Skip to main content

tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  November 26, 2010 2:00am-6:00am EST

2:00 am
used that same way of writing in thearly days so that you cannot be pulled apart. there is nothing anybody can criticize in that sentence. [laughter] >> now we are going to switch gears a >> what was your scariest days out in a while? >> i was walking on the beach in africa and a wave came towards me. it was carrying with that a water cobra. . it a cobra note and i anti- it kills quite quickly.
2:01 am
the wave deposited it on my foot. i looked at that snake and it looked back at me. i kept completely still. i have not heard it. -- had not hurt it. another wave came and took it away. >> what keeps you up at night? >> a lot of things. cruelty to animals. the suffering of some of these people i have met, especially in refugee camps. unbelievable. i do not want to talk about it tonight because it is too dark, but just terrible, terrible things. in the heart of this wealthy
2:02 am
country, you have to utter poverty, hopelessness, helplessness. the same in canada. the hopelessness, at some point it is money. you need more money to do more things. you have to have more money. when you have a recession, it is tough. you know that. those are the kind of things that keep me awake. >> we have knowledge many of your heroes here tonight. is there one hero of all time to you? >> my mother. when i was 10, well, even before. when i was one and a half years old, and i do not even remember the story, i had taken worms to bed with me.
2:03 am
she told me that if i left them here, they would die, so we took them out to the garden together. when i went to africa to study apes and began writing books about them, people laughed at us. we did not have any money. africa was the dark continen it was poison arrows and things like that. the worst, probably the most ridiculous thing above all about this silly dream of mine was that i was the wrong sex. this was what boys did. girls got married and perhaps were a missionary's wife or something like that. it did not go to live with
2:04 am
animals in africa. but my mother never lasted me. she would say if you really want something in -- my mother never laughed at me. she wod say, if you really want something, and you work hard, you will find a way. she never said you will never achieve your dream. she said you must work hard and you must never give up. when i finally got the money to go, from a wealthy amerin businessmen, we got money for six months, british authorities were horrified at the thought of this young girl on her own going out into the potentially dangerous forest with these potentially dangerous wild animals who could tear me apart.
2:05 am
in the end, they said i had to come. it was really important. they said i had to public opinion. my mother volunteered. she came -- they said i had to have a companion. my mother volunteered. she came for four mons. these days, you have sheets and mosquito nets. in those days, we hadne tend between us with a piece of canvas on the floor. to roll up the side of the tent to let air in and that you also let in the snakes and spiders and things that mom was scared of. she would stay there all day while i was up in the mountains. she was amazing. she was the world's most famous chaperone.
2:06 am
she did not do a very good job, did she? we married anyway. >> or what is next for jane goodall in the next 50 years? >> growing roots and shoots. we need all of the schools in all of the countries. we only have 121 countries i know rick is a busy adding a country in latin america, but we have not done so well in the middle east. there are countries where you know, because i know what roots and shoots does to help children in disadvantaged situations. we need roots and shoots in russia. we know that the program intends and yet is bringing muslims and christians together.
2:07 am
we need roots and shoots desperately in the middle east. we have got to grow roots and shoots, and of course we have to save not just the chimpanzees, but we have to work to help other organizations save rainforests across africa, and then we have to help all of the people because otherwise you never saved the chimpanzees. basically, what we have too is change the world and may get a better place -- make it a better place. what is for me in the next 50 years? dying. [laughter] well, i mean, at the end of the next 50 years, i will not be here. that is why it is important for the jane goodall institute to
2:08 am
become a global organization. you have not been doing this for very long. you have a big job ahead of you. it is very lucky that we have this great team. the board -- it is an amazing volunteer organization. where are you? there they are. the board ended the staff -- board and the staff, i note staff people will stay much after other people go home and put their feet uppe. the young people in roots and shoots, it is amazing what you
2:09 am
all did. it is incredible. i get so tired, i hear it everywhere i go somehow. someone will say this when they are lking about youth. they will say, we have not inherited this planet from our parents, we have borrowed it from our children. that is not true, because when you barrault you plan to pay back. we have been stealing, stealing, and stealing. it is about time we do something about that. the young people did not make the mess. we've made a mess. we cannot expect to the young people to do it on their own. we need to guide them. we needed the elders. young people have the energy, the commitment, the enthusiasm,
2:10 am
and very often the courage, but we need to do it hand in hand. weeed to reach out to more of the grandfathers and grandmothers and get their wisdom. so, basically everybody, we are in this together. none of us can do it alone. we all need to work together, to hold hands. what is so important for me, and what has gone wrong wi the planet, is that we have lost wisdom. we are in a materialistic, consumer-driven society that started in the u.s., spread to the u.k., spread across europe, is going rapidly across asia. anyou know, indigenous people
2:11 am
used to make a decision based on, how does the decision we make today affect our people generations ahead. so often, it is how does this decision affect me now, or how does iaffect the next shareholders meeting in three months ahead. that is again and again why we are poisoning thelanet, destroying the planet and destroying the future for our children. we are not borrowing of the planet. we are stealing. it is very important that we get involved, that we use our hearts and our head, and that we think about how the decisions we make every day will affect our children, their grandchildren, and alof them. >> before we end, i want to once
2:12 am
again thank everyone at george washington for having us here. we ao have our friends from disney in nature yea -- disney nature here, and we are going to be hearing some exciting things from disney nature in the months ahead. with that, we will let you ended the evening. >> i am going to do some pending. the singing pendi this is what chimpanzees do in the evening. the first is a call for, who is out there.
2:13 am
it is like [chimpanzee collall] which makes my throat a little sore. the singing panting, and i cannot do it very well is like oise].anzee nic
2:14 am
2:15 am
how we can end hunger. >> this is from the school feeding program in rwanda. it is very representative of the fact that when we talk about 825 million people that are hungry, what that means is about one out of every six people on earth wake up each morning and aren't sure how to fill this cup with food. for the children we reach, often this is the only secure access
2:16 am
to food they have in their life. most of the people in that number are women and children. still today, every six seconds a child woil die from not being able to access enough food to stay alive. my own personal awakening on the issue came in 1986. i was home with my first child, who was new born. i was watching an image on television of a mother in ethiopia whose baby was crying out very weakly for food. she had no milk in her breasts and she also had no food. and i thought there can't be anything more painful than not being able to answer a child's call for food. >> what struck me at the time and now and then was there was enough food in the world for everyone to get access to something to eat.
2:17 am
during the food crisis a couple of years ago there was enough food for everyone in the world to have 2,700 calories. yet a silent tsunami threw 10s of millions of more into abject hunger. >> what also struck me is the solution to hunger is not quite rocket science. many nations have unlocked the keys. many hungry nations. -- have defeated hunger. it doesn't require some great new siving break through like discovering a cure for rare cancer. it is on one level quite simple. people need access to an adequate amount of nutritious food.
2:18 am
>> forlte motion relating to the war in afghanistan as printed in the order paper. to move the morks i call mr. tim jennings. [applause] >> thank you, mr. speaker. >> for too long now our boys have been risking their lives
2:19 am
not sure if they'll step on an i.e.d. all of the governments in afghanistan have led to 390 honorable men and women being killed. that is 341 dead sivens too many. in this current economic climate putting money in the war is ludicrous. by the end of this year -- will exceed 20 billion pounds. the illegal war in iraq have had so much money wasted on it from the blair era, can't this goff learn from blair's mistakes. the government cannot expect us to accept all of these and everything else while they spend this amount of money on war. is this money well spent? the first six months of this year, 3,268 civilians died. these aren't taliban and warlords, these are people that
2:20 am
go to work and have children. they tell us, is it justified. why not invade zimbabwe or north korea? why are they so different. if they truly believe this, we would be in simm bab way now. this is deeper than tony blair's money spinning book. deeper than party politician or budget cuts. this is an issue of fundamental right of a human being's life. by withdrawing the troops in the next two years, it'll be the government's next step to sorting out the mess it created. i want to see blair or cam ran to look at an afghan's girl in the eye woos parents were shot in the crossfire, that we were going to keep our troops there. for her to go down the street and not be sure she's going to
2:21 am
be killed by a roadside bomb continues. bringing the troops home is essential, not just because of the massive negative financial impact this is having but because of the simple fact. this government is killing innocent human beings. >> thank you. [applause] tim, threw for -- thank you for that very forceful introduction to the debate. to oppose the motion, i hope you will welcome him as i call mr. -- mr. abbey. [cheering] we pull out our 201 terrorism prevails by 3013. we speak to our commitment and complete the task. we wipe away years of taliban
2:22 am
terror. we and our allies must stay in afghanistan to end the threat to global security, the taliban created. and so their soldiers and government are reduced to a level that the afghan security forces can deal with ems this. british and american officers are feeded to mentor and to train afghan army officials to maintain the authority of the kabul government. once we have done our job, afghanistan will thrive as an independent and self-governing nation. wishing that doment would only encourage the taliban and enable them to rebuild that underground leadership structure that -- so they can take complete control before we came. giving them a tate for leaving is not going to tackle the shadow that looms over afghanistan, the grear era, troubling the young schoolboy,
2:23 am
and the childhood -- the schoolboy, can we cut this cancer from the country? and more trivial questions. can we be in afghanistan longer, can we foot the bill? should we run away to save 75 pounds day, say no, because we can't put a price on what we're fighting for. these are people's lives and families. we can't argue their purrs when the liberty of a people is at stake. [applause] >> i say, the question that rereally need to be asking ourselves is one of identity, one on conscious. throughout history and even today, britain -- blood and violence in sierra leon and kosovo to protect the rights of the opposed. why should it be any different now?
2:24 am
>> afghanistan is not iraq. harass sigh in 2001 appealed to the u.n. for troops because the taliban had destroyed real democracy by committing one of the most heinous of atrocities. killing young men that refused to join their ranks and torturing minority groups and having women as second class members of society. the taliban has killed over 10,000 innocent afghans since 2001 who have done nothing wrong. and withdraw before they're completely destroyed, we see a backlash against those that do not support them. the afghan people are better. they're better than tyranny and corruption and torture. they deserve to live as free people and we need to provide that liberty while we're there. >> i can't agree with the notion that we should withdraw soon. i think what we do need to do is to change how we talk about the war immediately. the -- to clarify what we mean by victory.
2:25 am
victory would be insuring the safety of innocent afghan civilians. victory would be honoring the sacrifices of the 341 british soldiers who he died so far. victory would be step forward for afghanistan into an age of self-reliance and honest governance. leaving now in the near future with possibly cause a failure of what we attempted to do. this started because afghan government asked for our help. they weren't the ones that needed us. i believe the real victory of intervention in afghanistan is the genuine difference it made at grass roots level to the people of afghanistan, the people for whom this war has been fought. i say, it is freedom over fassism and stay you believe the job is done for the people of afghanistan however long it
2:26 am
takes. >> thank you for that. we have got off to a really fire cracking start. that's encouraging. before we go further, i like to welcome the new honorable member connor burns. connor, give us away. and she's not a member of parliament but if you'll forgive me. colleagues, i like to welcome my wife. [cheering] keen spreart of you as an institution. thank you for coming. i like to ask the woman at the ck this, just standing there to kick off. i think she's from the southwest. >> i'm lucy bohn from british
2:27 am
portage germany. obviously this is a big issue for you -- you from my area. it does affect us. the vast majority i'm representing have parents that have been to afghanistan and are in afghanistan and are preparing to go to afghanistan. it is true that we in the military hope -- hold great pride in our it weres and our incredibly proud of them as -- of the massive jobs they're doing. we're holding up a government that needs -- by being there, we're losing valuable human lives. these are not soldiers we're losing, these are people. these people have families left behind. they have families. they have friends. the army is a close-knit community. and when someone dies it kills every little part of thater. that was in everybody else in the community. i don't know if you have of lost
2:28 am
a vital member of your family but it brings your entire world crashing to a halt. imagine waking up to find out that your dad is gone and will never return. not that he's 10 minutes down the road. not that he moved to canada. not that he disappeared off the earth, but he died and you will never, ever see him again. >> imagine the heartbreak. it has to stop. it has to stop torturing these families. with -- ones that died fighting for our country want to die in vape or they protect the one that is were lucky fluff to survive. furthermore, our heroes have been given a job that the government refuses to e quit -- acquit -- equip them properly for. how can you win without equipment. if we can't afford to equip them, why are we sending them there? i believe it is a crime to shoot a gun at someone. i believe it is a crime to put someone who is unequipped in
2:29 am
front of the bullet. [applause] considering this question, we find it difficult to answer but the force's children whose fathers and sisters and brothers are out there, bringing down the troops by 2012 is a possible cause of action. politically speaking it would be wise to make sure the afghan government is stable before we leave. our army can achieve that in two years if we concentrate on it now. we can finish that job in time and bring our boys hope to yet another triumphant return. [applause] >> thank you for that. >> i'm looking for a contributor from the west midlands. >> the young woman here.
2:30 am
>> please. >> we talked about conscious -- conscience -- we talked about consheps and our moral compass. aware of morality when thousands of civilians are -- have died due to the crossfire. 342 young men and women have died since the war. this may be a huge number, yet it is minimal compared to a thousands casualties. >> somebody from yorkshire and humberside. the young man here. >> harrison carter and martin sheffield. it is important to remember that many fighting and losing their lives in afghanistan are young people. they're our friends and families and our neighbors and our thoughts for them is undoubtedly unwavering. however, with hundreds of our brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers and cousins and
2:31 am
neighbors friend losing their lives, and those surviving being transformed, and with the government spending billions on this in a time when we're facing savage costs domestically, there's a need to ask two questions, is this war justifiable and is the input beneficial to both the citizens of afghanistan and the citizens of principle. right now the answer to both queds appears to be no. >> east of england. who do we have standing from east of england? >> when we first entered afghanistan, we had a -- it was for the honor of this country to invade a country to bring it to a stop -- a democracy. for you, we -- we start losing lives. good, honest lives. we are -- the approval rating has gone down. we no longer approve the war. however, i ask you this.
