tv Farah Pandith How We Win CSPAN April 14, 2019 7:50am-9:01am EDT
los angeles public library fire of 1986 in "the library book." and wrapping up our look at some of the best selling nonfiction books according to the los angeles times is "salt in my soul," a memoir by the late mallory smith about living with cystic fibrosis and her battle with a deadly superbug. most of these authors have appeared on booktv, and you can watch them online at booktv.org. [inaudible conversations] [applause] >> good evening and welcome. my name system alice greenwald, and i'm president and ceo of the 9/11 memorial and museum, and as always, it's a pleasure to greet you and to welcome even to
tonight's program along with those who are tuning in to our live web broadcast at 9/11 memorial.org/live. it is a special pleasure for me to welcome farr rah pandith back -- farah pandith back to the museum. we were honored to have her participate in a public program cosponsored a few years ago with the u.s. holocaust memorial museum. and during the museum's planning phase, far ahs graciously accepted our invitation to be interviewed for what ultimately became our reflecting on 9/11 installation, so we thank you again for that. this evening she will help us consider practical proactive ways to counter extremist ideologies. despite the years, lives and billions of dollars spent fighting terrorist organizations, extreme ideas continue to attract adherence, and the threat of terrorism tragically persists.
in dialogue with gideon rose, farah will address the scourge of global violent extremism. in the happens to be the topic of her newly-published book, "how we win." and she should know. a leading expert in pioneer in countering violent extreme limb, farah pandith served as a political appointee under three presidents. she was the first ever representative to muslim communities for the u.s. department of state, serving both secretaries hillary clinton and john kerry. under president george w. bush, farah was director for middle east regional initiatives and chief of staff at the u.s. agency for international
development's bureau for asia and the near east. she's also served on the homeland security advisory council chairing it task force on countering violent extremism. and currently, she is senior fellow at harvard university's john f. kennedy school of government and an adjunct senior fellow at the council on foreign relations. gideon rose is the peter -- prior to this he was the deputy director of national security studies at the cfr. from 1994-1995, mr. rose served as associate director for near east and southeastern affairs on the staff of the national security council. he was assistant editor at the bimonthly international affairs magazine, the national interest, from 1986-87 and at the public
interest from 1985-86. following tonight's program we invite you to stay for a reception where you will have the opportunity to purchase farah pandith's new book, "how we win," on the day of its release. without further ado, please join me in welcoming farah pandith in conversation with gideon rose. [applause] >> thank you very much. this is hallowed ground. we are on sacred space in america. this is tragic ground where there has also been rebirth and recreation of a new form of the country and a new national consciousness. the attacks on 9/11 disrupted american life and american foreign policy and were an incredible shock to the system. and the initial response of the first responders and the
community here in new york and everybody around the world and in the country was an outpouring and a rush of blood and support and a kind of visceral community-building effort to recover, to grieve, to control the immediate damage and so forth. but that was soon followed by a second wave of emotions that, is essentially, replicated and mirrored the attacks. we were attacked. we lashed out and attacked. we were maimed and tortured, we lashed out and maimed and tortured. we were the subject of binary thinking, and we replicated that. and the war on terror that took place to respond to a real challenge often made that problem worse rather than better. almost 20 years on, we can think about how we should have reacted, about how we should have behaved and what we can and should do now about some of these problems.
the psychologist victor franco once said between stimulus and response there's a space. in that space is our power to choose our response. and in to our response lies -- in our response lies our growth and our freedom. what we did with the war on terror, with the invasion of iraq was to essentially react rather than respond. we did a knee-jerk hijacking and capture of the national consciousness instead of thinking how should we solve these problems. we took our pain and suffering and mirrored it back. finishing -- farah's work shows the alternative path that could have been taken. it is essentially that of somebody sincerely asking. there is a terrible problem of violent extremism in the world that we are in. it produced the kind of awful, terrible the attack that
destroyed the towers and so much else. how should we understand this? what is the war against that that we are fighting? what is the considered thoughtful, appropriate response to that? and how could and should we diffuse that violent extremist project and win that war? in some ways i see your book as a guide to the not taken that -- to the path not taken that we can and should take going forward. so with that, let me get into the details. you say this is how we win. what is the fight that we are winning? who is the enemy and what is the fight? >> this book is about a very specific kind of enemy, and it's terrorist organizations that use the name of islam to lure young muslims into their army. now, we all know there are all kinds of different bad actors in this world. and unfortunately in the time
that we're in today, we're seeing a rise of all kinds of hate, of us versus them. some of the lessons in this book apply to the rise of neo-nazis, they apply to a common person experiencing hate in their community. but what i'm trying to do here is to say exactly what you have just defined. we cannot win against these kinds of terrorists if the only thing we're doing is preparing the strategy for a physical war. because there is an ideological dimension that we have not focused on. >> so it's almost like the demand side, you know, the growth of the problem. there was a famous rumsfeld memo of are we, you know, we can kill them off, but are we creating more of them than we are killing off. if that's a net negative result, the more you make the problem worse rather than better. so how to you fight extremism without giving into it in a way
that minimizes and dampens the problem rather than exacerbating and unflaming it? the -- enflaming it? >> one of the things that you have to do is to understand that a strategy needs to be put in place. and a central is not what's -- a strategy is not what's the most vital piece of political architecture in the world that we need to go after, is it this part of the world, can we do a little bit over here and a little bit over there. it's to understand that ideas don't have flaws, they're connected. and so for me, as i look at, as you said, almost 20 years since 9/11, the path that we have to take requires us to understand, a, that there's an ideological battle that we have to fight, and we need to go all in to fight it. and, b, the generation of people that are being lured into armies like isis are a very particular demographic. those kids that have grown up post-9/11ing having a very
