so it takes me at least six months before i can even start writing a thriller. if i'm going to show you the secret under theite whatever i . but i'm going to get it right. >> host: how much have you sold? >> guest: this one? 10 copies to my family. the publisher says we have copies in print. the only one that matters, is my family. my mom, god bless her, i went to borders headquarters. they said guess where your books sell more than anyone else? i don't know. new york city. 8 million new yorkers. i said washington, d.c., i write thrillers about washington. no, the number one place was florida borders one mile from the furniture store where my mother used to work. my mother single-handedly beat 8 million new yorkers. >> host: brad meltzer has been
he discusses his book of the cambridge public library in cambridge, massachusetts. it's just under an hour and a half. [applause] >> thanks very much. it's wonderful to be back in cambridge, and i appreciate that fine introduction from brian of the cambridge peace commission. very interesting organization. i'm beginning to think maybe we need a peace commission in washington, d.c., or two. anyway, i want to thank rye and for that intro and also thank the cambridge library, this wonderful building, and thank maryland in particular for inviting me to be here. i also want to say a special thank you to my classmates, to fritz donovan and the harvard class of 1959, several of whose members are here today and make me feel very much at home.
as i was listening to brian speak about this book, i found myself questioning, wondering what they're really it is an antiwar book. it's called "reasons to kill: why americans choose war." and i don't think i would have written it if i didn't believe that the united states had become involved in too many unjust and unnecessary wars. but on the other hand, the question that i'm asking, why do americans choose war goes in a way beyond the question of which wars to you like and which wars did you not like. it goes to the question of how we become convinced that a war is worth fighting or not.
because one of the things one finds for a quickly when doing research on a subject like this is the ubiquity, the strength, the power of anti-war movements in the united states with the exception of world war ii there's never been a major war in america that hasn't generated a substantial anti-war movement. and because of that, that raises an interesting question. because of that, it means that there is a debate about war. we don't automatically go to war and see it is our patriotic duty and march in lockstep off to war we have to be convinced. therefore, what does it take to convince us. well, many of us are familiar with the definition of war as a continuation of politics by other means. and the realist notion that we go to war to pursue national interest of the various kinds, territory, resources etc..
it's certainly true, i think, that our leaders often go to war for such reasons. geopolitical in addition, even to stay in office. abraham lincoln famously called the mexican american war and on and just war of conquest fought to catch boats votes. so there are certainly such motives at work among the leadership, but why do people follow, why do people follow the leadership into war when they do? to fi areas that are frequently banded about an hour to try to answer that question i call in the book the innocent dupe theory and the frontier killer theory.
the innocent dupe theory suggests americans go to war because their goal will consumers, because they will buy anything. if it is well enough packaged. and like many half truths, there is half a truth. we do go to war sometimes. we are conned into going into war at least partially sometimes. the mexican-american war i mentioned before is a good example. president polke said american blood has been shed on american soil, war acts as mexico alone, when what we know and in fact what the whig party and abraham lincoln and others knew then is that polke had sent americans into territory which is disputed, which an international court will almost certainly have awarded to mexico in order to provoke the attack on the troops, which would then give him the excuse to fight a war, which was a war of conquest, it conquered the west. what we now know as the american
west. and there are many other examples. the most recent of which of course is the iraq war, fought in order to seize the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction from saddam hussein, and fought because a false allegation that he was in league with al qaeda. even so, even after one rehearses the sorry story of americans being fooled by their leaders, one comes to the conclusion that it's not an adequate explanation. it's not simply a question of our stupidity and the ability of the authorities to manipulate us and the proof, it seems to me, of that is that anti-war movements have been so strong,
including in the mexican war. the proof of this also is that even where manipulation takes place, there are often more important reasons why we go to war rhetoric and manipulation. in the case of the spanish-american war, americans learned you did it, if you like coming to believe in the spanish and blown up the battleship u.s.s. maine and have an harbor, and the hearst press and the other yellow journals trumpeted the theory that the was the spanish deed. the admiral in the 70's headed a panel of experts to look into the probable causes of the explosion and can to the conclusion, which many people had come to before, but because battleships of that era were fuelled by kohl and the stores gave off gas in the case of the main gun powder magazines of the ship was placed directly above