2:32 am
where is the honor of abandoning a country that we initially invaded. our soldiers are fellow -- fellow people that want to fight in the war. it is their job, they-what they're doing. why sho we pull them out of something they enjoy doing, bring them back into a country, yes, they'll still be working but not actually doing what they trained to do when we have not the honor for them to do this. >> they want to fight. i say, let them fight. the east midland. >> here we go from the east midlands. >> the young woman there. >> thank you. >> east midland. >> it is a legacy, we'll leave the children of tomorrow. debt, war, fear and hate. there is no glory in death, only in life. >> so bring our heroes home and let us all put the great back into britain.
2:33 am
[applause] >> the nest, here we go. the young man there. please. >> the northwest. i don't believe we should have a point to bring the troops back. i agree that we should bring them back as soon as possible. yes. we should not run away from what we started. we should only come back with when the afghan government is ready. >> how about a contributor from wales? >> the young woman was tryinging to get in earlier. >> lurebia from virginia. >> our country is in death enough as it is. we have spent many -- we have spent many for our soldiers to risk their lives. so -- -- not ricking their lives or getting -- we should make
2:34 am
love not war. our government is killing our soldiers. >> thank you. [applause] >> i like us to -- a contributor from northern ireland. a contributor from foreign ireland. the young man there with a blue tie. >> i'm meredith. i like to say i don't think there's a way that honor can be preserved when innocent lives are lost. where is our hopper when we stand there at the opening, killing civilians. it is a disgrace. in northern irledse there are numerous protests to bring british drops home from both sides of the argument. but -- what i propose is that a gradual withdrawal and as much more -- is much more efficient than having a set date. while we as a people have that duty to go out and defend, we also have the right to preserve life, to stand up for people who want to carry on with their
2:35 am
lives. they didn't choose for britain to invade. the afghan civilians never -- despite happened karzai's plea, they didn't ask for this to happen. i'm sure many wanted to carry on their lifestyle. we should preserve thaand let that happen. our own moral good. thank you. >> thank you. i like to hear someone from wales. who from wales? >> the gentleman there. >> thank you, mr. speaker. and from the new council wales. >> when we went to afghanistan we made a mental to the government. we would rid them of their fascist regime. wee stp the terror, the tyranny that they suffered every day. can we, with good conscience break that promise to them no? i say we stay in this, we finish the job and then -- we bring our boys home.
2:36 am
someone from the northeast of england. from the northwest. the young man there. >> oscar from new castle. i'm not a fan of war. i think the solution, which should be even for it is peace. i don't think we should pull out until the job is done. it would be totally disrespectful to the men and women, the british men and women that lost their life. it would be totally disrespectful to them if we pulled out before the job is done. >> thank you. someone from hond. >> i got a rich choice from london. okay. the young woman there. >> yes, you. >> we're from harrod london. i like to say that as soon as we intered afghanistan, as soon as we sent troops, we had a duty to solve issues there.
2:37 am
we're for the particularly over effective with over 300 soldiers died from this. maybe -- we need to find a solution, something that will work just as well. there's all -- it was our responsibility. our choice and we chose to undertake that. it is our responsibility to fulfill it. >> we haven't had a southeast speaker in this debate. this young man here? >> i'm from north westchester. we -- recently i was listening to the radio and i had an interesting statement from the man that brought the russian troops home in 1989 from afghanistan. he said the war could not be won and that americans and the british and the forces were nothinging a dead horse in my terms. this is absolutely true. you cannot win that war. it is costing this country billions of pounds every single year. it is at a time when spending cuts are center. recently with the lechs in afghanistan, the government said they would do all they can to
2:38 am
stop corruption and get people to vote. in hellmann province which is one of the deadliest parts of afghanistan over 100 soldiers have died and 500 people voted. that's -- that -- that's 500 -- that's rubbish. that's a lot of soldiers for a small amount of people. they then say the elections were a success. yet in the date after the elections pictures of people whipping up voting slips and burning papers and not accounting them appear. as if a success -- i don't think it is. they were barking up the wrong tree when they said it was success. this war will carry on going, training our country and we're really putting us into more debt. it is going to cause us more trouble. it won't get us anyway. -- anywhere. thank you. >> thank you. i'm looking for a female speaker from the south west. the simple solution is let the troops do what they want to do.
2:39 am
if they want to fight for our country, let them fight for our country. if they want to come home, let them come hone. >> how about the west midlands? the gentleman with the gray suit and dark tie. yes. >> thank you. >> honestly i believe there's no solution to this war. if there is no solution to the war, what makes it more -- what example are the troops giving to us as young people? what makes this more different than a playground fight? because in a playground fight, what happens is a few children, they decide to have a fight. they both get in trouble afterward. that's what we're finding ourselves in, the civilians are finding themselves in trouble. the innocent people are finding themselves in trouble. our economy is in trouble. i think you should pull out because it is going nowhere. [applause] >> the young man here. let's hear you.
2:40 am
>> shy mention people speaking from here, the microphones aren't pecking -- picking up that well, you got to get a bit nearer to the dispatch box. >> it is foolish and naive. >> -- from the london burrow of camden. i think it is foolish to suggest that the right thing to do is to withdraw from afghanistan now or in the immediate future. the fact is, we wept in this and got some very clear aims while we're there. they're to restore democratses if afghanistan and to be safe from terrorism and protect our national interests. a few weeks ago, the outgoing armed forces said that if we were to disrupt the strategy we got to withdraw, which is 2015 it would essentially save the taliban, we give up, we surrender and it would not be right thing to do. i think a week or two ago, one of the saving graces of what i thought was ill thought through
2:41 am
strategic defense was to preserve spending for the 40's in afghanistan. so, i think to withdraw now or in 2012 would not only be a betrayal of the people that we need to protect in afghanistan, it would be the betrayal of the lives that lost this over the last nine years. we can't see this as a drain on public finances. it is necessary and it is a just cause. >> yeah. have very fluid speech. >> some people look as though they're about to explode. and i fully understand. the young woman here -- indeed. >> mr. speaker, afghanistan will not disable us and the afghan forces won't be strong enough to protect the citizens on their own. leaving now would lead to a taliban surround and give them victory. we cannot afford then to believe they could win. and the fact is, this would result in more terrorism atabs
2:42 am
on the u.s. and the u.k. as a result of pulling the troops out from afghanistan. >> what about the young man there? >> hilling ton from london. >> thank you. >> speaking to young people in my constituentcy, about ,000 young people. i spoke to a tkphurm, not the thousands, but the majority of my constituentcy feels, passion -- passionly and the u.k. troops, a number that is guaranteed to rise is not worth the risk when there's other -- you know, in different countries such as zimbabwe, an example, such terror going on there, there's about in a week, any of you that knows the so wet that riot that is took place, there's about -- the quive len of one riot each week in zimbabwe. you talk about terrorism, but you know, when -- one of the --
2:43 am
when another terrorist attack is likely to occur from the instab belt of somalia and northern pakistan. thank you. >> i'm going to take a couple more because of the huge demand on this one. i'm sorry to tell the boys but the girls are a bit underrepresented. so we got to try to make good. >> the young woman with the pink top. please. >> my name -- i represent the west suff next and the southeast. thank you for choosing me as well. the war in afghanistan was launched in response to the 9/11 attacks. it was to capture ben laden and remove the taliban regime. considering lack of results and the war is now a mission without hope and developments that is going nowhere. western forces face a growing insurgency and endless war. innocent people should not be losing their lives. the reason we entered the war, our -- are ridiculous.
2:44 am
saddam hussein was not allied with lcd lb. he had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. there's no nuclear weapons at all. why are we living -- living lie when is the tactics we're use rg expensive and not working and as a result of the expensive war, we're raising our duty fees. [applause] yorkshire. who is here? >> gosh. the woman at the end there with the ginger hair, red hair. >> it is dyed. >> may i just remind everyone here that the people that are going out and fighting afghanistan know full well that they may lose their lives and their family know they may lose their lives. it is a risk they're willing to take for the country. >> the gentleman there with the
2:45 am
pink tie. >> thank you. >> west sussex. >> the war in afghanistan, i call upon you now to admit, do you know the nature or orr gin of this conflict? >> the people of our country don't. >> this generation, our generation has paid a -- and will continue to pay for the errors of the previous. the young people of this country, us, the future, we are here to pay -- pave a route and correct their wrongs. mr. jennings and others spoke of 341 deaths of british troops. if we put out -- pull out now, that will be all for nothing. do you want to say -- to save those 341 good men and women died for no cause. we in brynn have started a -- we in britain are started a job.
2:46 am
we need to finish it. we stand here with our counter parts, i don't urge you to vote for yes or no, i urge you to vote what is best for humanity or the country -- and the country. >> i'm afraid it is time to conclude the debate. i called 20 people and i know they're always -- there is a -- please give a huge warm enthusiastic welcome as she concludes the debate to miss emma chadwick. [applause] thank you, mr. speaker. >> thanks, guys. on behalf of all young people across the u.k., i like to start by saying thank you to all of the troops out fighting for us today. >> yea.
2:47 am
[applause] the very fact we're debating this issue today proves how much young people appreciate and acknowledge our soldiers' bravery. after all, we would not be the great nation we are today if it weren't for our heroic soldiers. if you, the taliban poses a very real threat, not just in afghanistan but right here, rye in the -- right in the u.k. the taliban's tentacleses spread far and the central thrust of terrorism sun doubtly pushed from the afghanistan region. our brave men and women are fighting over there every day, risking life and limb and are doing so so we don't have to. they're risking everything so i could ride here today on the tube. so that we could walk down the street without worrying. they're devoting their whole
2:48 am
world to keep us from danger. how much would this taliban get? how much stronger would the taliban get if we stopped the efforts now? would we give taliban an advantage. ? history has taught us that we have to fight for freedom, fight for our safety and what we believe in. i believe conflicts can be a backward step toward peace. and a necessary device to protect what we hold dear to us. it is time to step back. a time to remove yourself from situation, and a time to ended struggle. is that time now. is it time we admit defeat in afghanistan? do we stop the heart breaking death of our innocent civilians? these are deaths of mothers and fathers and sons and daughters and husbands and wives. not to mention the phenomenal amount of money this taxpayer
2:49 am
turns in to this war. $20 billion pounds is a massive bill, especially when we consider the recent government budget. this money could be spent on hospitals, schools. subsidized transport. university fees. but can we afford to take the risks? can we put a price on our safety? our freedom. every day i turn on the news and i see pictures of men, young men, gun in hand and running across the did he say desert. it is heart breaking. but i'm so thankful we're reminded. i'm so glad we don't forget their efforts because that's -- that would be a crime in itself. one thing is clear, the efforts that our troops put in is also commendible. even when faced with government funds, they're willing to risk
2:50 am
all to defend our great nation. in which every way we vote today, we will be forever defwrateful. thank you. [applause] [cheering] >> emma, thank you for the memorable windup speech. this has perhaps understandably and expectedly been the host highly charged debate that we. the quality of contributions has been truly outstanding. so thank you each and every one of you for taking part and doing so with utch is skill, self-confidence and sincerity. the youth parliament will now consider the fifth and last motion of the day, relating to transport and young people as printed on the order paper.
2:51 am
to move the motion, i call mr. sing bowel. come out here. here we set. 300 elected representatives. within the most historically influential house in the hod earn era. still the problem of transportation remains. such puck public transport be slashed or saved from the coalition spending codes? >> mr. speaker asked you this, why do my friend in london from the age of 16 and 19 have free public transport when the brothers in west midlands do not. why do people in scotland have third affairs of my sisters. in the southwest, they paid outrageous fees. at the end of the day, young people get an education then a job and then benefit the economy. what happens if a young person
2:52 am
is struggling for that transport to education at end of the day that young person does not get a job as a result. at the end of the day it does not benefit our economy. a lady within my constituency asked me that young people should pay like everyone else. why aren't they any different? it is because young people have a lower minimum wage. it is because young people by law must work shorter hours. that's why we need cheaper transport. young people are starting a full-time education to be leaders of the nation, that's why we need cheaper transportation. ladies at the age of 65 or there are abouts has the freedom of owning a car. the safety nest of the life savings, pal tri, is entitled to free not subsidized but free public transport. my members of the parliament, we're in a recession and realistic. we do not want free public transport, but what we do need
2:53 am
is subsidized fares for all of those in full-time education of those that use facilities. cheaper transport will enhance the life of all young people, athletes that go to bring records, scientist that is go to medical school do cure cancers. a potential lawyers that go to college to break the chains f injustice. that's why we need cheaper transport. within my constituency, it is three pounds 60 to get to the nearest college and back. there's 40 weeks of schooling. you -- you mathematicians can work out and save dling 726 pounds. $726 pounds wasted. 726 that could have been spent on your books and school equipment. 26 pounds on the back pocket of the bus company. that's why we need cheaper transport. if we together on this friday afternoon fight and achieve this simple, simple objective of
2:54 am
subsidizing public transport for all young people, we show you we have a better chance to increase education levels and job opportunities and life chances. let this campaign be a stepping stone for others and let this campaign show what the youth parliament are capable of. what do we want the girl from the northern ireland hills and others to pay their transport fairs -- fares comfortably and easily so they could carrie on. now with me now, i want 10 million of those and 300 of you to declare our time for cheaper transport has come. a new day has begun. and just [unintelligible] united strength is stronger. [cheering] [applause]
2:55 am
thank you for your excellent contribution. to oppose the motion, i call miss whitney may. >> thank you, mr. speaker. put it simply, we have a massive debt. a grand total of $43 billion pounds a year. in the current situation, we cannot afford the luxuries. it is time to -- our keystone services. the n.h.s., the forces to keep you safe. and the school to educate our young. and in an ideal world, i agree the concessions would benefit all of us. but realistically, a total debt reaching 43 billion pounds, something has to give. but this cannot be our only test to insure the health of all of the u.k. or research into development of treatments to illnesses such as cancers. cancers affect one in three of those. heart and souls of families are ripped out by the terrible diseases.