specific experience -- 9/11. there's something really big that has happened that government has not really understood, nor have average citizens understood. and so when i look at the answers, it's not just about what we need to do in the old executive office building or at the state department in terms of a strategy that you're writing. it's to understand what's actually happening within cultures to nearly a billion kids who are under the age of 30 around the world. >> okay, i totally buy that. now, let's imagine i'm a general. i'm a stan mccrestal type. i'm -- mcchrystal type. i want to build teams and want to actually solve the problem and would prefer not to fight. i know what to do in the kinetic part of the job, how to beat terrorists, how to find them and track them down. i hear what you're saying, it resonates, i want to do this other stuff, but what does it actually mean in practice? what is the bomb line program -- bottom line program that i could
put in place if i wanted to supplement my kinetic efforts with your squishy stuff, what does it mean? [laughter] >> so that squishy stuff is the stuff government doesn't know how to do well, do we? when you to someone and say we need to talk about the fact that people are having a crisis of identity, people's eyes glaze over. that's too squishy. emotional stuff, government's going to do that? we don't know how to do that. you can tell me how many tanks, how many guns i'm going to need, how many troops need to go in order to win. you can't measure what you need to do to move someone away from finding an appeal of an ideology. but that that doesn't mean we can't figure this out. it means that the woke generals, even though all of them have said the ideological war matters, don't know quite how to do it at the pace that we need to do it in order to win. >> okay, so who does. stan mcchrystal says i hear
that and that makes sense, so instead of trying to do what you do, i'm just going to hire you, bring you on to my staff, give you a fancy budget, now go off and do the stuff that will help, be a force multiplier for all my kinetic efforts. >> in the physical world we have a chairman of the joint chiefs. that person wakes up every day and is responsible for the physical wars that are happening in the world. who is the person who wakes up every day in our government and says how are we doing on that ideological war? the there isn't anyone. there's never been anybody. there is no strategy since 9/11 to understand all of our assets in the ideological space. so while you can say it's really important and we need to do more, somebody in government also needs to be responsible for what are all the things that we have in our toolbox that we can actually use, and how much of this do we need to use, and how much of that do we need to use? >> all right, so let's play
fantasy game continued here for 200. [laughter] now there is that czar. we've rechanged the structure of american foreign policy, recognized that the post-9/11 re-org didn't work, so we've done yet another re-org, and there's now an ideological -- just like when i was at the clinton administration, the nsc infrastructure worked well, but we didn't have anything for economic stuff the. >> right. >> and so they created the national economic council as kind of a ratchet networks of the nsc to basically do the same kind of thing. and it actually made things better, it was easier to coordinate. it's not the entire thing, but it works. so now you have not just a national security council and a national economic council, but you have, like, an ideological czar. you're the ideological czar with powers to reorient strategy or suggest -- what to you do differently? >> so it's important to understand that, obviously, both in the bush administration and in the obama administration many conversations like this were happening, what do we do about
the organization of this problem that we have? can we build and fix a way within our interagency so that we can solve for the problem? we know we need to do more. we don't have any resources, and that's a different conversation about why congress hasn't actually put the money into the ideological war that they have into the physical war. that's important to understand. but it isn't only a problem of structure. it's a problem of credibility. how can you build the kind of antibodies within a community if government is the only one who's playing? to you can't, because you can't persuade a young muslim to believe what the united states government or any other government in the world has to say. young people talk to young people, so it has to be a peer-to-peer kind of thing. and the folks that actually know what's taking place at the grassroots level are, in fact, ngos that are doing this. so what government has to do is it has to figure out a way to work with the ngos and scale the ideas that the ngos know work at the grassroots level and
make it into a 24/7 machine just the way the bad guys do on their project. we need to deploy that kind of focus, that kind of attention and, or frankly, that kind of experience and money towards the problem. >> so if we did this, what essentially you'd be doing would be to create a sort of counterideological force that would be a sort of benign positive approach to thinking and viewing things that would offer the potentially radicalizeable teenagers a choice rather than just leaving it to the madrassas by default. instead of yelling at the saudis for trying to co-opt everybody and convert them, do our own kind of massive version of public education, de-radicalization, attempt to stop the radicalization process before it gets started, so reduce the flow of terrorists? >> one of the things that's important before we even get
there is to understand what is it we're solving for, right? it's not just -- there are kids that find this appealing. you have to ask why, why do they find this appealing. and one of the things that i think we haven't unpacked in a way that actually makes sense is that lure of that us versus them. it's connected to a crisis of identity that young muslims have been having all over the world since 9/11, right? so they're asking questions about what it means to be a modern muslim, what the difference is between culture and religion. how can i live my religion out loud. and the weird thing is, you know, you can understand that intellectually, but when you see it, it's surprising because it's not just happening with muslims that are living in muslim-majority countries. both this demographic problem is huge, i told you there are a billion under the age of 30. if you understand it's an identity crisis that we have to try to solve for, the only voices that can help a young
person navigate through that can't be the bad guys who say i'm going to tell you how to be a better muslim. it's got to be all of the community, right? >> yes. >> right? so it can't just be government. it's got to be the other sectors which ises why the czar is important, the interagency is important, the money that congress gives to embassies around the world to work on this project, it's important. but so is the scale. and you can't get the scale on the kinds of things that happen around identity if it's only one sector doing something, and we're not allowing the ngos to be able to do what they know that they can do. that requires a partnership and a cooperation across three sectors, government, the private sector as well as regular citizens themselves. >> okay. that makes perfect sense, and i see that as a sort of plan to sort of scale up and distribute and maximize the benefits of any intervention you come up with. somebody does a good program
