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tv   QA A Reporters View of Afghanistan Pakistan Iraq  CSPAN  November 18, 2019 2:07pm-3:10pm EST

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segments. on saturday, at 11:00 a.m. eastern, republican senator tom cotton talks about arlington national cemetery. former obama administration national security advisor and u.n. ambassador, susan rice, discusses her life and career. megan phelps roper on the west ro baptist church. and wired magazine's andy greeneberg discusses russian hackers. at sunday, our live coverage continues with former undersecretary of state in the obama administration, richard stagele, on the proliferation of disinformation in international politics. pulitzer prize winner journalist on the 1950's red scare. journalist discusses former new york city mayor, michael bloomberg, former deputy director of the c.i.a.'s counterterrorism center talks about the state of c.i.a. detention centers. and former professional football player on toxic masculinity.
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watch live coverage of the miami book fair saturday and sunday on c-span2's book tv. >> how many years of your reporting career other percentage have you spent overseas? >> i guess close to half. first with the boston globe, i
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worked for a number of years in latin america. so that was close to a decade and then off and on with "the washington post," it comes out to be close to a decade. >> when you decided on journalism, how did you gravitate toward foreign reporting? >> my earliest interest in journalism was really about domestic issues. poverty, drug addiction, social ills, you might say. so i did a lot of work on that in the early years. i traveled a little bit overseas as a tourist to unusual places and i began to think that some of these same issues were definitely there and more and the struggles and problems were deeper.
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and i just wanted to try that. host: what special skills does it take to be a foreign affairs journalist, as opposed to someone working domestically? pamela: i mean, there is a number of things i would not necessarily call them skills, but there is a number of ways you have to be. you have to be ready to change things quickly, to make decisions very rapidly, to change course, to leave if omething is dangerous, to go
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places you were not expecting to go. you have to be prepared, depending on where you are, to go for a long time without sleep, sometimes without taking a shower or washing your hair. you have to be really prepared to be mobile and very flexible. as well as, you know, sort of intrepid. you have to be willing to go places that other people may not be willing to go because you are looking for something that is a problem usually. there is a revolution, there is a revolution, there's poverty, there is an actual disaster there, a fraud election, something happening that is disturbing. that is generally why you are there. again, it is not for everyone. you also need to be either able to speak for leg wages or have somebody with you who is very good at speaking whatever language you are working in. because you do not want to miss things, miss the subtlety, the uance. you can probably learn to read a headline quickly or say hello, but you really want to -- you are being immersed in a place, sometimes for the first time, where you don't know people sometimes. and you want somebody to be able to help you who can really give you the real sense of what is going on. host: that translator has to be
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a partner in reporting with you. pamela: absolutely. host: how do you find someone -- do you stay with them so that you can trust their skill level and interpretation, and also that they know the nuances of what they are translating? amela: in many cases, there is already somebody there. there are a number of cities i've worked in where they had a full-time, one or even two, interpreters assigned, who live there, work there, know the languages. and you went out with them as a matter of course. if it is a crisis, a place you have never been, then you are really stuck. one of the things i've done over the years when i was in that situation, i would land at the airport and ask the taxi driver to bring me to the nearest newspaper. i would serve myself at the mercy of the editor and ask for someone to help me out. sometimes they would want to go with me. that was one obvious thing to try. it didn't always work. generally, i was able to find somebody at least for the first few days i could help me out and see what happened after that. host: were there particular challenges as a female journalist working in muslim countries over the past few years? pamela: at first. i made mistakes. i always tried to dress modestly but sometimes it was not modest enough.
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sometimes i failed to cover my ankles, didn't realize i was disturbing people i was talking to. although those tended to be more and i was interviewing religious cleric or something like that and i thought i was dressed properly and it turned out i was not dressed properly enough for them. i learned how to adjust that. one of my favorite incidents was when i was interviewing a leader of the taliban during -- when they were and power and i was with another woman, and we were interviewing this taliban official. we were both very tired, hadn't slept in a long time, and something he said or something sounded funny and we both started giggling. this is a huge mistake. the man was extremely offended and got up and left the room and never came back. you really have to be able to restrain yourself, i would say. and adapt to the circumstances and to the audience.