2:56 am
. but with the research and money for lifesaving equipment and there's money for lifesaving operations, more of these fam i -- families could avoid the heartache of losing a loved one. u.k.'s health must be looked after. neither can our forces that fight unsafely. or forces that protect us and risk their lives every day. it is more important to make sure that these have sufficient equipment to make sure that they could keep themselves safe. our education system, it is key to insuring our future for our young people. and on wednesday -- he wants to see -- [unintelligible] to find resources for the schools. [unintelligible] i believe that that's the right choice for our country's future. these people are our teachers and lawyers and doctors. it is much more important that they have education that is sufficient and that our future is safe. s i understand that transport is
2:57 am
incredibly important issue for young people. the forces in our education system, these are far greater causes and the fact -- affect the whole of the cape. government spending should focus on these and concession affairs for public transport. it is estimated that 1.4 billion pounds is needed. the concessionry travel. 1.4 billion pounds with a.4 billion pounds this debt is feasible. i ask you this, would you rather a stable educati system, a safe place to live and a health service or a bus fare to the macy's store at the cinema? thank you. >> thank you. other people still standing. can i appeal again to people that have spoken, obviously not to stand again. because most people haven't had the chance at all. and the second part, to briefly make this. to maximize the number of contributors in the remaining
2:58 am
minutes, it will be great if everybody who did speak spoke particularly briefly. we're short on the east midlands. do we have anybody from the east midlands? the young man there. let's hear from you. >> difficult times. economic downturn, and we're coming out. the agreement of finding -- finding it hard to pay for bus fare and get education. this will make it more difficult for young people to go and get their education. because of this, we're seing a big trend in the number of young people who are heaving the country to go to a broader education. with this, we're losing doctors and teachers and lawyers. we could not let this happen. these are the institutions which make our country -- country succeed. if we lose all of these young people to -- to -- to travel aprod, they will then get jobs abroad and we will -- we will miss out on all of these
2:59 am
talented young people we have in the country. this is bringing the country back to its knees again. we can't let it happen. we seen how bad we came out of the economic downturn and can't see another one. thank you. >> thank you. >> the -- northeastern england. this woman here. please. >> i want to say this is about spending cuts and -- transparency. i want to say what transports. for my constituency, we have barely any transports. do not penalize because i'm a student and want to learn. don't penalize because i want to give back to the economy and have a good career to give to the economy. we need -- because of this economy, we think of these costs but we're forgetting what we are actually cutting. this -- this economic downturn was -- nothing to do with the young people. so let's not let this recession
3:00 am
affect the young people. i think we need to focus, transport and equality in transport. a universal subsidy to this country. would it equal equality among young people, quality for education. i think that's the thing the government would say they want. thank you. thank you. young women here. thank you. what i would like to y about the cuts as well. thinking about where we're going to get the money to pay for the subsidies, a lot of people who have earned more money to not pay as much taxes they should. we should ask them to pay their taxes as well. it is important to be able to get around to schools, to after-
3:01 am
school clubs that want to go to, to places where they can learn new things and not just the board backs northern ireland. -- not just be bored. >> northern ireland. >> wales. time for wales. the woman there. >> i think our fees are reasonable. to get from my area to cardiff pounds.s three pensioners get it for free.
3:02 am
the families cannot afford to give their children money. the price of a ticket will be just about the amount iron. >> the young gentleman there. >> thank you. everyone must face the burden in these cuts. we must all be in this together. young people cannot be exempt from this, mr. speaker. it does not matter whether we need a free bus pass spread it does not matter if we need subsidization. every person needs schools, hospitals, police, needs to stay safe.
3:03 am
every young person deserves that in this country regardless of the fiscal situation. we cannot look upon young people subsidies as protected from the cuts because it would not be fair that way. [applause] >> i am looking in the direction of your upshur -- yorkshire. the woman in the brown jacket. >> it costs me 8 pounds for five days to get to and from college. my mum gives me 3 pounds a day. it is my grandmother paying for me to continue my education. >> thank you. the west midlands. what about the young man in the
3:04 am
back with a blue pullover? >> why should the over 60's get free transport when the young have a social life? [applause] transport should not be a barrier to young people. thank you. >> we need somebody from the southwest. who have we got from the southwest? the young woman there. >> not only do we have to pay for the activities we go to, we also have to pay for transport. even if you do get a job when
3:05 am
you're young, how are you expected to fund all the things on our own? >> i would like to mention that people who were there to support you. i would like you to welcome [unintelligible] [applause] he served in the house of commons for 40 years. you can take him as an example of someone who always spoke his mind, bluntly, robustly, always in a way that was a credit to him and a demographic -- democratic process. [applause]
3:06 am
thank you for being here and thank you for supporting the u.k. youth parliament. the east of england. the woman waving her hand who looks quite beside herself. let's hear from you. >> before i was fortunate to be on the parliament, i was on the assembly. my main issue was transport. i would -- last year, they're referring to issue at a discount card for young people in my area. because of the cuts in budget, this has slipped through my fingers. this is not about me. this is about the young people. why should i be forced to pay 70
3:07 am
pounds for a discount card? it is not fair. if we're going to focus on the cuts and said we cannot do it, how are we going to get what young people want done? we're supposed to represent young people. we should be pushing for the issues we believe in strongly -- we need to be realistic. we cannot ignore the issues that are prominent. we deserve the first. >> the young man here who has been waiting a long time. >> thank you. young londoners always have one of these. it allows us to have free travel on buses and reduced fares on trains. this is crucial for us to be able to access the education we
3:08 am
need. the college education they need. in areas like mine, some engines do not run in certain areas of the borough. where we not giving them this opportunity to access a career they want, social workers, health workers, why are we not allowing them to pursue that chosen career? [applause] >> thank you. someone from the west midlands. >> ththe woman from the end the. >> i do not get one thing. you have to pay the same as an
3:09 am
adult but we do not get the same privileges. you're not allowed to drive until you are 17. you're not allowed to vote until 18. you have to. all fares. -- you have to pay adult fares. >> som9eone from -- someone from your shirt -- yorkshire. >> i feel it is most strongest. the biggest region in the u.k. we feel transport is worse than others. i have to pay 700 pounds a year for transport in my area. how much died early last year? 900 pounds. unfair isee how fai
3:10 am
predictably affect young people. where you study depends on what you have. i have lots of friends who live in the middle of nowhere. they have to go to a place where it is not as academically good. we have to invest in transport and infrastructure. we need to make sure that all young people have fears that can afford. thank you. >> i need to call from the northwest. a young men here with the red tide. >> there are the difficulties in maintaining a secondary education when there is not a solid replacement for that. [applause] >> thank you.
3:11 am
it is time for someone from wales. the gentleman at the back. thank you. >> the question should be asked, should we cut the wages of the bus drivers, train drivers, people that sell petrol that make the machines rather than should we cut the money given to young people to pay for their travel? >> how about a young woman from northern ireland? do we have such? someone from northern ireland? you may very well speak. >> congratulations to morgan. the fact he is here shows the progress that is being made. we should be protected from
3:12 am
spending cuts. the answer could include [unintelligible] basice fd fares are a essential for young generation who are bearing the brunt of the cuts. thank you. >> thank you. what about the young woman in the back row? >> how can you expect all young people to have subsidize transport when people in rural areas do not have transport? it is more important have a consistent and reliable system for all young people before you think about letting them get on for free or cheap. [applause] >> thank you. how about someone from the se? this young woman here.
3:13 am
xm 13 so i am quite young compared to most of you. i can claim a child's fare. i think it is unfair that you have discount cards from the age of 16 on word and you still pay if you do not have the cheap rocard, you have to pay the other price for 16 and up. that means you have -- i have two more years of climbing a child's fare. i going to tell me i have to pay an adult fare when i cannot vote, drink, drive, and i still have to legally be in education for least -- depending on where you go. it is not fair that a pensioner who has access to a car can get free transport while someone our
3:14 am
age has to pay it their full of gold price or a ridiculously high price. -- a full price or ridiculously high price. >> thank you. you deserve our respect. the young man at the back with the grace sued and blue tie. >> my mum has to pay 9 pounds 50 to send me to school a week. i schaub to school most days late because the bus does not come sometimes. i have to wait an hour and a half to go home because the bus is not come sometimes. we need traport to be consistent and fair. for young people attending school, there should be allowed to have subsidized rides.
3:15 am
>> a man who had his hand up. >> one thing keep mentioning, when we are older [unintelligible] they are entitled. [applause] that is nothing to do either. people are talking about cutting petrol prices. [unintelligible] [applause] the americans are still there. making fun of our elderly
3:16 am
people. [unintelligible] >> thank you for that spirited contribution. you have a meghna this and way of linking disparate issues. i would like to move on. >> as it was mentioned, i am from london and am fortunate to have to free transport. the government are allowing people to struggle to get into colleges and the spending cuts have affected everyone. young people do not have the disposable income that adults had. there should be given some sort of discounted transport across
3:17 am
britain. i am from the northwest. if the government cannot ensure that a hospital or school is within walking distance from everyone's house and a young person cannot drive under 17, they should at least make it accessible to everyone because it is not fair to penalize people for not being able to drive, unless they can say that people can drive from the age of 1, 2, 3, or four, which is not going to happen. >> could we have from london? -- who do we have from london? >> we are the difference between
3:18 am
the london region and the other regions. with the discount cards. we have to pay 10 pounds for the cards. that is not fair to you. i would like to apologize. i would like to thank the government for letting us have our cards. they're very handy. we seem to be complaining, which we should be because it is not completely equal. how can we claim to be the united kingdom if we are not completely united? how can we be united if we are not completely equal? [applause] >> thank you. we're getting toward the end. the young woman at the back. we need to wrap up. >> i would like to point out this is not a simple choice for
3:19 am
discount cards. i live in the south of har tfordshire. i cannot afford to go out there. i go in to london because i can afford it. it makes a massive difference. and i really hope that it is not -- the over 65 in that connection the vote for the government is the reason why they are getting the reduced fare and we are not. >> the man with -- there. [laughter] >> back there. >> i am from lincolnshire. in our rural community, we do not have anything.
3:20 am
it is not acceptable. our market towns have had a lot of job losses, and yet we have job opportunities in the county of lincoln. and yet young people cannot even get into lincoln because it is a lack of efficiency and the cost of travel. this is unacceptable. i was talking to someone who lost his job. he is 17, not entitled to benefits. he is not an education. the job opportunity is in lincoln, but he cannot get there. enough is enough. we have been left behind. it is time that we saw transport schemes introduced into lincolnshire. thank you. [applause] for a smallt time number more occurred we can take a woman who is about -- we can take the woman in front. it's you.
3:21 am
>> i was in the most rural areas. 1,440 pounds is the much i pay to get to my training every week. i need to decide whether i can go and carry on with a hobby or stop because i cannot afford it. many people at our school did not have the access to transport that young people do in other areas. 600 people are in my year. 500 stayed here because they cannot go anywhere else. our school does not provide the a-levels. they need to reassess their careers. they cannot afford the transport.
3:22 am
if i could go to the school that i wanted to go to, it would cost me 3,000 pounds for the etrain station. -- for the train station. i am 16. i am looking to start my driving lessons. even then, they are extortionate prices. i am sure some people here would agree. >> we have one more from the sky. -- from this guy. >> personally, a transport is a very important issue for me. i do not see why i should pay an adult fare. i come from a rural area. i think it would provide -- to access jobs. if young people paid full fare, it would be to the effect of keeping us in -- thank you. [applause] >> thank you.
3:23 am
this concludes the debate. tom aspell, give him a warm welcome. >> thank you. today, you never heard of the many different views on issues that matter to young people. the issue of accessible and affordable transport is a complex one. and one that has many implications for the services that affect whole communities. one question i would like you to think about. would you give euup your seat on a tram for an old person? >> yes. >> i'm gallad to hear it. the only group that continues to
3:24 am
lose out are those under the age of 18. mr. speaker, money is always an issue. in my constituency, in yorkshire, it encompasses an area of 1000 square miles, and it is mainly rural. transport acts as a lifeline to the people so they can get to school, work, and cinema. the assembly has been campaigning for free transport for young people for two years now and are currently running a pilot scheme with young people aged between 13 and 21. after raising 10,000 pounds in three months, the east writing youth assembly has issued participants with a free travel card, which is 25 pounds on it.
