never stand for that. >> again, there is a diplomatic track. if the united states can bring
enough pressure to bear, can get enough support from china and others to open these talks, the idea that they begin next month when the general assembly convenes, that is an extraordinarily positive development, the moment in which china steps up to its responsibilities and we have the denubbing larrization of the korean peninsula is a desirable goal for everybody. i don't want to rule out the idea that we can get there. rhe. >> rose: you wrote a thing called 12 things for trump to know about north korea. what does he need to know about north korea, and the possibility of engaging china in the solution. >> there are a few really big things. the first is that north korea is
developing nuclear weapons for very rational reasons, north korean lead ares wanted to get the level of security they get by having nuclear weapons, by building a conventional army, they would spend hundreds of times more than their entire gdp. so it's a very rational act by the north koreans, because they are focused on regime survival. and so because of that, the only way the north koreans are going to give up their nuclear weapons is if they come to believe that the cost of keeping nuclear weapons is greater than the cost of giving them up. and the only way that's going to happen is if there is so much pressure on them through the one country that they depend on for their existence, and that's china. china provides up to 90% of the total trade with north korea goes through china. it provides the food that goes to the north korean military, and the oil that keeps everything running, so without china north korea will collapse
6789 and china is in this very precarious situation. on one hand north korea exists because of china's intervention in the korean war. mao's son died in that war. there is a very strong, historic connection to north koreament and the existence of north korea is a buffer against the reunification of korea, potentially allied with the united states which china would fear. >> on the other hand the cost to china are great and growing of north korea nuclear weapons because it strengthens america's presence in the western pacific, which china doesn't want it strengthens america's relations with japan and south korea, justifies national missile defense, could lead to an arms race and a nuclear arms race in the region. it justifies japanese military normalization, all of these things and the missile defense shields. >> and all of these things are not in china's interests. and so if the united states wants to have an irrational policy, we should continue making these kinds of claims that we can't back up, declaring
red lines that are pushed through in minutes. but if you want to have a real policy we have to think strategically about what are all the levers that we have to influence china to take a stronger line on north korea. unfortunately the trump administration has weakened our alliances with japan and korea, undermined our pressure on china, particularly but not exclusively by withdrawing from the transpacific partnership, and is seen as an entirely unreliable partner by our adversaries and allies alike. so it's a very complicated situation. but america's behavior is making it even worse. >> whose argue of any divisions within the white house, in the national security establishment, david? >> i think that there was some concern, con ster nation, even, after the president's statement yesterday fire and fury statement, this is something
that has preoccupied senior officials for many weeks, really, since the beginning of the administration. they've been thinking about it and i think people weren't ready for this the-- that particular verbal grenade to be thrown and they've been trying to walk it back as we discussed earlier. the, i just what note, speaking in some ways to jamie's good point about the larger context of the korean peninsula, north korea's paranoia, i think one good thing about the diplomatic effort that tillerson, secretary tillerson has lead is that it has tried to speak to chinese and north korean concerns about where this would end up, that the chinese are terming this statement that tillerson made last week in which he said the united states doesn't seek to overthrow the regime in north korea, doesn't seek to go north of the 38th parallel,
doesn't seek this, doesn't seek that. china-- the four nos they regard that as quleunted states acceptance of the basic chinese requirements in terms of the future status of the peninsula. it's very interesting that tillerson was willing to say that so specifically and that the chinese welcomed it, celebrated it. they think that they've gotten basically the key u.s. statements about the issues jamie was talking about. dip plom see 245 actually moves toward real reassurance, you know, the specifics of how this would look, what the future would be like, how you deal with the issue of union if i kaition, for example. i think if this got serious those would immediately become the key issues. and the first step is the chinese ability, chinese willingness and ability to convene a new set of talks soon because this crisis just can't
bubble alongk i don't think, the way it is for, indefinitely. >> rose: david thank you so much for joining us this evening. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: jamie, good to have you. we'll be right back. stay with us. >> readership of "the washington post" and new york times has skyrocketed since the 2016 election and primary campaign. their resurgence comes in spite of president trump's criticism of the media giants. in february he called the news media in a tweet the enemy of the american people. but continuous leaks from the administration have offered a lifeline to newsrooms competing for inside knowledge about the goings on at the white house. joining me from chicago is james warren, the chief media writer for poynter and writer for "vanity fair" magazine. his latest piece in "vanity fair's" september issue asked is "the new york times" versus "the washington post" versus trump the last great newspaper war. i'm pleased to have him on this program. welcome. >> great to see you. >> my pleasure. >> rose: to have you on the