here, it works, you put the entire force of the u.s. government behind it, you follow up and you end up, essentially, crowd sourcing the problem and following the best ideas. >> yes. >> makes perfect sense. i'm somewhat skeptical about the potential intervention that you can then scale up. i have two teenagers -- >> right. >> they're living in park slope. i can't get them to watch the tv shows i want to watch, read the books i want them to read, listen to the music -- if i can't do that with my kids in park slope, how the hell are we going to do that with, you know, people in yemen, changing their preferences and getting them onto the right path that we want them to follow? >> if it was only people in yemen, we'd have a different problem on our hands. we have people in surname, trinidad, argentina and brazil, in china, in india and pakistan. think about the diversity of each of those countries. think about all of the young people who are going up i through an identity crisis that
have all understood that they can connect to what it means to be muslim by their peers in a social media platform. and i'm not going to tell you it's one platform or the other, it's all of them combined. some people are using instagram, some people are using facebook, some people are using, you know, pick your thing. the message they're getting up from their parents because, by the way, your kids aren't going to listen to you, they're going to listen to their friends, right? what's cool? how does it feel to be a young person today? you're not going to get it from what you're watching it in your home, you're getting it from what you're seeing in pictures and in emotion that you're getting from your peer groups. >> so are we helping their peers? this. >> we're helping -- we're basically talent scouting around the world, and we're finding young voices that are credible to other young people and listening to the ideas that make sense for particular nuanced communities. it is not all of brazil needs to do this or all of china needs to
do that. it is which neighborhood are we dealing with, what -- who are the influencers in that neighborhood. gideon, sometimes it's music, sometimes it's art, sometimes it's a theology that's going to drive somebody to move in a different direction. it isn't one thing, it's many things at once. but it is -- the requirement is something has to exist. you can't have a vacuum that the only place that's being filled is with the bad guys' content. we need content too. >> so this is like sort of creating local constructive support groups and networks for at-risk youth around the world so they get some good influences and constructive support and lean in circles or whatever as well as the same things they're getting in civil society connected to a more radicalized mosque which gives them the community and belonging they want and the sense of purpose and meaning that ties it to a negative project that can be used to blow up buildings.
>> the central point here is that there isn't a monolith that is islam. there isn't one way of being muslim. and kids need to understand that they can live their identity out loud in a lot of different ways. and what we are seeing around the world is that instead of that happening, it's going in reverse. when kids aring asking questions about what it means to be modern and muslim, they're seeing one answer and one uniform way of thinking. and they're picking apart all the diversity, 1400 years of history, that has been pulled apart so that they only see one way to live their religion in the way they think is pure. and that's problematic for a government because what that means is that the bad guys can lure them into their armies. but what does it mean for nongovernment? it means that you're changing the very nature of what a community feels like. and that's actually the ultimate thing here. one piece of this is can you make america safer, let's suppose, can you make canada
safer, can you make the u.k. safer. okay, there are questions around terrorist organizations doing bad things. but what we have to understand is because of the demographics that we're talking about, a billion kids under the age of 30 who are all dealing with this constant, all-day every day angst and with bad guys who are there interested in that angst and we're not. that's the problem that we're facing because we don't even know what is coming, meaning we don't know how these kids are going to decide to live their identity out loud. and what i know is that government is limited in its ability to actually add value at a community level. but it can do some really spectacular things. it can be the convener and the facilitator and the intellectual partner with the ideas that we hear on the ground. it can bring attention, america especially can bring attention to the ideological war, because when it begins to say it is going to do something, a lot of
countries begin to say, wait, what is america doing? what's the innovation there? what's the creativity? where is the partnership with creatives in america in where is the designed thinking for the problem we have, and most importantly -- and this is the thing that absolutely kills me. in the years that aye been working on this -- that i've been work on this, i'm not a social scientist. i am somebody who is learning from what i see. and when i talk to people about what i have seen and heard with the identity crisis, people have asked me, well, are there behavioral scientists that you're talking to about the human brain? because if a human brain doesn't get mature until 24, surely e government has brought in the social scientists to talk to us about how to disrupt what the kids are seeing. and, of course, we have not the because you've been in government too, you and i both know that that does not happen. so i want to turn things on its head. i want to say if we know that egg solve in the at a local level and here are all the things that we can do, who are
all the actors we can bring forward to be able to work on this with us. >> preventing extremism takes a village. and in some ways what we're really doing is helping generate the cultural and social antibodies to extremism that's going to potentially work by creating a healthy immune system in the societies locally so that the individuals involved can fight off the infections of bad sort of ideological -- because that's sort of. >> that is, essentially, what i'm saying because you cannot fight this if we're doing it the same old way. we've tried for 20 years to do it, and we have fail. >> i've got two big caveats because i think this is fascinate, and i like the idea with. obviously, it sounds like it'd be great. finish one is this, and i think you're on to something that i think is very important that is different from the way we usually talk about this which is you -- we talk about the struggle against extremism or the war on terror or how to win
the fight if as if it is a classic binary structure, good guy/bad guy, it's a symmetrical conflict. but it's not the really because what you're talking about is not, let's say, us fighting the saudis. it's us fighting with the saudis for control over the next mind space of the developing world's youth. >> right. >> and so we're competing with the saudis for customers, as it were, mental customers rather than fighting them. and so our efforts -- the reason i think it's important to reframe it like this is that means our job isn't to fight the saudi efforts. our job isn't to stop madrassas, isn't to shut down the extremist preachers necessarily because that's almost impossible to do. it's to provide what you're saying, the way to win is not stopping the other people who we're fighting, but provide a