3:25 am
once the card is over, the young people get 10 pe% off. what is the need? socializing, taking part in activities, or getting a good education and qualification for a greater life. [applause] nationally, there are 5.5 million people aged between 13 and 19 as opposed to 3.5 million old people aged over 60. you could argue that old people have worked and they have earned the right to free travel. but you could also argue that they can afford to pay transport, whereas young people
3:26 am
who mostly rely on parents and the pocket money and part-time jobs to pay for the necessities of life. money is always an issue. [applause] there's more. should enabling young people to have access to cheap transport be seen as an investment in the future of this country and be a major part in future economic growth? in this time of spending cuts, local authorities, health services, and the quality sector are all looking at ways of saving money. what you need to ask yourself is -- would you give up your course regaoyster card? would you give up your raúl card so that the new hampshire as a
3:27 am
budget doesnot get c -- the ns not get cut? a cut to travel cards -- in the fronting line services such as the police, the armed forces, education, youth services, money is always an issue. to conclude, mr. speaker, i hope that when they vote on this issue, we think long and hard and weigh all options before making a final choice. during the time i have been speaking, three people sent -- three babies have been born or
3:28 am
run the country. this could really make an impact on their lives and not just our own appear. would you really give up your seat for an old person? you may just have to. thank you to the youth workers for making this day possible. [applause] thank you to the young people at all for watching this day and thank you, mr. speaker. [applause] >> tom, thank you for concluding the debate today, but also for doing so in such inspirational
3:29 am
fashion, upon which you should be congratulated. we'll come to points of order in due course. we have them every day in this chamber. that includes the debate for they -- that conclidudes debate for today. the opportunity is for the youth parliament to vote. how can i possibly fail to recognize and draw the attention of the parliament to the presence of the hon. gentleman, john hayes, of the further education minister? [applause]
3:30 am
john hayes is not only the education minister, he is one of the great parliamentary characters, legend in his own lunch time, and he is a member who will cite no end of authors, poets, and playwrights whom he's read. whose work he's thank you for coming. [applause] on this occasion, i shall spare you might impersonation of the appear him. those of you on my right should leave the chamber by the door behind me, and on the left into the lobby behind you. those on my left, should leave by the doors at the far end and turn left into the no
3:31 am
lobby behind you. in the lobby, you will be given papers with the five debates listed on separate colored papers. you should place across in the yes or the no box on each ballot paper and hand the completed ballot papers to the doorkeepers in the lobbies after words, returning there after to your place in a chamber. house of commons staff will be on hand to assist you. needless to say, in respect of each vote, you should vote only once. the division lobbies are now open. order, order. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
3:32 am
>> order. thank you. i know that a small number of people have indicated that they want to raise points of order. there will be an opportunity, but not just yet. fairly shortly. and equally, i will take great pleasure and asking -- eel =- to saysha engel something. i get the distinct impression that members of the youth parliament have much enjoyed
3:33 am
their session here today. am i right? [applause] you will want mew on behalf of each and every one of us to place on record our warmest thanks to a number of people with of whom this event would not have taken place or would not have done so with anything like this smooth and seamless efficiency that we have enjoyed. first and perhaps most prominently, from the bottom of my heart, i would like to say thank you to a true great, dedicated professionals who has taken this proct from consultant to execution, a great
3:34 am
servant of the house of commons -- lawrence ward. [applause] brick.e, you've been a it is appreciate it. the deputy principal doorkeeper, quote i am trying to espy, robin fell. he's gone home. [laughter] he's counting the votes. so he is not here to be thanked, but let's thank him because he has done a wonderful doppljob. robin, take a bow. >> thank you. you've been really good and easy to work with and fun. thank you.
3:35 am
>> the principal clark of the table office, one of the most senior persons who has devoted his professional life to the service of the house and to has been so we indispensable in the n-up and the conduct of today's proceedings, the man with the wig. andrew -- [applause] i'd like to thank the head of parliament's education service with which it has been my pleasure and privilege to work very closely indeed over the last 16 months. i think the education service of the house which reaches out to, build links with schools and
3:36 am
colleges is one of the great assets of the house and part of the progressive movement we are making to enge with civil society and to encourage the participation of young people, and the head of that service, tom o'leary, does an outstanding job. [applause] thank you for everything you have done and everything you do throughout the year. paul harvey from the office of the sergeant at arms. where are you? [applause] your role in -- and working with you has been fundamental to us being able to do our business in a way at is efficient but also secure, and that is very much appreciate it.
3:37 am
anne foster. anne's role has an important, -- has been important, too. and there is one group of people that i absolutely must not forget to thankn behalf of all, and you have to thank as well, and that is the catering team. now, this year, colleagues, we have not had the pleasure of the company of the company of members of the scottish used parliament. this goddess used parliament, while we have been mting today, here -- the scottish youth parliament have been meeting and debating.
3:38 am
i can say only that i hope that they have had as rewarding and experience there as i hope you just you've experienced here on the green benches in the chamber of the house of commons. last year was the first time you had the opportunity to debate here, and i was struck, very struck, by the shear quality of the contributions, by the self- confidence, but the point is that everybody could witness. we have seen it agai today. just to underline the significance of what you have done, of how much you have achieved, let me say speaking for myself, and it may be that other colleagues would say the same for themselves, when i was your age, i w not speaking on a regular basis in public places in front of large numbers
3:39 am
of colleagues. skills. honed those i had not acquired a that degree of self position and self- confidence, so what you have accomplished is something very special and very meaningful. fulfillede you feeel and proud for two reasons. for yourselves, for your own adncement and improvement, the development of your own self confidence and assertiveness skills, and that is important. and secondly, because quite separately from the benefit yourself, you have contributed of the beneiffit reputation of young people. that is to say that as a consequence of today, i think we can all agree that the whole is greater than the sum of the
3:40 am
parts. not only have you done right by yourselves, but you have done right by the young people of this country whoms it's been your privilege today to represent. whenever i go round the country and talk to young people, i am always at pains to say that what ever you think of the political system, the democratic system we enjoy, though far from perfect, is vastly better than the condition in which many people have to exist across the globe. and when i sat on the international development select committee, i visited some of the most conflict-stricken and poor parts of the planet. very often, that poverty w created or exacerbated by colicts and by thebuse of
3:41 am
human rights. and i met people who would have given their eye teeth for the opportunity to speak out and speak up and say what they think. in many parts of the world, there are still young people, and also people of middle-aged and elderly, who cannot do so, because they could be imprisoned or tortured or raped or killed. so at least here in this country, we should regard the glass as half full if not better than that. and we know the importance of politicswhat ever you think of the system. politics matters, because the quality of education we enjoy, the standard of health care on offer, the state of our transport infrastructure, whetr or not we wage war, the extent to which we can tackle the disfiguring scars of global poverty all depend on laws made, money spend, cisions reached in westminster and whitehall.
3:42 am
so you have taken part in a very important process, and i hope it will come to be regarded as complely uncontroversial that you should come here each year it in addition to all you do throughout the year to have your say, to improve yourself, to represent your community, and to do credit to young people. we have a role in the house that we do not refer to people outside the house, but i will simply mentioned today that i am sure there will be regional media interest. i know for a fact that tony cre e-politics.m c someone said that someone was here from "the times." i hope that those people from the media won't recognize that this is a really positive story
3:43 am
-- will recognize that this is a positive story about young people showing what they can do. you have to put up with a lot of wholly unrepresentative, inappropriately- negative, metimes discriminatory covered in the media. i hope that our friends in the media will recognize today that this has been a tradramatic success. it is your success. i am proud to be able to tell you, that although i love being speake the two most enjoyable days so far in the course of my speakership or friday at the end of october when i chaired the proceedings of the youth parliament last year and today. thank you very much. [applause]
3:44 am
now, colleagues, on behalf of the shadow leader of the house, i know all of you will want to hear and will give a very warm welcome to the hon. member for derbyshire, mysu colleague natasha engel. >> mr. speaker, i am the mp for the northeast derbyshire. east midlands region. thank you very much for coming and he was so much for inviting me to speak to you today. on a normal day, i have been a back bencher. this is my first and possibly
3:45 am
only ever time at the dispatch box. if anyone were to ask me if there is any debate on any day that i would like to take part as a front bench speaker it would be today, and it would be here and now. i am enormously proud list to be here today and to join you. and being allowed to take part on your day is an enormous privilege to me. it is something that not that many years ago, mr. speaker, who was in those days a plane mr., and i would of thought this would of been completely impossible. the amount of opposition we have from our colleagues all across the house to having young people to have anybody who is not a member of parliament speaking from the green benches was really quite unbelievable. so, really, i want to say a specl thank you, because i think you, as members of the u.k. youth parliament and
3:46 am
myself, we are in a special position to know exactly how important this is and exactly how much work has gone into making today possible. and today would not have been possible if that man was not in the speaker's chair. so if we could say a big thank you to mr. speaker. [applause] and that is sincere. i know that all of your applause is sincere as well. because what you have done is allow these young people today to demonstrate and to take the positiveity to vigive a representation of what young people are capable of doing. you have an absolutely brilliant. well done, well done. and most of all, the reason why
3:47 am
this is so important is because those people, and there are some people who have their doubts about letting young people use this chamber once a year, those people if they came here today, they would see for themselves not only is there nothing to worry about, but there is an awful lot to celebrate. so well known for being so fantastic, not just today but last year and well -- well done. very briefly, one of the problems of going last is that everything you want to say has already been said. i just wanted to add my own thanks to lawrence and the sergeant at arms, without you, it would not have been possible today. to andrew in the wig, thank you very much, and the clerks.
3:48 am
and to robin and the doorkeepers. it is not just today, it is every day. without their work, i do not think that we appreciate what they do on a daily basis. thank you very much to the doorkeepers. thank you. [applause] i want to finish off with this very big thank you. that is to you, all of you who have been here today. you have been fantastic. you have shown us as mp's how we can do it, how we should do, and b run.rliament could thank you all very, very much. thank you. [applause] >> tom jennings.
3:49 am
i think he is going to say a few njwords. >> i think we have a mass of t whatever one who has made this day possible. we want to thank the u.s. workers -- we have a massive thank you to everyone who made this day possible. we would like to thank the youth workers. they have shown that young people can do politics differeny. they have shown that we are making our marker. thank you. >> your results. members keep sprouting up from all over the place, and i had just spotted tony cunningham. member of the opposition
3:50 am
whip's office. we are grateful to him for his interest. we are waiting for the results of the votes. i hope that people who are still eligible whiill come again. i appreciate that some people are disappointed because they did not get called. that happens in parliament all the time. we have striven very hard to make sure that every region is represented fairly. i have made a particular effort to ensure that it has been gender balance in the debate. anybody is disappointed, i am genuinely sorry, but we have striven very hard. i think there are points of order, i am told. the gentlemen here. point of order. >> i think it is fair to say
3:51 am
that all the youth workers have done a tremendous amount of work, but not only because of the work they've done, but they have done it at a time when their future is uertain. as we look at the future of the youth parliament, i know that many of my colleagues could not be here because of cuts in the budget. our local authorities are the ones you. investments in us and suort us -. they do it because they care. that group at the back houppelande everythg for us and made our lives -- that group of back who made evething easy for us and made our lives easier. thank you. >> by the way, natasha spoke
3:52 am
with tremendous passion and sincerity. you often read about the different sides. the great thing about this ttracks s that it a trac support from all sides. i am shared with you at the annual meeting at the conversation i had with a member last year before i chaired the debate. it was a priva conversation, so i will never name that member. he has now retired from the house. he was a long serving member. as an example of what rank hostility we encountered. th member said to me after i became speaker, he had been a vociferous opponent of your right to sit here. and he said to me, mr. speaker, i gather you want to share the debates. >> i said, that's right.
3:53 am
let me tell you, it would be a complete an unmitigated disaster. i said, i do not think that is right. he said, i have served here for over "x" decades. i said, i understand that. what is your argument? he said, i know what i am talking about. at the very least, these young people will leave chewing gum all over thehamber. at the worst, pen knives will be used and the damage to the benches will be done. i said, you are completely wrong. these young people will be pleased to come to the chamber. i predict to you two things -- they will sak extremely well. and "b," they will behavre damn sight better towards each
3:54 am
other than many of my colleagues don a day-to-day basis. [applause] members of the youth parliament, i know it's never popular to say, i was right. but i think i can be permitted to make an exception on this occasion. i was right, because you have proved me right. thank you. now, the very last business of the day, you'll be pleased to know. and those waiting to transport you will be pleased to note. the ballot results -- motion one, sex education. for e motion, 211. against the motion, 104. so , as we say in parliamentary
3:55 am
langge, where it is ayes and no's. the ayes have it. the motion number to grow -- university tuition fees. fothe motion, 57. against the moti, 267. [alause] so the no's have it. motion number 3 -- job opportunities. for the motion, 56. against the motion, 271. have it.'s motion four -- on the war in afghanistan. for the motion, 137.
3:56 am
against the mion, 179. so the no's havae it. and mostiotion five 0non transport and young persons. for the motion, 239. against the motion, 80. so the ayes have it. [applause] order, order. [applause]
3:57 am
3:58 am
n c-span2. >> now, a discussion on how u.s. presidents have dealt with the nation's crisis. republican democratic strategists talk about the difficulties facing national catastrophes.