the coal stores it would have taken nothing but a spark to throw the man out of the water of the bottom of the harbor lay and even politically one could also have reached the same conclusions by recognizing that neither the spanish nor the cubans had anything to gain by seeking the main. nevertheless, that's not why we went to war. this certainly played a role in building up the probe for sentiment in america. but it's much more important to notice that for months and months before the name was destroyed and afterwards, the press were running perfectly accurate stories about the horrible atrocities committed by the spanish against the cuban independence movement. a counter insurgency movement in cuba in which at least 200,000 cubans died and many as 4,000
died, a movement featuring counterinsurgency campaigns featuring the relocation of villages, featuring the torture of counterinsurgency, featuring an equivalent of waterboarding americans went to war to liberate cuba from the spanish, and they did for a few months. after eliminating from the spanish they of course took cuba for themselves. and worse yet, they went to war in the philippines and conducted a counter insurgency campaign which is almost a mirror image or should i say the exact image of the counterinsurgency campaign that had been conducted by the spanish against the cubans. this raises a bunch of questions, several questions. one of the things it plans to is the fact americans don't get convinced to go to war unless
there is a powerful appeal made on what i think is in the book the civil religion following the article on civil religion. that is to say there is an appeal to our values, our most cherished values. the americans are not convinced to go to war because it is alleged leak in the national interest. nor i might say to the 22 war because they like to cite. the other major theory, which i also classified as a half truth, is the fury that because we had in particular in appalachia is civilization, scott irish etc, of people who spent a long time fighting against the indians and developed a kind of warrior
ethos culture that that is driving american militarism today that that is the reason that americans want to go to war because the envision themselves as indian fighters on the afghan frontier. again, some truth to this, jim webb's book, on the subject contains some truth. but if we were simply lovers of violence, if we were done crazed, people who like to fight and don't care about who we kill in putting ourselves, why we have such powerful anti-war movements, why we would have such a deep and searching debate, why would it be necessary to appeal to us on the basis of our value system and not simply on the basis of the interest or the love of fighting. no, it's the value system that i believe is central and convincing americans to go to war. and one sees this i think most clearly when one looks at the
main reasons that we are used to induce us to fight or to support wars. lardy? very quickly, one is self-defense. self-defense in the anglo-american culture is not just a matter of convenience, it is sacred and a collective duty. if we had been attacked we believe we have the right to defend ourselves and if we had an attack we believe the government has the duty to protect us. the problem with self-defense is what is the self that is being defended? what this self-defense actually mean. in the earliest days it meant what it seems to mean, the common sense definition the american people were being attacked on american soil. but even then, if one goes back to say the seminal war, the first seminal war which was fought by andrew jackson before
he became president, one finds jackson and his friends asserting indians and escapes leaves located in florida were attacking american settlements across the floor of the alabama border, and therefore we needed to retaliate in order to defend america. looking more closely into that, which i knew in the book, one finds something very interesting first of all, those attacks by the indians were not initial attacks. they were retaliatory attacks. they were retaliatory because the indians were well, he escaped slaves from the south and making them seminal and treating them with dignity. because of that, white southerners were attacking across the border to reclaim their property. and because of those attacks,
there were a few reprisal attacks, not very many, by the indians. the moral of this is when jackson marched into spanish florida and ceased the state, the territory that later became the state of florida, he was not doing it in defense of american lives endangered and he was doing it in defense of the southern slave system. we were already seeing the expansion of the notion of the self that requires defense from people and property in the u.s., particular people to the domestic institutions of the u.s. to the idea, if you like, ideas that are important to the u.s. delayed a development which takes another giant step forward and world war i and world war ii. when what is being defended is not american territory, except
for pearl harbor, leave pearl harbor out for the moment, is not american lives, but rather the idea of america, the idea of freedom, the idea of political freedom, free enterprise, religious freedom, human rights. so this is a defensive american ideology. it seems to me then that we have to make a distinction between the two world wars because world war ii we actually come from the than an adversary that is capable of threatening to sickly and materially. germany and japan, the number two and three economic powers in the world as well as the fascist, as well as aggressive we are also capable waging a struggle, worldwide struggle which had a one would have been to have or disadvantage. certainly would have been might disadvantage i would be a wamp shade today if we had lost.