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you don't want to offend people, you don't want to disturb them. sometimes people will say things that are very critical of the united states or of the est. that is more common than somebody saying something offensive about being a woman or causing problems. people tend, generally peaking, speaking very broadly now, more helpful to a woman than to a man. they can also try to take advantage of you in various ways. but generally, my experience has been that if they are not going to like something about you, or mistrust something about you, it is not going to be because you are a woman. it is going to be because you are an american. host: you wrote you were never injured but you lost many friends, a number of friends. how did you stay safe all those years? pamela: i've been injured many times in small ways. i would not bother recounting. stuff happens. i've been covered black and
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blue and fallen out of humvees and all sorts of stuff. nothing seriously damaging. i feel very, very lucky about that. and yes, i have lost very close friends. in some ways, it is the luck of the draw. one of my oldest friends was killed in iraq, but in a car accident. was connected to the war, it was during the war and they were probably going too fast and probably nervous. in the car was a terrible car accident. she was killed. again, it was being there but not directly connected with the violence, so to speak. other friends i've lost were people who had to get closer to the action, particularly people who worked in television. a very close colleague of mine, television journalist was killed in a suicide bombing. just last year where he had
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gone, it was one of those terrible situations where somebody reported a suicide bombing in a certain neighborhood and then they sent out the television crew to follow it up and when they got there, there was a second bomb. this happens a lot. and it is particularly cruel. but i lost other kinds of friends. n kabul, there was a wonderful restaurant where i used to go all the time with friends. it was a lovely oasis. very casual and nice. the owner was a wonderful lebanese gentleman who i had gotten to know over the years. one time, it was in 2014, i was not there at the time but i had been there the week before. i was back in washington. the taliban broke into the restaurant, set off bombs, and shot and killed everyone inside including the owner. and it was awful. it was a real turning point for me and many of my foreign
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friends there. host: turning point in what way? pamela: where there a sanctuary for us? where can we be safe? where can we feel welcome? i mean there were other issues like some places served alcohol and that was a separate issue. it made a some places have problems. of course, there were embassies and there were people's homes, and i felt very welcome in a variety of people's homes. i have several very close friends in kabul with beautiful, beautiful homes and ffices that i could go to. but it was more the sense of feeling like -- i mean, i was in iraq. i did know what urban warfare was like. i had experienced urban street to street warfare. i had not expected that in kabul. that incident and several others that happened after that made it feel much more like that.
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host: the last three years, you were stationed in kabul covering the region. what was your life like? were you living in a compound, in the community with people and how did you keep yourself afe in that environment? pamela: i had lived in afghanistan for a number of different times, different periods of time. sometimes in hotels, sometimes in guest houses, sometimes in community homes. lmost always shared with other journalists, other foreign journalists. in the last several years, there were fewer foreign journalists there, and the safety became much more recarious. during these last several years when i was there, myself and most of the other western journalists, we lived inside the diplomatic zone. which was highly guarded, barriers, lots of body checks. car checks, searches on the way in and out. it was much more restricted. it was still a nice house and office, but once you are
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outside the actual place you were in, you are very much in a confined area. host: when you would go out to do your reporting from where you lived, how did you travel? did you have to take special precautions or did you blend in with society as he made your way to report? pamela: you can never blend in. somebody who looks like me would never blend in. in the early years after the taliban lost power, there were lots of westerners around in the streets going to restaurants, going out, doing things, shopping. going to meetings, not casually, but more ormally. in these past several years, because the danger was much worse and there were so many suicide bombings and so many attacks, i would go out when i needed to or when i wanted to, ut not casually, not without
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letting somebody know in my office where i was going. i have not walked on the streets of kabul in a long time. always in a car, always stopping, and then leaving, staying a short time and then leaving. very, very different from the early years when you literally could walk around. if i did walk down a main street in kabul today, i would not see anyone who looked like e. host: you have brought photographs along that we are going to use to help understand your experience.
