tv Kingdom of the Unjust CSPAN December 4, 2016 5:30pm-7:01pm EST
write the book three or 45 different layers to make that narrative to food the population is and to really provide an understanding fundamentally a of the cultural social and economic leaders of the population and really to contribute to the academic literature except in very small terms what [applause] thanks to all of you for coming here tonight it really is a privilege to
introduce medea to all of you she is the reason i want all these committees felt end the reason i am up part of the movement in fresno because in 2012 when she came to speak to was about the drought were fair book i joined the movement in the group out on the street and that was no longer that person who occasionally went to the bay area and i know longer with was a volunteer activist. for a little bit about her, she has been involved 40 years this small woman has a voice of equal rights and social justice for the entire world.
and has received these and allocates, jr. prize for a the fellowship of reconciliation so national peacemaker award with thomas burton and the recognition for creative leadership on the front line for the anti-war movement to promote and peace. and the of co-founder that is why we wear pink and honor of her and that group began to fight against the war in iraq with code pink she has creative ways to protest to bring awareness and non-violent way as our
government becomes more and more violent she has been all over the world but with code pinkish she brings awareness to the drone issue and to fight for those same people and children and women and men who have been killed by the drums. she also has spent time in afghanistan libya syria iraq when she interrupted the president's speech one he said with that voice that we all need to here. with israel and palestine
taking numerous delegations to gaza and has been arrested and deported in her attempts to go there. she has been teargassed, arrested and deported in bahrain as ball in this part of devising in egypt. go see what she is all about and on behalf of the islamic cultural center for the international league of peace and freedom palestine freedom project in the center for nonviolence in a progressive democrats of america, i did not forget you. i present to you, medea benjamin. [applause]
>> so wonderful to be here and such a wonderful crowd. just because we might have a certain gentleman and called donald trump and the white house actually means we have to do more organizing than ever before to make sure that we pass around that sign up sheet for code pink. this is the time to go to:pink.org for those who have not then involved and want to say it is a great honor to be speaking in the islamic cultural center tonight i think me imam especially when we talk about saudi arabia.
i am of jewish background and anti-of done a lot of work on the injustices of the israeli government for the palestinians. many people in my family would say wire you always picking on israel? their other countries. indeed i have been working on a lot of issues with repressive arab countries but saudi arabia that i just turned away from and i realized it was not wanting to get involved in the cn should -- be persius any split that i did not understand or to feed into the islam of phobia that was so terrible in our country and projections around the world we could not kill people withdrawals unless quick country's thousands of miles away if not for deeper racism within our country.
especially during the donald trump and campaign and now bluenose what will happen in the white house, we have to be very careful about how we looked at issues related to its long. that is why i am so glad we started off looking at some of the pictures of saudi arabia to put into the context my muslim friends have told me to do, please don't talk about the saudis ideology when it comes to islamism version of islam but talk about it as a perversion of islam because it has nothing to do with the islam that is practiced by the vast majority of people are around the world which is a loving and compassionate form of islam. for the reason i have been encouraged by people in the muslim community to speak out and write this book and doing so many people who are
a part of the peace movement know so little about saudi arabia. so the book that i wrote this the basic 101 what you need to know about saudi arabia. it is important to step back and look at the foundation of this regime, which goes back to the 1700's when there was a figure come i consider coulter like muhammed who had his fundamentalist intolerance version of the caroline and said if you don't interpret like i did in you are the infidels of the you can go kill infidels so that turned out to be very convenient for those who want to call per adult lands and concord to use that ideology. we cannot go back into history but when the kingdom was declared a nation in
1932, i would say it would not have lasted for a long time but it would have been overthrown by its own people , people from the outside had it not been for the discovery of oil. khmer we have to look at the role of the united states and the westerners for keeping this regime intact. there was a very famous brith -- meeting between fdr during world war two and the king of saudi arabia and basically fdr said, not exactly, but you can go about doing what you want inside your own country we will not get involved to tell you how to rule the we will make sure that you don't get overthrown and as long as you allow western oil companies to come in here and make a lot of money
to export cheap saudi oil we will guarantee our security. so think of a family of saudi families and how that kingdom has been passed down from founder to send to son to sign now that the last remaining son gets out of bed we have to figure out after that but if not for a united states the kingdom would not exist. this one family today would not be among the family of nations because it is not a modern nation of how we are supposed to govern and it was important to look at those lives to get a sense of what this kingdom is like it is the kingdom where there are no such things as free speech reassembly or freedom of association. we hear a lot about iran in