world war two is an entirely different matter. world war 111 reached propaganda today and seized the fantasies of the kaiser marching across the atlantic to establish the german power and north america. when one sees the propaganda about the german on atrocities in belgium which was blown out of -- there were not in ebitda was blown out of proportion by the british propaganda office one realizes that little more one was not the same as world war ii in terms of any threat to the united states. and coming more recently, in a way this self-defense doctrine is the notion that self-defense means defending the last established imperial outpost. if the united states invade the country even for the wrong
reasons like iraq, as soon as we have troops if anybody attacks the troops it is self-defense. you have to support the troops. self-defense. we are defending ourselves. we identify with the legions in the same way i suppose the romans must have done, identify with their leaders. so self-defense now has reached the point where there is no difference between self-defense and aggression. self-defense will justify anything. it becomes meaningless. so in my book, i did my readers and the american public not to always distrust the government or not believe there is no such thing as a just war, but to think about what self-defense means. what does it mean? ordinarily we are a very hard headed people, we americans. we don't give to charity unless we know where the money is going. we say i'm from missouri, show
me. we say we are not lead to trust the government just because the government says this, that, or the other thing. but somehow when it comes to were making we do. there is a tendency to buy into these scenarios, these narratives. so really what my book is is an attempt to get people to stop, and a way to become americans off the hook, to say no, i don't believe you just because you see this. approve this, prove that we are in danger. prove it. prove that the taliban is in danger. prove that when al qaeda left town and they are now in pakistan, yemen, wherever they are, we have to continue to fight in afghanistan to save ourselves from al qaeda. well, self-defense is one value that has appealed and others without going into such great length name a couple of others.
especially when self-defense arguments falter is common for the pro war forces to trot out the evil lenni, and the existence of an evil enemy does what self-defense alone maybe can't do. it suggests that there is at loose a force that is demonic and diabolical. that we can't negotiate with, we can't deal with, we can't eliminate its cause is because the devil is a trans historical figure. if people hate us because as bush said after line 11, they hate us because we are free. the key to us because we are good and they are not, if they hate us because they are crazed by power, unlike us who couldn't care less about power, this what
psychologists would call the rejection of our unwanted tendencies on the enemy at least create a kc-10 like figure in american history is full of such figures beginning from the indian days and on the figures who don't exist in history and therefore are not amenable to the historical solutions, not only to the negotiation, they are not to any sorts of reform because the concept is that did want to destroy us because their own destructive nature and that is st. diabolism. that is what the devil is. well, i deny that there are absolutely evil forces in the world. relatively common yes. relatively evil, yes. good evil still have some meaning but even with a force as
destructive as al qaeda, to say that they dislike us and they wanted to do us in because that is their evil nature, means we can't face the fact that we are involved in a relationship with them. and not to excuse anything that they've done, but the fact is we have done things to them, too. we've done things to their people, to back that makes sense of the vicious relationship between us. we can't make sense of the relationship unless we talk about what america does in the world about who's representing us abroad and what they're doing in the islamic world and in israel and palestine and iraq and everywhere. again, this is not to blame america, this is not to bless america. this is to say that if you die
allies the enemy you remove them from history and remove yourself from any possibility of dealing with in his directly. i would also say that the same kind of critical thinking that i am putting forth in the book needs to be used when somebody says the enemy is evil, and a good a skeptical american should ask what you mean eisel? absolutely evil, relatively evil? how do you know compared with whom? is every enemy that we face hitler, etc.? and let me say also that the same kind of critical thinking needs to be applied in the hardest circumstance of all, and that is when the appeals are made to our core values as humanitarian and the lovers of humanity, lovers of human rights, and people who believe that their power ought to be
used for good in the world. we've gotten into so much trouble when so many places in the intervening as humanitarian and fighting the moral crusades that it is long past time to ask when such appeals are made to us what is in it for us? when we intervene in cuba for example and obliterate from the spanish and then the philippines and due to the filipinos exactly what the spanish did to the cubans, we did that happen? what is the logic of that? when we intervene around the world in the case of the world on terrorism and we worry about the way that women are being treated from islamic fundamentalist extremists off the hook up and we worry about democracy versus dictatorship and of fanaticism and
fundamentalist beliefs being imposed on other people. all of which are things worth worrying about. we need to ask are we there for intervening as some kind of third-party to bring justice to the world? or is this a part of an imperial ideology. are we faded again and again to repeat the dynamics of the spanish-american war and the philippine massacre of 200 to 400,000 filipinos in the philippine counterinsurgency because we can't recognize, because we want to portray ourselves as a selfless force for good as liberators, not occupiers, not recognizing that this is a nation which is assumed an imperial role and that liberation is always for us
for occupation with perhaps the exception of world war ii, something we can talk about in the question period, but most other cases the liberator becomes the occupier. i mentioned in the book that one way of understanding this is to think about the importance of the moses figure in american civil religion and the fact that in the moses story, moses who moderates the children of israel then becomes their ruler, stands of rebellion, and then although he dies short of the occupation of the holy land, and then their leader in an occupation. the notion that the liberator also becomes the occupier is
acceptable if one believes in the unique virtue of the liberator. we are unique and virtuous and that we are not subject of the same kind of temptations, the same kinds agreed, the same kinds of other powers in world war. it's deeply ingrained in some ways of american religion, civil religion to believe that since we left europe to filled the church was republic that we still possess that kind of unique virtue. president bush started singing at a certain point not god bless america but may god continue to bless america. that involves a kind of patriotism may i say that i try to talk about also in the book which is a complicated subject.