better product, add a better answer, do better efforts of our own that will provide a more compelling product and alternative that the clients and customers in developing worlds will want to choose ours if they can. is that, basically -- >> well, it's important to recognize -- >> it's not a negative struggle. >> it is a positive thing, and i've written this book out of positivity. i'm not, i do believe that there's a path guard. but i want to say a couple of things. one is i am not saying that we can only do this if we fight a physical war. we got that. but you can't only do it if you're only doing the ideological war, right? there's a balance here. we have a warped system that's inbalanced. so we go to the project of the ideological war, and we think how can we do this. you mentioned sabia. i'll come back to that -- saudi
arabia. i'll come back to that in one minute. the system that's underlying extreme theism, the thing that allows the us versus them ideology to grow and to make a difference to these young kids who are having a crisis of identity requires uses as government and as regular people to sort of explore, well, what are the planks that are underlying that system, okay? one of which is the identity crisis. another of which is the kinds of things that countries that we call partners and allies are doing that are actually at the end of the day destroying our ability to win over and to build antibodies. so in the book, i do talk about saudi arabia. and i talk about it because in every single country i went to as special representative to muslim communities, nearly a hundred countries around the world, no matter where i went
this pernicious, violent idea of an us versus them and a monolithic islam was borne in many different facets. so it was seen by me with the eradication of cultural history, for example. same thing that hitler did to make sure that you can never remember the past, that he has a new way of thinking about the world. the saudis have done that to ancient mosques. translations of the quran, translations that require us to not see the text, but to see it through their eyes and their perspective of what it means to be a muslim. i picked up books in mosques in lester, u.k., that would say thing it is like all jews are pigs, okay in the printing of these kinds of -- >> is that a labour pamphlet? >> it was a very dangerous -- no. it was very, very dangerous to
see, right? but it wasn't just in one part of the world with, it was everywhere. and so one of the things i a want to explore for all of us is to look at the kinds of relationship, the relationship we have with saudi arabia and to understand that there's more we can be doing to make sure that the thing things that we know have to stop do stop the. and it isn't just one thing. it's not just the training of imams, it's not just the publication of qurans, but it's this effort to make islam a monolith and to eradicate a sense of diversity within i islam. >> okay. let me give you a question. you have two possibilities. you can do some kind of virus that will screw up the saudi dissemination program and hurt their efforts at spreading their model, screw up the translations of their books, whatever, right? and stop their efforts, or you can leave their efforts alone, and you could launch and be, you know, given the power to launch a u.s.-sponsored version of, our version of it, you know?
flood the world with our versions of things, support networks for the groups, you know, infrastructure for community, whatever. which would ultimately produce more benefit, do you think? our matching theirs or stopping their finish. >> can i use the amount of money that they've spent over the last four decades -- >> equal amounts of money. >> i would still eradicate what the saudis are doing. >> so their problem in hyping everybody up and radicalizing is actually a hugely significant thing that wouldn't just be countered by our doing our own efforts on the side. we have --? >> and i'm not the only person who has said n right? so it is, and it isn't in the context, certainly, of the brutal killing of "the washington post" journalist, mr. khashoggi. it's about something much bigger. and i would say that if we don't get a handle on that kind of ideology that's been spread over decades in a lot of ways that we
respect even tracking or don't even know, this is where cultural listening actually, gideon, really matters, right? if we only apply our measurement stick by what might be happening in morocco because of the saudis -- bad example but, you know, let's just pick it because it's -- i mean, you can't understand what's really happening. go to the triborder area in south america. go look at ancient cultures in south asia and ask yourself what is it about the experience of being muslim there now that is so different than it was even 30 or 40 years ago? what's the factor that's changed? and when you begin to ask that question, you see what i saw and what i know to be true. this isn't just a thing that happened recently. this is decades long, it's very deep, and it's very important for all of us to the understand. it doesn't mean we can't be partners with the saudis on other things. it means that we as america need
to get serious about the fact that we are putting troops on the ground in places in the world that are, that we're fighting there because ideology has been building over years that allow other terrorist groups to come in. and for me, and i look at that as a former government official, i think it's the incumbent upon us to tell every american parent who has a child overseas, ask your government to do more because there's a role for us to be playing as honest brokers on what we're seeing. >> would you conditionallize aid to the saudis on performance in curbing de-radicalization? >> we haven't even begun to experiment on the kinds of things that we can do, right? so when we are thinking creatively about the kinds of ways we can work can with saudi arabia, one way has always been we told them they need to do this, they come back and say they're working on it, and then we kind of go to the next year, and we tell them they need to do something, and then they come back -- or, fun, we write a
human rights report that is the angst that goes through the interagency on how much we can really say about what they're doing and can we do in the, but we need them for that. let's just take that off the table for a minute because that hasn't been working for us. let's be more creative about how we do things. if, for example, the saudis tell us that they have, in fact, been working on bringing qurans back that say all these terrible things, their translations of the qurans, and there aren't any qurans out this, they'll tell you they've been doing such a good job -- >> the product recall. >> yeah. that's what i say in this book, great, $25 for every quran that comes back. >> instead of buying back guns, buy back bad qurans. >> that would be fine. >> that's a cool idea, actually. >> or a textbook. >> don't burn them, just buy them back. >> if you say we've done such a good job -- >> put them in a raiders of the lost ark warehouse -- >> exactly. laugh. >> okay.