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this importantly, help americans understand this region of the world we have been so involved in over the past couple decades. before we get into that in a macro sense, in 2004, you wrote a book titled "fragments of grace, my search for meaning in the strife of south asia." another decade has gone by and it has gotten more complicated. what is happening with your own search for that meaning as the situation you have been covering gets even more complex? pamela: it is a very good question. and one i can't answer yet. it is certainly something that i have thought about a lot. comparing before and after. i've thought about ways to write about it, one of the reasons that i felt it was time to come back from living in those countries was because i felt i was losing some of my creativity, some of my sense of something that is important and new and exciting, and how do you write about it? how do you keep writing about something that is not getting better, that is not changing, that is still -- how do you write about suicide bombings for the dozenth time in a way that is different? obviously the people are
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different, you can find out about them, their circumstances will be different. a recent bombing at a wedding which was very unusual. there has been everything that is different. but it is the same problem that keeps recurring and recurring. i had stayed a few extra months because there was great hope that the peace talks would bear fruit. instead they were canceled. and they are now still suspended. we don't know what is going to happen with that. i felt as if the search for meaning as i originally called it before, was harder to ind. and the title fragments of grace which i used, and if you read my book, it had a lot antidotes about people i had met who were special, or not necessarily people who had won something or gained something, but people who had touched me. peoples whose experience had ouched me.
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in reporting about whom, i had found something uplifting. hat was what i was looking for. that is what i meant by that title. and that has become harder and harder to find. you still find people that are doing something special, you are unusual, triumphing over adversity. my more recent book, the one about pakistan, my epilogue is about a man who was an extraordinary man, i think is actually probably the only saint i have ever met. he's dead now, an elderly man who came from a well-to-do family, could have had a normal career in business, but he devoted his life to helping the very, very, very poor. in a really unique way. he founded this ambulance
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service. it was basically a very nitty-gritty. one of the specialties of his work was going around and collecting dead bodies of people that did not have anybody to bury them. very, very humble. and literally wanting to help those who had no help. i was very inspired by him and i was glad that i did meet him before he died. host: before we look at your photographs, how did photography become part of your work? pamela: i've always loved to take pictures. everywhere i've gone, i have always taken lots of pictures. sometimes they have been used in newspapers, other times not, sometimes they put where in my books. i always feel it adds so much of the texture and richness of what you are reporting on. to show people. host: how many do you think you have now? pamela: oh my god, thousands and thousands. host: what are you going to do with them all? pamela: a lot of them are -- would be hard to use now. they are in an old camera, or even before that, film. lot of it was film in the early days. most of my work from latin merica and taking pictures was
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all in film. somewhere i have the slips of negative somewhere. more recently, the chips. and now it is all digital. i also had my cell phone destroyed. i lost a lot of those. i have saved precious ones but i've lost some precious ones. host: we are going to start with afghanistan. as i mentioned before we started taping, i will give our audience a very brief fact about the major countries we will talk about so they have some context. these are from usaid. and the c.i.a. fact book. 40 million people live in the country. 25% urban. 75% rural. he median age is 19. life expectancy, 52 years. 99% muslim, 85% are sunni. per capita income, $550 a year. here is the u.s. connection,
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the usaid budget including the department of defense, all aid to the country in 2016, $5.7 illion, u.s. spending on the war since 2001, $975 billion. u.s. military casualties, 20,000 people wounded. 2,326 deaths. civilian casualties estimated at 38,000. that is from brown university. that is the state of the country. who are the combatants there today? pamela: today, the war there has been a real roller coaster with different phases and different players, you might say. it is obviously the american and nato component that is much smaller.
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there is really only a few thousand international forces here left. and they are basically confined to training and advising, except for the special forces who do participate in combat with the afghans. that is a separate program. net the major part of the war. so you still have the taliban. the taliban which came roaring back in 2006, 2 2006, 2 thousand seven, and 2008, still remains as a full-fledged, very committed, very well armed insurgency. and it is still wreaking havoc all over the country, including the capital. you have much smaller fraction of isis, or the islamic state, which is not affiliated with the taliban. sometimes it works with them and sometimes against them. they are internationally based, they are not to mess tickly based the way the taliban is. they are much smaller in
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numbers. they are extremely ruthless in afghanistan as they have been elsewhere. they do a lot of damage, which is punching far above their numbers, especially in suicide bombings. they have done dozens of suicide bombings in kabul and other cities which have been extremely devastating. those are the two bad guy factions. and the other side, you have afghan forces, you have military, police, you have an air force and you have afghan advisors, international advisors. the afghan forces have been through a lot of difficulties, lot of ups and downs. they have come under criticism for corruption, poor leadership, for really intrinsic problems. there is new leadership now in the afghan forces which the americans and nato leaders have a lot of hope for. they seem to be doing a better job. the war is still at a stalemate.