a kind of patriotism which has gone from, has moved from a pride in one's heritage from a love of the place, the spacious skies, etc., - this a country people, a love of one's customs treated his move on to a close eye religious plaine in which recently committed this is a fairly recent development, a love of military violence is part of the patriotic -- has become a part of the u.s. patriotism so that we can't go to the ball game and saying to two to yield to the ball game on the seventh inning stretch any more we have to seeing god bless america. and next time you are at the ballpark and decide what to sing god bless america and sit in your seat, see the kind of looks
you get from the folks around you. we can't have a super bowl at halftime without having military overflight at halftime. it's become shall i say omnipresent, and the problem with it is lonely that its militaristic, is that it inculcates the notion as an attempt that patriotic duty means being willing to fight on demand. do you love your country? yes. would you fight for it? you're supposed to say yes. would you kill and die for it? yes, that's the proof that you love your country. no, no. that's not true. maybe you love your country so much he will fight for it. president wilson when he was running as the peace candidate in 1916 before he committed america to world war xix months later said there is such a thing
as a man and a nation that's too proud to fight. great patriots from abraham lincoln to john quincy adams to eugene debs, jeannette rankin and dennis kucinich have combined their love with country, combined their patriotism with the insistence that the country that we not fight and not shed blood, that we not shed our own blood or any offers accept in the just cause, and what is so corrosive about what we are experiencing now it seems to me is that, and may i say it seems to me on american as well is the attempt to undermine the just cause doctrine.
i started out this will talk by saying that we uniquely in our country don't fight unless we are convinced it is a just cause yet many people would like us to fight because the war is now normal and the appeal is not made to just cause so that, for example, if one looks at the current situation with the war in afghanistan and ending in iraq, sort of fun if you call leaving 50,000 troops in the country in the warmer, not get all ending in afghanistan although there are some signs of possible negotiation, more than 60% of americans disapprove the war, 63% in the last poll, that
you foundation poll say they don't think the war in afghanistan was worth fighting. 63%. yet for various reasons they are not out on the streets demanding the end of the war. they are not mobilizing the way that people are mobilized against the vietnam war the. i think for some fairly clear reasons not just the draft which is always used as the explanation for why i always thought that wasn't an argument in the book that is not a very good explanation for why there is not a stronger antiwar movement today. you know, there was a draft in world war ii and there was no antiwar movement to speak of, there was a draft in korea, which will say war that got extremely unpopular even so and it finally by president eisenhower and even so there was no antiwar movement to speak of
metal. so it's not simply the question of whether you have a draft or don't have a draft also having a draft certainly next anti-war activity more feasible or easier to read it also seems to me has to do with things like an economic growth or economic recession. the entire war movement in the vietnam era grew out of two decades of the most sensational economic growth anybody had ever seen which raised expectations across the board and made young people in particular believe that they were entitled to a better life than going to fight in the jungle for a cause they didn't understand. now people are worried about jobs, where their next meal was coming from. it is a different second year, the fear engendered by the "when
jesus became line 11 attacks, a terrific trauma, is still with us and fearful people are also much more easily whipped into line or easily induced to become that they are endangered by forces the government points out as endangered in forces. little by little it seems to be that trauma is disappearing but especially when the government itself whips up this year. when, for the disabled, there is a constant drumbeat of attention on possible terrorist attacks which it seems to be are not only through the purpose of warning us scintilla of them are useless in terms of offering our behavior, i think they are consciously or subconsciously also playing the role of maintaining this year, keeping the fuehrer lives, as cold air
-- colbert would say. and we have a president in the white house and who great hopes for peace were invested. the fact he said 30,000 troops into afghanistan after reviewing the such region didn't destroy people's faith in him although it undermined if you might say to some extent. it was not the same as the situation you had where lyndon johnson was elected as a peace candidate in 1964 and 1965 s and 5,000 troops to viet nam and the sense of betrayal was so thick you could cut it with a knife and i know because i experienced it myself and many people in the room did also. but by the same token it seems to me one can say when this year lifts, when the economy begins to recover, when the hope of