there plenty of things to criticize but with the u.s. government, they always talk about iran spreading terrorism and not having free and fair elections. so what you talking about? there are not even elections on a national level much less free and fair. the original election for assembly or congress and why do we hear our leaders talking about back? we saw some of the atrocities of the saudi regime for example,, the use of the death penalty and executions by be heading even the term crucifixion i thought were they talking about? and realized it is a
gruesome saudi cutting off of the head the new posting the victim for several days in a public square as a warning to the rest of the population. you wonder where isis debts some of its crew some practices much of that comes from saudi arabia itself. you can see people like were sentenced 10 years in prison were sentenced because he was writing a block -- blog questioned the government to be a more open society and for that region late was given the death penalty there are other nonviolent reasons you could be executed within includes insulting the kingdom kingdom, atheism, homosexual kingdom, atheism, homosexual , one category even if you
are a sorcerer. there are many reasons you could be given the death penalty or a prison sentence . we also understand there are large segments of the of population that are discriminated against. like a win in. if you think of saudi women you probably think women cannot drive in fact, it is the only country where women are not allowed to drive. many people think of the forest -- the forced covering of women in public but what is most important to understand is the guardianships system that from the time she is born until the time the woman dies they have to have a male who is the legal guardian besides whether the women can make key decisions
in her life like who to marry or when to marry or what to study or what kind of job to get if she can get a passport or travel. she has bmi and guardian she could have quite a good life . but if she has the background or repressive and guardian her life can be held so that is why there are thousands of women who recently took a very courageous demand to sign a petition to say they want to see a lifting of the guardianships system. there are other entire sectors of the up population that are discriminated against in resaw that as well. if there is the country that is based on these theocracy they may have respect for people's religion but that is not the case but only if this the version of religion
that that is respected. but if you want to practice islam in a different kind of way then you would be discriminated against. if you are of the minority shia population in the eastern part of the country where the oil is, you think there would be the richest to benefit the most, from this regime, but that is not the case they are discriminated against very harshly when they try to rise up as they try to do. all so many non muslims and in fact, there are millions and that is because there is such a large foreign labor force. there are 2 million
christians in saudi arabia that are not allowed and to have a public place of worship it is illegal to build a church in is illegal to build any non muslim place of worship. you think that would be something of concern to christians in the united states many assume have elected congress people in our government but our government passed a law in 1998 called the international freedom of religion act that says every year we will study those countries that are not tolerant of people's right to to exercise their freedom of religion and put them in a category called countries of concern when we will sanction those countries for every year the study is done every year north korea north korea. burma.
saudi arabia country of concern for kronos sanctions. why? i discovered that in 2004 the state department placed a waiver it is indefinite the doesn't even have to be renewed to get saudi arabia of repasts against our own laws. i mentioned there is a large migrant to labor force of the 30 million people that live in saudi arabia, a 10 million are foreigners. most of them come from very pour countries like india or bangladesh or the philippines and they come to make money to send back home to their family is. first of all, you cannot just say i will see what kind of job by can get. no.
you have to have a sponsor you get there already having paid a be crew to the feet feet, a sponsor who basically on you. just like in a guardianship system you could be lucky to get a good sponsor who treats you will then pay you what they said they will but you could get a nasty sponsor who will work. >> host: days a week or 12 hours a day and not pay you what they say, abuses you even sexual abuse you as this domestic worker accused said this is not what i bargained for of want to go back home you cannot do that because you need a visa the only one who can issue you the basic is your employer. it is like a modern-day form of slavery actually slavery was not -- abolished until 1962.
a country that oppresses entire segments of the population even has a religious belief to enforce a lot of this not only does internally the saudi arabia is spreading its ideology around the world purposes quite a relatively new phenomenon that happened after the 79 revolution in iran when a shia country said we are the guardians of islam, we have the true version and the saudis said hours in is in b will spread that to use a lot of those petrodollars to build thousands of mosques and schools all over the world. i remember being in palestine west bank to set in a cafe and and said it you see that moscow for their?