3:59 am
posted by the bipartisan policy council in new orleans, this is 1:10. >> thank you bipartisan policy center. the democracy project is really important. we are actually doing something. young people are thinking about doing something. this is how you can help. you young people were very impressive. we are feeling a lot better
4:00 am
about everything. you are asking the right questions and very smart ones. thank you very much. if you make us all so prou the politicization of crisis is the last panel. it caps of the day's discussion, all of them about the various and pediments to the furtherance of democracy. i was interested to hear that the most quoted% to date was mark twain. it seems like we have been going through these lamentations for quite some time. we always get through them. there is a recent because we not only love our country, we love democracy. we love freedom. we are happy you are participating. with that, i turn u over to my beloved, my desk bipartisan friend, for one vital a trip --
4:01 am
for one final introduction. [applause] >> thank you. this is our final panel. we want to thank them and all the students and people in the community who came out to this. it is a good thing for us to have here. we are delighted to be able to show our city all. i got all gussied up. i want to introduce our next speaker. the -- there is a little bit of a college professor in may. i am going to use this as a teaching moment. what happened on august 29, 2005, in new orlea in st. bernard parish was a colossal
4:02 am
engineering failure. we did not call it a national disaster. it was an engineering failure plain and simple. however, what happens on the mississippi discus was more devastating. to understand the physics of the hurricane in the gulf of mexico, the last place you want to be is on the eastern side of the eye. it literally came up the pearl river which is the line that separates the louisiana and mississippi. our next speaker -- after this
4:03 am
happened, he refused to be silent and spoke out very forcefully. she grew up in bay st. louis. she went to t university of southern mississippi. i hope brett farve has not texted you any pictures. [laughter] all the dallas cowboys would have a seminar on how to win. [laughter] cataline has distinguished herself in journalism and by her passion and advocacy in journalism for the region's she dearly loves.
4:04 am
she has received many awards in her profession career. she has written a book, "rising from katrina," which documents what happened. it is important for people to understand what happened here, what happened in st. bernard parish, and what happened across the southern tier of the state of mississippi. there is a lot of disinformation out. she is very schooled in crisis management. i want to really thank be bipartisan people and the people in this community. we particularly thank the students from tulane. it is a delight to participate.
4:05 am
i am going to turn it over to cataline. thank you. >> i appreciate that so much. it is important to all of us to make that distinction. the edgep right into reductions. to my left this lan davis. he worked for president bill clinton. he was the spokesman on campaign finance and legal issues. he served three terms on the democratic national committee. in 2005, he was appointed by president bush to serve on the civil liberties oversight board. next to him is maureen. she is the former chairman and ceo of the recording industry
4:06 am
association of america. she is also the founder -- she is also a sought after adviser for many democratic candidates. next is dan bartlett. his distinguished -- he served in several high-ranking positions in the white house. he was counsel for the president. he was an instrumental in the president's 2000 and 2004 campaign. he is currently president and ceo of public stragy. paul needs no introduction to many of you in the room. he was a democratic strategist who served as a political contributor to see in and -- served as a political
4:07 am
contributor to cnn. he served with bob casey jr. and sr.. the serbs with bill clinton in 1992. finally, congressman joseph cal. he is the first be nominated to serve in the united states congress. he is representing the second district of louisiana or 2009. he probably has better perspective than most. he has been voted out of office. he lost his home and his office in the hurricane five years ago. thank you for joining us. i covered the hurricane as a warden of the mississippi gulf coast. standing in thrubble of what s left, i was in it -- it was
4:08 am
the first natural disaster for the united states in modern history. that is when parties have to come together. is that not what we have a government? i want to talk about, first of all, let's look at the worst- case scenario. when you look at recent crisis, in aerfect world we would all join hands and saying to pollo -- and sing kumbaya. where has bipartisanship at a time in crisis fallen on its face? >> the churches we had a pretty good record of america pulling -- the truth is we have a pretty good record of america pulling
4:09 am
together. president bush got to i did not support politically, gave what of the great speeches in my lifetime on 9/11 before a joint session of congress. we were all democrats and we were all republicans that night. i do think that katrina, while it was a terrible tragedy end and still disappointed about the response, there are no red stains or blue states. our hearts broke. president clinton went to oklahoma city toull the country together. the country does have a history of bipartisanship when it really matters. unfortunately the focus on scandal as a political weapon and the focus on it using investigation or, god help us if
4:10 am
we have any kind of problems again, the use of that constitutional musterhat skandia predicted, we went through times in the '80s where democrats misused the system and criminalize political differences. a number of people were asset dictums of the democratic scandal machine, -- a number of people work victims of the democratic scandal machine. >> the parties are always working together. >> i remember katrina a little bit. i think he is right about 9/11. after 9/11, what you had from president bush was a classic
4:11 am
public relations cris. it is the classic roles of public relations crisis. commit to change. get people involved. transparency with the press. george bush is a classic leader after 9/11. i sort of remember katrina a little bit differently in that, i do not remember democrats being quite as generous as george bush, myself included, during katrina. we were pulling together as a country after 9/11. i think by that time people were angry about the war, parties were more divided, it was a much more partisan environment. we have to give president bush the benefit of the doubt. what we were hearing from local folks is that the response was
4:12 am
not good enough. you could see it. aggressively a obviously on tv periods we used it a lot against the president. >> did endure what you're trying to accomplish? >> iraq to fight back. we probably spent too much time -- you have to fight back. we probably spent too muchime. if you let preconceived notions take hold. that is what happens in a crisis. sometimes you get to the default positions. i think hillary is right. thdifference between 9/11 and katrina was the conduct. president bush has been very candid that he made some serious mistakesith the response to katrina. there was water under the bdge politically. those in the election cycle "the
4:13 am
empire met in washington would not give them the benefit of the doubt periods the party did come together. there were exceptions to that. someone stood upper -- someone stood up and asked the white house what she could do to help. i think what is happening is the rallying but thathat takes place is going to a shorter cycle. that is a concern. when we do come together as a country, we actually betsy did governments come out of it. -- we actually see good government come out of it. they had to do what they had to do. they were punished very partially at the polls.
4:14 am
the politicians would say, "will i be rewarded or punished for acting in a bipartisan way?" >> in theeaths of the national crisis, i saw washington at its finest. i saw democrats and republican leaders coming together that was absolutely necessary for the sake of our country and the sake of themerican people. i know it can work. i hope we can make it work at other times as wl. paul, what is the lesson? so many heads have rolled. will people next i'd be reluctant? >> i hope so. this is way more complicated than six teachers tell us. yes, there are times when we
4:15 am
want to lay down our swords at all unite. there are other times when the most patriotic thing you can do is a descent. i wish republicans had been more partisan and the democratic president of the united states decided after pearl harbor -- let's discriminate against americans and put them in concentration camps. this is the darkest moment in the last century. dart is another good example. -- tarp is another good example. in katrina, everybody was trying to do their job. i know that. i tell emblematic of the disconnect, a senator was busting our rear ends.
4:16 am
republican leaders were doing their best to help your state. i really think they were. she could have had a partisan ax to grind. she went on cnn. she said, "i want to thank the republican leaders and the republican chairman of the program." anderson had bodies at the convention center he was stepping over. he is doing his job. it looks like nobody seems to care. it looks like they were being ignored. it is enormously complicated to know when the best thing for our country is too often. $750 billion -- senator $50 billion of -- $750 billion the
4:17 am
line >> >> it is hard tonow. that is the problem. the best thing to do in a crisis is to take a moment to be bipartisan, but sometimes it is the worst thing. >> you were here. what is your opinion from your perspective. did the parties get it right? was there enough bipartisan shipped -- bipartisanship? >> i would like to compare it to the bp oil spill. i believe that a congressional leadership -- everyone wanted to
4:18 am
help people. there were things that needed to be done. there were people that were hurt. they saw the same thi in regard to the oil spill. i guess there were positions being pushed and pulled within the party. for example,he democrats -- the republicans wanted to take control of the congress. you seldom taking punches at the president in order to get some political points or to get back into power. that is where i saw all the partisanship come into play. we all wanted to help people,
4:19 am
but at the same time, we were pulling punches to get political points, to paint the other side to look bad. we tried to convince people that we were doing the best job. >> what happens when a president at a time of national crisis takes an action that is partisan? we were discussing bp and what you do about that. tell us what you saw. >> one the concern i have considered the moratorium. i do not know whether or not that was a partisan decision. from my perspective, the decision was made to satisfy the left. at the same time, we live off of
4:20 am
tourism, all of the gulf. we get oil and gas from the gulf. oftentimes people do not understand the dynamics of how those bits and pieces work together. we were very much frustrated with the moratorium. we were trying to push for it to end quickly. we thought the decision was suspended due to partisan politics. >> what about the media? >> someone made a statement that a producer makes careers on a talk show and never tried to discuss serious ideas.
4:21 am
the producer said stop the bipartisan crap. what responsibility does the media have do you think in providing that? >> i think it was clear during 9/11 and katrina,ven the financial crisis though that was a tenuous point in the presidential election, the media was unusually involved in the story. in some ways that made it more important and more personal. anderson standing in front of mary landrieu yelli at her was completely natural. it was probably what everyone watching wanted to do.
4:22 am
if you were in mississippi talking about where you were growing up, there was an unusual amount of being a part of the story. i will not say it has changed journalism at all, but it has changed television news in many respects. it is shortages passionate did -- it is sort of this passionate -- dispassionate. >> that is a good anchor's cried. [laughter] >> i am troubled by the actions of distinctions nowadays between the media, which is supposed to be about journalism, fax, and truth -- checking the facts
4:23 am
before you publish or post. the jungle of people who are not journalists to post and published based upon other postings and publications that have not been verified. justecently an organization that i am m -- that i am a great admirer of published something about me filled th false statements. it was a publication of the center. i called the reporter and said, "why did you wait until after
4:24 am
you posted to call me because i could have corrected the false assertions?" he said to me, "it was all over the internet. i think it is legitimate to publish." by the way, this is not atypical i am sorry to telyou. in the world theatnet, post first, that checks second if at all. -- in the world of the internet, post first, fact check second if at all. where is the fac checking and
4:25 am
the distinction between entertainment and journalism? >> you were literally in the eye of the storm. let's talk a little bit about the media in times of crisis. >> it is tough because there are a couple of facts you have to deal with. one is the speed and paste it because the transmission of information -- reporters are pushing harder and harder because they have to be out faster and faster. they are pushing decision makers to make decisions faster. unfortunately th are not always good decisions. you hope they turn out right. sometimes you do not have the luxury. when you're dealing with journalists, in many respects, they are saying rare moments themselves.
4:26 am
sometimes they say, "this is my pulier moment." i was on air force one on september 11 will we left fort up from the elementary schl to go back to washington. we landed at an air force base in louisiana. the decision was we were going to go to one more place, but we would condense the size of the presidential package. we would cut people of press reporters from 16 to 8. we did not know if we get all smaller helicopters or other things. we had to decide which reporters could go and which ones were lt on the tarmac in louisiana. one journalist went crazy i was thinking, you are panicking. now is your big moment to wte your pulitzer prize winning
4:27 am
speech. you are dealing with the emotions of journalists. you are dealing with your own personal emotions. it is not healthy for good decision making to say the least. that is why i think the ability for us to endure in a bipartisan climate during crisis will be more and more difficult. >> you have no idea how many times i have walked into the situation room and found them watching cnn. we call -- they are watching cnn to see what isoing on. tv stations are calling them to see what is going on. it is a loop. there are dferent roles. i think the senator is exactly right. i think what anderson cooper did was exactly right. if you step back and look at this week in history, the
4:28 am
greater risk in the media is when they are on board then when they are being too negative. the bigger risk is when they feel like they have to put aside the questions and concerns. there lies much more damage than too much partisanship from the media. >> i want to talk about the issue of crisis as an opportunity. the l.a. times had a story a few weeks ago. i do not know if u read it. they argued that bold action -- they argued that americans resist change. the only what it when there is a national calamity. ron emmannuel said no one wants a crisis to go to waste.
4:29 am
it is an opportunity for us to do things we could not do before. if they are true, how did the parties come together to make sure these opportunities are not wasted or overly exploited? >> human nature. we do not pay our bills until the bill collector is banking on the door. we tend to wait for the last moment to avert a crisis. that happened before we took affirmative action. we probably should have done it months before. the leadership component is whe it separates the women from the girls or man from the boys. do you use that as an opportunity to bring people together, to look past the five minutes of media headlines to
4:30 am
figure out where you need to be in the next 24 hours and the next 36 hours. i think in several places you can see that. people say the bp is still ride charlie chris's career, but -- rist's career. when you talk about the tarp, it probably cemented john mccain's defeat. the book -- barack obama was willing to engage. what happens in those moments, i think, that is where the human nature component comes in. >> aqaba at this in the
4:31 am
perspective of the stimulus bill. we seem to think it was a crisis. we needed the stimulus bl in order to put people back to work, to do what ever we need to do to bring the economy back. what i saw from the bill was a lot of bipartisanship. it was based on the perception of myself [unintelligible] more government, were spending -- more spending.
4:32 am
therefore, we saw a spending bill, which the country is trying to recoup. >> i guess i am johnny one note. i had no problems with national -- with natural disasters and how the political process reacts. usually pull together. sometimes you do not. to this day, whether it is a republican president or democratic president, it is manufactured crisis that is politically motivated in order to score points. but the democrats did to george bush in the '80s, the republicans did it to bill clinton in the '90s. investigations were used as a political weapon.