obama or any other leader begin to fade further, when people become tired of the incessant for fair of what they called the fervor war, one could predict a revival of some kind, antiwar sentiment. one of the things it seems to me we can't do, we must not do, is buy into the argument since there are not many american casualty is comparatively speaking, since thousands of body bags are not coming back from the war zone, or we can accept war as normal with the current level of the violence and accept that as normal, and so let me conclude by reading the conclusion of this book which talks about the fact that
death in american war mccardle to -- are down but we are seeing increases in injuries generated by asymmetric warfare against hostile groups leading low-tech weapons such as a protest explosive devices. american veterans hospitals are jammed with soldiers suffering the effect of severe head injuries, amputations and post-traumatic stress. and this was widely among the combat veterans is skyrocketing. we have to question the definitions of high, local and acceptable casualty rates. was the iraq war worth more than 4300 american lives and wounded? and i conclude by saying that if even if we could lower the number of u.s. casualty numbers to zero that should not consent or secure our consent to the slaughter of foreigners in on just wars.
100,000 at least died in the iraq war. some estimates run as high as 500,000. people who think that we will continue to conduct war like this in exchange for a guarantee of our own safety don't have a very high opinion of americans will character to lead the major premise of this book which i want to close by reaffirming is - we will not kill and die without being convinced the struggle was justified on the grounds of legitimate self-defense or moral duty. the current war system seems designed consciously or unconsciously to wean us from the habit of a demanding justification's for war, morrill justifications for war. it's an act of faith perhaps to assert that this will not work, that americans will remain unwilling to fight except for because they are convinced as just, but i'm going to keep that
faith and i hope he will keep it as well. thank you very much. [applause] >> let's have some talk. yes. >> i wonder have you had any cases where the piece has been patriotic and effective in combating or counteracting war? i ask as a former peace corps volunteer and a quaker where people say war is not the answer, which is for pragmatic and for moral reasons it's not the answer. but has peace movements but effective counteracting war? >> yes. well it's a very interesting question. and i think one that i should
have probably in my book addressed at more length of the and i do, because it seems to me two things are true. one is that although there are frequent dates between pro war and anti-war forces with every major war is proposed, and the antiwar forces mostly lose those debates. that is the wars generally happen despite the movement. there are also cases that are harder to spot, in which the war doesn't occur because the people in power recognize americans wouldn't stand for its. they recognize if you like in evidence that they better not help to create a peace movement or take one on the in a political fight their way to lose. there are several examples of that and one of the most interesting which i do talk about a bit in the book is the
debate what to do about vietnam after the flu when the french lost the battle and were driven out of the vietnam, they were powerful forces in washington that the united states should intervene. we were already given military aid to the threat. they were asking for special forces and so forth the rescue for people, boots on the ground and eisenhower said not yet or no so at the same time there is evidence eisenhower was seriously considering intervention. well, we didn't have intervention in the was for several reasons what is that the korean war had just been fought and people were tired of war. second is when you look at the congressional debates, there
were, and there were congressional debates about what to do about vietnam after the war defined congressmen getting up and say in the french are simply a colonialist power and if we go in there we will be playing the french game. we shouldn't try to replace the french in indochina that's not why we fought in world war ii to become the new, you know, the new and higher. and nobody called those people communists because they said that. people said that's right. and we didn't have the war. we didn't have until ten years later and in order to get the war ten years later, more than ten years later, 13, however many, 11, 12 years later, lyndon johnson had to cook up the tonkin gulf fiasco, which he himself said there is a statement if i could find it by
