tv Book Discussion on Obamas Globe CSPAN August 12, 2014 3:39pm-4:23pm EDT
choice. i think most likely the best chance i will have is to be able at some stage advise the prime minister. i love my job as an academic and love to be a professor and writer so there's no chance that i'll ever become a prom bime minister but if i get a chance to advise and i quote a pakistani friend who served in high positions and i'll actually record him because i'm mentioning him, very bright pakistani foreign service officer who was here on a u.s. scholarship a couple of years ago, went back. he had mentioned in his experience working in the prime minister's office that pakistan's 50% of all the problems can be resolved if you get an honest and an efficient and a competent prime minister. because some of the things are very, very basic. for instance, and that's my idea, the first and foremost will be rooting out corruption. and that can only happen if you instill a form of accountability. this cannot happen overnight,
but some of the things are very basic. as soon as the north, a major case of corruption, there's no dearth of those in the political arena, in the civilian arena. they go after them in a very strong fashion. that's the first thing. the second thing would be, which i mentioned, of keeping pakistan's religious identity intact but taking pakistan towards what we call -- where we had in the most famous speech saying whether you go to a mosque or a church or to a hindu temple, state has nothing to do with it. this was 1946 and not a small intellectual thinking in the corner of a dream world. he was the most popular leader that pakistan produced. people loved him. he was able to create the whole country. his ideals are of pakistan based on progressive pakistan. pakistan gone very far from the
ideals. i think those in the position of power can do small things through which to take pakistan back towards some ofy(](mhkr @r% issues will be related to policy issues, but others will be linked to education ensuring that your textbook and that point any prime minister can do. to ensure, review the curriculum and take out some of the words and the bigotry and part andlv parcel of the pakistani textbook. that a prime minister can do. second thing would be after accountability and corruption would be these education reforms and the third thing i think will be a larger issue, which is a peace process with india. i am convinced and i think pakistani leadership is also convinced you'll not be able to get rid of pakistani militant groups or tackle some of the radicalization unless pakistan and india both come towards sustainable peace process. there are signs of that. i think it is a pakistani
security establishment which also has to be convinced. not only the pakistani political leadership can play a role, to make such a transition happen. without these three things, i don't see a bright light for pakistan. >> i am from -- president of the indus. two short questions for you, dr. abbas. number one is, the talibans have regrouped and thank you for a very excellent analysis of the situation. i find it a bit paradoxical. they have regrouped. they have taken large areas but their posture is significantly different than what it was in 2001. and secondly, the elections were pretty well conducted, well attended and there was no
disruption or activities from taliban. so i find it a little hard to believe. my second question is the military action in progress. do you think it is going to continue for long and what will be the long-term outcome of that? do you see a possibility of isolating pakistani talibans from the other talibans? >> thank you very much. you're absolutely right. in case of afghan taliban, or afghanistan's political situation, which we have a crisis there and the crisis different from what we thought that maybe the taliban can conduct military attacking and disrupt the election process. i think that tells us a lot about the relil yens of the afghan people and some of the very good things that have happened based, benefiting from
the u.s. effort, they have a major mistakes, as well. like supporting warlords and so many others and i think blende s -- blunders on the part of the united states and the middle class going up in afghanistan. and that has a new stake in afghanistan's future and i think they owe it to international community and especially united states which funded the bill by and large. however, in the case for instance i'll tell you of 13,000 polling stations. elections were not conducted in 700 to 800 polling stations because taliban did not allow that happen. if you google, there's a picture of old men with white beards with white caps and bandage around the fingers because those that voted and had a sign in one district in afghanistan, the fingers cut by afghans. you have to go and see. i think the independent newspaper where there's a picture today has come. afghan taliban tried their level
best and they disrupted in south and east in many areas. luckily, that both abdullah and rani and the others, as well, they are joined in terms of -- joined together as regards the future of afghanistan. hopeful future of afghanistan and they on the opposition side of afghan taliban, mullah said they don't believe in democracy. probably waiting for their turn. in this case, a lot of work by the afghan police and intelligence as well as american intelligence. there was a lot of support which kept some of the taliban ayeah but i was talking to one of the gentlemen who's doing research on this, was actually sitting here and i'm reminded that if you look at all the incident data, the number of attacks in afghanistan by afghan taliban have not declined. yes, that's not as much, these big kind of attacks but, of course, we know what happened in
kabul recently in particular and the other attacks in recent days but the overall percentage by the attacks have not declined and luckily a successful election but we still have to see where all this goes and if this crisis continues, i think credit should go to secretary kerry and others who were able to bring and president obama's call, actually, to abdullah and to rani telling them that they have to reconcile and figure out how they'll build a national unity government because if the crisis continues it will not be weeks but days that you will see taliban operating in a very effective fashion conducting more attacks. even if there's a reconciliation of the political big wigs in afghanistan, afghan taliban are also going to stay as a big reality because in south and east the infrastructure is quite intact. in case of pakistani taliban, the problem is much larger.