interesting stuff. [laughter] the u.s. government was not doing a good job at this stuff the in administrations that supposedly cared about it. now you have an administration that doesn't even care about it. what -- and after what comes next, what realistic possibility is there that you could teach the united states government to, you know, do empathetic cultural listening? i mean, this is the real world, so if that's your answer, doesn't that mean we're just screwed? >> well, so you chose to wear that color suit today because you got all kinds of signals from wherever you go to buy that color suit, okay? everybody watching us today has little things that they get moved in a particular direction because of little signals that they're getting from the way people an laze behavior -- analyze behavior and the way we work on the web and how we, you
know, go to stores. all that data is collected, and it tells us a really good story about how we each, each of us are. i believe that in trying to deal this problem, this phenomenon we're dealing with, we can't just wait for government to suddenly wake up and say, okay, i'm going to really work on this, we're going to put in a lot of money. even if we had all the money in the world, government can't do it alone for the reasons i told you. we're not credible, all those kinds of things. but we also don't have the latest information about how people buy things and how they're persuaded, which is why it's so important for the private sector to actually get involved in this. i see a role for the private sector to play that isn't just about, you know, throwing money at a one-off kind of event that they say they're trying to fight hate. and great as that would be, and i wish there would be more of that happening around the world,
but there is partnership that can happen between companies that have knowledge about how humans behave and what ngos are doing on the ground so that the they're marketing people and the behavior analytics and the way in which they function to move people in a mar direction can be married with what ngos are actually doing to stop hate. now, look, the people who are on the front lines of this are actually the nonprofit organizations. they work and skimp for every dollar that they get to keep the lights on and pay salaries because that's the way ngos generally work. they go grant to grant, and it's really hard. and they watch beheading videos, and they pay attention to these awful, gruesome things that most of us don't think about every day because you're not in the space. and instead of going to those ngos and saying what can we do to help you do your job better, to scale what it is that you
know 20 years after 9/11, we know that we have to do far more. what we're doing is we're saying to the ngos, keep looking for the money that you're trying to get and try to prove to us that you're going to stop doing in the, but meanwhile, we're going to talk about other things. and i think that there is a mismatch. so when i think about if i could do anything how we think about these things, there is a role for government to play in the way in which we described, but i think there is a far more creative solution where government doesn't have agency, doesn't have the kinds of personnel and the kinds of -- i don't want uses to start building a brand new endeavor in government that is going to fix this. there are private sector companies that do this. why would we not use them? >> i actually, i really like this because i hear you saying three things. one is don't -- this is not primarily a problem that government can solve, certainly not the u.s. government from the
outside. and the efforts to do so a aggressively by the u.s. government in the an active, direct way would be ham-fisted, bureaucratically screwed up. almost invariably insensitive, politicized and do more harm than good. so government that has a real role to play, but as a coordinating, directing and, you know, supervising and mobilizing force. chief community organizer, whatever -- >> i love that. >> but not the one doing it. second, that the, all the other players and actorrings that actually have -- actors that actually have human connections, the mil-to-mil context, every single point of contact between society a and society b, not just the official government ones which the kinetic stuff is limbed. the government -- is limited. the government has no -- it's all us talking about, gee, what could be we get our government
to do. but what i hear you saying is that's part of this, but everything any of us does can be connected to this. the third thing, and this is important, sure, it's not going to solve the problem because the problem's been here before, it's going to be here in the future, but every little thing can help. and each, in effect, the problem is the result of lots and lots of freakedded out people doing -- freaked out people doing bad things and if we can manage to sort of get everybody to chill a little bit and be tied together in the more supportive and benign ways and create healthier communities, then that will lower the testimony and the terrorism and extremism will ultimately diminish. it's not that the best is the enemy of the good, it's even the small little things because every step towards greater empathy and connection that helps build real communitieses and real human relationships eats away at the sources of the
extremism that ultimately leads to things like the twin towers being knocked down. >> 100%. and when you talk to people on the ground in afghanistan, in iraq, in places that we have been fighting wars and you ask about the power of one person doing in the, you and you know that each of these nano-interventions actually make a difference. .. it takes one person to say i'm going to do something as evil as that. what i'm saying and what you are rightly saying is if we had a different way of thinking about
the way in which we living our lives and what frankly we want our communities to feel like, ,e can make a difference in reducing the us versus them which will make a difference. there is no magic wand. there's no silver bullet that is going to fix everything. hate is not going to go away tomorrow but we can dramatically reduce the appeal so that we can have and see -- in my work in in these years since 9/11, one of the things that was so frustrating to me is that we both know, u.n. government, there are so many serious problems for which we do not have solutions and we don't know what to do and it is going to take when it are just before we can get to the place where we can say we've moved on a particular issue. this doesn't have to be one of those things. when i look at -- >> it's hope about because obama is a good problem. unlike other problems which are insoluble this one when the sed