show. and coming from a lifetime of tbreat reporting, i mean that. so let me talk about that. why do you call this the last newspaper war, why is this the ow, you've gone for maybe, you three, four, five, six papers, 70, 80 years ago to one. you've got a few major cities which may have more than one but one is clearly far more advantaged than the other. and sense competition is by and large long gone when it comes to major newspapers we have two left in chicago, the tri beun and sun times. but even folks at the sun times would know, it's not terribly fair battle. and one is by far the more dominant. so it is because of that that when so rarely sees equals competing as fiercely as these two papers who just about eight, nine, ten years ago, if they weren't left for dead, they certainly were sort of early obituaries being written by folks who were talking about
change in the media. here you have these two guys on equal footing with workforces that are almost at historic highs in each case, the post and "the new york times." here they are doing work as good and as prolific as they ever have. >> rose: does it go back to the competition between the post under ben bradley and "the new york times" under abbe rosenthal during the watergate period? >> well, you know, i would say yes, except that after that intense competition you had dramatic changes for both of them. in one case, the case of the post leading to the dramatic sale of the paper by the graham family. so that sense of being equals had really dissipated by about 10 years ago and particularly at the post there was almost a sort of sense, you had a talent drain, you had buyouts and ultimately you had donald graham
painfully looking to sell amid what seemed to be a very bleak situation. so this harkens back to that, charlie, but it has certainly not been a clear continueium. >> you also have two great editor at both participates. >> astonishing, for those who don't know, marty baron has probably gotten a a little more publicity as a result of his "boston globe" days and the movie which won an academy award involving, focusing on their investigation of roman catholic church, boston archdiocese but dean bacay editor of the times is one of the best editors of his generation. two different guys personalitywise but strikingly similar professionally, very tough, very high standards, and attempting to raise the bar of expectations, at the same time they're dealing with a digital
revolution that has caused havoc with their business model. and then comes this amazing story. and they made the decision to commit significant resources to cover this so far astonishing presidency. >> rose: will one or the other win this or will they simply be in a long struggle? >> that's a great question. one of the things at the end of the "vanity fair" piece that i personally struggled with. i think it's a classic on one level, newspaper war. but it's also one in which both could win but also both could lose, so to that extent it's not like your traditional newspaper war. and the ultimate questions have to do with a combination of factors including the ongoing implosion of the traditional business model from media. and then the coming of a president of the united states who so actively tried to devalue
and delegitimize the press. i think those tie in to questions of whether or not a younger generation, i've got two kids, one 13, two boys, 13 and 8. and will they pay a decent sum of money for a digital news product. and that is relevant because the traditional revenue stream of these newspapers was the print product. that is now declining to such an extent that at least privately surely there are discussions in both places about a world in which there is no print revenue at all. and then the question ultimately charlie becomes whether or not they can come up with a digital business model that will support these two terrific, large, talented newsrooms of reporters and editors. >> sometimes competition is
really good, isn't it? >> it's fabulous. and dean bakay made the point, i think to me, may have been one of many comments i've seen him make. this but that one of the most underanalyzed, and off he got lots of academics and thoughtful folks who come on the program all the time. but one of the least examined issues in american media is the value of competition. and one of seeing that play out now as opposed to most regions of the country. and this just doesn't go for newspapers. it also goes for local television, local radio too. and that lack of creative and economic tengsz, i think has lead to a lethargy on both the business and editorial side of two many media outlets and ultimately it does disservice to consumers. and ultimately you can probably make the case it does a disservice to gem october see. >> two questions about donald
trump, the president, has his attack on the media damaged the media at all? >> yes, i think significantly. i think this attempt by trump and steve bannon and others to devalue even delegitimize us has had a real impact it has raised questions about traditional norms. tried and true norms of fairness and balance and of standards. it has brought a new term, fake news into the lexicon and it's part and parcel of what one might call, a friend of mine who is a corporate governance expert today coined the phrase aggressions law of misnfertionz, trump's-- here the notion is that bad media can trump good media. and one of the most revealing piece of research that i've seen at least in the last year was