i think there are a huge impact of pakistani elections of may 2013. all the progressive parties couldn't campaign and there was a devastating impact than afghan pal tan on the afghan government. and for that as i memgsed there's no short cut or no short-term solutions. >> we have time for one last question. >> thank you so much. thank you, dr. hassan, for such an insightful dialogue. i teach at the department of defense and strategic studies and currently a visitor at carnegie. >> great. >> two quick ques. one about your recommendation on spraying sufi solution as a solution for the radicalists. as much as i remember there was a long discussion on this during president musharraf's time and a lot of talk on building pakistan
and other talks, turkey and there were efforts to spread the sufi tradition. i'm not really sure what exactly are the concrete steps that states can take in terms of changing their outlook but the societial outlook and the nomenclature in the society because when you talk about spreading sufi tradition and dedicated efforts, there's equal amount of resistance to that. progressive society probably is sometimes a national consequence of a lot of other steps that you take and that you have also mentioned in terms of education reforms and all that stuff but dedicated efforts can create a force -- for much benefit. second is about a historical anomaly. you talked about afghan taliban and pakistan's sort of -- with them for quite sometime. as opposed to the pakistani taliban. i'm still wondering what exactly
was the ri action of afghan taliban on pakistan's decision to side with post- 9/11. was there a sense of betrayal if they felt that kind of betrayal, then i would assume that their reaction should have been like there should have been some sort of opposition within them and wouldn't that create a tension against the state of pakistan? thank you. >> both, both very good questions. the second question of afghan tall been and felt betrayal. that's one of my arguments in my chapter 3 or 4. and you're right. mullah omar and others and this is obvious from the book who's written a book "my years with taliban" and he was the afghan ambassador to pakistan. very close friend of pakistan. you can read the book and see the distaste for all things pakistan and think the pakistanis went after him. it is simply no doubt about it.
that's why i've also some doubts of the nomenclature and the organization. but still, we know for a fact from various for a fact from, t majority of taliban had either moved to pakistan with their families, like recently there's a mullah, i think rakib or najib, who was a fond, leader, who was tilled most likely, but mail tear and intelligence is pushing them to come to the negotiation table. gave them space, at least to, i think -- it's my guess and estimate without any critical or -- that -- i think maybe around 100 taliban leaders are
close to the -- around that number probably came to pakistan, they brought their families and at that time they talked pakistan after -- and should have stood by them, but despite that, they were thankful that they were saved from being bombed. and yes. i think there was a manipulation as well, so taliban, a lot of forces that it helped them before 9/11 so there was this control this minneapolis, but that's why whenever they needed -- the old gases had to go after pakistani taliban. so they responded to that breech breach, so your question is very relevant.
i'm absolutely not making a as a tool to sunnis, suvis, shia suvis, but one thing is is common, whether it's in pun jab or in sinh, or -- or -- they all had some common ideas which were religious -- which was complete nonviolence, always honoring the very poor and giving them hope, and also nonenforcement. if you go to the biggest sufi shrine, you would be amazed at
times there's more hindus there than suvis. why? because suv is never forced anyone to convert. i don't want more investment or political support, but i think suvi tradition and the great mistakes provide a bridge for different muslim sects to come together, and not only tolerate each other. we obvious say if we tolerate others, that's a success of any society i think it is respect for the other. about human being -- that's why, in terms of ideals, i support that suvi, but you're right. if anyone will try to choreograph it through political support, negative action will come. we know there have been -- in pakistan totally unprecedented in the history of south asia.
never, ever before there was an attack on a sufi shrine. that started happening, why? because of two reasons. one because of the bigoted people from different sects, where there is bigotry, a part of -- always different sects unfortunate unfortunately. those people know well that the challenge to their orthodoxy and conservative and narrow-mindedness is embedded -- they are fearful that what if that will get support politically. thank you for raising that point. >> thank you very much. office to bring the session to a close. i would like to apologize to all of those who didn't get a chance to ask a question i'd like to thank you for a great review of is the situation.