telling the book when johnson said after the u.s. destroyers were allegedly fired on by the north vietnamese boats in the tonkin gulf in 1964, johnson was asked about it later and set off the cuff but was recorded those boys didn't know what they were shooting out, the people must have been drunk or something. they didn't know what they were shooting at because in fact there had been a challenge to the u.s. boats in the tonkin gulf the night before the tonkin gulf incident, first reading of this is amazing that people don't vote the story is better than they ought to know them, the night before the tall candles the alleged attack, the u.s. destroyers had been accompanied the south vietnamese parties who were reading the north vietnamese territories and was all hush, hush of course we were all supposed to do that. so the boats cannot and
challenged the destroyers who were doing that but they didn't firearm them and win the destroyer's took hostile action against the boats the reagan, they went back. the next like a winner was the destroyers, the mattocks and foot herger chollet started firing and that is when johnson said those boys didn't know they were shooting at. there is no evidence the fighting at anything, but since the united states was involved in the illicit activities the night before which couldn't be discussed the whole thing turned it was a fraud and johnson knew it was a fraud which he used to get a blank check from incompliant congress. they pass the tonkin gulf resolution, to votes in the
senate against earnest greeting, and i used to know more, so i went to his office to congratulate him right after against the tonkin gulf resolution and he said two things that stayed with me, however they are not in the book, two things ever since he said it's so nice to be thanked by anybody. i was just a kid. i just started my law practice, says the young man, and i was nobody but nobody else was telling him good, well done. and the second thing he said was lyndon johnson is totally in the pocket of the pentagon. now he believes everything they tell him and he will have 500,000 troops in vietnam by the end of the year. and i thought to myself what clare boothe luce said about his right, he's crazy.
it sounded really unbalanced to me. wasn't on balanced. >> can you talk further on the different dynamics let's say in my generation, your generation where it didn't make any difference whether you read to harvard or slippery rock state or whether you live on the hill or self boston, your draft wanted you or if you had a low number, you were in the. a great job. like $73 a month for anyone unless of course you had a more important things to do. and at that time there was this give peace a chance because it was across the population of the socio-economic -- >> for the last 30 years, we have had a professional army,
not a bad job, and what their job is to kill, that's their job and that's what they get paid for. when i was in, we were itching for a fight, and we would treen for fight, okay? but now we were civilian soldiers, so to speak, no longer civilian soldiers, the our professional soldiers and that is what they get paid to do is to kill. so could to comment further on the dynamic here? >> i'm not sure that comment is called for. that's a pretty interesting statement, and i suppose one thing -- >> let me use that to make this point. charlie rangel has introduced a
bill he knew it wasn't going to go anywhere basically to revive the draft, and in order to impose the burden of the war to say we are going to have a war, let's have consensus abounded, let's not have this strange situation where all of this passive discontent where you have a majority against the war but it continues in the way. well, in a fury that makes sense in practice he knows it isn't going anywhere. and one reason it's not going anywhere is a couple for reasons. one is that to justify and across-the-board draft you really have to make a strong case of the war is in accordance with american values and that it's necessary. and one missing that i didn't talk about in my talk as i saw the clock moving, is this idea that a war is necessary or that it is a last resort is the acme
of foolishness. there have been cases in american history and maybe world war ii was one of them when after munich, after hitler tore up the agreement there was nothing more to do than to fight. but in virtually every other case if you analyze it comes to things, he tried to things are true if i will get to your question, and sorry, this is a diversion. but one is that the americans don't negotiate very well. you know, we often break off negotiations or claim that they are breaking off negotiations but really we did and so forth. what interest often in negotiations. you know that in the case of the first gulf war. all that saddam hussein wanted to do finally was to leave kuwait with his troops. without any concessions in the bush the first said we will see
him in baghdad. in other words, but war wasn't about getting saddam hussein out of kuwait, it was about destroying the iraqi forces and occupying iraq through the sanctioning iraq. so the negotiation is sometimes doesn't exist because we don't want it to. but even when we do negotiate or we are willing to negotiate some times we consistently confuse negotiation with conflict resolution, or to put a different way a more generous way people haven't learned yet washington with the conflict resolution is. that is in sitting down at a table with a gun under the table instead of on top of the table and bargaining from strength. it's analyzing the problem that brought the conflict about so that you can do something about that you can eliminate the causes of conflict.