the saudis built that the saudis felt that. a bill that we have so many other needs why did they keep building more and more mosques? they have been doing negative so may places around the world even obama said one time in egypt the largest muslim country country, there is a very tolerant loving version of islam practiced with the saudis came in you could see the extreme is some that came with the influence of saudi arabia. we were told by our government that they were working with the saudis to try to stop the extremist element but unfortunately the government just could not control its own clerics and people and to was certain extent that is true. what we have seen from the cables released recently from which he makes --
wikileaks open it was the government of saudi arabia supporting groups like outcry that or those outside of branches in syria and iraq, libya, even supporting nicest as we have seen from the 2014 cable recently released. we have cables that show hillary clinton saying what will we do about the saudis? they keep funding the extremist groups. she had the power to do something about it as secretary of state for unfortunately what she did was ask for funding for for clinton foundation. the u.s. government at some point has to sit back to say how can it be that our government is spending
trillions of tax dollars bucks the lives of soldiers those of so many muslim countries all in the name of fighting extremism while at the same time we are a major ally of the country that is most responsible for spreading extremism around the world. we really have to start looking at the mindboggling fact. i said one of the reasons is a whale. -- oil. but it is the key factor they have used those petrodollars to invest in u.s. economy to give them leverage investing in hundreds of billions of dollars of treasury bonds and to buyup u.s. companies including will refineries in texas, real estate, they talk about bailing out
donald trump twice and investing in companies like uber that gave them a seat on the board ironic that half the population cannot drive. they give money lavishly to think tanks on the left and on the right like the atlantic council and the brookings institute because you could not have such a thing tanking and saudi arabia they also give money to the u.s. universities and in fact, that was recently at the yale law school we went to visit them to say do you think it is ironic in gail law school is founded -- funded by saudis and
there is no rule of law? also now they have employed about 10 different puerto rico law firms to represent them in washington d.c.. behalf to be registered with the government as foreign agents and they are full of former congress people people, former people from u.s. military, one of these groups is call the of protesting group -- started by tony and john podesta he left to run that hillary campaign and tony stayed behind to be, paid for an agent of the saudi government getting $140,000 every month to represent the saudi government to.
in addition to all of this that is the biggest factor of the relationship of the to the saudi arabia has become by far the largest purchaser of u.s. weapons. the amount of weapons that saudi arabia and is mind-boggling. we have never sold such vast sums of weapons to any country before and just under the obama administration we have sold $115 billion worth of weapons to saudi arabia. let that sink and progress in times it is hard when you talk about big numbers but that is a massive amount of weapons. saudi arabia right now is propping up the u.s. military-industrial complex. water they doing with the weapons? repressing their own people going into neighboring countries like during the era of spring they did not want to see democratic
movements prevail in the neighborhood so they went into bahrain with a beautiful blonde violent uprising with the population using u.s. tanks came into crush the uprising. now the weapons can be found in the all chitin groups. bottles so the weapons are now used to devastate an already very pour country in the middle east and that is yemen this is what the country does not cover enough that they barely even understand. going on 20 months since the saudis got involved in the internal conflict in yemen because they wonder who was close to lybrand to give them a foot told and alike
george bush they thought it would be quick but it has not been it has been very dirty but not quick it has been 20 months. i said yemen was already a port country but now united nations say it is catastrophic not only the thousands of innocent people being killed mostly by the bombings, and also because of the destruction of the infrastructure and millions of children severely malnourished. the face of famine with an outbreak of cholera because the water system has ben destroyed and so many medical facilities one study said one-third of the targets have been civilian so the market place, schools , residential neighborhoods. . .