i would also like to invite you to attend the session this coming monday with ambassador -- a special adviser, the pakistani prime minister, which will be this coming monday. to all of you, thank you very much for your presence this morning, and please join me in thanking -- coming up a book tv interviewer with bruce hershon sohn, and a look at how founding fathers alexander hamilton and -- gave and took advice. that's followed by the life of alexander hamilton and his idea of honor in politics.
next book tv talks about bruce hershonsohn. professorgtkw#l provided his take. he sat down with us at pepperdi pepperdine, in malibu, california. it's about 45 minutes. >> joining us is bruce hershonsohn. how long have you taught here, and what do you teach? >> i teach u.s. foreign policy, and started teaching here in the beginning of 1998. really when the school of public policy opened up for students. before that, i sort of had an affiliation with pepperdine since the mid -- early 1970s. >> what kind of affiliation?
>> i think you know i used to work for president nixon. when you get a request to go to a college to give a speech or something, i always got the straw that meant i'm going to go in his place, and of course the college was never very delighted to see me, but too bad. so most of the colleges in those days, it was rough going. i felt i succeeded if i was still alive after the -- this was vietnam and all of that. so i remember sittings in a rental car, my hands on the steering while thinking, i made it, i got to the end of the speech and everything. so it was pretty rough going. vm when i went to pepperdine, it was terrific. a lot of people disagreed with me, naturally. but everything was very respectful, and very, very nice, and i really enjoyed it when i got back, i told president
nixon, a agreement place, pepper. since that time in the early 1970s, i had an affiliate in one way or another. what's your history in california politics? . not a great deal. my folks callite here from wisconsin, where i wasn't successful at all in any of the things i endeavored when i was 8. so they came out here for me. anyway, it went -- it was a marvelous, a great place to go to school. in terms of politics, i got very involved in international politics, starting in 1960. very involved in defense, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, so from that time forward, once you start
traveling around doing these things in different countries, you get just engrossed in it. at that time, i was making movies, and those were the kind of movies i wanted to make, really documentaries, and then started making movies for the united states information agency, and president johnson asked me, well, it's his administration, asked me to come and work for the united states information agency as its director. with george stevens jr. left. >> and then you worked for president johnson. you worked for president nixon. any other presidents? >> indeed first at usia, and then at the white house. i just got to tell you, one of the -- not one of the -- the greatest expert on foreign policy i have ever, ever known. i was very, very fortunate to work for that guy. magnificent man. i shouldn't say what the world thinks, but he has received so
much negative things thrown at him through the years, even lately, that i just -- i cringe every time i hear it. i think, what do they know? for god's sake, what do they know? most of them are so young, they're talking against him that they had to get it from another generation, and that generation got it from abc, cbs, nbc, "the washington post," "new york times," from all of those elements that just hated him. naturally this generation, having heard it from the last one, they just believe it. they hear a lot of good people speak negatively about him, and that bothers me a lot. >> you got involved in electoral politics. >> i did. >> did you win? >> no, no, i lost, of course. after the nixon administration came to kabc and did
commentaries and debates with former congressman tunney, a great guy. by the way, marvly guy. once you have name recognition, you're better off than someone who doesn't. anyway, i gave it a try. i got the nomination, but ran against barbara boxer. >> in 1992. >> that's correct. >> but you ran again in 1994. for the nomination? >> no, i did not. i did not. the first time i ran and i knew nothing was going to happen, but it was 1986. >> you're the author of this book, "obama's globe" a president's abandonment of u.s.c
policy as well. those two really loved it. some of them sort the get stuck with t. and they realize toward the end of their administration, but take a guy like bill clinton, he came into office wanting a health care. that was his big pursuit and his wife -- in those called he called it hillary-care. but when he wanted to go into bosnia, when he went into kosovo, i don't think there was one member of congress that knew it. when he wanted to send the navy to haiti, he did it. one thing that everyone forgets, four days of bombardments of iraq to get rid of their wmd supplies. all of those things he can do and did. he has the final say on things like that. then you take george bush 43, he comes into office.
he wanted immigration reform, wanted, but 9/11 happened, then if he wanted to go into, any -- good for him. president obama doesn't have -- i'm not so sure he really quite gets it. when he was thinking of attacking syria, very, very recently, that was before he decided to leave it up to the congress. he was going to leave it up to the congress, and until the next day i think vladimir putin really saved his neck, because what he did was suggest this idea of having negotiations regarding the chemical weapons. anyway, he wanted the congress to have the final say.