pew research which in the winter of last year, 2016 asked democrats and republicans whether they bought into the notion of the media having a watchdog role in this country. and interestingly enough, it was a pretty similar response, somewhere in the mid 70st. 75, 76%, both democrats and republicans. >> one year later, just one year later, that percentage on the republican side has plummeted from the mid 70s into the 40s. on the democratic side, charlie, it has gone up a little bitment but yes, make no mistake. the trump attack has had i think really negative consequences. >> and what has it done to troop, the idea of truth. >> yeah, well it's raised questions and made it difficult for a lot of people to differentiate between again good media and bad media, to differentiate between the story
that is-- the cbs news or the bloomberg or the chicago tri beun or "washington post" story that has an array of good solid confirmed sources on one hand, and the stories that don't have that. i think it has really truly mudied the waters. and you know it's part of an overall-- in our culture and everything can be derided, e, that's your point of view, here is the story, the five or six people spent six months coming up with, and then you can simply pass it off as oh, that's just the times' personal view. so i think there are real consequences to in how folks value truth. >> rose: sometimes in war people finally get tired of war. will the country ever get tired of donald trump or will he still be such an object of fascination
that readers and viewers can't get enough? >> my wife and i were thinking the other night about all these terrific television shows that we have become addicted to over the last four or five years. and why in some instances, and we just realized it, we have stopped watching. your focus shifts, something happens, the intensity of your interest is diminished. and what has been seen as an advantageous to the media trump bump, i think, will most deffively decline. there is some anecdotea evidence, even a little survey evidence that it is. but i just don't think that this intensity of interest can be maintained. it's like the morning tweets you get up now and for breakfast there is a 6:15 a.m. eastern series of harsh anti-media tweets from the president. at one time a few months ago this seemed shocking and
astonishing. and now one goes hmmmm, okay, he's at it again. and i think that could be a problem for particularly the post and times who have done such a stellar job and committed so many resources to the cover coverage, that there becomes a certain, i don't know what you call t a certain sort of repetitive banality to it all that again, decreases the intensity of one's feelings. >> rose: here is what you write. the most troubling question is not whether the times are o the post or other news outlets can continue to perform to a superior standard, it is whether trump and people like him have so degraded basic notions of fact and authority that truth no longer matters. >> yeah. i mean i think one is seeing some of that. you know, one can look at views particularly on the right that show the post and the times are
these idea logically doing mattic media organs. and to that extent one sees that, the eck tebt to which he has successfully made the post and the quote failing "new york times," you know, epitaph. it does raise questions of what happens beyond that sink with what i still think are really fundamental questions about the business models at both places. although right now they are very different, one is a publicly-traded company, the times on its amazingly constant fifth generation of family leadership and as we know, the post now, in the post-- is privately held by perhaps one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs of his generation, jeff bezos and the economics on their signed for the moment are rather different.
but there are, real questions to be raised about what happens when that print product, i get "the new york times" delivered to my north side chicago home, seven days a week, it costs me about a thousand bucks. that's a lot of money. and what happens when i say that's a little bit too much money. i would just a as well for a hundred, maybe 150 bucks read it online. that's a dramatic loss in revenue and then throw in you know, the 800 pound gorillas in the media universe, facebook and google which are now taking somewhere north of 70% of the advertising pie, whether in boston, or chicago, it is the same story that the city amount of revenue that naturally tbraf taited primarily to the local newspaper, also maybe to a tv station, radio station is now going to facebook and google. and i don't think that's going to be reversed. >> rose: it's a great story.
in the september issue with ang lee joelie on the cover. thank you, about "the new york times" and washton post about competition to get the best journal impossible. thank you. >> my pleasure. >> rose: we'll be right back, stay with us. the battle to retake the iraqi city of mosul was characterized by fierce urban combat. iraqi and coalition forces battled the islamic state block by block in a series of deadly encounters too took a tremendous toll on the city and citizens. it is estimated that 400,000 people were killed during the nine month offensive. joining me is eye cor-- eye vor prickett, he documented the battle as a photographer for "the new york times" writing about the experience, he says the toll of the battle for mosul on every front, human rights, pride, and iraqi heritage is only now starting to come into focus as the last surges in the old city wrap up, the almost
unfathomable task of rebuilding the city and show coming to grips of all that happened here stretches ahead to the unknown. i'm pleased to have eye vor prickett at this table for the first time. welcome. >> thank you very much, a real honor to be here. let me go back to your quote that you just said. tell me the impact of being there in terms of what you see, feel, worry about. >> yeah, i mean people have described it as the worst urban combat since vietnam. and i mean i don't have experience dating back that far. but it certainly was the most brutal combat i've ever witnessed, not just from, you know, a personal point of view but you know, the effects it had on the population there. and the city itself.