chris murphy, the senator from connecticut, like rand paul a another republican from kentucky and they said finally enough is enough and they force a vote inside the congress and the senate. the first time we've had such a vote in the senate. you would think 100 senators would say of course we don't want to send a senators to this regime but unfortunately then it was 27 of them. it was the beginning. barbara boxer voted the right way. feinstein voted the wrong way. after this talk, make a call and tell her no weapon sales to saudi arabia. so, i mentioned that saudi arabia is propping up the military-industrial complex. we are in a muslim place of worship right now that prides
itself on being interface and that is so important these days. one person of faith i want to bring into the room is told francis. and i want to do that because pope francis came to speak before the congress, and among the things he said, he talked about weapons. he said why are we selling weapons to people that use them in such an abusive way. the answer he said his money that is drenched in blood. a bunch got up and started clapping which i find quite ironic. the weapons industry is clever and they make weapons in every single congressional district
and then they give money to those congresspeople for their reelection campaigns and then the congresspeople say we couldn't possibly stop weapons sales to these countries or stop the production of the weapon systems. they want to see the government represent th the values and we e to stand up not only to the arms industry but to the people in congress, the people who are in the white house, the people who are complicit with us selling weapons to the regimes of saudi arabia. so, that is one major take away i want you to take with you from this talk.
the other is to recognize as we saw in the slide that there are those that are trying to change their own government. some of them have already been executed and are rotting away in the prisons. many of them are looking for other means to challenge the regime. those that i have been talking to say we are afraid with the government not giving the ability to make changes for the better inside saudi arabia, we are going to see the violent people that want to overthrow the regime and things could be a lot worse than they are now because there is no civil society to fill the void. who would take over, to groups like al qaeda and isis and that's why they say we need reforms desperately so people start seeing the change is possible. i mentioned the women signed
petitions calling for the lifting of the system. we know that there are people in the community that only want to be treated like equals to send. and at the forward thinking to say luck, we are living in an absolute monarchy. they are living in other parts of the world even in great britain they have a monarchy and people love their kings and queens and have a ceremonial function. these are the people the government should be supporting but unfortunately, whether it's been a republican or democrat in office, they've been supporting the regime instead of the real
democrats. so we have a lot of things to do with a new administration and i hope in this session we can get into that. but let's recognize the power of the military-industrial complex and the power of big oil have kept us in this relationship with the regime and this is something that we have to find a way to unite among people of different faiths and different ethnicities to unite among people left or right. we can work towards uniting people to say that it is way
more important that we support democracy around the world and get ourselves off of the fossil fuel treadmill so that we might have a future in this beautiful planet we live on the fan it iso be supporting these monarchs holding onto power for so many decades. so i hope as we try to strengthen our democratic process that we have seen to be so corrupt and so tainted during the last election period we tried to change the foreign policy that's made us an arms dealer around the world and a peacemaker. let's say power to the peaceful at home and abroad, that's where we are going. let's do it. thank you.
[applause] that was awesome, wasn't it? [applause] all right, if you have a question, in a nice peaceful manner, maybe we can form a line over here. make your questions to the point. the allies, no speeches and then we can have some time for question and answer. then we can start the line for book signings over here. if you haven't bought your books we have about 11 more copies and then that's it and you can get it later on.
it is being filmed. >> my question has to do with the most recent passing of the law. can you explain your outlook on that? >> it is the wall that the family members have been fighting for for the last 15 years. they want to know how high up the chain was the complicity in the 9/11 attacks. we know that 15 of the 19 were saudis but we don't know who else was involved in it. so, the wall that was passed was
quite amazing and happened on the 15th anniversary of the attacks. it happened during the election period and unfortunately, president obama vetoed the law and said that this would give a bad precedent to other countries they basically said they might want to sue us for war crimes. but amazingly, congress overrode a veto. so now there is a lot of pressure from the saudi government on congresspeople, the lobbyists that i talked about are not only going to people at the national level, they are going to the local level to the governors and state assemblies to say we might pull out our money and this would be bad for the u.s. economy. you should have the redo. we don't know what is going to happen when congress comes back. we will hope the law firms go
ahead because this might be the only way we can get ahold o a hf the documents that our government has from fbi investigations that can tell us a lot more information that we should have the right to know. >> thank you for the presentation. i was interested in the destruction of the presentation mentioned. i think it is kind of ironic the idea that the culture wants to expand its version of this but then at the same time destroying its own sites. did you have any rationale behind that and it might seem contradictory.
some cars have been broken into. it may be a hate crime. please go check your cars. an audible conversations. we will take two more questions and then we will conclude i would like to repeat what happened in this situation. saudi arabia had a relationship with the united states and a few cars were broken into and a few items were also stolen.
as far as i know, three cars. this makes me wonder who knew the car and attacked it. we called the police about 20 minutes ago and expect them to show up any minute. >> [inaudible] >> we will take two more questions and i do apologize for what happened and really appreciate your time. we will take two more questions. thank you very much. >> i just want to say something before we go to the questions. this isn't new.