that interventions that if we only were able to take and skill and redeploy them we could make some difference in lessening the problem. the hope for making things better is the possibility of making things better is what creates a hopeful possible at discussion other than other problems that are we had have o manage this forever. >> right. >> that's a great, the boston marathon is a wonderful segue to something i wanted to ask you. one part of me says i hear everything you were saying, i sympathize, i want this to be true but it's never happened in foreign policy and its more significant and urgent as homeland security problem. okay, i'm upset that radicalization, but i'm sure i have a lot more upset with radicalization in boston. the boston marathon bombers were not out there. they were here. the call was coming from inside
the house, and horror movie terms. the radicalization efforts are talking about abroad are one thing. how do we do it here? and you have to go -- and respect emigrant got radicalized here and drove a school bus and led on a rampage and ended up after being stopped right outside -- i got a call, the school has been locked down, potential terrorist attack. i thought about this incredible irony because there is no place in america that represents the openness to diversity, the future of connection to the world, and the hope for in america that lives in peace and harmony with the world be on its borders. thousands and thousands of
extraordinary immigrants and people from different backgrounds making their way up to and into the american system. then you have the crazy was back radicalized immigrant -- was back, the failed immigration incorporation. how do we deal with -- the disciples of the door here, not at the reading ad corns? if anybody knew what americans like this people litter, right? if in the blowing up the boston marathon or trying, school buses and ran things, how do we stop that and of society? why is it foreign policy problem -- dash. >> i'm glad you brought up what's happening domestically because it's really important. we are sitting here on sacred ground. when 9/11 happened there were 90
countries that were affected here in this space. and we can to think of 9/11 is something that is ours, it happened to us. but it happened to the world, and it happened to every religion in the world, every race in the world. we didn't have one kind of person that was attacked, was killed, excuse me, when we were attacked. the kind of way in which we look at ideology has to be is over account of the thing where actually dealing with. ideology that affected that guy who ran his truck, tried to kill people, or the person at the boston bombing, or in the nightclub, or -- i mean, how many attacks we sat in her
country since 9/11, like 9/11, but the ideology that motivated those individuals some doing something is not ideology that is over there. it's ideology that is existing within the entire demographic i'm talking about. ideology doesn't exist and is contained in a place that we don't have to worry about. and my worry is that as we see a rise of hate, the rise of anti-semitism in our country, if you have read the adl report on what is actually going on in our nation rent anti-semitism, i hope that everybody does, it's sobering. what is happening, we are seeing a rise of all kinds of vacant all kinds of us versus them. they are all connected to each other. when i think about what we have to do and you talking about the department of homeland security, we took a really long time after 9/11 to begin to say what we need to do on the ideological front? by the way, we haven't had a
perfectly but by the end of the bush administration there is a system in place, by the obama administration were getting into place, we didn't scale the way we needed to but we're moving on this. today in america were spending less than $3 million on the ideological war and it isn't only about, it isn't about every kind of ideology. we are not spending the kind of money on -- >> so programs that were started have been cut. what's the logic? >> it's a political argument, but i would say to you as we think about how to protect america, i get hopeful when i think about certain mayors in our nation who decided to take it on. they are not waiting for a grand statement from washington. they are saying what we want to do in her own community? look at anaheim or louisville, kentucky, two amazing mayors.
i'm going to be city of kindness. i'm going to be city of compassion. what does that mean? it means the artwork in schools, how they feel, what they're doing, how to unify their communities. they're making a statement about other want their community to be. that means something to me. i believe there's far more we can do. we can't just wait for dhs to get more money to do the kinds of programs and to scale the things we know work. we can do far more. >> we were saying before the start of we were modeled, the professionals had, that the problem-solving rather than heat generating. is there debate going on in congress over some legislation recently. it's politicized up on all sides as much as congress is these days, but the core intellectual issue is real and he you just raised it at a want to swing it back.
is hate connected or is it distinct? is anti-semitism, islamophobia, misogyny, bigotry of all kinds, whatever you want, is that, are they all variants of a common negativity? like ghostbusters when the ghost underneath the city -- all the bad things up and so do all the extremists feed off each other when you put heat on society? in which case the real answer is to condemn all of the hatred and negativity and get it back on common ground? or are there specific low tide of hatred and extremism? you wrote a book about why can't we not all get along? there some groups of people say
that so we should focus on. how specific is a problem of extremism and hatred, or is it all just variance of the common problem so we're fighting all the extremists together, not just you don't like these extremist and i don't like those extremist, but we have to recognize their alt extremists? >> a critically important question but as humans i would hope all of us would reject hate in any form. whether it's against somebody because of the race or gender or sexuality, we should be kind to each other obviously. we should respect each other. i believe in america the most diverse country in the world we should respect differences, period. it is in but anything but how you get dignity to another human being. that's first and foremost. when you're looking at the research around how people get radicalized, of course all of these kinds of things build off of each other. the systemwide failure has been exactly that question.