so even if you weren't witnessing the fighting fibs first hand what you saw after the fact was, you know, pretty hard to comprehend the amount of firepower that was being used in such a densely packed city. >> rose: you have importantly said at least to me, it's very important, not only to cover the battle but to cover the impact of the battle on the lives around the battle. >> exactly. as anything that is more what i am interested in as a photographer when i'm working in these kind of situations, it's the toll that war has on the people caught up in it, both the soldiers themselves and the civilians. but it's really, you know, the human, the human toll of war that i am drawn to as a photographer and that i try and talk about when i'm doing these kind of assignments. >> in the end they are the most graphic photographs, photographs of pain, loss, suffering.
>> yes. >> rose: people being reduced to helplessness. >> yes. >> rose: take a look at this, this is the first photograph from mosul that we'll show you. tell hee about this photograph. there it is right there. and children are the innocent. >> yeah. yeah, so this was taken about three weeks ago, four weeks ago now at this point. towards the very end of the fight to retake mosul which took place in the old city district on the western side of the city. and i was there embedded with some of iraq's elite counterterrorism special forces near the front line of ongoing clashes that were probably less than 200 meters, 300 meters away from where we were. >> rose: the forces in the blast. >> yeah, the black uniform counterterrorism forces who were trained by american special
forces were set up after the invasion of iraq in 2003 to combat, you know, the insurgency that started after that. and have lead the fight against isis in mosul to be honest. and so i was with them as i said near the front line in the old city and this man was brought in, i didn't see him coming across the front line myself but they brought him in to where i was with one of the commanders and he crossed the front line holding this boy who is no more than two or three years old. and he didn't know anything about the child and his story was that he just picked him up on the way as he was pleaing. isis held territory. and you know, the problem was at the time isis weren't letting anyone flee their area. this was always their policy, their way of operating to
literally assassinate anyone who tried to leave their area of control. so immediately the soldiers didn't really believe him that he had managed to flee the area that easily, and presumed that he had just picked up the child to use as a human shield. and the fact that he didn't know anything about this boy would suggest that that was true. so they took the child away from him, took him away and probably intergated him and i don't know what happened to him but the child you know was then left with the soldiers. and they didn't really know what to do. because they had no idea who he was. he didn't speak. he was too young probably to speak but he was also traumatized by what he had been through. so they really didn't know what to do. and you know, this all happened very quickly but on the spot the commander who i was with said you know that he was going to adopt the child. and brought one of his men forward who he knew hadn't been able to have children himself with his wife and said this is
your son and gave him the boy. and this is what i witnessed. this was just after they washed him and washed his clothes. and he finally relaxed. >> it is a picture of a man who is holding a child. >> this isn't the man who received the child. the guy is actually behind him. the officer who adopted the boy is behind him. >> those kind of stores also are a part of war too. >> acts of humanity. >> yeah. and this is what were, you know, we feel so privileged to see when we're there, as reporters, as photographers. you know, you're seeing people strip down to their most open. >> fundamental instincts. >> yeah. and it's really powerful. and it's hard to not, you know, not want to be there and see these things happening. >> what was it about you as a young boy in ireland that made you want to be a photographer. >> well, i came to photography
quite late probably in my late teens when i was still deciding what i wanted to do with my life. what i wanted to study at university. but i was always interested in art. and you know, wanted to do something creative. but it was also interested in the outdoors and was quite adventurous. so i think that's where it started. and then yeah, i went to university and studied documentary photography. did an amazing degree in the u.k. and walles at the university of newport. and didn't look back really, you know, just-- . >> rose: one thing lead to another. >> yeah. and hi no choice in the matter. yeah. >> rose: let's move to the second photograph, we'll talk por about your life as well. describe this photograph. >> so yeah, this was around the same kind of time towards the end of the fight for mosul in the old city. >> rose: is this man alive. >> he is, he is barely alive.