this has been happening to the islamic centers for a long time now but this is what yo we are going to face more often now because the donald trump campaign and now the presidency has given a green light to hate and i want to say how sorry i feel to you and the wonderful people of this islamic cultural center of constantly are opening up to send her to dialogue, to discussions of love and compassion in how we work together and appreciate the human family and the beautiful bouquet that we are. to be targeted is such a violation of such of the values that we want to stand for as a nation. i feel violated. everything in my car was taken and i feel more violated for the
people who run this center who have to now face this on perhaps in even more regular basis and i hope that as part of the discussion we talk about how we form rings of solidarity and protect the mosques and our brothers and sisters and how we protect the muslim community, the latino community com commite immigrant community, how we protect all the people that will be even more victimized so this is a pretty immediate future that we face. on the other hand, i do want to say that i have never seen such an outpouring of objection as we've seen since the election
happened and it's coming from particularly young people who say this is in the future i want. so, whether donald trump is going to get out there and say hate speech is bad, attacking mosques is wrong, attacking immigrants is wrong. we need to be out there saying it loud and clear and not just saying it. we have to form ways of making sure that it happens. i remember right after 9/11 i was in san francisco, one of the most progressive parts of the country there was an attack on a neighborhood grocer because he was a muslim and you know what hwe did, we slept in his grocery store night after night. we said we will not let this happen in our community and we started printing no hate zone signs and put them all over the place. we are going to have to go back to that again.
let this be a warning. let this be a signal, not a call to feel maybe we've got to not do some of this work, just the opposite. let this invigorate us to recognize what is happening in the country and what is happening to our brothers and sisters both victimized by the hatred that's been going on for way too long. what a pledge tonight but we will stand up for everybody that is being unfairly victimized that we will stand up against hate, misogyny, it' if homophob, anti-immigrant sentiments, that we will do more than we have done and people do all we can do and we will use this evening to remember what it's like to be targeted and what the
appropriate response is, not only calling on the police the community to come out here and i think it would be a beautiful thing if we got the permission to call on the community to come out here tomorrow in massive numbers to show their love for the center and to show that we will not be intimidated and we are unified among love. [applause] thank you for focusing the whole argument and discussion. you made a wonderful comment saying this isn't just a question of protesting but working with both sides republicans, democrats. the thought flashes across my mind that we all need to work.
here's an opportunity to focus on where th the terrorism is cog from so we can help them to differentiate between muslims and those that are considered to be somehow ridiculously related to islam and therefore i'm wondering what we get working with our representatives in the congressmen and forcing them to focus the energy of saudi arabia and its positions and how can we move into the legislative process. we need to get inside the white house and how do we do that. >> there are some things he said on the campaign that are positive. for example, have a better relationship with russia because
we don't want to go to war with russia. saying that the bush administration knew th that lieo the american people is an important thing to hear. he said that they are the most responsible for spreading extremism around the world. let's hold him to that. i agree we have to see if there are ways that we can work with both sides, that we can force another vote in congress and get both of our senators from the great state of california to vote the right way if we can push whoever is in the white house to look at where a lot of the source of terrorism is coming from but let's recognize he's had some terrible things
like torture is okay, that it's okay to kill the families of suspect that this is a warning. he's talked about the expansion of the military, and he's talked about the need for further after having said that israel and palestine he was going to be neutral, he turned around and said no, he was going to make the jerusalem capital and move the u.s. embassy there and the settlement should keep on going. so, he said a lot of contradictory things and we don't know what we are working within who we are working with. we know that the weapons and manufacturing sector went
soaring and that is not a good sign. >> my question relates to something very real today and you touched on it tonight. one person received 2 million votes because of the syste but m we have in the country, at one time that way and owners voted for a system. we are all impacted by that decision. i wonder if at some time you can precede a different climate
where they might vote to let the person get the most votes and take over and have the situation we are facing today. thank you. our democracy isn't one tha is i would wish on other countries. there is no reason to have the electoral college. it should be abolished. to have long lines even where i live inside of washington, d.c.. it isn't a win or take all but it's a representative system
where you get if you get 5% of the vote for congress can you get 5% of the seats. we should get money out of politics in this corruption of the influence in politics there are so many things we need to change to say we believe and recognize the model of democracy that we have. i thought things were going to change that they seem to go along with this stuff and it has to come from us at the grassroots.