4:33 am
you had 300 subpoenas. if there was one republican standing and sing we needed to cut out another cycle of investigating each other or using the investigatory powers of congress, we are back in another cycle. unless somebody says, "that is a manufactured crisis," an seized on it, that is what made the clinton administration backbreaking scandal. we are not out of this cycle.
4:34 am
we are right back in it with republicans in the house. >> crisis as opportuty. >> i think, where there is an opportunity for overreach is that the republicans or a pretty good judge of that. they are saying do not let it go to waste. your try to push too much. it goes way beyond what we were doing. you are trying to make up for 40 years worth the democrat congressional demands for agenda. they are saying, "wait a minute." that was kind of a curtailing yvette. the same things you could argue in the sense that president bush during post-9/11. a lot of people were saying they did not sign up for iraq.
4:35 am
in the beginning, there was bipartisanship as soon as it was set, that is where that bipartisan coalition decided to crumble. what is the mandate the public is giving you? as it is you get too far out, they are not too good at stping back. >> i was working for president clinn. at the worst of it, his approval rating was 71%. it is not because they approved of his personal conduct. they were appalled. the media loved him. they could not get enough of him. the republicans loved him. dan burton did a two-year investigation of president clinton's christmas card list. hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal bills from asset public
4:36 am
ployees. it was terrific. the voters corrected that. they did not reward that. i think they felt like president ama came in with the economic crisis and overreached. voters and figure things out. days after president clinton had to testify in front of the grand jury which can start veotaped and broadcast to the world, we had to bomb a solid bin laden. we have actual intelligence. we knew where he was in afghanistan. president clinton launched a massive tomahawk cruise missile to go and kill him. there were some on the right to accused him of doing that to distract attention away from
4:37 am
himself. the generals and the joint chiefs are not political guys. we do not need to get him. we were winning on the scandal. when people said that, they were very qckly punished btheir own constituents. they said it was a really bad terrorist. we have him. we missed him by that much. they said, ok. you did the same thing in operation desert fox. citizens were kind of cool about it. the easily sort these things througright. >> this is the last panel of the day. we are going to go to questions a little bit earlier. we have a microphone right here. we are looking for -- you can make a brief remark, but we are
4:38 am
really looking for questions. >> could you say something about bush's memoirs that came out and white the call was made to do a fly over instead of going to bat rouge and meeting with leaders? >> first and foremost, i think the book provides some insight. the predent made a lot of controversial decisions in his presidency. it gives people an opportunity to hear his fir-hand account. there are a lot of things that took place. it is always compelling to hear the president's viewon things. in that respect, the week of katrina was productive periods we had dealt with a lot. we had a series of gaffes in decision ming.
4:39 am
you have president bush at a book. he took accountability for the flyover. he took accountability for the "mission accomplished close-" behind him. you don't hear that in the book. he is that type of person. there was a lot of division within the staff about whether we should fly over or not. i'll tell you one thing about a crisis, i do not care how much technology there is, if you manage the crisis, the decision makers at to be in one place. weere tryingo plug into calls and do this. you cannot abdicate and make good judgment and make good recommendations.
4:40 am
these things got compounded. my old friend and colleague, the press secretary, wrote a book very critica of president bush. he talks about the decision making. one thing he left out of the book was the last thing i told them. "whatever you do, do not let the press to the front of the plane to take a picture of you." the press was allowed up and they took the picture. the picture is worth a thousand words. that is it in spades. >> we had the clinton basdays. with respect to the way other situations were handled, do we turn the page? do we write a new book on how to
4:41 am
handle a crisis -- any kind of personal crisis in politics? >> can i just say i am shocked by how quickly louisiana got over the bitter days. there are two things people write about politicians. one of them is hypocrisy. but maybe they hate talking about sex more. i do not know. the media is clearly uncomfortable talking about sex. in some respects i think if it was ok for louisiana, people kind of let it go. it did not seem to be that big of a deal here. people in washington stop talking about it because it
4:42 am
seemed like people here stopped talking about it. >> unlike south carolina. there was a huge uproar. >> people in south carolina acted differently. >> the governor would not shut up. [laughter] shut it up and go away. it is an old of view. put it all out, get it all out, answer all the questions. he did not of that. he retreated to the political base. he retreated to his immediate base. he won by 19 points in part because it was a private problem. i think that plus the facthat he did not feed thbeast.
4:43 am
>> i come from a perspective of a person being judged by someone who has a questionable character and ethical problems. i take the perspective of our society as a whole, how we are so in touch again our way of thinking and partisanship that we are overlooking the candidates and the parties in order to vote correct, in order to vote along party lines. the democrats in this area were willing to overlook the character baggage of my opponent and vote democrat.
4:44 am
i would be disappointed in myself and others would be disappointed in you -- private life ought to be private life. we were that way as a society all the way through john kennedy and yond. somehow the rules changed. i tried to trace when that happened. it was somewhere around the gary hart issue. i am glad that issue did not bring down senator vitter. he is a reactionary he should not be in the senate. i hope we have moved beyond that, but i am afraid to say we have not. in louisiana we surely have to. -- wheat surely have -- we surely have.
4:45 am
but the majority of americans had not heard about you until you cast the vote for health care the first time. can you talk about what was or process in trying to act with democrats in a bipartisan manner? >> i think my role is very serious. where does my loyalties lie? does it lie with the party? whenever i am confronted with this issue, i go to a series of steps. one, will this issue force me to
4:46 am
compromise the values that i have? two, what is my duty to my people in regards to this issue? with respect to the health care bill, even though i did not -- i was not satisfied with the bill. i was not happy with the bill. but because it did not require may to compromise a moral position that i have, i felt it was my duty to represent my people by voting for it. when i was confronted with the clinton bill, we were unsuccessful in doing that. i was again confronted with that
4:47 am
bill i voted along the constituency that i represent. with respect to the senate bill, i felt i could not but for it. i could not compromise that core values that i have. i was forced to live with myself and i must be able to live with myself. i voted against the senate version of the bill because of the conflict with my moral stance. i had to make a decision. >> how do we prevent government overreach like the patriot act in war times when we're talking about bipartisanship? >> the fact that you raised it shows the wisdom. i am very much for try to get a
4:48 am
long as best as you can. congressman c articulated that very thoughtfully. i do not like it when everyone agrees. i screamed. i understood president bush, but i am still that the democrats for it. they were to bipartisan. -- they were too bipartisan. the simple question -- the simple act that you asked this question means we are going to be ok. if you want to see a country with no partisanship, go to nortkorea. [laughter] [applause] weant to get it right.
4:49 am
we want to get along and get things done. >> there is a batting average here. we have a far better batting average as a country we do work together and we bring people together in times of crisis. there arexceptions. i will not agree that t picture act was one of them. moreimes than not, history shows that bipartisanship works. people suffer politically for its. it is going to come in under budget. at the end of the day, it will probably make money before it is over. >> the patriot act is a good example because it's the timing coincided with an explosion of the internet. that is in a really positive
4:50 am
way, i think. you will never again have a day where transparency does not exist. it is simply impossible. that is because of the internet. that is a good thing. we saw it in the health care process in a way that was overwhelming and completely in the way into the legislators that were working on it. they could not cut a deal without someone finding out about it and posting it immediately for that deal to be scrutinized. it kept happening over and over again. congress will never be in a position again to sort of do the back room deal, to do the late- night testing of an immense. -- late night drafting of
4:51 am
amendments. >> i exactly agree that partisanship is necessary for american democracy. alexander hamilton and alexander hamilton, if i may plug my book, i started a chapter on the hatred that the two people have for each other. right through the civil war, right through the last election. so we can argue issues and debate left vs. right. chuck roba republican state back then and stood for democratic principles. he was the son of areat
4:52 am
democratic president. he stood for democratic principles. he found the democratic leadership council, which everybody accused him of shedding his progressive principles and being a centrist, whatever awful words they called you, but what he stands for and what this counsel stands for, what all of us stand for, is i'm a liberaland i am ready to debate conservatives, and have it out like paul used to do on "crossfire." you do it cybele. you disagree agreeably. you try to find a compromise. if i had to do anything lincoln, -- anything again, i would not support of looking back -- would not have supported looking back. we need to support something so fundamental ashanging health care. we should not have passed this
4:53 am
on a partisan basis. we should have done it one step at a time. as much as i would have liked a full system, i don't represent the american people. i've with like to get their one step at a time. at least this council represents partisanship that is coming together, even though during fiscal liberal, fiscal conservative, and finding incremental change and compromise. pplause] health care costs, spend that money on a campaign about health care. i agree on everything you said until the health care point. i am being given the signal that i can only take one more question. i am very sorry.
4:54 am
>> i would like to just elaborate on senator vitter. i believe it was not just a personal matter. from what i remember, he did business with the prostitute. isn't that criminal? we are not looking at just a personal matter. he actually committed a crime. >> all right. we will pass on that one. >> i hope so. >> i want to to elaborate on that. >> my frustration comes from two different things that have happened recently, the financial crises and the bp oil spill. i'm sorry.
4:55 am
louisiana is my state. i lived there growing up. i have friends who live on the gulf who rely on the industry with their businesses, you know? gas stations and restaurants. i'm starting to think the president did not come to our aid. hedidn't come in my opinion, should have been there forcing bp to clean up the oil as it was coming up immediately. >> what woulyou like to ask the panel? >> in the situation with the finance crises, to me, that is criminal. you cannot expect these several billionaires in front of the senate hearing committee to
4:56 am
answer honestly, you know, about what happened. so, you don't become a billionaire by not knowing what is going on, you know? >> do we have a question? >> yes. my question is, what is it that me, that i, a freckle on the face of america, is supposed to expect from our government and the president of our country for protection? i am not talking about just protection against terrorism as in 9/11, but terrorism as in chemical warfare, you know? that is how a lot of us perceive it. also, the financial crises, whereby these billionaires -- it
4:57 am
was a fraud from the top to bottom. t me finish what i was going to say. this is going to happen again. i don't think that these people care about us. thereas $27 trillion lost. that is money that is not being taxed on. that is a lack of income for the country as well. i want to know from you, what are you sposed to -- what is the government supposed to be doing for us, as far as protecting us, protecting our money, protecting our livelihoods? that is what we see every day. we don't see terrorism every day. that kind oterror is a different type of terror. >> let me address the issue of the bp oil spill in connection with katrina.
4:58 am
iey're both incidents where saw a breakdown in government. i saw a breakdown in the decisionmaking process with keen not -- with katrina and again with the bp oil spill. the cost, from my perception of this breakdown, is the desire of the administration to perfect their image. i saw that with katrina and again with the oil spill. i think we focus on trying to paint, trying to protect the image, rather than focus on making decisions. we end up making bad decisions. that is what we saw. >> any other final thoughts? [apppppppppppppppppppp
4:59 am
>> part of our exteppeded holiday weekend of no one-c-span writers. and how the commander of u.s. forces in iraq from 004 and
5:00 am
highest ranking member in 2006. a group called latino's -- latino leaders network. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [cappings copyright national cable satellite corp 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] nd counter terrorism issues. representative sanchez serve as the vice-chair of the house homeland security committee and also the ranking female member of the armed services committee.
5:01 am
who better to introduce general sanchez then the hon. loretta sanchez. please welcome her to the podium. [applause] >> that you. how are you all doing? it is so nice to see aold out crowd. thank you to everybody on the committee for this because it just looks so great to stand up here to see all of you today. one of the reasons that i decided to run for congress d i have been in congress for 14 years is i think it is important for us to have leaders in our country. at all leaders, leaders in all sectors -- in the public sector,
5:02 am
in government, leaders in the military, leaders in civil society, nonprofits, in our corporations, in our business arena, and im talking about the latino community. it is important to shape policy, to move this country forward in a positive way, and i also believe it is incredibly important for us to have role models. we talk about role models for our kids, and as a very important. but role models for ourselv, too, even those who have achieved so much. it is always important to see and to learn and to just think, i can do that, he can do that, i can do that, she can do that, i can do that.
5:03 am
latinos serve andave served in our u.s. military in every conflict since the revolutionary war. there are currently over 149,000 latinos in active duty today, and there are over 20,000 tinos who are currently deployed to iraq and afghanistan. and since the beginning of operation enduring freedom and operation iraqi freedom, over 500 latinos, man, and women, have lost their lives. and so is good to honor and recognize brave individuals -- people who gout and make the ultimate sacrifice, some who do not return, others who do. and as the ranking woman on the
5:04 am
military committee, 14 years now, i even get coupons chair the terrorism subcommittee -- i have been to afghanistan and to iraq and to some of the other 120 countries where our military service today. and my first vis out to iraq, a commander at the time was a commander called general ricardo sanchez. you can imagine, if you will, a woman in a man's world. now, i know that people still think about the military is a man's world even though we have so many women serving also, but i was on a delegation, and i worked with eight other guys and myself, and we sat down in some's palace -- in sadaam's
5:05 am
palace, and our commander was there, he had all of his underlings at around, and it w 15 or 16 in them -- of tm to talk about what was going on. there was a twitter in the room, as i kept asking the general, all the tough questions. i say that to you because there are some people who not realize what general sanchez was asked to do. he was asked to go in to iraq, he was asked to eliminate the that, he was asked to settle the place, tclean up the place, and he was asked to do it in what some people call it the fault of war, where there is -- the fog of war, where there
5:06 am
is chaos, where there is fire going on, where there are blasts in the middle of the night, where sometimes you do not know who is friendly and who is not, in a country most of us had never been to, in a country that america did not know that much about these people, in a culture for in two hours. we placed general sanchez in the middle of everything. and i want to remind everybody that our defense secretary, dold rumsfeld, at the time, wanted to do this war inexpensively. so the traditional way for a military to go in is with lots of force and overwhelm. but that is not what happened.