we can't walk and chew gum at the same time so, therefore, we need to pick this kind of hate for that kind of hate. we need to build coalitions. we need to build coalitions across different groups that are experiencing this kind of stuff. with regard to who we are as americans, i go back to what george washington said in 1790 when he wrote a letter to the hebrew congregation and he said in america, to bigotry we give no sanctions. that's who we are as americans. that's the ideals we should be holding onto. it isn't about who's the bigger victim and what must we do. it is who are we as americans and what do we stand for? >> i i love it and that the wonderful -- i want to do one final thing. again, this is interesting. those of us who live to these debates in the immediate post-9/11 period it was the the strong debate about who was the enemy, what was the specific nature come in different context. a few years later the war pc
types, the global struggle against violent extremism, things like that, remember those years? >> yes. >> there was a whole community of hardliners who felt that we ladling despite something like that -- re-labeling -- with a pc way of diverting attention from the real struggle. there was another camp the said this is not just papering it over. this is it because what you think of is a real struggle is one subset of a broader struggle and we just literally addressing the core big problem of which yours is a fully included subset. i hear you saying strongly the second perspective is correct, and things like however even though we couldn't come up with a good acronym, we spent a lot of time --
[inaudible] anyway, we have to have better acronym at your point is that is the real thing. it's an abstract struggle against hatred and extremism and divisiveness which manifests itself in lots of competing but somehow all allied against us intolerant assholes we need to fight. >> which was important to supporting how government talks about these issues and whitney do day-to-day. regular people need to understand that are changes happening in their communities, that bear on each other which is why these kinds of coalitions need to be built. different groups that have dealt with very difficult challenges around discrimination and bigotry and we could go on and on. government has the wrong analysis when it begins to say what is that one thing we must
do? we make some serious mistakes and how we defined the problem we were dealing with. we thought this was a heart and mind kind of thing, right? if we can just get anybody eveo love us as americans, we can show them how great we are, we will have -- >> why didn't that work? >> because it's the wrong solution for the problem. >> why? >> public diplomacy, that part of persuading someone to buy into what america stands for is an important thing our country does a lot of different reasons. you cannot apply that toolbox to this problem. it is not what we're dealing with over here. i think we should be spending a lot of money and effort and a lot of creativity through our embassies to do far more to talk to it who we are as americans. i'm all for that. i think that's important.
but that's not going to be the cure for the thing that i know we can do. if we learned anything in almost 20 years since this country was attacked on 9/11, it is that what we thought we knew, the way we deployed our best and brightest, hasn't worked. so today speeders we do that every 50 years. >> it doesn't work. my hope is that we ask the right questions and we see the answers that we have in the toolbox that we haven't. because you know what? the bad guys have that toolbox, and they are using the same tools with at her fingertips to do what they're doing. why would we let that happen? >> we have a few minutes left. i want to get some questions from our guests here as well. please wait for a microphone. anybody -- yes, over here.
>> thank you so much for your very interesting talk. a very brief question. a lot of the efforts that you should and discussed are often covered by the global engagement center. ib teachers to hear what you suggest but on improving on the efforts of what is missing. thanks for the global engagement center for those who don't know, you're talking about different names, has about seven or eight different versions since its start in the bush administration. this is a government agency that has a mandate of pushing back against the kinds of things that are being said in in the social media space. they are also looking at russian propaganda. they are also looking at isis, also looking at the kinds of things we can do to push back. i take a very strong position in the book about the g uc. it is not to be disrespectful of
my former colleagues who have tried very hard, but the idea that america can go out there tweeting our way out of the problem we are in is not going to work. there's not enough money. there's not enough personnel. the system doesn't work fast enough. our place outside of government who do that better. my recommendation is that we ask those players to do it and do it right. >> over here. >> i worked with a lot of various youth and teen groups, and it seems to me that they don't want to sit around talking about what they should be working on or why. they want to just do stuff. i'm envisioning having soccer games between people at parksville for i live when i'm
not bragging and saying it's really -- [inaudible] and some of this court to block a boy with us to see each other the street at the end of the school everyday but don't anything about each other, to setting inactivity that would engage them. if the boys want to play soccer, if the girls want to do art or whatever it is, they could. i would think that from there may be less and try to articulate what they might have in common, what they might need in order to form stronger bonds. what might help them understand one another better. they might set up discussion groups or other things so i'm thinking that while it's great to understand why things are the way they are, what we need to do instead, that that with the kids what want to do. the kids want to do stuff. >> the kids are -- i love the question. thank you very much for because you're absolutely right. sitting around having conversations isn't there sweet spot. there sweet spot is a live show you we are and let's do stuff.
we have built programs all over the world in which kids can do stuff. some of them to play soccer matches against each other. others had open mic nights. others the different kinds of things with each other to be able to find ways to get to know each other. i think one of the things we haven't done enough of is to listen to young people who have these great ideas, the things he wanted to come and help them do it. that something every one of us can do. >> let me put some cold water on this. you're a serious professional and want to -- we talk about having conversations and that the system which is their straight series on his questions, not like the politicize yes talk shows. here's the thing. everything you said just makes total sense. i thought it make total sense a generation ago when we did it with keats of peace, all the various organizations convicted of, the one that most think illogical obvious thing, get the
israeli and palestinian children together can send them to wonderful camp up in maine and happen to all kinds of things, not just -- coordinating teams across and have -- teach them will build in motion and a palace indentures and the jewish dentures all get together. as far as i can tell, even though the wonderful efforts of seeds of peace have been a great thing, i don't think there's been any actual measurable impact. the peace process any any better now that was 20 for disco and is in no effort that stuff works at having a durable stable intervention that gets the people to act differently when you're back in the home context and after the intercommunal softball league game is over, to go back to blowing each other up in stealing the field. >> let me push back on you. one of the things that is problematic is the idea of a one-off organization that's