>> years ago asked by a student and, edward came to speak and there were repeated bomb threats that day that told me and signaled to me what he was about to tell us. i'm getting older, you know. 88, 89. i wanted to tell them this is the first time i am blessed to come to the islamic center. the importance of this event has shown me is this is a unique place. i want to comment not to choose the self-help of assimilation of what's coming. when you see something like this it means you huddle in more and as we have a tax -- [applause]
>> we have one more. >> i just wanted you to expand on something you said in your talk. you said sometimes it is easier to talk to conservatives and progressives on these matters and i was wondering what line of reasoning. >> we have been going up to the religious christians in congress and with my friends in fact a very brave woman that goes up whenever we point them out she goes up and says are you a good
christian, of course. then why are you selling weapons to the only country in the world where it is illegal and that leaves them a little dumbfounded so then she says mike i come to your office and talk to you a bit more about this. we don't know how well it works because we haven't for a vote again for this is an issue where we show hypocrisy and put people on the spot and we make it a personal kind of thing. so, that is one example of the kind of approach we have been using.
[inaudible] speed many of the palestinians i work with and i appreciate using that language because i think that is something that wakes people up to the gravity of the situation and actually want to learn more about it. and the fact that many of the conservative jewish groups in the country are so opposed to it is also indicative that this gets to people and is quite
marvelous but the blacklight smatter platform went even further and accused of genocide and that's made the more conservative community in the united states extremely angry and caused a rift between some of them and the blacklight smatter folks stood their ground and they said this is how we see it. we have seen it with our own eyes. we come back and we are speaking our church. so i think we have to use words that reflect the gravity of the situation and make people reflect on why we are using those words. so in closing i just want to say a great thank you.
i will not leave without talking to you about our extreme sorrow for what happened tonight, not as individuals have lost our stuff up as a community that's been violated and what he can do to work with you in the future and i'm happy to come back and sleep right here on the floor if need be. [applause] i would like to add one more sentence.
a few decades ago the regime was an ally of the united states have a good relationship with social work and awareness, the situation changed and people got their freedom. this is what we need to do with saudi arabia with the work focusing on the fact unfortunately because of the alliance and the power in the united states they are continuing to target muslims, americans coming europeans. we need to work to change the situation and let the world know so within a few years we will
see freedom and democracy in solidarity in bringing this issue to the state and the med media. you have our support and again i would like to apologize for what happened. but for me this is more important. another fact i would like to share with you, they informed me that they would like to repay for the damage. [applause] out of her generosity and kindness she isn't accepting the payment. [applause] thank you very much. god bless. [applause]
we are overlooking downtown tempe arizona looking at the literary themes. up next we speak with stephen about his book about the history of contemporary america. >> for 50 years the country tried to take fire out of the landscape and that was half the engagement. that's been the dominant theme it's not one that is generally
beginning to end that can be adapted but it's not fundamentally what the story is about. it's hard to tell the story. there was a series in the 19th and early 20th centuries. they decided to take it so you could never have the potential so the kind of full scale resistance model we will tackle any before it has the chance to do anything. it wasn't until the 1930s they finally had the wherewithal and
part of it was the monopoly in the focal institution. they were becoming overgrown with trees and that was every two or three years long leaf pine in the southwest. environments like that were not getting the frequent fliers so stuck was building up and was no longer being flushed out. the character was changing so you have the continuity t of the surface up to the canopies so you are getting different kinds of fires to which they are no longer adapted not just in
the issues are in the southeast and the dissenting message that most people are unaware of or want to hear. people want to move to a setting because they want peace, privacy, they don't want to be byrd and with institutions and taxes and all the rest of it about if they do that unless they take the active measures on their own most of them are not going to war going to want to. they won't have the service to fall back on and the lack of capacity is a huge issue. so there is an effort to build the volunteer fire departments.