5:07 am
and so we placed general sanchez in a very difficult place, with not enough staff and not enough soldiers, and asked him to do the job we had typically asked others to do with more money, or staff, and start. but since he was the highest- ranking hispanic, that is usually what we anticipate, is it not? go get the job done, but we will give you half the stuff, right? oh, go and get the job, but we do not have a budget for it. all right? get out the latino vot but we do not have the money, and the newspapers get free press. right? so why would we think it would be different but he did a great
5:08 am
shout, and -- a great job, and i have got to tell you, as does my questions we on him as we finished at 2-to our session, i put my arm around him, he put his arm around mine, and we started speaking in spanish. and the rest of the boys in that crowd did not know what to do. [applause] lieutenant general sanchez came from a very hble texas childhood, and at the age of 15, he signed up for the army junior reserve officer training corps. and in his book, the one you have, lieutenant general sanchez said i loved the
5:09 am
military from the very beginning, and by the time i was a junior in high school, i knew it would be my vehle out of poverty. general sanchez, you exemplify, you are what so many of our young people do -- go to the military. and you have achieved what so many of us want to seeur young people achieve. you are a role model. lieutenant general santos, that served in vietnam and desert storm, in kosovo, and in iraq, as the ground troops commander, and in 2006, when he left the army, and believe me, i have been to a lot of ceremonies where are made men and women leave the army, and most of them are crying, because it is a
5:10 am
family, it is their life. it is a little scary, maybe. when he left, he was our highest-ranking hispanic officer. and, general sanchez, to me you will always be our highest- ranking hispanic officer. ladies and gentlemen, give some wonderful applause to our general, ricardo sanchez. [applause] >> [speaking spanish] [laughter]
5:11 am
congresswoman, thank you very much for those humbling comments. secretaries, undersecretaries, distinguished guests,nd especially the young people here, the future leaders of our hispanic community, i appreciate your taking your time to be here and to mickey, thank you for this honor. i am deeply humbled. we are to talk about how we managed to achieve when a leader it gets honored with his award. he talks about how he has done what he has accomplished. i have done absolutely nothing extraordinary in my life. when i have done has been driven by the oath of office that made me a soldier.
5:12 am
that oath demands loyalty to our constitution, and has as its foundation a very fundamental commitment to do our duty. as researchers e lee said, duty is to supply must word in our language. do your duty in all things. you cannot do more. he should never do less. i pray that i have lived up to my professional oath. now i am an old soldier whos ding ed with hcomman international forces in battle. i have been tolerated for 37 years for by beautiful wife in texas. i am a father who value is patriotism in his children had and has been blessed with two of my daughters, with the oldest
5:13 am
having volunteered to go to iraq as members of the army and air force exchange service, because it was their duty to serve the country, not because they had to go. [applause] and now finally, we have entered the next amazing phase of our lives. we are grandparents. and do not ask me to showed a picture of my granddaughter, because i have about 320 of them in mine iphone, ok? it will take you about 30 minutes to go to them all. the latest from yesterday. gin my beginnings the odds must have certainly been against me, but i dinot know what the odds were as i grew up deep in south texas, the poorest county in the nation. back then when i was grown up and pretty much still so today. by any standard, in spite of all my challenges, the lord has
5:14 am
blessed me with success, happiness, and french shipshat go well beyond anything that i had a right to dream of when i was down. i grew up in a very simple world, where the supposed things in life for oftentimes very hard to come by. a hot bath in the winter, a new pair of schul -- of shoes during the school year, a secondhand sports coat, and warmth and our home. i learned to appreciate the simplest things in life at a very early age. joy came from winning at marbles, director restaurant meal, and a new family car, which i would find out later was 10 years old when my -- when my family -- when my father bought it. i was such a lousy cton picker that i made more money sleeping -- tweeting stores and gardening than i ever made in the cotton fields. i pay was $1. of week, working two jobs as a custodian.
5:15 am
the most i ever earned in a week picking cotton -- picking cotton was 75 cents. i was blessed with a mother who died education even though she struggled to get her high school ged. i remember all of us walking to the high school campus and playing in the school yard while she attended night classes. this was the first example of perseverance that i remember. my personal first challenge with perseverance came when i was told by my fifth-grade math teacher from of all my peers that i was a dummy and would never do well in math. guess what -- maybe this was the motivation to take back then -- [laughter] but i will tell you very honestly that i was quite peeved. but it worked. after that instant i told myself that never again would i be
5:16 am
embarrassed by any one in that manner and especially not in math. i took away the lesson that i had to work extra hard to prove myself worthy and probably the most impact full lesson that i learned was that i had to prove wrong those that had low expectations of me. this would prove critical because that was at the estero -- estero typical environment that i would face immediately upon entering the army. no one expected hispanics to secede. the volume of perseverance and never accepting defeat was reinforced later when i went to see a high school counselor to get hel in completing an application for a military academy. instead of helping me -- and i can hear it as clear today as the day she said it -- she said, "what you need to do is you need to go be a welder just like a father," she did not help me. with the help of my junior rotc
5:17 am
instructors, i was awarded both r.o.t.c. air force scholarships and was nominated to west point and the naval academy. [applause] many took credit for helping. teachers and counselors have a special responsibility to encourage young people, instill confidence, set expectations and praise them in order for them to succeed. but it is ultimately the parents that must accept the responsibility for their failures, attitudes, successes, and their motivations. our society must recapture the to focus on education that has been slipping away from american society if we are to retain our greatness as a nation. i hope that i have taught my children and i hope to teach my grandchildren, and all that i
5:18 am
ha blessed to influence that they must dare to dream of greatness, that they must never allow anyone to keep them from realizing their dreams. many will try, all must fail. you can control your destiny, but it requires an unrelenting perseverance and a never-accept- defeat approach to life. duringy early days i learned that character, love of family, and love of country were important. my parents knew that doing the right thing all the time was important. when i made a commitment ias expeed to follow through regardless of how difficult it was, facing the consequences of my actions was nothe goshen, integrity was absolute. we were expected to tell the truth. somehow my parents always knew when i had gotten in trouble. it.ore they asked us about t lying make the consequences more severe. the lesson was always to the
5:19 am
right thing, even when no one is watching, because someone will be. [laughter] damn neighbors. this should not the tour us from those constant pursuits of the nearly impossible goal. i have never forgotten that a man of character is valued. when you can comprome your integrity. if you choose to compromise your integrity then is gone forever. when i was in the throes of dealing with abu ghraib i sought counsel from some of the most senior general officers that are alive today. does that i had worked with, and i was told by a very senior general whose name all of you would add immediately recognize that i was too honest for my own good. unfortunately, i knew of no other way to live my life.
5:20 am
the life lessons and values that i learned in sex -- in south texas were seared into-sold as i went into a world that was foreign, complex, and forgiving. i had never seen a black person until i was a senior in high school. english was a second language. discrimination was not a part of my life. all of us were hispacs, and the five or six and blows that were in my senior class spoke spanish perfectly for survival. [laughter] and service the country was as idealistic notion that was an avid do to escape poverty. quickly we learn that america society was still struggling with integration a nondcrimination. when i didot know is was entering a profession which had set e standard for equal opportunity and nondiscrimination for over two decades at that time. i would live a shelteredife.
5:21 am
in my initial assignment i understood what it was to be a minority, a hispanic, and a not west point graduate when i was told by my commander that my first efficiency report was going to be about 10% lower than the average because of where i had come from. he expected that it would take me about six to eight years, half of a career, in order for me to catch up with the rest of the junior officers in the units. i did not know any better. i did not know to comply. when i did know was that i had to work relentlessly and a hell of a lot harder if i was that a chance of success in that unit. after being in the unit for eight months i was rewarded with allows his job in the unit -- dining facility officer -- because i have volunteered in my quest to improve myself to serve on an inspection team that found gross problems with unit's dining facilities. back then we call them mess
5:22 am
halls, and they were truly a mess. what the commander told me -- the tenant sanchez, he found the problems, now you get a chance to fix them. i did. after almost two years i had to servas a staff officer and out on assignment to the operations staff i was given a desk in the corner, with duties that consumed up to two hours a week. i was reviewing training schedules. that w my sole duty. that was if i took my time. i volunteered for everything in sight. after four months i was nominated and elected to be an aide to one of the general fices in the 82nd airborne division. on my exit call my boss told me that he had fought very hard to keep me from being assigned to this section because all of his experience with hispanics up to that point had been bad. the commander had forced him to give me the job.
5:23 am
and it all became clear, the otypes. was no question if i was to succeed i would have to demonstrate commitment and my duty performance would have to go way beyond what was expected of an average officer. i was doubly disadvantaged. i was a hispanic, and from and artie -- rotc commission. this barely changed during the course of my career. by the way, that loss and i are good frien to this day. i admired him in retrospect because he had the courage to sit in front of me and tell me that he had fought real hard to keep me from joining his team, but then after four and a half months he had and the one that
5:24 am
personally recommended the to go pd 8 the camp to the number 2 general officer in the division. these experiences were never far away as i maneuvered into being a professional warrior per it without being able to share successes with a fellow hispanic officer, that created significant problems for me, and i never ha a hispanic role model. in my initial assignment i served with a poor region officer, but did not have a hispanic officer in the same unit again until about 15 years later. i did not serve with a hispanic of higher rank until i was a colonel in 1993, 20 years after i had joined the army. along the way the need for rapid adaptation, flexibility, introspectio emersion into the culture system of the military was indispensable to my success. what i struggled with was the different approaches that my
5:25 am
heritage and cultural values drove to and what was necessary for success. at times they were competing demands. one cannot deny that there was a before mentors and role models that are willing to assist their minority suborns in understanding and helping them to work to the challenges of the profession. without his band -- hispanics, -- they had discarded their by cs existed in american society. i've met some along the way who understood that i needed professional guidance, and they also understood that my perspective might be slightly different. they under wrote my mistakes. having served with great warriors, i learned that the most desirable straight in a warrior wa courage.
5:26 am
he might ask, so what is new for a warrior? i am not talking about physical courage. i learned during my time in a uniform that and battled a soldier does his duty and his reaction to adversity is instinctive, sometimes resulting in amazing feats of physical courage and sometimes resulting in card test. however, the greatest challenge for us is displaying moral courage, and this is applied across every profession. moral courage is that indispensable characteristic of a warner in quest of a war era that amounts selfless when faced with a need to consciously decide whether he will stand up for what is right, knowing all along that all of the possible personal consequences are unfavorable. will you be willing to weather the storm that will inevitably follow? moral courage is an uncommon
5:27 am
trade, of virtue, during the toughest of times, and it is the greatest challenge for most of us. many encourage me to speak out during the fall of 2007 against a strategy that got all right, but no one was willing to stand up and be counted in the maelstrom that followed. lee that true patriotism requires a man to act exactly contrary to that which he had another. the motive which compels them, the desire to do right, is precisely the same. early on i learned that a warrior must always control high ground. this is a life lesson for all in that it applies to all the we do. we face challenges, we must never leave the moral high ground. you must have the commitment and fake to stay on that high ground knowing that you will prevail. there will be many anxus moments and some very tough seas be navigated, and as
5:28 am
martin luther kean jr. said it will not be long because no light can live together. if you stay on that ground while controversy surrounds you, there will be many with opinions who will express them freely, especially the media, but few will be informed at less one of the truth. you must have the patience and willingness to stay out of the fray because you cannot win. as a young captain one of my bosses told me neville russell with a pay, because you will both get dirty and the people love it. -- and the pig will love it. when you are engaged in controversy you are like a wounded zebra on the serengeti.
5:29 am
the herd is mildly interested in your survival. if you survive, they will bring you back into the herd. this was a description given to me by one of those generals that i sought counsel from. this is an accurate metaphorical comparison, but it must not deter youf you find yourself in those situations. without question, the greatest challenge for a military leader in high command this and -- lies in the politics of war. this not surprising and should be assured, since war is an extension of politics. the american way of war is fractured because modern war demands the synchronization of all elements of national power, and we as a nation have not quite figured out how to do that effectively. the challenges of injured-agency operations often time overwhelm and undermine our war effort in total. as a nation, for this day, we continue to struggle.
5:30 am
primarily because we have no mechanism to ensure unity of effort. the partisanship that has fractured our political process these is a contributor to these challenges. i havcome away from my professional experiences with and on about the spirit of faith that is unshakeable and a love of country that is still unsurpassed. i have been asked by some of my foreign military friends, how can you be so well today, given what you, what your country did you? my answer is simple. i was blessed with seeing firsthand that american democracy has devolved into something that is not understood around the world. americans cannot appreciate our democracy unless he has seen other countries struggle with these issues. we have made great strides in advancing toward the ideal human condition that our forefathers envisioned when they enshrine the bill of rights as the fst
5:31 am
10 amendments to our constitution. where truly without a question the greatest democracy on earth. we do not understand what other people tell us they do not want what we have in america because it is tough to accept. while serving as commander of u.s. fors in kosovo, i encountered a leader who repeatedly asked me at a social function, what are you? who are you? i cannot understand his question. i told him i wasn american soldier and i was the commander of the forces. he insisted say no, but said, what are you? he said you are not an american. i finally understood the question. i told him that i was a mexican- american. i told him a little doubt about my grandparents and my great grandparents and how they had come to united states. his response was, how can this
5:32 am
be? how ist that a minority is commanded all of u.s. forces here in my country? he could not comehend what it was that equal opportunity. years later, as recently as a couple of years ago in a conversation with a western european leader, military leader, which started talking about the opportunity for high command and strategic leadership within there are forces, and he stated flat out, he said he would never have become a general officer in our country. your background and ethnicity would have automatically disqualified you. he might have become a lieutenant colonel or a crow. the country gave me great opportunities, but in the end i was asked to retire. we must be proud of being americans. we can never forget the tremendous benefits and rights that we possess, and the west understand t we have a
5:33 am
responsibility to serve our country. our opportunities as hispanics within the military are unlimited. there's no other segment of society that has embraced equal opportunity and nondiscrimination to the same extent as the amecan military. this is what i meant earlier when i said i have lived a sheltered life. this is not to say that there are problems, because we still have glass ceilings. we still are not represent at the strategic level of leadership at the same rate we're represented across society and in the military over the last 40 years, we have never had more than five to seven hispanic officers in the american time -- in the american army. in the last 75 years, we have had only three active duty three-stars. only one four-star.