and he has been pulled from a basement of a destroyed building moments before having surrendered himself. he is an isis fighter, an isis militant who is originally from mosul. he's 36 years old. and he surrendered himself over the course of you know, 24 hours or so of negotiating with the soldiers. he's injured and he said he wants to, you know, he wants to surrender and he's not going to put up a fight. i was there the moment they pulled him out. and it was one of the most surreal things i witnessed throughout the, you know, eight or nine months that i was covering mosul because you know, all this time you know the iraqi guys we were with, the iraqi forces we were with were fighting this dark force in isis, this dark force we know very little about. and you know, the only glimpse
you ever got of them was usually you know after they were killed. and would you move through an area and see the dead bodies. i never saw until this moment an actual self-confessed isis fighter still alive. and so it was very you know very powerful moment for everyone involved because these guys the same, very rarely found them alive. and yet he was barely alive. had been injured a couple of days before. and it was strange because you know you would expect to feel just pure hate and animosity towards. >> but. >> but i couldn't help but feel kind of sorry for him because he was such, you know, he was so far gone he was such a sorry sight at that point, he mace yaited, injured, begging for help, water, to be taken to a doctor and it was a strange
feeling for me, you know, while i was photographing. >> to feel sorry for someone. >> and he personally probably did as well within right. >> okay, next picture. >> the last couple of weeks of the fighting for mosul in the old city was some of the most brutal and in fact happened towards the end behind closed doors. there was a media blackout. we weren't given access. we weren't allowed to embed with the troops who we had been spending months with all through the conflict. >> rose: why is that? >> well, i mean there was no official reason given. of course it's an active war zone, they can block access if they want. and you have to abide by it. but it was strange because they, the city had been liberated and yet all of these operations were still going on. and that's when i was there and
i was trying to find out what was going on. and i think really the blackout was in place because they had to do some very difficult things, you know, in those final weeks. >> >> rose: they didn't want anybody to witness it. >> they didn't want anybody to witness what they felt they had to do which was either catch or kill anyone who was still left in this tiny area of the old city. and they pandered it with everything they had and moved through it and searched for anyone who was still alive. and i think were you very lucky to get out of there alive in thoses last couple of weeks so that picture, the bodies was theafter math of that kind of fight in the last week. i didn't see what had happened. i don't know exactly what happened to those guys but some of nem had their hands tied behind their backs so it appeared they had been executed rather than killed in battle,
the way they were congregated in such a tight space, up to ten bodies. >> all stacked up. >> it all pointed to the fact that they had probably been executed. there were a lot of reports about this going on at the time but it was of course impossible to witness it happening. this was the closest i got to really uncovering anything like that and it is still sir cum spent but a lot of that was going on. >> next picture is maybe several months earlier. >> yes, in may, western mosul, also as they got closer to the old city and these civilians were trying to flee an area that had just been kind of liberated and was being fawt for, and i witnessed them as they were trying to cross this junction that was still in the line of sight of an isis sniper. and so earlier ten minutes
before i took this picture, the group had tried to cross and the sniper had fired over their heads and split the group in to half, half running forward, half running back. and this was the group who had run back who were crossing ten minutes later, after a truck had driven across the junction app created, kicked up some dust and they were able to run under the cover of the dust. so it was a very tense moment where you know, i was afraid, they were afraid they were going to be shot. >> there-- this is what mosul was like all the way through for civilians who were caught between the two opposing forces. >> and certainly wasn't easy being there when isis was in charge. >> no, no, no particularly towards the end it was a very difficult situation. >> what happened towards the end. >> you know, the block. >> they were killing people who tried to escape. >> and most had basically been under seige for eight or nine months in the end. anyone who was still trapped in that part of the city on the western side, was under seige.