he wanted to move the advocacy of only having foreign policy, move into domestic policy and have the congress take care of foreign policy. again, i have to say i think. i don't know the man, but it certainly appears that way. really appears that way, what we have not done for our allies, what we have done for those who are either enemies or certainly those who don't think well of us, is extraordinary, and consistent i'm talking about great britain, the czech republic, policyland, israel, hon durindura honduras, people in iran demonstrating against their own government in 2009, nothing. you don't hear anything. didn't help. syrians, and i remember when i wrote this book, in fact it's in the book, it's just a -- an --
other than to just say it was 5,400 people that had been killed in syria. that's a u.n. estimate. they were protecting homs. the people were carrying banners, placards, saying help us or we'll all be killed. well, we didn't help them, and they have been killed. now the estimate isn't 5,400. it's 130,000, is the last estimate of the u.n., and they're not estimating anymore, because they just say you can't do it anymore, you can't -- you can't get a correct number. the people there will say we think it's about 150,000. but they were being killed. and then in iran, when there was this marvelous demonstration of the people against the ayatollah ko and you may remember the girl
who was killed on the street, blood coming out of her mouth, and we had an opportunity to do something for some awfully good people in iran, awfully good people in syria, and we didn't. >> would you have sent troops? >> i would never say we shouldn't -- he's already made that mistake regarding ukraine. no boots -- he'll say everything is on the table, two sentences later, no boots on the ground. and most people say, yeah, that's right. no, it isn't right to say it. if you're the commander in chief, be quiet about anything you're not thinking of doing or even what you're thinking of doing. he has done something really extraordinary.
first, keep in mind, when you joined the service, basic training, first week, you are told by your commanding officer, first sergeant, if you're ever captured, there are only three things you can tell the enemy -- your name, your rank and your serial number. nothing else. we don't have a private, we have a commander in chief who tells iraq when we're going to leave, then tells afghanistan when we're going to leave, and it's already telling ukraine that we're not even going to be there. it's just extraordinary. i don't know how a guy who enters the service today can hear a commanding officer say that and not burt out laughing. you get to know a lot of people who serve in the military, iraq, afghanistan. i had lunch with a good friend and a great guy, just back from afghanistan. i said, do you remember in basic
training, did you hear that? he said, yeah, and there was some laughter between us, because i don't know how anyone can take that seriously. if you're commander in chief, telling your real enemy in afghanistan and in iraq. those are enemies. those aren't just antagonists or people who you can suspect may become enemies, telling them what we're going to do. it comes from someone so official as the president of the united states. wow. >> bruce hershonsohn, when you look at the vietnam war and the most recent iraq war, what effect do those two wars have on how we view foreign policy and how we conduct foreign policy? >> you hit on something that is so important what has had an effect is what people think happened in vietnam. they have been told a bunch of
stories about vietnam. when i say about how people think about president nixon, they don't know anything about him, when they think about vietnam, i hear intelligent smart people, very brilliant people, saying the vietnamese didn't know how to fight or we should have never been there in the first place or you can't win a guerrilla war. all untrue. we won the war with vietnam against north vietnam, and also in cambodia against pol pot. we won those wars on january 23rd, 1972, president nixon gave a speech in primetime cease the paris peace acords have been initialed, they'll be signed in four days. they were signed on the 27th. we got everything we wanted. this isn't just me talking. the north vietnamese have said in their memoirs, we lost the war then, because what brought the paris peace accord said, if there's any violations -- i'm
paraphrasing, but really if there's any violations, we will supply south vietnam with everything they lose. piece for piece. if they lose a bullet, we'll give them a bullet. if they lose a helicopter, we'll give them a helicopter. and a whole list of things. but what we promised south vietnam was freedom. we used the bill of rights, particularly the first amendment as the instrument, and then expanded. it was everything you could think of. freedom of association, freedom of meetings, freedom of anything. and it was signed. signed by the vitt congress, signed by the north vietnamese, signed by the south vietnamese, we wong. -- we won. it came about because president nixon decided to bomb hanoi and
haiphong until they came back to the peace table. the media city calls it the christmas bombing, once again an inaccuracy. we bombed in december, an the president asked some on his staff do you think we should bomb on christmas. i said, yes, they're not christians in north vietnam, they're eigh they're atheists. and they made -- they attacked. i said, by all means, otherwise they're going to take advantage of us, go through the ho chi minh trail. they will not stop because we do. the president didn't agree with me. he felt he shouldn't bomb on christmas. so we had a 36-hour bombing halt from christmas eve through passing through december 25th.