5:34 am
what is the problem? where just as capable, just as competent, just as well educated as any other segment of this societ furthermore, when we finally hang up our universe -- uniforms, we turn to a society with multiple disadvantage is. not only do week returned to being a minority, but we carry the burden that america has lost touch with its armed forces. sometimes we rurn to the problems we left behind when we joined our army. corporate america values that characteristichat have always be accredited to a warrior, but what they did not understand is the tremendous broad range of experiences and responsibilities that these warriors bring back to american society. the economic opportunity for a returning warrior is scarce, and america must rededicate itself to correct this injustice.
5:35 am
now, in summary -- [applause] in summary, never forget what -- where you came from. it will give you humility and humility provides a window to the heart and soul of many who would otherwise shun you. many choose to acquaint themselves at the expense -- choose to aggrandize themselves at the expense of others, but that is not necessary to succeed. there is absolutely nothing wrong with being idealistic and focused, and in fact if you are a minority, these traits are absolutely be essential if you are on to have a chance for success, but you must temper these cash receipts -- these characteristics with moral courage and absolute integrity. throughout all my professional career i have learned in battle even the simplest things are hard. e same is true in our daily lives. all the challenges that the lord has allowed me to face have been
5:36 am
a blessing, and he has taken me to the heights of lori and the depth of despair. i will away proud of having served my country, and i thank him every day. where not guaranteed an easy life, and in fact what is guaranteed is that we will struggle through on told sacrifices, desperation, sadness, disappointment, and injustice, but in the and what is most important is that during the tops of times when never left the moral high ground, and we display the courage to walk by faith and not by sight. may god bless you, and ank you for your time. [applause] >> geral santos, i am proud to
5:37 am
present you with our eagle the leadership award with for your contribution to the latino community and your country. thank you. -- general sanchez.
5:38 am
5:39 am
÷???ñ? college. >> see eye-witness accounts of events that shaped our nation. visit museums, historical sites, and colleges. visit american history tv. >> take a five to eight-minute video on this year's theme. washington, d.c. through my lens. update for your chance to win the grand prize of $5,000. for all the information, go online to >> the peace corps is celebrating its 50th anniversary. aaron williams, the agency director, joins others to talk about what they learn from running the peace corps. this is about 1:15. about an hour and 15 minutes.
5:40 am
>> a story of a long-awaited return to a place where generations of had a history of making a difference. president kennedy challenge to america's young people to help people in need, promote good will over the world. that challenge became the peace corps. tonight our story comes from sierra leone, where a brutal civil war forced the peace corps to pull out over a decade ago. tonight, ron allen has the story of the first u.s. volunteers to venture back in. >> jessica now does without so many things she took for granted in new hampshire. she draws on well water for a mornings in a bucket shower. breakfast is a fried chicken. away fromrd being home. waking up and thinking, i want starbucks.
5:41 am
>> she is among 37 u.s. peace corps volunteers in sierra leone. a desperately poor nation, devastated by civil war, that so dangerous even the peace corps pulled out. 15 years later, the first american trainees are back, learning a local language, preparing to be teachers in schools so ravaged students often do not even have books or pencils. scotts order was a firefighter in northern california. >> when things are hard, they are good, and that is what the peace corps is about. >> the most important step is learning to live like the people they are here to serve. >> i wanted to be in a situation where i could when my skills to people who need it. there is no better place than here. >> he has his positions in missing quote -- his possessions in a single room. no running water, just a few comforts of home.
5:42 am
>> this is a basic. bare minimum. >> they first came together in washington this summer. mcchrystal a program as a civilian embassadors launched bike -- recruits to a program as civilian embassadors launched by president kennedy. leaders here hope the arrival of the americans send a clear signal to the rest of the world that this country is peaceful, save, and moving forward. over the years, volunteers have left a lasting impression. he is an accounting here with fond memories of an american teacher from 40 years ago. what would you say to him? >> thank you. >> it is the warm welcome that they believe will help them through the tough days ahead, including the drudgery of laundry. show me your knuckles. >> my war wounds. >> we are not going to turn the
5:43 am
country around, develop it, but if we can teach kids. >> you are a little part. >> they are carrying on what has been a tradition and adventure for a young americans lending a hand in far flung corners of the world. >> and because they are carrying on a great tradition, in almost 50 years since the peace corps started, more than 200k00,000 americans have served in 139 countries. you can see a gallery of the photographs and submit your around at that is our broadcast for this wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. i am brian williams. we hope to see you back here tomorrow evening. good night.
5:44 am
[applause] >> good evening and thank you for coming. i am mary jo bane, the academic dean at the kennedy school, and i am delighted to welcome you to tonight's event. the john f. kennedy for at the kennedy school is celebrating a number of evens in honor of the 50th anniversary of john f. kennedy's presidency, and tonight is one of those events. we are celebrating the fact that 50 years ago this week president kennedy announced the formation of the peace corps.
5:45 am
we have with us tonight the current director of the peace corps and three past directors of the peace corps. they cover four administrations and about 20 years of the peace corps's history. the hon. elaine chao was director of the peace corps from 1991 to 1992, during the first bush administration. she went on to become the secretary of labor in the second bush and administration, and she was the longest serving secretary of labor since '05, and the first asian american woman in the cabinet. she is a distinguished fellow at the heritage foundation. mark gearen was director of the peace corps between 1995 and
5:46 am
1999. before that, he was a director of communications for the clinton white house. since 1999, he has been the president of hobart and william smith college. gaddi vasquez was director of the peace corps between 2002 and 2006, during the second bush administration. before that, he worked at the securities and exchange commission and worked in politics in california. he is currently vice president for public affairs at southern california edison. aaron williams is the current director of the peace corps. he came to the peace corps directorship from all long career and development with us aid. he was a peace corps volunteer in the dominican republic back in the late 1960's. director williams asked that we
5:47 am
begin our evening tonight by observing a moment of silence in honor and respect for a peace corps volunteer who passed away while serving in niger and a few days ago. her name was stephanie camp, and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. thank you for that. and now we will start the evening by thinking back 50 years ago this week, when president kennedy was at the university of michigan and, lat at night, doing what you will see. >> how many of you are willing to spend your days -- as technicians or engineers? how many of you are willing to
5:48 am
work in the foreign service? on your willingness to do that, not merely to serve one or two years in the service, but on your willingness to contribute part of your life to this country, i think will depend the answer for another our free society can succeed. i think it can. and i think americans are willing to contribute. [inaudible] >> so, i was a peace corps volunteer in liberia between 1963 and 1965. i was in liberia when president kennedy was assassinated. and as i look back on that experience in my own life, i can say that without question it changed my life. it expanded the world for me. it introduced me to public service.
5:49 am
it set me on the path to the career i have had up until this time. those of us who were in live. at that time were mostly teaching, teaching in elementary and secondary schools -- those of us who were in liberia at the time. as i look back on that, i think that we did no harm. i think we talked a lot of children. i think we were pretty good ambassadors for the united states of america -- we talked a lot of children. we probably helped keep the president in office for an additional couple of years -- we taught a lot of children. that may not have been a good thing. we went in with the idealism to change the world and came out with a better sense of what it was. so that is one volunteers reflection back. you guys have been more recent and have had much broader experience, so i am hoping you
5:50 am
would start us off by each taking a few minutes to speak briefly about the role of the peace corps in the lives of volunteers, in the lives of the nation, and in the lives of the world. >> i was not a volunteer. in fact my successor in 1993 was the first peace corps director who was a returned peace corps volunteer, and that was a big deal with the agency, because the returned peace corps volunteers wanted of returned peace corps volunteer to be a director. i think my experience was, as a director, was a very enlightening one for me as well. i learned so much about the world, even though i myself have had a very diverse background.
5:51 am
just to sidetrack a little bit, one of the reasons i never became a volunteer was because i was an immigrant to this country. my formative years were spent in trying to survive in this country. so i did not really understand that there were all these other opportunities, institutions that were available. and also, i was the oldest of six children. as a new immigrant family, it was my responsibility to help my parents support my younger sisters. but my experience coming as an immigrant was helpful in my experience as a peace corps director when we tried to recruit, because we have underrepresentation in certain racial and ethnic groups, and we tried to find why that was
5:52 am
happening. a lot of times there were a lot of new immigrants -- the ability to forgo income for two years was simply a luxury that not many could afford. so that was helpful, in terms of testing our message to attract a more diverse work force. there are some wonderful people here. i do not want to take too much time. one of my most vivid memories when i travelled abroad is how much i learned from the volunteers and how enthusiastic they were, and how each one of them, regardless if they had good or bad experience, have all said that the two year or more experienced was a seminal part of their lives. their whole perception of the world changed. sometimes a volunteers were disappointed that they could not do more to contribute to
5:53 am
improving a country. what i tell them is, you as a single volunteer may not see the fruits of your labor, but i get the chance to travel throughout the world and to see the collective work of volunteers, almost a generation after generation, spread across the wod, and the picture that i seek is a powerful picture of young young americans who are willing to devote their lives to a country they have never been to, to a place they have never seen, to people they have never known, and try to help, and that is a powerful statement. >> thank you very much for having us. like ever went up here, i think we have all been thinking this week about the 50 years of the peace corps and what that would mean. to your question, i have thought of the domestic dividends.
5:54 am
i think elaine reflected well about the difference for an individual peace corps volunteer, for the difference they make in communities around the world. i think one thing to put into the mix of our conversation is the domestic dividend, and what it means for our country, as brian williams reported. there now are 200,000 americans to have had this experience. when i was director, there were six members of congress who had been peace corps volunteers -- three republicans, three democrats. perfect. you see it everywhere. people have gone on to lives of consequence in business and law and medicine, all whole range of fields. it is with excitement that we gather here for the 50th. one thing to kick off, i think it may be time for those of us
5:55 am
who care about the peace corps and certainly when you think about -- president kennedy did the bold idea, but really executed by sargent shriver, to cast an unflinching eye at the peace corps today. we should scale up with more volunteers and more funding, as director williams is trying to do. more americans want to do it then is allowed for. we should look at the length of service. is it one size fits all? with more americans coming to the peace corps with different experiences. should we look at the use of technology? sargent shriver and went up to me with the first peace corps volunteers, they were sending cards back home and -- postcards back home and getting answers every six months. the world has cnged.
5:56 am
more partnerships. we've created ngo's and groups around the world. how do we expand international volunteer service? as we celebrate the 50th, i think shriver and kennedy would be urging us to think in different ways for how we honor the legacy of those 200,000 volunteers. for the past, for future volunteers, a ticket to the next 50 years. for my part, it was a privilege of a lifetime to be the director of the peace corps. i think we would all agree with that. it is something that -- i am excited to be able to reflect with you on this conversation. >> i will build on what mark said with regard to serving as director of the peace corps was an opportunity of a lifetime. it was transforming for me because it gave me the opportunity to lead and manage
5:57 am
an organization of volunteers and professional staff who embraced fully the bold idea tha t president kennedy articulated. subsequent to my duties as director of the peace corps, i served as ambassador to the united nations organizations and roll up from 2006 to 2009, where we dealt principally with food and agricultural policy during the global food crisis. and as i traveled the world dealing with these new issues, it was always a bit astounding to me that wherever i traveled, the fact that i did then the director of the peace corps, even in countries where the peace corps did not have the existing programs, have left such a meaningful and powerful legacy, not only in capital cities and amongst the ranks of
5:58 am
leaders of government, but amongst community leaders and people at the grassroots, people who still remember the impact of americans serving in these communities. i will never forget my first trip overseas was to afghanistan shortly after the bombing had ceased, and we were meeting with the administer of women's affairs in kabul, which you can imagine is a formidable task. the minister spoke a great english. and i said to her, you speak great english. where did you get your training? she said to me, i was taught english by peace corps volunteers. those other kinds of special moments that, when you have these encounters, you realize the powerful legacy of the dividend that has been talked about internationally, where presidents and prime ministers were touched by americans in
5:59 am
these rural villages anda have left that legacy. as an ambassador, i had the opportunity to interact with chiefs of mission. i just met with a gathering of former u.s. ambassadors in texas. many of them said, i was a peace corps volunteer. one many leaders around the world are making an impact and making a distance. all of the first director of the peace corps post-9/11. my wife looked at me and said, "are you sure you want to take this job? this is going to be a tall order." she wondered if americans might turn away from the idea of going turn away from the idea of going


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on