it has been used in northern ireland and throughout eastern europe but it was used in macedonia and is being used with the turks and armenians of the moment and georgia and south a city get. it's being used all over the place. but we in bayh include barack obama, have not yet learned that negotiation, if the negotiation is just bargaining it is just another use of strength. but if negotiations is an analysis of the problem and the development of the agreed upon solutions to the problem is something entirely different. and until you do that, but war is never a last resort. if you haven't tried the conflict resolution you can't say that it's a last resort just because the negotiations brought down. and one more thing to get back to your question, one more thing about the draft issue, one of the things that i think we have to start facing is that even
people, the best intentioned people and the this anti-war people are finding it difficult to look to the economic realities of war in the face. one of the economic realities is that we've been practicing what some people call military keynesian is some for the past of least 30 years. maybe longer. ever since world war ii perhaps. military industrial demand is replaced what the keynesian economists and others would consider a deficit in demand. and the question is how can we make up for that, how can we supply the demand without producing weapons of destruction? and people who are wielding those weapons of destruction? if we are shying away from that problem is it because we are afraid of putting the government
into private business of socialism that we can't even talk about a mixed economy? i don't know, but i know that we are in a way we are being morally compromised it seems to me by our knowledge that if we actually did get out of the business we would have an economic crisis that would be worse still the one we've got now, unless we solve that problem. and all the jobs, this gets to the draft business, that the draft, i just got back from a trip to the midwest where i visited some towns in southern india know where i know some people, and all the trucks come all the pickups have got to support the troops science and there are flags all over the place. i went into a bar to do a little participant research over a beer
and talk to the guise of the bar and said a lot of the guys are supporting the troops. and one of the guys of the bar said we should, they are our children. one of their signals are they supposed to do? there's nothing else to do around here in the deindustrialized middle west. the town i was by the way was richmond, indiana. used to be an auto parts center. no more auto parts. it is nothing to do but either go into the army or else go into some other securities business. there's a security prison your wife is a big job creator. so, it seems to me we need to kind of start talking about this. this is part of the reality that keeps us at war. and when my review my own book critically i would say it doesn't talk about this enough. [laughter] >> i was a little uneasy with an approach that is similar to the beliefs of operate rationally.
it seems to me that when you talk about people go to war or that americans are the civil religion has them commit war when it seems to be justified if you substitute the self-interest, which is a very small change for self-defense, then you have a beast, sometimes a wounded beast it's just acting irrationally. and that it may be that the spectrum of what self-interest might need to be anything from, you know, profits or desire to stay in office. but if one thinks that fundamentally americans, you know, go to the war on the
rational principles, you may be missing the point entirely. >> but i don't. i mean, i hesitate to use the word of rational or irrational. when one is talking about values some people might say that is how your rationality or whatever. i don't want to go there. what i do think, however, what i know and writing to you would agree, is the government was no more likely to come in the case of iraq and say we are interested in the oil they they were in the philippines and say we are interested in the sugar or cuba, we are interested in the tobacco. they know the people in america are not going to buy it. they may be very self interested in their own lives.
they may be hustling to make money, whatever, in their own lives. they know that it's not right to send their children, their loved ones, their parents, what ever come to go out and get killed for oil or sugar or geopolitical advantage somewhere or for the blogger airbase in afghanistan camp in kosovo or whatever. they are -- that's the way eletes talk about their interest. it's all the way the ordinary people talk treated to one of the cases in which ordinary people or on a much more solid ground ethically speaking van foot eletes it seems to be cued because of that, they have to make these appeals, the elites have to make the appeal based on the these values, not on interest. and it is a surprise to me on
such an interest based -- it's a surprise to me that political scientists and historians didn't see this more clearly in part because they are so enamored of their own interest furies it seems to be. yes, sir. >> over 50 years ago, general dwight davis eisenhower, in his famous farewell speech, warned about the military-industrial complex. >> he did. >> i say that to all of my friends. do you cover that in your book, and the second half of my question is i worked hard to elect barack obama. i thought he was a wreck of -- would reconcile, and this probably happened since you bought the book, but he bought her clients and sinker, locks thought and they're all the industrial complex that he inherited from bush. any comments on that?
>> no. [laughter] not really. all of the military-industrial complex i don't talk about that in my book. perhaps i should have. there is a -- there are a couple of good books that came out a little before my and that you which of the is one reason the i don't go into it in more detail. the book the death of the victory culture, which is a very interesting book, talks about it, and there is another one that talks quite a lot about it but i forget the name of the book right now. i will find it leader and mentioned it to you. it's a very important statement in the statement that always struck me as amazingly innocent. that is he didn't know about this beforehand clacks point he didn't. i see he was a fighting general and a political general but his business was