going to fix the world. i will sit here and talk to you -- we can talk but seeds the peace which is an amazing organization. i want to just declare your not criticizing seeds of peace. but also because individuals within organizations actually are transformed in some of these ways. here's what's missing though. the scale of all of these things, there's not enough of them, right? on an individual level. what we haven't seen is the kind of momentum by ngos that are doing the kind of work i've been describing. they're only hitting a small sector and its ad hoc. it's not court needed. what i argue is will never get -- you're correct, we will never see any changes in the what if at all -- it's a whack-a-mole type situation. it happens if you go all in? what happens if the tie for the next five years in this particular town all the everyday
we would use all of the ngos can all of the libraries, all f the schools, all the parents, we would do this, do it big chemical all in for five years, then measure. then tommy what we are doing. you cannot measure the weight we have the world today because he can't just be that little think that's happening in ontario and that little thing in palm beach. that has to be a court needed effort. that's why talk about the mayor's because i think that cities can do something. i think libraries in schools and parents can do things and pdas can do things. i'm not pollyanna, okay, and if our city adiposity with you and we're having this conversation about where we're going to do things and what paper we would recommend to the president, these are the questions we would ask. are you kidding me, that little thing is going to do something? no, we had to show how many i would do, how often and what is the return on that investment. i believe we haven't even tried. with no way of measuring because
there's been no where in the world that's done it all day every day on this issue. they have done it on other issues. they have done it on recycling. they have done it on a wins with health. they have other ways where we can measure what happens when -- we will have a recycling town and this is what we will do. in five years they went from doing this to doing that. what happened? there was a systemwide experiment that changed. in my book i talk about an example in iceland. i'm not going to give it away but it's to the point because we're not living in lala land over here. without wishing as many unicorns and rainbows exist in this world, although i would like that. that would be nice. we're talking about real deal. it's fair to ask the question, what you talking about? one injured doing -- that's totally fair but it's not fair to measure this idea of peace or less hate it would never even
tried. >> something that's a a wonderl and you and i think that the analogy which pops to mind is health. what are you saying is public health is a long-term coordinated integrated project here you will not go after one specific disease or one specific program. you have to build public health systems in country and it's more important than the specific one of aid of here's the medicine to extremism is almost like a public mental health issue so in the same ways was going to stop it or controlled or to the back is not the one-off thing that building stronger immunity systems and long-term interventions comprehensive lake court needed across all the measures of things. the same way you do a a public health model rather than -- think of it more like public mental health and a kinetic military -- >> absolutely. >> this is wonderful. let me say to make things. this is a taste of us choose
professionals talk about issues. in the u.s. we have a sort of somewhat penetrated political system. unlike other countries which run foreign policy bike diplomatic professionals, or just that amateurs coming. in the u.s. we have a whole, several top layers of people to go in and out and in and out, and i can be bad when it becomes politicized. hacks who come in and don't know anything or campaign could be ambassadors. but the upside potential of that system nation of people not just government officials and technocrats but i spent time outside doing research and they can bring an infusion of new ideas and new approaches to our government works. and the best of them can bring an appreciation of what government can do, what can't do and how you should mix these. that's genius and that's what
these kind of conversations should be like. secondly, lasting about highlight in this is the connection to social sense. you said you know social scientist but what you just call for with more social site and wonderful partnership between not just the government and the ngos but the government and the ngos and the social science community which is just now starting to apply real-world techniques of project management and assessment to actually tell what the interventions do, the randomized trial, the things we're seeing in the aids world is revolutionary compared what we thought of a generation ago raw you evaluated programs. it's similar to the scientific and social scientific approach we use public health and the think if we can bring rational social science, the best dispassionate construct to these areas and evaluate with the interventions are an almost use public health model would be on track to progressive and cumulative strategy that works better over time as we
incorporate the results from real scientific tests rather than just trying something -- the key thing is to build research in an reflectivity in so that our programs are better over time, not worse. >> 100%. >> farah, thank you. thank all of you for coming, and hopefully we will do better in the next generation on this challenge than we've done on the last generation. and if we can be mindful and avoid introducing space between stimulus and response, and thinking of national policy as a considered response rather than an knee-jerk reaction to stimulus. if we can do that and then fill that space with wise and haptic policies we might have an answer. with one quick final comment over here. [inaudible] >> wait for the microphone. >> a few years ago i attended
the seventh commemoration of the liberation of auschwitz and there's phenomenal gentleman called roman kent. you can google it. he was a survivor. he lives in new york and you spoken at the u.n., et cetera, and he said if he could have an 11th commandment it would be thou shalt not be a bystander. sigh think that we all need remember each and every single one of us can do our little bit, and see other people as human beings and help. whatever it is that you can do. because in them and start the only from government policies, from the grassroots level. that's how so many people it survived the holocaust because may be a simple person help them. not government. so think of roman, okay? >> and victor frankel lakewood in the beginning was himself a survivor and found in a life dedicated to meaning something that kept him alive when everything around was disaster. it doesn't mean, he needed luck,
too. but people who had luck and a sense of purpose of art and a healthy, happy life. the people who didn't have luck died but the people who didn't have good mental attitude -- so we can make things better and you are half-full rather than half empty. >> i know there are solutions and their affordable and they are available, and it takes all of us. thank you for being here. i really appreciate it. [applause] >> the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. >> ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. >> and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon. >> c-span's newest book the presidents, noted historians rank america's best and worst
chief executives, provides insight into the lives of the 44 american presidents. true stories gathered by interviews with noted presidential historians. explore the life events that shaped our leaders, challenges they faced in the legacies that had left behind. published by public affairs, c-span's presidents will be on shelves april 23 but you can preorder your copy of the hardcover or e-book today at c-span.org/thepresidents, or wherever books are sold. >> amity shlaes wonders whether america would elect a man as present today nearly 100 years after sir. that's what she told us an interview on her biography of the 30th president, and we use that conversation as as a basir a chapter on calvin coolidge in c-span's latest book the presidents.