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talks are not happening anymore. there is not a pause in the fighting but there is certainly a pause in figuring out how to stop it. host: to understand what life is like for the citizens of this country, we are going to look at your pictures. our first time -- first one is from 2015. this is during the elections. searching of a woman voter. you have chosen these. what does it say to us about the situation at the time and the hopefulness around elections in the past? pamela: that is a woman in the neighborhood of kabul, which is a large poor minority district, which has received the brunt of attacks by both taliban, particularly by isis, in the capital. she was in a long line of women voters, being searched before going to the polls. men vote separately there. i think she was sort of startled by me rather than by what she was doing. the house rmn in kabul is better educated and very politically committed than a lot of other groups.
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they really are. a lot of them have come back from long exile in iran. omen tend to be better educated, they have more rights, i should say more encouragement from their families and their community to do things like vote. to be out in public. to be participating in public life. many parts of afghanistan, especially rural ones, you on't see that as much. even though she is looking sort of disturbed, she represents a very important trend of women participating in public life in afghanistan. this by the dangers.
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-- despite the dangers. her community has been attacked many times, including during elections. host: for women in the cities, are there more rights? is there a rural or urban divide in how women are treated? pamela: yes. there is a rural-urban split in every social and political sense. women in the capital and in provincial capitals in large cities, women tend to go there to have jobs or get education, or because their families want them to be more involved in things. there are a lot of things that they can do. women can work and ministries, women can teach school, women have more accepted roles in urban society in afghanistan. no matter what their ethnic background. in village life, in many part of the country, they are very circumscribed by culture and society in what they can do. in many parts of the country, they do not leave home without being fully covered, including
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their face, and without having a male relative at their ide. which means their lives are very, very circumscribed in many parts of the country. the culture still does not accept that women should go to school after they reach the age of puberty. most of afghan society accepts they should go to school as young girls. once they reach the age of puberty, which in that society is considered the age of marriage, or almost the age of marriage, or certainly the age of being betrothed, then in many cases they are taken out of school. host: the next photograph, this is 2016. it is titled "women mourning in kabul graveyard." pamela: that was a particularly haunting place geographically. this is the very, very far south western edge of kabul which is on the edge of the esert. those women, with some children, are participating in
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mourning. there was a terrible suicide bombing. this was in august 2016. there was a peaceful protest among young has our leaders and students and others that had to do with basic rights, had to do with electrical power access, it had to do with a variety of complaints that the community had. there were thousands and thousands gathered at a giant traffic circle in kabul. here was a suicide bombing there which was attributed to the islamic state, in which i believe 80 were killed and i think hundreds injured. it was a terrible bombing. in muslim custom, you have to be very -- you have to be buried very quickly. these were probably mothers and aunts and other relatives of some of the victims. host: so much of your work had to be centered on this.