it's a relatively benign way of keeping it under wraps. this legislation in some states that speaks to the landowners right that there are certain rules that you follow those rules and you are fine. florida even changed to put the bias in favor because the alternatives are so awful. but we have a lot of experience with our cities burning an in te fixed that by the political positions we will not have been burned like this anymore. they are going to build a protection system. despite all the efforts going
are just not there. it will establish a base level for the market. that's how we did it with the cities and what we are going to have to do with the interface that has been mystified. if you redefine it then it's pretty obvious what you have to do. we know how to keep. it's more or less under our control tha but the larger issue isn't one of a problem that we fix it is a relationship. we've had a relationship fire
has defined who we are into that isn't a problem that we fix. if changes. we will always be between fires. so you get this kind of going on and i think that it's importantt this isn't something okay we just enacted this legislation, we poured billions into it and fixed the problem goes away, we got onto something else. it's just part of how nature works and how we interact. that is a lesson we need to hear. >> we are here to learn about the literary culture into the speak with simpson on how he does his writing and research.
>> in the morning when the house is quiet and nothing else is going on i can get some writing undisturbed. i can pay attention to my daughter and my wife but this is my time i make the test come to life. when you die who tells their story combined the person that tells the story and i'm going to do the best i can, as honest and balanced as i can but i get to do something fundamentally creative and say this is what i think happened. sometimes the night before i will take notes about things i want to talk about. sometimes sentence fragments were ideas and phrases i want to try out so i had a good idea by the time i get in front of my
computer but i'm going to do but they've usually thought about it for quite some time. most people know me as a historian of 19th century america on the topics and in that area i'm best known in the period in the united states military. i now bear that title. the concept can be very good. it's a very busy time for me. one of the challenges as you know you're not working with
everything that happened. things survive and perish. trying to take that and say what really happened. forget about what you think or what you interpret. that can be a challenge enough. they have a prearranged agenda, an ax to grind. they want to find out what happened. when you write about the generals you try to get the reader to understand what that
particulaparticular individual d understood. you know in hindsight what happened in hindsight you think would sharpen your understanding that now you know the result and say why would someone do something so stupid. well, history goes from front to back not from front to back. so you have to look and say what was their decision. but at least we have a better idea why they made the decision given what they knew at the time. political figures i think they carry their own baggage. you have to think about the decisions they had and the political rally before them. but they expand what is possible
and that distinguishes and abraham lincoln who responded and moved forward and didn't always do much to expand that even if he was frustrated by that. >> the most famous biography of grant took a negative eu and if you said anything else was found to be more positive and that's sad by the time i started writing, other people then started to get interested
thinking he might be safe as a topic anthetopic and went far ir direction so at the beginning, people thought i was going to correct the historical record and returning back to his pedestal. now people think it's safe to write about him and now we know that when the big names coming it's been going on for about 25 years so they are coming near the end. i noticed they were talking about how to rehabilitate grant. mine is about what he did that we might find praiseworthy.
in that sense, the people i study i can identify them at certain times and to say why did you do that so i will see myself as somebody that is there to raise somebody's scale of greatness but this is what grant was about. and i think that i try to be very fair and i don't try to become enamored. >> why is iy. is a popular subji think because some people are still residing at.
i understand many people identify in a personal way how we lost and had nothing to do with it and so they become very agitated. it's not the same as understanding the role. i think a lot of people get involved in this period very personally. the war is over, let's go home. one of the reasons is the use of
tigger was in and the process that they acquiesced. i think that is an ugly part of the test we don't want to confront the panel on. but we have to understand why the united states came together after this struggle of the reconciliation i think america has to look at the dark parts of the past. past. it is not good to be reconstruction of the musical but it's something we pay attention to in many cases it continues. when people react to my writing and they are not enamored with it first that's their problem but i think it's because people who read what other people write
assume they do come with an agenda and they have heroes and villains that they are going to celebrate or vilify. it's interesting you have the assumption that often times i see those critics projecting their own issues. one time i wrote a book on henry adams in the 1990s a short hook and they kne knew it woulde controversial and i knew that historians would like it and the literary critics that were enamored with take issues. i might have a point so when the book came out the reviews followed.
that isn't what the book was about to how they tried to forge a political career and how he failed in the later writings. there were critics is not. i knew i was getting into. history is never addressed the fact. it's how you put them together and how you bring the past alive to the reader and give your insight to the things you know. you can reflect on what you've written int and that can be fun. it can be a really delightful moment. ..