food had got very difficult, water, medical services and isis were increasingly desperate. so yeah, increasing leigh brutal >> i know you have been asked this many times. what does war like this do to you? >> i mean. >> does it become just a job? >> does it affect your pyshe, does it affect-- does it linger within your-- consciousness? >> i think it can become just a job. and you can become very mechanical about it. >> is and it can affect you deeply. >> that is the only way to survive. >> yes, yeah. yeah, in some ways, both of those, both of those things are coping mechanisms. >> yeah. >> but i hear you saying something different. >> yeah, well i don't, i'm at pains to not end up like that, to not turn into a robot who
doesn't have, you know, emotion or you know, isn't deeply concerned by what he is seeing or what he is photographing. i never want to end up like that. i think as soon as i, you know, as i am, if i do end up like that i should probably give up my job. because you really can only take meaningful pictures in theetion kind of situations if you had empathy, if you have compassion, for everyone, you know, like i said, not just the people who you think are on your side. you have to be, you have to be open to understanding everyone's situation. >> no matter how criminal or how-- or how little you might agree with someone's politics, ethical, you know, behavior, you
know, particularly as a photographer, you've got to remain open otherwise you're going to miss things. you're not going to tell the whole story. >> speaking of that. where does the instinct come from, is it your eye looking for something that you think is the most powerful statement of anything around you? what is it that you, as your mind sort of experiences everything that your vision enables to you see and your brain enables you to see, is it something you look for? is there-- or does it just present itself and you know it's worthy. >> that's a good question. >> i think you know with every story that you're covering you've got to be informed 679 you've got to be aware of what you are trying to say. and what is going on at that
time. and so you are looking for certain things that will fit into that. but like i said, you can't be too set in your ways. you can't make up your mind before you go out there. you've got to remain very open as a photographer and just see what you see and be ready to photograph it when it happens. >> where is home? >> i'm based in the region, been living and working in the region. >> will you go back to the region? >> for eight or nine years now. >> i will go back. >> will you be in rocca. >> i think that's probably the next logical step for many people like myself who had been working in the region over the last couple of years and following this story of the fight against isis. >> the end of the beginning of isis. nobody believes that isis, you know, will simply go away after raqqa is recaptured. >> yeah.
but i think that's the next move for a lot of us. >> next one? >> very sad. >> it is sad just looking at it, look somebody is saying why, why. >> it is really tough, tough seen to witness. >> you know what has happened. >> yeah, so we were nearby. there was an aid distribution going on near this woman's house and they had a little market actually that was set up on the street outside their house. and ice is fired a mortar probably targeting the aid distribution but it landed them in the street outside her house where the market was and killed her son. and so this is the. >> that is a cry from. >> this is the blood and her son's head scarf on the steps after he has been taken away. and she's, i walked in to see what is happening and she is jug not-- shi is explaining,. >> rose: sobbing. >> i think she was saying my son's dead, you know, why did this happen.
and yeah, it was really angry and you know, what can i say. i had nothing, i had nothing i could really say to her. >> no. >> but she let may take her picture. >> i assume this is the plight of refugees. >> i covered it from the middle east to up yoo, this is an image of people fleeing syria crossing into iraq and the last image is people crossing the straits from turkey to greece. >> did you find and pardon the question, do you find in some way either through humanity or through courage or through some other act that surrounds war, beuty? >> do i see beuty? >> yeah, some act of courage, some act of humanity, some act of self-lessness? >> you know, some sense of
refleblging what is purist about human emotion? >> yes, yeah, do you see those moments. you know, micked in with all of the violence and the tragedy. >> rose: all the blood, all the death, all the loss of limb. >> that's what we are probably drawn to. is seeing people at both their worst and their best and you know, i really do feel utterly privileged to be able to do that, you know, as a job and why i keep going back to these situations, and wanting to cover these situations. because yeah, you do, you see moments of beauty and people doing things that you could never imagine. >> yeah. >> acts of sheer. >> bravery, kindness. >> yeah, selflessness. >> right. >> how long will you do this?
>> well, again. >> until something tells it you. >> probably, until something tells me otherwise or you know, connected to what we were talking about earlier and you know, how you take care of yourself through doing this work. >> through being careful. >> yeah. and giving yourself time to decompress in between assignments. >> not you know, not constantly pushing to cover the hardest stories. it's hard not to but i think you know, you can do this for-- you can cover conflict for a long time to the latter stages of your life but it's all about pacing yourself and looking after your mental health and physical health. >> thank you for coming. >> thank you for having me.
>> great to have you on this program. >> it was a pleasure, thank you. >> thank you for joining us. see you next time. >> for more about this program and earlier episodes visit us online at pbs.org and charlie rose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
aerials of clouds cloaking snowy peaks when we think of alaska, we are all on a journey together, an odyssean voyage of outward adventure and inner reflection, reaching toward the world's edge; to that shadowy sea where the sun is hidden and the clouds are born; where the earth's subterranean heart beats; where living