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how have you processed all of this strife around religion and religious factions, especially in islam over the years? so much of this to westerners seems really income -- incomprehensible. help us understand how these daily bombings people have to live with, and the constant hreat of people within other sections of their religion, really don't want them to integrate or be part of their lives? pamela: it is a complicated question that you are asking. erhaps one way to answer it is to look at something as a spectrum or continuum. there are many different factors. there is factions within both religions. sunni and shi'ite. we have to state from the outset that in the case of afghanistan, there are no christians to speak of. essentially these -- this is
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muslim in a muslim society. 99 point something muslim. but there is a spectrum. if you want to take it in terms of, i don't know, liberalism ersus orthodoxy, or modern versus ultraconservative, there is everything. so you find, you know, on one end you will find -- again, has are a has come back from iran ho are wearing clothing much like i'm wearing, not like you re wearing, but much like what i'm wearing. normal clothes with a headscarf. going to school, learning computers and, english, getting xcited about the future, and on the far end of the spectrum you would have particularly in pashtun parts of the country, ultra
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ultra restrictions on social behavior. the right to marry, which has nothing to do with what you are interested in, but it is not just about women. that is why it is hard to answer that question. look at the taliban. the taliban are sunni muslims. they are from the dominant muslim sect from afghanistan. what's the difference between them and non-taliban sunni muslims? the difference is not that great. what they actually believe in -- understand and what they observe is not that different. in many cases, it is coincidence. it's the same. raying five times a day, observing the religion in the same way, the difference is that most people, most afghans do not want to see violence and xtreme cruelty used to
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propagate or to enforce their eligion. host: back to foe foes -- photos. the next one from 2016 as well in kabul. a scavenger boy gathering garbage near the palace. pamela: yes. when i was looking at this picture the other day, it is good to show it. that palace has now been completely renovated. it is undergoing this massive renovation. it's very beautiful now. that was built in the 1920's. the king lived there and it was a beautiful old palace that was destroyed in successive wars. it stood for years as an emblem and an eyesore of all the terrible violence that has destroyed kabul over the years. when i took that picture which was about three and a half years ago, i really thought, it really said so much. there is a little boy who can't go to school, he's got this ragged bag which he is
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collecting garbage, and that's what he does all day. and he happens to be near this extraordinarily once agnificent building that has been destroyed by all the wars in his country. i thought that picture said a lot. host: next is with someone you call your best friend. next is with someone you call your best friend. pamela: king kong is my best friend. i hope you will -- lives a wild life continues to. he is in kabul0. try to help animals in my -- he's an old fighting dog. one of the things i do in my free time is i try to help animals there. especially animals that have been injured or ill. i work with afghan people who try to help them as best they can. it's another suicide bombing. this was about five years ago.
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there was a terrible suicide bombing in a neighborhood. at that time, i was going out more in the streets and i went to this bombing site with my translator and driver. we saw in this alley, this wretched looking heap of bones that was a dog that was almost dead. it was covered with sores and wounds and was starving to death. i picked him up with my driver and i put him in the car. children were throwing stones at him. e was almost dead. took him back to a place wrerp keeping and trying to help -- we were keeping and trying to help animals. he has recovered to be the
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healthy, happy, loving dog. no one had ever loved him. he now loves people. he is a joy to be around. he is a gentle giant that is emblematic of a society that has been badly harmed. he's a symbol of hope. susan: two more from afghanistan. his is 2017. i wrote a feature about him, you wrote, in his modest life in a war-torn country. a cobbler. pamela: i really liked him. that is a niche in a wall that he has made in his cobbler's shop. he sits there all day long every day. i used to drive by it almost every day. so i started to stop there from time to time with my translator and chat with the guy a little
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bit. then i got him to fix my shoes once and he was trying to charge me 50 cents and i insisted on paying $1. this old gentleman who really represented a sort of a different era of time in that country. everything was personal and quiet. his customers were just friends who would come and have a cup of tea and get their shoes fixed. but the other aspect of the story that's not obvious from looking at him, as i decided to do this story and spend time in that immediate neighborhood, i discovered that everyone i met, every shopkeeper had been affected by the wars in some way. they had all lost someone. they had all either been bombed or someone had died or someone had disappeared. just in this tiny crossroads, everyone there had a story to tell about what had happened to their family in the past 30 ears of war.
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susan: 2017 as well, this is stormy. amela: stormy. i had forgotten about that injury. i was on a military base. i'm not the strongest person in the world but i was carrying a heavy pack and i had body armor on and i had a helmet on. and it was dark at night. he was walking into this military base. i tripped and fell on a cement parking lot. that is the result. nobody hurt me. it was just bad luck. stormy was a donkey. i worked with veterinarians who were treating donkeys there.