but the media had already called it the christmas bombing, and they just couldn't stopped. they just loved to do that. pick up any book right now on vietnam, look under "c" and you'll see the christmas bombing that never occurred. however the bombing we did do in decent was massive on military targets and industrial targets. they came to the table, they signed the agreement we wanted them to sign, that was it. the war was done, and we won. a lot of people were unhappy, including a lot of people in congress who made speeches about how they were antivietnam. >> it took t2 1/4 years. weig watergate became a scandal during 1973.
that was the big year. they knew then, and i'm quoting them, not me. that they would be able to win even though they had already lost. what they did was they tested a new president, president ford. magnificent, marvelous guy, but i believe weak when faced with going -- doing something regarding vietnam. they attacked one village in south vietnam, he didn't do anything. they attacked another one, he didn't do anything. he didn't resupply, he didn't do anything. they took an lok province, and when they were ability to do that, they knew they had this thing won, they would attack saigon. president ford made a speech on april 10th of '75, and he -- god he was jest pleading for the congress to please give him the aid that we promised, and a lot
didn't say anything about it. there's some marvelous people who did, who really did -- who did. joan baez put in -- who was in every antivietnam demonstration of any merit, particularly in washington, d.c., tonight an ad out in all the numbs saying they made a concentration camp out south vietnam now that the north vietnamese have taken it over. she couldn't get a lot of hollywood celebrities she wanted to sign that. somebody who has given the rest of his life to this, because he feels so terrible about what he did during the war, in effect supporting the north vietnamese was jon voight. the guy is terrific. he'll just do anything to try to make up for it. there are those people unfortunately there are a lot of them who aren't -- who don't do that. therefore, this generation is stuck with the memory of vietnam that it doesn't really have any
justification to really feel that way except what people have told them. and as i said, when i watch a good person give a false tame about losing is the war, and why we shouldn't have been there -- yes, we should have been there. we should have won, we did win, but then we should have kept our word. one thing, if i may, when a president signs a document, that is considered the people of the united states. not a president, but the people of the united states give their word. it has been our tradition, and a tradition of democracies that when a president or a prime minister, whomever it may be of the democracy signs an agreement, that's the people of that nation. i can give you one quick example. it was ronald reagan during the campaign for the presidency, he was totally opposed to the panama canal treaties of president carter, and made a big
case of them. by the time he got to be president, however they hadding signed, sealed and delivered, done by one vote. once it was signed by president carter, once it was done and the senate backed it, man, as an american, he's got to be for it, and so he did nothing to harm it. that was knowing that that document was signed by the people of the united states. president carter was signing for the people. >> bruce hershonsohn, what about the iraq war? will there be a lingering effect? >> yes, there will be, a effect that i can hear it now, we should never have gone it, that kind of thing. there was no wmds there, i've heard it all countless times. yes, we should have gone in. we should have gone in and won. and we were on the verge of it
with the surge that petraeus sent in. we were on the verge of winning, but we had already announced that we were going to end the war. you don't end a war. you either win it or you lose it. you don't end a war. churchill said you cannot win a war by evacuation. we've evacuated. so of course we're going to lose. look, there are black flags in fallujah and ramadi outside government buildings, the black flags of al qaeda. so, yes, and i am convinced that
>> ukraine. >> ukraine? we're letting it happen. putin is probably the strongest leader in the world right now, something i despise says, but he is. i've got to face it. and what he wants to do he will do. we talk about sanctions as though he'll go nuts. what we don't seem to get doesn't really care that much about his own people. look at any tyranny in contemporary history, i use that as my lifetime. so hitler, stalin, pol pot, they didn't care about their own people. they killed their own people. mow tse-tung killed his own people. so we'll have sanctions as
though putin will go, my god, my poor people. no, he didn't think that. he wants the power. he wants to rebuild the soviet union. you've got to say the words again "i believe." i don't know that with certainty. it seems to be that way. the way that he talks, and one thing -- just going back to president oba president obama do you realize that to the majority of people who voted, but we all saw a videotape when the mike was on and he didn't know it. he was saying to president medvedev -- they were talking about missile defense, and the czech republic poll, and throughout europe, missile defense. he said, tell vladimir that if i -- that this is my last election, and after the election, i can be more flexi e
flexible. and medvedev said, i understand. i'm sure he told vladimir putin, well, my god, i would think he would want to give that message to our allies, since he could be more flexible, not those people who are opposed to us. and number one, he should give that message to the voter. he would have lost, of course, and no one seemed to -- the majority i should say -- but the majority of people heard it and said oh, god, and vote fold him anyway. wow. telling an adversary, and that's a word i can use to describe russia, an adversary that he can be more flexible after the election. wow. bruce hershonsohn, people will be listening to this and saying he's just a 1980s