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they carry heavy burdens. they carry bricks and dirt and stones and they carry them on their backs and they get no rest, they often don't get well fed and they almost never, ever get any medical treatment. if you saw stormy under that blanket, you wouldn't be able to show it. covered with sores and wounds. bleeding. the saddest creature. we took care of him for a long time. it took six months until his wounds were healed. we sent them to live with a nice farmer that someone knew. now he's living on a farm about a half app hour from kabul -- an hour from kabul. we send him money every month to make sure he eats well. susan: pakistan. 207 million people in pakistan, 36% urban, the median age is 24. life he can peck thanasi, 68.
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96% muslim. u.s. aid in 2019 was only $280 million. you wrote a book in 2011 about this country called "pakistan at war with itself." what is the thesis of that book? amela: the thesis of that book is that, when you went to pakistan, you would see that tremendous potential. it has everything a country could want or need to develop in a way that indonesia has developed or mexico or south africa or turkey. it has a huge population to do work. it has lots of industrial development huge cities and huge agriculture. t has natural resources. it has everything it could need to get ahead except for the act that it has a very
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entrenched feudal relief. -- elite. i say that now as a state of mind, not in terms of property owning. the gap between the rich and poor is still too big. there is a real ceiling. you cannot get ahead in that country. it's hard to rise above poverty unless you have a connection of some sort. the public system of health and education and welfare is very limited. what that has led to, among other things, is the increasing popularity of extreme forms of islam. the radicalization of islam, particularly sunni islam, particularly allied with the taliban. and al qaeda and these other groups. it has been because the young people have very few options or ways to get ahead. you have preachers everywhere
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and radical, exciting meetings and opportunities and come join us and go to heaven. it is very appealing. the picture on the bottom, that is a rally. that is a rally by young pakistanis supporting a man who assassinated a governor. he was the governor's bodyguard and he assassinated him because he believed the governor was sacrilegious because he had defended a woman accused of blasphemy. this bodyguard murdered his own boss, killed him with 26 shots and he became a hero and a saint to hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of pakistanis. susan: 2016, this is a bakery. in an afghan refugee community in pakistan. how large is the refugee
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community in pakistan? pamela: it's much smaller now. during a succession of wars, soviet time, civil war and the taliban time. three successive waves of refugees fleeing afghanistan across the 2000 mile border into pakistan. for long time, there has been an enormous refugee population, they became settled because of the wars, many of them just settled there. this is a bakery that has been in pakistan for a long time. 20 or 30 years. it's very successful. there are constant disputes between the two countries. pakistan is always trying to send the refugees back. it's a long, complicated ale. i like that bakery because it has become an institution. people know it makes good bread and they go there. susan: another young person.
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teenager tailor in pakistan in 2017. you write millions of school age children work in low-paying jobs. pamela: lots of great schools for those who can afford it. but for millions of families, most children work part-time or full-time. many go to school in the mornings and work in the afternoons. ing a tailor is a very typical form of child employment. many girls work in weaving carpets at hand looms. which is very back-breaking work. others work in brick quarries, making bricks, which is also back-breaking work. there are number of jobs they do. i thought that boy was particularly poignant. susan: are there western
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factories there that make clothes for the u.s.? pamela: for the west. textiles is one of the biggest industries, but it takes a lot of skilled labor. they were a large employer of adult, but not so much children. susan: women in burkas shoppping. pamela: that is a bazaar that specializes in weddings. i love those colors. there are a lot of ribbons and bangles. they are shopping for bangles and light jewelry. weddings are a huge business in pakistan and are the premier social activity. constant weddings, large families. everyone is always getting married.
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it is the main social act of the society. it's a way for women to get out and socialize and shop. it's very intrinsic to the society but as you can see, they're covered when they go out. susan: we often hear of those bombings happening at weddings. it sounds like there's plentiful targets. pamela: there have only been a handful that i know of. it's rare that a wedding would be bombed. just a handful of times. but yes. susan: those are the things that seem to make the way through filter to us. pamela: there are a lot of weddings that have been bombed by american forces. and nato forces. mistakenly. that's the other side of the story. susan: pakistan, 2018. pamela: i told you my hair was a mess. that's me. that's with a whole bunch of sheep.
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i was with the vet and treating ome donkeys in the area. susan: for your nonprofit? pamela: yeah. we happened upon this flock of sheep. i waded into it. i love that picture. susan: this is recent. 2019. anti-polio campaign. pamela: that's one of the sad things that's happening in pakistan. going back to the enormous potential it has that it hasn't measured up to, polio is making a comeback. it was almost eradicated. there were all kinds of campaigns. this woman is administering the drugs in a school. thousands of people administering antipolio drops the last few decades. they were really making great
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progress. they had several huge obstacles. one is that very conservative fundamentalist groups opposed polio vaccines and accused them of being a western plot to sterilize muslims. that was a big obstacle to the campaign. a lot of families got scared by that. there is a lot of poverty and misunderstanding and fear in some of these communities that generally has made it harder to reach everyone. the government has worked hard o reach every child. this campaign in the past year, they're going door-to-door in chool to school. susan: we're moving on to india. a country of 1.4 billion people. the median age is 28. the u.s. median age is 38. life expectancy, 69 years.
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35% people live in cities. 21% of the population is below the poverty line. and the united states gave the country about $103 million in aid last year, according to the c.i.a. world fact book. we have one photo. this is all the way back in 2000. why did you choose this? pamela: your producer asked me to find some pictures of me at work. i so rarely have pictures of me at work. i'm a pre-selfie and post-selfie person. it's just not in my nature. another journalist took this picture. a picture of me other than -- at an incredible hindu ceremony. i've never been to anything like it. i hadn't slept in days. it's a gathering held every number of years. everybody who can go, goes. there were like five million people there camping
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on the banks of this river, including me. it was one of the hindu priests r gurus. i don't know why he was patting me on the head but there he was. i thought that was a hilarious picture. susan: we are reading so much about the rising tensions between india and pakistan, both nuclear states. how concerned are those of you on the ground in that region about the possibility of nuclear conflict between these two countries? amela: i would be astonished if a nuclear conflict were to break out between india and akistan. there have been points in the past where it seemed like it might have happened, and everyone was pulled back from the brink. i had to say that the rise of prime minister modi in india has ratcheted up the rhetoric,
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the belligerent rhetoric on oth sides. it has made muslims in india and pakistan much more worried about their freedom, about heir rights. india has the second or third largest muslim population in the world, i think. huge numbers of muslims there. it's not as if they're living in different worlds. so the not just a country to country. there's kashmir, there's the whole border issue that's been flaring up recently. i don't think it could escalate into nuclear war. lots can happen short of that. susan: we will move on to iraq. which we could spend a whole hour only on iraq. we have one photograph. as a country of 40 million people. 70% are urban.
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per capita income is $5,000 last year. spent $3.7 billion, $3.1 billion of which was department of defense related spending. overall, the united states has spent on the war since 2003, you ready for this, $1.06 trillion. u.s. military casualties, 4,506, 32,000 wounded. estimated civilian casualties, 182,000. help us understand those numbers in context of where it is today. pamela: iraq is a much wealthier country. it's an oil exporter. it has a much larger middle-class than afghanistan and proportionally pakistan. it's a more sophisticated country.
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it is divided violently between the major to religious sects and the war of saddam hussein nleashed these forces and it has been a bully conflict. - bloody conflict. it's going way back to u.s. policy and the decision to invade, which is past history and it is what happened. i guess today, i would say that there are still terrible problems there, partly because of what is happening in syria and around them. iraq is making a comeback. it is coming back to its old self in terms of culture and society. i remember when the bookstores, the bombs had shut them down and they are opening up again. same with the cafes. there is a resurgence and
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revival. there's a real government in power now. it governs. it is a state that is rebuilding itself. so much was destroyed. there is so much attention there. -- tension there religiously. it's not going to end soon, but it is in a much better osition. to stabilize its future than say afghanistan. susan: this is from 2005. i want to show you some video of a youtube documentary from he same scene. -- theme. pamela: i was wondering if i sent you that. that is apache. he is a dog that i rescued in fallujah. i was imbedded with the marines. susan: how do you remember apache because of all the man mals you've helped? is he special?
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pamela: he was the only dog i rescued in iraq. that makes them stand out. i found him in an abandoned car. he had been abandoned. he spotted a mark immediately nd followed me around. i ended up adopting him. by hook or by crook, i got him back to baghdad and eventually by hook or by crook, i got him back to baghdad and eventually found somebody who was willing to take him back to the states. >> i went out in the day with some patrols. i would always put myself right behind one marine and i would step every step he took and
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stay in his shadow. because he had a big weapon. it was not a guarantee of safety, but it made me feel better. susan: a documentary from journeyman pictures. both of these are the time of intense u.s. conflict. over the course of your career, how much of it was in conflict zones? pamela: a great deal.
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i started in central america, covering the war in el i started in central america, covering the war in el alvador, the contra situation it is by choice. no one forces you to do this. i felt it was important. i felt the struggles people were going through with repression and revolution and poverty and trying to survive were important to write about and bring back to western eaders might otherwise not know about them. susan: you wrote a column recently after coming back home , your country seems different to you since you were here last time, what are your observations and how this country has changed in the last several years? i guess we will close on some of your big thoughts about your
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transition back into our transition back into our society. susan: it's a difficult topic. --
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i don't represent the government. but i am an american and i am proud of that. it means something special. in the past several years, as there is much more controversy abroad about american government and policies and more anger and violence -- angry and violent argument in our country about basic issues, basic understandings of our laws and government and way of life and
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what it means, it felt very alien to me. after all these years coming and going, it felt like i was coming back to a society that was markedly different than the last time i had come back and that i wasn't sure what i would find. susan: one thing i'm sure that struck home, i read your biography and one of your first jobs was at the annapolis newspaper where five journalists lost their lives last year. how did you process that? pamela: it was strange. because as i wrote that piece, i was in my office in kabul, surrounded by high bunkered razor wire. it's really a fortress. i was sitting in my office and i saw something about annapolis. so i checked it. indeed, this young man -- angry young man had burst into the
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of the first newspaper i worked at out of college, my irst paycheck, $125, and we -- i was -- it was a nice little paper. i made good friends there. nothing terrible ever happened. obviously there were crime -- there was crime and political arguments, but it was a lovely town and lovely place to work. some of my closest friends i met during that time, early 1974. to have something burst in the door and shoot, spray gun fire, it might have nothing to do with anything else, but it certainly has something to do with the times we live in, the availability of weapons and the ease with which raw, angry emotions, can turn into violence even in a place that matters a lot to you. that is all the time we havement thank you for bringing
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your photographs in. will he be seeing more of your work? also observe our own country? pamela: i hope so. i will be writing from time to time and working on some longer writing projects that will hopefully see the light of day. susan: thanks for being with hour. the last pamela: you're very welcome. ♪ are available on podcast or on national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] laura brown from george washington university will join "q&a." you can see it at sunday, 8:00 c-span.and pacific on and you can go online at
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with the or listen free c-span radio app. this week the house intelligence committee and chair adam schiff ontinue public impeachment inquiry hearings beginning tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. eastern, watch live testimony williams, aide to vice president mike pence. nd director for european affairs at the national security council, lieutenant colonel alexander vindman. 2:30, ambassador kurt volker.-- and white house council aide tim morrison. testimony continues with u.s. ambassador to the european sondland.don then at 2:30, deputy assistant secretary of defense for eurasianukrainian, and affairs, laura cooper, and david hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs. and on thursday at 9:00 p.m. eastern, the committee will hear fiona hill, m former national security council
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senior director for europe and russia. two public rst hearings in their entirety on our website there -- a points of interest feature identifies key items. live, online at, or listen free with app.-span radio the u.s. house is back at 4:15 eastern to start legislative work for the week. agenda, federal spending legislation to extend current overnment funding past thursday's midnight deadline. that measure would need to be approved by both the house and sent to e and then president trump for his signature to avoid a possible shutdown. here live house coverage on c-span, and watch the senate on c-span2. on c-span3,fternoon supreme court justice elena kagan will talk to students at
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university about the u.s. legal system. live coverage begins at 4:30 all rn and you can follow of our coverage jonathan at or listen with the free c-span radio app. congressman, let me begin with the results yesterday in new orleans and louisiana in which john bel edwards, the democrat, winning with --t: joining us from loifl, louisville, kentucky on c-span's newsmakers program, democratic congressman
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john yarmuth, chr


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